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An MBA opens many doors. From Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg to ex-Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi, from former mayor of New York City Michael Bloombeg to Apple CEO Tim Cook, these MBA graduates show the versatility of their degree across functions and industries. As their career trajectories prove, their MBAs not only increased their personal growth, but also helped them reach greater professional heights.

While its impact is global, many of the world’s most renowned MBA programmes, with elite accreditation and recognition from major rankings, are offered by UK universities. These accolades reflect the abilities of their business schools to adapt and evolve according to the ever-changing needs of the future of work.

Here are four universities in the UK with impactful MBA programmes …

University of Bradford

An MBA from the School of Management at the University of Bradford is transformative — and global rankings recognise this. The Financial Times ranks the Bradford Distance Learning MBA second in the UK for salary increase and fourth globally for career progression; and it doesn’t stop there, it is also ranked first in the world for value for money and tenth in the world overall.


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A triple accredited Distance Learning MBA from Bradford University is the ideal course in today’s world, ensuring all students, no matter where they are located, have access to a comprehensive business education despite the challenging circumstances induced by the pandemic. “The flexibility of the course allowed me to balance study with work and family life. I’ve got a big family, demanding job commitments, and I also like to travel, but I found that I didn’t need to compromise any of that with a Bradford online MBA,” says graduate Muzibal Islam.

Bradford University offers two established and well-regarded MBA routes. The Master of Business Administration is a general management programme which equips learners with the tools to master essential leadership, business and management skills and all the right knowledge to take careers to new heights in an increasingly competitive and diverse business environment.

The Innovation, Enterprise and the Circular Economy MBA was designed for professionals looking for a focused qualification in the field of circular economy within an MBA curriculum. It was the first MBA in the world to offer a specialism in circular economy, pioneering a new generation of leaders  who prioritise environmental sustainability in their management practice. Offered 100% online, these courses enable students to develop and apply knowledge from anywhere in the world, at their own pace, and with an extensive network of students and support services.

University of Swansea

The School of Management at Swansea University is a top 30 UK business school for research excellence, with the aspiration to be known globally as a centre for educational excellence as well. The School of Management works in partnership with Swansea University’s departments and external organisations to create programmes that develop skill sets that are relevant in an evolving workplace, in turn producing career-ready graduates.


Source: Swansea University

The school has ranked sixth in the UK for student satisfaction, won a Gold award — the highest possible — in the Teaching Excellence Framework, achieved a five star rating for teaching quality from the QS Stars global university rating system, and ranked top ten for research with impact, with 90% of submissions considered to be world leading or internationally excellent.

Achievements like these make this school an appealing choice for learners looking to pursue postgraduate degrees in business. The Swansea MBA is aimed at those who are determined to make an impact in society and address the gap between practice and theory that can exist in management. Through teachings, learners implement existing knowledge in a global context to overcome challenging scenarios, to navigate innovation and change, and develop the knowledge to apply relevant theories and frameworks.

University of Aberdeen

The University of Aberdeen was founded in 1495, the third oldest university in Scotland with a community of over 15,000 students representing 120 nationalities. The university’s business school is internationally recognised for its excellence in research, ranking fourth in the UK for accounting and finance and 11th for business management studies.


Source: University of Aberdeen

The Aberdeen Business School ranked as a top three university for impact in Business Management Studies by REF 2014, which assessed the quality of research at UK universities. Excellence in research means master’s students here benefit from the expertise of faculty members who are pioneers in their discipline.

The University of Aberdeen MBA is a globally recognised qualification that develops leadership skills underpinned by practical and theoretical knowledge. The programme gives students the opportunity to formally recognise business expertise and accelerate career progression, earning potential and job satisfaction — essentially providing graduates with the credentials to compete against the best. Through the school’s MBA (Global) programme students from all over the world can study online, part-time and earn the same qualifications as on-campus students.

Bournemouth University

The Bournemouth University Business School holds accreditation by AACSB, something achieved by fewer than 5% of the world’s business schools, recognising its commitment to excellence in all areas. The university produces world-leading research and the academics within its business school are involved in a wide variety of projects and research centres that deliver significant insights and societal impact.


Source: Bournemouth University

The business school’s Master of Business Administration provides the knowledge for students to operate as global leaders who understand the business ecosystem in an increasingly volatile environment. The school facilitates these teachings in a way that is integrated and collaborative, merging topics that are often taught in isolation to ensure students benefit from a holistic understanding of how exactly organisations work.

Leadership and managerial skills are enhanced through a series of masterclasses, guest lectures by industry figures, case studies and consultancy work with real business clients. There are also several opportunities for students to attend professional meetings and conferences to gain hands-on knowledge by working with staff on research, and in some cases publishing their findings together as well.

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International