Online MBA: Master of Business Administration

Postgraduate degree

Invest in your future with our 100% online, CMI accredited, work-based MBA. Our dedicated and focused teaching from industry experts is designed to support you to become a master of enterprise and innovation.

  • Supported online learning gives you the flexibility to fit learning around other commitments
  • Learn from experienced and passionate professionals
  • Develop the knowledge and skills to advance your management career and achieve your ambitions
  • Be part of the University of the Year (THE)

Contact us

About your online MBA

Our online CMI accredited Master of Business Administration (MBA) is designed to provide you with the skills and expertise to advance your knowledge, management theory skills and leadership career aspirations.

You can enrol whether you're just starting out in your management career, have aspirations in financial management, or are striving to become an operations management expert. Supplement your bachelor's degree, or start afresh. The choice is yours!

With a strong entrepreneurial focus, our online MBA is ideal for working professionals who want to advance their business career around other personal commitments.

Course highlights

  • Our online MBA is a globally recognised prestigious management qualification accredited by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI)
  • Develop as an innovative and entrepreneurial leader
  • Master the necessary skills to be a success in a wide variety of business sectors

How you'll study

This course is studied 100% online
Course length

Study this course over 2 years

Start dates

Start in January or September

Application deadlineOur next deadline is

28th June 2024

UK Quality Assured

MBA Alumnus William

Discover William's motivations for studying his MBA online and how the degree has injected new confidence, skills and knowledge into his job role to become a valued and respected member of the team.

Meet MBA Alumnus William

MBA Alumnus Mahmut

Meet Mahmut, distance learning MBA graduate from Turkey. Learn how Mahmut navigated an Earthquake in his home town during his studies, and how the support and flexibility he received from ARU enabled him to continue his passion for learning and development even in a time of crisis..

Meet MBA Alumnus William

Course overview

Our distance learning MBA will provide you with expert management skills and business administration practices and develop the key skills required to understand, respond to and lead change.

Through your online lectures, you’ll develop your awareness of organisational issues, and the ability to evaluate the potential outcomes of complicated or problematic situations in a variety of management contexts.

You’ll reflect on the key issues of the 21st century business environment, the latest developments in management research, and develop a solid understanding of management roles and responsibilities. Additionally, you’ll enhance your communication skills and hone personal attributes to help you learn leadership skills.

Our business masters online consists of six core modules and a major project. The core modules cover topics including finance, human resources, strategy, innovation and entrepreneurship, organisational psychology and marketing.

The postgraduate major project gives you the opportunity to carry out your own research. This globally recognised MBA programme will give you the knowledge, skills and confidence to achieve your career goals. All students will be supported throughout their entire online MBA experience by a dedicated academic and support team and a peer group of like-minded international students from around the world.

Get in touch


Due to the structure of this course, there will be instances where you will study two modules simultaneously during a trimester. You will be supported by your tutors to help manage your workload and assessment deadlines.

Please contact one of our advisers to discuss the pacing of this course and the options available to match your circumstances.

Principles of Marketing Management

You'll work through the main theories and principles of marketing for the marketing manager or business leader, understanding how those theories and principles can be applied in practice to a range of business contexts; from business-to-consumer, business-to-business, charities and arts, to tourism and service-based industries. You'll focus particularly on global business challenges; competition and defining value; a digitally based economy; and societal marketing (corporate social responsibility, sustainability, morals and ethics) whilst also understanding the legal framework that impacts upon marketers and marketing practice such as consumer and data protection laws. This module will challenge you to examine marketing problems that have faced brands and organisations to critically analyse their approach and suggest new alternatives. You'll gain a firm grasp of the scope of marketing in general business management and leadership roles as well as a clear understanding of the specialist areas of study and work as you plan your lifelong career in this very broad industry.

