Student Advice

What is an MBA?

By Uni Compare  · Jan 3rd 2023

An MBA degree is internationally recognised and allows individuals to obtain the skills needed for a successful business and management career.


MBA degree courses cover areas such as: accounting, business policy, entrepreneurship, finance, human resource management, international trade, IT, leadership, market research, and marketing.

What is an MBA?

MBA stands for Master of Business Administration. The MBA was initially established in the UK as a recognised qualification in 1967, an MBA has a set number of taught courses as well as a dissertation or project.


Students gain an insight into key business practices, develop skills in specific areas and are great for those wishing to gain a promotion or a career change.

Although this qualification is quite academically challenging, and a fairly high financial commitment, much like a Diploma of Higher Education, MBA courses are well worth it!

How long is an MBA?

This postgraduate course typically takes one year to complete if studied full-time and two years part-time, although this is dependent on the degree course and the institution, although a part time MBA will take longer.

As a postgraduate course, this means that an MBA can only be undertaken upon the completion of an undergraduate degree. An MBA takes roughly the same time it takes to complete a Certificate of Higher Education.


What are the different types of MBA?

There are different types of MBA that students can study, and each one suits varying career goals, current experience and circumstances. MBA degree courses fall under five categories:

  • General MBA: A General MBA is the best option for individuals with some experience, but wish to fast-track their career in business and management, or wish to enter the world of business, finance and corporate.
  • Executive MBA: An Executive MBA focuses on practical knowledge and is designed to aid decision-making and problem-solving skills. Not all universities offer Executive MBAs, so you will need to speak to the university you are applying to for information on whether they offer this kind of postgraduate degree.
  • Specialist MBA: A Specialist MBA is great for those who have managerial experience and looking to gain promotion in order to enter a particular career sector.
  • Distance learning MBA: A Distance Learning MBA is perfect for individuals who can’t attend university or classes full-time and prefer to manage their own studies around commitments, this is perfect for students who have other things or live too far away from recognised MBA centres.
  • Mini BMA: A Mini MBA is a training course that focuses on business fundamentals, these cost more than your traditional UK MBA course and require less than 100 hours of total learning and will help you a lot when looking for MBA jobs. This is a less common MBA UK and is usually found in the USA, but it can still be studied in the UK.

What entry requirements do I need to study for an MBA?

To study a general MBA, students tend to need at least a 2:1 undergraduate degree, although, depending on the degree course, a 2:2 may be accepted, or extensive professional experience.

Business schools can expect individuals to have at least three years of relevant work experience, and this can increase for executive MBAs. Some universities also ask students to take the Graduate Management Admission Test when applying for the course.

Students can apply through the university’s website, which involves completing an essay, an online form and sending supporting documents; this is the same for an online MBA.

How much does an MBA cost?

MBA degree courses in the UK vary in price between the top UK universities. Tuition fees fall between £10,000 and £40,000 depending on the university and course itself. The majority of individuals fund their own course fees, although some employers sponsor employees.

Costs may go down if you study an MBA online. Distance learning courses often cost less than the average degree as you don’t need as many resources.


What can I do with an MBA?

Due to the high cost of tuition, it is vital that individuals work on utilising their MBA to the best of its ability. This qualification can lead to promotion, higher earnings or a career change. An MBA is also highly respected globally, allowing individuals to cast their nets further afield.

What do you study in an MBA?

Degree courses vary but most of them will consist of core modules that are compulsory, optional modules and a dissertation or a work-based project. Students will be assessed through examinations, coursework, essays and group activities. Some courses may also offer opportunities for students to gain work placements or study periods abroad, although this is rare for an MBA-degree.

An MBA will allow individuals to achieve networking opportunities, gain insight into the business world, develop a marketing strategy, lead a team and assess financial reports. This qualification differs from other postgraduate courses as it helps to develop skills that a candidate gains through professional or life experiences, as well as build on the academic background of the individual.

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