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Blended Learning: Why You Should Consider A Blended MBA

Online or on-campus? It can be difficult to know which type of MBA suits you best. Blended learning offers the best of both worlds

When you've started researching business schools and there's anything from full-time, executive two-year MBAs to fully-online programs to choose from, where do you even start? Do you sacrifice your job to study? Or do you study online and miss out on the full business school experience? Enter: blended learning.

A blended MBA program gives you everything a traditional program offers, such as global immersions, networking opportunities, and real-life consulting experiences. The only difference is that it’s delivered in a more convenient, flexible package.  

Why should you consider blended learning for your MBA?

The MBA for the working professional  

It’s a Catch-22 situation. You want to broaden your horizon and develop your skillset, whether that’s your leadership skills or experience working internationally, but the thought of risking financial stability by sidelining your career for one or two years can be off-putting.  

Head of MBA marketing and recruiting at Alliance Manchester Business School (AMBS), Chris Healy, says, for these candidates, a blended program makes sense.  

“Nowadays, professionals think: ‘I like the company I’m working for––and the industry I’m in––and I see further opportunities to grow here,’” he says. “But they can’t commit to full-time.” 

Having the flexibility to enroll in a part-time course offering more variety means candidates have more control over how they choose to structure their personal learning experience. 

This is reflected in the class profile, with the average age of students being 36 and over 10-years of professional experience. Interestingly, AMBS is seeing an upward trend in the number of younger professionals––in their mid- to late-20s––enrolling on its blended learning courses.

Practically, too, being able to keep up your full-time job alongside study means you have a regular source of income to fund school. 60% of AMBS students enrolling on blended learning programs self-fund their MBA studies, with the rest having some form of company sponsorship. 

AMBS offers two blended learning programs: the Kelley-Manchester Global MBA and the Global Part-Time MBA, which are geared towards candidates who want to work full-time alongside study. 

Both MBAs are part-time and staggered over a two-year period. The Global Part-Time MBA also offers an accelerated pathway lasting 18 months.

International experience

Unlike online MBAs, blended MBAs offer opportunities to study abroad, just as full-time MBAs do. The only difference is that semester-long stints aren’t required.  

The Global Part-Time MBA includes 30 days of physical teaching in total, and the Kelley-Manchester MBA 18 days. The Global Part-Time MBA offers six residential segments and the Kelley-Manchester offers three; it depends how much flexibility Manchester candidates are looking for when deciding between them. 

“We have the Global MBA and the Kelley-Manchester MBA, but we’ve got one MBA qualification, and everyone graduates with the exact same qualification,” Chris says. “You will learn the same things, but through a different delivery vehicle.” 

Exclusively to the Kelley-Manchester MBA, students have an optional five-day workshop in Washington DC and also five days at the Kelley Business School in Indiana. 

With AMBS’ blended MBAs, residential learning can take place abroad, which is more logistically convenient for international students who might not have the time to travel to the UK. Students can choose to study at any one of AMBS’ six global locations: Manchester, Singapore, Dubai, Hong Kong, Shanghai, or Sâo Paulo 

“For example, a student from Tokyo can choose to study on the Hong Kong campus, rather than travelling to Manchester,” Chris says.

Blended Vs Online

Logging in online for lessons is easy and convenient––particularly when it means learning doesn’t have to disrupt your work life. 

According to the Graduate Management Admission Council, candidates are being drawn away from part-time MBAs and looking to online equivalents, with one in 10 US business school applicants saying they would prefer to enroll online.  

The downside to online is value for money and whether that’s worth sacrificing for the sake of convenience. 

“You can find online MBAs at a fairly cheap price point, but then you don’t get face-to-face teaching sessions with world class academics,” Chris points out. Without face-to-face contact, it can also be hard to build a sense of community within an MBA cohort.

At AMBS, students come prepared for intensive face-to-face sessions. "The relationships they form on campus then continue online," says Chris. 

That's why blended learning makes sense. Blended MBAs offer online components to allow for increased flexibility, but you can still attend classes, interact with your cohort and your professors, and build your business school network in a similar way as you would on a full-time course.

Student Reviews

Alliance Manchester Business School




On Campus

The course structure

The course is well structured and organised effectively. Every subject in the field of international business is covered in the course module. The lectures are of excellent quality and are simple to comprehend.   ·      The lecturers are also very knowledgeable about their subjects, quite thorough, and very helpful when it comes to answering questions and giving additional information on their subject.   ·      Students can easily access the assignment, lectures, and seminar content thanks to the blackboard technology. Students also benefit greatly from the reading materials that are posted on the blackboard.




On Campus

Practical Business Experience

3 live consulting projects, Non-for-Profit consulting, Commercial Business Consulting and International Business Consulting projects within the programme, provide us with a great opportunity to exposure to the real business world.




Quality education and student support system

What I love about The University of Manchester is the fact that, alongside with the excellent education it provides, it also takes care of the well being of the students and supports them throughout the year.




Endless networking opportunities!

I would 100% recommend this university! Throughout my 4 years there I received endless guidance and support from the amazing staff; both professors and student support teams. A particular highlight was the insightful guest lectures, networking employability events and career meetings, these significantly helped in preparing me for my future career.




Fantastic University!

AMBS provides excellent teaching and outstanding facilities, both of which combine to make a great learning experience. The teaching staff make sure we have plenty of resources to aid our learning, and always make sure we are making the most of our studies. The business building itself is the most impressive on campus, and provides plenty of places in which we can work.




Great facilities and support

It is a great university that provides extra support for its students. The teachers are very helpful and willing to support you and the environment is just great. It offers good facilities, study spaces and workshops that can help in your experience as a student.




New building, innovative teaching methods

The staff is very well prepared and pays a lot of attention to the student. The building is new and full of updated facilities. Teachers propose intriguing learning methods and there are plenty of international students to learn from.




It's an amazing University!

I think that AMBS is among the most well rounded universities in the UK. The cultural diversity among the students as well as the faculty is what catches my attention the most. The campus is very new and beautiful and has all kinds of facilities.




Quality and QS World Ranking

AMBS has the diverse set of batch where the students get the opportunity to mingle with the students coming from different parts of the world. The group of faculty is also very diverse having different skill set. I'd always recommend it for studying masters in business analytics.