Organisational Psychology in a Social Context

Human Resource (HR) professionals and managers operate within increasingly complex and changing organisational and contextual circumstances in the public, private and third sectors. This is exacerbated by the variety of organisational types and size that contribute to national wealth creation in terms of the services and goods they provide and produce. This module provides you with understanding of market and business contexts in the operational, tactical, and strategic HR function, along with issues of the modern organisation. You'll examine the cultural, political, and social contexts that organisations operate within, both from an internal and external perspective. Furthermore, you'll discover how economic forces affect and influence organisational practices, and their impact upon the function and practises of HR. You'll explore globalisation and how changing demographics and social environments impact on organisational strategy and the HR function. You’ll also explore why ethical and democratic practices are needed to meet the changes of complex business and economic practices (and the management of human resources) in more dignified ways. Finally, you'll see how HR can contribute to and influence the strategic direction of organisational practice in the pursuit of welfare profit, as well as monetary profit.

Management and Strategy

Within this module you'll explore the fields of management and strategy, noting how strategic analysis and formulation contribute to an organisation’s performance. You'll explore practically relevant ideas and frameworks that facilitate strategy design and implementation, dealing with the craft of strategy, identifying and choosing superior competitive positions, how to analyse strategic situations and how to create the organisational context to make the chosen strategy work. Practical and problem-oriented, this module places emphasis on the application of concepts and exploration of frameworks to assist you in analysing and gaining insight into competitive situations and strategic dilemmas. You'll also explore the fields of management and strategy, noting how strategic analysis and formulation contribute to an organisation’s performance.

Principles of Economics

You'll end this module with a toolkit of knowledge around how economists define, evaluate, measure and compare firms’ profit max strategies given different market settings, building a foundation of awareness around the factors affecting both the performance of firms and countries. You'll also be able to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of alternative explanations of economic growth and development. You’ll begin by looking at Microeconomics, examining the ways in which decision-making units (individuals and firms) make their decisions. These fundamental concepts and approaches underpin much of modern microeconomics and consider in detail firms’ input and output decisions based on profit maximisation and cost minimization in different market settings (perfect competition, monopoly, oligopoly, monopolistic competition). Basic economic models are used to introduce you to analytical methods of reasoning with applications and mathematical problems used to help you see clearly the interplay between key concepts. Consumer choice based on utility maximization is considered in detail and then applied to areas such as labour supply. It's then the turn of Macroeconomics, where we master the basic concepts, such as the determination of national income, the workings of the monetary system, causes and consequences of inflation and the reasons behind unemployment. We then introduce the tools of economic theory and develop your understanding of the factors affecting both economic growth and development. You'll examine how a country can increase the size of its national income, and also how increased growth can impact a society by improving the development indicators. Upon completion you should understand how economists define, evaluate, measure and attempt to boost employment, economic growth and development and reduce inflation and public debt. You'll be encouraged throughout to debate current issues and challenges facing economics, enhancing your policy decision-making capacity by examining a wide range of decisions, alternatives and their implications. Given the scientific papers of leading scientists in the field the module aims to value critical openness to different perspectives, theories and methods, and encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship

You'll critically review existing entrepreneurship and innovation models and concepts, including process models, and explore ‘patchwork’ and ‘opportunity’ based approaches to entrepreneurship and innovation. During the module you'll explore how ‘innovation’ comes from a variety of sources, examine the principles of ‘open’ innovation, and recognise the importance of exploiting available networks and developing an innovative culture. Your ability to analyse and critique ‘entrepreneurial’ business models, both existing and conceptual, will be improved through the utilisation of tools such as the Business Model Canvas. You'll think creatively by proposing innovative solutions to creating and capturing value through the medium of consultancy report and applying some of the theoretical underpinnings of the module. Finally, the principles of entrepreneurship and innovation are analysed in the context of entrepreneurs, start-up and family businesses from across the globe, in various commercial, public-sector and not- for-profit sectors, emphasising the importance and challenges of ‘social’ and ‘sustainability-led’ innovation.

