MBA (Master of Business Administration) MBA

Student using tablet

The Glasgow MBA will empower you with the skills and tools needed to become a successful manager. An investment in your future, our MBA matches an ancient tradition of academic excellence with exposure to contemporary business practice.

Key facts

Why this programme

  • This programme will help you to think critically. You will begin to question what you already know, stripping away preconceived ideas to develop better approaches to life and to business.
  • You will benefit from the experience of world-class teaching. Our academics are invited to consult and research with organisations around the world, giving them first-hand insight into how organisations work.
  • Teaching on the Glasgow MBA is at the cutting edge of business knowledge.
  • The Glasgow MBA, which was founded in 1976, is AMBA accredited, and the School is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International).

Programme structure

The MBA is structured to enhance your personal and academic development.

The programme includes orientation and induction sessions ahead of the core courses to address your individual needs as you set out on the MBA programme.

The core courses are followed by specialist optional courses, allowing you to focus on the areas of learning that are most suited to your future career path. You will have the opportunity to follow one of three specialist tracks in Finance, Strategy or Marketing.

The programme finishes by offering you the considerable practical benefits of a consultancy project, as well as the in-depth and applied analysis of a dissertation.

In addition, a range of social, networking and guest speaker events run throughout the year to enhance your learning experience and to help you get the most out of your MBA.

An important part of the MBA is the team consulting project: an opportunity for you to put the theories you’ve learned during the programme into action.

Core courses

1. Decision making under uncertainty

This course will introduce you to the intellectual perspectives and methods that underpin the practice of making decisions essential for business management. In this course you will explore the many different disciplinary and methodological traditions that should inform effective analyses of the business world. You will also learn how informed thinking and analysis will assist you in making decisions and delivering better business outcomes.

2. Business strategic management

This course integrates all key business disciplines with courses such as dynamic strategic management, developing leadership skills with people and resources, strategic marketing, financial analysis and decision-making, and global economics. You will develop the skills expected of senior managers and be capable of developing a career in any leading organisation.

3. Strategic foresight

You will be presented with first-hand experience of business leaders, many of them our alumni, of how to face an uncertain future. This course includes guest lectures from successful organisations that will introduce you to key issues in business, including:

  • Is globalisation playing out as expected?
  • What degree of control do managers really have over their organisations and their people?
  • To what extent are innovation and diversity really present in contemporary organisations?
  • How is technology and innovation changing the shape and scope of organisations?
  • How should managers react to a more uncertain world?

Previous speakers include Tom Purves, former CEO of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars; Brian McBride, former Managing Director of Amazon UK and current Chairman of ASOS; Kate Armstrong, founder of and Admiral; and Mike Reid, Chairman and founder of Care Vision.

  • Political contexts (geopolitics, corporate responsibility, scenario planning)
  • Economic contexts (regulation and international markets, risk management, social and environmental accounting)
  • Social contexts (the importance of place, personal and corporate ethics, cross-cultural management)
  • Technological contexts (innovation, ICT and global communications)
  • Environmental contexts (climate change, energy)
  • Legal contexts (changing roles of the state, citizen and consumer rights).

Optional courses

Following the core courses, you have the choice of five optional courses. These will give you the choice to follow three specialist tracks: Finance, Strategy or Marketing. The courses on offer vary each year and are taught by a range of leading academics and practitioners, based on their research or personal experience of the corporate world. Previous courses have included:

  • Business scenarios for consulting
  • Business to business relationship management
  • Company and market failure
  • Corporate image, branding & communication
  • Credibility & networks - Selling yourself and your organisation
  • Entrepreneurial finance
  • International financial analysis
  • International strategy for multinational enterprise
  • Project leadership & control
  • The role of technology in innovative organisations
  • Strategic human resource management
  • Supply and logistics management.

Personal and career development

This element runs in parallel to the rest of the programme, beginning immediately after Leadership Foundations. It is made up of five interconnected components: mentorship in leadership and employability; personal development planning; research techniques training and the primary research project of the dissertation. In this course you will undertake a group project to test the skills and techniques you have accumulated through the programme.


