Will I fit in ?

A question that often comes up towards the end of a pre-application discussion (sometimes asked in a variety of different ways) is:

"Will I fit in ?"

This blog was initiated very much to give a more personal, less officious perspective on various unusual and interesting elements of the Royal Holloway MBA.  

Entrance Requirements (Have I got it ?)

  • Motivation to follow a stretching study programme is the number one criterion. 
  • At least three years work experience (AMBA accreditation requirement)
  • Usually (but not always) a good first degree
  • English fluency (degree in English or IELTS 7.0 or TOEFL CiBT 100 if not native speaker)

Applications are reviewed "in the round", please contact MBA Director justin.obrien@royalholloway.ac.uk if you have questions about your credentials.

Gender equality

Perhaps because Royal Holloway was set up in 1886 as UK's second institute for women, the MBA attracts equal ratios of women and men, when others have a strong 2:1 male orientation.  The MBA worldwide has a strong masculine bias, whilst post graduate education does not.  This puts the Royal Holloway in second place of this Economist gender ranking of leading business schools.

Diversity of backgrounds

We encourage applications from work experienced applicants (at least 6 years) who have perhaps never attended University. Learn more about our
MBA backgrounds here.

Truly global

Cohort photos: 2014 and 2013 show that the Royal Holloway MBA draws talent from all around the world as you can see from this photo in my office.

We encourage applications from experienced professionals who may not have the pre-requisite English scores.  E.g. Pritsana undertook language school prior to the MBA

How old are they ?

Ranging between 25 and 45ish, the average age is 28 for the full time programme and 35 for distance learning mode, which has an executive profile.

Uniqueness of Royal Holloway MBA ?

International study visit (included in course fees)

How is the MBA different ?

Why do people study for the RH MBA ?

Team building is crucial

We celebrate the College's rich arts heritage by using drama interventions that includes a visit to a London theatre.  

What about the rankings ?  We sit comfortably in the top 20 UK business schools, yet still relatively young - we celebrate our 25 years in 2015.

We are international in our outlook, focussed on the study of management and its role in society and critically engaged.  We attract applicants keen to level up their commercial career credentials, but also people interested in job and personal satisfaction follow our MBA.  Unsurprisingly careers in the public sector and not-for-profits are popular.  We work with a range of different companies including telecoms giant BT and one of UK's best theme parks. 

What differentiates us from the rest ?


What about jobs ?  Where do MBA's end up ?  Is it just about financial services and consultancies ?  We do not have stats on MBA salary uplift, with such an internationally diverse group, many who look to shift to Europe, the Purchasing Price Parity (cost of living) and exchange rate differentials make this exercise fairly meaningless.

What support do I get ?  Sometimes just the year out and time and space to reflect on what you want to do is the key.

Business engagement takes place in through guest speakers, campus careers fairs, company visits, more company visits, the group consultancy project (using a live business problem) and the individual business project (own choice of how industry focussed this dissertation is).  

Yes, National Press Coverage

What we do is interesting enough to regularly gain high profile press coverage


We have a dedicated MBA careers advisor who runs targeted classes and offers 121 advise sessions.

Networking with graduated MBAs and School of Management supporters e.g. Sir Alec Reed

We host a number of campus events each year that sees alumni return e.g. the end of first term Christmas luncheon and the Plenary week and the previous plenary week.   

What did previous MBA students say about their experience ?  Watch here. 

Life Changing Experience

We like to capture the holistic change that the Royal Holloway MBA usually delivers with the tag line "Learning to Look at Life Differently".  

Graduation comes around more quickly than you expect, having made a group of friends for life.    

Whilst the deep and broad business insight and theoretical knowledge is fundamental, the significant soft skills development is often under considered.  Some even find love on their MBA programme, really life changing !