UK MBA - Distance Learning


Hans

Hi all,

I am about to pursue a DL MBA (only option, as due to work restrictions I cannot go for the FT) and I finally concluded in my list of schools from which I have received a positive reply. So, I am accepted to the following:

1) Aston Business School: The cost will be around £19,000.
2) Durham Business School: Here with the new price (the extremely increased one) will be around £19,000, as well.
3) Bradford School of Management: Due to many reasons I got a big discount and from the initial price of £13,500, I will get it for just £9,500.

All schools are triple-accredited and feature on the FT rankings. Just a small hint: from Bradford I get this big discount (being an alumnus and three courses recognised), so the fees go down a lot.

What would you suggest? In what rank would you place these schools in terms of reputation, quality and value for money? What would be the best pick and the best outcome-added value? And anyway, will any of these be a good choice for pursuing the MBA?

Also, there is another issue. I am a Bradford alumnus (from the School of Management). Would that be an issue when choosing the school for the MBA? I mean, would that be a disadvantage of having both degrees from the same b-school or would it be better to differentiate or doesn't matter at all?

Thanks a lot in advance!

Hi all,

I am about to pursue a DL MBA (only option, as due to work restrictions I cannot go for the FT) and I finally concluded in my list of schools from which I have received a positive reply. So, I am accepted to the following:

1) Aston Business School: The cost will be around £19,000.
2) Durham Business School: Here with the new price (the extremely increased one) will be around £19,000, as well.
3) Bradford School of Management: Due to many reasons I got a big discount and from the initial price of £13,500, I will get it for just £9,500.

All schools are triple-accredited and feature on the FT rankings. Just a small hint: from Bradford I get this big discount (being an alumnus and three courses recognised), so the fees go down a lot.

What would you suggest? In what rank would you place these schools in terms of reputation, quality and value for money? What would be the best pick and the best outcome-added value? And anyway, will any of these be a good choice for pursuing the MBA?

Also, there is another issue. I am a Bradford alumnus (from the School of Management). Would that be an issue when choosing the school for the MBA? I mean, would that be a disadvantage of having both degrees from the same b-school or would it be better to differentiate or doesn't matter at all?

Thanks a lot in advance!
quote
Duncan

What are your goals? Why are you not considering part-time or executive MBAs instead?

What are your goals? Why are you not considering part-time or executive MBAs instead?
quote
Hans

Hi Duncan,

Well, for a Part-Time or an Executive MBA, I have to spend time on campus, which is rather impossible for me, as long as I am not UK based. For a UK b-school where that would be a possibility would be Henley in Helsinki but when I spoke to them about the schedule and so on, I realised that attending their sessions would be rather impossible for me due to my work schedule, etc.

As for my goals, I am currently in the IT/Telecommunications sector and in the future I would either continue or maybe switch into consulting or marketing roles (maybe finance if something really interesting pops up).

As for the location, nowadays I am in the North of Europe working for and moving between Scandinavia and the Baltics, but later on I might move around but always in Europe.

Thanks in advance!

Hi Duncan,

Well, for a Part-Time or an Executive MBA, I have to spend time on campus, which is rather impossible for me, as long as I am not UK based. For a UK b-school where that would be a possibility would be Henley in Helsinki but when I spoke to them about the schedule and so on, I realised that attending their sessions would be rather impossible for me due to my work schedule, etc.

As for my goals, I am currently in the IT/Telecommunications sector and in the future I would either continue or maybe switch into consulting or marketing roles (maybe finance if something really interesting pops up).

As for the location, nowadays I am in the North of Europe working for and moving between Scandinavia and the Baltics, but later on I might move around but always in Europe.

Thanks in advance!
quote
Hans

By the way, I also checked from LinkedIn the MBA alumni base in the nearby countries but also in main countries in Europe (like Netherlands, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, etc.) and seems that between these three schools, Bradford has the most extensive graduate MBA base (including also the NIMBAS/Bradford MBAs) in all countries except the UK, where was second after Durham. In all the rest, the rank was Bradford, Durham, Aston. I don't know if that says much about quality and reputation though or if it is reliable.

