A Masters in Business Administration, more commonly known as an MBA, is a specialized postgraduate Master’s course for graduates who want to make a career in management, or wish to secure management positions in a company.

An MBA is a well known qualification, recognized by businesses worldwide and is highly prized by companies looking for graduates to fill their management positions. MBA courses are taken by graduates from a variety of academic disciplines, so no previous education in business management is needed. As well as general MBAs, some universities and business schools offer MBAs specialized to certain fields. For example, Aberdeen Business School offers MBAs with content focused on Agribusiness Management, Oil and Gas Management and Transport Strategy.

Studying an MBA full-time generally takes one year, about as long as a standard Masters postgraduate course in a more academic subject, and is usually split into a series of modules with a project or dissertation. Executive MBAs are similar to MBAs, but are part-time courses that take two years to complete, allowing a student to work full time whilst studying for their MBA.

Pre-requisites for taking an MBA course

Although all MBAs require you to have completed a Bachelors-level degree in any subject, MBA courses accredited by the Association of MBAs (AMBA) also require you to have completed three years of work experience prior to applying for the course. Executive MBAs, generally designed for senior business employees already in full-time employment, require you to have even longer periods of work experience to become eligible.

If you do not have 3 or more years of postgraduate work experience, it is still possible to join an MBA course not accredited by the AMBA. The AMBA also accredits a separate qualification, called a Masters in Business Management (MBM), which has identical course content to an MBA, but does not require any previous postgraduate work experience.

Funding an MBA

Like traditional Masters courses in more academic fields, there are no student loans available from the government to cover tuition fees for MBAs. Some universities and business schools provide scholarships and bursaries for a few students on their MBA programme, so check the website of the institution you are interested in studying in for more details.

It might be a good idea to check with your employer about MBA funding. Some companies may run a programme for funding MBA courses for employees. If you are in employment, especially if you work in the fields of business and finance with larger companies, check with your employer or HR department for information about any possible MBA funding schemes.

AMBA-accredited MBA course students are also applicable for an MBA loan from the bank Natwest, which will provide funds to cover up to 80% of the courses tuition fees.

Links and further information

Association of MBAs -accredited MBA courses in Britain and guides to choosing an MBA in the UK, funding tips, MBA course listings, career profiles and more (AMBA).

MBA programmes worldwide