FAQs

We know that applying to an MBA programme is a significant decision and commitment. We want to make sure you have all the information required to help you to submit a complete and competitive application. Our FAQs should help answer any queries you may have.

Application process

How do I submit an application?
We only accept online applications through our online application system, details of which can be found in the 'How To Apply' section of the website. Transcripts and other supporting documentation must be scanned and uploaded to the application form, keeping each file to under 600kb. Ensure you upload all required supporting materials.

Additionally, make sure your referees submit their recommendations in advance of the deadline, as only completed applications will be considered in each application stage. 

Please note that the School’s form is different from the Graduate Application Form used by the University of Oxford Graduate Admissions Office for other graduate-level courses.

When should I apply?
For the 2019 entry, there are four application stages:

  • Stage 1 deadline: 7 September 2018
  • Stage 2 deadline: 2 November 2018
  • Stage 3 deadline: 11 January 2019
  • Stage 4 deadline: 5 April 2019

You can apply in any of these stages, however, you are advised to apply as early as possible.

These are:
If your college choice and the opportunity to be considered for University of Oxford scholarships is important to you, we recommend that you apply in the early stages (1-3). Please note our application deadlines are 'hard', therefore any applications which are incomplete when the deadline passes will not be considered in that particular stage. 

We strongly advise candidates to submit their application well in advance of the deadline as this gives our admissions team the chance to process your application and let you know if anything is missing.

I submitted my application before the deadline but I haven't received a confirmation. Does this mean you have not received it?
We receive most of the applications for each stage on, or just before, the deadline. Therefore, due to the volume it will take five working days for us to notify you that we have received your application or to inform you of its status. We strongly advise candidates to submit well in advance of the deadline as this gives our admissions team the chance to process your application and let you know if anything is missing.

What are the essay questions for the 2019-20 MBA application?
Mandatory essays:

  • Consider a statistic or trend that shocks you. Why it is important to you and how could it be changed for the better? (Maximum 500 words)
  • Is there anything not covered in the application form which you would like the Admissions Committee to know about you? (Maximum 250 words)

If you are applying under the 1+1 scheme you also need to submit the following essay:

  •  Explain why you see this as particularly beneficial for you and how it fits with your career and personal development aims (Maximum 250 words)

Re-applicants will need to complete the essays mentioned above and another essay on the topic:

  • What improvements have you made in your candidacy since you last applied to the Oxford MBA? (Maximum 250 words)

When reviewing your essays, the Admissions Committee will be looking for evidence of the following: Good communication skills, leadership potential, analytical skills, and fit within the Oxford MBA community, among other characteristics.

How many references are required?
We require two professional or academic references. Using the online application form you will need to submit two references, preferably from professional referees. Once your referee details are input into the form, your referee will receive an automatic email from the School with details on how to complete the online reference form.

Please note we can only accept references from a valid work/professional/institutional email address and not from Gmail/Hotmail accounts.

Back to top 

Fees

What are the fees for the 2019-20 programme?
The cost for the 2019-20 Oxford MBA programme is £57,200. 
This includes college membership, tuition fees and a life long membership of the Oxford Union.

If I receive an offer, how do I secure my place on the programme?
Applicants who are offered and accept a place on the course are asked to pay a non-refundable deposit of £8,000. This is then offset against their course fee.

When should I provide you with my deposit?
The deposit payment is due within 30 days of receiving your offer of a place on the programme. Please note Stage 4 applicants will only have 14 days after receiving an offer within which they must pay their deposit.

Can my application fee be waived?
If you are currently a resident in a country on the World Bank list of low-income countries and cannot afford to pay the application fee, you can indicate this on your application form by selecting the ‘I need a fee waiver’ option in the ‘Application Fee Waiver’ section of your application and following the instructions.

As of 13 December 2018, these countries are: Afghanistan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Dem. Rep., Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, The, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Korea, Dem. People's Rep., Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Yemen, Rep., and Zimbabwe.

Back to top

The Oxford MBA

What does a typical MBA class look like at Oxford?
The diversity of nationalities, work experience and age range enhances the group dynamics and offers students a rich environment for learning from the course and each other.
The 2017-18 MBA class comprised students from 60 countries, while the current 2018-19 cohort includes students from 63 countries. For both these intakes, MBA students had a median GMAT of 690, and an average of 5 years work experience. (Read our student blogs here to get to know current and past Oxford MBA students)

Are there any age restrictions?
No. The average age of the current class is 29 and ranges from 21 to 40. Younger candidates do need to be able to demonstrate a high level of maturity, combined with evidence of leadership ability. 

