A Guide to Online MBAs

An Online Master of Business Administration (MBA) will allow you to study and gain advanced business and management skills, whilst maintaining your current career. Studying a fully online course also means that you can choose a degree from an institution anywhere in the world, without having to worry about relocating. You will still have the same opportunities to network with other future business leaders, utilising the internet to its full extent. Your time management skills will be challenged, as you will be expected to learn and progress in a self-sufficient manner. Online MBAs will have a higher proportion of mature students, as they mostly come to education after gaining several years of work experience.


An online MBA will provide with all the knowledge and skills you need to take your career to the next level, without removing you from that working environment. Your learning will not be restricted to classrooms, and you will be able to immediately put your newly learned practices into place. This ability to see the almost instant implications of your learning will help to make your education experience more constructive and applicable in the real world.

Your degree will be delivered through a mixture of online methods. These will include online lectures and seminars, one-to-one meetings with your tutors, and potential opportunities to network with the other students.


Depending on where you choose to study, you may be able to specialise throughout your degree. This specialisation may influence the way in which your career progresses after you have graduated. Common specialisations include:

  • Organisational Behaviour
  • Strategic Management
  • Financial Management
  • Business in Society
  • Management of Change
  • Accounting and Finance

If your degree requires you to write a dissertation or submit a final research project, this will give you the opportunity to further explore a favoured area of business.

Accreditation and Certification

The accreditation of an MBA is internationally standardised. This means that no matter what country or institution you choose to study at, you will be awarded a Master of Business Administration. The only element of your award that may be different is if you choose to study an MBA in a specific field, such as an MBA in Finance.

Some degrees might be accredited or approved by professional bodies of business and management. These might include the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), or the Association of MBAs (AMBA).

Studying Online MBA Courses at University

Online MBA Courses are studied at Postgraduate level at University.

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Timeframe and Further Studies

The duration of your online MBA will be highly dependent on how you choose to fit your studies around your work and life. Online students will find that programmes are flexible, and can be tailored to your needs. Typically, you can expect to be studying for between 3 and 8 years.

An MBA is normally studied as a final degree, so further study is not common. However, you could choose to continue to broaden your studies. This could be in the form of a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA), a different masters degree, or a graduate diploma or certificate.

Entry Requirements

The entry requirements for an MBA will depend on the institution to which you are applying. Due to the nature of the course, different institutions can have different requirements. Some universities might require you to sit an entrance exam, where others may rely on your previous undergraduate degree results.

Some universities may prefer you to have studied certain subjects, such as business or international business, and others might require you to have a certain amount of work experience. It is also possible that institutions in certain countries may require you to provide results from a GRE/GMAT test. Your institution will be able to provide you with more information about this, as not all universities require all of these things.

You should check each institution to see what entry requirements they have for their online MBA programmes.

  • UK – 7.0 IELTS, 2:1 undergraduate degree, work experience may be required
  • US – 3.0 GPA, GRE/GMAT may be required

Funding Your Studies

Tuition fees for international students are not fixed. This means that they can vary greatly from institution to institution. You should make sure that you are aware of how much your course will cost you.

Sometimes students on MBA courses will have financial help from their workplace to complete their degree. Speak to your employer about this if you think that an MBA would lead to company progression, as well as personal progression.

You may be eligible for a scholarship or funding. This could be awarded by your institution, or by a separate funding body. For more information, visit our scholarships and funding section.

Career Options

Online MBA students will generally either already be in their chosen career, or have an idea of their career path. You might wish to progress in your current career, for example moving from middle management to senior management. You may also wish to change career completely, perhaps even relocating to a new country. Being able to study entirely remotely can help any of these transitions, and studying an MBA is a great way to display to potential employers that you have a well-developed understanding of business.

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