Five affordable MBA programmes in the UK

Here’s why a master in HRM might be useful for levelling up.

By U2B Staff 

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An MBA is a great postgraduate option for experienced executives who are looking to advance further in their careers with more industry-relevant and practical skills and business know-how. 

It is the broadest business postgraduate degree that is recognised by many leading corporations and is offered in most leading universities worldwide. 

If you’re looking for some of the best universities to take an MBA, the UK would most definitely be a prime choice. 

However, most of these top tier postgraduate courses often come with a hefty price. Some of the UK’s top MBA providers such as London Business School and Oxford University’s Said Business School charges tuition fees ranging from £55,000 to £78,500.  


Whether you’re a junior executive looking to climb the career ladder or at a mid-to-senior level of management looking to enhance your skills, not only will you have to decide if you have the time to spare to complete your MBA, but also if you have enough savings (provided that you’re self-funded). 

Naturally, postgraduate credentials from a more renowned university would look better on CVs. 

Moreover, some institutions that provide cheaper alternatives may seem dubious. If you’re ever opting for a cheaper credential, do check that the institution is properly accredited. 

There are plenty of reputable universities that provide MBA courses that won’t break the bank. Here are some viable options from accredited universities that offer MBA programmes at £30,000 and below. 

The University of Liverpool School of Management 

The University of Liverpool School of Management provides a comprehensive MBA programme that lasts for one year for full-time students and two years for part-time students. 

The university offers an AASCB and accredited course which costs just  £18,000 for UK and EU students, and £24,959 for internationals. 

This MBA programme is ranked amongst the top MBA programmes in the world. It was also the only UK-based MBA programme to be featured in a top 100 global ranking by The Economist in 2017. 

The programme will help candidates strengthen fundamental leadership capabilities. 

Nottingham Trent University 

The MBA programme at Nottingham Trent University Business school charges UK and EU residents and international students the same fee of  £18,500 for its one-year full-time course. 

Unlike other UK-based MBA programmes, Nottingham Trent’s course is based on experiential learning which involves students taking part in two hands-on consultancy projects. 

This programme has accreditation from the AACSB and EQUIS. Students will also have an option to take one extra year to carry out a work placement experience where you can put your skills learned into practice that could open up new pathways for your career. 

In addition, upon completion of this MBA programme, you will receive a Chartered Management Institute (CMI) qualification in Level 7 Strategic Management and Leadership.

Not all MBA programmes will cause major damage to your savings. Source: Marc Wattrelot/AFP.

Aston Business School 

The one-year MBA programme at Aston University’s Business School costs £21,500 for students in the UK and EU and £25,850 for international students. 

The Aston MBA is an award-winning programme that prioritises learning path personalisation, allowing students to tailor their MBA experience according to their own personal skills and career goals. 

This MBA programme has been classified as a Tier 1 programme in the CEO Magazine Global MBA Ranking 2020 and is ranked 5th in the UK and 20th in Europe for the Eduniversal Best Masters Ranking 2019. 

Students who enrol in this MBA programme have the opportunity to opt for Aston’s double-degree programme and choose to study with the university’s many partner universities across Europe. 

This MBA programme has acquired triple accreditation from AMBA, AACSB and EQUIS.  

University of Birmingham 

The University of Birmingham offers more flexibility in MBA options. The standard one-year full-time programme costs £28,980 for both home and international students. 

Besides that, there’s also the option to take a 21 or 24-month MBA with additional fees for the first year. 

There are also part-time options for an Executive MBA and a modular-centric online MBA programme which starts from £21,600.

For Birmingham’s full-time MBA programme, students have the option of taking an MBA in International Business or an MBA in Global Banking in Finance. 

Depending on your desired career pathway and goals, both programmes offer a unique learning experience that will equip students with industry-relevant skills. 

The Birmingham MBA programme also has triple accreditation. Students will be able to benefit from the extensive networks built through the alumni community of recent graduates as well as guest speakers who will provide occasional talks and seminars. 


University of Exeter Business School 

The University of Exeter’s full-time MBA programme costs £30,000 for both home and international students. 

The university offers various scholarships and postgraduate loans to help applicants fund their studies. This includes special terms for ex-armed forces and freelance consultants. 

The award-winning programme provides various experiential learning opportunities that allow students to expand their horizons through global and local experiences. 

The programme involves study trips, company visits, corporate challenges, consultancy projects for partner organisations, and workshops led by business leaders and academic experts. 

Not only do these experiences develop new skills and worldviews, but the programme also allows students to grow their professional network by working with partner corporations.