UBC Postgraduate

The Global Masters is a simulation-based competition specifically designed to develop the employability skills of high-calibre postgraduate students.  World-class business simulations give the opportunity to run a series of simulated businesses enabling the development of an ‘entrepreneurial mindset’ and providing a real test of each team’s ability to drive business performance.

UBC Global Masters Winners 2023 Southampton with trophy


UBC Global Masters Postgraduate Challenge

Helping postgraduates achieve their personal best career aspirations


The UBC Global Masters format and content are designed to help develop the business skills required in the following situations:

  • Return to a family business: postgraduate students, especially international students, very often plan to work in a family business and the UBC Global Masters can help them add value to the business
  • Business start-up: where they plan to set up their own business when they finish their studies the UBC Global Masters develops an entrepreneurial mindset
  • Research IP: where postgraduates are wanting to turn research IP into a sustainable enterprise which requires the kind of business skills developed by the UBC
  • Corporate / Public-sector role: where postgraduates are moving into a corporate or a public-sector role and need the employability skills developed by the UBC which will help them secure a suitable role
  • Team-working: being a postgraduate student can be isolating and putting postgrads together in a team / group can be seen as beneficial in itself
  • Networking / building relationships: the UBC Global Masters provides the opportunity to network, share experience and learning as well as building relationships with other postgrads from across the university and, in the latter stages of the competition, from other universities
  • Sustainable value creation: The UBC Global Masters provides the opportunity to engage with our corporate partners to learn about strategies for sustainable value creation


What is the Universities Business Challenge (UBC) Postgraduate Global Masters?

Commencing in January each year and run over two rounds during the same year, the UBC Global Masters offers postgraduates a unique opportunity to develop the skills that they will need when they move on from campus to corporate/public sector life.

Whether progressing to work for a large multinational corporate, taking on a public-sector role, returning to run a family-owned business or setting up a new enterprise, postgraduates need to improve their skills in making the strategic and operational decisions that create value for their organisation.

The UBC Postgraduate Global Masters provides an opportunity for personal and professional development that is intellectually challenging and practically relevant, equipping participants with essential skills.  Working in competitive teams enables peer-to-peer learning and interaction.

How does the Global Masters Challenge Work?

The UBC is an annual team-based business simulation event that provides participants with the opportunity to act as a board of directors who have taken responsibility for improving the performance of a company. They will need to take into account not only the financial performance of the company, but also its responsibilities to its various stakeholders including its suppliers, its customers and its employees.

Postgraduate teams of up to five members from forward-thinking universities compete to achieve maximum profit, acquire market share and enhance stakeholder ratings. The Universities Business Challenge starts in January when each team will be given details of the simulated company, its markets and its current financial position.

Each team’s decisions, that are vital to the company’s success, are uploaded online via the UBC simulation platform. Each decision period will represent six months in the life of the company which will trade for three simulated years. Along with the results of each decision period, teams will receive a scenario outlining events and issues outside and inside the company which are likely to impact on its business. At the end of each financial year, the balance sheets for all companies will be made available to all teams so that they can see how they are measuring up to the competition. For those who want to, there is also the chance to purchase market research information.

The UBC Global Masters will:

  • Develop the core skills and leadership competencies that every global manager needs, building new skill sets and enhancing existing expertise.
  • Test initiative, stimulate creativity, demand energy, intellect and enthusiasm.
  • Build increased confidence and polished communication as individuals work in their teams refining and applying their analytical, negotiation and influencing skills.
  • Support entrepreneurial innovators enabling them to formulate, develop, and commercialise their ideas.

‘Students make data-driven strategic and operational decisions and adopt an entrepreneurial mindset with a strong focus on sustainability issues’.

Dr. Julius Stephan

Lecturer | Programme Director MSc Strategic Marketing | Aston Univerity

“Taking part in the UBC Global Masters Challenge has been a great opportunity for our MSc Marketing students to apply their theoretical knowledge to a complex, yet highly practical and topical business setting.

The core strength of the simulation is that it does not feel like one. As such, students are able to develop essential skills that Marketing executives are looking for when hiring graduates. That is, making data-driven strategic and operational decisions and adopting an entrepreneurial mindset with a strong focus on sustainability issues.

The UBC Global Masters offers postgraduate students a unique opportunity to develop the skills that postgrads need when moving into the working world. Whether they are hoping to work for a large multinational corporation, take on a public-sector role, return to run a family-owned business, or set up their own enterprise, they will need to develop their skills in making the strategic and operational decisions that create value for organisations.

The UBC Postgraduate Global Masters provides an opportunity for personal and professional development that is intellectually challenging and practically relevant, equipping participants with essential skills.”



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Two-round Format

Round 1 - All registered universities

Commencing in late January, the first round will be run online and teams will be challenged to run a growing manufacturing business in a competitive environment – where innovation drives performance – making decisions that will impact on business success.  Round 1 will test the operational as well as the strategic abilities of each team member.

Round 2 - Grand Final - in person (UK)

The top teams from Round 1 will proceed to the Grand Final, which will be focussed on a major strategic challenge for creating value in organisations. For example, this might be Delivering Value Through Mergers & Acquisitions or Building Value in your Start-up organisation.

The Grand Final date and venue will be confirmed during Round 1 (anticipated between April and July).

The Grand Final will be hosted and facilitated as a rich immersive experience by the UBC team with support from a range of entrepreneur, graduate employers and motivational speakers.


Who can participate?

The Challenge is open to all Postgraduates (Masters including MBAs, Taught PhDs and Research PhDs, enrolled in higher education courses, whatever their area of study). Teams will consist of up to a maximum of five members.

Trophy and Recognition

A progressive UBC Global Masters trophy will be held by the winning university team for the next twelve months.

Time commitment

In Round 1, two hours a week for the first two weeks while teams are familiarising themselves with the simulation.  One hour per week thereafter. Round 1 runs for 6 weeks.

Certificates of Participation

Team members who complete Round 1 of the UBC Global Masters can download a personalised Certificate of Participation to include in their personal records. Team members who progress through to the Grand Final are also awarded UBC certificates.

Team registration

Team registration is made via this website. Register the number of teams you want to enter. Nominate team leaders as early in the new academic year as possible [See team recruitment best practice]. Team member names are only required upon commencement of the UBC.

Learning outcomes

The learning outcomes which result from participation are mapped against the skills employers are looking for in their graduate intake.