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Business Administration

This triple-accredited MBA is a unique distance learning qualification that will build and develop your business skills. You'll be able to critically assess multiple perspectives and start applying your new understanding of management as you study. Designed for practising senior and middle-level managers, it will develop your strategic analysis, interdisciplinary skills, creativity and innovation. With an international emphasis and global reputation, our MBA programme is highly attractive for all ambitious executives.

"In terms of career impact, my OU MBA was a game changer… The OU MBA has helped me to become an entrepreneur with a global mindset and cross-cultural leadership abilities." – Ala Russu, MBA Graduate

Key features of the course
• Our triple-accredited status puts us in an elite group of business schools in the world

• Practice-based learning brings your MBA to life in your workplace

• Flexible options enable you to adjust the curriculum to suit your needs

• Strong international emphasis essential for developing leaders in a global marketplace

• Join an influential network of over 25,000 alumni in 100 countries when you graduate.

For more information about our MBA, join one of our upcoming web information sessions. These will give you a good overview of our MBA progamme and include an interactive session where you can ask any questions you may have.

The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:
• Knowledge and understanding
• Cognitive skills
• Practical and professional skills
• Key skills

On completion
On successful completion of the required modules you can be awarded a Master of Business Administration entitling you to use the letters MBA (Open) after your name. You will have the opportunity of being presented at a degree ceremony.

Recognition in your country
If you intend to use your Open University qualifications to seek work or undertake further study outside the UK, we recommend checking whether your intended qualification will meet local requirements for your chosen career. Read recognition in my country.

Credit transfer
If you've successfully completed some relevant postgraduate study elsewhere, you might be able to count it towards this qualification, reducing the number of modules you need to study. You should apply for credit transfer as soon as possible, before you register for your first module. For more details and an application form, visit our Credit Transfer website.

Entry requirements

You will need a minimum of three years' experience in a managerial, professional or technical role, so that you have a practical business base on which to build your MBA learning. Usually this means that you are at least 25 years old as it is unusual (but not impossible) to be able to satisfy the 'experience' requirement under this age.

Depending on your previous qualifications, there are a variety of routes into the MBA:

If you already hold an honours degree awarded by a recognised UK university, or equivalent you can begin your MBA studies by taking either the MBA stage 1: management: perspectives and practice (B716) or the fast-track version of this module (BXFT716).

Various higher education and professional qualifications are considered equivalent to an honours degree. Please contact us if you hold a qualification that you believe is an equivalent level to a UK degree, to ensure that it meets the requirements for admission.

If you are experienced in managerial work but do not have an honours degree or equivalent you need first to gain our Professional Certificate in Management (S01) (previously coded C31). This is also a valuable qualification in its own right.

If you have the equivalent of a UK bachelors degree without honours you may be permitted to progress on to the MBA course by taking the first part of the Professional Certificate in Management, Managing 1: organisations and people (B628). Alternatively if you have an official Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) score of 640 or above, and the equivalent of a UK undergraduate degree, you will be allowed to progress directly on to the MBA. If you think either of these possibilities may apply to you, please speak to an adviser.

Your spoken and written English must be of an adequate standard for postgraduate study. If English is not your first language, we recommend that you will need a minimum score of 6.5 under the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Please see their website for details.


2 - 7 years.

Most students study this qualification in three years by studying 60 credits a year. The minimum time to complete is two years, the maximum time to complete is seven years. You can complete within two years if you choose to study BXFT716 instead of B716. Please note this will require you to devote 20-25 hours a week to your studies.

Number of credits

180 credits

Careers or further progression

Career relevance
The Open University Business School is one of an elite group of schools that are accredited by the three leading international accrediting bodies - AACSB, AMBA, EQUIS - hallmarks of quality of teaching, learning materials and qualification impact. It is home to more than 25,000 successful MBA graduates in over 100 countries.

Employers value the MBA as an indication of high level business and management skills. These skills are in demand, increasingly so in times of economic uncertainty, and employers want practical experience, a thorough grasp of business, and the ability to lead at a strategic level. Much of the work in this qualification involves an evidenced-based approach, thus ensuring relevance in the workplace. AMBA's careers survey shows that MBA students can expect their salary to increase, and the MBA to have a positive impact on their career progression, as well as bring improvements to their organisation or business.

Endorsed by the NHS Leadership Academy (NLA)

The NLA has appointed the Open University Business School to deliver the NHS Masters in Business Administration (MBA) programme.

For more careers information
Careers and Employability Services have more information on how OU study can improve your employability.

Further enquiries

Tel: (01) 678 5399
Fax: (01) 678 5442

Subjects taught


The emphasis for your learning is directly rooted in management practice. The 'master' in the degree title signifies your 'mastery' of the art and science of management.

To achieve this level of capability the general MBA programme concentrates on strategic analysis, interdisciplinary skills, intellectual stimulation and independent judgement and covers core themes such as: critical engagement; embedding theory in practice and global impact awareness.

Core disciplines that you'll study include human resource management, organisational behaviour, accounting and finance, marketing and operations.

In total, 75 per cent of the programme consists of compulsory elements with 25 per cent comprising elective modules. This enables you to select the curriculum to suit your needs. MBA modules are challenging, but will always direct you towards improving your management capabilities.

The MBA qualification is in two stages. You must successfully complete Stage 1 before moving on to Stage 2.

Stage 1

Select one version of the following 60-credit module:

Compulsory module Credits
MBA stage 1: management: perspectives and practice (B716) 60
MBA stage 1: management: perspectives and practice (fast-track)* (BXFT716) 60 FINAL

*This version is for the accelerated study route and should only be selected if you intend to complete your MBA in two years. See How long it takes for more information.

Stage 2
45 credits from the following list:

Compulsory modules Credits
The dynamics of strategy (BB835) 30
Corporate finance (BB831) 15

Or the discontinued B831, B835 and a 45-credit examination towards Stage 2.

45 credits from the following list:

Optional modules Credits
Business, human rights law and corporate social responsibility (W822) 30
Entrepreneurship: experience and perspective (BB846) 15 Leadership and management in intercultural contexts (BB848) 15
Management beyond the mainstream (BB847) 15
Managing financial risk (BB841) 15
Managing in the digital economy (BXM871) 15
Marketing in the 21st century (BB844) 15
Strategic human resource management (BB845) 15
Supply chain management (BB849) 15
Sustainable creative management (BB842) 15

Or, subject to the rules about excluded combinations, the discontinued module T882.

A 30-credit compulsory module:

Compulsory module Credits
Making a difference: the management initiative (B839) 30

You should note that the University's unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 60 credits from OU modules that have not been counted in any other OU qualification that has previously been awarded to you.

We regularly review our curriculum; therefore, the qualification described on this page – including its availability, its structure, and available modules – may change over time.

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!