Executive MBA for the Creative Industries

Advance your leadership skills and develop your business acumen in the creative industries.

Building on our 35-year experience of running one of the world's leading, triple-accredited MBA programmes, this Executive MBA can be studied online with attendance at four residential weeks over two years. It is for busy professionals either already working in the creative sector or looking to make the transition into the sector, who wish to gain the strategic skills and knowledge required to respond to increased digitisation and globalisation.

The programme is designed and taught by Ashridge Executive Education with the expertise and contribution from two experienced industry partners: Creative Skillset and Atticus Education. An Advisory Board of senior executives from the creative industries including advertising, publishing, film and television provides extensive industry knowledge, experience and support for this qualification.

"It is essential that the creative industries are led by people who can skilfully and knowledgeably navigate companies through the challenges of the digital era.” Lord Puttnam

David Puttnam

Click on the picture above to see what David Abraham, CEO, Channel 4, says about this programme and the creative industries.

Applications for this program are now closed. 

David Puttnam - Executive Masters in Business Administration (MBA) for the Creative Industries

Credibility and expertise

This brand new Executive MBA is brought to you by triple-accredited Ashridge Business School. One of only 1% of business schools globally to be accredited by AMBA, EQUIS and AACSB, Ashridge provides the assurance of quality, credibility and relevance. Find out more about Ashridge accreditations and rankings.

Atticus Education is an online education company. It is owned by Lord Puttnam, film producer and educationalist.  Atticus delivers interactive, online modules to universities and industry seminars across the world, providing high-quality resources to support learning. The online resources for this MBA are therefore exceptional and unique.

Creative Skillset is the UK-wide strategic skills body that works to ensure that the UK's creative industries have continued access now and in the future to the skills and talent they require. Their unrivalled knowledge of the creative industries has ensured that this Executive MBA is directly relevant and fills the skills gap in the need for strategic management expertise.

This qualification is also supported by an Advisory Board of industry experts. Find out more about our Advisory Board.

Film - behind the scene on Suffragette (c) Ruby Films, Path+®, Film4 (3)

Who is it for?

Whether you are a freelancer, mid-career professional, business owner or entrepreneur, the Ashridge Executive MBA for the Creative Industries is a strategic programme for professionals wishing to lead, establish or grow their role and their business in the fast-paced, changing environment of the creative industries.

To apply,  you must have a minimum of 3 years’ work experience plus a Bachelor degree, or a minimum of 5 years’ work experience without a degree. English must be at IELTS 7.0 level or equivalent for those for whom English is not their first language. The Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) is not mandatory but may be required in certain circumstances. Work experience in the creative industries is not essential, but you will need to be able to base your assignments on a relevant organization during the programme.

Find out more about how to apply.

Find out more about funding your studies and scholarships available.

Join the next open day or webinar.

Fashion design

What will you learn?

This is a general MBA including all the main subjects of strategic management: marketing, finance, operations, leadership, strategy, global management, sustainability, economics and innovation. However, resources for each subject are tailored to ensure they are relevant to the creative industries. In addition, you can use your own organization as the basis for your learning and your assignments, to ensure direct relevance and practical application while you study. There are no exams, just assignments and a final business-based masters project, so your organization may even benefit from free consultancy! This is of particular value if you are looking for company sponsorship for your studies. The four residential weeks will include development of personal and leadership skills which are more effective when practiced face-to-face. While studying online, you will have the opportunity to interact with your tutor and your peers through discussion forums, privately and in the virtual classroom.

Find out more about the faculty.

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Flexibility and innovation

This is an online MBA that can be studied in your own time to fit around busy work schedules, especially important in the creative industries. The online study planner will outline the study schedule, key deadlines and dates for online interactive sessions. You will then be able to draw on the extensive online resources, including state-of-the-art video material from Atticus Education and access to the MBA Learning Zone and Virtual Ashridge. Here you will find numerous databases of thousands of articles, industry journals, company reports, and e-books which are all freely available to support your studies. Although focused around distance learning, you will be expected to attend four residential weeks, two per year, to gain the key soft skills required to support the academic elements of the MBA. Three of these weeks will be at Ashridge Business School, near London, UK and one will be outside of the UK.

Find out more about Ashridge Business School.

Why gain an Executive MBA?

Here are some reasons why you might be looking to gain an Executive MBA qualification:


  • Career progression in your organisation
  • Change career
  • Start your own business
  • Consolidate your experience.


  • To improve in a strategic role
  • To move into a strategic role
  • To move into general management from a specialist function
  • To lead the business in a new direction.

Watch the videos from our current students and alumni to see why they chose to study for the Ashridge MBA.