By the way, I also checked from LinkedIn the MBA alumni base in the nearby countries but also in main countries in Europe (like Netherlands, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, etc.) and seems that between these three schools, Bradford has the most extensive graduate MBA base (including also the NIMBAS/Bradford MBAs) in all countries except the UK, where was second after Durham. In all the rest, the rank was Bradford, Durham, Aston. I don't know if that says much about quality and reputation though or if it is reliable.
quote
Duncan

So consulting, marketing or finance? That doesn't sound too specific.

So consulting, marketing or finance? That doesn't sound too specific.
quote
Hans

Well, I work in IT/Telecommunications, so this is always of my concern of the reputation of each MBA in this field but if I switch, my preference would be consulting (mainly in marketing or management) or a marketing role, as this is also my background of my first degree in Bradford. So, what do you think of my concerns? Are these schools reputable at an MBA level and in what rank would you place them? What do you think also about the fees (since Bradford with the discount has almost half the fees of the other two)? And finally is there any problem of having a first degree and an MBA from the same school or would be better to go for another?

Thanks!

Well, I work in IT/Telecommunications, so this is always of my concern of the reputation of each MBA in this field but if I switch, my preference would be consulting (mainly in marketing or management) or a marketing role, as this is also my background of my first degree in Bradford. So, what do you think of my concerns? Are these schools reputable at an MBA level and in what rank would you place them? What do you think also about the fees (since Bradford with the discount has almost half the fees of the other two)? And finally is there any problem of having a first degree and an MBA from the same school or would be better to go for another?

Thanks!
quote
Duncan

The main reputational issue is with distance learning, rather than schools. These are all pretty easy schools to get into. Aston probably has the best international network, and generally has the better programme (http://media.economist.com/media/WMBA/WMBA_Special_2010.pdf). Durham's programme is generally rated as being rather academic.

Given these options, I would certainly look carefully at your goals. If you want to work for a multinational firm that I might have heard of, then Warwick, Manchester and Henley are the schools to look at. If you want to make smaller changes or stick with regional players, Aston is the best -- but Bradford will be fine.

Clearly a second alumni network will be great. Do you get anything from the Bradford network?

The main reputational issue is with distance learning, rather than schools. These are all pretty easy schools to get into. Aston probably has the best international network, and generally has the better programme (http://media.economist.com/media/WMBA/WMBA_Special_2010.pdf). Durham's programme is generally rated as being rather academic.

Given these options, I would certainly look carefully at your goals. If you want to work for a multinational firm that I might have heard of, then Warwick, Manchester and Henley are the schools to look at. If you want to make smaller changes or stick with regional players, Aston is the best -- but Bradford will be fine.

Clearly a second alumni network will be great. Do you get anything from the Bradford network?
quote
Hans

Hi Duncan,

As regards the alumni base, here in the North between the people I know, most have local degrees like from SSE, CBS, Aalto, Lund etc. but from the ones having a UK one I think the most common is Henley due to the Helsinki campus. However, between the three schools I mentioned before, at least in my sector that I know of (IT/Telecom) I can say that Bradford has a decent base here in the region, maybe bigger than Henley (?) but certainly bigger than the other two, as I know people in this industry who are Bradford graduates from Sweden, Norway and Finland, while very few from Durham and almost zero from Aston. But I guess this is this specific industry and just my experience, maybe is far different elsewhere but in Sweden and Baltics that I have worked, it was more or less like that. In the past I have been working in Barcelona, as well and I can say that I had met some people from Bradford there, as well (maybe due to the EADA co-operation?) but none from Aston/Durham, I have no clue about Henley. So, based on the fact that at least in my sector I know about a decent base from Bradford, while a rather weak from the rest two, I was more into it. Another major factor was the big discount since I thought that for more or less the same quality MBA, I could get it for half of the price, so what to pay the double for the same and not invest the rest of the money elsewhere (maybe some executive courses or trainings at Aalto or SSE?).. What do you think of that?

My main concern was having a Bradford background and the MBA from the same school might look weird or 'bad' on the CV and would be rather better to have a different one?

