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MBA and management education

Business and management students in Australia learn in an environment uniquely placed between eastern and western cultures and economies. They develop a cultural understanding that is quickly becoming an important element of business success in the era of globalisation.

What an MBA offers you

The Australian Master of Business Administration (MBA) is an internationally recognised degree that provides students with practical and theoretical knowledge of how people and processes work within the business world and in the wider community.

Australia’s universities offer around 90 internationally recognised MBA programs. Most courses are delivered over a period of one to two years of full-time study. However, most students taking Australian MBAs study part time, while they continue to work, and this can take several years (up to four years or longer in some cases).

As well as providing education benefits, the Australian MBA also offers worldwide networking opportunities, expanded personal skills and career enhancement.

An Australian MBA course will improve your skills by promoting your ability to work as an effective team member, to lead others, and to develop strong interpersonal relationships through increased self-confidence and communication, presentation and negotiation skills.

Basic subject areas of an MBA

The Australian MBA introduces students to the various business disciplines and prepares them for general management roles. In general, MBA and business schools in Australia have the following compulsory units of study:

  • accounting
  • finance
  • human resources management
  • marketing
  • leadership
  • global business
  • operations
  • organisational behaviour
  • data analysis / statistics
  • business policy / strategy
Specialisations within the MBA

There are many specialisations offered within the MBA, ranging from international management to Chinese language to health services management. Specialist programs allow students to focus on their professional area while learning the fundamentals of business and management. Check with your preferred university to see which specialisations are on offer. Some institutions also give students the option of studying an MBA in combination with another masters program.

Study modes

Australian MBAs are available through full-time and part-time study, distance education and mixed-mode, which involves a combination of external and on-campus study. Not every MBA provider will offer every study mode.

MBA workload

MBA programs typically have an extremely heavy workload due to the amount of subject matter covered and to simulate the demanding workload of a senior executive. The heavy workload is also designed to give students the opportunity to develop good time management skills, which will be essential during their careers.

Average tuition costs

$16,000–$50,000 for international students

Fees range widely due to differing course lengths and provider requirements so it’s important to check fees with individual providers.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements vary considerably. Institutions generally require a Bachelor Degree from a recognised tertiary institution, several years of management experience, plus good communication skills in written and spoken English. Most courses require an IELTS or TOEFL qualification if English is not your first language.

Business schools may also require personal references, evidence of career progression and a personal statement.

The Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) is an aptitude test for applicants to business schools. It is, however, not essential for most institutions and is generally used as an optional extra, or for people who do not meet other entry requirements.

Application dates

Application dates vary between Australian MBA providers. Some institutions offer two intakes a year, with programs generally starting in January and July; others offer a three-semester year with intakes usually in February, July and November. A few institutions also offer four intakes per year.

Alternatives to the MBA

The traditional MBA has given rise to a range of other programs. The ‘executive MBA’ (EMBA), for example, is typically a shorter, more intensive advancement course designed for senior managers who may lack the tertiary academic qualifications required for entry to other MBA programs. There are a number of other programs for managers, most at the Masters level, such as the Master of Management (MMgt) and the Master of Technology (MTech). Such courses are often aimed at people currently employed in or seeking careers in specific industries. Other courses such as the Master of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (MEI), are designed for people intending to start innovative new businesses or play a leading role in an innovative unit of an established organisation.

Beyond the MBA

Another development for professionals who have completed an MBA or equivalent is the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA). The DBA provides an opportunity to further advance knowledge and understanding in an area of interest, and is achieved through applied research and some coursework study.

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