Most affordable MBA Programmes in the UK

Lior Frenkel, CPO at Jolt
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August 26, 2019

The real costs of an MBA

A business degree could help you advance your career — there's no doubt about that.
And there's plenty of MBA programs. They'll teach you how to be a manager, how to understand the finance behind businesses, marketing and sales and even the HR side of things. Research shows that applications for MBA courses at top UK business schools has surged by 21%. But, MBA programmes become expensive.  What if you can’t afford it?

Here are the most expensive MBA programs in the UK and the prices are crazy. About time you looked at alternatives, right?

Cheapest MBA colleges in London

The thing is, nobody wants to take a “cheap MBA course”. I mean, it’s not something you’d brag about — “I studied at the cheapest MBA college in London”. But let’s be honest, it’s 2019, and we all know that paying the highest price doesn’t always mean getting the best quality. If you’re like me you can’t afford London Business School or Oxbridge. So you want (or need) to find out what the cheapest MBA colleges are. 

It's not just about being able to afford it right now though. Even if you can pay tens of thousands of pounds for an MBA you’ll still be paying off the loans many years from now. So, speaking of learning business— let’s remember it might not be the right business play to be married to your degree debt for the next 10-20 years. 

But wait, are there cheap MBA alternatives that are worth my time and energy?

Sure. There are affordable degrees that will teach you business skills without killing your bank account. Thinking about it from a business perspective - it’s all about risks vs potential. Or, in other words, the cost of the MBA programme vs the quality of education and the network you’ll gain at the school. 

The real cost of an MBA - or - why you might prefer an affordable MBA?

While having an MBA could potentially advance your career and add opportunities for future you, it has a price tag. And this price tag isn’t only connected to how much the degree itself costs. 

When deciding between signing up for an expensive MBA or a cheap MBA - here are the different costs you should take into account:

Here’s a great example of an excel sheet created by Lex Zhao — who took an MBA in the US. He collected his expenses and shared his numbers on his Medium blog

Source: https://medium.com/@lexzh/the-real-cost-of-a-mba-c7c4b053d8b1

And here's a helpful “MBA cost calculator” that will help you see more examples. You choose the MBA program, family status,  level of lifestyle you wish to have — and it calculates the expenses. Simple.

source: https://aringo.com/mba-cost-calculator/

You can use it even if you don’t plan to get into one of these universities (as the ones that appear here aren’t the affordable MBA programmes). The different examples will give you and idea of the general costs. 

10 most affordable MBA programs in the UK that cost under £30,000:

1. Swansea Business School - University of Wales Trinity St David

Cost: £6,200
Length: 12 Months

most affordable mba programme - Swansea University Wales

Swansea Business School (SBS) is a public research institution focused on business studies and is situated in the city of Swansea, Wales, UK.
Employability is SBS’s key focus — The school take an employment-based approach to their program.

2. University of Bolton

Cost: £8,500
Length: 12 Months

most affordable mba programme in London - University of Bolton

Bolton's business school is home to a diverse international cohort, and prides itself on instilling a sense of independence in students, and equipping them with the knowledge to hold their own in a business setting.

3. Jolt

Cost: £5,200
Length: 24 Months or less

most affordable mba programme in London - JOLT

Jolt is a flexible and modern Business School in London - holding an innovative alternative for an MBA. Jolt has two micro campuses around London (in Soho and Shoreditch), where the Not An MBA® Business Programme is taught. 
Jolt’s programme is an alternative part-time MBA - students can choose how many times a week they want to learn, and in which order. Which means the length of the programme is up to the student. Networking is a big part of Jolt’s programme- the students are signing up to classes with a social app - which allows them to communicate with each other. 
Thanks to loads of technology involved, Jolt is one of the most affordable alternative MBA programmes in London.

4. The University of Liverpool School of Management

Cost: £15,000
Length: 12 Months

most affordable mba programme in London - Liverpool business school

Offers an AACSB-accredited, one-year MBA program costing £15,000
The University of Liverpool Management School is one of an elite group of institutions worldwide to be AACSB-Accredited. The MBA programme is ranked amongst the top 100 MBA programmes in the world.

