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The Best MBA Programs in Australia – Head to Head (2022)

The Ultimate Guide to Australia's Top MBA Programs

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

Looking for the best full-time MBA programs in Australia? Here’s your ultimate guide! Compare Australia’s best MBA programs head-to-head and get the inside scoop from Admissions Directors from Australia’s best MBA programs.

last updated December 2021

Why Australia for your MBA?

1. Australia is perennially a top 5 destination worldwide for international students. Six of the seven Australian universities below are ranked top 60 in the world. Australia also has straightforward visa options for studying and working post-graduation.

2. On average, top Australian MBAs cost less than half of top US MBAs (61,500 USD vs $140,000 USD), and have smaller class sizes of about 30-50 students / year. Most last 12-18 months and award merit scholarships for top candidates outside Australia. Australian MBAs offer an interesting option for international students looking to broaden their horizons in Australia and the greater Asia Pacific Region at great ROI.

3. Australia was ranked the world’s third freest economy by the Heritage Foundation (2021) and is the 13th largest economy in the world. Over 600 multinational companies (MNCs) have a regional headquarters in Sydney and New South Wales. Melbourne also features a large number prominent local companies and MNCs. Other Asian business hubs, including Singapore, Hong Kong, and Bangkok, are 8-9 hours away by plane.

4. Australia’s cities are regularly heralded as some of the most livable in the world. Melbourne was ranked #1 for livability worldwide by the Economist from 2010-18, and Sydney, the financial and startup capital of the country, offers dozens of picturesque beaches.

Top Full-time Australian MBA Programs

The AGSM MBA and Melbourne MBA are the top-ranked MBA programs in Australia, ranking #79 and #87, respectively, in the Financial Times Global MBA Ranking (2021). Melbourne, Macquarie and Queensland finished #34, #41 and #47 in the Economist MBA Ranking (2021).

As rankings, location, ROI, and starting salary are the top criteria of our MBA audience, we’ve highlighted seven MBA programs that we believe you should consider in Australia. Six of the seven universities mentioned below have outstanding reputations too, placing top 60 in QS worldwide university rankings.

Melbourne Business School at The University of Melbourne

  • Melbourne started its MBA program in 1963 and is the country’s oldest business school. A partnership between the private sector and the University of Melbourne, Australia’s leading companies own 55% of the school.
  • Melbourne has consistently been ranked as one of the world’s top three most liveable cities by the Economist since 2002. Melbourne is regarded as Australia’s cultural capital, packed with art, music, bars and cares, and the state of Victoria contributes 23% of Australia’s total GDP.
  • Melbourne’s 12-month MBA was ranked #21 globally for value for money by the Financial Times (2021), claiming the top spot for Australian MBAs
  • Melbourne is the only Australian MBA program ranked by both the Financial Times and Economist
  • Over half of the Class of 2018-20 landed jobs in consulting; other popular sectors include marketing, finance and analytics

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

  • The Financial Times ranked AGSM as the #1 Australian MBA program in 2021
  • Located in Sydney, the financial capital of Australia where 280+ MNCs have their regional offices, and the center of Australia’s start-up scene
  • UNSW is known as a STEM powerhouse and is ranked 44th in the world by QS; it’s also the top university in Australia for graduating the most number of Founders and Fortune 500 CEOs
  • AGSM has strong focus on disruption; graduates can get an MBA with a specialization in Technology, and graduate certificates in Technology Management and Digital Innovation
  • AGSM has 90 Adjunct Professors working in industry who teach MBAs
  • 70% of Full-time MBAs spend the final fourth quarter of the MBA studying abroad through PIM business school network; 80% of students do a 1-week intensive course abroad through GNAM business school network

