Can you briefly describe your MBA programme, its curriculum, teaching methods and faculty?

At Birmingham we offer a full time 12 month MBA programme, with pathways in International Business or Global Banking and Finance. Students can extend their study by another nine months or twelve months by completing a Diploma the year before their full time MBA study. We also offer a part time Executive MBA programme which is taught both in the UK and in Singapore, and an Online MBA.

  • As a research-led School, the latest thinking and techniques can be rapidly incorporated and teaching kept at the cutting edge
  • Classes and seminars supplement lectures, where fuller analysis and discussion takes place and important business skills, such as analysis, argument and synthesis, can be developed
  • Case studies are used as a means of relating theory to practical situations and students will often work in small groups with other students on assignments designed to develop problem solving and interpersonal skills
  • A series of industrial seminars, given by outside speakers from industry and commerce, provides contemporary ‘real world’ perspectives on the business environment – past visitors to the School have included Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England (and a former professor of the University of Birmingham) and Sir John Bond, Chairman of HSBC Holdings
  • A residential weekend business simulation requires you to manage a ‘company’ team in competition with others, against tight deadlines and with a range of rapidly changing data to assimilate and act upon
  • Cross-Cultural Management skills are developed in a variety of workshops and Issues in Global Competitiveness are the focus of a specialist series of seminars
  • Researching and writing a project develops skills in information gathering, analysis and report writing
  • A supporting programme of consultant delivered career-development workshops allow you to reflect on the impact of what you have learnt on your future career development

Why should prospective students choose to study a Full-time MBA, at your business school?

  • The Birmingham MBA is internationally acclaimed, with a placement of 97 in the Financial Times Global MBA rankings 2017 and 13th in the UK
  • Birmingham Business School, along with just a handful of the world’s business schools, holds the gold standard of ‘triple-crown’ accreditation from the AACSB, AMBA and EQUIS
  • £10m postgraduate teaching centre, which opened its doors in September 2016, is devoted to the teaching of postgraduate courses in the Business School and includes a Harvard style lecture theatre.
  • The Birmingham Business School is part of the University of Birmingham, a redbrick University and member of the Russell Group. It boasts a heritage and tradition of over a hundred years and was England’s first civic university. There are 30,000 students on campus and 5,000 international students from over 150 different countries, making our student body incredibly diverse.
  • Full-time MBA students have the opportunity to take part in four distinctive enterprise projects to enhance their understanding of UK and international business. Each project is designed around the consultancy process and they will be responding to a real company’s brief to provide meaningful and insightful recommendations. Projects are designed to help them develop more independently while responding to increasingly complex demands.

Who is the ideal candidate for your MBA programme?

We look for candidates with three to five years’ work experience with evidence of management, for example managing teams or projects, plus a good Honours degree or equivalent professional qualification. Alternatively, we do consider candidates without a degree but with extensive work experience, for example eight to ten years. 

How diverse and international are your MBA cohorts?

There are 49 students in our full-time MBA cohort this year, from twenty two different countries. Over 35% of the cohort is female, and our students come from a variety of sector backgrounds. 

What is your programme’s ROI?

Birmingham MBA students graduate from the course with the academic and professional skills needed to enhance their career development. For example, we have a strong track record of graduates entering the financial services industry on an international basis and recent employers of our MBAs include; Citibank, Barclays, Bank of Singapore, RBS, Deutsche Bank and Nomura, amongst others. A number of our alumni also join professional services firms globally.

In the Financial Times Global MBA rankings 2017, the Birmingham MBA is ranked 21st in the world for value for money. The same rankings show that the average Birmingham MBA alumni salary three years after graduation increased by 80%, and that 93% of the surveyed MBA cohort were in employment three months after graduation.

Some argue that two-year American MBA programmes have the added advantage of being more prone to internships compared to the European format. What is the European FT MBA programme’s unique advantage? 

On the Birmingham MBA, students which take the Diploma plus the MBA have the option of taking an internship during their Summer break. Also, there are four projects on our MBA programme giving students four unique opportunities to engage with business. Aside from these being clear advantages, the Birmingham MBA only lasts one year so students don’t have to take extended breaks from their careers to complete the programme, plus MBA cohorts in the UK and Europe attract students from all over the world leading to a more diverse student body and wider networking opportunities.

How does the curriculum adapt to the shifting world economy? How do big challenges like the Greek debt crisis, the soaring EU-Russian relations or indeed the refugee crisis affect doing business in the EU?

The modules of the Birmingham MBA engage with changes and challenges in the world economy from a variety of perspectives. For example, the ‘International Banking Regulation and Supervision’ module engages directly with the on-going challenges in how financial institutions should be supervised, ‘Ethical Finance and Sustainability’ considers ethical issues from investment and retail banking, while ‘Models of Capitalism and Financial Crises’ considers the Eurozone crisis and why different varieties of capitalism have experienced financial crisis to different degrees. ‘International Business’, ‘International Co-operative strategy’ and ‘ The International Business Environment’ consider cultural and political issues in cross-border business and management, the latter conducted in Budapest. ‘Infrastructure and Project Finance’ draws upon case studies of large infrastructure projects supported by the African Development Bank with wide-ranging socio-economic consequences for the region. ‘Ethics in Global Business’ considers the responsibilities of multinational companies operating in complex Global Value Chains in the production of food and clothing and ‘Business Communications’ examines how companies communicate to stakeholders at times of crisis. We also have a topical Distinguished Leaders seminar series in which prominent business, government and third sector leaders discuss important issues of the day.

Tell us about your alumni networks, how powerful are they? How do they benefit your graduates?

The MBA Alumni Team is dedicated to providing outstanding alumni relations support to benefit all MBA students and graduates. The team host bespoke events and offer a variety of volunteer opportunities, which encourage graduates from across the University to directly support our MBA students’ experience and career progression. Even as a prospective student, our MBA Alumni Ambassadors can offer advice on the MBA programme, Business School, University and all that the city of Birmingham has to offer.

Opportunities for students include:

  • Access to over 24,000 Business School Alumni worldwide and access to alumni from across the University
  • MBA Distinguished Leaders Series
  • Mentoring with knowledgeable alumni business leaders
  • Developing and supporting students to become MBA Alumni Ambassadors
  • Exposure to successful senior alumni who provide company projects, give advice and offer career opportunities

Distinguished Leaders Series MBA students have the opportunity to gain an insight into what makes a great leader through our Distinguished Leaders Series. The series has been a great success, with students finding speakers such as David Gill – who was Chief Executive of Manchester United at the time of his visit – and Mike Coupe, Chief Executive of Sainsbury’s, invaluable and inspiring. Outstanding students also have the opportunity to be part of a more intimate round-table discussion, to explore ideas and gain bespoke advice.

For graduates we offer:

  • Bespoke guest lectures and webinars
  • A bi-monthly e-newsletter
  • Online resources such as EBSCO business journals and reports and the Global Companies Intelligence database
  • Access to regional alumni groups and events around the world
  • An alumni contact service to reconnect with friends or make new contacts
  • Global networking and social events
  • Exciting volunteering opportunities
  • Annual reunion event at Coniston Water in the Lake District, UK
  • A range of alumni discounts, for example hotels and business services