It might not be the biggest in the world, but the beautiful city of Bath in the southwest of England has an awful lot going for it — the Roman baths, a medieval abbey, and plenty of Georgian architecture, for a start, which combine to make this town a tourist trap.
The University of Bath School of Management combines chocolate-box charm with an international feel — over 50% of the cohort typically comes from Asia, and each class averages around 20 nationalities. Bath might seem quaint, but it is just 15 minutes from bustling Bristol and a 90-minute train journey from London.
Unusually, the full-time MBA class tends to attract 50% women; some years, women are even in the majority, something almost unheard-of for a MBA program, particularly in Europe. This is a small course, with around 50 students, but as the school says, that means each student gets close, personalized attention.
Being part of a larger university means that Bath MBAs can also meet with recruiters who come to meet undergraduate and other master’s students. Graduates have the option of taking an internship with one of the university’s partner companies; recent site visits have included Jaguar Land Rover and Wessex Water.
Bath has made its MBA more customizable in recent years. These days a third of the program is given over to core courses (finance, marketing, strategy, and so on), a third is taken up with five projects, and the final third consists of electives. The school plans to add more electives in digital disruption and AI, which play nicely into the Global Residency program, a one-week trip to Silicon Valley which students rave about.
About a quarter of students stay in the UK after graduation, and the most recent cohort reported average salary increases of 66%.
Elena Liquete, MBA program director:
The small cohort size at Bath, with around 50 students, means that we can do things that are not possible on a larger course. We really do have a personal connection with every student and we can work closely with them. Everybody gets a personal development plan and specialist support. We have a mentoring program where senior businesspeople come and work with the students on specific issues. We are able to run small sessions focusing on developmental issues. For instance, we have a communications class which is very much interactive, looking at how each person connects and listens. The small class means we can truly get to know our students.
Israni Ritika, MBA 2018:
One of the things that attracted me to Bath was the gender split: 53% of my cohort were women. Having worked in India where women are not respected and valued in the workplace, I wanted to go somewhere I could shine. I have lived in big cities like New York, New Delhi, and Dubai most of my life, so a small one like Bath was out of my comfort zone. But living in a UNESCO World Heritage city was a great experience. Fewer distractions meant I could focus on what I was there for, but it was also easy to get to central London. Being close to Bristol, we had access to big businesses based there. There was no compromise.