MBA Open University Qualification
(only for residents of Russia and Ukraine)
This internationally-recognised MBA course is designed for practising managers aspiring to higher positions. 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 programme concentrates on strategic analysis, interdisciplinary skills, intellectual stimulation and independent judgement and builds these upon a solid foundation of core disciplines, including human resource management, organisational behaviour, accounting and finance, marketing and operations.
The MBA course is designed as an integrated programme, and balances your learning time between 75% of compulsory elements (including the final organisation-based project) with 25% from optional modules. This enables you to adjust the curriculum to suit your needs. MBA modules are challenging but will always direct you towards improving your management capabilities. You will need to have some experiential knowledge at a managerial level and/or of decision-making, so that you have a practical business base on which to build your MBA learning.
You will learn to analyse, synthesise and evaluate a wide range of situations within the broad framework of organisations, their external context and internal management. Among these you will look at economic, environmental, social and technological change issues, corporate governance, markets and customers, managing resources and operations, financing organisations, management and development of people, developing information technologies for application in business and management within a global knowledge-based economy, and development of appropriate business policies and strategies within a changing context to meet stakeholder interests.
The Open University Business School is accredited internationally by the European Foundation for Management Development, through its EQUIS programme; by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB); and the MBA is accredited by the Association of MBAs (AMBA). There are only about 50 business schools worldwide that have achieved all three accreditations.
Career relevance and employability
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. 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.
There is more information about how OU study can improve your employability in the OU’s Employability Statement from our Careers Advisory Service. You can also read or download our publication OU study and your career and look at our subject pages to find out about career opportunities.
All entrants to the MBA are required to have a minimum of three years’ experience in a managerial, professional or technical role. 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 two routes into the MBA:
1. If you already hold an honours degree awarded by a recognised UK university, or equivalent you can begin your MBA studies by taking MBA stage 1: management: perspectives and practice (B716).
Various higher education and professional qualifications are considered equivalent to an honours degree. If you hold a qualification that you believe is an equivalent level to a UK honours degree please contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service. The Open University Business School Masters Programme Committee is responsible for judging whether applicants’ qualifications meet the requirements for admission.
2. 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 (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 contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service.
You will also need an appropriate facility in English language, sufficient to be able to work effectively at postgraduate level; generally this means capability equivalent to an International English Language Test System (IELTS) score of 6.5. If you are unsure whether your skill level in English is adequate for study at postgraduate level please see details of our module English communication skills for global managers (preMBA) (LB720), which is designed to help if your English skills are not quite up to the recommended level.
The MBA qualification is in two stages and typically takes three years to complete based on a regular study of 12-15 hours per week, which experience shows us is the practical limit for a full-time manager balancing study with career and family responsibilities. If you have more time to devote to your learning (perhaps you are working part-time, given time by your organisation, or even taking a career break to study full-time), then it is possible to finish the MBA in less than three years. You are allowed up to a maximum of seven years to complete your MBA.
The MBA is an integrated programme with later modules building on earlier ones. After Stage 1 (the first 600 hours/60 credits) you can vary the pace at which you progress through Stage 2.
To achieve an MBA you must successfully complete at least 1800 study hours and gain 180 credits. Through studying the modules you will accumulate study hours and gain the credits through passing the examinations (or equivalent). These two requirements are separated because sometimes an examination covers more than one module.
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