MBA UK application process
An MBA degree from the United Kingdom is recognized worldwide and often employers seek candidates with one. One of the several advantages of pursuing an MBA from the UK is that it takes less than two years (between 15 and 20 months) to finish. You have excellent options available since some of the best B-schools in the world are located in the UK.
MBA in UK : Application process
The most important tip for starting the application process for UK B-schools is that you must start thinking about it at least a year and half in advance and start the process before one year. This is particularly important if you are looking out for scholarship/funding or any other form of financial assistance.
Step 1 : Shortlist courses/degrees
The United Kingdom has some very good B-schools that can give you a great branding and value for money. The standard of education in general is very high and there is a variety of courses available in the same stream for the MBA. Hence, research well and shortlist the courses that best suit your needs. By research is meant the name of the course, the curriculum, the fee, the eligibility, the duration, location and overall expenses. The top five B-schools in the UK are:
- London Business School – Offers MBA and Executive MBA that can be pursued full or part time.
- Said Business School, University of Oxford – Has an MBA for students and executives and Executive MBA for senior professionals. One of the most sought-after MBA degrees in the world.
- Judge Business School, University of Cambridge- Both kinds of MBA degrees with an age limit of 30 years fro MBA.
- Cass Business School – Same as London Business School.
- Lancaster University Management School – Apart from MBA and Executive MBA, it also offers a global MBA for senior managers.
Step 2 : Understand eligibility/ application requirements
Universities in the UK mostly require candidates to have a three-year graduation degree as eligibility for admission to an MBA program. This could be a Bachelor of Science (BSc), Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) and Bachelor of Arts (BA). It is important to note that many UK universities require the applicant to have an honors degree, some also insist on a first-class degree from any one of the leading universities in India.??
Do you need a GMAT?
The answer is No and Yes. Most UK B-schools don’t specifically ask for GMAT. This means it is not necessary to take GMAT for getting admission to a UK MBA program. However, if you are targeting the top 10, a GMAT score will be accepted and considered by the universities. But yes, you will definitely need an IELTS/TOEFL scores.
Do you need work experience?
Yes, most MBA programs in the UK require work experience. However, there are a few exceptions.
Here’s what you will need:
- A filled-out application form of the university
- Personal statement (it is like an SOP)/ application essays
- Curriculum Vitae/Detailed resume
- Statement/explanation about how you are funding this education
- Transcripts- School, graduation
- Scores of IELTS/TOEFL and/or GMAT
- Letters of reference
- Work experience proof
Step 3 : Prepare for IELTS/TOEFL
Most UK B-schools do not require a GMAT score but they shortlist based on your academic performance in graduation, your profile and your IELTS/TOEFL scores. Understand the pattern of these exams thoroughly and prepare well. Take the help of seniors or experts in preparing. You need a very good IELTS/TOEFL score to get shortlisted from any British B-school.
Step 4 : Profile building
Since you are not chosen through a common entrance but only through English proficiency, a strong student profile is the difference between wining and losing here. Following points should make your profile look strong:
a) Strong CV: Make sure your CV is detailed enough to give them a good idea of your current qualifications. Emphasize on your work experience, even if it is not related directly to the degree applied for. Include extracurricular achievements, philanthropic/voluntary/community development work, achievements in terms of awards and prizes, certifications if any, any other language proficiency such as French, any other quality that you can prove.
b) Application essay/ statement of purpose: It is a vital document that will play a huge role in your selection. The SOP must state your purpose of applying to a particular postgraduate school. Students are required to write an essay explaining their main goal or purpose in life, which would support their decision of joining that college. Most universities give tips on what they would like to read in the SOP, and how long it should be.
UK B-schools would like to know about your purpose for applying, your career goals, your reasons of applying to the specific course, achievements, examples of the display of your traits/qualities, projects undertaken, work experience etc through this statement.(Read our article on SOP MBA)
c) Statement of funding: UK universities need to know beforehand how you are going to fund your education. The application form itself will have the section and you will need to give details.
d) Letter of recommendation: Letters of reference or recommendation letters play a very important part in your admission especially in MBA courses. A recommendation letter is a signed statement from a person who knows you well or has taught you in a subject at school or college. It should list out your positive and negatives and give pointers about your academic or non-academic achievements.
The recommenders must indicate their position, how long they have known the applicant and in what capacity. He/she should briefly discuss the need, importance and usefulness of the study the applicant proposes to undertake. Recommenders are usually asked to rank applicants in their letters of recommendation, which helps admission officers to interpret the academic credentials of foreign students.
Step 5 : Review the application
Verify all the requirements and documents to be sent with the application. Once sent, you will not be able to change it and you will only hear about your selection and rejection next.
Step 6 : Submit the application
You would need to create an online account on the B-School’s website. You will have to submit all the forms and documents. Nowadays most forms and documents can be uploaded online, some may ask for a physical package. The application fee can be paid online as well. You should keep an eye on the application deadline and prepare accordingly.
Cost of Study
Just like everywhere else, the cost of MBA program in the UK would differ. If it is a top and high-class UK university, the tuition fee would be £12,000–30,000 while the average living costs would be £7,500 per year. Expect the annual costs between £19,500 and 37,500. A medium-ranking UK university will charge a tuition fee of nearly £9,000 – 12,000 while the annual living costs will be £7,500, making a total cost of up to £16,500 – 19,500. Some economical private colleges would have lesser tuition fee and living costs are likely to be around £5,000, with the total annual cost amounting to £12,200–14,000.??
Scholarship and work options
There are less chances of scholarship to MBA programs in the UK. You may still apply to the specific B-schools and funding agencies in the UK. International students who are studying at UK institutions with valid immigration permission (that allows them to work) can work 20 hours per week and full time in their vacations.
Step 7 : Student visa and interview
The UK student visa is based on points. Out of the total 40 points required to get a visa, 30 points are for a “confirmation of acceptance for studies” granted by the school, college or university that a student had applied in. The preferred place of study needs to feature in the “register of sponsors” maintained by the UK Border Agency (UKBA). Students may visit www.britishcouncil.in, the UK Border Agency website UKCISA website for more details.
Some universities will want to meet the candidates in person, hence prepare for the interview well. Also, you must prepare well for the visa interview.
Step 8 : Before you go to the UK
You ought to read and understand about the destination/location where you are going to live in UK. For this purpose you may utilize the online services provided by newspapers in that area. Read about and understand the British culture to avoid any cultural shocks. You may learn a few local slangs, idioms and abbreviations. These little things will come in pretty handy in the first few days.
Step 9 : Plan your travel
Unless you want to land in the UK a day before your first lecture, do plan your travel on advance. You can do this online through travel sites to get competitive prices according to your budget. Major UK airlines include: