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The ultimate guide to doing an MBA in Australia banner lights
14 Jan, 2020

The ultimate guide to doing an MBA in Australia

Thinking of doing an MBA?

Here we cover the what, when, how and why of studying an MBA in Australia.

Your choice to pursue an MBA degree will be determined by various factors including your current position and where you want your career to go in the future, how much time you can apply to study, along with your desired expectations in terms of industry and experience.


What is an MBA exactly?

The Master of Business Administration (MBA) is widely regarded as the preferred qualification for professionals wanting to pursue a career in strategic management. That is, by undertaking the MBA, you’ll become an expert in terms of understanding the science behind effective leadership and management.

You’ll be able to execute a variety of business management strategies aimed at creating an ideal, incentivised, and productive workplace throughout a variety of roles and sectors (dependant on your personal preferences and educational background, of course).

An MBA is an investment in the next step of your career progression. It can add value in terms of employability, earning potential and the practical and theoretical insights you gain into what it takes to make small and large business environments flourish.

The MBA landscape in Australia

mba landscape

How long does it take to get an MBA?

Although it can vary from institution to institution, a full-time MBA degree will generally span over six trimesters, or (on average) two years. Within this same time framework, you can choose to complete a general MBA, an MBA specialisation or an MBA dual specialisation. An accelerated study option is sometimes available depending on subject offerings.

What are the entry requirements?

This will vary from institution to institution. At Kaplan Business School, an Australian bachelor’s degree is required for admission into an MBA, although school results, TAFE or VET qualifications, work experience and informal study will also be taken into consideration.

For international students, an Australian bachelor’s degree or equivalent is required. Students will need to have their overseas qualification assessed by the Department of Education and Training and considered equal to the postgraduate entry requirements.

International students will also have to meet English language requirements. You can read more about the specifics here. For students who don’t quite meet the level of English proficiency required, there is an option to study an English for Academic Purposescourse.

How much does an MBA cost?

The cost of undertaking an MBA will, of course, vary based on your chosen institution. According to MBA News, the average cost of an MBA in Australia (based on 110 MBA courses across the country) is just above $52,000.

As such, it’s always best to consult with a facilitator to find the course best suited to where you want to study in Australia, what you’re looking for in a business school or university, and your desired learning outcomes.

For more information about the costs of studying an MBA at Kaplan Business School, please refer to our Fees & Entry Requirements.

What are the different types of MBA?

MBA type

What you’ll learn

Best suited for

Master of Business Administration (General)

During the general MBA program, you will receive a broad education in business management and leadership, and learn foundational skills across all specialties including communication, problem-solving, as well as creative and critical thinking.  Industry and academic professionals will provide valuable insights into what it takes to essentially run a business effectively. This includes how to increase productivity and sales, solve problems, nurture clients and stakeholders, along with applying theoretical and practical approaches to build strategies and minimise risks.   General MBA skills can be applied to a range of different fields, making you a flexible professional. 

Those seeking to become business owners, budding entrepreneurs, or those with a desire to upskill and climb the career ladder within small and large corporations and businesses.    A general MBA is useful for professionals who want the ability to change careers down the track.  It’s also suitable for those seeking a career as a business consultant, working with a variety of clients to implement business management strategy across several sectors.  

MBA (Specialisation)

Undertaking a specialisation assists you with honing precise, industry-specific skills, while still offering the foundational skills acquired throughout the MBA.   A specialisation helps you become the expert’s expert and provides you with the skills and contacts to further your career opportunities within your chosen field.  

Those seeking to advance career opportunities within their chosen sector, manage facets of specific industries, engage with dynamic atmospheres and work environments, or start their own business venture. Additionally, specialisations can broaden your horizon in terms of consultancy opportunities, executive and board opportunities, or managing small-medium, and large-scale enterprises.  

MBA (Dual specialisation)

Undertaking a dual specialisation allows you to gain knowledge and skills in two industry-specific areas of the MBA.  This is achieved through your selection of elective subjects as part of your MBA degree. 

Professionals and students who have two clear stand-out areas of interest within the selection of MBA specialisations. For example, if your goal was to start a business in the hospitality sector, an MBA with a dual specialisation in Hospitality and Tourism Leadership and Entrepreneurship would perfectly cover the subject matter and skills you would be looking to gain.   

