Postgraduate study

Business Administration, Master of MBA

Awards: MBA

Study modes: Full-time

Funding opportunities

The full-time MBA is an intensive programme designed for students with a minimum of three years' managerial experience who wish to progress to more senior and leadership roles in business.

The programme immerses students in a world of academic thought, current business practice and applied projects.

Studied over 12 months, this is a taught programme delivered by world class faculty complemented by guest business practitioners.

Successful businesses in the future will be those that can confidently and capably steer a path through a world characterised by intense competition, rapid technological development, economic turbulence and increasing resource insecurity.

Businesses need leaders who can think and act strategically in this volatile environment, managing the risk and challenges involved, but also spotting and seizing opportunities for efficiency, innovation and new business models. Businesses also need leaders who will act responsibly in delivering value to all stakeholders.

The Edinburgh MBA will prepare participants to progress with confidence into leadership roles in this new world. We will:

  • deepen participants’ understanding of how businesses and markets work, how value is created through innovation and marketing, how strategies are crafted, how businesses are financed, how performance is measured, how value is delivered efficiently and effectively, and how organisations should be governed, managed and led through change
  • instil a passion for business improvement, innovation and entrepreneurial action to help participants lead in the growth or creation of new business opportunities
  • develop participants’ ability to think strategically and beyond disciplinary silos

Successful leadership also requires accomplished interpersonal skills to bring about change in organisations. Through skills training and professional development, we will work with participants to understand their leadership strengths and weaknesses and provide support for improvement.

The MBA is delivered full-time starting in September each year. The programme combines intensive academic study with practical application. This is achieved both in the classroom through case studies, but also via consultancy-style projects with external organisations to broaden participants’ insights into alternative business models and approaches.

Compulsory courses include:

  • Strategic Leadership
  • Strategic Marketing
  • Organising for Effectiveness
  • Operations Improvement
  • Understanding Economies
  • Finance
  • Accounting
  • Qualitative Methods and Tools
  • Entrepreneurial Leadership
  • Creative Strategy
  • Research Methods for the Capstone Project
  • Professional Development Programme

A range of specialist options are also available. In parallel with academic study, we deliver a Professional Development programme to help enhance interpersonal and leadership skills. Your studies will culminate in a major Capstone Project.

On our core 12-month MBA, there is an opportunity to study International Business in Context (a one-week intensive module located in an emerging market) and to undertake your Capstone Project focused on a country outside of the UK. For those who want further international experience, there is an opportunity to study on our MBA (within international exchange) which will give you the chance to spend 2-3 months on an exchange at one of our international partner Universities (Australia, Canada, China, Finland, France, Mexico, Spain and USA).

12-month MBA

The programme is delivered in four parts:

  • September–December: students focus on core business disciplines
  • January–March: students develop integrative and strategic thinking, and choose a number of specialist elective subjects
  • April–June: students' specialisation continues
  • June–August: students undertake a Capstone Project as the final part of the 12-month MBA

  • Details of programme structure and elective courses

12-month MBA (International Business)

The MBA (with International Exchange) programme is delivered in four parts:

  • September–March: students study the same core disciplines, integrating courses and a number of specialisations as the main MBA programme
  • April–June: students study abroad at one of 12 partner institutions worldwide, experiencing new cultures and new ways of business
  • June–August: students undertake a Capstone Project as the final part of the 12-month MBA.

  • Details of programme structure and elective courses

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MBABusiness Administration1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2019/20
MBABusiness Administration with International Exchange1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2019/20

Students will develop an integrated understanding of the essential aspects of business and leadership skills as well as the development of specialist knowledge through the choice of option courses and MBA Capstone project research.

Recently introduced is the option of a specialisation route consisting of taking two options and the MBA Capstone Project in a specific area of focus. Students will have their specialisations recognised with a Business School Certificate in Finance, Entrepreneurship, Strategy or Sustainability. Specialisations must be agreed in advance with the programme team.

The personal development programme ensures that, alongside the in-depth business learning, students will also develop the personal skills and characteristics required by senior managers in the modern business setting.

For those following the MBA (with international exchange), the study abroad period will add an international dimension to their studies, valuable to all who work internationally.

The employment market is highly competitive, but the Edinburgh MBA is distinctive and will provide participants with a competitive edge. MBA participants will engage in a leadership and professional development programme that includes personal diagnostics, career planning and skills enhancement designed explicitly to support participants in their pursuit of promotion or new careers.

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

At least three years' work experience in a managerial role.

  • Experience can be from any industry, including the public sector, charitable organisations or the arts.

Minimum academic requirement

UK 2:1 honours degree from a good university 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 expect a score of 600 to qualify for our MBA.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.0 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 20 in each module)

  • PTE Academic: total 67 (at least 56 in each of the Communicative Skills sections)

  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 169 in each module)

  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.*

(*Revised 8/11/2018 to provide more accurate information on English language qualifications expiry dates. Revised 22/03/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

*(Revised 1 November 2018 to include details of application fee.)

Application fee and tuition fee deposit

An application fee of £50 is payable in respect of all applications submitted for this programme.

If you receive an offer of admission, either unconditional or conditional, you will be asked to pay a tuition fee deposit of £1,500 within 28 days to secure your place on the programme. The fee does not include the cost of text books for core and option courses so you should budget an additional amount for this required expenditure.

See the programme website for more information on fees and deposits:

Tuition fees

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MBABusiness Administration1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MBABusiness Administration with International Exchange1 YearFull-timeTuition fees

Featured funding

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments. The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on your programme, the duration of your studies, and your residency status. (Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.)

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • University of Edinburgh Business School
  • 29 Buccleuch Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9JS

Deadlines for applicants applying to study in 2020/21:

Round Application deadline Decisions by
1 2 October 2019 14 November 2019
2 13 November 2019 19 December 2019
3 18 December 2019 30 January 2020
4 29 January 2020 12 March 2020
5 11 March 2020 23 April 2020
6 22 April 2020 4 June 2020
7 3 June 2020 23 July 2020
8 22 July 2020 20 August 2020

You must submit one reference with your application.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • University of Edinburgh Business School
  • 29 Buccleuch Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9JS