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Top 10 MBA Programs in Europe 2021

global mba top 10 europe rankings

The QS Global MBA Rankings 2021 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.

MBA programs were ranked based on the indicators of employability, entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes, return on investment, thought leadership, and diversity. You can find out more about the methodology used to produce the rankings here.

This year, 69 schools in Europe were ranked – the top 10 MBA programs in the Europe in the 2021 rankings are:

                              QS Global MBA Rankings 2021: Top MBA Programs in Europe

European Rank

Global Rank

Business School

Location

1

5

France

2

6

France

3

7

United Kingdom

4

9

Spain

5

11=

Spain

6

13

Spain

7

16

United Kingdom

8

17=

United Kingdom

9

22

United Kingdom

10

23

Italy

 Learn more about MBA programs at these leading institutions from admissions directors and alumni at the QS Virtual MBA event in the UK on 3 October.

10) SDA Bocconi

SDA Bocconi

  • Tuition fees: US$66,174
  • Percentage of female students: 33
  • Percentage of international students: 74
  • Students in class: 92

Kicking off Europe’s top 10 is the 13-month MBA program at SDA Bocconi, which scored a perfect score for return on investment (sharing the top spot in the European top 10 with HEC Paris). Students can enjoy a salary uplift of 127 percent on average post-graduation.

For nine months students take core classes and concentrations, with up to another six months where you can choose from individual internships, entrepreneurial projects, or group business labs to put your learning into practice. 90 percent of grads accepted job offers within three months of graduating, with eight percent starting their own business three months post-graduation.

9) Imperial College Business School

Imperial College Business School

  • Tuition fees: US$68,910
  • Percentage of female students: 33
  • Percentage of international students: 91 
  • Students in class: 70

The 12-month London-based MBA program at Imperial scored very highly for thought leadership and employability indicators.

Students complete pre-study modules that provide the basic knowledge and skills required for the program. This includes an accounting primer, a data analysis primer, and a finance primer.

Students can also participate in the Imperial Innovation Challenge, a one-week learning lab finding and presenting a solution to a business problem plus workshops and talks with industry experts.

Grads note an average salary of US$82,853, with 91 percent of grads accepting jobs three months post-graduation.

Markus Perkmann, academic director of the MBA at Imperial College Business School said: "Imperial College Business School’s Full-Time MBA has established itself as a leading programme for ambitious individuals who want to create an impact in business and society. We’re extremely pleased that the programme’s prestige is recognised in this ranking, placing our Full-Time MBA in the top 10 in Europe. Situated in London, a fast-moving technology and business hub, our Full-Time MBA prepares students for fulfilling global careers, which is reflected in our ranking among the top business schools in Europe.

"We evolve our programme on a continuous basis. Our particular goal is to enable our students to gain from the fact that we are part of Imperial College London, a global top-10 university with world-leading strengths in technology, science, health and business. Students interested in tech, analytics, digital transformation and an entrepreneurial mindset will find that our programme offers them an unprecedented opportunity to take advantage of the broader horizons offered at a STEM institution.

"We are adding elective options in data science and analytics, digital business model innovation and other emerging areas. We are offering the Imperial Innovation Challenge, allowing students to take part in tech commercialisation projects in collaboration with our Enterprise division."

8) Judge Business School

Judge Business School

  • Tuition fees: US$70,087
  • Percentage of female students: 36
  • Nationalities represented: 51
  • Students in class: 206

The 12-month MBA program at Judge Business School, University of Cambridge narrowly fell behind its biggest rival Saïd Business School of Oxford University.

Judge’s one-year program scored very highly for the thought leadership and employability indicators, with 90 percent of graduates accepting jobs three months after graduating – noting an average salary of US$99,753.

Cambridge emphasizes that students can tailor their MBA program to their specific business goals through electives, a global consulting project, and concentrations. They offer 10 MBA concentrations, including Digital Transformation, Energy & Environment, Finance and Marketing.

7) Saïd Business School

Said Business School

  • Tuition fees: US$80,430
  • Percentage of female students: 44
  • Percentage of international students: 95
  • Students in class: 329

Saïd Business School is the business school of Oxford University – the oldest university in the English-speaking world. The one-year MBA program at Saïd follows the wider university’s three term structure, divided into sets of core and elective modules focusing on three themes related to current world business challenges: Entrepreneurship, Global Rules of the Game and Responsible Business.