The Adam Smith Business School is one of an elite group of less than 1% of the world’s business schools that hold triple accreditation. The School is accredited by AACSB and EQUIS, with the MBA programme also accredited by AMBA. Triple accreditation is an internationally recognised benchmark that validates the credibility and performance of the Adam Smith Business School.

AMBA logo

The Adam Smith Business School has been a long-standing accredited member of AMBA. Students and graduates from accredited programmes can join AMBA's unique world-wide contact network and take advantage of a full range of benefits and services, as well as gaining access to high profile business and academic speakers at events.

AACSB logo

The AACSB Accreditation Process includes rigorous self-evaluation and peer-review elements. The Adam Smith Business School meets all of AACSB’s Accreditation Standards and was first awarded the accreditation in 2007.

Equis logo

EQUIS accreditation is one of the most important benchmarks available to business schools worldwide. Institutions that are accredited by EQUIS must demonstrate not only excellence in teaching, the student experience, research and outreach, but also a high degree of internationalisation and interaction with the corporate world.

What our students say

Amal Abu Aisha (Palestine), 2012-13

'My teachers in Palestine recommended the Adam Smith Business School as a great place to learn. I was offered a scholarship from Hani Qaddumi Scholarship Foundation and at that time I had four unconditional and two conditional offers from Universities around the UK; however, I decided that the University of Glasgow was the best choice.The Glasgow MBA teaches all the subjects you would need as a manager: Strategy, Human Resources, Economics, Finance and Marketing. It also allows you to choose the electives that are most suitable and relevant to your future expectations. I've developed my analytical and critical thinking skills. The learning approach is very distinguished at as it combines both theoretical and practical competencies of the students to prepare them to be effective leaders. In addition, my English skills have improved greatly as have my academic writing skills.

The University of Glasgow has a real multicultural community and in my class we have students from Scotland, Japan, Azerbaijan, Russia, USA, India and Pakistan. Communicating with people from different parts of the world and from different cultures has helped make friendships and build bridges of peace and respect among nations all over the world.  I enjoyed the multicultural community that the University of Glasgow and Glasgow as a city has to offer. We share our experiences and learn from each other. There are also different age groups in my class and I enjoy gaining perspectives from my older and younger classmates. After completing my MBA I would like to work for an international organisation, in development field that will be instrumental in the move from relying on international aid to redeveloping our economy and industry.'

Student testimonial by Jonathan David Hegan 

Student testimonial by Surinder Sharma 

Student testimonial by Zhang Lei

Industry links and employability

Graduates of the Glasgow MBA will benefit from the programmes strong emphasis on real world business issues and sustainable futures. This emphasis can be seen in a range of features found on the Glasgow MBA:

Consultancy week

An important part of the Glasgow MBA is the Consultancy Week - an opportunity for you to put the theories you’ve learned during the programme into action.

During Consultancy Week projects, you will complete a project for a real company - answering a company’s business problem.

We know that career prospects and the development of transferable skills are important factors in choosing your MBA, particularly in the current economic climate. That’s why we have developed Consultancy Week. Whether you want to change fields, advance in your current role, or move into consultancy, the Consultancy Week projects help you cut your teeth in new areas while providing tangible benefits to local organisations.

Previous participating organisations include Grant Thornton, Amazon, BAE Systems, Lynnet Leisure Group, McGhees Bakeries, as well as small to medium size enterprises and charitable organisations. Projects have involved creating business plans, reviewing training provisions, conducting market analyses, looking for ways to improve productivity, improving customer relationship management activities, operational project planning, producing a distribution analysis and resource management.

Strategic Foresight

Strategic Foresight is a course within the MBA programme that will help you identify and understand the key challenges that organisations face as they seek to develop sustainably in a fast changing world.

You will be introduced to a range of intellectual and disciplinary perspectives from across the social sciences and disciplines such as engineering, environmental science and medicine.

This course includes guest lecturers from successful organisations that will seek to answer key questions such as:

  • Is globalisation playing out as expected?
  • What degree of control do managers really have over their organisations and their people?
  • To what extent are innovation and diversity really present in contemporary organisations?
  • How is technology and innovation changing the shape and scope of organisations?
  • How should managers react to a more uncertain world?