Finance for Decision Making

Management decision making is a complex subject involving many variable factors. The primary objective of this module is to provide a conceptual and analytical framework for looking at organisations operating in capital, financial and operational markets. You'll explore the financial element contained in decisions and the techniques that may be used to assist informed management decisions. You start by considering the availability of financial information that may be relevant to decision making and whether this fits with the information you need to make the decision. This is further developed to the type of decision and differing requirements, leading to a more bespoke deliverable information set that meets the context of the decision. You'll gain an appreciation of core themes prevalent throughout financial management. The module also explores the financial techniques developed by financial and management accountants and how they may be used and applied. Finally, consideration is given to the relevance and weighting of the financial element in the decision-making process and how qualitative issues may be incorporated in the overall decision.

Entrepreneurial Action (Major Project)

The Entrepreneurial Action module will allow you to undertake a project focused on understanding and supporting entrepreneurial action in practice. This is to be undertaken on an individual basis and could be an applied/engaged research project – for instance, an enterprise consultancy project which addresses an opportunity or challenge faced by an entrepreneurial organisation, or researching and developing a new business proposition or idea.

Modules are subject to change and availability.


You will be assessed as you progress throughout the course using a range of methods including reports, presentations, portfolios and individual assignments.

How you'll study

Our distance learning MBA degree is studied 100% online.

You’ll study through Canvas, our world-class online Learning Management System (LMS), which can be accessed from your phone, pc or tablet at home or on the move. Canvas is a virtual learning environment that provides instant access to study materials, forums, and support from tutors and classmates, as well as enabling easy submission of your assignments.

On successful completion of your studies you’ll be invited to attend a graduation ceremony on campus. If attending the ceremony in person is not possible then we’ll arrange to have your certificate sent to you.

Supported distance learning

We understand that distance learning is different to traditional campus study and if you’re new to online study you may have concerns or apprehensions about studying your business masters online, and that’s natural.

To help put your mind at ease we have a dedicated Distance Learning Support Team to help and support you throughout your time at ARU, starting with your first online induction and staying with you right through to graduation. In addition, you’ll also be supported by specialist online master in business administration tutors, well experienced in supporting distance learning students.

Once you start your distance learning MBA, we encourage the creation of online communities and many of our learners find these connections with others invaluable, helping them to stay motivated, share concerns or make new friendships.

Contact us to talk through any questions or concerns or visit our support page for more information about the support services available.

Our support services

Be part of the University of the Year

We're proud to be the Times Higher Education (THE) University of the Year 2023.

The prestigious THE awards honour ’exceptional performance during the 2021-22 academic year, and reflect ARU’s success in delivering high-impact projects during this period, despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The award recognises the difference we make in the region and our communities – while also acknowledging the broader impact of our world-leading research, and the contributions our students and graduates make to society.

THE 2023 Awards Logo


CMI Accredited

Our Master of Business Administration is accredited by The Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

CMI accreditation means you may opt to, at no extra cost, receive a second professional qualification upon successful completion of your programme. By adding this CMI qualification to your University qualification, you’re really on the road to success. Other benefits include:

  • Professional recognition and Chartered Management status
  • Free access to CMI online management and leadership resources during your ARU course and for a period of time after you complete your ARU course
  • Access to the CMI career development centre with resources to help with writing CVs, interview simulations and career management tools
  • CMI membership and opportunities for networking with other CMI members
  • Access to CMI events
CMI HE Partner


What could an online master in business administration do for my career?

Online MBAs offer a range of career opportunities open to you, and many top industries are keen to hire an online MBA graduate.

A study published by Statista in 2022 showed that 92% of employers across all industries were looking to hire MBA graduates, showing that the skills demonstrated by MBA graduates are in high demand worldwide.

For example, online MBA graduates are sought after for a range of roles that require strong international business knowledge, critical thinking skills and an understanding of an ever-changing economy.

Doors can also open in the field of consultancy, where businesses seek highly knowledgeable graduates to inform decision-making processes and build strategies for growth and success.

Studying an MBA online can also support you in starting your own business by teaching you the business strategy skills to become a self-sufficient entrepreneur and bring your ideas to fruition.

What job roles can I consider with an online MBA?