91 percent of grads accepted job roles three months after graduation and 10 percent started their own business.

6) ESADE

ESADE Business School

  • Tuition fees: US$76,830
  • Percentage of female students: 39
  • Percentage of international students: 95
  • Students in class: 186

Students undertaking ESADE’s 18-month MBA program will enjoy studying on the third best program in the European top 10 for ROI.

ESADE’s MBA program has a strong international focus. Study tours take you to a range of destinations worldwide on five different continents. You can also do an international exchange of up to four months from a choice of 45 partner schools, including Dartmouth College Tuck School of BusinessChina Europe International Business School (CEIBS) and Warwick Business School. Although the program is taught in English; Spanish, French and German language lessons are also available.

5) IESE Business School

IESE Business School

  • Tuition fees: US$93,592
  • Percentage of female students: 32
  • Percentage of international students: 90
  • Students in class: 368

Barcelona’s IESE Business School offers MBA students the opportunity to complete its program anywhere between 15 and 19 months.

The MBA program scored second-highest in the European top 10 for ROI, with an impressive average post-graduation salary uplift of 124 percent – earning an average salary of $123,662 three months after graduation. 94 percent of students accepted jobs three months after graduation and 10 percent started their own business.

The school encourages connection with its Spanish roots, offering a Business Spanish learning program for MBA students as well as the option for advanced and native Spanish speakers to graduate with a bilingual MBA diploma.

4) IE Business School

IE Business School

  • Tuition fees: US$79,634
  • Percentage of female students: 32
  • Percentage of international students: 91 
  • Students in class: 598

Madrid’s IE Business School offers its 11-month International MBA program – which incidentally earned the top spot in the European top 10 for Entrepreneurship & Alumni outcomes. The program also earned the top spot for diversity in Europe.

IE’s MBA has the ‘Professional Fitness program’ which all MBA students are enrolled on – a fascinating addition. This program features two distinct elements: Career Fitness and Behavioral Fitness. Career Fitness helps you to land the job of your dreams through advice and workshops, whereas Behavioral Fitness practices more productive workplace behaviors and enhances leadership skills.

3) London Business School

London Business School

  • Tuition fees: US$104,493
  • Percentage of female students: 31
  • Percentage of international students: 92 
  • Students in class: 497

Landing the top British MBA program in Europe for yet another year is London Business School’s 21-month MBA program which earned the top spot for employability in the European top 10.

London is one of the world’s main financial capitals, with 100 percent of the world's leading financial institutions represented in the city, and three quarters of the top 500 global companies using it as their base. Their employment stats are impressive, with 92 percent of MBA graduates accepting a job offer 3 months after graduation, with average salaries of US$106,837.

2) INSEAD

INSEAD, France campus

  • Tuition fees: US$98,009 
  • Percentage of female students: 35 
  • Percentage of international students: 91 
  • Students in class: 536

The second-highest-ranked European program, and sixth in the world, is INSEAD’s MBA program. The program scored the second-highest spot for employability and the highest for thought leadership in Europe. 92 percent of students accepted job offers three months after graduation, noting an average salary of US$105,900.

During the 10-month program, students have the opportunity to study at INSEAD’s three campuses in Fontainebleau, Singapore and Abu Dhabi. Students complete 14 core courses and have a choice from over 75 elective options.

1) HEC Paris

HEC Paris

  • Tuition fees: US$76,434
  • Percentage of female students: 34 
  • Percentage of international students: 95
  • Students in class: 281

Earning first place in Europe for yet another year is the HEC Paris MBA program, which also achieved the highest score – 100 percent – in the European rankings for ROI, and scored very highly for the thought leadership and employability.

HEC graduates have been known to enjoy a staggering 152 percent salary increase post-MBA, with students earning a whopping average salary of US$128,206. The 15-month program focuses on developing leadership potential, such as leadership seminars, a student-run MBA multisport MBA tournament and the HEC Global Leaders Series, with influential speakers from the world of business.

Niamh Ollerton, Deputy Head of Content at QS
Written by Niamh Ollerton

Niamh is Deputy Head of Content at QS (TopMBA.com; topuniversities.com), creating and editing content for an international student audience. Having gained her journalism qualification at the Press Association, London and since written for different international publications, she's now enjoying telling the stories of students, alumni, faculty, entrepreneurs and organizations from across the globe.  

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