The Top 10 MBAs in the UK

The Top 10 MBAs in the UK

The Top 10 MBAs in the UK

What Is an MBA?

A Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a postgraduate qualification for those looking for a career in business, particularly as an analyst, strategist, manager or entrepreneur.

Students choose to complete an MBA, instead of other postgraduate courses , for several reasons:

  • The course covers a wealth of business-related subjects, including HR and business law.

  • MBAs are internationally recognised.

  • The course is designed to enhance your knowledge base and communication skills.

  • It provides excellent networking opportunities.

  • It opens up higher paid job roles.

The Top 10 MBAs in the UK
The Top 10 MBAs in the UK

Choosing the Right MBA Course

As with any course or institute, you need to choose the right one for you.

When applying for your MBA, consider the following:

  • Your location – Do you want to continue with the same university you completed your undergraduate degree , or do you want to try somewhere else? Do you want to move to London and take advantage of all the opportunities the city has? Or would you prefer somewhere quieter? Are you an international student looking to experience life in a British city?

  • The time you have to dedicate – Will you commit to a full-time, part-time or distance-learning course? Do you have to work during this course, or are you in a position to focus only on your study?

  • Your focus – What do you want to achieve from this course – do you want to be an entrepreneur or work for a large corporation? To achieve your goals, what MBA specialisations do you need to focus on?

  • Does the university matter? – Do you want to enrol on an MBA from a top university? Do you believe that attending certain universities will open up different opportunities for job offers and networking?

  • Are you female? – Statistically speaking, MBA courses are male-dominated, which can be intimidating for females. Would you feel comfier in a university that enrols a higher percentage of women?

The Top 10 MBA Programs in the UK

Below is a list of the top 10 MBA courses in the UK compiled from sources such as the Financial Times, the Economist and the QS Global MBA Rank.

The list is in alphabetical order and features the global rankings of the course.

1. The University of Bath, School of Management

QS Global MBA Ranking 2020: 141–151
Economist Global MBA Ranking 2019: 64
Course fee: £37,500
Duration: 12 months
Class size: 51
Percentage of women: 53%

The University of Bath MBA course is a full-time course only. For those looking for a part-time course, please see the Executive MBA .

This course involves live projects focusing on a variety of business elements, such as entrepreneurship, consulting and change.

There is also a week-long trip overseas where you will have to chance to test your managerial skills, as well as an opportunity for a paid internship .

Pros

Assessments are made up of projects, presentations and in-class participation, rather than a dissertation.

Smaller class sizes mean you have more personal feedback – the 2019 intake was 52 students.

One-third of the curriculum is customisable, so you can focus on the areas that interest you.

Cons

This course does not rank high globally. Bath is a beautiful city, but not known for its business life.

Visit The University of Bath

2. University of Cambridge, Judge Business School

QS Global MBA Ranking 2020: 15
Financial Times Global MBA Ranking 2020: 19
Course fee: £59,000
Duration: 12 months
Class size: 202
Percentage of women: 35%

The University of Cambridge is one of the most prestigious universities in the world and continuously appears at the top of all the relevant ranking lists.

This MBA course takes a ‘micro to macro’ approach to its four-part curriculum.

The four-parts are:

  1. Team building
  2. Team leading
  3. Influence and impact
  4. Application and relaunch

This course prides itself on its practical projects, such as the live consulting assignments for global companies, and its capability to customise your experience.

The University of Cambridge offers a range of extra-curricular activities and concentrations that you can take during the Easter term.

Pros

It is a highly regarded university, with a great curriculum both in and out of the classroom.

Cons

It is more expensive than other universities, and extra-curricular activities are expected.

Visit University of Cambridge

3. City University, Cass Business School

QS Global MBA Ranking 2020: 90
Financial Times Global MBA Ranking 2020: 50
Course fee: £46,000
Duration: 12 months
Class size: 87
Percentage of women: 35%

The Financial Times also named this course number one for MBAs in London, second globally for corporate strategy and ninth globally for international business.

If your interest lies within either of those, this is the ideal institute.

It has a personal development week, which is designed to help you find your key interests and skill set, and a consultancy week towards the end of the course, for you to test your knowledge.

Pros

It is one of the most affordable courses available.

The campus location is close to Silicon Roundabout so you will be in the centre of the city's business district.

Cons

The course curriculum is not as flexible as others, and the elective modules take place on weekends or evenings.

Visit Cass Business School

4. Durham University Business School

QS Global MBA Ranking 2020: 74
Financial Times Global MBA Ranking 2020: 62
Course fee: £31,500
Duration: 12–15 months
Class size: not published
Percentage of women: 66%

The focus of this course is entrepreneurship, consultancy or technology.

These 'pathways' run alongside your core modules.

The entrepreneurship pathway consists of one-on-one mentoring and live talks from industry experts.

Consultancy teaches the intricacies of leadership, culture, change and motivation.

The technology pathway focuses on business analytics techniques and critical insight into technology innovation.

Pros

Excellent value for money.

Foreign language classes are part of the curriculum and a 15-month course is available with a paid internship.

Cons

The city of Durham is not known for its thriving business life so opportunities may be more limited than other universities.

Visit Durham University Business School

Top university MBAs in the UK
Top university MBAs in the UK

5. University of Edinburgh Business School

QS Global MBA Ranking 2020: 76
Financial Times Global MBA Ranking 2020: 95
Course fee: £32,500
Duration: 12 months
Class size: not published
Percentage of women: 54%

This university claims its MBA offers a boutique learning experience.

Full-time students can choose between the regular curriculum or take an international exchange in the final semester.

The focus areas for this MBA are finance, strategy or entrepreneurship, with each semester containing optional modules depending on your focus.

