The UK MBA programme list: Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

Your guide to every MBA course in the UK

Case study: An MBA’s best friend

Vet Tricia Colville was running a pets’ hospital in Glasgow when she realised she would need to take an MBA. In 2009, she was managing the first 24/7 site for start-up Vets Now. “I wasn’t doing any clinical work, I was managing the P&Ls,” said Colville, who had graduated from Glasgow University’s vet school in 1993. “I wanted to ensure I understood the business.”

She chose a part-time MBA at Strathclyde University. “It was on my doorstep and it was ranked highly,” Colville.Not that it was easy — even with her company’s support. “It was tough having a full-time job, then to go to lectures for three hours a night, two nights a week.”

Nevertheless she passed her degree with distinction in 2014. “It really helped to stimulate my brain. I hadn’t done exams since 1993,” she said.

Today Colville, 47, is business development director of fast-expanding Vets Now, which is expected to turn over more than £41m this year with three 24/7 sites and 55 out-of-hours clinics. “It opened up the opportunity to enable me to take on this role – and for Vets Now to have the confidence in me to do it,” said Colville.

SCOTLAND

ABERDEEN

ABERDEEN BUSINESS SCHOOL, ROBERT GORDON UNIVERSITY 
Aberdeen Business School offers two AMBA-accredited MBAs: a general MBA and an oil and gas management MBA, delivered full-time, part-time and online.

Full-time MBA
Length, one year; cohort, 15-25; gender mix, 80% male, 20% female; average age, 35; international 47%, UK 53%; cost, £16,500

Executive MBA
Length, three years; cohort, 242 over three years; gender mix, 78% male, 22% female; average age, 37; international 47%, UK 53%; cost, £16,500

The school says
“Our value proposition is underpinned by the AMBA accreditation and our links with industry. People do a live consultancy project on a real live business problem. We work with industry to shape the course to make sure the students are coming out with the skills for the managerial challenges they are going to face. A highlight of the programme is our annual leadership week which attracts many big names.”

A student says
“I’m a geophysicist but I have been doing a lot more commercial work in my job. So I decided I would like to learn more about business. It’s been hard. They expect a lot from you. There’s a lot of camaraderie. I hope I will graduate with better prospects.” Joanne Cranswick (MBA, 2019).

UNIVERSITY OF ABERDEEN BUSINESS SCHOOL
The University of Aberdeen offers two full-time and part-time MBAs, one of which focuses on energy management, plus an online variant. There are also plans to teach an executive MBA from January in London.

Full-time MBA
Length, one year; cohort, 30; gender mix, 55% male, 45% female; average age, 30; international/UK mix, n/a; cost, £18,000

Executive MBA
Length, minimum two years; cohort, 30; gender mix, 60% male, 40% female; average age, 30; international 80%, UK 20%; cost, £22,000

MBA (global)
Length, two years; cohort, 18; gender mix, 50% male, 50% female; average age, 35-40; 15 nationalities; cost, £17,200

The school says
“Aberdeen is a good base for the energy industry. People like our focus on the innovation dimension. We are an ancient university with a good research track record in management and economics. We want people who are going to shake things up in their businesses. They will take away a better understanding of their capability as a leader, the ability to promote your business and a global network of colleagues.”

A student says
“It was well tailored to giving me a good understanding of what it takes to be a successful manager in the energy industry. Getting introduced to financial theory, balance sheets and income statements was a great way to see the impact of fluctuating oil and gas prices on my company. There was a lot of emphasis on the softer skills. I became a manager of a team while I was doing it, which felt like a validation of the course I was doing.” Babak Alnasser (MBA energy management, 2016).

EDINBURGH

EDINBURGH BUSINESS SCHOOL, HERIOT-WATT UNIVERSITY
Edinburgh Business School, the graduate school of business at Heriot-Watt University, has been a provider of distance-learning MBAs for more than 25 years. Under a new dean, it has introduced an on-campus full-time MBA starting this year, which will include a six-week study seminar to Dubai.

