The Open University MBA

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The Open University MBA

MBA (Master of Business Administration)

The Open University MBA, By studying for an MBA with The Open University, you’ll benefit from an elite education with a UK business school and gain a highly respected qualification.

To date, more than 25,000 students have successfully completed our MBA. We believe our MBA is popular because we’re the only distance-learning provider to be triple accredited while specialising in flexible learning. Our MBA is respected worldwide, by both students and employers.

As with all Open University qualifications, you can study anytime, anywhere, however suits you best.

Key features of The Open University’s MBA

  • Prestige: The Open University Business School has triple accreditation (from AMBA, EQUIS and AACSB), which makes it elite, and among the top one percent of business schools in the world.
  • Global reach: Since launching the MBA programme in 1989, The Open University has successfully produced 25,000 MBA graduates in 128 countries worldwide.
  • Practicality: Our unique learning method of ‘practice-based action learning’ brings the MBA to life at your workplace. What you learn today, you apply tomorrow at work – giving you immediate results.
  • Flexibility: Tools such as the OU Anywhere app enable you to download course materials online or offline, allowing for a truly mobile learning experience.
  • New for 2016: Introducing the Open University’s fast-track MBA. Attain your MBA qualification in two years, rather than three or more.

Course details


The MBA qualification is in two stages. You must successfully complete Stage 1 before moving on to Stage 2.

To gain this qualification, you need 180 credits as follows:

Stage 1
Select one version of the following compulsory 
60-credit module: 

Compulsory module Credits Next start
MBA stage 1: management: perspectives and practice (B716)
60 04 Nov 2017
MBA stage 1: management: perspectives and practice (fast-track)* (BXFT716)
60 07 Oct 2017

*This version is for the accelerated study route and should only be selected if you intend to complete your MBA in two years. See How long it takes for more information.

Stage 2
45 credits from the following list:

Compulsory modules Credits Next start
The dynamics of strategy (BB835)
30 04 Nov 2017
Corporate finance (BB831)
15 04 Nov 2017

Or the discontinued B831, B835 and a 45-credit examination towards Stage 2.

45 credits from the following list:

Optional modules Credits Next start
Business, human rights law and corporate social responsibility (W822)
30 04 Nov 2017
Entrepreneurship: experience and perspective (BB846)
15 04 Nov 2017
Leadership and management in intercultural contexts (BB848)
15 04 Nov 2017
Management beyond the mainstream (BB847)
15 04 Nov 2017
Managing financial risk (BB841)
15 04 Nov 2017
Managing in the digital economy (BXM871)
15 06 Jan 2018
Marketing in the 21st century (BB844)
15 04 Nov 2017
Strategic human resource management (BB845)
15 04 Nov 2017
Supply chain management (BB849)
15 04 Nov 2017
Sustainable creative management (BB842)
15 04 Nov 2017

Or, subject to the rules about excluded combinations, the discontinued module T882.

A 30-credit compulsory module:

Compulsory module Credits Next start
Making a difference: the management initiative (B839)
30 04 Nov 2017

You should note that the University’s unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 60 credits from OU modules that have not been counted in any other OU qualification that has previously been awarded to you.

The modules quoted in this description are currently available for study. However, as we review the curriculum on a regular basis, the exact selection may change over time.

Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment

The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Cognitive skills
  • Practical and professional skills
  • Key skills

Entry requirements

You will need a minimum of three years’ experience in a managerial, professional or technical role, so that you have a practical business base on which to build your MBA learning. Usually this means that you are at least 25 years old as it is unusual (but not impossible) to be able to satisfy the ‘experience’ requirement under this age.

Depending on your previous qualifications, there are a variety of routes into the MBA:

If you already hold an honours degree awarded by a recognised UK university, or equivalent you can begin your MBA studies by taking either the MBA stage 1: management: perspectives and practice (B716) or the fast-track version of this module (BXFT716).

Various higher education and professional qualifications are considered equivalent to an honours degree. Please contact us if you hold a qualification that you believe is an equivalent level to a UK degree, to ensure that it meets the requirements for admission.

If you are experienced in managerial work but do not have an honours degree or equivalent you need first to gain our Professional Certificate in Management (S01) (previously coded C31). This is also a valuable qualification in its own right.

If you have the equivalent of a UK bachelors degree without honours you may be permitted to progress on to the MBA course by taking the first part of the Professional Certificate in Management, Managing 1: organisations and people (B628). Alternatively if you have an official Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) score of 640 or above, and the equivalent of a UK undergraduate degree, you will be allowed to progress directly on to the MBA. If you think either of these possibilities may apply to you, please speak to an adviser.

Your spoken and written English must be of an adequate standard for postgraduate study. If English is not your first language, we recommend that you will need a minimum score of 6.5 under the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Please see their website for details.

How long it takes

Most students study this qualification in three years by studying 60 credits a year. The minimum time to complete is two years, the maximum time to complete is seven years. You can complete within two years if you choose to study BXFT716 instead of B716. Please note this will require you to devote 20-25 hours a week to your studies.

Download our MBA brochure