Whether you choose the Full-time MBA or the Full-time MBA with Exchange, you will benefit from the Three Pillars and our student-focused experience.
Please note: we are now operating a waitlist for MBA applications.
Applications can still be submitted for review by Admissions, and candidates who advance to the next stage will be interviewed. For those candidates who are then recommended for an offer, their names will be added to the waitlist and an offer will be made if a seat becomes available.
Teaching and Learning 2021–22
For the academic year starting in September 2021, we currently plan to deliver a mix of in-person and digital teaching. Our teaching model will depend on the Covid-19 restrictions in place at the time but we are planning on the basis that all students will be with us in Edinburgh.
Participants in the MBA and the MBA with Exchange begin Semester 1 in the same classroom, exploring the same content, a rich mix of business, strategy, and leadership studies that provide a holistic view of an organisation and your place in it.
Both programmes also offer resources and personalised support as you develop your Career Strategy and embark on Professional Development to improve your soft skills.
You will be studying from a diverse list of electives offered in Edinburgh as you focus on topics uniquely relevant to you and your career path.
You will spend 10 to 12 weeks abroad, undertaking coursework with one of our international partners and exploring international business in an immersive context.
Our MBA is designed to prepare business managers for the new global challenges ahead, by focusing on new ways of thinking and developing their personal and leadership capabilities.
Successful businesses in the future will be those which can confidently steer a path through a world characterised by competition, rapid technological development and economic turbulence.
Businesses need leaders who can:
seize opportunities for efficiency, innovation and new business models
manage the risks and challenges involved
think and act strategically in this volatile environment
act responsibly in delivering value to all stakeholders
New Ways of Thinking and Acting
We will deepen your understanding in:
how businesses and markets work
how value is created through innovation and marketing
how strategies are crafted
how value is delivered efficiently and effectively
how businesses are financed
how performance is measured
how organisations should be governed, managed and led through change
We will develop your ability to think strategically and beyond disciplinary silos by:
instilling a passion for business improvement, innovation and entrepreneurial action that will allow you to lead in growing or creating new business opportunities
applying skill training and professional development in order to help you understand your leadership strengths and weaknesses and provide support for your improvement.
In a typical student cohort, there will be more than 400 years of managerial experience in the classroom. A strong emphasis is placed on teamwork, delivered through interactive lecture sessions, group work and case studies.
Collaboration also lies at the heart of the School's approach to the business community. We work with the corporate sector in many different ways.
You will absorb the views and working practices of leading business people, senior industry leaders motivated by the opportunity to engage with the next generation of business leaders.
We work with a wide range of organisations on shared research projects which, in turn, are discussed within the classroom. These connections place us at the heart of business, at the centre of good business practice.
Professional Development represents one of our Three Pillars and encompasses both the training in skills that make strategic leaders more effective, as well as personalised coaching to help you develop your career strategy.
Professional Development is a for-credit course, an unusual distinction in MBA programmes, and a sign of how seriously we take your skills development. As part of the course, you will study the habits of success taught by business leaders and recognised industry experts who share their experiences in the classroom.
You will also work with leading-edge diagnostic tools and engage in one-to-one feedback sessions as you build your own self-awareness and confidence.
The Professional Development programme includes opportunities to further hone your skills in:
Presentation skills and public speaking
Skills of debate and persuasion
Effective influence in the boardroom
Working with impact in high-performing teams
Crisis communications (including TV interview and press conference context)
We have an excellent track record in supporting our students to progress in their business careers in a wide range of organisations, from startup ventures to multinational corporations.
The most effective career strategy is one you develop and own, one that is custom-built for your needs: to do that, you need leading-edge diagnostic tools, contact with industry leaders, skills enhancement workshops, and personalised attention.
All of that and more is available in a programme with excellent success helping our graduates pivot into the roles they want.
