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.
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.
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
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.
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:
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.
– 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