Full-time MBA
Length, one year; cohort, 25; gender mix, 50% male, 50% female; average age, n/a; international 92%, UK 8%; cost, £20,500

The school says
“We are looking for people who are truly international. When you leave, you’ll be very employable, with entrepreneurial skills and a brilliant network.”

A student says
“My first degree was in engineering and my work was very technical as an aircraft engineering manager. I began looking for an MBA in the early 1990s and found that the Edinburgh Business School course was the only credible distance learning course that fitted my needs. From the very start the MBA enabled me to see the bigger picture, from management to marketing, branding to finance. Without these skills there is no way that I could have launched a successful commercial operation.” Mark Pierotti (MBA, 1998).

EDINBURGH NAPIER UNIVERSITY BUSINESS SCHOOL
Edinburgh Napier offers a number of options to pursue an MBA: through full-time or part-time (executive) study and with full-time specialism in leadership practice. The university also delivers a series of variants with special pathways ranging from banking to tourism and hospitality, all through online learning.

Full-time MBA
Length, 18 months (average); cohort, 98; gender mix, 65% male, 35% female; average age, 28; international 94%, UK 6%; cost, £13,658/ £15,670

Online and executive MBA
Length, 28 months (average); cohort, 994; gender mix, 50% male, 50% female; average age, 39; international 87%, UK 11%; cost, £6,1650/ £6,550

The school says
“There is so much more than being educated. Part of coming here is about Edinburgh and part of it is our employability rate. We treat our students as colleagues rather than just students. We make absolutely sure the experience they have is transferable so that they have the tool to turn their knowledge into practice.”

UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH BUSINESS SCHOOL
The University of Edinburgh offers a full-time MBA, a full-time MBA with an overseas exchange of two to three months and an executive MBA over two years. The programmes are AMBA, EQUIS and AACSB accredited.

Full-time MBA
Length, one year; cohort, 40; gender mix, 50% male, 50% female; average age, 31; international 78%, UK 22%; cost, £27,800

Executive MBA
Length, 27 months; cohort, 29; gender mix, 59% male, 41% female; average age, 39; international 24%, UK 76%; cost, £28,000

The school says
“With a clear emphasis on strategic leadership, and at the heart of one of Britain’s most dynamic cities, our school delivers a boutique experience. We work with small cohorts on a personalised programme where professional development sits at the heart of the experience. Our graduates leave with an ability to lead teams, a stellar professional network and a solid education delivered by a top faculty.

A student says
“The highlight for me was the international diversity of the cohort. I have learnt a huge amount from my colleagues from all over the world. That layer upon learning the core business skills has been great. I have a lot of business experience but now I now have a much better perspective on why a company does things in certain ways.” Elwyn McLachan (MBA, 2017).

GLASGOW

ADAM SMITH BUSINESS SCHOOL, UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW 
The MBA programme at Glasgow University has been celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. Accredited by AMBA, EQUIS and AACSB, the programme is intended to teach students to think critically.

Full-time MBA
Length, one year; cohort, 36; gender mix, 50% male, 50% female; average age, 31; international 61%, UK 39%; cost, £16,000/ £24,000

The school says
“They love the buildings and the city and they regard Glasgow as a friendly place. We look after them on the MBA programme and this sets us apart. We try to finish up with a balanced class. We hope they will have great memories and make good friends.”

A student says
“The international nature of the cohort was best of all, with 35 students with 20 different nationalities. It was amazing. You get to learn from everyone and learn to see things from different perspectives. In the consulting week we got to work with clients, preparing business plans and presenting them, putting theory into practice.” Elsa Germanos (MBA 2017).

STRATHCLYDE BUSINESS SCHOOL
The Strathclyde MBA, which is accredited by AMBA, EQUIS and AACSB, is available in a variety of ways and a great deal of flexibility: full-time (in Glasgow); part-time (in Glasgow); through flexible learning; and as the Strathclyde Executive MBA at eight centres around the world.

