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THE UK: Subject Guides



One of the most popular and sought-after qualifications among international students, the MBA is certainly worth considering if you plan to study abroad or wish to get ahead in the business world. In this article, Hotcourses' student editor, Marcelo Beltrame, provides an insight into the options available.

MBA stands for Master of Business Administration and is a valuable commodity for business students looking to pursue a successful career. It is a programme for aspirants and executives in various disciplines of management such as marketing, finance, HR, accounting, etc. Regardless of the industry or profession you are in, an MBA will benefit anyone seeking a managerial position. Moreover, these programmes also play an important role in encouraging contact between young professionals and global companies.

Course Structure
The 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; an MBA in the UK can cost anything from £5,500 to £68,000. When choosing a course, always look for the institution accreditation, which is an indication of quality and authenticity. UK accreditation body is the AMBA (Association of MBAs). Some UK schools have international accreditations in addition to the AMBA. So if you are in doubt about which institution to apply for, look for this accreditation rather than just the price. There are many excellent business schools in the UK that offer these programmes. Find yours here.

Entry Requirements
Most institutions will expect you to have a good honours degree in any subject from university at undergraduate level and 3 years' experience of business in a professional capacity. Some institutions will accept you without a degree, but they will expect to see substantial evidence that proves you are up to the challenge. For international students, a proficiency in English language is required : IELTS score 6.5 or TOEFL 580 plus is generally sufficient. You can find out more about English proficiency for international students on Hotcourses.

Positives and Negatives
So, by now you are probably wondering if the MBA is right for you. Here are a few pros and cons to help you make a balanced decision:

Positive aspects:

• An MBA provides a much deeper level of subject knowledge
• This knowledge will help you to stay competitive in a crowded marketplace
• It can help you gain access to better jobs.
• You will gain transferable skills such as leadership, organisation and personal confidence.
• An MBA also represents a valuable networking opportunity for future professional contacts
• It's not all about gaining employment; an MBA can also give you the skills needed to start your own business if or when you decide to do so.

Negative aspects:

• This degree can be very expensive- there is no guarantee that you will get a high-paying job at the end.
• MBA courses are serious. They will not be as flexible as other qualifications, so therefore represent a major commitment and will dominate your time.
• It can often be difficult to acclimatise to academic business learning after you have spent time in the professional business world.

MBA is not the only option. The majority of universities that offer MBA programmes also have MSc degrees available in other business-related subjects. If you would like to learn more about multinational corporations and how they work, a Master's degree in International Business may be the right option for you.

If you are still not sure whether the MBA is the course you should pursue, you should talk with other people who have experienced it before. They will be fantastic advisors and you will have the opportunity to know what the programme brought to their professional lives. Information can also be provided by your university's Advisor. It is worth speaking to professors as well - try to balance the cons and pros in relation to your needs. You can always find very good information, blogs and reviews online.

If you are considering studying for an MBA, be patient and persistent in your research. It might take time to find the right course or institution in accordance with your needs, but the rewards in the future will far outweigh any tribulations that you experience in the present.

More Information

If you would like more information about studying for an MBA, there are a number of fairs that are held regularly which could help you. We recommend that you check out the Association of MBAs website for the latest events as well as the Graduate Student Fair.

See this link for information about the MBA Entrepreneurial Venture Award 2011

Search for MBA courses internationally, then filter by country.

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