Manchester Business School, East Asia Centre   Manchester Business School, East Asia Centre

MBA brochure

Entry requirements

Entry is competitive on the part-time MBA programme. We look to admit the right MBA person and are looking for the most talented candidates with the highest potential, not just those with the most experience or best test scores.

We take a holistic view when evaluating applications, paying particular attention to academic credentials, fast career progression, leadership characteristics and entrepreneurial talent. We assess your potential compared to peers to contribute to and enhance the diverse professional backgrounds, cultural profile and experience of the MBA class.

We use a wide variety of criteria to evaluate applications. The requirements below are assessed using all the application elements: application form, essays, references, CV/ résumé, degree and professional qualifications, admission test score, English level and interview. Decisions are made by consensus of the MBA Admissions Committee.

Candidates without a degree have the opportunity to be considered through the non-degree route. Take a look at the bottom of this page.

Part time Global MBA entry requirements

Intellectual ability / achievement

The part-time MBA programme is intellectually demanding and requires you to quickly absorb and analyse new material and apply it in a fast-moving environment. We need to be confident that you have the ability to rise to the intellectual challenges the programme presents. We require you to have a strong undergraduate degree result (UK bachelor or international equivalent as recognised by UK NARIC) from a recognised university. Qualifications vary by country and university, however we normally look for the equivalent of a first class or upper second class honours result in the UK system and expect you to be in the top 25% of your class. Postgraduate, specialisation and professional qualifications can strengthen your application. We consider candidates from any subject background, however you need to be numerate with the ability to think critically, logically and integrate ideas, and have a good awareness of economic and international affairs.

The test is normally taken after you complete and submit the application form.

After submitting the form you will receive an email with your personal ID number to take the test.

Professional experience

The part-time Global MBA involves the development of strategic business knowledge and international perspective, combined with training in leadership and managerial skills. The part-time Global MBA is designed to build on previous experience gained from having worked within organisations, therefore it is important that our MBA students have good relevant professional experience in order to fully contribute and benefit from the programme.

We normally require at least three years full-time work experience after graduation (from completion of your undergraduate degree to commencing the MBA).

  • Current class work experience (range): 6-10 years. Average age: 36 years

Entry is competitive - when assessing your suitability to benefit from the Manchester MBA and your aptitude/potential as a future business leader, we are looking for the following:

  • A strong CV/resume showing; a good level of responsibility, consistent and ideally fast-track career progression, strong achievements for the length of your career to date demonstrating impact in your organisation and higher than average performance in your industry sector or function compared to your peers.
  • Leadership/management experience and potential including some or all of the following:
    • Management/leadership of teams/colleagues
    • Client relationship management
    • Financial/budgetary responsibility
    • Project management/leadership
    • Managing across different parts of an organisation
    • Decision making, contribution to strategy

The majority of candidates come from business, finance, engineering or entrepreneurial backgrounds, however we are interested in candidates from any sector. We have admitted successful MBA students from many non-traditional business sectors, including military, healthcare, legal, leisure/sports, and the creative arts and have alumni working in successful careers in many non-traditional business sectors.

Success in the part-time Global MBA programme and your future career also depends on other work related skills and competencies e.g. analytical skills, numeracy, negotiation, presentation, problem-solving, reasoning, creativity, ability to generate ideas etc. Good knowledge of MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint are also essential. We look for evidence that you have, or can develop these competencies.

Although not an essential requirement, international exposure can add a competitive edge to your application. Our MBA has a strong international focus and we are looking for people with an international outlook. We look favourably on candidates who have experience of living and working in other countries, working in international teams, or working in international environments. International exposure is also valued by post-MBA employers.

Entrepreneurial experience and creativity (within your own business or corporate environment) are highly valued in candidates. Candidates with the ability to innovate are often strong contributors during the MBA programme and alumni involved in entrepreneurship can contribute significantly to society and communities. We look to admit candidates with the ability to perceive opportunities and contribute ideas to the MBA class, thereby enhancing the stimulating learning environment of the MBA.

Soft skills

Team working skills are essential for success on the MBA. We are looking for candidates who can demonstrate the qualities of a team player and are innovative and effective contributors with the ability to work constructively and collaboratively in international teams. We expect you to be able to communicate opinions and ideas clearly and honestly with respect for others and be motivated to work in the best interests of your MBA teams and project clients.

Communication, interpersonal and relationship management skills are also essential for success on the MBA programme and in senior level business careers. We therefore place a strong emphasis on these key requirements in selecting the right candidates. We expect you to be highly articulate, with strong communication skills in English (see English requirements below) with the ability to share your experience and express your ideas in the classroom and student groups, and in written reports and presentations.

We look for candidates who are mature, motivated, energetic, ambitious and enthusiastic, with strong personal values, social awareness, sense of community and integrity.

In addition to intellectual ability, experience, team working and communication skills, key requirements are; leadership characteristics, emotional intelligence, self-awareness, self-management, openness to change and personal growth. We are looking for people who are open to share and learn from the experience and ideas of others and are able to accept and value constructive feedback from MBA colleagues, project supervisors and company representatives.


The Manchester MBA programme requires considerable competence in all aspects of English language; speaking, writing, listening and reading. The MBA programme incorporates a considerable number of written assignments, essays and project reports for assessment purposes, for which strong written English skills are essential. Team work and projects also require strong spoken English and presentation skills.

If English is not your first language you are required to prove your competency. English skills are assessed throughout the admissions process using the application form, Manchester Admissions Test and, if requested, an interview. If after assessing your application we need more evidence that your English ability is strong enough to be successful on the MBA programme we may ask you to take one of the recognised English language tests below:

Minimum English language test requirements

  • a. IELTS: Overall 6.5; with 6.0 in listening, writing, reading and speaking without exception. Test date must be no more than 2 years prior to the start of the MBA.
  • b. TOEFL (iBT): Overall 90; with 21 in listening and writing; 22 in reading and 23 in speaking. If your speaking score is slightly below you may be able to compensate through the interview. Test date must be no more than 2 years prior to the start of the MBA. Please note we do not accept the computer-based or paper-based TOEFL tests.
  • c. PTE Academic: Overall 59 - 65; with 59 in listening, writing, reading and speaking without exception. Test date must be no more than 2 years prior to the start of the MBA.
  • d. CPE or CAE (Cambridge): Grade C. Valid for life
  • e. India Standard X11 Examination: 65% in English

If you do not have a degree it may be possible to gain a place without the specified formal academic qualifications. Your application will be considered through the accreditation of prior learning (APL), which may be certificated or experiential. Credit is allocated for evidence of achieving appropriate and assessed learning outcomes, rather than for experience itself. We can consider your application if:

  • You can demonstrate high levels of achievement, exceptional career progression and significant management experience in a leadership position or,
  • You have an excellent track record as a successful entrepreneur

You need to show alternative evidence of intellectual ability e.g. strong school results, professional training courses, non-degree business qualifications. A strong GMAT score and/or strong performance on the Manchester Admissions Test will be required.

We advise you to discuss your circumstances with one of our Course Counsellors before submitting an application.