5. Nottingham Trent - Nottingham Business School (NBS) 

Cost: £15,900
Length: 12 or 24 Months  

most affordable mba programme in London - Nottinghan University

Nottingham Business School (NBS) aims to give you a challenging, hands-on and rewarding educational experience. Whether you are looking to study full-time, part-time or online they have study options to suit you and your lifestyle.

6. The Exeter MBA

Cost: £24,500
Length: 12 or 24 Months

most affordable mba programme in London - Exeter Business school

The Exeter MBA focuses on purposeful leadership, innovation, technology and sustainability. As a student in the program you’ll develop a solid grounding in core business disciplines through our core modules, and tailor our flexible programme to your individual interests and career needs with a range of elective specialist modules.

7. Aston Business School (ABS)

Cost: £25,500
Length:12 Months 

most affordable mba programme in London - Aston

Aston Business School (ABS) is one of the largest business schools in Europe.
Its intensive programme offers a range of first degrees (BSc) including single honours programmes covering the main business and management disciplines, and a choice of joint honours programmes. The Aston MBA is offered through full-time, part-time and online learning.

8. Leeds MBA - Leeds University Business School

Cost: £26,500
Length:12 Months

most affordable mba programme in London - Leeds University

The Leeds MBA exposes the students  to the latest management thinking and practice while combining academic rigour with practical leadership development challenges.

9. University of Edinburgh Business School

Cost: £27,400
Length:12 Months

most affordable mba programme in London - Edinburgh

University of Edinburgh Business School, part of the University of Edinburgh, offers a number of Masters programmes including a substantial selection of Masters programmes ranging from Finance, Marketing, to Management as well as new subject areas such as Entrepreneurship & Innovation. The School also offers a Full-time MBA and Executive MBA.

10. Durham

Cost: £28,000
Length:12 or 15 Months

most affordable mba programme in London - Durham

Durham University Business School is an integral part of Durham University, one of the most prestigious academic institutions in the UK and the third oldest in England after Oxford and Cambridge. Durham is a research-led business school and offers a 12 month and a 15 month Full-Time MBA, in addition to an Online MBA.

The list of most affordable MBA programmes in the UK:

The list of most affordable MBA programmes in the UK:


So why do so few of us have creative breaks?

Because almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes. Including you.

Charles Darwin took long walks around London. Kurt Vonnegut made listening to jazz a daily priority. Fiona Apple disappeared for 6 years after the release of her third album.

So why do so few of us have creative breaks?
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I ask because I can often be found agonising over the "more". If only I posted on Instagram more, I'll think in the bath. I'd have more followers if I pitched to more publications. I need to post 2 more times a week, minimum. I could go on...

Between you and me, I've got frustrated with myself for browsing Facebook or watching too much TV more times than I can remember.

And I'm not alone. So many of us are terrified of taking a break, creatively speaking. We won't let a moment pass without listening to a podcast, consuming an article or sharing something.

The cognitive load is real, y'all.

But like Vitamin D, sleep and good food, it's not only ok to take a break, it's essential.

Living a successful life is also about knowing when not to work. For your best output, you need to focus on your input, too.

The world won't end if you disappear from the internet for a week or so. Your creativity won't suddenly stop. Your time is now, but your time was also then and it will be again.

Your dreams don't have an expiration date.

Many of us confuse being "busy" with being constructive. But you can only do your best work by taking breaks.

And science backs it up, too. The brain requires substantial downtime to do its most innovative thinking. The ideas you have while driving or in the shower aren't coincidental. They're a result of you taking a step back, whether you're aware of it or not.

Here's a challenge for you

Let yourself take a wonderful and indulgent break. Several breaks. Hell, get downright bored.

Put airplane mode on for a while. Sit down. Lie down. Be still. Do nothing. Observe. Listen to your mind. Let it do what it does without judging it.

Wallow in it. Don't be afraid of it. Push it as far as you can.

When you leave your laptop behind, something always happens. A new idea or a fresh perspective appears.

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"A spark of inspiration needs an empty cave."

Take proper breaks, often. Completely clear your mind. Your next best idea depends on it.

Could you get to the top 1% of your industry?

Empower your team to go and shine.