MSc in Structured Innovation

Entry requirements: Applicants are expected to have significant relevant practical experience, or a first class degree plus a minimum of 5 years’ experience. 
Full or Part-time: Part-time
School: Business School Back to course finder

Innovation is a skill not an act of genius. It is also a fundamental building block of all successful enterprises that needs to be integrated into the structure of the organisation. This pioneering new course will take talented managers and build innovative thinking into their day-to-day approach to problem solving.

Taking a multi-disciplinary approach, the course enables students to use innovation in a structured and disciplined way, innovating new products, services and processes based on the core principles of Lean, TRIZ, Design and Systems Thinking.

Throughout the programme the staff, all world-leading innovators, will combine academic rigour with real world learning to develop the successful innovators of tomorrow.

Download brochure: MSc in Structured Innovation (PDF file, 3 MB).

The University of Buckingham and the Mentoring Programme

The Buckingham Lean & Innovation staff have been running MSc courses since 1999 and have built a strong international reputation. The team are recognised as world-class professionals and all of the teachers on the programmes possess a combination of academic rigour and real-world battle scars.

The programmes are specifically designed for practising managers working across all areas of business from Strategy and R&D through to Service, Design and Logistics.

The University of Buckingham prides itself on the support it gives to its students and this has been reflected by featuring at the top of the National Student Survey for Student Satisfaction every year of the last decade.

Mentoring and Network

Mentoring is a fundamental part of learning about all aspects of Structured Innovation with feedback and discussion both important aspects of the programme.

With a small and focused class profile and student group, practical participation and personal interaction with both the staff and the other students will bring considerable long term rewards.

The Programme

Why do only 2% of innovations succeed? Why do some businesses create long term futures while others fade away? How can resilience be built into business growth? Structured Innovation solves these questions, integrating innovation into the heart of enterprise.

The ‘future proof’ organisation is one which simultaneously optimises the way it carries out its current activities while creating its future direction. Innovation is continuous and inherent in everything it does. This MSc teaches the role and function of innovation in the organisation, and how it works hand in hand with MSc in Lean Enterprise to create success.

Students will learn to integrate innovation into every aspect of their business lives, adding value and growth by the practical implementation of step changes within the organisation.


The programme involves a series of five-day modules, often held on-site, taken over a two year period. A typical module involves a short, sharp burst of theory, case studies and hands-on exercises tailored to the student’s current environment, followed by a 2,500-word assignment and a Learning Portfolio.  Students will complete the programme with an independently researched 15,000-word dissertation and presentation, that builds on knowledge gained through the modules.

  • Foundations, Standardisation & Disruption
  • Design Thinking, System Thinking and Complexity
  • Systematic Innovation Methods & Tools
  • Psychology & Change
  • Innovation Capability and ‘Buy-In’
  • Innovation Strategy & Execution
  • Service Systems 1– Fundamentals
  • Service Systems 2 – Advanced Methods
  • Lean Product Development
  • Lean IT and Software Development
  • Digital Supply Chain.

Modules are largely held on site looking at current real case situations within the student’s business activities.

Teaching staff

Buckingham’s Lean and Innovation Department is home to a wealth of knowledge.

Professor Darrell Mann is founder and CEO of Systematic Innovation Ltd and has helped many of the world’s top companies to create stronger IP across a broad spectrum of industries and disciplines.  He is a world expert with over 600 papers on innovation and its implementation, and the author of the best-selling book Hands-On Systematic Innovation.

John Bicheno is a professional engineer and Professor of Lean Enterprise. He is author or co-author of 11 books in the Lean Manufacturing, Lean Service, Lean Systems, and Six Sigma areas, including The Lean Toolbox.

The MSc Programme Director, Kobus Cilliers, is a serial entrepreneur and widely respected consultant within innovation. His engineering solutions and innovations have fundamentally re-visited how tasks are undertaken, and provided step-change solutions to long-standing problems.

Applications & Admissions

Please apply online or contact our Business Admissions team:
Tel: +44 (0)1280 820236

For more information on MSc in Structured Innovation at Buckingham please contact Kim Pittwood (email:


Entry requirements

Applicants are expected to have significant relevant practical experience or a First / Second class degree plus a minimum of 5 years experience. Download great tips for writing your personal statement.

Mature students

Age is no barrier to learning and we welcome all applications from suitably qualified students.

Personal statement

Download these great tips on writing your personal statement.

International students

We are happy to consider all international applications and if you are an international student, you may find it useful to visit our international pages for details of entry requirements from your home country.

The University is a UKVI Tier 4 Sponsor.

English levels

If English is not your first language, please check our postgraduate English language requirements. If your English levels don’t meet our minimum requirements, you may be interested in applying for our Pre-sessional English Language Foundation Programmes.

