Your Questions Answered: Applying to MBA in UK

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Hi everyone,

If you're thinking of applying to an MBA in the UK and want some independent advice - post your questions or thoughts here.

A bit about me: 

I was an international student in the UK and graduated with a BA Hons (2003) and Masters w Distinction (2006).  I've worked in highered in a number of roles, all of whom related to advising international students on applying to university. 

In my last role I was Deputy Director of the International Office at at a highly-ranked London University.  

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What is the placement scenario of UK B-Schools,with respect to Indian Students?Details about Average CTC and Visa situation would help.

@helloMESHED  ·  0 karma

Hi there, that really depends on the school but here are some general pointers:

I am not familiar with any UK universities that take CTC.  Usually they take GMAT or GRE, but some don't ask for either.  However, every b-school sets its own entry requirements so some may accept CTC but I wouldn't expect these to be among the top programme.  

When choosing an MBA programme make sure it is accredited by at least one of the main accrediting bodies, such as AMBA, Equis or AACSB (although the last one is not very common in the UK).   Accredited programmes are quality assured and are a lot more rigorous in who they admit.    The average GMAT and academic grades will vary depending on the programme.  I've seen some programmes asking for as little as 570 in GMAT and GPA 3.0 out of 4.0, and some going up to 680 GMAT and 3.3 GPA.   However, generally speaking all top programs will pay a lot of attention to your work experience.  They will admit you with lower GPA and GMAT if they're convinced you have the right profile.

As for the student visa, you will get this once you have an unconditional offer from a recognised business school and you have accepted that offer firmly.   You just have to make sure you're applying to a b-school that is itself - or is part of a university that is - a Tier 4 Licenced Sponsor.  This means it can give you the necessary reference number for you to apply for your visa.   When you get your visa, this will be for the duration of your MBA + 4 months.  During this time you can look for a graduate job or set up as an entrepreneur.  If you're successful at either, you can apply to switch to a work visa.  Last year nearly 6,000 graduates switched successfully.  Not a huge number, but possible anyway.

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@bharatkoundinya  ·  0 karma

Thank you very much for your kind and detailed response.I shall take all of the above into consideration before applying to any UK/European B-School(A US B-School is my first choice).

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Many MBA applicants look at rankings when searching for a high quality MBA course with a good reputation.  But are MBA rankings reliable? And do they really matter? Decide for yourself by asking these 8 questions:  

1.  What Is Being Ranked? Is this an MBA ranking or b-school ranking list?   

2: What Is Being Measured?  Rankings don't use all the same criteria when ranking courses/b-schools.  What are the criteria they're using?  How useful are these to you?  

3. Methodology and Data? The methodology is often ignored by applicants but it's important you that you look at, not only what is being measured, but also how much weight is being given to each element, how the data is collected, and who is involved. 

4. Can Everyone Take Part?  B-schools and MBA courses participate in ranking lists by invitation.  And not everyone who's invited decides to take part.  So if you can't find a b-school or MBA course on a ranking list - don't simply assume they didn't make the rank. 

5.  Do Rankings Matter?  I wished I could say 'no', but in reality rankings can matter very much to some types of employers.  And of course they matter hugely to many applicants as well. So ranking can determine who else will be on the same course as you.  However, ranking alone will not tell you what type of experience you personally will have. 

6.  What Do the Numbers Mean?  Ok, so see one MBA course / b-school ranked 10th and one ranked 20th.  Is #10 really better than #20? In what sense?  Maybe, #10 is just more efficient as submitting the right data for the ranking exercise.  Importantly, what will the difference be for you in terms of choosing #10 over #20?  

7.  What Are the Ranking Trends?  How come an MBA or b-school ranks in top 5 in one table, but may not appear in the Top 10 or Top 20 in another?   Or, they're featured one year but drop off the list the next?  Consider: A dramatic change to the ranking position is almost impossible to be due to changes in the quality of the MBA course or the b-school's.  It's more likely to be due changes to the ranking methodology or criteria.

8. Is this a new B-schools or MBA Program?  It's easier for more established b-schools or MBA courses to meet the requirements of some ranking tables.  They'll meet criteria pertaining to the length time an MBA has been running, they will have alumni data - and they'll be more experienced at making their data submission for the ranking tables.  


When choosing your MBA course, do look at MBA rankings as they can matter.  However, treat them with some scepticism. Look behind the headlines, dig deeper into the methodology and criteria, look at year on year trends, read student and alumni profiles carefully - and above all, pick the option that makes most sense for you in terms of your objectives and future plans and aims. 

If you have found this advice helpful and want to find out more, read my complete post here:

I will also make sure to make a YouTube video on this soon, so feel free to subscribe to the channel. 

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