Imperial College Business School: Inside the QS Online MBA Rankings 2021 Programme |

Imperial College Business School: Inside the QS Online MBA Rankings 2021 Programme

By Linda M

Updated April 26, 2021 Updated April 26, 2021

Here's what Professor Markus Perkmann, Academic Director of the Global Online MBA at Imperial College Business School, had to say about the school's performance in the QS Online MBA Rankings 2021.

The QS Online MBA Rankings 2021 have just been released, revealing the business schools setting the standard for online MBA offerings across the globe.

Now in its 10th year, the rankings analysed the offerings from 57 schools based on several indicators, including employability, class profile, class experience, and faculty and teaching.

One of the best-performing programmes this year was the Global Online MBA at Imperial College Business School, which ranked 2nd worldwide and first in the UK and European region.

TopMBA caught up with Professor Markus Perkmann, Academic Director of the programme, to discuss Imperial’s performance in the rankings, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on online MBA admissions, and future plans for digital learning.

Given local and global restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the past year has been particularly challenging for business schools across the world, as many had to pivot towards remote learning even for in-person programmes. Have you seen a difference, whether positive or negative in candidate interest for your online MBA offering? And did you implement any changes to the delivery of your programme to adapt to the ongoing pandemic?

MP: We have found that our Global Online MBA programme has been the least affected by the pandemic, and we have therefore seen a very significant increase in applications. However, online MBAs like our Imperial Global Online MBA had already seen growing interest before the pandemic, and we will continue to see this growth trend after the worst of the pandemic is over. Online MBAs enable many ambitious professionals to do an MBA in the first place because they allow them to fit their studies around their busy professional and personal lives, independent from the location of their institution.

Our Global Online MBA contains some classroom-based courses which are very highly valued by our students because they allow them to get to know their classmates face-to-face and to mix with colleagues from our other MBA programmes. We also offer “glocal” electives in various global regions. During the pandemic we transitioned all these activities to a synchronous online-mode but we will change them back to classroom-based as soon as possible. From now on, we will also offer many classroom-based electives – our Global Online students can take two of these – in “multi-mode”, which will allow students to participate either physically or online in the same class.

There is a difference in pedagogical design between programmes that have been designed for largely online delivery, and what would otherwise be full-time on-campus programmes that have adapted to remote delivery due to COVID-19. The Imperial Global Online MBA has been designed to optimise the MBA curriculum for online delivery.

What makes your online MBA programme unique and a top provider of online learning?

We have been at the forefront of championing the increased use of educational technology for over 15 years. Our Edtech Lab, Imperial’s first digital learning and education group, was established back in 2005, and since then we’ve established ourselves as a leader in online teaching and learning through the use of innovative technology.

Our programme offers an immersive, cohort-based MBA experience, taught by our top faculty, designed by our award-winning Edtech Lab and supported by our world-class Careers Team. We also offer a large number of elective modules, allowing our students to personalise their curriculum to enhance their studies. We are currently introducing new electives in analytics and strategy, complementing the already rich choice of courses we offer in leadership, entrepreneurship, and finance.

Your programme scored particularly highly for the employability and faculty and teaching indicators. Why do you think this is?

We find that our candidates are highly employable but also highly promotable for several reasons. Firstly, our Global Online MBA programme is selective and hence our MBA candidates are all high-calibre professionals, working in top companies around the globe. Secondly, the brand recognition of Imperial College London as a global top-10n university means many employers will trust in the expertise of our graduates. In addition, our teaching is highly interactive and focused on practice-oriented assignments, often as group work which enables our students to not only learn basic knowledge, but also critical thinking and communication skills. Finally, both our students and faculty are highly international, which opens up more opportunities to our candidates worldwide.

We also offer a wide range of career support services to students across our MBA programmes, as well as access to our wealth of professional development webinars and an extensive alumni network. 

This article was originally published in April 2021 .

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Written by

Linda is Content Writer at TopMBA, creating content about students, courses, universities and businesses. She recently graduated in Journalism & Creative Writing with Politics and International Relations, and now enjoys writing for a student audience. 

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