Selection process

Applications are now open, and will close as soon as the course is fully subscribed with the limited group size.

Wherever possible, you will be invited to the University to meet the Admissions Tutor for an informal interview and to have a tour of our campus. If you are an international applicant, it may not be possible for you to visit in person, so if the Admissions Tutor has any queries about your application you may be conducted by skype, email or phone.

The Admissions Team for Business would be happy to answer any questions you may have:

Lyn Hartin

Mrs Lyn Hartin

Business Admissions Administrator

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Bethany Janes

Admissions Support & Marketing Assistant

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Terms and conditions for prospective students

When you are offered a place at the University you will be notified of the terms and conditions between the University and students on our courses of study. When you accept an offer of a place on the course at the University a legal contract is formed between you and the University on the basis of the terms and conditions outlined in your offer letter. Your offer letter and the terms and conditions contain important information which you should read carefully before accepting any offer. Read the admissions terms and conditions > >

Quality teaching

We offer high quality, traditional Oxbridge-style teaching, which leads to our degrees being recognised around the world. The standards of degrees and awards are safeguarded by distinguished external examiners – senior academic staff from other universities in the UK – who approve and moderate assessed work.

High calibre staff

Most of our academic staff teach for three terms out of four, with the remaining term used for research. Because of this, we have no difficulty in attracting high calibre, highly respected lecturers, many of whom also have a background in business or industry and can offer networking opportunities for students.

Teaching methods

Teaching across our postgraduate programmes is through a combination of formal lectures, tutorials and seminars. Our lectures aim to encourage healthy dialogue between faculty and students, and between students themselves, while our small tutorial groups ensure that students can engage even more closely with their teachers. Members of the Business School faculty also make a point of being available to students outside the scheduled teaching sessions – something which our postgraduate students find particularly valuable.

We frequently use case studies to examine business decisions taken in real situations, and business simulations and games give you first-hand experience of decision making in the world of work. Role-play and group problem-solving exercises help you to apply some of the theoretical concepts delivered in lectures and you will have the opportunity to undertake individual or group projects with local companies on topical business issues.

Assessment methods

Students are assessed using written assignments, mentored exercises and a dissertation. There is no written examination.

A Typical ‘Hands-on On-site Module’

The first day comprises lectures and discussion on the topic theory. A briefing is given by plant management , and a walk though takes place. Days 2 to 4 consist of lectures, discussions, and games but also several hours of investigation, observation, discussion with host staff, use of computer packages for data analysis, and synthesis. During such days, students work closely with lecturers (typically two) and together they work out recommendations. Overnight there is often readings and further analysis. On the Friday a presentation is made to host management. The module concludes at around 15:00.

Year 1 (66.7% of total marks) Year 2 (33.3% of total marks)
Taught stage (100%) Dissertation stage (100% of Yr 2 marks)
Eight modules will be assessed via a 2,500-word report (70%) and a learning portfolio (30%). This stage requires delivery of a 20-minute individual presentation and the submission of a 15,000-word dissertation.
The presentation is weighted 20%, and 80% weighting is for the dissertation.
Students are required to pass all stages. The pass mark for each element is 50%.

  • A Pass will be awarded where the weighted average mark for both years is 50-59%.
  • A Merit will be awarded where the weighted average mark for both years is 60-69%.
  • A Distinction will be awarded where the weighted average mark for both years is >70%.

Graduate employment

Our graduate prospects are excellentOur graduates have gone on to further study at most of the world’s leading universities, including Harvard, London, Oxford and Cambridge and secured jobs in senior positions around the world. Among our alumni we have a graduate who became the head of his country’s civil service and one who became a leading Formula One motor-racing driver. Another secured a position as the Minister of Sabah and one female law graduate became the first British lawyer to become a French Advocate.

The tuition fees quoted are for the degree (e.g. if you start a degree at Buckingham in January 2018, you will pay the same termly fee for the duration of your degree – you will not be affected by the price increase in September 2018). Fees are normally paid in termly instalments.

Postgraduate loan scheme

A new system of postgraduate loans for Master’s degrees in the UK was introduced in August 2016 with support from the UK Government. The loan will provide up to £10,280 for taught and research Master’s courses in all subject areas. The loans can be used for tuition fees, living expenses or both.  Find out more >>

You may also find it useful to visit our Bursaries and Scholarships and  External Funding pages.

Due to the mode of study on this course you will not normally need a room in University accommodation during your degree.

However, if you require short-term accommodation in Buckingham we would be happy to provide a list of local bed and breakfast or hotel accommodation. Alternatively, please contact our Accommodation Office for advice.