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The full-time MBA: 9 things you need to know before applying

By Stephanie L

Updated October 7, 2021 Updated October 7, 2021

Sponsored by Warwick Business School 

Undertaking a full-time MBA is a big decision and even bigger investment, so what do you need to know before applying? 

TopMBA spoke with Warwick Business School (WBS), which ranked sixth in the UK and 34th globally in the QS World University Rankings: Global MBA Rankings 2021, to find out. 

Admissions process and entry requirements 

When applying to schools, most full-time MBA programmes require evidence of an undergraduate degree and a certain number of years’ professional business experience. You will also need to submit an admissions essay, either a GMAT or GRE score, and pass an IELTS exam, if English is not your native language. 

It is possible to apply to study an MBA in the UK if you don’t hold an undergraduate degree. Warwick Business School welcomes candidates who do not have the academic qualifications provided they have a proven ability to achieve and have a reasonable GMAT score or valid GRE score. 

Keep in mind that some business schools have multiple application deadlines and separate the admissions season into rounds. At Warwick Business School there are four rounds of applications in October, January, March and July. The school advises MBA applicants to apply as early as possible as they start receiving highly competitive applications from very early on in the academic year.  

Interviews  

Acceptance rates among business schools vary widely, but if you are invited to interview take it as good news that the business school is interested in you as a candidate. 

According to Warwick Business School, interviews aren’t a communication challenge but are an opportunity for MBA applicants to complement their application with tangible evidence that they are a good fit for the programme. 

While the interviews are for the school to decide whether you are a good fit for their MBA, the interview is also an opportunity for you to find out if the school and the programme is right for you. So, ask questions, give honest opinions, and share your concerns if you have any.  

Format 

The full-time MBA is an intensive one-year programme and is ideal if you are looking to fully focus on studying or are going through a significant career transition. Most people who study a full-time MBA put their careers on hold, so you will need to carefully consider whether you are in a position where you can cut back on a steady income for the duration of the MBA. 

Cost and funding 

The cost of a full-time one-year MBA programme varies widely. If you are looking to study an MBA in London, you can expect fees to be higher. If you look to other UK cities, you may find that fees for a well-ranked and highly accredited MBA are more affordable. For example, the Full-time MBA at Warwick Business School is £43,950 for the 12-month programme. 

Do your research and find out what funding and financial support is available such as scholarships, bursaries and grants. In some circumstances your employer may sponsor your MBA, but you will need to demonstrate how it will also benefit them. 

Warwick Business School advises MBA applicants to apply as early as possible as doing so can improve your chances of receiving a WBS scholarship.  

Curriculum 

It’s important that you know what you want from an MBA.  

Do the MBA programmes you are looking at offer modules and electives in subjects that align with your values, strengths and long-term career goals?  

Do you want an MBA that offers experiential learning? Experiential learning is a unique opportunity to complement classroom teaching, bridge the gap between theory and practice, and bring insights to life.  

Top MBA programmes such as the Full-time MBA at Warwick Business School offer a wide range of experiential learning opportunities that take real-world business learning one step further. These include consultancy projects, business simulations and work partnerships. In recent years, Full-time MBA students at Warwick Business School have undertaken partnerships with organisations including Aston Martin, GE Healthcare, IBM, Delphi Technologies, Oracle, and Unilever. 

Career prospects  

An MBA is great for those looking to change industries or advance to a more senior managerial position. If you have an industry or job role in mind that you want to follow after your MBA, take a look at the schools you’re applying to, to see which companies previous MBA graduates have gone on to work for and in what roles.  

If you’re wondering what you can do with an MBA or what MBA jobs are available, here are some positions held by Warwick Business School’s Full-time MBA graduates: assistant vice president, chief executive officer, head of business development, market intelligence consultant, global client relations manager, marketing insight analyst, senior business development manager. 

Some of the top companies that have recruited MBA graduates from Warwick Business School include Bain & Company, Bostin Consulting Group, KPMG, DHL, Dyson, Motorola Solutions and PwC.  

Expected salaries 

One of the top professional goals for prospective MBA students is to make more money and according to the TopMBA Jobs & Salary Trends Report, the average MBA annual salary in the UK is £65,300. However, when taking into consideration average bonuses of £21,500, the average overall financial gain is over £85,000. 

At Warwick Business School, the post-MBA average salary is £77,018 with an average bonus of £13,779.  

Return on investment (ROI) 

Undertaking an MBA is a rigorous process, so you’re going to want to be sure the investment is worthwhile. Although questions about the ROI of an MBA usually have a strong focus on expected salaries and career advancement, knowing whether it’s worth your time, money and effort depends on a wide range of other factors such as your personal goals and definition of ‘success’. 

The QS World University Rankings: Global MBA Rankings 2021 has a dedicated rankings indicator for return on investment. In this year’s rankings, Warwick Business School ranked number one in the UK for return on investment. 

Networking 

Speaking of ROI, networking also plays a key role in your MBA ROI, so keep this in mind when researching and applying to schools. An MBA means you will have greater business networking opportunities; whether it’s for finding a job, a potential business collaborator or getting information and sharing knowledge.  

Warwick Business School’s alumni website is a valuable platform to keep in touch with fellow alumni and offers access to the latest alumni networking events.  

This article was originally published in October 2021 .

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Written by

As the Head of Sponsored Content for TopUniversities.com and TopMBA.com (until September 2021), Stephanie created and published a wide range of articles for universities and business schools across the world. She attended the University of Portsmouth where she earned a BA in English Language and an MA in Communication and Applied Linguistics.

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