Top 10 MBA Programs in the UK for Low GMAT Scores

UK-based MBA degrees are a fabulous option for managers who want to progress in their current career, switch industries, functions or geographies—or establish a new startup venture. 

The mantra of the programs are that students learn as much from their peers as they do from the professors. So as such, they tend to require a GMAT or GRE entrance exam score. GMAT scores have been rising at the best business schools in recent years, and as such they are an important determinant in getting admitted. 

However, many business schools admit MBA candidates with low GMAT scores (within reason), provided that other elements of their candidacy at exceptional. To make it easy, for this Top 10 List we are defining a ‘low GMAT score’ as anything under 650 (or around 650). 

UK-based business schools, when eyeing candidates with low GMAT scores, usually stipulate that applicants have a solid undergraduate degree and substantial international work experience.

While high GMAT score averages are usually taken as a sign of cohort quality, plenty of smart people are simply too busy to study endlessly for the GMAT, with the test often requiring upwards of 100 hours of study.  

Indeed, the main advantage of opting for a UK MBA with a low GMAT score is that you can focus on your job and other family commitments, rather than on acquiring a piece of paper.  

Hertfordshire, United Kingdom 9 Followers 73 Discussions

The average GMAT score is just 573. Ashridge Business School is part of the Hult group, which has campuses all over the word, providing a truly international experience, which many students covet. In addition, the Ashridge MBA is ranked 25 in the UK by the prestigious Economist magazine. 

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Lancaster, United Kingdom 26 Followers 335 Discussions
Lancaster - LUMS

The average GMAT score at Lancaster University Management School is 601, far lower than many of its peers. The school is ranked as first in the world for corporate strategy and fourth on entrepreneurship, so as well as easier entry requirements, the career prospects look good, too.  

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Bath, United Kingdom 18 Followers 208 Discussions

At the University of Bath MBA candidates have a GMAT score, on average, of 610. The Economist recently placed the school at a very respectable eight in the UK and 25 overall globally. It was regarded as pretty good on student diversity and on diversity of its recruiters. Alumni effectiveness was also seen as decent. 

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Manchester, United Kingdom 65 Followers 516 Discussions
Alliance Manchester Business School

Manchester Business School is among the most revered institutions in the UK. But you don’t need astronomical test scores to get in. The average among its MBA cohort is 630. Higher than some other programs, the GMAT score is a sign of the quality of the school. It’s ranked as number 36 in the world by the Financial Times. 

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London, United Kingdom 59 Followers 416 Discussions
City, London - Bayes

Cass Business School is another stalwart of UK business education. It’s connections to the City of London and the myriad financial institutions there, and its close proximity to London’s cluster of tech startups, are nearly unparalleled. The GMAT average, however, is only 630. 

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London, United Kingdom 107 Followers 348 Discussions

Another leading UK school. Imperial College as an overall university is highly regarded for its technology and engineering prowess. This will not be lost on its MBA students, who can mix with some of the brightest technical minds in the country. The GMAT average is a mere 638. Moreover, Imperial was ranked by the FT as 51 overall in the world. 

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Coventry, United Kingdom 100 Followers 587 Discussions

Warwick’s GMAT average is straddling the mark at which it is deemed “high”. But at 658, it’s still a steal when you consider the quality of the education on offer. Warwick is regarded as the 41st best business school globally by the FT, with 95 percent of the students employed three months from graduation, earning average salaries of $110,264, a 77 percent increase on their pre-MBA pay. 

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Leeds, United Kingdom 18 Followers 164 Discussions
Leeds LUBS

One of Britain’s best business schools, according to the FT, Leeds does not even require the GMAT, provided an MBA applicant has a formal or professional qualification, such as a bachelor’s degree, or if they have at least five years of work experience. 

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Durham, United Kingdom 74 Followers 400 Discussions

In comparison, Durham University Business School does require the GMAT, but it’s average is 600. That’s far lower than one would expect, given the esteem with which Durham is held by students, who come from all over the world to study at its campus in the North of England. The Economist placed the MBA at 57th globally last year. 

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Edinburgh, United Kingdom 35 Followers 268 Discussions
Edinburgh UEBS

The University of Edinburgh Business School requires a 600 GMAT score minimum for entry to its MBA program. At least three years’ work experience in a managerial role, plus a good undergraduate degree, are also required. So you can be sure that Edinburgh's students are of very high quality.  

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