Australia's Top Distance Online MBA Programs Compared |

Australia's Top Distance Online MBA Programs Compared

By Julia G

Updated April 21, 2021 Updated April 21, 2021

Five Australian online MBA programmes feature in the QS Online MBA Rankings 2021, more than in any other major ranking.

So, why choose one of these Australian schools to undertake your MBA? If you’re an international student living in southeast Asia, Australia may be a lot easier to travel to for residential electives or networking than similar courses in the US or Europe. Plus, you can get a fantastic education, usually at a lower price than at American institutions.

Read on to find out more about the Australian programmes in this year’s rankings.




The online MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM) is ranked fourth in the world and is the only Australian programme to make it into the global top 10. It’s a very well-established online MBA programme – a recognition which Professor Nick Wailes, AGSM Director and Deputy Dean of the UNSW Business School, says helps the school continuously innovate the course content:

“Our background and experience mean that we are well positioned to innovate and take advantage of new technologies that can enhance student learning as they emerge. We are constantly evolving our model to make it the best possible learning experience.”

The school’s MBAX has the second-highest percentage of female students in its cohort within the top 10 at 38 percent. It earned high scores across the board, especially for employability and class experience. The programme includes a compulsory starter course, followed by five core courses, five specialisation courses, and a capstone course within an elective the area of study – Change, Social Impact, Technology or Finance.

Wailes emphasises how the option of specializing contributes to the programme’s appeal: “The opportunity to combine the breadth of an MBA program with depth in a particular area of focus helps set MBAX apart.”

There are two pathways into the MBAX program. You will either require a strong undergraduate degree (or equivalent) and a minimum of two years professional or managerial work experience, or at least six years of professional work experience.

MBA applicants will of course need to provide a personal statement, a CV, two letters of referral and proof of English language proficiency in their application. GMAT/GRE isn’t required for admission onto the MBAX course.

Tuition costs amount to US$44,588.

2) Macquarie Business School

Macquarie Business School

Next is the online MBA from Macquarie Business School, which is ranked 19th in the world and second in Australia.

The Global MBA wants to challenge the idea of a conventional MBA through an innovative curriculum formed around six key skills: strategising, leading, analysing, influencing, adapting, and problem solving. Each learning unit is designed to give students the necessary knowledge to evolve in real-life business situations.

The 20-month programme received a perfect score of 100 for class experience in the QS Online MBA Rankings 2021. This year’s cohort of 206 is diverse, with 41 percent of students identifying as female and 76 percent international candidates the highest percentage on the list.

In order to apply, candidates must have completed an undergraduate degree with a minimum GPA of 5 out of 7, possess an IELTS certificate with a score of 7.0 overall if English isn’t their first language, and have three years of supervisory or professional experience in the job market.

Tuition is US$25,387.

3) Deakin Business School

Deakin Business School

The online MBA at Deakin Business School is ranked 29th in the world and third in Australia. The online MBA is based on their Cloud ‘campus’ – an interactive learning platform – with face-to-face interaction taking place on their Melbourne campus.

MBA students can begin their studies in March, July, and November. To complete the MBA, students must attain a total of 12 credit points, consisting of eight credit points of core units and four credit points of elective units. This should take around 18 months to complete, but there is a level of flexibility. For example, it’s possible to do an elective unit in an intensive course, thereby completing it quicker. For valuable face-to-face experience, there are residential units, which consist of six consecutive days of intensive study on campus. The average programme length is 30 months.

Professor Mike Ewing, Executive Dean and Vice President of Deakin University’s Faculty of Business & Law, is keen to emphasise how Deakin's long-running experience with distance learning shapes the delivery and experience of the course for students:

"Distance education is built into our culture and our DNA. Our staff understand distance learners and how to teach well in an online environment. We know it’s more than just ‘technology’ and ‘an online platform’ – it’s about an attitude and orientation toward understanding that those not able to be present on campus deserve the same level of attention and experience as those who come on-campus."

The course has an English language requirement, with candidates needing an IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent to be accepted. You must also either have a bachelor’s/master’s degree and a minimum of three years professional work experience in a managerial role, or a graduate certificate in a related discipline and five years of managerial experience. As with most MBA courses, Deakin also requires a CV, personal statement, and two references as part of the admissions process.

Tuition fees are US$39,963.

4) La Trobe Business School

La Trobe Business School


La Trobe Business School is ranked in 31st place, achieving an above average score in the faculty & teaching indicator. Dr Geraldine Kennett, director of the MBA programme at La Trobe, enthuses about how the university works to ensure an enjoyable experience for students:

“Our online MBA programme is designed for building peer-to-peer learning and professional relationships using interactive weekly video conferencing. A high-performing team of dedicated lecturers - many of whom work in or have connections with industry – put the student experience at the core of what they do.”

The course takes between one and two years to complete (with an average program length of 24 months), with intakes in January, March, April, July, September and October. The online study periods are seven weeks in duration, and candidates are expected to complete 10 core subjects and two elective subjects. This MBA is renowned for being a ‘green’ MBA, meaning it has a focus on sustainability.

You will need an Australian bachelor’s degree (or international equivalent, with a minimum C-grade (60 percent) average), and a minimum of three years’ relevant postgraduate managerial experience. Applicants without an undergraduate degree but with a minimum of eight years managerial experience may also be considered. Application to La Trobe also requires a CV, personal statement, and two references.

Course fees are US$45,003.

5) Curtin Business School

Curtin Business School


Curtin University, Curtin Business School is the final Australian school in the rankings, coming in at 45th place. It leads Australian programmes alongside Deakin for most women in class at 45 percent.

Candidates can undertake the 35-month course on campus, online or in residential modes. The programme is made up of eight core units and four elective units. Students must also complete a professional portfolio, which involves a minimum of 40 hours of professional development (complemented by workshops and lectures).

Entry requirements for the programme are a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) plus a minimum of three years’ work experience. GMAT or GRE results aren’t required for entry, but non-English speaking students must achieve a minimum IELTS score of 6.5. Fees are US$37,157.

This article was first published in June 2018 and updated in April 2021.

This article was originally published in June 2018 . It was last updated in April 2021

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Written by

Julia is a writer for, publishing articles for business students and graduates across the world. A native Londoner, she holds an MSc in Marketing Strategy & Innovation from Cass Business School and a BA in Classical Studies & English from Newcastle University.

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