Top 9 MBAs in Singapore that give you a competitive edge

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Is everybody around you getting an MBA (Masters of Business Administration)?

From business graduates to engineering graduates, many folks aspire towards an MBA qualification these days, and with good reason. Before you jump onto the bandwagon, however, it’ll be good to reflect on why you want to get an MBA. Your motivations for getting an MBA might stem from a desire to get promoted, earn a pay increase, or turn yourself into a more valuable employer or employee. No matter what your ambitions are, an MBA will, without doubt, offer you:

1. Real-World Management Skills

a. It’s not just about crunching numbers in the financial world. Being good with numbers and analysis is one thing. True business leadership lies in understanding organizational behaviour and learning useful interpersonal skills that will turn your team into a productive force to be reckoned with.

2. Proof of Ability

a. Let’s face it. The certificate you get at the end of your course isn’t just a piece of paper. It is a symbol of your worth and hard work, a credential that shows that you aren’t just another ordinary suit. Furthermore, a specialized MBA may appeal to some employers more than others—depending on your field of specialization.

3. A Larger Social Network

a. Going to university isn’t just about the knowledge you inherit. For business students, it is the contacts you gain that will ultimately be your most valuable asset. Large MBA organisations can give you access to a pool of like-minded peers and even an international alumni network that will be useful in the future.

The interior of an MBA seminar room (image credits: Simon Alpha@Pixabay)

The Best MBAs in Singapore

Disclaimer: It is difficult to rank the various MBAs in Singapore because they vary in teaching style, curriculum and specialization. To make an informed choice, you would have to read their website and even enquire more to make a good decision. Nevertheless, here is a guide some of the best MBAs in Singapore to look out for. While there are MBA programme rankings out there, the QS WU Ranking system mentioned here (for Business and Management Studies) is one of the most comprehensive ranking systems because it consists of the most universities and it uses graduate and employer surveys to determine 1) Academic Reputation 2) Employer Reputation 3)Research Citations per Paper 4) Productivity and impact of the published work of a scientist to give you a good overview of the university strength.

1. INSEAD (QS WU 2nd Globally)

This French Business School is ranked 2nd by QS World Universities ranking for Business Management, and its MBA program is the top sixth in the QS Global MBA Rankings 2021. It is one of the leading and largest graduate business schools. Currently, there are three comprehensive and fully connected campuses in Asia (Singapore), the Middle East (Abu Dhabi) and Europe (France), 165 renowned faculty members from 41 countries and more than 1,300 MBA participants and PhD candidates as well as 11,000 executives yearly. What’s more? INSEAD collaborates with Wharton and has a joint EMBA program formed in conjunction with Tsinghua University. Of course, the school also has an international reputation backed with accreditation from AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA.

The INSEAD Asia campus is located near one-north MRT station. If you’re still undecided about an MBA with this school, check out INSEAD’s free MOOCs on Coursera (offered periodically) for a sneak peek into their offerings!

Duration: 10 months

Cost: €89,000 (approx. $142,645.46 SGD). Add €2,000 for a business foundations programme.

2. National University of Singapore (QS WU 13th Globally)

NUS MBA’s programme is great. Of course, it’s NUS, arguably the best university in Singapore. There are no worries about recognition considering it is backed by both EQUIS and AACSB. NUS has a great global reach and is partners with the Columbia Business School, Duke Fuqua, Copenhagen Business School and many more institutions, which students can spend a semester abroad to gain international experience.

You can also choose to do a double degree, which will see you study at Peking University (Beijing), Hautes Études Commerciales (HEC) Paris or Yale University (USA) for the second year.

