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The Best MBA Programs in Australia

The Ultimate Guide to Australia's Top MBA Programs

Written by Molly Ellison. Photo courtesy of Paul Bica via Flickr.

Looking to study at one of the best full-time MBA programs in Australia? Here’s your ultimate guide! Read on to compare the country’s best MBA programs, and to get insider-tips from alumni and admissions staff.

 

5 Reasons to Get Your MBA in Australia

1. Australia is the third most popular country for international students to study worldwide and it has straightforward visa options. Those on student visas are also allowed to work while in the country, a rare perk that many countries don’t offer.

2. Australia’s cities are regularly heralded as some of the most livable in the world. In 2016, Melbourne was ranked #1 for livability worldwide by the Economist Intelligence Unit for the sixth year in a row. Two other Australian cities – Adelaide and Perth – were ranked #5 and #7, respectively.

3. Though Australian MBA programs less consistently make it into international rankings, the country’s top programs have recently been climbing the ranks and are featured on best-of lists published by Financial Times, The Economist, and Bloomberg BusinessWeek.

4. Attending b-school in Australia equips graduates for strong careers in the country as well as across Asia. Many top MBA programs offer courses, study tours, exchange programs and projects focusing on how to navigate business in Asia.

5. Asian business hubs, including Singapore, Hong Kong, and Bangkok are 8-9 hours away by plane. As budget airlines increase their services, even more flights are connecting the region and easing travel.

 

The Elevator Pitches

  • Melbourne Business School – The University of Melbourne (MBS): MBS is the country’s oldest business school, is partially owned by top Australian companies, and is the only Australian MBA program to make it into Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s top international programs list.
    • ROI (Financial Times): #27 worldwide in 2017 for value for money
  • Australian Graduate School of Management – University of New South Wales (AGSM): Financial Times ranked AGSM as the #2 Australian MBA program in 2017. The program has one of the most international student bodies and is located in Sydney, Australia’s largest city and one of its most diverse. The country’s thriving startup scene, as well as AGSM’s focuses on innovation and leadership, attract many international students.
    • ROI (Financial Times): #48 worldwide in 2017 for value for money
  • Macquarie Graduate School of Management (MGSM): With three campuses and four start dates, MGSM is ideal for students who want to customize their MBA experience. The school’s full-time cohort is made up of only about 25 students, giving participants an intimate MBA experience.
    • ROI (Financial Times): #29 worldwide in 2017 for value for money
  • UQ Business School – The University of Queensland (UQ): UQ was heralded as the Asia Pacific region’s #1 and the world’s #10 MBA in 2016 by The Economist. Its engaging projects allow students to explore topics such as social entrepreneurship, and it has connections with elite b-schools worldwide, such as Wharton. UQ requires applicants have at least four years of work experience, the most of any top Australian b-school.
  • Honorable mentions: Other Australian MBA programs worth exploring are Sydney Business School and Monash Business School.

 

The Logistics of Studying and Working in Australia

  • Visa – Once accepted into a program, international students can obtain a student visa (Subclass 500). Shorter term visas for studying are also available. Post-graduation, you can apply for a temporary graduate visa (Subclass 485), allowing you to work for anywhere from 18 months to 4 years.
  • Taxes – If you’re studying in Australia for more than six months, you have to pay taxes and will receive many of the tax benefits afforded by other residents and citizens. Generally, overseas income is excluded and only what you make while working in Australia will be taxed.
  • Geography – In addition to being the world’s largest island, Australia sits in the Asia Pacific region and is well-connected with other regional business hubs. The nation of 23 million people is also a popular tourist destination with more than 500 national parks and 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites.

 

A Closer Look at Top Australian MBA Programs

Melbourne Business School – The University of Melbourne (MBS)

Melbourne, Australia | #3 Australian, #76 Worldwide MBA 2017 (Financial Times) | Tuition: $85,470 AUD

Fast facts about MBS

  • MBS started its MBA program in 1963 and is the country’s oldest business school. It’s a partnership between the private sector and the University of Melbourne; Australia’s leading companies own 55% of the school and the university owns the rest.
  • After completing core courses covering general management subjects, leadership, and social responsibility and ethics, students complete a capstone projects focused on social entrepreneur consulting and business in complex environments.
  • The school is located in Melbourne, which has been named the world’s most livable city for six years in a row. It’s also an economic hub for Australia and the region. The state of Victoria’s economy is larger than Singapore’s and New Zealand’s, and multinationals such as BP, IBM, Siemens, and GlaxoSmithKline have offices in Melbourne.

