Distance Learning MBAs in the UK for technology/financial services goals?


fiewn

My undergraduate degree is in a technology discipline, and I have 5 years of post-graduation IT experience, based within the financial services sector. Currently at a managerial level within an IT department there.

I'm seriously thinking of starting an MBA to develop/formalise my business skills further, at a ~ 2014/2015 intake. My career ambitions are to move into some sort of IT strategy/department-level role, you know, IT Director-type positions, or even CIO level over the much longer term (i.e. aiming high).

I would need to continue working full-time during study, but think I have a realistic idea of the commitment this would involve; I have no other commitments such as caring duties which would interfere, and my employer offers something akin to flexi-time.

Anyway, I currently live in a large city with an array of fairly poorly-thought-of newer unis and 1 red brick which doesn't offer a non-Exec part-time MBA (so not an option to attend face-to-face part time locally).

Thus I've been looking, over the last few months, at distance learning MBAs offered by institutions across the UK.

Currently on my shortlist are ones like Durham, Aston, Bradford, Manchester, etc. - the usual suspects.

Some of the things that matter to me are a mix of:
1) Triple accreditation, which narrows it down some
2) The "maturity" of the course; I don't want to be a guinea pig first intake even if a well-respected uni is rolling out a new degree structure
3) The general "prestige" of the degree - I notice that some programmes are formally listed as "Online MBAs" and I'm not sure whether in more traditional financial services organisations that would devalue it (rightly or wrongly in the eyes of the perceiving party)
4) Total cost, to a degree (could afford the current £19k Durham fees but that's top of how much I could afford without employer support, which is unlikely)
5) Overall flexibility and course content - if I had to attend a 1 week block session on campus every 2 months, for example, I can't do that (hence Durham etc looks more attractive as fairly low campus attendance requirements - but would have the OPTION of campus modules if I could manage it)
6) Overall suitability re: the career aspirations I've mentioned above (e.g. I've read that Durham is quite academic rather than hands-on, and I need the MBA to serve my career-supporting goal well)

I'd be interested in hearing comments on the above from some of the board regulars. I know there's already a lot of discussion to browse about X vs Y in general terms, but I'm wondering whether item (6) above will prompt more specific snippets of advice for me?

My undergraduate degree is in a technology discipline, and I have 5 years of post-graduation IT experience, based within the financial services sector. Currently at a managerial level within an IT department there.

I'm seriously thinking of starting an MBA to develop/formalise my business skills further, at a ~ 2014/2015 intake. My career ambitions are to move into some sort of IT strategy/department-level role, you know, IT Director-type positions, or even CIO level over the much longer term (i.e. aiming high).

I would need to continue working full-time during study, but think I have a realistic idea of the commitment this would involve; I have no other commitments such as caring duties which would interfere, and my employer offers something akin to flexi-time.

Anyway, I currently live in a large city with an array of fairly poorly-thought-of newer unis and 1 red brick which doesn't offer a non-Exec part-time MBA (so not an option to attend face-to-face part time locally).

Thus I've been looking, over the last few months, at distance learning MBAs offered by institutions across the UK.

Currently on my shortlist are ones like Durham, Aston, Bradford, Manchester, etc. - the usual suspects.

Some of the things that matter to me are a mix of:
1) Triple accreditation, which narrows it down some
2) The "maturity" of the course; I don't want to be a guinea pig first intake even if a well-respected uni is rolling out a new degree structure
3) The general "prestige" of the degree - I notice that some programmes are formally listed as "Online MBAs" and I'm not sure whether in more traditional financial services organisations that would devalue it (rightly or wrongly in the eyes of the perceiving party)
4) Total cost, to a degree (could afford the current £19k Durham fees but that's top of how much I could afford without employer support, which is unlikely)
5) Overall flexibility and course content - if I had to attend a 1 week block session on campus every 2 months, for example, I can't do that (hence Durham etc looks more attractive as fairly low campus attendance requirements - but would have the OPTION of campus modules if I could manage it)
6) Overall suitability re: the career aspirations I've mentioned above (e.g. I've read that Durham is quite academic rather than hands-on, and I need the MBA to serve my career-supporting goal well)

I'd be interested in hearing comments on the above from some of the board regulars. I know there's already a lot of discussion to browse about X vs Y in general terms, but I'm wondering whether item (6) above will prompt more specific snippets of advice for me?
quote
Duncan

Read How to use LinkedIn to find the best school www.find-mba.com/board/33571 You'll need a school with a strong alumni careers service.

Also, remember that Britain is small. Why not take the LBS MBA?

Read How to use LinkedIn to find the best school www.find-mba.com/board/33571 You'll need a school with a strong alumni careers service.

Also, remember that Britain is small. Why not take the LBS MBA?
quote
fiewn

Hi there,

Thanks for the reply!

