Postgraduate Course

Master of Business Administration: The Essex MBA

(Degree Apprenticeship)

Master of Business Administration: The Essex MBA


The details
The Essex MBA (Degree Apprenticeship)
October 2019
2 years
Colchester Campus & Apprenticeship Location

The Degree Apprenticeship Essex MBA harnesses the daring and experimental spirit of the University of Essex to produce innovative business leaders and pro-active managers.

Employers: are you looking to upskill your staff?

The Essex MBA Degree Apprenticeship is a work-based learning programme targeted at managers and aspiring leaders where the apprentice's role and their workplace set the context for learning. The course will give your talent the opportunity to significantly improve their interpersonal and functional business skills and make a real contribution in their workplace as they apply their learning.

Your staff's studies are funded by your apprenticeship levy, meaning there are no up-front costs for them. This ensures that you have the opportunity to use your apprenticeship levy to support the professional development of your best talent.

You will need to agree to release your staff for regular teaching sessions over a period of two years. For the rest of the time, they are in work as normal.

Find out more about utilising your apprenticeship levy by visiting our Apprenticeship hub.

Employees: are you looking to progress up the career ladder?

If you join us on the Degree Apprenticeship Essex MBA your studies are funded by your employer’s apprenticeship levy so there are no upfront costs to you. You’ll study part-time and will enjoy the flexibility to complete your Essex MBA alongside employment. Our MBAs are encouraged to utilise live work projects so that you see the benefits to your organisation almost immediately.

Essex MBAs study a broad range of business topics and learn the fundamentals of management and leadership. We foster the experimental spirit of our students, so that you can build sustainable, resilient business models that make sense to shareholders and the environment. Our MBAs explore the impact of internationalisation on businesses, suppliers and customers and gain the skills to lead in increasingly demanding marketplaces.

To meet other 2019 MBA applicants, join our MBA 2019/2020 Facebook group.

About The Essex MBA (Degree Apprenticeship)

The Essex MBA is accredited by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) the only chartered professional body in the UK promoting the highest standards in management and leadership excellence.

On successful completion you will receive a Level 7 CMI qualification in Strategic Management and Leadership alongside the Essex MBA.

A unique feature of the Essex MBA is our Director’s Workshops which are optional for part-time students. The sessions include: company visits, trips to business incubators and presentations from external speakers, as well as our specialist academics. You can select those which are most relevant to widen professional aspirations or simply focus on the taught modules.

Director’s Workshops have included sessions on personal branding, new business creation, business ethics, big data for small businesses and company visits to the likes of Adnams PLC, Cambridge Science Park and HSBC.

The Degree Apprenticeship MBA programme begins with a week of activities where you have the opportunity to meet MBA students on all streams of the Essex MBA. You’ll immediately begin developing your networking, team work and adaptive thinking skills.

The Essex MBA concludes with an MBA project, where you can choose to complete a dissertation or comprehensive business plan that can be tailored to your organisation.

Our MBA is taught at Essex Business School, which is placed in the top 25 in the UK for research quality (TGUG 2019) and in the top 20 Business Schools in the UK (CABS REF 2014).

We offer a range of learning styles to fit around your professional commitments. As well as the Degree Apprenticeship MBA, we offer a part-time MBA, a year-long full-time MBA and an online MBA.

Find out more about the Degree Apprenticeship MBA by attending one of our Essex MBA Information Sessions.

Professional accreditation

Accredited by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).
Why we're great.
  • The Essex MBA is accredited by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) which means that you gain a Level 7 CMI Qualification in addition to your MBA
  • You work on live projects so that your MBA benefits your business from day one
  • Our condensed course structure means that you experience minimal impact on your work
THE Awards 2018 - Winner University of the Year

Our expert staff

We have a truly international faculty, attracting students from all over the globe. You benefit from a wealth of expertise and experience in the classroom and can form lasting connections.

Our world-class MBA tutors have both academic and extensive private sector experience and are at the cutting-edge of research in: business ethics and corporate social responsibility; organisation studies; leadership and strategy; finance and banking; risk management; and international management.

The course is led by our MBA Director, Professor of Management, Nicolas Forsans. An international business and corporate strategy specialist, Nicolas investigates the role of business in society and the impact of emerging business models built around digital technologies. Nicolas has 20+ years of experience teaching international business, responsible management and strategic management modules at all levels.

Nicolas has designed, developed and re-positioned various Master, MBA and dual degree programmes, embedding innovation in programme design and delivery, securing world class, academic and professional accreditations while collaborating with business and the third sector to create experiential learning opportunities and securing enviable positions for those programmes in leading league tables. He previously held academic appointments at the University of Exeter (2013-2018) where he re-positioned and led the growth of the MBA. Prior to that he worked as a FME Research Fellow, Lecturer then Associate Professor at the Centre for International Business, University of Leeds (CIBUL).

As well as support from academic tutors, our MBA Programme Manager, Sian Savage, will be in regular contact and can answer any non-academic questions you have. Throughout your course, you benefit from a personalised and supportive learning environment where help is always at hand.

Specialist facilities

The Essex MBA is taught at our Colchester Campus in the state-of-the-art Essex Business School building, the first zero-carbon business school in the UK.

You benefit from exceptional facilities, including:

  • an exclusive MBA Syndicate Room just for MBA students, offering space for group work, meetings and presentation preparation
  • a beautiful winter garden, which gives the building its own micro-climate
  • a virtual trading floor with Bloomberg Financial Market Labs to practice trading stocks and securities
  • light and spacious teaching areas
  • study pods and innovation booths for group working
  • study support to help you achieve your academic potential a café with an adjacent sun terrace

Our building is located on the University of Essex Knowledge Gateway, the location of choice for knowledge-based enterprises in science, technology and creative sectors in the eastern region. This can provide significant networking opportunities for students with businesses at the cutting-edge of their fields.

