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Best MBA in UK for Indian and international students

Whatever it is about MBA programs in USA (or America in general) that turns you off – the cost of education & living, the program duration, the extreme climate, Shrimati Kim Kardashian – there are options in other parts of the world where you could pursue your MBA.

Like the United Kingdom (UK), which features in our list of best MBA abroad countries for Indian students and Best Business Schools in Europe.

Within the broader geographic definition of the UK, you’ll find most of the top ranking MBA colleges in England. There aren’t as many options in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

Best ranking MBA colleges in the UK

We’ve referred to the Financial Times Global MBA ranking to pull out this list.

London Business School (LBS)

Right in the heart of the commercial and political capital of England, LBS is among the most respected MBA brands in the world.

Here’s a post from our blog from someone we helped: London Business School MBA after MS in USA. Another one from an Indian who attended the Executive MBA from London Business School.

Cambridge MBA (Judge Business School)

Cambridge University is several centuries old and has produced more Nobel prize winners than we can count on our limited appendages. By that context, the Judge business school is a kid with impressive credentials and a top ranking MBA program.

If you want to know more about the Cambridge MBA, read these related posts

University of Cambridge MBA Judge-ment Day

Admissions Director of the Judge Business School (University of Cambridge).

Oxford MBA (Said Business School)

Another way for you to gain entry into the elite Oxbridge family, is via the Oxford MBA. Despite having similar credentials as the Cambridge, the Oxford MBA has it’s own personality. It’s bigger class allows it to be a little more ‘Indian applicant friendly’.

Here are a few Oxford MBA posts that we published.

Oxford MBA @ Said Business School: A million dollar decision

Low ranking MBA programs: Accept or reject?

Oxford MBA (Said) – How Jaskirat got an Oxbridge brand on his resume

Manchester Business School

While London takes the lion’s share of business action in the UK, there are other cities that keep the wheels of business turning too. Manchester is one of them. The Manchester MBA offers a longer (16 month) program, good for those who feel that the typical one year UK MBA format is too fast. And it’s not too far from London either, if you choose to relocate.

Here are two related posts:

Manchester Business School MBA gets you closer to London

Manchester Business School MBA or Indiana Kelley MBA?


Besides these, there are other good MBA colleges in the UK which figure in the Financial Times Global MBA Ranking:

  • Imperial College Business School
  • Warwick Business School
  • Cranfield Business School
  • City Universty (Cass)
  • Lancaster University Management School
  • Durham University Business School
  • Strathclyde Business School
  • University of Bath
  • Birmingham Business School

In terms of popularity, we get more requests for MBA application help for the earlier ones. Which is why if you get multiple offers, our vote would probably go to one of the colleges listed on top (with the blog posts) over those that are listed in a bunch.


Requirements for UK MBA colleges

Process wise, the requirements for an MBA in England are similar to any comparable international programs.

Apart from a competitive GMAT score, you’d be expected to submit an application consisting of MBA essays, recommendations. If the Admissions committee finds you worthy of meeting their university standards, you’d be called for an MBA interview.

The biggest difference between an American MBA and one in the UK is the duration of the program. While a 2-year format is standard in USA, you’ll find most British MBA colleges offering shorter duration one year MBA programs.

As a general rule, the shorter that a top ranking MBA program gets, the more experienced candidates it attracts from across the world. This reflects in the class profile of UK MBA universities. Don’t be surprised to have classmates in your study group who are over 30, married and tagging along their kids to social events.

For international students and Indian executives who tried their luck a few years back with the best MBA programs in USA, but didn’t quite hit the target, British MBA options keep the hope alive.

Just like in the U.S., you could find universities and colleges offering an MBA in UK without work experience and no GMAT score. But for the same reasons that we keep repeating on our blog and our MBA forum, we’d strongly urge you not to be impatient. Attending a selective and well-respected business school will pay of in the long run.


UK MBA Cost for Indian students

The shorter MBA program format in UK has another positive takeaway. The overall cost of attending the program goes down.

For a one year MBA you are paying roughly half the tuition fee that you’d pay in the USA. Your cost of living also gets halved.

Check out this earlier post where we cover MBA costs in UK for Indian students in Rupees. You’d be looking at something that falls between the two columns (Low Range and High Range for 1 year MBA courses) in the table.

This is a general overview of British MBA programs. Do visit the individual university sites to find out the specifics.


Student Visa and Work permit in UK

This has been a bone of contention for many Indian MBA applicants who would prefer working in England, at least for a few years to repay the loan and save some cash (both in British Pounds GBP) before returning back.

According to the latest update we have (based on what the admissions director Conrad posted on another site), the duration of UK student visa would be for 16 months if you attend a program that is 12 months. That would give you a comfortable 3+ months to hunt for a job, assuming you haven’t got one by the time of graduation.

Contrary to popular belief, this means you aren’t expected to leave the country immediately after your course ends.

These rules are evolving as we speak, so you’d be better informed directly by the admissions office than by a dated blog post.

All in all, a good MBA in the UK can give you pretty much what any top MBA in USA can give you – a good education, a better appreciation of home-cooked Indian food, international exposure, mind-numbing debt in a foreign currency, and for many who’ve planned well – a career change as well.

