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Weird And Wonderful Modules Offered By Business Schools Around The World

As Halloween approaches, our minds tend to drift towards the spiritual and the unusual. You might choose to celebrate spooky season by scaring yourself silly with a horror film – perhaps seeing Saw X, The Nun II or The Exorcist in cinemas – or maybe you’d prefer a quiet night hiding from trick-or-treaters with the lights off.

But at some universities and business schools, magic and witchcraft aren’t kept solely for Halloween. The University of Exeter has recently introduced a Master’s in Magic and Occult Science, following a “recent surge in interest in magic,” the course leader has said.

Launching September 2024, the programme will sit in the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies and will explore the history of magic, folklore and rituals in the West and East.

Modules include dragons in Western literature and art, the legend of King Arthur, palaeography, Islamic thought, archaeological theory and practice and the depiction of women in the Middle Ages.

If this master’s programme has caught your eye, you may be interested in these other unusual modules and initiatives offered at business schools around the world:

Sustainable leadership through meditation

Reserved for cults and yogis, meditation is perhaps something you wouldn’t expect to find amid the hustle and bustle of business school life. Meditation is about looking inward, taking the time to acknowledge your thoughts and feelings and reflecting on your reason for doing something.

Imperial College Business School’s Sustainability Leadership Exec Ed programme understands the importance of mindfulness when developing sustainable leaders. To help candidates develop a ‘sustainability mindset’ there is an optional meditation module, which the business school says is “crucial for creating lasting change”.

Woodland visits for a reflective mindset

Forget monsters hiding in the woods, you might just discover some fascinating business lessons instead. At IMPM, senior-level managers from around the world have gathered together at the beautiful Forest Hills, as part of the development of the programme’s five managerial mindsets.

While there, they explored topics such as Ethics and Virtue Within Organisations, Managing Culture, and got a first-hand experience of British industry in action, all whilst taking the time to reflect upon and challenge their own managerial approaches, perspectives and values.

Spirituality in business

Spirituality is about solving issues from other levels of consciousness, explains Sharda Nandram, Professor of Business and Spirituality at Nyenrode Business University. She hopes to encourage the study of spirituality to help people embrace the unknown in science and business.

“There are also many unknowns in mathematics. The concepts like zero and ‘infinity’ were introduced to be able to deal with the unknown. Spirituality is also about searching for the unknown. That soft side of spirituality deserves a hard side that mathematics already has,” says Professor Nandram.  

Nyenrode Business University believes that spirituality and management are intrinsically interlinked, which is why the school weaves it into its management modules.

Multisensory experiences

If you’re scared of things that go bump in the night, it might be time to sharpen your senses. There’s nowhere better to do this than at BI Norwegian Business School, where the Bachelor of Business offers an elective course in multisensory experiences, exploring the basis of human sensation and perception.

The module starts by introducing the topic, before exploring in depth how experiences form and the role of our senses in them. After that, it introduces multisensory experiences in marketing, understanding how we interface with brands through many, if not all, of our senses. As a result, senses are placed at the centre of the consumer experience design processes.

The module goes further, discussing how multisensory experiences meet technology, in particular key digital transformations such as mixed reality, the internet of things, AI-powered technologies, and web3.

Digital meets reality

If Black Mirror is more your Halloween TV show of choice, you’ll love this. Meet NEOMA Business School’s fourth campus, the Metaverse: a permanent, 100% virtual campus.

Accessible from anywhere in the world and open 24 hours a day, it allows NEOMA students, professors and employees to take form online as personalised avatars. The school has developed virtual reality case studies that enable students to apply theory to practice in real business scenarios.


If you’re watching Harry Potter this Autumn, you may remember the giant chess board in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Chess has been heavily popularised in the past few years, with the TV show The Queen’s Gambit encouraging people of all ages to try the 1500-year-old game.

But would you consider taking a business school programme in it? POLIMI Graduate School of Management recognises the value of strategy involved in the game of chess and has launched a  short course in Chess and Corporate Strategy. The course is aimed at business professionals and managers who want to improve their skills in strategic thinking and decision-making. It will integrate content from various fields, such as game theory, AI and human strategic thinking. 

Business schools are branching out from their traditional offerings to offer these unusual and unique courses, paving the way for innovation. Halloween scares may be fast and fleeting but these courses offer students a myriad of skills that will last a lifetime.

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