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What Kind Of MBA Program Is Right For Me?

From full-time MBAs, to executive programs and distance learning, how do you know which MBA is the one for you?


Fri May 17 2019

The MBA has come a long way since its inception at Harvard in 1908. Long gone are the days where getting an MBA degree meant two years, on campus, for men only.

Graduate management education has become a global phenomenon, with programs sprouting up all over the world. The decision to go to a business school though is still a massive undertaking, and a commitment that requires some serious thought.

For a start, how do you answer the question, ‘what kind of MBA program is right for me?’

Alongside the traditional, two-year MBA program synonymous with the US, students can opt for shorter, one-year programs in Europe, or Executive MBA programs for work experience veterans.

Technology’s impact on education also means that some schools offer 100% Online MBA programs, like Birmingham Business School, whose program was the first of its kind in the world to receive formal accreditation from the Association of MBAs (AMBA).

Birmingham also offers a full-time MBA and an Executive MBA for professionals with at least three years of management experience.

What kind of MBA program is right for me?

Full-Time MBA

In the Graduate Management Admission Council’s (GMAC) Prospective Students Survey 2019 the full-time MBA remains the most popular consideration among business school candidates. 79% of business school candidates are considering an MBA program, with 65% of them considering a full-time MBA.

The full-time MBA is a program that gives students a step into the senior leadership positions they crave. It’s for students who want to further their ability to overcome complex problems in a global business context. For many, it’s also the chance to take a break from full-time work and to pivot your career in a different direction.

The three most popular industry destinations for full-time MBA graduates are consulting, finance, and technology.

On-campus programs also give MBA students the chance to network and learn from a close-knit group of international peers.

“The best thing about the MBA course is that I had the opportunity to immerse myself within a high-caliber international student cohort at the center of a research-led business school and was thus able to increase my global awareness,” says James O’Toole, an MBA graduate from Birmingham Business School.

So, if you’re looking for a catalyst to take you into a senior management role, and want to enhance your network in an international business setting, then a full-time MBA could be the program for you.

Executive MBA

Executive MBA programs were designed for managers and executives to boost their careers while not taking time out of their working schedule to do so. Delivery methods range from evenings and weekends, to five-day blocks where students arrive on campus for short, quick-fire bursts of learning.

Birmingham Business School’s course can be completed in two-and-a-half years, or over four-and-a-half, depending on each student’s flexibility needs.

The beauty of an Executive MBA is that it allows students to immediately implement what they’re learning directly into their organizations.

Birmingham Business School’s Executive MBA is also tapping into a seismic shift in the business education industry—a move towards more ethically minded, responsible management.

Executive MBAs are for managers and executives who want to open new avenues of expertise, and to develop into globally minded, exceptional leaders. An EMBA classroom is a great way to broaden your network of business leaders in every sphere of influence around the globe.

READ MORE: Business Schools Turn To Responsible Management


Online MBA

Online MBAs offer students the flexibility to further their careers while balancing work and family life. At Birmingham Business School, there is no residency component of the Online MBA, so students study entirely remote, all around the world.

The program is delivered through fortnightly live sessions, that connect students, tutors, and lecturers in an interactive, online learning environment. The sessions are two and a quarter hour long, and students are placed in intentionally diverse groups when they work on group projects.

Online MBAs are for students who want to climb the career ladder but simply don’t have the time to attend a business school.

READ MORE: What Is Studying For A 100% Online MBA Really Like?


In the same way executive programs offer students the chance to apply what they learn immediately into the workplace, so does the online MBA. What you learn on a Saturday and Sunday can be taken straight into work on the Monday.

Learning to work across digital borders and interact with peers online also increases students’ digital leadership capacity tenfold. The future of work is going to revolve around working with virtual teams and leading diverse teams outside your country of work.

Online learning sets students up to thrive in that environment, and may become the go-to choice for MBA students in the future. 

Student Reviews

Birmingham Business School - University of Birmingham




On Campus

An amazing experience

Great, knowledgeable faculty with a beautiful campus. Lots of societies and clubs to choose from in accordance with your interest. One can also discover scholarship opportunities here. The course is perfectly designed and the career services at the uni are very helpful




On Campus

The beautiful campus and teaching expertise.