MBS Student Headshot

“We spent a few months preparing with an Australian company that we were going to help enter into the Chinese market and be more aware of how to do business over there. So, when we got to go to China we got to put this into action. We also got to go and integrate with a lot of people in China from Shanghai and the alumni that are living over there from MBS.” -Liza Kierans, Class of 2015, Melbourne Business School – The University of Melbourne

“[On what MBS looks for in applicants] Someone who’s got a global perspective… someone who has a diverse range of interests, someone who has high potential in future career progression… Get involved with your local community. Don’t just focus on your own career and your own progression. Try to get involved and give back with the local community. Demonstrate that when you’re applying for the MBA at MBS” Edward Cooke, former Director of MBA Programs, Melbourne Business School – The University of Melbourne

Where do MBS MBA grads end up?
More than 1/3 of the Class of 2016 landed jobs in consulting, followed by finance, supply chain management, and marketing. The school’s location in a major business hub, strong connections with some of Australia’s leading companies, and robust network of 8,500 MBA alumni give students ample opportunities to network for post-grad opportunities. Multinationals ranging from Coca-Cola, to Google, to Goldman Sachs hire MBS grads.

 

Australian Graduate School of Management – University of New South Wales (AGSM)

Sydney, Australia | #2 Australian, #54 Worldwide MBA 2017 (Financial Times) | Tuition: $77,760 AUD

Fast facts about AGSM

  • AGSM has one of the most international student bodies among top Australian MBAs. About two-thirds of the last class was made up of international students.
  • Unlike some other schools, AGSM doesn’t require you to have a bachelor’s degree to participate in the program. You’re eligible to apply if you have more than six years of strong professional experience.
  • AGSM offers an optional MBA extension program that allows students to conduct a research or work integrated learning project in the 3-6 months following the program’s traditional coursework.
  • The school is located in Sydney, which is Australia’s largest city and dubbed a Global Elite city by AT Kearney’s 2017 Global Cities Index. The rankings system looks at the business, political and creative strengths of worldwide cities.
  • International students laud the school for the value it places on leadership and innovation. Like many other Australian b-schools, AGSM is building its brand in the international business community, though students from abroad are attracted to the b-school for Australia’s strong start-up scene.

“Australia is a very sport-obsessed country. While giving a brief overview on contemporary issues the country faces, Professor Mark Stewart didn’t forget to offer students some surfing tips and rip precautions… One can be easily fooled by the campus’s laid back and relaxed vibe, but the MBA program itself is very intense. On the very first day we were immediately put on the spot by our public speaking coach, who got each of us to deliver a three-minute presentation in front of the whole class.” -Daniel Wong, Class of 2014, Australian Graduate School of Management – University of New South Wales

 

AGSM Admissions“As part of the recruitment process, we scour the globe to ensure a diverse mix of participants in our bespoke full-time program,” she says. “While we require a minimum GMAT for entry (in 2016 the average was 630), we look very carefully at a participant’s country of origin, work experience level, type of work experience in terms of sector and function, community involvement, and how they could contribute to the group of students as a whole. Having a credible, integrated, and diverse cohort is critical to the success of our program.” -Alison Avery, former Head of Brand and Marketing Communications, Australian Graduate School of Management – University of New South Wales (AGSM)

Where do AGSM MBA grads end up?
Nearly 60 percent of grads from the Class of 2014 landed jobs in Australia or New Zealand, with 25 percent working in management consulting, and 21 percent working in IT and telecommunications.

 

Macquarie Graduate School of Management (MGSM)

North Ryde and Sydney, Australia – Hong Kong | #1 Australian, #49 Worldwide MBA 2017 (Financial Times) | Tuition: $76,000 AUD

Fast facts about MGSM

  • MGSM is one of the most customizable MBA experiences in Australia. It offers three locations – the picturesque North Ryde campus, Sydney’s Central Business District and bustling Hong Kong – and four start dates throughout the year.
  • Like many Australian b-schools, MGSM encourages students to explore the Asian business environment. But, the school takes it a step further – it has a campus in Hong Kong that MBA students can take classes at.
  • The school also has international exchange partnerships with b-schools around the world, including Grenoble Graduate School of Business in France and Guanghua School of Management in China.
  • The curriculum is comprised of 10 core courses followed by six electives. Students are encouraged to focus their electives in a particular field of study.

