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Aston Online MBA In The Spotlight

We report from Aston Business School's recent webinar on its Online MBA

By  Harriet Murdoch

Fri Sep 23 2011

With more MBA candidates opting for part-time programs, BusinessBecause listened in to a ‘Webinar’ - an online seminar - held by Aston Business School about its online MBA to find out more about how these programs work.

The webinar was chaired by Dr Malcolm Clews who teaches the Strategic Management module. We were given a 15-minute video presentation about Aston, throughout which we could submit questions which would be answered when the presentation was over.

Dr Clews has a background in the natural resources industry and has worked in the Middle East and America. He said that he is indicative of the kind of person enrolled on the Aston MBA, with a mixture of experience and theoretical knowledge.

Students on the Aston online MBA are awarded a full MBA as though they had been on the full-time MBA.

On average Aston’s MBA graduates experience a 70% rise in their salary. They will also have an international network: in 2008 the Economist Intelligence Unit ‘Which MBA?’ awarded Aston first place globally for student diversity as students are drawn from over 20 countries.

Dr Clews recommends that prospective students come to Aston with a few years of management experience: “That’s not to say you can’t come straight from undergraduate but a few years in the management world may make it easier to understand some of the concepts taught on the course.”

The Aston MBA aims to give you the knowledge “To take your career to the next level, increase your critical insight into your management style and transform yourself into a more dynamic and inspirational leader.” Dr Clews said that this is taught by example in the way that Aston professors deal with our students: “We temper theoretical discussions with the experience of teachers” who are drawn from a range of industries.

Here are some of the questions asked by peope at the webinar:

Q: What qualifications and experience do I need?

Dr Clews: A good honours degree or a professional equivalent and if you are from overseas the same, but the qualification must be recognisable. Ask for a strong GMAT score and preferably three years subsequent to your undergraduate degree completion before you start your MBA.

Q: Can I have no degree and get on to the course?

Dr Clews: In theory yes, if you are an outstanding candidate. We would like to hear from you and hear your story.

Q. What standard of English is needed?

Dr Clews: The course is taught in English and it is generally used to interact with other students. Pragmatically you will need a TOEFL score of 105, with a minimum of 25 in each section. If you have lower scores than these we offer pre-season English lessons at Aston.

Q. How long would I have to wait on a decision on my application?

Dr Clews: We try to be as quick as we can. It is reasonably rapid, usually a matter of a few weeks.

When the webinar was over I spoke to a couple of the attendees to get an idea of what kind of candidates were interested in Aston’s distance-learning MBA:

Gyorgi Fulop, 36, is from Hungary but living in Birmingham, UK. She has worked as a corporate sales manager for General Motors but is now on maternity leave and so cannot take part in the full-time MBA.

Ganiyat Salami, 25, has been living in America for eight years. He holds a masters degree in applied molecular biology and works in the biotech industry. He wants to further his education but needs to keep fulfilling other obligations in the biotech industry, so a distance-learning MBA suits his needs.

If you wish to obtain a recorded copy of the presentation or receive more information, please contact Kate Wright, Postgraduate Marketing Co-ordinator at Aston Business School, at

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