Top 10 MBA Programs in Europe 2019 |

Top 10 MBA Programs in Europe 2019

By Niamh Ollerton

Updated February 29, 2024 Updated February 29, 2024

The QS Global MBA Rankings 2019 have been released today, ranking business schools from around the world. The rankings are also split up into regions: Asia, Europe, Canada, Oceania, Latin America, and the US.

In this article, we’re taking a closer look at the top MBA institutions in Europe, which features 75 business schools from across the continent. Some of the most-coveted business schools are featured in this list, including INSEAD - the first European institution to run an MBA program.

10. SDA Bocconi, Italy

The first and only Italian institution to make it into the top 10, SDA Bocconi rounds off our European list at number 10. 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 third for return on investment (up from fifth last year), ninth for thought leadership, 11th for employability, 20th for entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes, and 21st for diversity.

9. Cambridge Judge Business School, UK

Those in the know will have heard of the rivalry between Oxford University and Cambridge University. Affiliated with the latter is Judge Business School of the University of Cambridge which is just as prestigious in its own right.

The institution ranks second for thought leadership (only topped by its historical rival’s b-school Oxford Saïd), eighth for employability (again only one place behind Oxford Saïd), 14th for return on investment, and 20th for diversity. The 12-month MBA program costs US$74,327, but there’s a seemingly big win for students at Judge, as post-MBA salaries average US$133,822 compared to US$59,152 before starting the program.

8. Imperial College Business School, UK

Imperial, located in London, is a triple threat with its triple-accredited MBA program. Despite its short two-decade existence as a b-school (opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 2004) it’s currently ranked eighth and 19th globally. The institution ranks fifth for return on investment, ninth for employability, ninth for thought leadership, 12th for entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes, and sixth for diversity (up from 13th last year).

The 12-month program costs US$68,921, with graduates earning US$80,898 on average after graduation, jumping from US$62,768 pre-MBA. On average, students on the program are 28 with six years’ work experience. The b-school is not far off hitting gender parity with 44 percent of female students making up the cohort. The class is relatively intimate with 78 students, but this could be perfect for students who prefer smaller classes.

7. IESE Business School at the University of Navarra, Spain

And wouldn’t you believe the third Spanish institution on the list is also located in picturesque Barcelona. IESE Business School at the University of Navarra has offered global business education for six decades. The b-school is ranked fifth for employability, eighth for entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes, and 12th for thought leadership.

The 19-month MBA program costs US$105,895, and graduates earn on average US$104,177, jumping from US$65,471 pre-MBA. 70 percent of the faculty is international, 87 percent of students are international and 57 nationalities are represented in the class. The class is a large one with 354 students.

6. ESADE Business School, Spain

The second Spanish institution in our top 10 is ESADE, located in the stunning city Barcelona. ESADE offers a truly international experience and has collaborations with over 100 universities worldwide. The institution is ranked third for entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes (up from sixth), fourth in Europe for employability once again this year, and 11th for return on investment.

The 18-month MBA program costs US$77,964, with graduates earning on average US$96,456 compared to US$55,792 pre-MBA. On average, there are 187 students on the MBA class, 48 nationalities and 97 percent are international students.

5. Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, UK

Saïd is the business school of the oldest university in the English-speaking world. It ranks fifth in our European ranking and 12th globally. For individual criteria, once again in 2019, the b-school tops the list of European schools for thought leadership, comes in seventh for employability, 12th for return on investment, ninth for entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes, and 16th for diversity.

The 12-month MBA course costs US$74,327, with post-graduate salaries averaging US$88,894. The average years’ work experience is 6, with the average age of students being 29. There are 60 nationalities, 92 percent international students, and 41 percent of students identify as female.

4. IE Business School, Spain

Once again in 2019, IE Business School is the first Spanish institution on this list. The b-school offers MBA classes in English and Spanish and is consistently ranked as one of the best MBA programs in the world.

The 11-month program costs US$86,734, with graduates earning on average US$91,482. Students are 20-years-old on average with around five years’ work experience. There are 71 nationalities on the course, with 91 percent international students and 31 percent female students. The institution has managed to score the top spot for entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes this year, ranks second for diversity in the region once more, second for return on investment, sixth for employability, and 17th for thought leadership.

3. HEC Paris

In bronze position, is another world-renowned French institution HEC Paris, which boasts itself as being one of the most selective business schools in the world. For specific criteria, it ranks second for employability, seventh for entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes, fifth for thought leadership, and 15th for return on investment.

The 16-month MBA program costs US$74,481, with an average post-graduate salary of US$115,500 - so graduates definitely enjoy a cash bonus once in the world of work. Women make up 32 percent of the cohort, as well as 92 percent international students and 55 nationalities. Students are on average 30-years-old with six years’ work experience.

Andrea Masini, Associate Dean in charge of the MBA program says, "This fall brings innovation to our curriculum with several important changes; the launch of two new specializations, Digital Transformation and Sustainability and Disruptive Innovation. New electives will enrich the customized phase, including a course on Value Chain and Supply Chain Innovation that discusses the impact of digitalization and AI on supply chain operations.

"We have optimized the structure of the MBA project to increase opportunities for internships and facilitate job search as students come to the end of their MBA. Finally, yet importantly, we have increased the flexibility of the curriculum by introducing several blended courses that have an online component.

“HEC Paris has been a top business school for almost 140 years. Knowledge creation and sharing has always been one of our core values.  Excellence in research is part of the DNA of the school. Our excellent research faculty, who consist of more than 110 international research faculty members, push the frontiers of knowledge every day by combining rigour and relevance.

"The HEC Paris ecosystem allows us to attract some of the brightest minds from all over the world and offer them optimal conditions to keep producing high quality scientific output. This collective effort results in a large number of publications in top scientific journals, but also in practitioner-orientated journals that reach a broader audience and help our research have an impact on the real world."

2. INSEAD, France

In silver position for our 2019 European ranking is INSEAD. INSEAD was the first institution in Europe to offer an MBA and remains one of the world’s best locations for studying the course, and globally it’s ranked sixth. As well as topping the European ranking, in the specific criteria it ranks sixth for entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes, third for employability and thought leadership, and 10th for return on investment.

The 10-month MBA program costs US$100,909, with graduates earning on average US$104,600 up from US$55,200 pre-MBA.

1. London Business School, UK

Reigning supreme for the European region is London Business School, which has climbed from third position in 2018. 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 (ranking fourth in the global table). It ranks first for employability, fourth for entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes, as well as fourth for thought leadership and 16th for diversity.

LBS offers a 21-month MBA program which costs US$92,718, however, salaries jump from US$70,903 to US$107,931 post-graduation.

David Simpson, Admissions Director, MBA & MiF says, “We have just welcomed our most global MBA class to date with no more than about 20 percent from any region, more than 60 nationalities per class, and a network of alumni spanning more than 150 countries worldwide.

“The class size too has grown. We now have 485 MBAs and women make up 40 percent of the class.

“Our MBA is constantly evolving to meet the needs of our students and those of the global business economy.

“We have added more analytics content to our MBA. The new talent war is not just for data scientists. Increasingly it’s about people who understand how to turn the results of data analysis into value-creating strategy. Our MBAs are uniquely placed to speak both languages.”

This article was originally published in September 2018 . It was last updated in February 2024

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