Macquarie Graduate School of Management (MGSM) at Macquarie University

  • The MGSM MBA was ranked #41 by the Economist (2021) and cracked the Financial Times Top 100 ranking in 2019 and 2020
  • MGSM offers Australia’s most flexibile MBA with three campuses (North Ryde, Sydney, Hong Kong) and four start dates
  • The North Ryde campus is located in the Macquarie Park Innovation District (MPID), which houses more than 300 global companies on 126 hectares of parkland
  • Macquarie MBA graduates had the highest starting salary ($103,000 USD) among Australian MBAs that we could find; 94% of graduates were able to find a job within 3 months

Honorable Mentions

Other Australian MBA programs worth exploring:

  • University of Queensland (Brisbane) – the 12-24 month University of Queensland (UQ) MBA was ranked 47th worldwide by the Economist in 2021. UQ students are older (38 years old, on average) and more experienced (13 years of average work experience) than those from other full-time Australian MBA programs. UQ MBA alumni have an average salary of $170,000 AUD and 77% of students change careers after graduation.
  • Sydney Business School (Sydney) – the MBA program at Australia’s oldest university is triple accredited and lasts 18 months. The University of Sydney MBA ranked #1 in the Australian Financial Review’s last BOSS Ranking in 2019.
  • Australian National University (Canberra) – Australia’s top-ranked university offers the world’s first “Evidence-Based management MBA” over 18 months
  • Monash Business School (Caulfield) – The Monash MBA program offers a 2-year full-time MBA program that is triple accredited

Insider Interviews with Australian MBA Admissions Directors

Listen to our in-depth interviews about what makes each MBA program unique and what you can do to give yourself the best chance of getting in:

Touch MBA’s Admissions Advice

Get free school selection help and an expert profile review from Touch MBA.

Plus, get feedback from from AGSM MBA and Melbourne MBA before you apply. Thank you AGSM and Melbourne for supporting Touch MBA’s mission to make expert MBA guidance accessible to applicants worldwide.

Post-MBA Careers in Australia

  • Visa – 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 study in Australia for more than six months, you may be regarded as an Australian resident for tax purposes and receive many of the tax benefits afforded by other residents and citizens. Australian residents pay 0 – 45% income taxes, depending on their income bracket. Foreign residents pay 32.5 – 45% income taxes, depending on their income bracket.
  • Geography – More than 80% of full-time Australian MBAs stay in Australia to work.
  • IndustryConsulting, finance, marketing, and technology goods are the leading sectors for recent MBA graduates.
  • Return on Investment – Melbourne ranks #21 and AGSM #62 for value for money by Financial Times in 2021. The average cost of a top Australian MBA is less than half that of the top 25 US MBA programs, and most can be completed in 12 or 18 months.

Head to Head – Melbourne MBA vs. AGSM MBA vs. Macquarie MBA

Comparison table best viewed on bigger screen. Last updated December 2021.

 Melbourne AGSMMacquarie
Degrees OfferedMBAMBAMBA
Class Size405080
GMAT (avg.)695686N/A
Age (avg.)2931N/A
Work exp. (avg.)6810
Class makeup (No. Nationalities)2020N/A
Start DateAugustMayJanuary
April
June
September
Length12 - 24 months12 - 24 months18 - 24 months
RANKINGS
Financial Times 2021 (2020, 2019)87 (80, 61)79 (70, 88)NR (97, 74)
The Economist 2021 (2019, 2018)34 (28, 23)N/A41 (74, 79)
ADMISSIONS
RequirementsBachelor's degree

2+ years of work experience

GMAT/GRE score

English language fluency
Bachelor's degree

2+ years of work experience

GMAT (min 600 suggested) / GRE score (min Verbal 148; Quantitative 156; Overall 307 score for GRE)

English language fluency
Bachelor's degree

3+ years of work experience

English language fluency
DeadlinesRd 1: 30 November
Rd 2: 30 January
Rd 3: 31 March
Rd 4: 31 May
*Rd 5: 30 June

*Domestic applicants only
Rd 1: 1 August
Rd 2: 1 September
Rd 3: 1 October
Rd 4: 1 November
Rd 5: 1 December
Rd 6: 1 February
*Rd 7: 1 March

