Who should apply to the London Business School MBA?

What kind of people is the MBA Programme aimed at?

The MBA is aimed at people who have gained some high-quality work experience, but who are at a relatively early stage in their career. The Programme is suitable for people who want to increase their knowledge of business and management to:

  • enhance their existing career and accelerate their promotion prospects
  • change career by changing function, or industry
  • start their own business.

The highly international nature of the Programme also makes it suitable for people who want international mobility. Above all, it is a preparation for general management with a global outlook rather than US-centric or Euro-centric one.

What kind of career does the MBA prepare you for?

As a general management Programme, the MBA is good preparation for any job that requires general management competence.

The Programme is of particular interest to people working in, or planning to work in finance, consultancy, manufacturing and service industries. Increasingly, some use the London Business School MBA to help them establish their own business or return to help run a family business.

Do I need work experience, or will you accept graduates straight from university?

The average amount of work experience is 5.5 years. (Participants from some countries usually have less work experience than the average since their undergraduate study may be longer than others and/or national service has meant they started work later than others).

Admission may be granted to candidates with less than three years work experience if they can demonstrate superior academic credentials and truly outstanding evidence of leadership through professional and personal experiences.

Does my work experience need to be as a manager in a business?

No, your work experience does not necessarily need to include experience as a manager.

The Programme is suitable for people who come from technical backgrounds (for example, engineering or IT) as well as for people who have worked in finance or consultancy or run their own business. We also welcome applications from people who have worked in the public sector/government. Some of our students have less typical backgrounds, such as doctors, vets, an opera singer, a theatre director and even a NFL football player.

What's a typical Programme participant like?

A key feature of the MBA is the stimulating and varied international participant mix. Each year approximately 10 per cent of the class come from the UK, with the remaining 90 per cent made up of participants from 60-70 different countries. Many of our participants come to London Business School with their partners and family. View the current class profile.

Can I study the MBA part-time?

Yes. The Executive MBA is a part-time programme designed for those in full-time employment. In the 20-month programme classes are run fortnightly on Fridays and Saturdays during the first year of the Programme. In the second part greater flexibility is offered as electives can be chosen which run at different times, including in the evenings or at weekends. The average EMBA is a mid-career manager with an average of 10 years' experience. Find out more about the Executive MBA.

MBA or the Masters in Finance?

You should consider the 10-16 month Masters in Finance as well as the MBA if you are absolutely sure you want to pursue a career in finance. The Masters in Finance provides a curriculum of pure finance. The 15-21 month MBA covers all aspects of general management as well as providing the opportunity to specialise in finance. The London Business School elective portfolio is open to all London Business School degree programmes (with the exception of the Masters in Management), and so if you choose to specialise in finance on the MBA you will study alongside Masters in Finance participants.

A key difference between the MBA and Masters in Finance Programmes is the work experience requirement: in order to qualify for the Masters in Finance, applicants must have relevant work experience within the Finance Industry. Those who do not have relevant finance experience will find that the MBA provides the right training and opportunities to move into a finance career. Find out more about the Masters in Finance.

MBA or the Sloan Masters in Leadership and Strategy?

Sloan is a 12 month programme for experienced managers and senior executives. It is full-time and highly intensive. The average length of managment experience for a Sloan fellow is 15 years. If you fit this profile, have a successful career and now wish to either move from a functional role to general and strategic management, or take up a position of leadership, you might want to find out more about Sloan.

Tuition fees and funding

How much does the MBA cost?

The fees for the programme commencing in August 2014 are £64,200. The figure covers the full 15-21 months of tuition and course materials. See MBA: Fees and financing

How does the payment process work?

If you are made an offer of a place on the programme, you pay an initial commitment fee to reserve your place in the class. This is normally due 3-4 weeks after you receive your offer letter, and is deducted from your total fees. The second payment is the reservation fee, which is made in June before the class begins. This payment is also deducted from your total fees. These payments are non-refundable. All deadlines are subject to change on an annual basis.

Can I pay in instalments?

Yes. You can pay your first-year fees in three instalments, one at the beginning of each term. Or you can pay in full for your first year when you start the programme. 

How much can I expect to earn during the Programme?

