MBA vs MSc Management:  Which is  right  for you?  |

MBA vs MSc Management:  Which is  right  for you? 

By Chloe L

Updated May 19, 2022 Updated May 19, 2022

Struggling to decide between the MSc in Management (MiM) and the Master’s in Business Administration (MBA)?  Here are some of the key differences between the two programmes, including what you'll study, how much it'll cost and potential career paths. 

Sponsored by Nottingham Trent University   

The MSc in Management (MiM) and the Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) are both popular business management degree programmes, but which one is right for you?  

One of the key differences between the MiM and the MBA is the work experience requirement.  

MBA students are expected to be seasoned business professionals with between three to five years of relevant work experience and it's unlikely that a graduate without this work experience will be accepted on to most programmes.  

For MiM applicants however, work experience isn’t usually a deciding factor, although applicants are asked to demonstrate a commitment to the programme. This makes it perfect for recent graduates looking to move into graduate management positions. 

Aside from work experience requirements, there are plenty of differences between the MiM and the MBA, including what you will study; teaching methods; the cost of the programme, and the potential career paths.  

What will you study? 

MBA and MiM degrees are both postgraduate programmes based around a broad management curriculum, often with opportunities to specialise. However, there are differences in what you study and the way you study it.  

MBA programmes are often oriented more towards the practical applications of key management concepts drawing on participants’ experiences, particularly because students have experience of working in industry. Students are encouraged to work hands-on, using real-world experience to understand and apply these concepts. The MBA will help them build the problem-solving skills needed to find innovative solutions for diverse business issues.  

At Nottingham Business School (NBS), MBA students can personalise their learning experience to equip them with the skills they need, for the career they want. Students will undertake a range of modules, based around leadership and management, with a particular focus on responsible leadership, strategic planning and change management and opportunities to engage in consultancy work both in the UK and overseas.  

Additionally, students will take on a professional leadership development module. This will help them build the professional, strategic, transferrable skills required to become a more effective leader.  

The MiM provides a detailed introduction to core management concepts, an opportunity to specialise in a particular discipline (including international business, finance, marketing, global supply chain management and business analytics) and finishes with an opportunity for students to put their learning into practice in a client-facing project. A module in professional practice also helps students to put in place a personal career and personal development plan.  

Both the MBA and MSc Management programmes at NBS have a dual award with the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), providing students with student membership for the duration of their studies (including full access to the CMI’s resources) and a level 7 qualification in Strategic Management and Leadership, allowing potential for graduates to become full members of the CMI on completion of their studies.  

How do the teaching methods differ?  

The teaching methods for both the MBA and the MiM will depend on the specific programme you decide to study and the university you attend. However, in general, the MBA’s teaching should draw more on enabling students to relate their own experiences to the subjects being studied, whereas the MiM engages students to work collaboratively on cases, games, role-play and other business-related challenges.  

At NTU, the MSc in Management delivers modules over a four-week period. Students receive teaching for three weeks, and the fourth week is left clear for assessment work. This gives students the space to focus on one module at a time, while also allowing time for preparation and assessment work. 

The assessment methods reflect the needs and demands of the different types of module. Some modules will assess teamwork while others will assess individual capability. Assessment methods may include essays, business reports, presentations and pitches, role-play exercises, financial analyses, examinations and time-constrained tests, literature reviews and research-based reports.  

At NBS, there are a similar range of assessments for the MBA programme. The course typically has more contact time and is structured to encourage constructive learning, self-directed study, critical thinking and teamwork. Students will spend much of their time in small group workshops and tutorials discussing and analysing their own experiences of business practices and behaviours. 

Is there a difference in the cost of the programme?  

In general, an MBA costs more than a Master’s in Management. However, the cost will vary depending on the location and the university.  

For example, as an international student at Nottingham Trent University, a master’s in management degree will cost around £18,000 for the standard one-year course. NTU’s MBA programme is slightly more expensive at £21,500.  

For domestic students, the MBA programme costs the same, whereas the fees for the MiM programme at NBS are less at just £11,000. 

NBS offers competitive scholarships for both its MBA and MSc Management programmes.  

What are the likely career paths?  

The MSc in Management is aimed at young professionals who are looking to move into their first position.  

MiM graduates at Nottingham Trent University have gone on to work within the public, private and third sector, taking positions and salaries: 

Contrastingly, the MBA is designed for professionals who have already progressed beyond their entry level jobs and are looking to accelerate their leadership development, shift careers into different industries or functional specialisms, advance their business knowledge or start their own business.  

Examples of roles and salaries that MBA graduates at Nottingham Trent University have progressed into include : 

This article was originally published in March 2022 . It was last updated in May 2022

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Written by

As Content Editor for and, Chloe creates and publishes a wide range of articles for universities and business schools across the world. Chloe has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Reading and grew up in Leicestershire, UK. 

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