University brews up new pub diploma


Birmingham City University has joined up with major pub group Mitchells & Butler (M&B) to create a unique qualification for staff.

The first of its kind in the country, the brand new postgraduate diploma in multi-unit leadership has been developed especially for the pub operator which operates more than 2,000 sites across the UK. The aim of the qualification is to give regional managers extra skills to help make their pubs more successful.

M&B approached a number of universities about developing a postgraduate programme but decided Birmingham City university was the best one for the job. The aim of the course is to improve skills such as the ability to lead several pubs, to coach managers and staff to have a greater appreciation of problems and issues that relate to running venues from a distance. The course is made up of four modules, each of which takes three days and involves a case study. Graduates can follow up the qualification with extra study to gain a Masters degree.

Chris Edger, Human Resources director for M&B said: “The sociology, psychology and economics of multi-unit leadership are not well understood here, though there are courses in the USA. The Birmingham City University-developed course also acts as a retention device –a portable qualification, making the trade more professional. It will improve the quality of our area managers and improve our recruitment.”

The first 25 students are started their studies last autumn and will graduate in February 2011 – another 25 will start the course in June 2010. Peter Nelson, Associate Dean at the University’s Birmingham City Business School, said: “It’s great to send someone on an MBA, but you rely on them translating what they’ve learned back into the business for you. Whereas with this programme we’re coming at it from the other side. We’re doing the translation at the beginning, and giving M&B the finished product. We decided we wanted to be a leading practice-based business school – getting out hands dirty and going out into industry.”

This isn’t the first such programme that Birmingham City University has become involved with. Last year the University also launched a qualification for managers who work for builders’ merchants Jewson, and is looking at other opportunities to expand the number of bespoke qualifications it can develop with industry.

Return to the previous page.