Top 10 MBA Programs in Europe

European Parliament with flags

Aside from North America, European institutions rank the highest in the world for the quality of their MBA programs according to the QS Global MBA Rankings 2018. The continent boasts some of the most-coveted business schools, including INSEAD - the first European institution to run an MBA program. Here are the top 10 MBA programs in Europe:

1. INSEAD, France

INSEAD was the first institution in Europe to offer an MBA and remains one of the world’s best locations for studying the course. Globally it’s ranked second - beaten only by Harvard Business School (the originator of the course itself). As well as topping the European ranking, in the specific criteria it ranks first for entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes, third for both employability and thought leadership, and seventh for return on investment.

2. HEC Paris, France

In second place is another French institution, and one of the most selective business schools in the world. Globally, the institution ranks in third place - following Harvard and INSEAD. For specific criteria, it ranks first for both diversity and employability, fifth for entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes, eighth for thought leadership, and 15th for return on investment.

3. London Business School, UK

In bronze position for Europe is London Business School. This famous institution was founded in response to the success of schools in the US and continues to be a top performer to this day. It ranks second for both employability, and entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes, fourth for thought leadership and 12th for diversity.

4. Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, UK

Saïd is the business school of the oldest university in the English-speaking world. It ranks fourth in our European ranking and ninth globally. For individual criteria, it tops the list of European schools for thought leadership, comes in sixth for employability, eighth for return on investment, ninth for entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes, and 11th for diversity.

5. IE Business School, Spain

In fifth place is the first Spanish institution on this list. IE Business School is consistently ranked among the best MBA programs and offers classes in both English and Spanish. The institution ranks second for diversity in the region, fourth for entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes, fifth for employability, 10th for return on investment, and 16th for thought leadership.


6. Imperial College Business School, UK

The triple-accredited Imperial is sixth in our European ranking and 16th globally, despite its short two-decade existence (the school was opened in 2004 by Queen Elizabeth II). The institution ranks top for return on investment, eighth for employability, ninth for thought leadership, 11th for entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes, and 13th for diversity.

7. ESADE Business School, Spain

The second Spanish institution in our top 10 is ESADE, located in the beautiful city of Barcelona. ESADE offers a truly international experience, and has collaborations with over 100 universities worldwide. The institution is ranked fourth in Europe for employability, sixth for entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes and 11th for return on investment.

8. Cambridge Judge Business School, UK

Oxford University’s traditional rival, Judge Business School of the University of Cambridge is eighth in our top 10 and joint 19th overall. The institution ranks second for thought leadership (only topped by Oxford Saïd), seventh for employability (again only one place behind Oxford Saïd), 14th for return on investment, and 21st for diversity.

9. IMD, Switzerland

Ninth on the list and the first non-EU institution is IMD in Switzerland. IMD focuses on general management, which means a much higher percentage of graduates go on to positions in the industrial, rather than financial, sector. The school ranks seventh for entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes, ninth for return on investment, 17th for thought leadership, and 21st for employability.


10. SDA Bocconi, Italy

The first Italian institution in the ranking, SDA Bocconi ranks 10th in Europe and 22nd globally. The business school is the first in Italy to be accredited by EQUIS, and one of only 71 globally to hold the ‘triple crown’ (business schools accredited by AACSB, AMMBA and EQUIS). For individual criteria, the school ranks fifth for return on investment, 10th for thought leadership, 11th for employability, 14th for diversity and 24th for entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes.

Amelia Hopkins
Written by Amelia Hopkins

Amelia Hopkins is a writer for TopMBA, covering the latest news in business and business education. A graduate of the University of Leeds and Yorkshire native, she enjoys reading, travelling and talking incessantly about the countryside.

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