Career Development Services
Access to the University’s central careers service
Recruiter/employer sector-specific presentations and guest speaker events
MBA-specific job platforms
Accreditation and Rankings
Not only is the Business School part of a world-renowned University, but it also holds accreditations from AMBA, AACSB, and EQUIS. Triple Accreditation underscores the quality of everything we do and has been awarded by the three most influential business accreditation bodies.
8th in the UK*
37th for personal development*
52nd in the QS Global MBA ranking for 2021
59th in the 2021 Economist's 'Which MBA' rankings
*These numbers are from the Economist’s 'Which MBA' rankings 2021.
Programme Structure (with or without Exchange)
Whether you choose to do the MBA or MBA with Exchange, our programme structure is a rigorous tour through organisational fundamentals, along with personal and professional development. All in a compact, 12-month package that gets you back into the workforce quickly and better prepared for the path ahead.
Between September and July, students study 11 foundation courses in major disciplines including strategic leadership, professional development, finance and economics, strategic marketing, and operations improvement.
Electives or International Exchange
Depending on which MBA variant you choose, you will either undertake electives in Edinburgh, chosen from our diverse catalogue of courses or embark on coursework offered by one of our Exchange Partners in an international setting.
In both cases, you can tailor your studies towards specific career interests, develop international management skills, and improve your cultural versatility.
Towards the end of the MBA programme, students write a 7,500-word problem-solving assignment. This is a real-life assignment based on an organisation for which students have previously worked or might wish to in the future. The assignment identifies the problem and offers a critique of why the organisation faces the problem, plus a theory-driven solution.
A typical year of study might look as follows* — the below information details the structure and courses for this programme in 2020/21.
Induction September. Introduction to the Programme
Building High-Performance Teams activities
Introduction to Strategic Leadership
MBA Orientation and Study Skills
Semester 1. September-December
Context and Core Business Disciplines
Organising for Effectiveness
Professional Development Programme
Quantitative Methods and Tools
Semester 2a. January-April
Integration and Specialisation
Business Transformation in the Digital Age
Organising for Effectiveness (cont.)
Professional Development Programme
Strategic Leadership (cont.)
Data and Analytics for Leaders
New Venture Creation and the Entrepreneurial Process
Semester 2b. April-June
Business Strategy for Environmentally Suitable Futures
Financial Aspects of Mergers and Acquisitions
Managing Stakeholder Communications
Summer Term. June-August
Strategic Human Resource Management
In addition to the main programme, a series of practitioner speakers and Masterclasses will be organised on specialised topics in response to contemporary business developments and student interests.
Before applying for the Full-time MBA programme, please consider our minimum entry requirements, which include academic qualifications, managerial work experience, and English language requirements.
Professional Experience Requirement
You should have at least three years' work experience, with some managerial responsibility during that time. Experience can be from any industry, including the public sector, charitable organisations, or the arts.
Minimum Academic Requirement
You will need a UK first-class or 2:1 honours degree in any subject, or an equivalent overseas qualification.
If you do not meet the minimum academic requirement, you may still be considered if:
you have professional qualifications with substantial work experience, or
you do not hold a degree or professional qualifications but you have a very strong employment record demonstrating a high degree of responsibility
If you do not meet the minimum academic requirement, we may require you to complete the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) which is an internationally recognised assessment of analytical, numerical and verbal reasoning.
If we require you to take GMAT, we would require a score of 600 as a minimum to qualify for our MBA or Executive MBA. The GMAT is not a compulsory part of the application process, but if you have a score that you wish to report to us then this would be welcomed.
We will accept results from the GMAT Online exam while it is available.
English Language Requirements
You must demonstrate English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.
We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:
IELTS (International English Language Testing System): 7.0 (at least 6.0 in each section)
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) iBT (including Special Home Edition): total 100 (at least 20 in each section)
CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 169 in each module)
Trinity ISE (Integrated Skills in English): ISE III with a Pass in all four components
LanguageCert International ESOL: C1 Expert - Pass overall with a Pass in each component