The other issue is and this is why I am asking you as I guess you know better, would be the reputation of these schools in the other sectors that I am interested in (management/strategy consulting or marketing roles), as I have no idea about how these schools are considered in these sectors.. How would you rank them and what would be your suggestion as of these? If I understood correctly, you leave out Durham, right? And in general, which of these names sound better, I mean with which school you are 'safer' with regards its reputation and quality? I have heard some controversial opinions about Aston, while for Durham the same as you said, being too theoretical.. As for Bradford, I am not sure about how the name stands taking into consideration how its reputation is affected due to the university itself, which I guess is rather mediocre compared to the other two, or not..??

Thanks a lot!

Hi Duncan,

As regards the alumni base, here in the North between the people I know, most have local degrees like from SSE, CBS, Aalto, Lund etc. but from the ones having a UK one I think the most common is Henley due to the Helsinki campus. However, between the three schools I mentioned before, at least in my sector that I know of (IT/Telecom) I can say that Bradford has a decent base here in the region, maybe bigger than Henley (?) but certainly bigger than the other two, as I know people in this industry who are Bradford graduates from Sweden, Norway and Finland, while very few from Durham and almost zero from Aston. But I guess this is this specific industry and just my experience, maybe is far different elsewhere but in Sweden and Baltics that I have worked, it was more or less like that. In the past I have been working in Barcelona, as well and I can say that I had met some people from Bradford there, as well (maybe due to the EADA co-operation?) but none from Aston/Durham, I have no clue about Henley. So, based on the fact that at least in my sector I know about a decent base from Bradford, while a rather weak from the rest two, I was more into it. Another major factor was the big discount since I thought that for more or less the same quality MBA, I could get it for half of the price, so what to pay the double for the same and not invest the rest of the money elsewhere (maybe some executive courses or trainings at Aalto or SSE?).. What do you think of that?

My main concern was having a Bradford background and the MBA from the same school might look weird or 'bad' on the CV and would be rather better to have a different one?

The other issue is and this is why I am asking you as I guess you know better, would be the reputation of these schools in the other sectors that I am interested in (management/strategy consulting or marketing roles), as I have no idea about how these schools are considered in these sectors.. How would you rank them and what would be your suggestion as of these? If I understood correctly, you leave out Durham, right? And in general, which of these names sound better, I mean with which school you are 'safer' with regards its reputation and quality? I have heard some controversial opinions about Aston, while for Durham the same as you said, being too theoretical.. As for Bradford, I am not sure about how the name stands taking into consideration how its reputation is affected due to the university itself, which I guess is rather mediocre compared to the other two, or not..??

Thanks a lot!
quote
Hans

What do you think of the future of these schools in terms of future standings in the FT and their reputation? I have noticed some sharp drops from Durham, while Aston has its ups and down but Bradford seems to hold for now (at least in the Masters it went up quite much).. I am waiting for the new MBA rankings, so let's see.. But what is your opinion?

What do you think of the future of these schools in terms of future standings in the FT and their reputation? I have noticed some sharp drops from Durham, while Aston has its ups and down but Bradford seems to hold for now (at least in the Masters it went up quite much).. I am waiting for the new MBA rankings, so let's see.. But what is your opinion?
quote
Duncan

LinkedIn will really give you great, concrete insight into these school.

The complication is that these are three very similar brands in standing for their full-time MBAs, all of them struggle to keep up with the leaders and over the long term they will struggle to keep up. Bradford is clearly the leader in terms of past performance, and much of that was because of the old deal with NIMBAS. I think that Bradford and other schools which have relied on Indian students for their full-time programme have a challenging time ahead.

In the EMBA market, Warwick and Henley are clearly much stronger brands.

The FT's European Business School rankings come out in a few weeks and I would keep an eye out for them.

To be clear, if I was in your position I would be having discussions with my managers to allow me to take a part-time MBA at one of the local schools you mention. They will see that as a retention tool, while a UK DL MBA will set you (in their eyes) on a different trajectory. If they don't agree, then Henley is the no-brainer. Look again on LinkedIn and you will see it has far more MBA alumni in the Nordic markets than Bradford or Aston and, because of the EMBA model, they are better alumni.

