Faculty expertise and innovative partnerships drive online Executive Education programmes at Saïd Business School

Oxford Said

This Member Spotlight highlights Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford in the UK and its online Executive Education programmes. A special thank you to Sarah Ellner, Executive Education Marketing Officer, for her contribution.

Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford is an entrepreneurial business school, deeply embedded in the world’s most prestigious university. Our mission is to deliver cutting-edge education and ground-breaking research that transforms individuals, organisations, business practice, and society.

Our Executive Education offerings comprise of globally ranked custom and open-enrolment experiences, where research and learning are translated into action, creating significant impact for individuals and organisations. The introduction of online programmes has created the opportunity for busy professionals to access the same key practices as on-campus programmes through peer learning, tutorials, and group interactions, with the added flexibility of studying from home.


To take the steps needed to offer Executive Education in an engaging online format, a strategic partnership with a trusted organisation, whose approach and expertise would complement the teaching methods and academic distinction of Oxford, was crucial. GetSmarter, an established subsidiary of digital education leader 2U Inc, was brought onboard and the first programmes (on Fintech and Blockchain) were launched in 2017. As the demand for University-led digital learning has increased, we have developed programmes in partnership with Esme Learning, an innovative new player in the EdTech space, offering a bespoke AI-powered digital learning platform for new ways of delivering engaging education.

Oxford Saïd is proud of our online offering – accelerated and developed in part due to the enforced growth in distance learning caused by Covid-19 – and it now comprises of 23 programmes sharing insights from faculty across the University of Oxford and leading industry experts. Designed to address the challenges and opportunities faced by individuals and organisations, our programmes provide relevant knowledge and the tools to foster professional development.

Our online learning experiences fall into the following categories:

  • Digital transformation
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Finance
  • Leadership
  • Strategy and innovation

We also work with a broad range of companies across sectors who have identified online learning as an effective way to foster professional development while actively supporting the strategic objectives of their organisation. The Commonwealth Bank, KPMG, and Google are just a few examples of global corporations implementing the learnings from Oxford Saïd’s online programmes into their strategic development plans. PLMR, a leading UK communications specialist, is already seeing the impact of Oxford learning as a positive investment across the organisation.

Oxford Corporate sponsors

It has been a time of celebration at Oxford Saïd; marking our 25th anniversary, welcoming our new Dean, Professor Soumitra Dutta, and reaching the milestone of 25,000 GetSmarter programme participants. Our online community of “elumni” continues to grow with participants making real connections through the digital campus; a reflection of the personal engagement offered Oxford Said social mediathrough this learning environment. We were excited to welcome a group from the summer 2020 cohort of the Oxford Executive Leadership Programme to the School, who arranged their own trip to meet in person for the first time. To enrich their programme experience, the group was joined by Programme Director, Tim Morris, and Head Tutor, Steve Mostyn, for a session in organisational leadership and importance of building ambidextrous organisational capabilities.


Our online portfolio continues to evolve with more programmes in development. The relationship with Esme Learning has led to the creation of the Oxford Digital Finance Executive Series, an opportunity for professionals across the financial services sector to develop their own learning pathway over three programmes to drive digital innovation. We have also launched the Oxford Strategic Management Executive Programme with GetSmarter, a six-month programme designed to empower leaders to successfully navigate change and uncertainty using an integrated approach to management.

We welcome conversation about all of our work at Oxford Saïd – please do get in touch with the team to find out more.

Saïd Business School has been an EFMD member since 2007, and the school has been EQUIS accredited since 2014. See more of our Member Spotlight series here. If you are interested in participating in the Member Spotlight, please contact us.