MGSM Student Headshot“The MGSM MBA was a prerequisite for me to become the CEO of a not-for-profit organization, and it provided me with all the knowledge, frameworks and management skills required for this role.” -Belinda Sullivan, Class of 2005, Macquarie Graduate School of Management

Where do MGSM MBA grads end up?
MGSM has an active alumni network of more than 16,500 professionals worldwide, though in total the school boasts more than 145,000 grads. They live in 135 countries worldwide. Ninety-one percent of MBA students are employed within three months of graduating. MGSM doesn’t publish any employment statistics by function, industry, or geography.

 

UQ Business School – The University of Queensland (UQ)

St. Lucia, Australia | #10 MBA Worldwide 2016 (The Economist) | Tuition: $69,456 AUD

Fast facts about UQ

  • The b-school boasts being ranked as the #10 MBA worldwide in 2016 by The Economist, as well as #1 in the Asia Pacific region. UQ’s star has rapidly ascended the rankings – in 2011, it sat at #46 on The Economist’s list.
  • UQ is the only b-school in Australia that participates in the Wharton Global Consulting Practicum, giving students high-level, real-world experience in the business world. The school also has a similar partnership with the Fudan University School of Management.
  • UQ’s MBA class is the largest among top Australian b-schools and also has the most mature student body – candidates have an average of 10 years of work experience. Applicants to the program must have at least four years of work experience, the highest requirement among top Australian MBA programs.
  • The school is committed to giving back – students participate in a Social Economic Engagement Program, giving them an avenue to apply a business-oriented approach to tackling social issues.
  • UQ MBA graduates experience the highest salary increase among top Australian MBAs at more than 100 percent.

UQ Student Headshot“[On a social enterprise group project] We’ve been able to connect with people on the brink of poverty and provide them with an income that they can maintain. The experience at UQ has provided me with the skills to work in the not-for-profit sector, but to apply to it the business rigor of finding sustainable solutions.” -Zoe Black, MBA graduate, UQ Business School – The University of Queensland

UQ Admissions“Apply early. We don’t wait until the cut-off date to assess applications, we assess on a rolling basis against the published criteria. Upload as many of the required documents as possible at the time of your application – CV, references, transcript, GMAT, IELTS. This means we can begin the assessment and look to issue a conditional offer if the applicant appears to be suitable.” -Caron Crossan, Coordinator – MBA Student Liaison Team, UQ Business School – The University of Queensland

Where do UQ MBA grads end up?
The university has about 45,000 alumni and 3,500 MBA grads working around the world. 20 percent of its Class of 2016 worked in financial services post-graduation and 22 percent went into healthcare.

 

What’s Next?

Contact our team to get free b-school selection help.

Want a comprehensive picture of Australia’s leading MBA programs? Read below for a head-to-head comparison of schools with detailed info on admissions, curricula, job placements and more.

Head to Head

MBS MBA vs. AGSM MBA vs. MGSM MBA vs. UQ MBA

Last updated July 2017

 MBSAGSMMGSMUQ
Degrees OfferedMBAMBAMBAMBA
Class Size505025181
GMAT (avg.)705655N/AN/A
Age (avg.)30293233
Work exp. (avg.)5.67510
Class makeup (No. Nationalities)232030% international students13% international students
Start DateAugustJanuaryApril, June, September, JanuaryJanuary/February, July
Length12 months16 months12 months12 months
RANKINGS
Financial Times 2017 (2016, 2015)76 (87, 90)54 (66, 75)49 (56, 68)N/A
The Economist 2016 (2015)34 (43)N/A46 (28)10 (16)
Bloomberg Businessweek 2016 (2015)9 (23)N/AN/AN/A
Notable Rankings#3 globally among student surveys in 2016 by Bloomberg BusinessWeek.Dubbed a "Global Elite School" in the Asia Pacific region by QS Global report in 2017.