Duration: 17 months – Full-Time, 24-30 months – Part-Time

Cost: SGD 68,000

3. Nanyang Business School – NTU (QS WU 24th Globally)

A school that gains strength from its strong roots in research and prides itself in its deep Asian roots, NTU’s Nanyang Business School isn’t to be taken lightly. If you want to gain a global perspective on management issues, applied in the Asian context, NTU is for you. With live business consulting projects and international study trips, your time at NBS will be an enriching one. If you are into some new MBA programmes, NBA also offers Nanyang-Waseda Double MBA Full Time, Nanyang-ESSEC Double Masters and Nanyang-St Gallen Double Masters which are for different durations and costs. They are accredited by AACSB and EQUIS in addition to being a GMAC school.

NTU reports high employment rates for their MBA programme: according to the Nanyang Business School GSCDO Employment Report 2019, 95% of their MBA cohort found employment within 3 months of graduation. You can check out the Career Report (downloadable through the Nanyang Business School MBA page) for more information!

Duration: 12 months (Full-Time), 29 Months (Part-Time)

Cost: S$ 62,000 (excludes GST)

4. Lee Kong Chian School of Business (LKCSB), Singapore Management University (QS WU 39th Globally)

LKCSB is a young superstar, founded only in 2000. However, it has been on a rapid ascension to gain a solid reputation in the Asia-Pacific region. We all know SMU loves to show off its solid graduate employment survey for undergraduates and we all know businesses love SMU students’ outspoken attitudes. If you want to be great at your presentation and interpersonal skills, and study an MBA with an Asia-focused curriculum, LKCSB should most definitely be a university to look at.

LKCSB aims to prepare emerging business leaders for current and future challenges as quickly as possible, with the school’s MBA being Singapore’s ‘most accelerated MBA programme’! Its faculty has an international feel, many of its staff holding credentials from Harvard, Oxford, Stanford, INSEAD, and Yale. The school showcases dual accreditation from AACSB and EQUIS.

Duration: 10-15 Months (Full-Time), 18 Months (Part-Time)

Cost: S$67,410.00 (Full-Time), S$68,480.00 (Part-Time)


5. Manchester Business School (QS WU 30th Globally)

Offered by the University of Manchester, this program is a part-time only course. This international programme includes a live project to give you the practical experience necessary to set you apart from your competitors in the industry. The Manchester Business School is well-known for its Business Programme, so I highly doubt accreditation will be an issue. An interesting feature of this MBA is the availability of a Global Careers Service that lets you accelerate your current career path with MBS’s help or find career opportunities worldwide. The 5 specialisations they offer are 1. General 2.Finance 3. Finance Accelerated 4. Engineering 5. Project Management. They are triple-accredited by AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA as well.

Here’s another interesting thing about the Machester MBA: you won’t need to take the GMAT before applying! The school gets candidates to take a 45-minute Manchester application test instead, helping you to fast track your studies and skip months of additional test prep/studying.

Duration: 2 years plus a 6-month live company project

Cost: S$68,167.56



ESSEC Business School - Wikipedia  6. ESSEC Global MBA (QS WU 31st Globally)

Well-known in Europe as a leading business school, ESSEC offers a comprehensive MBA with a huge variety of specializations. This niche French institution offers a Global MBA with 2 tracks, the first being Strategy & Digital Leadership and the second being Luxury Brand Management.

The school “focuses on developing students in the areas of Digital Business, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, SmartLife & Smart Economy, and Leadership.

The ESSEC Global MBA is available in Paris and in Singapore and is a 1-year full-time programme. 

It is also accredited by AACSB and EQUIS.

Duration: 1 year (12 months)

Cost: For programs on the ESSEC Asia-Pacific Campus, tuition is fixed at SGD81,900  (GST included), for 2020-2021

7. The Strathclyde MBA (QS 51-100 Globally)

Strathclyde Business School is one of the few schools in the world with triple accreditation from 3 international bodies of AMBA, AACSB, and EQUIS. This school is most famous for its research strength, having won the 2014 Research Excellence Framework and is one of the top 10 schools in the UK for its research. They have achieved the highest possible rating for their research environment. They are ranked the 98th in the world by the Financial Times for the Global MBA programme and 85th for their executive MBA pc, .rogramme. Strathclyde’s MBA is known as the best Scottish MBA in Europe. The course is offered through DIMENSIONS International in Singapore.

