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.

Courses and qualifications

The 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 and private education providers offer 77 internationally recognised MBA programs and similar alternatives.

Most courses are delivered over a period of one to two years of full-time study. The MBA offers worldwide networking opportunities, expanded personal skills and career enhancement. An Australian MBA course will improve your skills by promoting your abilities to work as an effective team member, lead others and develop strong interpersonal relationships through increased communication, presentation and negotiation skills.

Basic subject areas of an MBA

The MBA introduces students to the various business disciplines and prepares them for general management roles. Business schools in Australia generally provide units in:

  • accounting
  • business policy and strategy
  • data analysis and statistics
  • economics
  • finance
  • global business
  • human resources management
  • leadership
  • marketing
  • operations
  • organisational behaviour.

Research projects and units focusing on sustainable and ethical business practice may also be offered.

Specialisations within the MBA

There are many specialisations offered within the MBA, ranging from international management and Chinese language to engineering management and 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 institution to see which specialisations are offered. You may also be able to study an MBA in combination with another masters program.

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 designed to give students the opportunity to develop good time management skills, which will be essential during their careers.

Alternatives to the MBA

The traditional MBA has inspired a range of other programs. The executive MBA (EMBA), for example, is a shorter, more intensive advancement course designed for senior managers. There are also a number of other masters-level programs for managers, such as the Master of Management (MMgt), the Master of Engineering Management (MEM) and the Master of Technology (MTech). These courses are aimed at people who are currently employed in (or who are 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 gives students the opportunity to further their knowledge
and understanding in an area of interest through applied research and some coursework study.

Average tuition costs

MBA program fees range from AUD$26,000 to more than $120,000 in total for international students. These figures were sourced from MBA providers in 2018. Fees vary widely due to differing course lengths, subject options and extra activities such as study tours, 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 and/or several years of management experience, as well as good communication skills in written and spoken English (demonstrated through English language testing 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 Admission Test (GMAT) is an aptitude test for applicants to gain entry to business schools. Some Australian institutions require candidates to complete the GMAT for entry, while others use it as an optional extra or as an alternative entry scheme for those who do not meet other entry requirements. For more details, visit the Graduate Management Admission Council website or the official GMAT website.

Application dates vary between institutions. Some institutions offer two intakes a year, with programs generally commencing in February and July; others offer three trimesters per year, with intakes generally in February, July and November. A few institutions offer four intakes per year.

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