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INSEAD Updates MBA Curriculum

INSEAD’s one-year MBA program topped last year’s Financial Times MBA ranking. But the program’s success apparently doesn’t mean INSEAD will become complacent.

Instead, the school has just announced that it will be implementing a new MBA curriculum starting this fall. The new curriculum introduces several changes, including a more personalized structure, new tech-related electives, and a greater emphasis on the relationship between business and social issues.

The new curriculum, which has been in the works for two years, will include a new component that INSEAD calls the “Personal Leadership Development Program.” Through individualized coaching, the program will aim to develop students’ communication and interpersonal skills.


The new curriculum will end with a capstone course designed to test the skills students have built in the Personal Leadership Development Program with a simulated business crisis. Also along the lines of increased personalization, the new MBA curriculum will assign students to personal career advisers.

While the new curriculum has become more personalized on one hand, it will encourage students to look outward and think about the big picture of business on the other.

Through a new group of “Business and Society” courses, students will grapple with questions about how business relates to broader issues in the world. According to INSEAD, these new courses will promote the idea of “Business as a Force for Good.”

Of course, no curriculum update would be complete without a nod to the increasingly important role of technology in business and business education. And INSEAD is making several changes to bring its MBA further into the digital age.

First, the new curriculum introduces a range of new tech-related electives. These include Big Data, Social Media Analytics, FinTech and several others. Some existing courses will likewise be revised to stand more firmly in the twenty-first century.

Additionally, INSEAD is expanding the role of online learning in its MBA. With an array of new online content, videos and case studies that admitted students can use, the school hopes to cut down what it calls “pre-knowledge gaps” so students arrive on campus on more equal footing.

While the new MBA retains several distinctive elements of the previous degree, like the 10-month structure and the use of multiple campuses, the updated curriculum is more individualized and places a greater emphasis on both technology and on social issues.

Urs Peyer, INSEAD’s Dean of Degree Programs, explained that the new program would provide a more “personalized learning journey,” more opportunities to “specialize around digital transformation” and “an innovative ‘big picture’ course about Business and Society.”

With these changes, he said, INSEAD will be “creating an exceptional MBA learning experience for our participants, cultivating all facets of their personal and professional growth to be a well-rounded, world-class business leader and entrepreneur.”