The University of Edinburgh prides itself on its personal development programme which features one-on-one coaching.

Pros

Small classes and excellent value for money. There is a lot of focus on your performance and development.

Cons

You need to enrol onto the full-time with international exchange to experience business in different markets.

Visit University of Edinburgh Business School

6. Imperial College London Business School

QS Global MBA Ranking 2020: 19
Financial Times Global MBA Ranking 2020: 55
Course fee: £53,500
Duration: 12 months (full-time)
Class size: 70
Percentage of women: 33%

The Imperial College MBA's focus is on innovation and technology, as well as building your confidence and skill set.

Included with the curriculum is:

  • Career Week – A week dedicated to career planning with activities designed to find your perfect job.

  • Imperial Innovation Challenge and European Insights Trip – A week-long project that tests your ability to formulate and implement an innovative project. A trip to somewhere in Europe will assist with the project brief.

  • Group Consulting Project or Entrepreneurial Journey – Depending on which one you chose, the group project either tests your consulting and problem-solving skills, or your ability to start and develop a business idea.

  • Experience Week – A trip to another country to experience a new culture and how they conduct business. The company you work with is either a grassroots or start-up.

  • Personal Leadership Journey – This activity runs throughout your course and will help you establish a clear career plan post-course.

Pros

Small class size and a lot of focus on your growth and success.

Cons

This MBA is intense with a lot of different activities happening at the same time, so you need to be 100% committed and be incredibly organised.

Visit Imperial College London Business School

7. London Business School (LBS)

QS Global MBA Ranking 2020: 6
Financial Times Global MBA Ranking 2020: 7
Course fee: £87,900
Duration: 15–21 months
Class size: 497
Percentage of women: 38%

The London Business School describes its MBA as 'the most flexible in the world' with over 80 electives, tailored core modules and applied learning opportunities.

London Business School is widely regarded as of the most prestigious business schools in Europe and includes a language programme in every semester.

The second year of the course includes a global business experience or an international exchange to cities like Johannesburg, Tel Aviv, Lima and Tokyo.

Pros

A highly recognised business school with an emphasis on international relationships and business. The course is essentially fully customisable.

Cons

Course intake is around 500 students so you may not receive as much feedback or guidance as other universities.

Visit London Business School (LBS)

8. University of Manchester, Alliance Manchester Business School

QS Global MBA Ranking 2020: 48
Financial Times Global MBA Ranking 2020: 45
Course fee: £44,000
Duration: 12–24 months
Class size: 130
Percentage of women: 39%

The Alliance Manchester Business School offers three MBA courses:

The full-time course is set over 12 or 18 months. According to the university, it is ‘one of the most practical MBA programmes’ as you will be working on three consultancy projects during the duration of the course.

The global part-time course is designed for those in full-time employment and takes 18 to 24 months to complete. Classes can be taken online from anywhere in the world, or on-campus.

The Kelley-Manchester Global MBA programme is in collaboration with the Kelley Business School in Indiana, US, and incorporates both UK and US teachings.

The key feature for the Alliance Manchester Business School is its focus on international business.

The full-time course offers placements in Dubai and Shanghai.

The part-time and Kelley-Manchester courses have locations in Dubai, Manchester, Indiana, Hong-Kong, São Paolo, Shanghai and Singapore.

Pros

This course has plenty of international locations that open up a wealth of opportunities.

Manchester was named the best UK city to live in by the Economist, and one of the best places in the world to visit by The New York Times.

Cons

Large class size of over 110.

Visit Alliance Manchester Business School

9. University of Oxford, Saïd Business School

QS Global MBA Ranking 2020: 16
Financial Times Global MBA Ranking 2020: 21
Course fee: £63,000
Duration: 12 months
Class size: 329
Percentage of women: 44%

Aside from being at the prestigious University of Oxford, the selling point for this MBA is its Global Opportunities and Threats project.

This is described as an 'action-oriented problem-solving' project that looks to solve a problem affecting the world today.

This university also offers the Oxford 1+1 MBA, which allows you to take the MBA alongside another master's degree.

Pros

Oxford is a prestigious university and internationally recognised. Extra-curricular life is encouraged with initiatives such as the MBA Tournament in Paris.

Cons

While there are elective subjects, the curriculum is not as flexible as others. Co- and extra-curricular activities are encouraged, so you have to be prepared to fully dedicate a majority of your time to this course.

Visit University of Oxford

10. University of Warwick, Warwick Business School

QS Global MBA Ranking 2020: 34
Financial Times Global MBA Ranking 2020: 43
Course fee: £40,450
Duration: 12 months
Class size: not published
Percentage of women: 39%

The University of Warwick MBA boasts an innovative learning experience with extensive workshops in client persuasion skills, effective presentations, diversity and culture in global business, and impactful applications and interviews.

Pros

The small intake number means that there is unlimited coaching from your tutors.

Cons

This is a reputable course that covers all the essentials but doesn't offer anything extra special.

Visit University of Warwick

Final Thoughts

The MBA options in the UK are extensive, with lots of great courses available.

Generally speaking, the curriculum between them is very similar, with the focus being on international experience and technological innovation.

For you to make the best possible decision, you need to consider what type of experience you want.

The course may only be a year-long, but it is an expensive investment , and you want to make the most of it as possible.

  • Do you want your experience to extend out of the classroom, like with Oxford and Cambridge?

  • Do you feel that you would benefit from a lot of guidance and support similar to what Imperial College London offers?

  • Would you like to build your own curriculum to the extent that the London Business School allows?

All the universities have the facility to speak to an MBA representative before the application process should you need any further information. It is recommended that you take advantage of this before making your applications.

For MBAs, fees for international and home students are the same, so if you are also considering an American university, check out our article on the top 10 US MBAs .


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