As before, I think you need to really plan our your goals and career direction more powerfully.

LinkedIn will really give you great, concrete insight into these school.

The complication is that these are three very similar brands in standing for their full-time MBAs, all of them struggle to keep up with the leaders and over the long term they will struggle to keep up. Bradford is clearly the leader in terms of past performance, and much of that was because of the old deal with NIMBAS. I think that Bradford and other schools which have relied on Indian students for their full-time programme have a challenging time ahead.

In the EMBA market, Warwick and Henley are clearly much stronger brands.

The FT's European Business School rankings come out in a few weeks and I would keep an eye out for them.

To be clear, if I was in your position I would be having discussions with my managers to allow me to take a part-time MBA at one of the local schools you mention. They will see that as a retention tool, while a UK DL MBA will set you (in their eyes) on a different trajectory. If they don't agree, then Henley is the no-brainer. Look again on LinkedIn and you will see it has far more MBA alumni in the Nordic markets than Bradford or Aston and, because of the EMBA model, they are better alumni.

As before, I think you need to really plan our your goals and career direction more powerfully.
quote
Hans

Thanks a lot Duncan for the information!

Well, the issue is that due to my workload (as lately got extra roles and more responsibilities) is totally impossible to be away from work during the week. Local schools do not provide afternoon classes on their FT MBAs or if they do, they also have morning ones, which definitely I cannot attend. As for Henley, indeed it has by far the biggest alumni base compared to the rest three but the issue is that I have to attend quite many times and also I have to skip Friday or maybe some Mondays off work, as I told you I had an extensive talk with them and saw that in the first sight looked more feasible but after talking to them, seemed almost impossible and this is a really big issue for me, as I don't want to take up something that I won't have the time later on either to perform or attend.

So, it leaves me the options of these three schools. The thing is that I work for a big multinational and when I spoke with my manager, actually he encouraged me to go 'more global' and go for a UK MBA degree rather than a local one, as the company first of all is global, so I might be working at any place in the future and secondly, at least now it's full of graduates with local degrees, so they were pretty interested in something 'different', if you know what I mean, like a different perspective or approach on things and a kid of differentiation. And to be honest, I don't see that they cared much about any of the three schools, as long as they know them and are all accredited, while in that case of the UK one they will also pay a part of the fees, as they said.

But the issue is that although in my company everything would be good with all the three, I was more concerned if I moved on in the future and this is why I asked your opinion about the reputation, quality, etc. My primary goal, if I would change career path would be consulting with focus on marketing, strategy, management but anyway, in the field of consulting.

So, what would be your opinion about this? Which do you think will have the best mobility? And which one will have the best reputation overall? And finally, in the field of consulting, which one do you think that holds the best reputation and quality?

Thank you so much!

Thanks a lot Duncan for the information!

Well, the issue is that due to my workload (as lately got extra roles and more responsibilities) is totally impossible to be away from work during the week. Local schools do not provide afternoon classes on their FT MBAs or if they do, they also have morning ones, which definitely I cannot attend. As for Henley, indeed it has by far the biggest alumni base compared to the rest three but the issue is that I have to attend quite many times and also I have to skip Friday or maybe some Mondays off work, as I told you I had an extensive talk with them and saw that in the first sight looked more feasible but after talking to them, seemed almost impossible and this is a really big issue for me, as I don't want to take up something that I won't have the time later on either to perform or attend.

So, it leaves me the options of these three schools. The thing is that I work for a big multinational and when I spoke with my manager, actually he encouraged me to go 'more global' and go for a UK MBA degree rather than a local one, as the company first of all is global, so I might be working at any place in the future and secondly, at least now it's full of graduates with local degrees, so they were pretty interested in something 'different', if you know what I mean, like a different perspective or approach on things and a kid of differentiation. And to be honest, I don't see that they cared much about any of the three schools, as long as they know them and are all accredited, while in that case of the UK one they will also pay a part of the fees, as they said.