(1) Re: LinkedIn

I'm struggling to get the info needed. I've followed the directions using the following Advanced search settings, but I see no "Schools" section on the leftside of the search results page (only Location, Relationship, Current Company, Industry; there are also sections for Seniority, Groups, Company Size but those three are locked out as I'm not a LinkedIn Premium subbie). My settings were as follows:

Keywords: "MBA" (no quotes)
Located in or near: United Kingdom
Industry: Financial Services, Information Technology and Services, Computer Software
School: (this was a list I typed in based on amalgamating three of your previous responses to IT folk, Duncan, on here, plus schools with a strong distance learning drive)

Henley Business School
University of Warwick
London Business School
Cranfield University
Cranfield University - Cranfield School of Management
Imperial College London
Manchester Business School
The University of Manchester
University of Cambridge
University of Strathclyde
Cass Business School
University of Oxford
University of Oxford - Said Business School
University of Durham
Aston University
University of Bradford
Imperial College Business School

Have LinkedIn changed the UI lately? Am I missing something in terms of how to search? Perhaps my account is too restricted? (It's an old LinkedIn account, several years old, so I can't imagine it's due to being a newbie.)

(2) Re: LBS

Britain is small :) but I'm in Edinburgh, so LBS attendance in person not an option at all I'm afraid. (As primarily I would also have to work full-time during study for the MBA, and my employer is in Scotland, not anywhere near London). I've also nowhere near any hope of getting their £61,400+ fees together, it's totally out of my league unfortunately.

Hi there,

Thanks for the reply!

(1) Re: LinkedIn

I'm struggling to get the info needed. I've followed the directions using the following Advanced search settings, but I see no "Schools" section on the leftside of the search results page (only Location, Relationship, Current Company, Industry; there are also sections for Seniority, Groups, Company Size but those three are locked out as I'm not a LinkedIn Premium subbie). My settings were as follows:

Keywords: "MBA" (no quotes)
Located in or near: United Kingdom
Industry: Financial Services, Information Technology and Services, Computer Software
School: (this was a list I typed in based on amalgamating three of your previous responses to IT folk, Duncan, on here, plus schools with a strong distance learning drive)

Henley Business School
University of Warwick
London Business School
Cranfield University
Cranfield University - Cranfield School of Management
Imperial College London
Manchester Business School
The University of Manchester
University of Cambridge
University of Strathclyde
Cass Business School
University of Oxford
University of Oxford - Said Business School
University of Durham
Aston University
University of Bradford
Imperial College Business School

Have LinkedIn changed the UI lately? Am I missing something in terms of how to search? Perhaps my account is too restricted? (It's an old LinkedIn account, several years old, so I can't imagine it's due to being a newbie.)

(2) Re: LBS

Britain is small :) but I'm in Edinburgh, so LBS attendance in person not an option at all I'm afraid. (As primarily I would also have to work full-time during study for the MBA, and my employer is in Scotland, not anywhere near London). I've also nowhere near any hope of getting their £61,400+ fees together, it's totally out of my league unfortunately.
quote
Duncan

Okay, yes you need to have a premium membership now to see the schools data. Interesting to see Henley so high up. How about the Henley Flexible MBA?

If you're in Scotland, how about the Edinburgh EMBA? That's just one Friday afternoon every other weekend during term-time, which I think total nine or ten days a year. Maybe you can trade off holiday or half an hour longer on the other working days to get that? Edinburgh is a great school, on the way up, and a face to face programme will be much better.

Okay, yes you need to have a premium membership now to see the schools data. Interesting to see Henley so high up. How about the Henley Flexible MBA?

If you're in Scotland, how about the Edinburgh EMBA? That's just one Friday afternoon every other weekend during term-time, which I think total nine or ten days a year. Maybe you can trade off holiday or half an hour longer on the other working days to get that? Edinburgh is a great school, on the way up, and a face to face programme will be much better.
quote
fiewn

Hi again,

The Henley Flexible MBA is do-able - it's within my budget, and seems to have a fairly decent structure/trip accred too.

The reason I'd not considered the EMBA from Edinburgh is because I'd assumed it required Senior Exec-level experience. Seems to only require 5 years of "substantial" experience though, which I could surely prove.

I will look into that one further. I do wish they had some more concrete details about logistics though (what does a lunchtime start mean? Are the Friday dates known well in advance or a bit variable? Which campus does it get taught in? How big are the classes?) but that info will come with time/an appropriate enquiry.

I reckon the EMBA at Edinburgh looks better value at £28k face-to-face part-time than any of the Distance ones I'd been considering until this point. The only thing that puts me off is how new the structure is (apparently just launched this year). Although that does give me a couple of years to save/plan/etc between now (the first intake's guinea pigs) and my doing it, so any issues would be ironed out, I'd hope...

