The UK is one of the world’s most popular study destinations, with thousands of MBA and business master’s students graduating from UK business schools each year.
You may be attracted to study in the UK due to its historic reputation for education, strong business and finance sector, booming startup scene, and exciting career opportunities.
While the UK doesn’t make our list of the easiest countries to get a work visa, the Graduate Route is a new UK post-study work visa which allows international students to stay in the UK for two years after graduation to find employment.
There are top business schools and MBA and master’s programs in the UK capital, London, and many more affordable UK MBA programs outside London too.
But what are the best business schools in the UK? Here’s our selection of 15 top business schools in the UK based on their performance across MBA and Master in Management rankings.
Best UK Business Schools
Financial Times MBA rank: 96
Financial Times Master in Management (MiM) rank: 58
Nestled in the heart of the Lancashire countryside, Lancaster University Management School offers students a close-knit community and great value for money.
At just £33,000 ($47,000) for the full 12-month course, the MBA ranks ninth in the world for value for money by the Financial Times, and its alumni placed it first in the UK for how likely they would be to recommend it to a friend.
Economist MBA rank: 69
If you prefer a city campus, why not consider a degree in the UK’s second city? Birmingham Business School’s MBA offers students flexibility: on the MBA in International business, you can select from course lengths of 12, 21, or 24 months.
Whatever length you choose, your career prospects will be strong. The school boasts connections to top companies including IBM, Accenture, Deloitte, and HSBC, and MBAs are invited to complete a three-month work-based project after completing their degrees.
Economist MBA rank: 65
Located on England’s south coast, the Exeter MBA has a strong emphasis on responsible leadership, with students taking part in field trips focused on sustainability. In 2019, MBAs took part in a week-long module with the World Fair Trade Organization in Lima, Peru, and all MBAs take part in domestic trips to visit business partners across the country.
Economist MBA rank: 60
Financial Times MiM rank: 78
Cranfield University is the only university in the UK with its own airport, thanks to its history as an RAF base, and the business school’s student population is just as globetrotting.
After the Cranfield MBA, 63% of MBA students get a job in a new location, with 74% becoming employed in the UK after graduation—great news for international students looking to stay in the UK
Financial Times MBA rank: 74
Financial Times MiM rank: 63
Durham University is one of the UK’s oldest and most prestigious higher education institutions, so it’s no surprise that its programs feature prominently across world rankings.
The school offers a suite of Master’s in Management options, including focuses in entrepreneurship, finance, international business, and supply chain logistics.
If you’re looking for an MBA but want to retain this specialized focus, Durham may still be what you’re looking for: the MBA offers three specialist pathways, allowing students to focus their learning in entrepreneurship, consultancy, or tech.
Economist MBA rank: 61
Financial Times MiM rank: 68
Leeds is one of Northern England’s most bustling cities, and Leeds University Business School offers students a fast-paced learning environment. For MBAs, Live Challenge projects encourage them to apply their learning in a practical context, for instance the New Venture Challenge, in which students work in teams to create a new product or service proposition and develop a business plan.
Likewise, the MSc in Management from Leeds includes a Management in Practice module, to give early-career businesspeople an understanding of how their learning works in context.
Economist MBA rank: 59
The Scottish capital, Edinburgh, is one of the UK’s oldest cities, with beautiful architecture and a fascinating history to explore just a train ride away from the famous Scottish Highlands.
If this isn’t enough to convince you to study there, the Edinburgh MBA program’s career stats might. The school is particularly strong at placing students into jobs in IT, healthcare, and finance, with 21% of the class of 2018 going into the sector.
Economist MBA rank: 55
At just £25,000 ($35,000) for the one-year MBA program, the MBA at Nottingham University is a great-value option if you’re looking to study in the UK.
Students are likely to see this investment pay off in a big way: the average salary uplifts for graduates between 2015 and 2018 ranged from 40% to 64%, and the Economist ranked the school first in the UK for salary increase.
Financial Times MBA rank: 30
Financial Times MiM rank: 79
Manchester made its name as one of the UK’s key industrial hubs, and it is still a great place to learn about business both domestic and international.
MBAs from Alliance Manchester emerge from their degrees with three client consultancy projects under their belts, in addition to an optional internship or business simulation. They are also able to expand their learning globally: in addition to their central Manchester campus, Alliance Manchester Business School also have centers in Dubai, Hong Kong, Sao Paolo, Shanghai and Singapore.
Financial Times MBA rank: 61
Financial Times MiM rank: 43
Bayes Business School (formerly Cass) is part of City, University of London, and its campus is ideally-located if you’re itching to get experience in tech or entrepreneurship. As a student, you would take classes close to Old Street Station, otherwise known as ‘Silicon Roundabout’ for the number of tech startups that are clustered around it.
The school is also a great place to explore opportunities in finance. Bayes has a campus in the Dubai International Financial Centre, a leading global financial hub, and is the only global business school to have a research center dedicated to mergers and acquisitions.
Check out the top 5 business schools in the UK on page 2