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What is a MBA?

The Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a postgraduate qualification that develops key business skills. An MBA is often worth it for those looking to progress their careers in senior management roles. 

The most common qualification is the general MBA. Others include the Executive MBA, which is designed for professionals who are already executives or senior managers.


How long is an MBA? 

An MBA course usually takes one to two years if studied full-time. Part-time, accelerated and flexible online options are also available, which are popular for those already in employment. 

Most MBA courses begin in September, with some starting in January. 


What qualifications do you need for an MBA? 

Universities in the UK usually ask for a second-class (2.2) honours degree, or equivalent, in any subject area. You may also need two or more years of work experience. An undergraduate degree might not be necessary if you have sufficient work experience. 

You might have to take an entrance exam such as the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). 


How are MBAs taught? 

MBA programmes involve classes, case studies and group work on real-life projects. You may have opportunities for work experiences or study placements abroad. 

Contact hours vary between courses and institutions, but you can expect courses to be full-on with classes three or more days per week, lasting three hours or longer. The rest of the time, you’ll be working on projects either independently or in a group. 


How are MBAs assessed? 

You could be assessed via exams, essays, and individual or group projects. 

Degrees are usually awarded as pass, merit, distinction or fail. 


What skills do you learn on an MBA programme? 

MBA programmes teach you all about business-related areas such as finance, marketing, human resources and accounting. They often draw from other disciplines, such as psychology and economics, giving you a rounded view of the business world. 

You’ll build your professional practice by developing skills such as: 

  • Leadership 
  • Operational management 
  • Strategic planning 
  • Financial reporting 
  • Assessment 


How much does an MBA cost? 

The cost of an MBA varies widely between institutions, with most course fees being between £15,000 to £40,000. Sometimes international students have to pay more. 


MBA facts

It's a Level 7 qualification (RQF).

It's the same level as other master’s courses, but with additional professional experience.

You usually apply for an MBA directly to the university.

Find out what scholarships you can apply for