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MBA courses: Studying for an MBA

Find out what studying for an MBA can do for your career and what the prestigious degree involves…

What is an MBA?

A Masters in Business Administration, or MBA as it is more commonly known, is an internationally recognised postgraduate qualification.

It is designed to give an overview of business management practices taught through various subjects, so graduates are accomplished and ready for any eventuality.

The MBA originated in the USA more than 100 years ago and made its way to Europe in the late 1950s. Today, the qualification can be found in business schools around the world.

What does it involve?

The workload is heavy and a lot is expected of an MBA student. For example, on the Lancaster University Global Executive MBA, students are assessed via: assignments; individual and group presentations; and exams.

Course structure can vary depending on the institution and type of course. Full-time courses generally replicate the working week and classes are normally held between 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday. Part-time programmes are less rigid and tailored to fit around work and so classes often take place on evenings and weekends.

MBA courses are typically diverse and business schools will promote this fact.

Students will come from all corners of the globe with varied levels of work experience, ranging from 3-10 years.

Why study for an MBA?

Some of the reasons that people choose to study for an MBA include:

  • Salary increase - students from the world's top 100 MBA programmes who started degrees in 2008 and 2009 have seen their salaries double over the past five years, according to the latest research by the Financial Times.
  • Career progression - the degree can open up many career opportunities, promotion to executive level or even allow you to switch careers and seek employment in another sector.
  • Networking opportunities - the MBA classroom is a great place to meet like-minded people, potential business partners and forge lasting friendships. Your tutors should also have plenty of useful contacts.
  • Knowledge gain - an MBA should, at the very least, improve your general understanding of business and management.
  • Entrepreneurial coaching - the degree can provide you with the tools and confidence to go it alone in the world of business and there are even entrepreneurial MBAs.

How long does it take to complete?

The majority of MBA courses take one or two years to complete. However, some part-time and distance learning programmes can take longer.

For example, the part-time Executive MBA at the University of Bath takes from two to five years to complete, depending on your flexibility.


Further information footer

Written by Editor, Graduate Prospects
March 2014

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