MBA in UK: Know the study cost
Updated on Jan 21, 2016 - 5:52 p.m. IST by Manashjyoti
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Arden University, Berlin
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: While the USA is the global leader and pre-eminent study abroad destination for MBA studies, the UK is the go-to destination in Europe. The country has more universities in the top 100 in Global MBA Ranking 2015 lists, published by most ranking agencies, than any other country in Europe. When selecting a university, students put great emphasis on the ranking of that particular university, along with job opportunities on offer, and, therefore, it is only logical that a large number of international students from both the EU and non-EU countries head to the UK to pursue MBA degrees. But for some students, the path to an MBA degree turns out to be full of thorns since they find themselves stuck in a financial quagmire for lack of proper information about the cost of pursuing MBA in UK. Some even make the mistake of assuming MBA fees in UK as the only expense, which can be devastating when you finally realize that it is just one part of the overall expense, which has health insurance, exam-related expenses, and living expenses to quote a few.

Here we take a holistic look at the cost of pursuing MBA in UK.

MBA fees in UK:

According to QS Global 200 Business Schools Report 2014/15, the UK is not just the second most popular destination in the world after the US, but with 26 of the 65 business schools in Europe finding mention in the report, it is no big surprise that it accounts for a huge 40% of new entrants in the region, which is up from 32% the previous year. This shows that there is great demand for a seat in a b-school in the UK which, in turn, pushes up course fee. The top ranked b-school in the UK, London Business School (LBS), charges students up to £70,800 for the two-year MBA program, which can be completed in around 20 months. London Business School is not just the top ranked b-school in the UK, but has been consistently placed in the top two worldwide, with many, including QS World University Rankings 2015, even recognizing it as the best b-school in the world.

As we move down the ladder (ranking list), we begin to see that the MBA fee in UK is not rigid, as course fee shows considerable variation. Like between LBS and second top ranked b-school, Saïd Business School, there is a fee gap of more than £20,000, which is quite substantial. One reason for lower tuition fee could be attributed to the latter being a one-year program, whereas the MBA degree offered by LBS is of two-year duration. Judge Business School is another business school which has almost identical MBA fees in UK to Saïd and is also neck and neck with it in the ranking as well.

The middle layer is made up of schools like Imperial College Business School, Warwick Business School, Manchester Business School, and Cass Business School where the fee range is anywhere between-£34,900- Â£45,000. A unique thing about b-schools in the UK is that, the focus is more on one-year programs, with most schools mandating that you come equipped with work experience, typically two to three years. Also as a thumb rule, when looking at MBA tuition fees of top b-schools, it should be regarded as one of the conditions for selecting a b-school, but not the only condition. 


The award for having the lowest MBA course fee in UK by any top b-school in our list goes to University of Edinburgh Business School and Henley Business School, where course fee can be as low as £27,100 and £33,000 respectively. You can complete your MBA program in these institutes in a year or at the most 16 months, as offered by Edinburgh Business School in one of its programs. The great benefit of a one year program over a two-year program is that you can complete your degree in double-quick time and save on living costs. But then again, you will have to have work experience on your side to exploit the opportunities offered by these one-year MBA programs at top schools in the UK.

MBA tuition fee at top UK universities:


UK Ranking(QS)

Work experience


Tuition Fees

London Business School


5 years of average work experience

20 months


Saïd Business School, University of Oxford


At least two years of previous full-time work experience.

1 year


Judge Business School, University of Cambridge


3 years’ full-time work experience after completion of your undergraduate degree

1 year


Imperial College Business School, Imperial College London


3 years’ relevant postgraduate work experience

1 year


Warwick Business School, University of Warwick


At least three years’ postgraduate managerial work experience

1 year


Manchester Business School



Minimum of three years of post-graduation work-experience with strong consistent career progression and achievement

18 months


Cranfield School of Management


A minimum of three years' post-qualification work experience

1 year


Cass Business School


A minimum of three years' full-time professional experience after graduation

12 months


University of Edinburgh Business School


At least three years' work experience in a managerial role

12 months and 16 months programs


Henley Business School


A minimum of 3 years work experience

12 months


Typical Living Expenses

Wherever you stay in the UK, be ready to shell out between £10,000 and £17,000 as living costs. As you can see, it is quite a significant amount and needs special attention. The biggest chunk of living costs is attributed to accommodation costs, and depending on what type of accommodation you choose your expenses will go up or down considerably: on –campus accommodation can be on average costlier by up to more than £2,000 in the Warwick area, which is more or less the case in all of the UK. Here is a sample living cost given by University of Oxford.


International student living cost in UK:




 Â£5,627 - £8,006


£3,177 - £3,565

Personal items

£1,429 - £2,915

General living costs

£1,401 - £2,707


£11,636 - £17,191

Here is a sample of how your choice of accommodation can affect your overall cost of studying MBA in UK(University of Warwick figures):


Lowest estimated costs 

Upper estimated costs 

Average estimated expenditure 

On campus accommodation (2014/15 prices: £79 - £153 per week) 




Off campus accommodation (2014/15 prices: £60 - £90 per week)




General living costs include expenses related to books –can be upwards of £600, and clothing. If you are travelling from a warmer climate, you are expected to keep aside £525 for warm clothing. Also, students must keep in mind that living costs do not cover travel to and from your country, and such expenses have to be budgeted separately. If you are smart with your money, there is every possibility that you might even go below the estimates given here.

Contribution of insurance fee to cost of studying MBA in UK

Universities in the UK mandate that international students get registered with a General Practitioner (GP) as soon as they land in the country as part of the health insurance plan. Also while the UK has National Health Services (NHS), it only offers emergency medical treatment free of cost and to receive other benefits students are required to pay a surcharge of £150 per student, per year of the visa, and this is above and beyond the £75 which is to be paid for part years of less than six months. So, along with worrying about MBA fees in UK, students also need to worry about their welfare in a foreign country and thus the corresponding health fee.

As far as travel insurance is concerned, the UK business schools provide coverage for pre-approved and study-related tours. The expenses are met in such cases by the concerned university’s insurance budget.

Expenses related to admission requirements also add up to cost of studying MBA in UK

TOEFL/IELTS scores are essential for getting admission into all the top b-schools in the UK, and if you haven’t taken the test yet, you should get it out of the way before you go b-school hopping! You can sit for TOEFL for a fee between $170-220, while IELTS costs around $170.

Other eligibility criteria for MBA aspirants include GMAT or in some cases GRE test scores. GMAT is costlier at US $250, while GRE is available for US $205. The rescheduling fee for both the exams is though, identical, US $50.

Therefore, it can be concluded that while calculating the total cost of pursuing MBA in UK, expenses other than fees have to be factored in if we are to get the true picture. In fact, if you aren’t careful enough with your money, the living expenses in the UK is such that it can quickly spiral out of control and might even surpass your tuition fees. So, understanding the cost breakdown and sticking to it should be your motto when you are in the UK chasing your dreams!


Stay tuned to for more stories on UK


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Arden University, Berlin
Arden University, Berlin
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