Professor Marie McHugh, Dean of the Ulster Business School, pictured with MBS student Sebin Sebastian from Kerala in southern India, at the launch of the MBS programme
The University of Ulster is expanding business and professional services studies at its Magee campus with two key courses that will open up new career options for students from home and abroad.
The courses – a Master of Business Studies and a proposed BSc (Hons) Accounting and Managerial Finance – are provided by the internationally respected Ulster Business School.
The courses are part of the University’s strategy for transforming Magee by doubling its size, building new infrastructure and adding around 2,000 extra students. The courses will be particularly attractive for students considering financial services and business management careers.
The MBS programme got under way last month and was officially launched at a reception at Magee today. It will develop graduate students’ business skills to an international standard. The new BSc Accountancy and Managerial Finance at Magee will start next September.
Until now the MBS has been available only at Jordanstown, where it has been particularly popular with international students. That trend continues in its extension to Magee.
Indian post-graduates comprise two-thirds of the inaugural year’s intake of 20 students – the result of a successful overseas marketing campaign by the University that focused specifically on recruiting Indian students.
Professor Richard Barnett, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ulster, said: “The MBS programme that we have officially launched today is a further illustration of our determination to build on Magee’s success in financial and business education.
"These courses directly meet some of the upskilling challenges facing the North West and the promotion of the region internationally. They will generate expertise that will be in demand by commerce and enterprising employers. The University is driving ahead its expansion plan, which will double Magee’s land footprint and bring its students numbers from around 4,000 now to about 6,000 over five years.”
Professor Marie McHugh, Dean of the Ulster Business School, said: “The MBS programme provides an opportunity to step up the ladder to management. It builds on the Business School’s very strong postgraduate provision and significantly expands its offering at the Magee campus.
“We are in the process of developing a new BSc (Hons) in Accounting and Managerial Finance which will increase the opportunity for students who want to follow a career in those specialised fields. We aim to have an annual intake of 30 students on that programme.”
Professor Deirdre Heenan, Dean of Academic Development at Magee, said: “This is a great boost for business and professional services in the North West. It shows that our expansion plan for Magee is bearing early fruit but, of course, a massive task lies ahead in accomplishing the University’s full vision for the campus.
“Magee is the fastest growing of the University’s four campuses. As an internationally known centre of innovation, research and learning, it has a pivotal role in the goal of regional regeneration. With united community support and the necessary backing from government, a bigger Magee should be an inspirational asset in the revival that this city so richly deserves.”
The one-year full-time MBS course is aimed chiefly at recent graduates who want to develop their business skills to an international standard.
It builds on students’ existing knowledge and skills by introducing the fundamentals of business and management such as organisation theory, business strategy, business improvement, change management and implementation, marketing, leadership, enterprise and innovation and technology transfer and its application to the business environment.
It also has a key practical focus, giving students an opportunity to work alongside a company and complete a live consultancy project as part of a ‘Bright Spark’ internship.
Nicholas Read, Programme Manager, Ulster Business School, who helped co-ordinate the overseas marketing drive, says Indian student recruitment is good for Northern Ireland business.
“We already have companies from Northern Ireland exporting to India and Indian investors looking at what Northern Ireland has to offer. Businesses at home could benefit from the Indian students’ local knowledge, to sell or source products in India while overseas students could also help inward investors when they visit here.”