Most institutions also offer an MBA in a variety of delivery modes to suit your needs and lifestyle:

Delivery  mode


Best suited for

MBA (Full-Time)

Immerse yourself in the learning experience by opting for the full-time MBA. Not only will you achieve your accreditation quicker, you’ll also be sharpening your creative and critical thinking muscles by surrounding yourself with content, theory, professional input and expertise. Studying the MBA full-time can also provide you with the extra time to obtain professional experience while you gain your accreditation.

While there are opportunities to work flexibly in online learning environments, full-time study is best suited for those who have the capacity to commit to two subjects per trimester, each accumulating to 3 hours of classes plus approximately 14 hours of self-study a week, to achieving their accreditation.

MBA (Part-Time)

Keep your career on path and maintain your obligations outside of studying, by undertaking the MBA on a part-time basis.   Part-time study can offer full-time professionals flexibility, a better approach to time management, while still achieving your goals and necessary accreditation to progress in your career. 

Students who work full-time, and don’t want to put their career on hold would benefit from the part-time study.   Equally, those who have family obligations, or those requiring study with a lot more flexibility would benefit undergoing a part-time MBA. At KBS this would mean committing to one subject a trimester involving 3 hours of classes plus approximately 14 hours of self-study a week.

Online MBA

The main benefit on an online MBA is that you can choose to study when it suits you!  You can study 100% online or mix face-to-face with online subjects. The flexibility of the online MBA is such that you can attend the weekly live webinars or listen to the recorded versions at a later time.  And don’t worry, you’ll still have access to all the same student services as students attending in person. It’s important to note that online study limits do apply for international students. You can find out more here.  

This study mode is perfect for busy professionals and/or a parent keen to re-enter the workforce. It’s also a great option for professionals overseas who want an Australian MBA without having to leave their home country.


Is an MBA worth it?

You may be asking yourself: is an MBA degree right for me? What impact will it have on my career? The MBA is an investment in your career and whether it’s right for you will depend on your individual goals. Here are some of the top reasons graduates and working professionals choose to pursue an MBA in Australia:

  • High salary potential – Whether you decide to become a specialist or generalist, equipping yourself with the skills and knowledge on what it takes to manage a business will provide you with further opportunity to access executive-level roles and upscale your income. In fact, according to a study conducted by MBA News, students anticipated an average of 30% increase in earnings after undertaking the MBA.  
  • Management and leadership skills – From consultants, and entrepreneurs, to aspiring business owners and those working in larger corporations, undertaking the MBA will enhance your problem-solving and analytical skills, interpersonal and communication skills and ability to think creatively and critically. It will boost your time management, financial management, and project management skills, harness your ability to think ‘big picture’, to forecast, minimise risks, and consider opportunities for growth within your respective market – all essential qualities for good leadership and management.  
  • Career change – An MBA can be a great qualification to help professionals who are looking to change their career direction. That’s because it provides graduates with a solid foundation in general business, leadership and management skills that are applicable across a range of industries and job functions. You can read more on how to change careers with an MBA here.  
  • Gain entrepreneurial skills to start or grow your own company – Become your own boss and create your own success by learning the skills, foundational tools, and ability to think both creatively and critically to build a successful business.   
  • Networking – By undertaking the MBA, you’ll have access to a highly-experienced faculty, classmates, and business executives that you’ll meet during your degree and internships. Building a business network in Australia can help connect you with opportunities, and offer support, throughout your career.  
  • Personal development – By undertaking an MBA, you’re not just investing in your career. You’re also acquiring skills in time and financial management that can assist in setting life goals, maintaining a work/life balance and forecasting your future. Additionally, international students in Australia have a chance to expand their horizons and experience a new place, culture and way of thinking. 
  • An MBA is well-regarded all around the world – By obtaining a universally-known degree, you’ll have the opportunity to work outside of the parameters that you’re used to, explore a variety of opportunities in and outside of Australia, and potentially live and work within different cultures and environments.   
  • An MBA is well-regarded all around the world – By obtaining a universally-known degree, you’ll have the opportunity to work outside of the parameters that you’re used to, explore a variety of opportunities in and outside of Australia, and potentially live and work within different cultures and environments.   









man holding lightbulb - mba

Who can you find in an MBA classroom?

