Online and distance education is constantly growing. Also, MBA programmes are more often offered to study from a distance. An online MBA degree gives you the opportunity to combine academic knowledge with practical business management while having a flexible study schedule within a supported structure.
When seeking a fully online or blended (lessons are partly taught on campus) MBA, it is important to pay attention to accreditation from the major international management education bodies, employability, the competitiveness of entry and quality of peers. Another thing is to look for programmes well-tailored to your professional interests and needs as well as the networking opportunities schools offers. Even if fully-online MBAs do not require students to be present on campus, the location of business schools influences how degrees are taught along with the course curriculum. If you're planning on following a management career in Europe, it might make sense for you to attend an online MBA offered by a European institution.
In the digital learning business administration field, European business schools are becoming more popular, starting to compete with their North American counterparts, according to recent Distance Online MBA Rankings provided by the Financial Times.
10 distance learning MBA degrees, from reputable business schools in Europe:
1. IE Business School - The private IE Spanish university is one of the world’s leading higher education institutions that is highly valued for its innovation and learning technologies. In 2000, IE launched the first online MBA in Europe, currently offering distance learning MBA programmes in a variety of formats, from Global MBAs to Executive MBAs. The programmes are blended, with a 20% face-to-face ratio, taking 15 months to complete. Using multimedia materials such as simulations, games and tutorials, the faculty uses the same intensive practical approach as for the full-time programmes.
2. Warwick Business School – The Financial Times ranks the school as one of UK’s top provider of MBAs by distance and online learning. The distance learning MBA programme can last for three years and includes a one-week compulsory face-to-face module, with case studies, group work and exam practice. Students learn the foundations of key management areas, and they have the opportunity to further specialise in a particular business area. The study core modules include courses in accounting & financial management, the economics of the business environment, marketing, modelling & analysis for management, operations management, and more.
3. Euro*MBA – This part-time, executive distance learning programme is designed by a consortium of six top European universities and business schools from France, Germany, Spain, Poland and the Netherlands, including Kozminski University and Audencia Nantes School of Management. The EuroMBA is among worlds' best distance Executive MBAs and has the triple international accreditation (AMBA, EQUIS and AACSB). The courses last for two years and they involve blended learning, with 10 online modules combined with 6 residential weeks in Europe. EuroMBA aims at internationally oriented professionals and it is truly a multinational study programme that involves faculty and students from 23 different nationalities.
4. Manchester Business School, University of Manchester – With the global part-time MBA offered by the Manchester Business School you can study in Manchester, Dubai, Shanghai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Miami or São Paulo. The study programme provides training in various fields including operations management, accounting in business, financial management and marketing. In the last six months of the MBA, you will work in a group on a practical business challenge.
5. MIP Politecnico di Milano – The Polytechnic University of Milan is a leading Italian business school that recently launched a new online-based MBA programme, developed in collaboration with Microsoft. The flexible Executive MBA benefits from an innovative digital learning platform that provides easy access to pre-recorded video content and allows students to actively participate to live lessons. However, the learning language is Italian, so if you are interested in improving your Italian skills while taking business and management classes, this is the ideal opportunity.
6. Oxford Brookes University Business School – The Oxford Brookes MBA provides the key knowledge and expertise to achieve your personal and professional goals, focusing on career development and leadership training. Students who usually enrol in this programme come from over 60 different countries and work in a variety of sectors and organisations, providing you with the chance to develop a wide network and acquire knowledge about business management practice in different fields.
7. MBA Renewables – With the increasing concern for sustainability, you might be interested in specialised MBA programmes which combine general concepts of management with renewable resource management strategies. The MBA Renewables is the first distance learning MBA degree focusing on renewable energy and energy efficiency, offered jointly by the Beuth University of Applied Sciences Berlin and the Renewables Academy (RENAC), which is one of the leading international providers of renewable energy training.
8. University of Leicester - The Leicester distance learning MBA lasts 2 years, with a recommended 15 hours of study per week. After studying the seven core and two option modules, students can specialise within the Leicester MBA in the areas of Marketing, Finance and Employee Relations. The teaching methods and learning tools include course materials available online via Blackboard, online lectures and seminars, and access to Leicester digital library which disposes of many articles, books and market reports.
9. The Open University Business School - The Open University is an acknowledged world leader in digital learning, with a global network of more than 86,000 alumni. The Open University distance MBA incorporates short residential schools (with 4-5 days of meetings) in various European locations or structured online events over a longer period. If you wish to get a first experience about the distance learning environment and the teaching methods, you can download samples from many Open University and Business School courses.
10. European University Cyprus (EUC) – Established in 1961, European University Cyprus (EUC) is one of the leading institutions of higher education in Cyprus, joining the Laureate International Universities network in 2005. The university offers a two years online MBA degree, entirely taught in English, at a more reasonable price than most universities in Europe. Students work with updated learning materials made exclusively for the distance education teaching model or adapted for this purpose by the instructors.
This list is by no means complete, there are many other good Universities and schools that offer a great variety of online degrees.