The Case For Studying Business In The United Kingdom

If your ambition is to pursue a global career in business, it would be a grave mistake not to look at the many options to study and learn business than the United Kingdom. Whether it’s an undergraduate or graduate degree, from the MBA to a master’s in business analytics, you would find an amazing array of prestige choices.

best business schools in the UKMore than 100 business schools have their homes in the U.K, with more than 130 MBA programs alone. Ten of the Top 100 global MBA programs on the Financial Times’ 2023 list are domiciled in the U.K. As are 10 of the top 100 Master’s in Management programs. Some 27 British business schools have won the so-called Triple Crown, accreditation by all three major B-school accrediting agencies in the world. 

As Sangeet Chowfla, the former CEO of the Graduate Management Admission Council, writes, the country punches well above its weight when it comes to business education.  “The U.K. has always been a graduate management education powerhouse,” notes Chowfla. “It is the third largest taught-in-English provider of graduate management education after India and the U.S. and is home to many institutions of renown.

The country rightly boasts to having one of the best higher education institutions in the world, a network of schools with a strong presence in finance, consulting, and technology. No wonder Britain has long been the preferred choice for some of the most important minds in history. The British Council estimates that one in four world leaders has studied in the U.K.

And especially for international students, the United Kingdom is a welcoming place. In most of the business programs in the U.K., international students make up 90% or more of the learning population. The country, and especially London, is a modern melting pot of diverse cultures and backgrounds. Your education at a U.K. business school is, as Cranfield School of Management Dean David Oglethorpe points out, “enriched with valuable life experiences and international insights that will benefit your future career and transform your view of the world. You will work within diverse study groups, witnessing first-hand how management styles and business practices differ from one country to the next, whilst developing greater respect for other cultures, values and norms.”

“The greatest thing about the United Kingdom whether it is working, studying or living is the diversity,” says Nalisha Patel, regional director for Europe at the Graduate Management Admission Council. “It is such a melting pot of people and ideas. There is London and there is the U.K. and you sometimes have to unpack that. It’s a really wonderful place to cover a lot of ground understanding people and cultures without having to move out of the United Kingdom.”

Michael Anthonisz, the associate dean of MBA programs at Durham Business School, echoes that advantage. “You get to engage and network across a vast range of backgrounds and people,” he says. “The culture, the friendliness and the collegiality of people here are all pulling in the same direction to achieve goals.”

In this guide to business education in the U.K., our goal is to shine a light on the best programs and schools, including many of the hidden quality gems that don’t get the benefit of an FT ranking. Whether you study at one of the business schools at world-recognized universities or a school with a national or regional reputation, you can learn what you need in business to reach your full potential. We’ll explain what it’s like for an international student to study in the U.K. and also provide a candid assessment of the threat by a conservative government to impose restrictions on student and work visas for internationals.

Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.