The program pushed me to think outside the classroom and relate to the community at large.

This unique MBA that has a mixture of business and social science disciplines provided me an opportunity to access across sector opportunities.  The program pushed me to think outside the classroom and relate to the community at large. I entered the program as an international student from Egypt; however, I graduated as a global community member with a passion for community economic development that has no limit.

The program also opened several doors for me when I decided to further my education towards a Ph.D. degree. I received more than 7 offers from Ph.D. programs in Canada, the US, and the UK – recognition of the quality of education offered by CBU.  The MBA in CED has provided me with a solid academic and professional foundation and enabled me to mobilize it towards multiple directions, as an academic and as a professional.

Rany S. Ibrahim
MBA in CED ‘06
Marketing Manager, Office of Immigration
Province of Nova Scotia

MBA: Structure

Program Structure:

  • Core
  • Electives
  • Applied Research Project
  • Pre core program

Cape Breton University’s Shannon School of Business MBA in CED emphasizes integrative thinking and skills. Our program includes all core courses typically found in general MBA programs, and adds advanced content in community economic development.

Students are required to complete 15 half courses (45 credits) and an Applied Research Project (3 credits) under the supervision of two faculty advisors, for a total of 48 credits. Thirteen of the 15 courses are mandatory/core and 2 are electives.

The 2 elective options provide a focus in Strategic Leadership, First Nations, International Business or Peace-Building, Reconstruction and Good Governance, Public Policy, International Business or Sustainability.  The Applied Research Project would build on the chosen electives within the Option.
A 70 % average is required to remain in the program.

Our Core Business Foundation Courses

The CBU MBA in CED has the following four foundation business courses in its core curriculum:
MBAC 5103 Fundamentals of Accounting
MBAC 5104 Fundamentals of Marketing
MBAC 5105 Organizational Behavior
MBAC 6103 Fundamentals of Finance

Our Core Integrative Skills Courses

Typically, MBA programs emphasize strategy and encourage the development of leaders with a broad view.  In our MBA in CED these skills are honed in courses that delve into both business and community development in order to solve bigger, organization-wide or community-wide issues. These courses typically require a ‘synthesis’ type of deliverable, like a business plan, a strategic plan, or a research proposal, and they also use case studies; they are the hallmark MBA courses.

Our five core integrative skills core courses are:

MBAC 6106  Leadership Training
MBAC 6118 Fundamentals of Venture Analysis
MBAC 6121 Applied Research Methods
MBAC 6124 International Business
MBAC 6125 Strategic Management

Our Economic Development courses

Most specialized MBA programs include 4-6 courses that provide a ‘major-like’ theme. Our theme is Community Economic Development and the 4 courses are:
MBAC 5101 Business and Community Development I
MBAC 5107 Economic Geography
MBAC 6101 Business and Community Development II
MBAC 6107 Comparative Development

Our Elective Curriculum (2 courses, 6 credits):

Students pursuing a general MBA in CED can select two courses from a set of general electives; they can mix and match general electives or chose a specific area of specialization through our special options.

  • Strategic Leadership Option: A popular option
  • First Nations Option: An outgrowth of Cape Breton University’s already extensive Mi’kmaq Studies program. It is well received by aboriginal and non-aboriginal learners throughout Canada.
  • International Business Option: Developed in consideration of the interests of our international students, and increasingly favored by Canadian students.
  • Peace-Building, Reconstruction and Good-Governance Option: Designed in collaboration with the Canadian Defence Academy and the Department of National Defence specifically for personnel involved in planning and implementing post-conflict resolution and restoration
  • Public Policy
  • Sustainability
  • Marketing
  • Tourism

The ARP – Applied Research Project (3 credits)

MBA programs have a final requirement that is generally either a comprehensive set of examinations or a project. Our MBA in CED program has The ARP – the Applied Research Project. The ARP provides an intense research exercise on a topic that is most often drawn from the learner’s background. It is yet another opportunity to apply the concepts and skills the learner has acquired throughout the program.

MBAC 6121  Applied Research Methods, the last core course in the cohort schedule, prepares students to conduct a research proposal. In conducting the ARP, students delve into a topic of interest, learn to develop a thesis, frame the research question, conduct literature review and develop the theoretical framework, adopt the appropriate methodology, carry out the research, analyze the results, and summarize conclusions. In choosing a topic of interest to the student, the research project provides the opportunity to gain deep insight into a topic that could advance their career, their organization, and/or the community.

MBAC 6801 Applied Research Project (ARP) is a 3-credit course and must be completed within one academic year. Two advisors drawn from different disciplines are assigned to each student and serve in an academic advisory capacity during the development and completion of the research project.  This role includes assistance with the choice of research topic, conceptualization, methodology, analyses, and writing of project. The primary advisor is an expert in methodology, while the secondary advisor is an expert in the topic. To ensure the ARP meets high academic standards, an ethics application must be signed by the primary advisor, submitted to and approved by CBU’s Ethics Committee. The Applied Research Project is marked by advisors; no committee presentation is required.

MBA Preparation (Pre-Core)

Considering many MBA in CED learners may have been out of university for years or may not have completed a business program, Cape Breton University offers a series of intensive, non-credit refresher seminars in Academic Writing, Accounting, Finance, and Statistics at no cost.  As part of the Accounting Pre-core seminar, a workshop is offered in Excel, a computer software program used in a number of the MBA courses. These pre-core courses prepare students for the rigor of MBA courses. Each pre-core course is conducted over a weekend and takes place just prior to the start of regular classes.

ARP Boot-Camp (Post-Core) Workshops

Following the completion of our MBA in CED core courses, this series of workshops provide structure and direction in the preparation of the Applied Research Project, which is essentially a self-directed project. Led by a professor, the workshops provide immediate feedback that encourages the completion of an ARP draft. The workshops are held on alternate Saturdays over a 16- week period.