Your future

The Essex MBA is designed to foster the business leaders of the future, using their creativity, innovation and ethical awareness to solve the many challenges that the international business world continues to present. Studying with us is an excellent investment in your future career.

Our MBA students have gained posts in a range of businesses, including large corporations, and have used their qualification as the catalyst to start their own business. Find our more about our MBA Alumni.

Career support is given to you throughout your degree, but you can also gain advice from our Student Services Team and the University’s Employability and Careers Centre. You can also access employer talks on campus.

In 2018, 80% of our postgraduate taught students were in professional employment or further study within six months of graduating (DLHE 2017).

I'm an economist, but my long-term goal is to become a manager within the banking industry or start my own business venture. Having an MBA will give me the knowledge and confidence to apply for senior management positions both globally and also within domestic markets. I chose The Essex MBA because of the ranking of the University of Essex and Essex Business School. I love studying here in this modern, beautiful building. Across campus there are great facilities, it’s an inspiring place to create something new.

Alexander Malygin, 2016

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

A minimum of three years, post-graduation work experience in a managerial position and a 2.2 Undergraduate Degree.

Applicants who possess extensive work experience, or have attained a professional qualification but not completed formal degrees will also be considered. Non-academic achievements are also taken into consideration.

You will be required to evidence GCSE grade C/4 or equivalent in Mathematics and English before you complete your studies.

International & EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

Sorry, the entry requirements for the country that you have selected are not available here. Please select your country page where you'll find this information.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall with a minimum component score of 6.0 If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS. Additional Notes The University uses academic selection criteria to determine an applicant’s ability to successfully complete a course at the University of Essex. Where appropriate, we may ask for specific information relating to previous modules studied or work experience.


Example structure

Degree Apprenticeship MBA students take a two year pathway and take three one-week modules per term. Modules are delivered over condensed periods - minimising out-of-office impact.

The Essex MBA combines compulsory and optional modules, giving you freedom to pursue your own interests. All of the modules listed below provide an example of what is on offer from the current academic year. Our Programme Specification provides further details of the course structure for the current academic year.

Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore to ensure your course is as relevant and up-to-date as possible your core module structure may be subject to change.


The course consists of 12 taught modules and a final project. Each module is delivered in a one week period. We use a mixture of lectures, case studies, syndicate exercises, group work and guest lectures.


Assessment for each taught module usually consists of a combination of two-or three-hour examinations and coursework. Coursework takes the form of individual written essays, group projects and presentations. The Business Research Methods and Skills module is provided to support you with your final MBA Project.


You are required to complete one of the following in the summer term:

  • dissertation - using robust research methods and tools to explore specific business issues of your choice
  • comprehensive Business Plan - a structured business planning document for a new or growing business

Fees and funding

Home/EU fee


Apprenticeships are funded through co-investment from the government and your employer, therefore the fees for your course will be invoiced to your employer. If you have been classified as an apprentice you will not be able to apply for Student Finance for fees or living costs, this is because an apprentice is paid a salary for the duration of their training.

International fee


Apprenticeships are funded through co-investment from the government and your employer, therefore the fees for your course will be invoiced to your employer. If you have been classified as an apprentice you will not be able to apply for Student Finance for fees or living costs, this is because an apprentice is paid a salary for the duration of their training.

Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

What's next

Open Days

We hold Open Days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:

  • tour our campus and accommodation
  • find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
  • meet our students and staff

If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.



In order for your staff to apply and be eligible for The Essex MBA (Degree Apprenticeship) your organisation and the University of Essex must first enter into a contractual service agreement for the provision of Level 7 education as part of the apprenticeship levy scheme.

To enquire about Degree Apprenticeship partnerships with the University of Essex please get in touch with the apprenticeships team:


You can apply for our postgraduate courses online. You’ll need to provide us with your academic qualifications, as well as supporting documents such as transcripts, English language qualifications and certificates. You can find a list of necessary documents online, but please note we won’t be able to process your application until we have everything we need.

There is no application deadline but we recommend that you apply before 1 July for our taught courses starting in October. We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.

MBA applicants will be asked to take part in either a face-to-face, online or telephone interview.

Additional Documents

Official transcript(s), in English or a certified translation of your academic results to date, showing marks or grades, must be provided at the time you make your application. (Transcripts are not required from current or previous University of Essex students, or from students who have previously completed a degree at Colchester Institute awarded by the University of Essex).

A personal statement with a 500 word limit to support your application saying why you wish to undertake the course and what you hope to achieve from it. If you require a Tier 4 visa to study with us, your personal statement should refer specifically to your reasons for wishing to study in the UK, and why you have chosen your area of study.

We will also require two references during the application process, one of which must come from a current employer, or appropriate other person, confirming your employment status. Don’t worry if you cannot provide references when you make your application, as if we make you an offer you will be able to provide these at a later stage.

Applicants with an undergraduate degree 2.2 or above

Students applying to the MBA with a 2.2 degree or above, must evidence at least three years of managerial experience, post –graduation, documented by your CV.

Applicants without a first degree, or a first degree below 2.2

Evidence at least evidence at least five years of relevant managerial experience, a significant portion of which should be middle-management level, documented by your CV.

Applicants applying to the MBA without a first degree, or a first degree below 2.2, need to provide an essay of 2,000 words outlining a range of business situations which the applicant has experienced and identifying what s/he has learned from them. When writing the essay, please consider that the admission team will typically be looking at the ways in which the applicant constructs an argument, is able to reflect on his/her experiences, and is able to indicate how these reflections have influenced, his/her subsequent practice.

Virtual tours

If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.


Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.

The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its course finder is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep prospective students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

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