Also read,
Best MBA in the United Kingdom (UK)
International student life in the United Kingdom (UK): What to expect
How to get into the London School of Economics (LSE)
London Business School
Best MBA in Ireland

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Sameer Kamat
About Sameer Kamat
Founder of MBA Crystal Ball. Author of Beyond The MBA Hype & Business Doctors. Here's more about me. Follow me on: Instagram | Linkedin | Youtube

13 thoughts on “Best MBA in UK for Indian and international students”

  1. Hello!
    I am a ca final student. I am a bcom graduate with an aggregate of 58.25% and I am currently pursuing post graduate diploma in taxation from nagpur university. I want to get into a good business school in Canada for MBA. However I am aware that my graduation score doesn’t meet the eligibility criteria. Why route map do you suggest me to take to compensate for the low scores?
    Also guide me over the work experience required for it.

  2. Alina:

    If the business school has a strict cut-off policy for things like the undergraduate grades, then it’ll be tough. The flexible ones might be willing to overlook the low academic performance if you can get a strong GMAT score and take on additional graded courses.

    Either ways, as a current student, it’s too early for you to consider international MBA programs. Work for a few years after graduation and then think about applying.

  3. Hi Sameer,
    Thank you for your insightful blogs as always. I am writing to you to get your thoughts on my application. I am a Financial Services professional with over 9 years of work Experience post my PGDBA. I want to pursue a 2nd MBA to broaden my learnings and accelerate my career to work in the global Equity Markets. I have already written the GMAT (scored a 710 in the 1st and then a 740 in the 2nd). I am keen on a 1 yr MBA program for obvious reasons of getting back to working early although not completely averse to pursuing a 2 yr course. However I am given to understand that my profile might be too mature for the full 2 year courses by some of the people that I have discussed. Given this backdrop, I have now started evaluating European B Schools and a couple of Canadian B Schools as well. It would be helpful if you could help us with your advise on what colleges should I specifically be looking at (which help me enhance my credentials for the Capital Markets Domain).
    Awaiting your inputs.

  4. A strict no-no..for anyone who feels networking aggressively, polishing the resume and selling yourself smartly is too much of a work. Any MBA outside of India will leave a hole burning in your pocket. Unless you have a scholarship and are accepted in any of the top 10 MBA colleges in the world or your father is too rich to care, do not even bother.
    These countries have a week economy with no signs of immediate recovery (expect things to go from bad to worse) with worst case scenario in mind. If your relatives say you can work part time, then you will end up working part time and return back with a confused look on your faces.
    Their universities have no campus placements unlike the Indian counterparts, the probability of a huge debt is very high.
    Secondly, living outside holds no charm with higher standard of living accompanied by higher tax rates, higher expenses and less vibrant culture( unlike Incredible India). However international exposure is one advantage but it not even marginally outweighs the disadvantages.
    Best route for Indians who still live and dream of changing their nationalities and passports is to study from tier 1 colleges here in India and try to get jobs in MNC’s which increases their possibility for relocation.

  5. Want study in aboard but not able because of lack of sourcexs & knowledge. Want to do MBA from good college to build my carrier.

  6. I am a graduate and now want to do mba from a good college with a good ranking in UK. I dont have any work exp but my academic record is good. What aprox gmat score is required for any good college ? And yeah i want 2017 intake .

  7. hi i am sravan from india i want to apply for mba in uk , i want to know that for how many years student visa i will get, in university website they have mentioned that starting date of the course is sep 2017 and ends at sep 2019 .can any one help me about this

  8. Hi,

    I am a graduate with an aggregate of 59.75% and currently i am working as a senior systems engineer for the 3.5 years.
    Now I want to get into a good business school in UK for MBA for better carrier.

    Please suggest me few good colleges and the admission procedures.

  9. Good morning sir ! I’m Aishwarya from India and it will be a great pleasure if you could help me regarding my MBA program in London !

    Sir , I’m studying Bcom hons 2nd year from Indian Institute Of Management and Commerce ! My schooling, 11th & 12th grades hold a GPA of 8.5 to 9. I do a part time employment in a small enterprise. After finishing my 3rd year Degree I’d be working full time in a Comany such a Deloitte or IBM from my college placements.

    Can you please tell me which MBA program in UK is in demand as of now so that I can choose one and study courses related to it. I would also like to know ” Can I get admission in top universities in U.K. With a GPA of 8.5-9 , 2 years of parttime emplyoment, 1 year full time employment , certified courses related to my MBA program and good score in GMAT and TOEFIL exams ??? ”

    I couldn’t be more happier if you would take time to read and reply to my message sir. THANK YOU

  10. Hi sir,
    I’m Arya from India and I would be glad if you could help me with my carrier decisions. Currently I’m doing 2nd year Marketing in a reputed college in Kerala. I would like to enquire about the cut off marks to attend MBA in the UK and the preferred GMAT score.

    It would be a great help if you could give me the right information and help me in setting my carrier.

    Thank you

  11. Sir
    My son is studying M.Tech Network and Internet Security course in Pondicherry University at Pondicherry.
    He wish to further study in MBA the same field in UK. Can you suggest best one in UK with our middle class budget.


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