#2 for employability in the Asia Pacific region by QS Global report in 2017.
#1 Australian MBA in 2017 by the Financial Times.#10 MBA Worldwide in 2016 by The Economist.
ADMISSIONS
RequirementsBachelor's degree

2+ years of work experience

GMAT/GRE score

English language fluency
Option 1:
Bachelor's degree (waived under specific circumstances)

2+ years of work experience

GMAT/GRE score (>550)

English language fluency

Option 2:
6+ years of work experience

GMAT/GRE score (>550)

English language fluency
Bachelor's degree

English language fluency
Bachelor's degree w/ GPA of 4.5/7; OR Graduate Diploma in Business Administration from University of Queensland or equivalent w/ GPA of 4.5/7

4+ years of work experience

GMAT/GRE score (international applicants only, >550)

English language fluency (iELTS, >6.0)
DeadlinesEarly - 31 August
Round 1 - 21 October
Round 2 - 15 January
Round 3 - 31 March*
Round 4 - 22 April

*Deadline for international students
Round 1 - 1 June
Round 2 - 1 August
Round 3 - 1 October*
Round 4 - 30 October

*Deadline for international students
International:
Term 3 2017 - 12 May
Term 4 2017 - 4 August
Term 1 2018 - 10 November
Term 2 2018 - 16 February

Domestic:
Term 3 2017 - 9 June
Term 4 2017 - 18 August
Term 1 2018 - 8 December
Term 2 2018 - 2 March
International:
Semester 1 Intake - 31 October

Domestic:
Semester 1 Intake - 30 November
Semester 2 Intake - 31 May
Application Fee$0 AUDN/AN/A$100 AUD
Tuition

*International student fees
$85,470 AUD$77,760 AUD$80,000 AUD*

*Tuition differs at the Hong Kong campus
$69,456 AUD
Est. Annual Living Costs

*For a single person
$19,830 AUD*

*Nationwide estimate from the Australian government
$25,000 AUD$19,830 AUD*

*Nationwide estimate from the Australian government
$19,830 AUD*

*Nationwide estimate from the Australian government
Application MaterialsOnline application

Proof of English fluency

GMAT/GRE score

4 personal statements

2 professional references

Resume/CV

Copy of passport or birth certificate

Official transcripts from past degrees/studies
Online application

Proof of English fluency (iELTS or TOEFL)

GMAT/GRE score (>550)

4 personal statements

2 references

Resume/CV

Copy of passport

Official transcripts from past degrees/studies

Interview (by invitation)
Paper application form

Proof of English fluency (iELTS or TOEFL)

1 personal statement

2 references

Resume/CV


Official transcripts from past degrees/studies

Recognition of Prior Learning Form
Proof of residence via copy of passport, visa or birth certificate

Scholarship Application Cover Sheet and personal statement (if interested)
Online Application

Proof of English fluency

GMAT score (international applicants only)

2 professional references

Resume/CV


Official transcripts from past degrees/studies

Recognition of Prior Learning Form

Proof of residence
International OpportunitiesBusiness in Asia course gives students real-world experience working with companies in Asia.

Exchange opportunity in the final 4-5 months of the program.
Optional international exchange with one of 30 partner schools, including The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania (U.S.), HEC School of Management (France), and HKUST Business School (Hong Kong).

Optional short-term study tours.
Students can participate in international exchanges with partner schools such as:

University of Mannheim, School of Business (Germany)

Grenoble Graduate School of Business, Grenoble Ecole de Management (France)

Guanghua School of Management, Peking University (China)
Member of the Wharton Global Consulting Practicum

Hosts international immersion tours to countries including China and India

Students can participate in the Fudan University MBA iLab, completing a real-life project helping companies expand into the Chinese market.
Scholarships78% of full-time MBA students starting in August 2015 were awarded financial assistance.N/AMGSM offers a variety of scholarships, including four MBA-specific ones covering up to 25% of tuition. Note that scholarship deadlines differ from regular application deadlines:

International Scholarship Deadlines:
Term 3 2017 - 14 April
Term 4 2017 - 18 August
Term 1 2018 - 10 November
Term 2 2018 - 19 January

Domestic Scholarship Deadlines:
Term 3 2017 - 26 May
Term 4 2017 - 7 July
Term 1 2018 - 8 December
Term 2 2018 - 2 March
Less than 5% of students receive school-funded scholarships.
LocationMelbourne

Melbourne has been dubbed the world's most livable city and has held this title for six years.
Sydney

Nearly 40 percent of “Sydneysiders” speak a language other than English in their homes.
Sydney (North Ryde, Central Business District)

North Ryde is a suburb of Sydney and is just a 30-minute drive from the city's center.

