Cass Business School vs Kingston University: An MBA Comparison |

Cass Business School vs Kingston University: An MBA Comparison

By Julia G

Updated May 25, 2018 Updated May 25, 2018

When thinking about schools in London where you can undertake a worldwide renowned MBA course, two big names generally dominate - London Business School (LBS) and Imperial College Business School.

However, there are two other business schools in the city that are globally recognized as offering top-notch MBA tuition, achieving high finishes in QS’s European MBA Rankings 2018. Cass Business School and Kingston University are both well-regarded alternatives to London’s main two institutions, ranked 25th and 46th in Europe respectively. Here’s a closer look at how these two MBA programs compare.


Cass Business School Bunhill RowCass Business School (pictured left) has two campuses in London, located within a 15-minute walk of each other. Both campuses are close to the City (London’s financial district) and the tech hub of Silicon Roundabout in Old Street. Conversely, Kingston’s campus is in Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey, around 30 minutes from London’s Waterloo station by train.

The central London location of Cass is perfect if you want to be at the heart of the action, especially as it’s so near to both the financial and technological hubs of London. However, Kingston’s more sedate Surrey campus location gives the university a real sense of community - and it’s quick and easy to travel into the city. The type of campus environment that suits you is therefore likely to be dictated by your own preferences.

Full-time MBA program length

The Cass MBA takes 12 months to complete, and the intensive course doesn’t include an internship. Candidates have the option of focusing their MBA on one of many concentrations, including corporate finance, innovation and entrepreneurship, marketing, and investment management.

The Kingston MBA can also be completed in 12 months, but unlike the Cass course, you have the option of extending this to two years, including a 12-month professional placement as part of the degree. If getting more professional experience is something you’re prioritizing, this option at Kingston could be a real winner, especially when combined with the access to specialist careers advisors you will receive as an MBA student there.

Fees and scholarships

There is a significant difference in tuition fees between the two institutions. The Kingston MBA costs £19,700 (approx. US$26,310) for domestic and international students, whilst at Cass it is over twice as much at £41,000 (approx. US$54,758). Both universities offer 10 percent discounts for alumni. They also offer many scholarships, although Cass’s offerings are somewhat more extensive than Kingston’s.

At Kingston, there are a range of postgraduate scholarships available. These include a £4,000 (approx. US$5,342) scholarship for international students, as well as an MBA scholarship of £5,000 (approx. US$6,677). Kingston also offers a Postgraduate Progression Scholarship for both international and home students, which is a fee reduction of 25% offered to high-achieving Kingston alumni.

Cass has many scholarships and awards on offer to potential MBA candidates and all applicants are considered for the awards upon application to the program, with no separate application required. The awards offer up to 30 percent off the tuition cost and include the International Women in Business award and the Cass High Potential Award.

Scholarships offered by Cass require separate applications and offer up to 50 percent off the cost of tuition. They include the Academic Distinction Scholarship, the Entrepreneurship Scholarship, and the Public/Third Sector Scholarship, amongst others.

Cass offers three women-focused scholarships: the Cass Business School Women’s Scholarship, the Cass Women in STEM Scholarship, and The Coca-Cola Foundation Women’s Leadership Scholarship. The latter is a prestigious scholarship where scholars are provided with mentoring, access to unique networking opportunities, and 50 percent off tuition.

What to expect inside the classroom (and further afield…)

Kingston UniversityA key difference in class profile between the two programs is size, as the 73-strong cohort at Cass is over double the class size of 31 at Kingston (pictured right). This is because Kingston say they prefer to focus on small, diverse study groups. Kingston also has a significantly higher proportion of female students (42 percent) than Cass (32 percent).

The average amount of work experience is very similar for the two schools, with Kingston students having around 11 years to Cass’s seven. The makeup of international students is also very similar – and very high – for both schools, with 89 percent of students at Cass and 87 percent at Kingston hailing from abroad.

Both MBA courses have an international element, with international electives being compulsory parts of the degree programs. Cass offers international electives in over nine locations (this year, their International Consultancy Week trip saw students head to Dublin), as well as the Cass MBA Expeditionary Society. The Society explores leadership through experiential learning, offering extraordinary learning experiences, such as undertaking a technology and innovation elective in Israel and Palestine. It also hosts optional leadership development expeditions in places like the Andes, Iceland and Vietnam, to strengthen teamwork and resilience. Cass MBA students also have access to the campus in the Dubai International Finance Center.

Kingston’s MBA also has a distinctly international flavor. The course includes one fully paid international study trip in the second semester. Destinations include Moscow, Berlin and India. Kingston also offers their full-time MBA program in Russia, on their Moscow campus.

Preparing for life after the MBA

As one would expect from a postgraduate qualification designed for working professionals, the MBA courses at both Cass and Kingston place a significant emphasis on the careers and professional development side of their degrees. You can expect a dedicated careers coach on both programs, with each university also offering specialist career skills and advice.

Also notable is Cass’s online careers service, Cass Careers Online, which allows you to apply for jobs, get application advice and book upcoming events and workshops, all on a specialist online platform.

Kingston offers students mock recruitment and promotion interview situations, administered by real consultants, and students also have the chance to achieve a full Bloomberg diploma in the university’s Bloomberg trading room, as well as the opportunity to learn a foreign language free of charge as part of the Kingston Language Scheme.

Students at Cass can also achieve a Bloomberg diploma. In addition, Cass is the only global business school to have a dedicated Mergers + Acquisitions Research Centre. MBA candidates at Cass also have access to the £10 million (approx. US$13,355,750) Cass Entrepreneurship Fund, which is a venture capital fund based in-house at Cass, investing £250,000-1,000,000 (approx. US$333,893-1,335,575) in high potential early stage businesses.

Which is the better choice?

Both universities have certain pros and cons that might make one seem a better choice over the other. Cass’s location is hard to beat for a business student; however, it’s of course down to personal preference, as the more intimate, less central feel of the course at Kingston may be more to your liking.

Cass is significantly more expensive than Kingston (even with a scholarship), so if cost is a concern, this is something to consider. Ultimately, it is down to what is top of your priorities, as you would receive a top-ranking MBA from either institution.

This article was originally published in May 2018 .

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Written by

Julia is a writer for, publishing articles for business students and graduates across the world. A native Londoner, she holds an MSc in Marketing Strategy & Innovation from Cass Business School and a BA in Classical Studies & English from Newcastle University.


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