MBA Ranking: Britain’s Top 15 Full-Time MBA Options

LBS’ London campus is on the doorstep of Regents Park

When it comes to rankings of the best MBA programs in the United Kingdom, there’s only one list that truly counts: The annual list published by The Financial Times.

The FT roster of the best MBA programs is the most closely followed in Europe and Asia, particularly for schools in those regions of the world. As such, it carries significant influence in the U.K. market, far more so than in the U.S. where U.S. News & World Report’s annual list of U.S. MBA programs is the dominant U.S. ranking.

And on the FT, London Business School stands out, ranking eighth best in the world in the new 2024 ranking, a vast improvement from its 16th place showing a year earlier. Over the 26 years of FT rankings, LBS has ranked first in 2009, 2010, and 2011. Regardless of its annual rank, however, the program consistently scores well across all of the FT’s ranking metrics. Some 92% of recent alums say the program allowed them to achieve their career aims. LBS ranked 12th best in the world for career progress, with alumni reporting a 108% increase in salary over their pre-MBA pay levels. Alums report average annual salaries of $187,292, highest for any MBA program in Britain. No other U.K. MBA program scored more highly in overall satisfaction as measured by alumni. LBS grads gave the school a 9.25 score on a scale of one to ten, with ten being the highest possible mark.


best business schools in the UKTen full-time MBA programs are currently ranked among the Top 100 globally by the FT. If you include Hult International Business School, which in addition to its campus in London also boasts locations in Boston, New York, San Francisco, Dubai, and Shanghai, it comes to 11. The FT ranked the Hult MBA 99th best in the world last year. The undisputed winner of the FT list: London Business School’s full-time MBA experience. In every one of the past ten years, LBS has topped the list of the best MBA programs in Britain, with only one exception.

In 2017, the FT ranked the University of Cambridge’s Judge Business School fifth best in the world, just a tweak better than LBS which finished right behind Judge in sixth place. That was clearly an anomaly, though Judge has consistently ranked second behind LBS on the FT list.

Over that ten-year span, a total of 15 MBA programs in the U.K. have made the Financial Times list. The most successfully ranked of these programs is Lancaster University’s Management School, which has been on the FT list eight of ten times, with the highest rank of 35th in 2016.


Of these 15 U.K. schools, only eight have made the FT ranking in all ten out of ten years: LBS, Cambridge Judge, Oxford Said, Imperial College London, Alliance Manchester, Warwick, Bayes Business School, and Durham University Business School.

Only two full-time MBA programs in the United Kingdom have improved their FT ranking over this ten-year timeframe: Imperial College Business School in London, climbing a dozen places to a global rank of 37th last year from 49th in 2013, and Durham University Business School, which has risen 29 spots to a global rank of 68th last year from 97th ten years ago.

And there is not doubt this ranking is important. “It’s critical really,” concedes Michael Anthonisz, associate dean of MBA programs at Durham Business School. “Whether I think it should be or not is another thing. A lot of people will look at it but don’t know what the ranking means or how it is calculated. A couple of European schools are looking to opt out. But we see it as something to be involved in because of its impact on demand and the market.”

When The Economist published its final MBA ranking in 2022, the list also included three schools not currently on the FT ranking. They are Nottingham University Business School (ranked 69th), the University of Exeter Business School (73), and Adam Smith Business School (87) at the University of Glasgow. All three of these business schools are triple accredited.

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