But the issue is that although in my company everything would be good with all the three, I was more concerned if I moved on in the future and this is why I asked your opinion about the reputation, quality, etc. My primary goal, if I would change career path would be consulting with focus on marketing, strategy, management but anyway, in the field of consulting.

So, what would be your opinion about this? Which do you think will have the best mobility? And which one will have the best reputation overall? And finally, in the field of consulting, which one do you think that holds the best reputation and quality?

Thank you so much!
quote
Duncan

I don't think there's much between these three MBAs in their general standing. Durham seems to be the weakest programme, but if you were looking specifically in the UK then its parent university has a great reputation. Consulting is a huge area but, generally, consulting companies prefer to recruit from even better schools. Would better programmes with minimal attendance on campus be possible for you, like the Manchester Global MBA or the Warwick DL MBA?

I don't think there's much between these three MBAs in their general standing. Durham seems to be the weakest programme, but if you were looking specifically in the UK then its parent university has a great reputation. Consulting is a huge area but, generally, consulting companies prefer to recruit from even better schools. Would better programmes with minimal attendance on campus be possible for you, like the Manchester Global MBA or the Warwick DL MBA?
quote
Hans

Ok, thanks for the information! Then if I stick with these three, I guess I should let Durham out of the game and go on with either Bradford or Aston. However, I was very intrigued by the offer of Bradford in terms of price, as it turns out to be half the Aston's price and I checked the options of some executive education at Henley and I can say i found some pretty interesting programmes there, so I was leaning towards the option of the Bradford MBA+an executive leadership programme from Henley rather than just the Aston MBA. I guess that would be quite better, right? I mean considering that the two MBAs are almost the same, in terms of value, differentiation, more extensive network and the good name of Henley, even as a leadership programme, would make more sense this option.

Regarding your thoughts about Manchester or Warwick, my issues there are again the mandatory seminars, at least in Warwick and many exams, as well, which will turn my schedule quite upside down. So, no luck with it! Henley looked the most interesting in terms of name, quality and fees but still I had these restrictions..

Ok, thanks for the information! Then if I stick with these three, I guess I should let Durham out of the game and go on with either Bradford or Aston. However, I was very intrigued by the offer of Bradford in terms of price, as it turns out to be half the Aston's price and I checked the options of some executive education at Henley and I can say i found some pretty interesting programmes there, so I was leaning towards the option of the Bradford MBA+an executive leadership programme from Henley rather than just the Aston MBA. I guess that would be quite better, right? I mean considering that the two MBAs are almost the same, in terms of value, differentiation, more extensive network and the good name of Henley, even as a leadership programme, would make more sense this option.

Regarding your thoughts about Manchester or Warwick, my issues there are again the mandatory seminars, at least in Warwick and many exams, as well, which will turn my schedule quite upside down. So, no luck with it! Henley looked the most interesting in terms of name, quality and fees but still I had these restrictions..
quote
Duncan

Bradford plus the Henley Leadership Programme could look very good.

I guess none of the US DL MBAs appeal to you?

Bradford plus the Henley Leadership Programme could look very good.

I guess none of the US DL MBAs appeal to you?
quote
Hans

To be honest, I didn't look much at the US programmes as I am not planning to go to the US but stay in Europe, so I thought that a US programme wouldn't add any extra value compared to a UK one, especially for the prices they charge. I mean even an average US MBA would cost more than a good one in the UK. The cheapest I had found was the Georgia WebMBA, which I suppose is a mediocre one and even this costs more than Bradford or more or less the same with Henley, Durham or Aston.. So, I guess the previously mentioned schools, all of them, would be a better bet compared to the Georgia one, right? I guess even in the US these schools might be better than the Georgia WebMBA or not?

As for other schools, I had checked a bit the Wisconsin one and the ASU, plus the Hult one but were all so expensive compared to the British schools and I don't think that these schools would make any difference in Europe or might be probably even worse than the previously mentioned UK ones?

Thanks in advance Duncan!