Previous speakers include Tom Purves, former CEO of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars; Brian McBride, Managing Director of Amazon UK; Kate Armstrong, founder of; Jacqueline Redmond, Vice President of Natural Gas Exploration Projects, Royal Dutch Shell and Sue Kershaw, Executive Head of Programme and Contract Delivery, Olympic Development Authority.

Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Visas

This year for the first time the University of Glasgow has been allocated 10 general endorsements and 10 MBA endorsements to allow students to apply for the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visas.

These visas allow non-EEA graduates to stay in the UK for at least one year (it can be extended up to two years) to develop their business ideas with a view to turning them into legitimate start-up businesses. Students must have a genuine and credible business idea and should work closely with iGnite (the student enterprise programme) to develop the proposal and formulate a business plan. This will then be assessed and considered by an experienced panel before the student can apply for the visa. Once the visa has been approved by UKBA, the student must agree to a monitoring programme which is designed to help them develop and grow the business.

For more information contact the Careers Service and iGnite ( or visit the UKBA website.

Guest speakers and events

A range of social, networking, and guest speaker events that run through-out the year will allow you to enhance your learning experience, and help you get the most out of your time at Glasgow

Based on the feedback we get from our students and alumni, we know that Glasgow experience is challenging, rewarding, and makes a lasting impact on their lives and careers. Our alumni tell us that they make connections that last beyond the 12 to 24 months spent at the University. Current students tell us that the mix of nationalities and backgrounds make for a rich, enjoyable learning experience. And the vibrant, friendly city of Glasgow always makes a good impression.

The University and the Adam Smith Business School offer a range of social and team building activities throughout the year, helping participants build up a store of memories, experiences and skills that last a lifetime.

Recent events include participation in the Cranfield Regatta, and a class trip to picturesque Kirknewton, where participants competed in team building challenges, as well as outdoor activities including archery, quad bikes, clay pigeon shooting and higihland games.

Social events include a tour of the Glengoyne Distillery, a barbecue at 18th century manor Gartmore House, outdoor activities at Go Country adventure park, a Burns Night event, ceilidhs, and international celebrations such as Chinese New Year and Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights.

The Adam Smith Business School also offers regular guest speaker evenings, allowing participants the opportunity to learn from successful practitioners, as well as network with local professionals and alumni.

International summer schools

Intensive international advanced management schools, open to Glasgow MBA participants, offer you an opportunity to work for two weeks with managers from other MBA programmes and from other countries.

In addition to gaining elective credits towards your Glasgow MBA, you will get all the benefits of concentrated study, the exposure to other cultures, experience of working on projects with people from other countries and disciplines, and receiving authoritative updates on European and Asian developments.

There is one summer school currently available - ESSAM in Queen Elizabeth Park, London  - organised by a consortium of international business schools. 

Entry requirements

for entry in 2016

Normally a 2.1 Honours degree or non-UK equivalent (eg, a GPA of 3.0 or above) in any subject and a minimum of 3 years managerial work experience. 

English language requirements

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)

  • overall score 6.5
  • no sub-test less than 6.0
  • or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification (see below)

Common equivalent English language qualifications

All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:

  • ibTOEFL: 92; no sub-test less than 20
  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English):  176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • PTE Academic (Person Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII at Distinction with Distinction in all sub-tests

For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use these tests to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level programmes. The University is also able to accept an IELTS test (Academic module) from any of the 1000 IELTS test centres from around the world and we do not require a specific UKVI IELTS test for degree level programmes. We therefore still accept any of the English tests listed for admission to this programme.

Pre-sessional courses

The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:


What do I do if...

my language qualifications are below the requirements?

The University's English for Academic Study Unit offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.

my language qualifications are not listed here?

Please contact the Recruitment and International Office:


For further information about English language requirements, please contact the Recruitment and International Office:

Fees and funding

Tuition fees for 2016-17


Home and EU
Full time fee£15500
Full time fee£22950

Fees are subject to change and for guidance only

Funding opportunities

Career prospects

The MBA includes the real-life team consulting project, which will help you to develop transferrable skills and real world training during your degree. Whether you want to change fields, advance in your current role, or move into consultancy, the consulting project will help you cut your teeth in new areas while providing tangible benefits to local organisations.