When researching the cost of the MBA Programme, you can take into account the earning opportunities that students have while on the Programme. In 2011, summer internship salaries averaged £1,078 per week (10-12 weeks' duration), and the top earnings were £2,023 per week.

What sources of funding are available to me?

London Business School encourages candidates to explore all scholarship and financing opportunities available to them in their home country or country of residence.

A variety of loans are available to students including US Federal and Stafford Loans and the Professional and Career Development Loan. For more information see Financing your Course

Admissions and selection criteria

Am I eligible for admission?

For admission requirements, see MBA: Applying

What GMAT score is acceptable? What is the average score?

Our average for the Class of MBA2015 is 695 with a range of 600-790. However, the GMAT is just one of several admission criteria. Just as a high score does not guarantee admission, a below average score does not eliminate a candidate. You must ensure that your GMAT score is still valid on the 1 September for the year you will be matriculating. GMAT scores are valid for five years from the date you take the test. For example, for the class beginning in 2014, we only accepted GMAT scores obtained since 1 September 2009.

I have taken the GMAT more than once. Which score do you use?

We will use your highest score. You must ensure that your GMAT score is still valid on the 1 September for the year you will be matriculating. GMAT scores are valid for five years from the date you take the test.

Do I need to take TOEFL iBT / IELTS / PTE?

If English is not your mother tongue then you are required to take a language proficiency test. You may request a waiver if your degree (minimum two years' duration) was conducted exclusively in English, or you have lived or worked in an English-speaking country for at least two years since graduation. Our TOEFL institution code is 0898. Find out which language proficiency tests are acceptable.

I have just graduated with my first degree - will you consider me?

Admission may be granted to candidates with less than three years' work experience, who present superior academic credentials and truly outstanding evidence of leadership through professional and personal experiences. We insist on students having good postgraduate work experience as our collaborative style of learning from the diversity and excellence of peers is a key feature of our MBA Programme.

If you have just graduated you may like to learn more about our Masters in Management programme - designed for recent graduates with less than two years of full-time postgraduate work experience and the motivation and desire to build a strong foundation for a career in business. 

What undergraduate degree subject should I have?

There is no particular preference. We welcome applications from arts, languages and philosophy graduates as well as those from the pure sciences, engineering, maths and the social sciences, including business and economics.

I do not have a degree. Will you still consider me?

Yes. We are happy to consider non-graduates who have an excellent career record.

I have three years' (or more) work experience which I obtained while studying for my degree. Will you still consider me?

We will consider you, but the strength of your case will depend on the quality as well as the length of your work experience.

Can I reapply for the Programme?

Yes, anyone can reapply. However, you should take a look at your last application and check if you have made significant changes in your profile before submitting a new application. We sometimes specifically ask applicants to reapply in the future, often after gaining more work experience, or improving their GMAT score.

Candidates are only permitted to submit one application per academic year. To reapply, you will need to wait until admissions open for the next MBA class and then complete a whole new application, with essays, new references and application fee. We hold unsuccessful applications for one year only. You will need to send new undergraduate transcripts if you originally applied more than one year ago.

Do you count military service as work experience?

Yes, we believe that military experience is very valuable. We strongly encourage former military personnel onto our programmes, as they have proven leadership, interpersonal and team-building skills.

The application process for the MBA Programme

How much is the application fee? And how do I pay?

You pay a non-refundable application fee of £185, which you can pay online by credit card when you submit your application. Your application will remain incomplete until the correct fee is received. If you do not have a credit card or encounter a problem when trying to complete the online payment form, please contact the Fees Officer: fees@london.edu

Who should I give as my referees?

We would like references from people who know you well. Don't just look for a well-known individual or the CEO of your company. We ask for:
1. A reference from your current employer (if you do not want to use your line manager, a colleague or client is acceptable).
2. A reference from someone who knows you in a professional capacity, such as a former employer, client or peer. Only choose someone who taught you at university if you have remained in close contact.

Do I have to include my original transcript?

In order to present a complete application you must submit a copy of your transcript. This can be uploaded as part of the online application form or couriered to the School.

If you are offered a place to study on the Programme then you will be required to submit a hardcopy of your original transcript, or a copy that has been certified by a lawyer or Notary Public.

Do you have an official transcript request form?

