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The Best MBA Programs in Australia – Compare Head-to-Head (2023)

The Ultimate Guide to Australia's Top MBA Programs

Written by Olivia Wolf. 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 the Admissions Directors of Australia’s best MBA programs.

last updated September 2023

Why Australia for your MBA?

1. Australia is a top 5 destination worldwide for MBA students. At some programs, up to 80% of students hail from other nations. Seven of the nine universities listed below were ranked top 100 universities in the 2023 QS World University Rankings and five of them were ranked top 100 worldwide in the 2023 QS Global MBA Rankings

2. For those who want an income while studying, Australia permits holders of student visas to work up to 48 hours a fortnight (a two-week period beginning on Monday and ending on Sunday) while courses are in session and unlimited hours during breaks. After obtaining their degree, graduates can apply for a Post-Study Work visa, which allows them to work, study, and live in Australia for two to four years. 

3. Australia offers the best of both worlds as an English-speaking Western country located in the Asia-Pacific region. Students are exposed to the culture and business practices of nearby booming Asian markets, which are at the forefront of Australia’s economic focus. China, India, South Korea, Vietnam, and Malaysia send the most international students to Australia’s business schools, which, in turn, offer opportunities for students to study abroad in countries across the region and the world. 

4. Australia is the world’s 12th largest economy and outperformed other advanced economies in 2022. The country is ranked as the 13th freest economy in the 2023 Index of Economic Freedom, earning high marks for property rights, judicial effectiveness, and financial, trade, and business freedom. Australia is also the largest producer of solar energy per capita and is considered the 6th most attractive country for renewable energy investment. 

5. Australian cities have long been recognized as some of the most livable in the world. Its two largest cities, Melbourne and Sydney, were ranked third and fourth respectively by the Economist’s liveability index. Over the years, Melbourne and Sydney have vied to be the cultural and financial capitals of the country. While Sydney is the more iconic international city with the Royal Opera House and pristine beaches, Melbourne recently surpassed it in population and is recognized as the main hub for art and culture. Both cities attract business students from around the world.

Top Full-time Australian MBA Programs

We looked at rankings and reviews by the Financial Times, QS, the Australian Financial Review, and Poets&Quants to select three outstanding MBA programs and six honorable mentions, including two newcomers. So check down under to discover which of these business schools could be a great fit for you.

Melbourne Business School (MBS) at the University of Melbourne (Melbourne)

Melbourne Business School granted Australia’s first MBA degrees in 1965 and has since been considered a top b-school both nationally and internationally. The program can be completed in two years or less, depending on how the student wants to tailor their experience. QS Global rankings placed MBS 27th in the world and first in Oceania. The Australian Financial Review placed the school second in the country, and Poets&Quants listed it as 55th in its global rankings.

MBS has a unique ownership structure with the University of Melbourne controlling 45% of the school and Australian businesses controlling 55%. This ensures that the business community is invested in the students and that the curriculum is always meeting the current demands of industry. The campus is conveniently located within walking distance of Melbourne’s Central Business District. 

Australia is at the forefront of sustainability, and MBS is a leader of that at the Centre for Sustainability and Business, which awards fellowships for student projects. In addition, there’s also the Centre for Indigenous Leadership and the Centre for Business Analytics. For those looking to broaden their international horizons, the school is a member of the Partnership in International Management (PIM), allowing exchange at business schools in 23 countries. 

Listen to Touch MBA’s interview with Melbourne Business School’s Director of MBA Admissions, Anastasia Georgiou, and get Touch MBA’s summary of the Melbourne MBA program

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

Australian Graduate School of Management is the only school to be included on the Financial Times’ 2023 top 100 list, coming in at 95. The Australian Financial Review placed it first in the country, and Poets&Quants ranked it 30th in the world. Located in Sydney, AGSM’s MBA program can be completed in one year or two for those looking to include an internship or research project. After graduation, AGSM alumni can expect to earn some of the highest median salaries amongst their MBA peers. 

AGSM was the first program in Australia to integrate a Global Responsible Management curriculum into all classes with the goal of developing sustainable and ethical leaders. It is also the only school in the country to be included in the Global Networking of Advanced Management (GNAM) group, which includes 32 leading business schools like Yale School of Management and HEC Paris. Students have the opportunity to study abroad at these partner schools for a few weeks or up to a semester. 

Listen to Touch MBA’s interview with AGSM MBA Academic Director Michele Roberts, and get Touch MBA’s summary of the AGSM MBA program 

Macquarie Business School (MQBS) at Macquarie University (Sydney)

For those seeking flexibility at a top MBA program, check out MQBS which offers a 1.5-2 year or extended curriculum that can be completed both in person and online. This alternative school maintains its academic rigor, ranking third in Oceania by QS, sixth by the Australian Financial Review, and 30th in the world by Poets&Quants. The school has two campuses, one in Sydney and the other in North Ryde, a nearby suburb that’s home to over 300 international corporations such as Microsoft and Honeywell. Students have the opportunity to study abroad for two weeks or up to four months at one of MQBS’s thirteen partner business schools.

Applicants who don’t meet the entry requirements can still be admitted by completing an alternative pathway such as MQBS’ Microcredential Program or Graduate Certificate of Management. 

Honorable Mentions

Other Australian MBA programs worth exploring:

University of Queensland Business School (UQ) at the University of Queensland (Brisbane) – Flexibility is the name of the game at UQ, where students can tailor their studies by taking classes in person, online or both during weekdays, weeknights, or weekends. Students can opt for the one-year intensive program or complete their degree part-time within ten years, although international students must follow the accelerated one-year model. The program boasts that 100% of their graduates seeking a new role landed one within three months of completing their degree. The cohort here skews older with an average of 12 years of professional experience and 6.5 years in management. 