Overall the University of birmingham is just an incredible institution. From the array of expertise teachings and how phenomenal the campus is definitely enhances its beauty and is enriched with the amazing resources and incredible people that are always willing to help and make you feel welcomed everywhere you go. I would 100% recommend the University of Birmingham to be one of the best universities out there and through not only the various courses that they offer but all the social societies definitely adds to the fun and great opportunities that it provides




On Campus

Exceptional Support for international Students

Exceptional Support for International Students As an international student, my experience at the University of Birmingham has been nothing short of extraordinary, thanks to the outstanding support provided for international students. I would like to share my thoughts and experiences regarding the exceptional support I've received during my time here. From the moment I arrived on campus, it was evident that UoB prioritizes the well-being and success of its international students. Here are some key aspects of the support I've received: 1. Orientation Programs: The university's comprehensive orientation programs helped me acclimate to campus life, navigate administrative processes, and understand the academic system. I never felt lost or overwhelmed, thanks to the informative sessions and friendly staff. 2. Academic Advising: The academic advisors for international students are incredibly knowledgeable and approachable. They assisted me in creating a personalized academic plan, selecting courses, and understanding degree requirements. Their guidance ensured that I stayed on the right track academically. 3. Language Support: UoB offers exceptional language support services, including English language courses and conversation partners. These resources were invaluable in improving my language skills and building confidence in my communication abilities. 4. Cultural Integration: The university fosters a diverse and inclusive environment, making it easy for international students to feel like part of the community. There are numerous cultural clubs, events, and workshops that allow us to connect with fellow students and celebrate our diverse backgrounds. 5. Mental Health and Counseling Services: Recognizing the challenges that international students may face, the university provides excellent mental health and counseling services. It's comforting to know that support is available when needed, and these services are respectful of cultural differences. 6. Career Services: UoB offers exceptional career services tailored to international students. From resume workshops to job fairs, they've been instrumental in helping me prepare for my career post-graduation. The university's strong network of alumni has also been a valuable resource. 7. Visa and Immigration Assistance: Navigating the complexities of visa and immigration regulations can be daunting, but the university's dedicated staff provided guidance and assistance throughout the process. Their expertise made the experience seamless. 8. Housing Support: Securing suitable housing can be a challenge for international students, but the university offers assistance in finding on-campus housing options with flexible payments. This support ensured that I had a safe and comfortable place to live. 9. Financial Aid and Scholarships: UoB offers various scholarships and financial aid options for international students. Their commitment to making education accessible is commendable, they also provide financial support for graduation through the guild of students.




On Campus

student experience

I highly recommend the University of Birmingham. I think the school environment is very friendly to international students. I was able to get guidance and help from students in the school. I was also able to get support and guidance from the professional team on my career path. I would recommend the University of Birmingham to first-time international students and Masters students.




On Campus

There is always somebody to help!

The university respects the culture and background of their highly diverse student. It carters to everybody's need and puts its student first. It tries to the make the student feel at home and helps them deal with the university life.




On Campus


I love studying Pharmacy at Birmingham and would absolutely recommend it, especially because of the variety in every aspect of the course. Firstly, the variety of people you meet from all areas around the country, and even countless others from outside the country. Each person has a different background and experiences creating a melting pot of personalities to interact with. Next, the lessons - there are numerous types of lessons we encounter on a weekly basis from lectures to dissections to a computer workshops. Additionally, specific to medical degrees, I have 7 placements annually in hospital, community, and GP pharmacies. The only lack of variety in the pharmacy course is the classrooms since there are limited number we can use and the medical school is separate from the main campus. The only part I don't enjoy about pharmacy is the distances and unreliability of public transport in Birmingham. Living in the vale, the university is a long 25-minute walk away and my closest shop is over 10-20 minutes to walk. Although there are closer accommodations, I really love my flat with its modern decor, large room, and social aspect of the shared kitchen.




On Campus

Experience at University of Birmingham

University of Birmingham has been an outstanding university. They have provided complete support during COVID-19. The university is incredible when accessing support with mental health. I currently study criminology at the university of Birmingham. The course has been brilliant, with constant support from lectures and tutors to ensure that you achieve the best grade possible. I could not recommend University of Birmingham more!




On Campus


Great campus for studying with kind and professional staff and the campus is very well connected to the city center. There were so many people who wanted to enroll in the course that they had to queue for a new course for six months in advance. The classes were always crowded, but the professors never let anyone through. I love this uni




On Campus

A very welcoming uni

This university is regarded as one of the best in the world. They provide a welcoming environment that enhances the lives of the students because each one of them has a sense of community and a desire to study.

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