What are the programme's objectives?
Everyone who joins the MBA has different goals, pressures and learning styles while studying.
This is an intensely experiential programme, balancing theory and practice with a structure you can tailor to meet your leadership and development needs.
Year one focuses on key themes to give you a rigorous and analytical grounding in the techniques and frameworks of global general management.
Year two develops your individual goals. Through a diverse choice of electives that reflect the breadth of our faculty's thought leadership, you can broaden or specialise your learning.
Throughout your MBA experience, you will encounter different career options, potential employers and world-class recruiters. To help you nail that key position after you complete your MBA, Career Centre offers one-to-one, group and online training and guidance to help you develop your skills.
What are the term dates? When will I be studying?
The programme begins in early August each year with an Orientation period and Leadership Launch module running throughout September. This is followed by three study periods: Autumn Term (September to December), Spring Term (January to March), and Summer Term (April to July).
Exams take place throughout your first year, and usually over weekends. While core courses usually run Monday - Thursday you will spend Fridays in a variety of classes, tutorials and personal and professional development sessions.
In addition, a number of block weeks, covering various electives, run outside term time. Students are also required to complete a range of exams, assignments and project work over the break periods. We recommend you see your study at London Business School as a continuous period of education from September through to June each year, with vacations involving consolidation, preparation and project work, as well as completing your summer internship in the main summer break.
How does the flexible completion date work?
You can structure your programme so as to graduate early. You can officially exit the programme at 15, 18 or 21 months. To do so you will have to have met all exit requirements; completed 10 electives; complete your global business experience and have met the language exit requirement. Please note, however, that those going on International Exchange will not be able to exit the programme at 15 months.
What is the purpose of the core courses?
The core courses are the compulsory element of the programme. They cover all the key management disciplines and functions and serve as a foundation for the elective courses and a preparation for the summer internship.
The core courses are usually taught in three-hour periods (including a short intermission) once a week for between 5 to 15 weeks.
The core courses begin with a leadership module, which introduces you to issues and concerns in global general management. The rest of the core courses cover different business functions and disciplines, with care taken to help you make the link between the different perspectives covered. The courses are sequenced so that there is a logical progression between subjects preparing you for summer internship interviews, especially in finance and consulting, which typically take place in January, some time before other internship interviews.
Do I have to study a language?
In addition to fluency in English, you are required to be certified to Level 2 in one of 15 qualifying languages in order to graduate from the MBA Programme; for some students this will be their native language and they will not be required to undertake further study. The qualifying languages are: Arabic, Cantonese, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Turkish.
If you need to develop your language skills, you can join one of the language electives taught at London Business School. We offer a range of languages subject to student demand, the most popular being French, Spanish, Mandarin, Portuguese and German. If you prefer, or if there is insufficient demand for a specific language elective, you can study a language independently. The key outcome is that you can demonstrate the required level of competence by the time you graduate.
If English is your only language, you are strongly advised to begin studying another language before joining the Programme. For those unsure which language to study, we offer a range of language taster courses prior to the start of the Programme.
What are electives?
As well as completing the core courses, you must select classes from the School's elective portfolio. There are over 70 electives drawn from a wide variety of subject areas. By the time you graduate, you must have completed a minimum of ten and a maximum of 12 electives. View our current elective portfolio.
The Management Report elective offers the opportunity to work on a project that challenges you to analyse and resolve complex business problems using the business skills, frameworks and tools acquired thus far in the programme.
How are the elective courses structured?
In your first year you may take between one and five business or language electives, with the majority of your elective study following in your second year.
You will be asked to choose your second-year electives towards the end of the first-year summer term, and to confirm (or change) these choices before you return to London Business School at the beginning of the second year.
You can choose any electives from the available portfolio, for example by subject area or to support your planned career path. You can make changes to your options within agreed deadlines throughout the second year to allow you to react to your experiences and tailor your study accordingly.
You can create a formal specialisation by opting to follow an elective concentration.
Concentrations on offer include:
- Change Management
- Entrepreneurial Management
- International Business
- Private Equity
The elective portfolio is open to all London Business School degree students so you will be studying alongside students from the Masters in Finance, Executive MBA, EMBA-Global and Sloan programmes, as well as students from more than 30 exchange schools and our partner institutions Columbia University and Hong Kong University.
Electives are usually taught in three-hour lessons once a week, over 10 weeks. There are also a number of intensive week-long block electives that are taught outside term time as well as evening and 8-week courses.
What is an elective concentration?
If you take five out of your 10-12 electives from one defined subject area, you will be able to inform employers that you have a formal specialisation. See How are the elective courses structured?
Are there any course exemptions?
Students with a relevant postgraduate or professional qualification, gained within the last 10 years, may be able to obtain a waiver from certain core courses. In addition, students with significant and demonstrable experience in certain professional areas may also be considered for a waiver from the relevant core course through passing a qualifying test or examination. MBA2015 students were able to apply for waivers from the following subjects:
- Managerial Economics (Micro-Economics)
- Financial Accounting
- Management Accounting
What group work is involved in the programme?
In the first year you will join a study group of six or seven people who you work with throughout the year. The group will be a microcosm of the class, combining a diversity of nationalities and different professional and undergraduate backgrounds.
In the second year you will have the chance to form your own groups, choosing partners from across all London Business School programmes.
Successful group working is at the heart of the London Business School experience. Up to 30% of your marks on a given course can be for group performance. It is therefore very important to make your group work well. There is plenty of emphasis on techniques for successful group work in GLAM and through the various skills courses.
How is the programme assessed?
We have a duty to you, our alumni and future students to maintain the integrity and standard of the degrees we award through a rigorous assessment system. However, the purpose of the various assignments and examinations we ask you to complete is not simply for assessment. They are also intended to help you to structure your learning and provide you with feedback to help you gauge your progress through the programme.
The assessment system makes use of the following elements:
- course assignments and class participation
You must also demonstrate competence in a language other than English to qualify for the degree.
In order to pass the core courses you must pass the individual assessment component of each course (usually but not always an examination). You will be graded from A+ to C, on a curve with the top 10% of each course gain an A+ grade. There is no forced failure. The decision whether you pass or fail is a matter of judgment and not a forced curve.
You must complete all the specified credits to qualify for the degree, pass all core courses and complete 10-12 elective credits. You can carry up to one failed elective and still qualify for the degree.
You will be expected to prepare for and attend class and participate actively in discussion in class and in your group. The precise assessment model for each course - for example whether class participation and oral report presentations count towards your final grade - will be set out clearly from the outset.