When it comes to choosing an MBA programme you have several options so you'll need to do your research to discover which type of MBA suits your needs

Which MBA is right for you depends on your interests, ambitions, personal circumstances and how much experience you have when you apply.

General MBAs

You’ll need three years' experience in a relevant job before applying to a do a general MBA. If studied full-time, courses usually take 12 months, and 24 months if you choose part time.

The general MBA will provide well-rounded lessons in business, as well as developing leadership and management skills that boost general employability.

Core modules in the first half of the course include business strategy, marketing, and leadership skills. Elective modules allow you to tailor your interests and can include accounting, economics and marketing. Finally you’ll do a project, such as a group boardroom pitch, which puts the skills and knowledge you’ve learned into practice.

Search for a general MBA.

Executive MBAs

These courses are designed for those with more experience in business, and those looking to fast-track their career. If you currently work in senior management but wish to obtain key leadership skills to move you into the boardroom, an executive MBA (EMBA) is one way to do that.

The course usually takes place in the evenings and weekends to fit around your job. For this reason, it'll take longer to finish than a full-time MBA.

For example, Bayes Business School in London teaches an evening EMBA that takes 24 months to complete compared to their general MBA, which takes 12 months. The average EMBA student has 12 years of experience, compared to the six years' experience of those taking a general MBA.

See what's available by searching for an EMBA.

Specialist MBAs

These are for professionals who know the area of business they'd like to develop and feel that the general MBA wouldn't serve them as well.

In addition to learning general business skills you're taught the expertise to lead and manage businesses in a specific field such as healthcare, finance and marketing, and international business.

See what interests you by searching for a specialist MBA.

Distance learning MBAs

Otherwise referred to as online MBAs, this option doesn't require travel or relocation and is instead conducted in a virtual learning environment (VLE). The course content is mostly consistent with the general MBA, and is also treated as an equal qualification.

You'll be expected to dedicate around 20 hours a week, during which you'll attend lectures, seminars and group sessions remotely. You are offered regular tutor support, and online resources are available to guide you.

These courses are also available as evening and weekend classes for those in full-time employment or with other responsibilities to balance.

Browse the available distance learning MBAs.

MBA accreditation

Accreditation is awarded by measuring many factors, including quality of course content, staff, learning resources and the quality of student outcomes. If you're considering an institution, it can be reassuring to see a third-party endorsement from organisations such as:

Fewer than 100 business schools worldwide (and six in the UK) are triple-accredited.

How do I choose the right course?

You need to consider:

  • The cost of your course - including funding your MBA.
  • The course schedule - do you have time to attend all the lectures, and put aside study time? Does this work with your job?
  • Employment prospects - Will the MBA have an impact on your career? Is it required to progress in your position, or at least helpful to achieve it?
  • University reputation - Is it a good standard? What are past students saying about it? What was the support after graduation like for them?
  • Tutors - What are their backgrounds in? Are they industry experts?
  • Course content - Do their modules include content that interests you? Does the programme meet your expectations?
  • Entry requirements - Do you possess the grades and experience needed for the course?

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