Yes. This form can be used to request your transcripts from your university. You can download a transcript request form here (download PDF, 20KB).

Please note that the transcript request form is intended to help you in obtaining your transcript, and is not required by the admissions committee.

If my transcript is not in English do I need to get it translated?

Yes. You need to provide a certified or notarised English translation.

How do I send in paper documents?

Supporting documents can be delivered personally to the MBA Programme Office, or sent via courier or registered mail to:

MBA Recruitment and Admissions
London Business School
Regent's Park
London, NW1 4SA
United Kingdom

We do not advise sending documents via standard mail.

London Business School Staff are unable to accept applications at overseas events. Please do not contact the School to ask for confirmation that your documents have arrived. Due to the large volumes of mail received during peak periods this is not possible. Should you require confirmation of delivery we recommend that you contact your courier service.

When is the application deadline? Will I require a Visa to study in the UK?

Please see visa requirements for more information.

Course structure, curriculum and assessment

What are the Programme's objectives?

Everyone who joins the MBA programme 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 Services 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
  • Finance
  • International Business
  • Marketing
  • Private Equity
  • Strategy
  • Economics

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
  • examinations
  • simulations

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.

Teaching and learning

Who will be teaching on the Programme?

The Programme is taught by members of London Business School faculty, with language teaching conducted by specialists from the Language and Communications Centre at King's College, London. King's College is a sister college and, like London Business School, is part of the University of London. For some skills teaching, the London Business School faculty are assisted by external specialists in management skills development.

London Business School's faculty have an international reputation and are a highly international group, with our 150+ faculty hailing from more than 30 countries. As a result, much of their work has an international orientation. Their teaching and research work is regularly assessed and accredited by bodies including:

  • The Quality Assurance Agency
  • Higher Education Funding Council for England
  • Association of MBAs
  • European Foundation for Management Development's Equis accreditation
  • AACSB.
Do students have an opportunity to learn about the external consulting projects and research activities undertaken by faculty?

Yes. Many faculty consulting and research activities are brought into the class in the form of case studies. Faculty frequently share their latest thinking in their electives as well as through additional lectures. A small number of students may also have the opportunity to work on a research project with a member of faculty as one of their electives.

How accessible are the faculty to the students?

Teaching faculty are there to support you through your MBA journey and are available outside class times to discuss academic issues. Students will also have an opportunity to interact more closely with faculty through their involvement in London Business Experiences, Global Business Experiences and the optional Management Report.

Does the teaching have a practical orientation?

As well as pursuing research in their own fields of interest, members of faculty often act as consultants and advisers to industry and government, and many hold directorships in a range of organisations or in some cases run their own businesses. These activities help to maintain the practical relevance of the School's teaching and research.

Much of the School's research is supported in some form by donor organisations with whom the School maintains especially close relationships. For example, in the finance and accounting area these include BAA, Bank of England, Barclays, Citibank, Credit Suisse, Solomon Brothers International, Tokai Bank and SG Warburg Group.

What form does the teaching take?

Most of teaching takes the form of structured lectures and case studies. The style is participatory and classes frequently include case analysis and discussions. There are also many projects and group work, field investigations and visits, as well as individual research and simulations.

How many hours a week will I need to study?

You will usually take four or five courses per term. Typically these will involve a weekly three-hour class, resulting in an average of 15 classroom hours per week. You should expect to spend at least the same amount of time in private study, group meetings and group work. You will also participate in Careers Services sessions, workshops and activities throughout the term.

It's impractical to try to take on any paid employment during the first year of the programme, but you may find it possible to do so in the second year. You should consider this carefully before committing to the programme. In particular, think through the impact on your learning experience and any conditions of your visa if you have one.

Do I need a computer?

Yes. You must have access to a PC and printer. We strongly recommend that you buy a laptop (notebook) that fits the School's configuration specifications: we can then configure your machine for you free of charge. A detailed PC specification will be sent to you once you have been offered a place on the Programme. We also have a wireless LAN in the School, enabling students to work in and around the campus.

Do I need to buy books?

We provide you with comprehensive course materials, included in the fee. You will need to buy some core texts and you will probably want to buy additional books to help you read around the subject. You should allow between £250-500 (US$375-750) per year for books.

Books in library

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