Postgraduate study

Executive Master of Business Administration MBA

Awards: MBA

Study modes: Part-time

Funding opportunities

The Executive MBA is a taught programme delivered by experienced internal and visiting faculty, and complemented by guest practitioner speakers from industry and the professions. Over a two year period, the Executive MBA combines short intensive bursts of classroom interaction with online support. This programme will next commence in September 2020.

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.

The programme aims to develop leaders who:

  • demonstrate a strategic mind-set and skill-set
  • recognise their role as responsible stewards of financial, social and natural capital
  • are capable of leading improvement, change and innovation in organisations
  • are confident and capable critical thinkers and decision-makers
  • have an international perspective
  • value and take advantage of the benefits of collaborative and lifelong learning

We will instil a passion for business improvement, innovation and entrepreneurial action to help participants lead in the growth or creation of new business opportunities. We will develop participants’ ability to think strategically and beyond disciplinary silos. Successful leadership also requires accomplished interpersonal skills to bring about change in organisations. Through coaching and skills training, we will work with participants to understand their leadership strengths and weaknesses and provide support for improvement.

The programme is delivered in a modular format and is next commencing in September 2020. The main taught part of the programme is delivered over 21 months, followed by completion of a Capstone Project. Participants will complete the full programme within 27 months.

The design of the modules reflects consideration given to the balance between participant and employer investment and maintaining work-life balance. For most participants, attending modules will mean taking one day a month from their normal working week and one day from their weekend with modules commencing Friday lunchtime and ending early Saturday evening.

Most of the core courses will run over three months, with one day per course on each of three weekends (with the exception of Strategic Leadership which will be taught in a series of three blocks across both years). Option courses will be delivered in the middle of Year 2 and will be taught in intensive one-week blocks. Between modules, participants will work on assignments and undertake further reading and study, supported by online resources and discussion forums.

The Executive MBA is primarily delivered in a classroom format, but learning is supported by extensive electronic resources and the opportunity to discuss ideas and concepts with colleagues and tutors through regular discussion forums. This Executive MBA is not a distance-learning programme: on-campus attendance at courses is required at regular intervals as outlined in the programme structure. You should verify your eligibility to study in the UK before applying.

The programme combines rigorous academic study with practical application. This is achieved both in the classroom through case studies but also via assessments that directly relate to the participants’ own organisations. There will also be opportunities to undertake consultancy-style project work with external organisations, to broaden participants’ insights into alternative business models and approaches.

Core courses include:

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

Participants can also select from a range of option courses. Participants also undertake a major capstone project. In parallel with academic study, the programme is complemented by a Leadership and Professional Development programme and personal coaching.

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 Administration27 MonthsPart-timeProgramme structure 2019/20

The employment market is highly competitive but the Edinburgh MBA is distinctive and will provide participants with a competitive edge. MBA participants will also 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 Executive MBA programme, please consider our minimum entry requirements, which include academic qualifications, managerial work experience and English language requirements.

Professional experience requirement

Normally five years' substantive work experience in a managerial or supervisory position. 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:

Tuition fee deposit

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.

In addition to tuition fees, you will pay for: your texts for elective courses; Capstone Project expenses; travel to and from the University; accommodation during your studies; and any travel involved in completing courses or exchanges as part the programme.

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

Tuition fees

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MBABusiness Administration27 MonthsPart-timeTuition fees

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

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

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible. We may consider late applications if we have places available, but you should contact the relevant Admissions Office for advice first.

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