Full-time MBA
Length, one year; cohort, 43; gender mix, 56% male, 44% female; average age, 31; international, 81%, UK 19%; cost, £28,000

Executive MBA (international)
Length, two years; cohort, 291; gender mix, 70% male, 30% female; average age, 34; international/ UK mix, n/a; cost,varies

The school says
“The Strathclyde MBA takes experienced executives from a variety of backgrounds, and equips them with the know-how, skills and strategic orientation to sustain and scale business in today’s global businesses. The MBA will shape and guide you as a reflective, open-thinking, adaptive learner. This is facilitated through enhanced understanding of the interplay of theory and practice in management.”

A student says
“It was tough after working to go back to university but the content was really practical; there were real examples that I could identify with from my previous experience.” Natalia Planillo (MBA, 2014).

HAMILTON

UWS SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND ENTERPRISE
The University of the West of Scotland delivers full-time and part-time MBAs from its Lanarkshire campus, London and through distance learning. A move to brand new accommodation in a science park in south Lanarkshire is on the cards for next year. The distance learning option can be taken over a maximum of five years. The UWS MBA has also been recently mapped and accredited by the CMI.

Full-time MBA
Length, one year; cohort, 513; gender mix, 58% male, 42% female; age range, 20-39; international 82%, UK 18%; cost, £8,670

Executive MBA
Length, two to five years; cohort, 118; gender mix, 53% male, 47% female; age range, 30-40; international 56%, UK 44%; cost, £3,400/ £12,300

The school says
“This MBA focuses on developing strategic analytical skills, business intuition, and inquiring and adaptive thinking. The selection of option modules offers one of five specialist areas: finance, leadership, enterprise, health service management or risk management.”

A student says
“It doesn’t matter what sort of business you work with after your MBA because you have gained a general knowledge. You have the basics and can cope with almost anything.” Francesco Loretucci (MBA, 2014).

STIRLING

STIRLING MANAGEMENT SCHOOL
Stirling offers a full-time AMBA-accredited MBA that focuses on the practices, processes and outcomes of managing. Also accredited by the CMI.

Full-time MBA
Length, one year; cohort, 20; gender mix, 64% male, 36% female; average age, 24; international 75%, UK 25%; cost, £14,500/ £17,500

The school says
“Students can develop personal relationships with academics in smaller groups. We also have a huge focus on individuals to develop their skills to cope with any business situation. They leave with greater awareness of how to be a leader.”

A student says
“The personal and professional development side allowed me to realise my own strengths and weaknesses, and be critical of my own performance. In all, it provided me with a better realisation of myself and other people.” Chris Champion (MBA, 2017).

WALES

BANGOR

BANGOR BUSINESS SCHOOL
Bangor University offers a full-time MBA with 10 pathways and a new chartered banker MBA offered primarily online, with autumn and spring starts.

Full-time MBA
Length, one year; cohort, 115; gender mix, 58% male, 42% female; average age, 26; international 95%, UK 5%; cost, £11,600/ £15,000

Executive/chartered banker MBA
Length, two years; cohort, 241; gender mix, 59% male, 41% female; average age, 37; international 79%, UK 21%; cost, £15,600

The school says
“The school has a long-standing reputation in banking and finance and more recently has expanded into management and marketing. We are still a small school with a small class size, which allows more attention from and time with the academic staff.”

A student says
“One of the things that galvanised me was the access to local and national businesses. When we were looking at strategy and the environment, we were thrown in at the deep end with local businesses, applying what we learnt in class to real life.” Rhodri Morgan (MBA environmental management, 2013).

CARDIFF

CARDIFF BUSINESS SCHOOL
Cardiff delivers a full-time and an executive MBA, along with an MBA in media management in association with the school of journalism, media and cultural studies. The MBA is international in design, delivery and cohort make-up and turns theory into practice.

Full-time MBA
Length, one year; cohort, 280; gender mix, 60% male, 40% female; average age, 27; international 15%, UK 85%; cost, £20,750

Executive MBA
Length, 28 months; cohort, 20; gender mix, 60% male, 40% female; average age, 37; international 20%, UK 80%; cost, £18,000

The school says
“We deliver a high level of management education to students who may not yet have any knowledge or experience of business, finance or management in a capital city with a high quality of life. Much of the content is delivered through groups, improving the inter-personal skills of communication and working with others.”