How to apply

We ask that you apply online for a postgraduate taught degree. Our system allows you to fill out the standard application form online and submit this to the University within 42 days of starting your application.

You need to read the guide to applying online before starting your application. It will ensure you are ready to proceed, as well as answer many common questions about the process.

Guide to applying online

Do I have to apply online for a postgraduate taught degree?

Yes. To apply for a postgraduate taught degree you must apply online. We are unable to accept your application by any other means than online.

Do I need to complete and submit the application in a single session?

No. You have 42 days to submit your application once you begin the process. You may save and return to your application as many times as you wish to update information, complete sections or upload additional documents such as your final transcript or your language test.

What documents do I need to provide to make an application?

As well as completing your online application fully, it is essential that you submit the following documents:

  • A copy (or copies) of your official degree certificate(s) (if you have already completed your degree)
  • A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained
  • Official English translations of the certificate(s) and transcript(s)
  • Two supporting reference letters on headed paper
  • Evidence of your English Language ability (if your first language is not English)
  • Any additional documents required for this programme (see Entry requirements for this programme)
  • A copy of the photo page of your passport (Non-EU students only)

If you do not have all of these documents at the time of submitting your application then it is still possible to make an application and provide any further documents at a later date, as long as you include a full current transcript (and an English translation if required) with your application. See the ‘Your References, Transcripts and English Qualification’ sections of our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

Do my supporting documents need to be submitted online?

Yes, where possible, please upload the supporting documents with your application.

How do I provide my references?

You must either upload the required references to your online application or ask your referees to send the references to the University as we do not contact referees directly. There is two main ways that you can provide references: you can either upload references on headed paper when you are making an application using the Online Application (or through Applicant Self-Service after you have submitted your application) or you can ask your referee to email the reference directly to See the 'Your References, Transcripts and English Qualifications' section of the Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

What if I am unable to submit all of my supporting documents online?

If you cannot upload an electronic copy of a document and need to send it in by post, please attach a cover sheet to it that includes your name, the programme you are applying for, and your application reference number.

You may send them to:

Recruitment & International Office
71 Southpark Avenue
G12 8QQ
Fax: +44 141 330 4045

Can I email my supporting documents?

No. We cannot accept email submissions of your supporting documents.

What entry requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?

You should check that you have met (or are likely to have met prior to the start of the programme) the individual entry requirements for the degree programme you are applying for. This information can be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab on each individual programme page, such as the one you are viewing now.

What English Language requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?

If you are an international student, you should also check that you have met the English Language requirements specific to the programme you are applying for. These can also be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab for each specific programme.

Further Information

Please see the Frequently Asked Questions for more information on applying to a postgraduate taught programme.

Guidance notes for using the online application

These notes are intended to help you complete the online application form accurately, they are also available within the help section of the online application form. If you experience any difficulties accessing the online application then you should visit the Application Troubleshooting/FAQs page.

  • Name and Date of birth: must appear exactly as they do on your passport. Please take time to check the spelling and lay-out.
  • Contact Details: Correspondence address. All contact relevant to your application will be sent to this address including the offer letter(s). If your address changes, please contact us as soon as possible.
  • Choice of course: Please select carefully the course you want to study. As your application will be sent to the admissions committee for each course you select it is important to consider at this stage why you are interested in the course and that it is reflected in your application.
  • Proposed date of entry: Please state your preferred start date including the month and the year. Taught masters degrees tend to begin in September. Research degrees may start in any month.
  • Education and Qualifications: Please complete this section as fully as possible indicating any relevant Higher Education qualifications starting with the most recent. Complete the name of the Institution (s) as it appears on the degree certificate or transcript.
  • English Language Proficiency: Please state the date of any English language test taken (or to be taken) and the award date (or expected award date if known).
  • Employment and Experience: Please complete this section as fully as possible with all employments relevant to your course. Additional details may be attached in your personal statement/proposal where appropriate.
  • References: Please provide the names and contact details of two academic references. Where applicable one of these references may be from your current employer. References should be completed on letter headed paper and uploaded on to your application.

Standard application deadlines

  • International applications (non-EU): 22 July 2016 
  • UK and EU applications: 26 August 2016

Classes start September 2016 and you may be expected to attend induction sessions the week before.

Apply now