To be honest, I didn't look much at the US programmes as I am not planning to go to the US but stay in Europe, so I thought that a US programme wouldn't add any extra value compared to a UK one, especially for the prices they charge. I mean even an average US MBA would cost more than a good one in the UK. The cheapest I had found was the Georgia WebMBA, which I suppose is a mediocre one and even this costs more than Bradford or more or less the same with Henley, Durham or Aston.. So, I guess the previously mentioned schools, all of them, would be a better bet compared to the Georgia one, right? I guess even in the US these schools might be better than the Georgia WebMBA or not?

As for other schools, I had checked a bit the Wisconsin one and the ASU, plus the Hult one but were all so expensive compared to the British schools and I don't think that these schools would make any difference in Europe or might be probably even worse than the previously mentioned UK ones?

Thanks in advance Duncan!
quote
Duncan

Yes, I think the Georgia, Wisconsin and Massachusetts university systems all have interesting offers. Since the Wisconsin programme is aimed at people with priod business degrees, I think it's very interesting.

I'd also look at the Ashridge and Durham executive MSc degrees in management.

Yes, I think the Georgia, Wisconsin and Massachusetts university systems all have interesting offers. Since the Wisconsin programme is aimed at people with priod business degrees, I think it's very interesting.

I'd also look at the Ashridge and Durham executive MSc degrees in management.
quote
Hans

But do you think that the Georgia WebMBA would be a better catch compared to the Bradford MBA, especially when targeting Europe but also in the US?

But do you think that the Georgia WebMBA would be a better catch compared to the Bradford MBA, especially when targeting Europe but also in the US?
quote
Duncan

I think Bradford is a safe choice. I don't think Georgia adds much, but since you already have the Bradford brand it's worth considering options.

What did you think of the Durham executive masters?

I think Bradford is a safe choice. I don't think Georgia adds much, but since you already have the Bradford brand it's worth considering options.

What did you think of the Durham executive masters?
quote
Hans

Yeah, this is true, however I don't know if it is worth to pay additionally that much just to have an extra brand, especially when considering names like the Georgia MBA or Bradford's equivalent Aston.

As for the executive masters you mention, I just thought that an MBA is more prestigious and will add more practical knowledge than a master, even the executive one but also would be in preference by the employers, as well, to have an MBA rather than an executive MSc.. Is this true or am I just thinking it wrongly?

Duncan, could you please list as now the top European DL MBAs, say top-15 or something? Also, could you please rank the current top-20 UK MBAs?

Thanks a lot in advance!

Yeah, this is true, however I don't know if it is worth to pay additionally that much just to have an extra brand, especially when considering names like the Georgia MBA or Bradford's equivalent Aston.

As for the executive masters you mention, I just thought that an MBA is more prestigious and will add more practical knowledge than a master, even the executive one but also would be in preference by the employers, as well, to have an MBA rather than an executive MSc.. Is this true or am I just thinking it wrongly?

Duncan, could you please list as now the top European DL MBAs, say top-15 or something? Also, could you please rank the current top-20 UK MBAs?

Thanks a lot in advance!
quote
Duncan

Okay, you should go ahead with Bradford.

I don't publish rankings: I think the off-the-shelf ones are good, while custom rankings need research and are worth paying for.

There are no too many accredited DL MBAs in Europe. They are listed at http://rankings.ft.com/businessschoolrankings/online-mba-listing-2013

The Economist has a good ranking of MBAs.

Okay, you should go ahead with Bradford.

I don't publish rankings: I think the off-the-shelf ones are good, while custom rankings need research and are worth paying for.

There are no too many accredited DL MBAs in Europe. They are listed at http://rankings.ft.com/businessschoolrankings/online-mba-listing-2013

The Economist has a good ranking of MBAs.
quote

Reply to Post

Related Business Schools

Birmingham (United Kingdom), United Kingdom (UK) 28 Followers 25 Discussions
Bradford, United Kingdom (UK) 40 Followers 79 Discussions
Durham (United Kingdom), United Kingdom (UK) 55 Followers 78 Discussions

Other Related Content

Mar 03, 2020

The Financial Times Updates Online MBA Ranking for 2020

News Mar 03, 2020

Are Online MBA Programs Closing the Quality Gap?

Article Nov 05, 2019

More distance learning programs are upgrading technology and using residencies to match up with on-campus programs