With an MBA, you can gain the transferable skills and knowledge to work in a variety of job roles and industry sectors. These are just some of the job roles that MBA graduates may consider:

  • Business Advisor
  • Business Analyst
  • Business Consultant
  • Business Development Manager
  • Business Operations Manager
  • Entrepreneur
  • Finance Manager
  • Human Resources Manager
  • Management Consultant
  • Marketing Manager
  • Project Manager
  • Risk Manager

If you are looking for more information about these job profiles and potential salary earnings see It’s important to note that salaries can vary widely depending on the job role, employer, industry sector and location.

What skills will I get from an MBA online to help my career?

Choosing to study an MBA will give you many transferable skills; here are just some of them:

  • Ability to think around complex issues
  • Decision-making, even in the absence of complete data
  • Evaluate different business models
  • Create and implement strategic plans
  • Develop leadership skills with the potential to senior leadership level
  • Develop entrepreneurial and innovative approaches
  • Work with confidence, both independently and in a group
  • Develop flexible and creative approaches to problem-solving
  • Clear communication
  • Manage information from a range of media

What can I study after an MBA?

Depending on your long-term goals and interests you may decide to explore a doctorate qualification. Having a master’s degree under your belt is a key entry requirement in opening doors to study at this level.

Careers Advice Service

Once you become an ARU student you will be able to access our Employability Service, to help you whatever stage your career, whether that’s landing your dream job or the next progression step.

We offer:

  • careers advice, including one-to-one online and telephone appointments with our experienced advisers
  • help with your CV, job searches, applications and interview preparation
  • an online portal packed with useful careers resources
  • our Employability Programme, which helps you hone the skills employers say they want in graduates

Entry requirements

You should have:

  • A degree from a UK university, normally a minimum of lower second class honours degree; or equivalent from a non-UK university + relevant work experience.

Relevant work experience is defined as having at least 12 months experience in a business administration role with some level of supervisory or management experience. This could be in HR, Marketing, Finance or Project Management for example, but the key is to have had exposure to business processes.

If English is not your first language, you will be expected to demonstrate a certificated level of proficiency of at least IELTS 6.5 or equivalent.

As a distance learner, you'll also need a suitable computer with internet connection, together with sufficient IT competence to make effective use of our online learning management system (LMS) with high-speed internet and email.

Fees & funding


The full tuition fee for this online MBA is £11,700.

The tuition fees you pay each year will be £5,850. The course is studied over 2 years.

Accredited Prior Learning may reduce the tuition fees. This will be confirmed once your application has been submitted.


Your course can be fully funded by the Postgraduate Student Loans now available (subject to eligibility).

We offer payment by instalments, so you can spread the cost of studying with us.

For military students: You can use your ELCs towards this course. Anglia Ruskin University is a recognised ELCAS provider (number 1007). Please contact your Learning Centre for details of ELC, eligibility and how to apply.

For more information on how you fund your studies please see our funding page.

What our students say

Michael - ARU Student

Pursuing the MBA was a rewarding experience that provided me with an additional challenge, sense of accomplishment, and the intellectual stimulation I sought.

Read Michael's story
Mari - ARU Distance Learning Student

As an international student I feel lucky to have chosen ARU. The lecturers have been very supportive and the content of the modules were extremely interesting.

Read Mari's story
Brandon -  ARU Student

I’d advise anyone who is in employment to study a work-based online degree at Anglia Ruskin because of its flexibility.

Read Brandon's story
Sean - ARU Distance Learning Student

The MBA has been a brilliant experience allowing me to gain a widely recognised qualification, whilst developing myself both personally and professionally.

Read Sean's story

Frequently Asked Questions

Next application deadline:

28th June 2024

Discover what you're made of.Apply now before the application deadline.

Find out more about distance learning and our MBA course on our blog:

5 Business skills you master with an MBA

5 Business skills you master with an MBA

14th February 2020

View Blog
Distance Learning Alumni Survey 2023

Distance Learning Alumni Survey 2023

13th March 2024

View Blog