Cost: $40,461.00 with GST

Duration: 24 months (Part-Time)

S P Jain School of Global Management - Wikipedia

8. SP JAIN Global School Of Management Singapore – Global MBA

Having campuses in Dubai, Sydney and of course Singapore, SP Jain Global School Of Management is a school worth taking a look. It focuses on the development of attributes like global intelligence, creativity and innovation, teamwork, decision-making and communication skills. It is accredited by TEQSA and ABEST21. It was ranked #12 by Forbes for International 1-year MBAs, which is pretty decent by all measures.

One thing to watch out for is SP Jain’s use of their proprietary Engaged Learning Online (ELO) platform. Rolled out for their Executive MBA, it has since been adopted across all their programmes due to the pandemic. Many of their students have had positive things to say about taking classes through the platform, and you can sneak a peek through the school’s introductory video.

Duration: 1 year Full-Time

Cost: AUD 75,827 = 77,142.77 SGD (approximately at time of writing)

9. The Queen Mary University of London

Amity Global Institute has partnered with the University of London, to offer the Global MBA programme to students based in Singapore. The Global MBA is developed by the Queen Mary University of London, a member of the prestigious Russell Group. The Queen Mary University of London was ranked among the world’s top one per cent of universities by Times Higher Education (World University Rankings, 2016 – 2017). The Queen Mary University of London places a high priority on the integration of its teaching and research, ensuring the MBA materials are informed by the latest development in the industry and workplace while developing world-class business acumen for all MBA students. Their Global MBA is also accredited by a number of professional bodies, including CMI and CIMA.

Duration: 1 year

Cost: $21,999


Making the decision to get an MBA isn’t a difficult one, MBAs are great. However, making the decision on which MBA to get, can get tough. I highly encourage prospective students to do their due diligence and research as much as they can to understand the MBA they are choosing. If you wish to work in Singapore, then obviously NUS, NTU and SMU are great choices, but if you are looking at working overseas, then considering some of the private universities can be a good alternative as well. Of course, do look at their accreditation and costs which are a huge factor when it comes to education too. No matter where you choose to study, one thing should remain constant, that is to work hard for whatever it is that you want and to do whatever it takes, to get where you want to go. All the best, until next time.

INSEAD10 months€89,000 (approx. $142,645.46 SGD). Add €2,000 for a business foundations programme.QS WU 2nd Globally, AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA
National University of Singapore 2 Semesters (1 Year) – Full-Time, 4 Semesters (2 Years) – Part-TimeSGD 65,000  QS WU 113h Globally, EQUIS and AACSB
Nanyang Business School – NTU12 month (Full-Time), 29 Months (Part-Time)S$62,000 (excludes GST)QS WU 24th Globally, AACSB and EQUIS
Lee Kong Chian School of Business (LKCSB), Singapore Management University10-15 Months (Full-Time), 18 Months (Part-Time)S$67,410.00 (Full-Time), S$68,480.00 (Part-Time)QS WU 39th Globally, AACSB and EQUIS
Manchester Business SchoolTwo years plus a six month live company projectS$68,167.56QS WU 30th Globally, AACSB, EQUIS
ESSEC Business School MBA2-3 years$81,900 QS WU 31st Globally, AACSB and EQUIS
SP JAIN Global School Of Management Singapore – Global MBA1 year Full-TimeAUD 75,827 = 77,142.77 SGDTEQSA and ABEST21
The Strathclyde MBA24 months (Part-Time)$40,461.00 with GSTAMBA, AACSB, and EQUIS
The Queen Mary University of London1 year$21,999 Full-Time/Part-TimeChartered Management Institute (CMI) and Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)


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