*Domestic applicants only
6 November (for January intake)
5 March (for April intake)
21 May (for June intake)
20 August (for September intake)
Application Fee$0 AUD$125 AUD$0 AUD
Tuition

*International student fees
$92,250 AUD$78,480 AUD$61,200 - 80,600 AUD*

*Tuition depends on whether program is completed in 18 or 24 months
Est. Annual Living Costs$1,700 AUD/month$2,000-3,000 AUD/month$1,700 AUD/month
Application MaterialsOnline application

Proof of English fluency

GMAT/GRE score

4 personal statements

2 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

4 personal statements

2 references

Resume/CV

Copy of passport

Official transcripts from past degrees/studies

Video Interview

Interview (by invitation)
Online application

Proof of English fluency (iELTS or TOEFL)

1 personal statement video

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)
International OpportunitiesOptional international exchange with 50 partner schools in 23 countriesOptional international exchange with 28 partner schools

Optional short-term study tours
N/A
Scholarships10 types of merit scholarships offered up to full tuition12 types of merit scholarships offered up to full tuition16 types of merit scholarships up to 30% of tuition
LocationMelbourne

Melbourne has been dubbed the world's most livable city
Sydney

Nearly 40% of “Sydneysiders” speak a language other than English in their homes.
Sydney (North Ryde)

North Ryde is a Sydney suburb, 15 km from the city center.

Hong Kong
PROGRAM
Core Curriculum
CORE (12)

Leadership

Data Analysis

Managing People

Managerial Economics

Innovation Bootcamp

Managerial Ethics and the Business Environment

Financial Accounting

Finance

Marketing

Operations

Business Strategy

Business in Complex Environments (Capstone)
CORE (8)

Foundations of Management

Accounting and Financial Management

Corporate Finance

Data Analytics and Decision Making

Managing People and Organizations

Marketing Management

Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Strategy
CORE (10)

Accounting for Managers

Marketing Management

Business Strategy

Finance for Managers

Managerial Economics

Managing People

Leadership Practice & Development

Negotiation: Theory & Practice

Data and Business Analytics

MBA Capstone Project
ElectivesStudents choose 6 electives from a variety of coursesStudents choose 4 electives from 30 optionsStudents choose 6 electives from 20 options
ConcentrationsNo concentrations offeredMBA with specialization in Technology available, along with graduate certificates in Technology Management and Digital InnovationNo concentrations offered
CAREERSClass of 2018-20Class of 2020Class of 2020
Placement w/in 3 months (Financial Times)96%82% 94%
Average Salary (Sign-On Bonus)$91,214

$108,788 three years after graduation (Financial Times 2021)
N/A

$108,376 three years after graduation (Financial Times 2021)
$103,575

$120,091 three years after graduation (Financial Times 2020)
Salary Increase (Financial Times)64%66%83%
Top Geographies86% Australia

recent grads also working in New Zealand, China, Myanmar, Singapore and the United States
88% Australia & New Zealand
5% Asia
5% Europe
N/A
Top Industries54% Consulting
9% Marketing
9% Finance
8% Analytics
5% Business Development
Consulting
Consumer Goods
Technology
Finance

(percentages not available)
N/A
Top FunctionsN/AConsulting
General Management
Sales & Business Development
Product Management

(percentages not available)
N/A
Alumni8,500 MBA alumni and 50,000 b-school school alumni around the globe.17,000+ AGSM alumni and 100,000+ UNSW Business School alumni globally.145,000+ graduates worldwide, with 16,500 living in 135 countries in the alumni network.

Need More Help with Australian MBA Programs?

Get free school selection help and an expert profile review from Touch MBA.

Plus, get feedback from from AGSM MBA and Melbourne MBA before you apply. Thank you AGSM and Melbourne for supporting Touch MBA’s mission to make expert MBA guidance accessible to applicants worldwide.

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