Best MBA programmes in the UK

Dan Mason, Senior editor
June, 2017

To give your CV an extra boost use MBA rankings and league tables to find out which universities offer the most highly regarded programmes

The UK is home to some of the best business schools in the world. For example, in the Financial Times (FT) Global MBA Rankings 2017, a total of 13 universities in the UK are included in the top 100. This select group includes the University of Birmingham, The University of Edinburgh and the University of Strathclyde in 97th, 91st and 80th position respectively.

The top ten MBA courses in the UK, according to the FT rankings, are as follows.

10. Durham University

Financial Times ranking: 75th

Durham University Business School's full-time MBA takes 12 or 15 months to complete and tuition fees are £28,000 as of 2017.

There are three different routes to choose from: entrepreneurship, consultancy or technology. The 15-month option gives you the opportunity to undertake an internship or work on setting up your own business.

Durham also offers an Online MBA and an Executive MBA, both part-time programmes lasting two years. The Executive MBA is run in conjunction with the European Business School (EBS) in Germany, meaning you have the chance to study some of the course abroad.

Explore Durham University Business School's MBA courses.

9. Cranfield University

Financial Times ranking: 53rd

Cranfield School of Management's full-time MBA takes 13 months to complete and costs £36,000. An Executive MBA is also available.

One of Cranfield's key selling points is that it runs two specialist MBAs in addition to the regular course. The MBA Energy is a one-year full-time programme for those with a background or interest in leadership and management in the energy sector.

The MBA Defence is a two-year part-time option for military officers, civil service personnel and defence industry executives who want to develop their management skills and become inspirational leaders.

Explore Cranfield University and its MBA courses.

8. Imperial College London

Financial Times ranking: 45th

The full-time MBA at Imperial Business School takes 12 months to complete and tuition fees are £47,000, while the Executive MBA is a 23-month part-time course costing £57,000.

Imperial's Global Online MBA has September and January intakes and is a two-year part-time course. It uses online lectures, projects and peer-learning, and allows you to study flexibly.

Another option is the Weekend MBA, taught on long weekends once a month over 21 months. This means you can continue working while studying - and apply your learning to your current role as you go. The weekend course costs £46,000.

Explore Imperial College Business School's MBA courses.

7. Warwick University

Financial Times ranking: 44th

Warwick Business School (WBS) offers a full-time MBA, a distance learning MBA, an Executive MBA and an Executive MBA (London), with the latter taught at the institution's base on the 17th floor of The Shard.

The full-time MBA is a 12-month course that includes a week-long international study trip in the spring term. An entrepreneurship specialism is also available. Tuition fees for the full-time course are £35,650.

If you opt to study by distance learning the course can take between two and four years to complete. Aside from two weeks of teaching on campus, the majority of your studying will be through the university's bespoke online learning environment.

Explore Warwick Business School's MBA courses.

6. Lancaster University

Financial Times ranking: 42nd

The full-time MBA at Lancaster University Management School takes 12 months to complete and tuition fees are £29,000. The course includes visits to London and an overseas study tour.

Lancaster awards scholarships worth around 30% of programme fees to exceptional candidates. To be considered you have to include a five-slide PowerPoint presentation with your MBA application explaining what sets you apart from other candidates.

Meanwhile, the Executive MBA - studied part time over two years - can be taken in Lancaster, Malaysia or Ghana. The course includes a Consultancy Challenge and a seven-month project with dissertation.

Explore Lancaster University Management School's MBA courses.

5. City, University of London

Financial Times ranking: 37th

Cass Business School at City, University London offers a full-time 12-month MBA that involves lectures, workshops, live projects and overseas ventures. Tuition fees are £41,000.

International elective modules are available - with study tour destinations potentially including Silicon Valley, China, Cuba and Israel. In addition there's an international consultancy week in Iceland.

Cass also runs an Executive MBA, a Modular Executive MBA and an Executive MBA in Dubai. The modular course is delivered over one long weekend per month over two years, while the Dubai option is suited to business executives working in the Middle East and surrounding regions.

Explore Cass Business School and its MBA courses.

4. University of Oxford

Financial Times ranking: 33rd

The one-year full-time MBA at the University of Oxford's Saïd Business School costs £52,000 and consists of lectures, seminars, group work and team projects. In the summer, teams of three or four undertake a six-week consulting project with a corporate sponsor.

Alternatively you can study the unique two-year Oxford 1+1 MBA. This combines a Masters degree with the MBA course. You can choose from Masters programmes in departments such as the Faculty of History, the Centre for Criminology, the Department of Computer Science and many others.

Oxford also offers a 21-month modular Executive MBA made up of 16 residential week-long modules every six weeks.

3. The University of Manchester

Financial Times ranking: 30th

At Alliance Manchester Business School the full-time MBA can be taken over 12, 15 or 18 months and costs £42,000 in tuition fees.

You'll carry out consultancy with a not-for-profit organisation, manage a simulated mergers and acquisitions project that tests your knowledge and negotiation skills, and work with an external commercial client on a live business issue.

Manchester also offers a Global Part-time MBA, which involves on-campus teaching three times a year. You can study in Manchester, Dubai, Hong Kong, Sao Paulo, Shanghai or Singapore. The Kelley-Manchester MBA is jointly run by Manchester and the Kelley School of Business, a world leader in delivering online MBAs.

Explore Alliance Manchester Business School and its MBA courses.

2. London Business School

Financial Times ranking: 6th

At London Business School (LBS) the full-time MBA programme lasts 15, 18 or 21 months, with tuition fees of £75,100.

As part of the course you can spend some time studying at one of more than 30 academic partner institutions in the Americas, Asia or Europe. There are opportunities to learn languages, take a summer internship and work on real-world business issues.

In addition LBS runs an Executive MBA, studied in London or Dubai over 20 months. It also has partnerships with Columbia Business School in the USA and with the University of Hong Kong in Asia.

Explore London Business School and its MBA courses.

1. University of Cambridge

Financial Times ranking: 5th

Studying a full-time MBA at Cambridge's Judge Business School takes 12 months and costs £51,000.

The course is split into four main sections: team building, team leading, influence and impact, and application and relaunch - followed by a summer project or internship. There is a strong focus on experiential learning, which involves applying your developing skills and knowledge in live settings.

There is also a 20-month Executive MBA, delivered over 16 weekends and four week-long blocks, with coursework designed to complement your current role.

Explore Cambridge Judge Business School's MBA courses.

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