Which are the Best UK Universities for an MBA?


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How to Find the Best University for Your MBA Goals

This page will look at the most popular MBA university rankings and how to use them. We’ll cover both on-campus and online MBAs from UK universities.

When we highlight a university’s MBA, it does not mean we think that course is better than others. Comparing programmes is not a zero-sum game. University rankings are not without controversy, and just because a course is ten places higher in ranking may mean very little in real life. There can be tiny differences in scores that cause significant jumps in position in the university league table.

Understanding which MBA is best for you depends more on your situation and career goals than its place in a league table. Doing your research and understanding what a course offers is key to finding the right course for you.

UK University Rankings for MBA

When looking at university MBA rankings, it’s important to understand why some courses are not included. A university must provide certain information to the ranking body to be included in a ranking table.

Where a university keeps information private from a ranking body, its MBA will not be included. Similarly, if a ranking body cannot get enough information to be meaningful, then a university’s MBA can be removed from a league table.

In the 2023 FT MBA ranking, Wharton, a US university that was ranked number one in 2022, is not listed on their 2023 MBA ranking. But this doesn’t mean that the quality of the Wharton MBA has suddenly dropped. The omission from the 2023 MBA rankings is because the FT didn’t receive enough responses to their alumni survey, which is a requirement to be included in the ranking. So, the ranking system couldn’t compare the Wharton result with other MBAs.

There are two main rankings bodies that keep tables for MBAs- the Financial Times Global MBA and QS Global MBA rankings. The Economist used to compile an MBA ranking but stopped in 2021.

The Financial Times Global MBA Ranking

The FT surveys alumni three years after completing the MBA and requires a minimum of a 20% response rate to be included in the table. As well as the survey, the FT uses a set of 20 metrics to rank the MBAs, with more weight given to weighted salary, salary increase, value for money, career progress and aims achieved.

  • London Business School
  • University of Cambridge: Judge
  • University of Oxford: Saïd
  • Imperial College Business School
  • Alliance Manchester Business School
  • Warwick Business School
  • Bayes Business School (formerly Cass)
  • Durham University Business School
  • Cranfield School of Management
  • Birmingham Business School


You can view the full FT MBA Rankings here.

QS Global MBA Rankings

The QS Ranking uses five key indicators: employability, entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes, return on investment, thought leadership and class & faculty diversity. It does not contact alumni but surveys employers on which business schools and MBAs they recruit from.

  • London Business School
  • Cambridge (Judge)
  • Oxford (Said)
  • Imperial College Business School
  • Warwick Business School
  • Manchester (Alliance)
  • University of Edinburgh Business School
  • Cranfield School of Management
  • Durham University Business School
  • Bayes Business School (formerly Cass)


You can view the full QS ranking here.

Top Ranked Business Schools that offer an Online MBA

  • Imperial College London
  • Warwick Business School
  • Durham University Business School
  • University of Liverpool Management School
  • Bayes Business School
  • Brunel University Business School
  • Bradford University Business School

Specialised Universities with an online MBA

These university’s MBAs do not get included in the university rankings.

  • The Open University
  • Arden University

UK MBAs with the Lowest Tuition Fees

  • Wrexham Glyndwr University- North Wales Management School £6,000
  • The University of Wolverhampton £7,740
  • Teesside University £10,530
  • Arden University £10,950


While the fees are not as low as some of the MBAs mentioned above, the Bradford Online MBA deserves a mention if you are looking for value. The FT and the Times Higher Education consistently rank it as one of the top UK MBAs. The Bradford MBA fees, at around £19,000, are half to a third of similarly ranked Online MBAs.

Most Flexible MBAs in the UK

These MBAs offer the most flexibility to complete your MBA while balancing work and family commitments. These universities provide online MBAs that can be completed in up to 5 years of part-time study.

  • The University of London
  • The Open University


MBA Core Modules, Specialisations and Learning Experience

In general, most MBAs in the UK follow a similar structure with a set of core modules followed by a choice of either one or two specialisations and asking for copies of the course syllabus and specialisation option is recommended when speaking to business school admissions teams.

Choosing the right university business school for your MBA programme can greatly impact your professional and personal development. Rankings can be a helpful tool to help you narrow down your options, but you should also consider other factors such as programme structure, curriculum, and opportunities for networking and industry connections.

Doing your research is key, and while MBA rankings are useful, many excellent MBA courses are not listed in the rankings and could be missed. 

University Rankings