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Studying an MBA abroad

Read our comprehensive guide to studying an MBA overseas, including types of programmes, fees, structure, the benefits of an MBA and much more...

Study an MBA abroad

Why study an MBA?

In the competitive world of Business, distinguishing yourself is vital in order to stand out and get ahead. While an undergraduate Business degree at a top university is regarded highly, an MBA can further distinguish you as a can’t miss prospect in the eyes of employers. In fact if an employer is inundated with applications for a vacancy, an MBA on your CV may be what clinches you that elusive interview.

Also as part of an MBA you’ll gain transferable skills which will benefit you for life. These skills may also come in useful if you choose to start your own business.

Plus as part of an MBA you have the opportunity to work with real companies as part of your course work, participate in exchange programmes and attend lectures from visiting speakers. You’ll discover quickly that as an MBA student, you’ll get your foot in the door with new circles and networks which can help you secure that first paid position once you graduate.

Read our guide, ‘5 Reasons why an MBA is a good idea’


Why study an MBA abroad?

By looking abroad to study an MBA, you open up the educational opportunities available. You can choose to study at one of the top institutions in the world for MBAs, obtaining a qualification from an institution with global recognition. You can learn from the world’s best professors who themselves have decades of experience in the business and management worlds.

Plus by studying overseas, you’re already developing your network of contacts who’ll come in useful when you’re searching for that first graduate scheme or employed role – they may even come in useful down the road when you’re making strides in your career.

Read our guide, ‘America’s top 5 MBA programmes’


Watch our video about studying an MBA in the UK:



Who studies an MBA?

You’ll find a range of individuals on an MBA course, all varying in terms of work experience, age, nationality, educational background etc. Some undergraduates proceed onto an MBA immediately after completing their course, having studied Business or a related course. Others will come to an MBA from full time or part time employment, whether they’ve been working for just a year or longer. You’re sure to find yourself amongst hungry, determined individuals who want to make something of themselves while studying an MBA!


Types of MBA programmes

Depending on the entry level of the students, the duration of the programme and specific student needs, there are different modes by which an MBA programme can be delivered. Two year MBA programmes normally take place over two academic years. Students enter with a reasonable amount of prior real-world work experience and take classes during weekdays like other university students.

Accelerated MBA programmes are a variation of the two year programmes. They involve a higher course load with more intense class and examination schedules. There is no three to four month summer break between semesters for the accelerated programmes. Part-time MBA programmes normally hold classes on weekday evenings after normal working hours. Part-time programmes normally last up to three years or more.

Distance learning MBA programmes hold classes off-campus. These programmes can be offered in a number of different formats: correspondence courses by postal mail or email, non-interactive broadcast video, pre-recorded video, live teleconference or videoconference, offline or online computer courses.

Dual MBA programmes combine an MBA degree with other degrees (such as an MS or a JD, etc) to allow students get more for their money. Some business schools offer programmes in which students can earn both a bachelor’s degree in business administration and an MBA, in four or five years.

An Executive MBA programme provides an opportunity for experienced professionals to obtain a masters degree in Business Administration on a schedule that minimises disruption of work and personal pursuits. A unique aspect of an EMBA programme is the collective professional experience of its participants. EMBA students possess several years of significant, post-baccalaureate career experience. Most students are sponsored both financially and through release time by their employing organisations, and all continue to work full-time while enrolled in the programme.


Course structure & fees

An MBA programme is usually 1 to 2 years in duration (this may vary, depending on the institution). Due to the popularity of the MBA, the fees for this qualification are as varied as the colleges themselves. For example, an MBA in the UK can cost anything from £5,500 to £68,000.


Applying to an MBA abroad

Places on MBA programmes are highly sought after because they are well known for leading to excellent career prospects. Therefore you need to ensure that all aspects of your application to a university or school are strong. As mentioned above, some come to an MBA after having worked for a significant period of time so it can be hard to get back into the mindset of a student applicant. If this is you, make sure you highlight any and all relevant work experience and skills which you’ve acquired to show that you are passionate about the field – this will also negate any break in studying that you’ve had.

Otherwise you should have an undergraduate degree (if it’s in a related field, even better!). Even if you’re coming straight from studying an undergraduate degree, you should still highlight any relevant experience which contributes to your passion for the field of Business.

You will usually be required to have an English level of IELTS score 6.5 or TOEFL 580 to ensure you can keep up with the material. 

You should also read our guide to university applications.


Watch clips from our Google Hangout with Eastern Washington University’s MBA admissions director:

IFrameSee all the videos from our Hangout


Choosing an MBA

So how can you choose the perfect MBA programme for you?

Firstly you should ensure that the MBA programme you are applying to has been certified. There are a number of regulating bodies which do this. The Association of MBAs (AMBA) accredits MBA courses in the UK and around the world; AACSB regulate courses at Business Schools in America; and EQUIS regulate programmes in Europe. These bodies check things like staff-to-student ratios and entry requirements – this way you can ensure that you’re studying on a course which meets global standards.

If you are coming to an MBA from employment you can always ask those in your workplace about where they may have studied – it’s likely that several of your co-workers have an MBA to their name. You can also ask for their advice about applying and the work involved in an MBA.

Plus you can always browse student reviews and university rankings on Hotcourses Abroad.



Start searching for an MBA course abroad now!


Read more:

‘Admissions at Eastern Washington University (MBA)’

‘Student spotlight: MBA’

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About Author

Study an MBA abroad

Paul Ellett is the editor for Hotcourses Abroad. His role is to plan, produce and share editorial, videos, infographics, eBooks and any other content to inform prospective and current international students about their study abroad experience. When he's not thinking about student visas in Sweden and application deadlines, Paul is an avid fan of comedy podcasts and Nicolas Cage films.