  • Career climbers
    • Ambitious managers with work experience who want to grow professional skills to attain a promotion and/or access higher salary potential
  • Knowledge builders
    • Graduates or managers who want to build management and leadership skills, leading to enhanced career opportunities and job satisfaction
  • Career shifters
    • Professionals looking for a career change who want to leverage the learning and skills offered through an MBA to start in a new industry or function
  • Entrepreneurs
    • Ideas people who want to gain entrepreneurial skills to start or grow their own company
  • Connectors
    • Professionals who want to expand their business networks and engage with people from various business backgrounds/walks of life
  • Self-actualisers
    • Professionals who are focused on personal development, and in the case of international students, want to experience a new place and culture
  • Global nomads
    • Professionals looking for flexibility and global experience, who recognise the value an MBA has within the global marketplace

Why do an MBA in Australia?

Here are some of the main reasons why MBA students choose to study in Australia:

  • Australia is considered one of the top 3 most liveable countries in the world * due to its excellent education system, high standard of living, friendly, laid-back lifestyle, natural beauty and vibrant city life.
  • Graduates from Australian schools are highly sought after due to the impressive reputation of the Australian education system.
    • International students are protected under Australian law through the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act and national regulatory agencies such as the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA).
  • The Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) allows countries around the world to recognise your qualification and issue the comparable qualifications for local use.
  • After successfully completing your master’s degree at KBS, you may be eligible to apply for a two-year post-study work arrangement in Australia †
  • International students can work up to 40 hours a fortnight while studying in Australia. †

*UN’s Human Development Report, 2018

†For more information please visit

Alison Guttierez / Colombian
MBA graduate

'To work in the area of my interests, I realised I needed to learn how to manage companies effectively. My MBA helps me to develop the relevant skill set and to become a better communicator.'

How to get the most out of your MBA?

It’s not just about handing in assessments. You can get the most out of your MBA by:

Maximising support services: It will be important to network with industry professionals that you’ll have access to, staff and faculty, along with your classmates who will become a lifelong support network to tap into. Other services available for MBA students include career hubs (a network of careers advisors who can hook you up with amazing internships, workshops and job opportunities!) and academic learning centres (for support with English, assignments, academic writing, and much more!).

Being proactive: Those that don’t seek, don’t receive! Hone your communication skills by reaching out to the right people at the right opportunity, attending networking events, and liaising with professionals within your field.

Doing your prep work for each subject: The more your read, the stronger your foundational knowledge will be when you step into the next phase of your career. Assuring you complete your prep work will provide you with a deeper understanding of complex issues and allow you to engage much more effectively in class discussions.

Time management skills

An MBA degree is a serious commitment. To get the most out of your experience and maintain a healthy and fulfilled lifestyle, time management will be an essential skill to master.

For a full-time MBA you are looking at a time commitment of around 34 hours a week, including class attendance and self-study. You will need to learn to manage assignment deadlines, full time/part-time work, family and friends, as well as allowing time to relax and recharge.

Some top tips to help manage the study/work/life balance include:

  • Planning: This includes taking time to schedule your day or week by prioritising important tasks, dedicating time blocks to certain activities, and avoiding distractions. Equally as important is to have a set hour that you’ll switch off from work to enjoy your family and loved ones, favourite hobbies and sports, or just take time for yourself.
  • Knowing when you’re at your strongest: Are you more of a morning person? Or tend to think more clearly in the evening? It’s important to understand your natural rhythms to maximise your output, tend to tasks quickly and efficiently, while still leaving time to do the things you enjoy.
  • Eating well: A healthy body can sustain a hefty work schedule! Make sure you are setting time out to enjoy healthy, unprocessed foods, throughout the day. For those that are time-poor, meal prepping can be an efficient way to assure your body is receiving all the vital nutrients it needs to sustain a work/study cycle.
  • Getting enough sleep: It is often easy to assume that shaving a few hours off the recommended eight will leave you with more time to tackle tasks. However, all you’ll end up with is a sleep deficit which can impede on your performance and quality of life. Start setting the clock back if you have to wake up early, switch off a few hours before bed, and assure you achieve the golden eight.
  • Scheduling in time for socialising: It’s very easy to panic and cancel your plans when you’re on a rolling deadline or having difficulty balancing work and assignments. This, again, comes down to time management. By planning time through the week to see your friends and loved ones, you’ll still get your work done while reaping the benefits of a flourishing social life. Remember, no human is an island!
  • Goal setting (and making them realistic!): Rome wasn’t built in a day and your career won’t be either! It’s important to set small achievable goals, while working towards larger achievements along the way.

Click below to find out more about studying an MBA at Kaplan Business School.