(Also, should I worry about non-triple accreditation?)

Hi again,

The Henley Flexible MBA is do-able - it's within my budget, and seems to have a fairly decent structure/trip accred too.

The reason I'd not considered the EMBA from Edinburgh is because I'd assumed it required Senior Exec-level experience. Seems to only require 5 years of "substantial" experience though, which I could surely prove.

I will look into that one further. I do wish they had some more concrete details about logistics though (what does a lunchtime start mean? Are the Friday dates known well in advance or a bit variable? Which campus does it get taught in? How big are the classes?) but that info will come with time/an appropriate enquiry.

I reckon the EMBA at Edinburgh looks better value at £28k face-to-face part-time than any of the Distance ones I'd been considering until this point. The only thing that puts me off is how new the structure is (apparently just launched this year). Although that does give me a couple of years to save/plan/etc between now (the first intake's guinea pigs) and my doing it, so any issues would be ironed out, I'd hope...

(Also, should I worry about non-triple accreditation?)
quote
Duncan

I imagine that it will be very much set in advance: the university will publish a calendar, and it will be alternative weeks. I guess the whole year will be set in advance.

Lunchtime, to me, means classes will start at 1pm or 2pm. Ask them?

I'm sure it will be taught in the business school.

I imagine that it will be very much set in advance: the university will publish a calendar, and it will be alternative weeks. I guess the whole year will be set in advance.

Lunchtime, to me, means classes will start at 1pm or 2pm. Ask them?

I'm sure it will be taught in the business school.
quote
ralph


(Also, should I worry about non-triple accreditation?)

No, having triple accreditation isn't necessarily a value-add, it's just overlap.

For instance, FT's top three MBA programs - Wharton, Stanford, Harvard - only have one accreditation each.

<blockquote>
(Also, should I worry about non-triple accreditation?)</blockquote>
No, having triple accreditation isn't necessarily a value-add, it's just overlap.

For instance, FT's top three MBA programs - Wharton, Stanford, Harvard - only have one accreditation each.
quote
Duncan

True, but those schools are neither in the UK nor do they offer distance learning MBAs (which the other person is asking about). Because they primarily serve a domestic market and have impeccable global brands they don't need UK or European accreditation. That's not the position of any UK school: their DL MBAs serve international students who are almost certainly not looking to work in the UK, so multiple accreditation helps for a variety of reasons.

True, but those schools are neither in the UK nor do they offer distance learning MBAs (which the other person is asking about). Because they primarily serve a domestic market and have impeccable global brands they don't need UK or European accreditation. That's not the position of any UK school: their DL MBAs serve international students who are almost certainly not looking to work in the UK, so multiple accreditation helps for a variety of reasons.
quote
fiewn

Hi there,

Thanks both for the additional insight. In terms of the Edinburgh University Executive MBA, I've fired off a query to the point of contact listed to ask a few more detailed questions - but can I just clarify one thing...

In terms of the importance of triple accreditation for a UK-based student who will mostly work in the UK in the future... is that important? I think the advice being given is yes IF it's a distance learning one I go with.

But then what about if that UK-based/UK-focused student is studying face-to-face, like with the EUBS EMBA? My understanding (based on anecdotal evidence, some research on this forum which mentions EUBS specifically) is that the Edinburgh University brand is so strong that triple accreditation for their EMBA doesn't matter a jot, esp if I plan to stay within the UK (with UK employers) for most of my career.

Is that pretty much the case?

Hi there,

Thanks both for the additional insight. In terms of the Edinburgh University Executive MBA, I've fired off a query to the point of contact listed to ask a few more detailed questions - but can I just clarify one thing...

In terms of the importance of triple accreditation for a UK-based student who will mostly work in the UK in the future... is that important? I think the advice being given is yes IF it's a distance learning one I go with.

But then what about if that UK-based/UK-focused student is studying face-to-face, like with the EUBS EMBA? My understanding (based on anecdotal evidence, some research on this forum which mentions EUBS specifically) is that the Edinburgh University brand is so strong that triple accreditation for their EMBA doesn't matter a jot, esp if I plan to stay within the UK (with UK employers) for most of my career.

Is that pretty much the case?
quote
Duncan

I don't think the University brand is enough. St Andrews and Exeter are top ten UK universities, but they do not have very serious MBAs. In the UK AMBA accreditation is important, as is the FT ranking.

I don't think the University brand is enough. St Andrews and Exeter are top ten UK universities, but they do not have very serious MBAs. In the UK AMBA accreditation is important, as is the FT ranking.
quote
fiewn

Excellent - thank you for clarifying, in that case!

Excellent - thank you for clarifying, in that case!
quote

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