A student says
“It was a very good learning experience; not just slides and textbooks but an exposure to experts and business leaders. My colleagues were senior managers who brought experience to the course.” Madhumohan Gopalan (executive MBA, 2017).

CARDIFF SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT
The school offers a full-time and an executive MBA from a purpose-built building on its Llandaff campus. The full-time course includes Islamic finance as one of the six pathways. The executive MBA is accredited by the CMI.

Full-time MBA
Length, 12-15 months; cohort, 83; gender mix, 66% male, 34% female; average age, 29; international/UK n/a; cost, £9,000/ £12,500

Executive MBA
Length, two to five years; cohort, 26; gender mix, 42% male, 58% female; average age, n/a; international 4%, UK 96%; cost, £12,995

The school says
“Our MBA gives that big picture perspective. The final project is very hands on, with the students highlighting a business problem and how it can be solved, or a new business project. We are looking for students with drive and vigour to learn.”

A student says
“I did the MBA after 20 years as a mechanical engineer to underpin my experience. In my final project I managed to combine my technical background with my newfound knowledge to develop performance evaluation for product design. I was one of the few UK students but the diverse cohort really opened up my mind to new ideas.” Adam Richards (MBA 2017).

PONTYPRIDD

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH WALES BUSINESS SCHOOL
The school offers one full-time programme with a focus on ethical management and entrepreneurship from a brand new purpose-built building on the Treforest campus, with starting dates in September and January.

Full-time MBA
Length, one year; cohort, 35; gender mix, 55% male, 45% female; average age, 33; international 60%, UK 40%; cost, £9,700

The school says
“The MBA focuses on developing the ability of students to think strategically, exposing them to core areas of business with an emphasis on the strategic nature of decision-making. It also emphasises consulting skills.”

A student says
“My organisation promoted me to director and wanted me to have the tools for the job — and that’s what the MBA provided. It wasn’t like being taught, it was much more about facilitating my learning. After three months, being able to look at a balance sheet and analyse it was brilliant.” Rhys Evans (MBA 2010).

NORTHERN IRELAND

BELFAST

QUEEN’S MANAGEMENT SCHOOL
Queen’s offers one full-time international MBA with a focus on business engagement and leadership and skills at its Riddel Hall campus. In line with the school’s strong financial reputation, there is a trading room with access to Bloomberg terminals.

Full-time MBA
Length, one year; cohort, 17; gender mix, 58% male, 42% female; average age, 27; international 18%, UK 82%; cost, £19,500

The school says
“We need people who are aspiring leaders. They will gain a fresh perspective and a critical awareness of the environment in which we work. There is a big difference between operating and innovating. We want to help these leaders innovate.”

A student says
“It’s very involved with the community, so there are a lot of chances to meet business people and build a network. Having only a few people on the course makes it a lot easier to know them and get personal attention from the lecturers.” Megan Van Portfliet (MBA 2015).

ULSTER

ULSTER UNIVERSITY BUSINESS SCHOOL
The MBA courses are taught at the Jordanstown campus near Belfast and at Derry. Two years’ work experience usually required. CMI accredited.

Full-time MBA
Length, one year; cohort, 20; gender mix, 70% male, 30% female; average age, 28; international 30%, UK 70%; cost, £9,240/ £13,240

Executive MBA
Length, two years; cohort, 25; gender mix, 70% male, 30% female; average age, 35; international 10%, UK 90%; cost, £11,650/ £16,410

The school says
“What separates our programme from others in Northern Ireland is that it is practical and applied with a balance of commercial and academic experience. Everything we cover has to be readily applicable.”

A student says
“I have learnt a lot in terms of pushing out my knowledge. it has definitely helped me in terms of widening my skills set. It is about getting outside your comfort zone. It is set in the practical world.” Richard McIlwaine (MBA 2015).

 

Helping You Build a Better Tomorrow While Living Your Best Financial Life Now! Get In Touch