University of Sydney Business School at the University of Sydney (Sydney) – The 18-month MBA program at Australia’s oldest university is the only one in the country to hold both triple crown accreditation and CEMS membership, an international coalition that includes only one b-school from each country. The MBA program was ranked 6th in the nation by Australian Financial Review, and the university was ranked 19th in the world by QS. 

College of Business and Economics at the Australian National University (Canberra) – This program is aimed at middle managers seeking to rise to senior positions. Seminars are small with 15-30 students, and evening classes are available for part-timers. All students are considered for the 30 scholarships to this leading evidence-based management program. In 2022, Australian National University was ranked the #1 university in Australia by QS.

Monash Business School at Monash University (Caulfield) – This 2-year program is designed so that domestic students can work full-time while studying. Various classes are held on weekends and evenings and are modified into intensive blocks to accommodate busy schedules. Students complete four consulting projects with Australian organizations to gain hands-on experience. The program boasts gender-balanced classes and partners with Arianna Huffington’s company Thrive Global. 

University of Western Australia (UWA) Business School at the University of Western Australia (Perth) – UWA Business School was ranked 6th in Oceania by QS and 3rd in the nation by the Australian Financial Review. Students can specialize in Social Impact or Oil and Gas (the first program of its type in Australia). Class times are flexible and graduate certifications can be used to enter the MBA flex program. Alumni have the ability to take free classes and workshops through UWA’s Lifelong Learning Program. 

QUT Business School at Queensland University of Technology (Brisbane) – Ranked 3rd in the nation by the Australian Financial Review, QUT was the first Australian b-school to gain triple international accreditation. Selected students have the opportunity to participate in a 2-week program at MIT Sloan to develop skills in entrepreneurship and digital innovation.

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:

Post-MBA Careers in Australia

Visa – After graduation, you can apply for a temporary graduate visa (Subclass 485), which allows you to work 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 granted to 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 are the leading sectors for recent MBA graduates.

Return on Investment – 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. AGSM was ranked 60th in value for money by Financial Times in 2023. 

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

Comparison table best viewed on a bigger screen. Last updated September 2023.

Melbourne AGSMMacquarie
Class Size406040
GMAT (avg.)695674unavailable
Age (avg.)3030unavailable
Work exp. (avg.)6610
Start DateSeptemberMayJanuary
Length2 years (accelerated option available)1 year (extension available)1.5 - 2 years
Financial Times 2023 (2022, 2021)Not ranked (97, 87)95 (98, 79)Not ranked
RequirementsBachelor's degree

2+ years of work experience

GMAT/GRE score

English language fluency
Bachelor's degree

2+ years of work experience

GMAT/GRE score

English language fluency
Bachelor's degree

3+ years of work experience (for 2-year program)

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
4 December (for January intake)
12 March (for April intake)
28 May (for June intake)
20 August (for September intake)
Application Fee$0 AUD$125 AUD$0 AUD
Tuition$106,650 AUD$81,720 AUD ($104,760 AUD total for extension)$42,000 AUD annual fee ($525 AUD per credit)
Est. Annual Living Costs$1,700 AUD/month$1,900 AUD/month$1,700 AUD/month
Application MaterialsOnline application

Proof of English fluency

GMAT/GRE score

4 personal statements

2 references


Copy of passport or birth certificate

Official transcripts from past degrees/studies
Online application

Proof of English fluency

GMAT/GRE score

4 personal statements

2 references


Copy of passport

Official transcripts from past degrees/studies

Video interview

Interview (by invitation)
Online application

Proof of English fluency

1 personal statement video (upon request)

2 references


Official transcripts from past degrees/studies

Copy of passport
International OpportunitiesOptional international exchange with 50+ partner schools in 23 countries

Member of PIM network
Optional international exchange with 50+ partner schools in 23 countries

Member of GNAM and PIM networks
Scholarships9 types of merit scholarships offered up to full tuition14 types of merit scholarships offered up to full tuition5 types of merit scholarships offered up to $10,000

Melbourne is known as the cultural capital of Australia and has been dubbed the world's most livable city

Sydney is home to over 100 beaches and iconic Australian landmarks like the Sydney Opera House
Sydney & North Ryde

North Ryde is a Sydney suburb, 15 km from the city center.
Core Curriculum
CORE (12)


Data Analysis

Managing People

Managerial Economics

Innovation Bootcamp

Managerial Ethics and the Business Environment

Financial Accounting




Business Strategy

MBA 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

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 24 optionsStudents choose 4 electives from 31 optionsStudents choose 2 core electives from 17 options and 4 flexible electives from 16 options

CAREERSClass of 2021 (audit year)Class of 2020Class of 2020
Placement w/in 3 months (Financial Times)95% (2022)86% (2023)94%
Salary Today in US$ (Financial Times)$101,220 (2022)$114,803 (2023)$103,575

$120,091 three years after graduation (2020)
Salary Increase (Financial Times)58% (2022)46% (2023)83% (2020)
Top GeographiesNot availableNot availableNot available
Top IndustriesNot availableNot availableNot available
Top FunctionsNot availableNot availableNot available
Alumni10,000+ Melbourne Business School alumni in 80+ countries17,000+ AGSM alumni and 100,000+ UNSW Business School alumni in 120+ countries95,000+ Macquarie Business School graduates worldwide

Need More Help with Australian MBA Programs?

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

One thought on “The Best MBA Programs in Australia – Compare Head-to-Head (2023)

  1. Pingback: Ten Countries with the Best Post-Study Work Visas for MBA Graduates (2023) - Touch MBA

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