Hong Kong

Despite its reputation as being one of the world’s leading metropolises, about 40 percent of Hong Kong is a nature reserve or park.
St. Lucia

St. Lucia is a suburb located in Brisbane, a city of 2.35 million people that was named the country's "hippest" city by Lonely Planet in 2014.
PROGRAM
Core Curriculum
General Management 1:
Data Analysis

Financial Reporting & Analysis

People Management

Economics for Managers

Personal Effectiveness 1

Entrepreneurial Mindset 1

Leadership/Social Responsibility & Ethics

General Management 2:
Finance

Marketing Management

Process & Operations Management

Personal Effectiveness 2

Entrepreneurial Mindset 2

Innovation Bootcamp

General Management 3:
Corporate Financial Management

Global Business Economics

Management Accounting

Strategy

Personal Effectiveness 3

Entrepreneurial Mindset 3

Business in Asia

Capstone: Social entrepreneur consulting practicum

Capstone: Business in complex environments
Session 1:
Foundations of Managerial Skills

Accounting

Data Analysis and Statistical Modeling

Economics in Management Practice

Organizational Behavior

Session 2: Business Fundamentals
Marketing Management

Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Corporate Finance

Strategy

Sessions 3+4: Tailoring
International Exchange, International Business Experience, Individual Study in Management, or Strategic Consulting Projects

Stage 5 (optional - 3-6 months): Extension
Research Project, Work Integrated Learning Project, or Combination Program
10 core courses include:

Accounting for Management

Marketing Management

Organisational Behaviour

Strategic Frameworks

Information and Decision Analysis

Economic Context of Management

Financial Management

Operations Management

Foundations of Management Thought

Strategic Management
12 core courses include:

Management Frameworks

Accounting & Business Analysis

Business Economics

Financial Management

International Management

Marketing Management

Operations Design

Information Technology for Business Value

Strategic Human Resources Management

Leading People and Teams

Innovation Leadership

Integrated Strategic Analysis
ElectivesStudents choose from a variety of courses to complete six electives.Seven elective courses required, students choose from a range of options.Students take six elective units covering a range of subjects, including:

Leadership And General Management

Financial Strategy

Marketing

Management Skills

Strategy

Logistics And Operations Management

Entrepreneurship
N/A
ConcentrationsNo concentrations are offered, but students participate in capstone projects that are more self-guided.No concentrations are offered.No concentrations, though students are encouraged to take elective courses falling under the same theme.No concentrations are offered, but students complete an MBA Capstone.
CAREERSClass of 2016Class of 2014N/AClass of 2016
Placement w/in 3 months91%

*Class of 2014
86%91%45%*

*The Economist
Average Salary (Sign-On Bonus)$120,000 AUD$125,000 AUDN/A$165,000 AUD
Salary Increase (Financial Times)81%61%75%>100%
Top Geographies77% Australia
6% U.S.
6% Europe
36% Consulting
17% Finance
17% Supply Chain Management
14% Marketing
12% Disruptive Technology Companies
2% IT
2% Government
59% Australia & New Zealand
17% Asia
14% North America & Latin America
10% United Kingdom & Europe
N/A~90% Australia
~10% Other
Top Industries36% Consulting
17% Finance
17% Supply Chain Management
14% Marketing
12% Disruptive Technology Companies
2% IT
2% Government
26% Other
25% Management Consulting
21% IT & Telecommunications
10% Media & Entertainment
9% Banking & Finance
9% Pharmaceuticals & Health
N/A22% Healthcare
20% Financial Services
9% Technology
7% Consulting
7% Mining
5% Education
5% Energy
5% Engineering
Top Functions29% Consulting
16% Product Management
16% Strategy Analysis
31% Consulting, Management Consulting
17% Strategic Planning & Business Development
17% Product Management
7% Business Owner
7% Financial Analysis
7% Banking & Finance
N/AN/A
Company Score
(How many Top 10 Most Desired MBA Employers Recruit from School - McKinsey, Bain, BCG, Google, Facebook, Amazon, Goldman Sachs, Nike, Deloitte, Disney)

(How many Top 50 Most Desired Employers for Business Grads Recruit from School)
7

21
*Little or no employer data provided*Little or no employer data provided*Little or no employer data provided
Alumni8,500 MBA alumni and 50,000 b-school school alumni around the globe.16,000+ AGSM alumni and 65,000+ UNSW Business School alumni globally.145,000+ graduates worldwide, with 16,500 living in 135 countries in the alumni network.45,000 UQ Business School alumni and 3,500 MBA alumni worldwide.

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