The basics
Study abroad : Subject Guides

Should you do an MBA abroad?

We weigh up the pros and cons of doing an MBA abroad


For most students an MBA from a quality school is a good investment. Although costly, the payback period at the top 50 international schools is estimated to be less than five years.


What is an MBA?


A Master of Business Administration, commonly known as an MBA, is a graduate-level degree that covers a wide range of business fields, such as marketing, accounting, operations management, finance and human resources. Students applying for an MBA programme are normally required to have a Bachelor’s degree ideally in the related field and are expected to excel in entrepreneurship, management and consultancy before and throughout the course.


Admission Requirements


The requirements for MBA programmes may differ from school to school in the UK, US and Australia, but we have compiled a list of the most common documents you need to submit for successful admission:

  • Proof of your previous degrees
  • Academic transcript
  • English test scores
  • CV detailing a significant work experience (from 5 to 10 years depending on the MBA type)
  • Essays
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Volunteer work and community service activities
  • GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) or GRE (Graduate Record Examination)
  • Interview with an MBA programme representative

In the UK holders of an Upper Second Class (2:1) bachelor degree from a recognised Nigerian university and at least 3 years relevant post-graduation work experience will be often considered for direct admission. Applicants must be at least 25 years old by the time the programme starts.

Tip:  Applicants with a Lower Second Class (2:2) degree and considerable work experience may be considered if you can demonstrate sufficient professional engagement.


Course Length


The length of the course depends on the focus and duration of your MBA. There are full-time (two years), part-time (three years), accelerated (completed in one year), executive (ten years experience in the business world) and dual (combined with another degree) MBA programmes available across three popular study destinations - the US, Australia and the UK.




An MBA course is one of the most expensive but rewarding study options, with tuition fees starting from £15,000 to £75,000 on average in the UK, from $60,000 in the US up to $170,000 at top universities including Columbia, Harvard and MIT (Sloan) and as low as $7,000 per year at some less high-ranked institutions in the US. In Australia your MBA plan will be likely to cost around AUS$22,000 minimum and about AUS$95,000 if the school is in the top ranking.




  1. An MBA is one of the most prestigious management programmes and significantly increases your earning potential globally. Employers recognise MBAs as a sign of quality business management education mixed with experience in the international marketplace.
  2. Most of the UK, US and Australian universities have a scholarship scheme which allows international students cut part of the high MBA fees and keep their pocket safe.
  3. MBA networking with your class members often leads to lifelong relationships, new exciting job opportunities and business partnerships.




  1. With impressive tuition fees, MBA is arguably the only way to a happy career if looking at other more affordable opportunities including MSc or MA in various business fields.
  2. Consider that knowledge also ‘ages’ and at 45 your MBA may be as valued as a BA at 25.
  3. The programme’s pedigree and school’s brand and ranking matter. You may have pay ten times more for such courses.


Job Prospects


According to Forbes, post-MBA salary is up 50% over pre-MBA pay and by the end of five years in work upon graduation, the salary increases at 80% over the starting post-MBA pay for full-time students. Let’s say, you were paid $75,000 at graduation and after five years on the job this is likely to increase to $135,000. In addition to providing a theoretical academic framework MBA programmes will often place you to work as a consultant in a client company and introduce to a range of international clients to help you establish a remarkable career.


Differences between USA, UK and Australia for an MBA


Generally Australian MBA programmes are less expensive than in the US, with the UK topping the list. All MBAs are internationally recognised with school ranking being a decisive factor in future career fulfilment.


Application Deadlines


MBA applications require a thorough assessment of the documents and a face-to-face interview which may be conducted via Skype in some cases. It is best to apply early in the year in January or February for courses that start in the autumn, September or October, in order to be accepted and apply for a visa in advance. Once accepted you will be issued a CAS number which will be part of your visa application from Nigeria.



For many students the motivation for pursuing an MBA is rooted in the prestige and potential of increasing one’s annual income. A Master of Business Administration degree is a very conscious choice that drives a professional Nigerian to return to school after at least one degree and can open up several career advancement doors.

Useful links:

Find the MBA course for you

Student spotlight: MBA

Search for a course

Choose a country
About Author

Elena Sikorsky is an entrepreneur in e-commerce and digital marketing. She has degrees in Entrepreneurial Management and PR and Broadcast Journalism. Elena is a contributing writer on culture, art, education, fashion, business and travel in British and international media.