What is the structure of the MBA programme?
The programme lasts 12 months from September to September, and roughly follows the structure of the wider University of Oxford’s three terms, with an additional summer term. You will begin the year focusing on your core courses and leadership fundamentals, before undertaking project work combined with elective courses that allow you to tailor your learning. (Find out more about the programme structure)

What percentage of the class will be case study based?
The teaching on the MBA programme is split as follows: 40% lecture, 25% case study, 25% team project and 10% simulations.

I am studying for a Master's at another University. May I transfer to Saïd Business School for part of the year?
The MBA programme does not accept transfer, exchange or visiting students.

Can I do the Oxford MBA part-time?
No. The Oxford MBA is a full-time, one-year programme, and there is no part-time offering.

Back to top 

Academic and professional background

Is there a minimum degree/GPA level requirement?
We generally welcome candidates on the programme with a First or Upper Second Class (2.1) undergraduate degree or GPA of at least 3.5 (or the international equivalent).  However, we welcome candidates with lower degree classifications where they have demonstrated strong work experience and competitive GMAT/GRE scores. We can accept both three and four year degrees. 

Do I need any work experience?
We ask applicants to have at least two years of previous full-time work experience, which has been gained since graduation. The current class average is 5 years. We want you to actively contribute to the MBA class by sharing your views, professional experience and skills. 

I have followed a non-traditional career path. Will this have a negative impact on my application?
No. Previous students have come from the non-profit sector, the armed forces and fields including scientific research and academia. If you are interested in what we have to teach you and have a great story to tell about your life to date, we are interested in hearing from you.

Back to top

GMAT and GRE

What GMAT score do you expect?
While we recommend that candidates apply with a GMAT score of 650 or above, we accept all scores. The median GMAT for the 2017/18 class was 690. A high score does not guarantee a place, nor does a low score disqualify you. It is important to remember that GMAT test scores are only one element of your application but you should not over-estimate their importance.

It is a mandatory requirement that all sections of the GMAT test is taken. We are unable to waive this admissions requirement in any circumstances, irrespective of a candidates academic or professional background.

Please ensure that the test scores are forwarded by GMAC to the Saïd Business School. GMAT scores will not be valid if they are more than five years old on the application deadline date.

If I retake the GMAT test, will you take the latest or the highest score?
We will accept the highest score that you have achieved on the test. If you wish to try and improve upon your existing score before you apply, you are more than welcome to do so. Please note that you cannot 'mix and match' scores from different sections on different tests.

Do you accept the GRE test for admission?
Yes, we accept both GRE and GMAT scores.

What GRE score do you expect?
While we recommend that candidates apply with a GRE verbal score of 160 and quantitative score of 161 or above, we accept all scores.  A high score does not guarantee a place, nor does a low score disqualify you. It is important to remember that GRE test scores are only one element of your application, and you should not over-estimate their importance.

It is a mandatory requirement that all sections of the GRE test are taken. We are unable to waive this admissions requirement in any circumstances in any circumstances, irrespective of a candidates academic or professional background.

Please ensure that the test scores are forwarded by ETS to the Saïd Business School, our institution code is 0807. GRE scores will not be valid if they are more than five years old on the application deadline date.

Do you prefer GMAT scores to GRE scores?
No, we have no preference. We do find that majority of our MBA students take and submit GMAT scores rather than GRE, but we don’t have a preference and equally accept either score.

I have significant professional experience in a highly quantitative role, do I need to submit a GMAT score?
Yes, every candidate wishing to apply for the Oxford MBA must submit either a GMAT or GRE score result with their application, regardless of previous work experience, studies, or qualifications.

I will take my GMAT test after the stage deadline, can I be considered in the earlier stage and provide my test result later?
No, you will need to submit a complete application in order to be considered in that stage. For example, if you submit your application without a GMAT Score in stage 2, and then submit your GMAT score in stage 3, your application will be considered as a stage 3 applicant, regardless how complete the rest of your application was.

Back to top

English language requirements

What is the language requirement to enter the MBA programme?
If you are a National of a non-majority English speaking country* (see list of countries below), you must supply suitable evidence that you have reached the required level of proficiency in English when you submit your application. This evidence can be submitted either via your transcript stating that the medium of instruction was in English, OR, a letter from your institution stating that your medium of instruction was in English.  

 

We accept either the IELTS or internet-based TOEFL test.
Our required minimum total and component scores are shown below.

A TOEFL score:
Test of English as a Foreign Language® is a standardized test to measure the English language ability of non-native speakers wishing to enrol in English-speaking universities. The institution code for ordering your official TOEFL score sheet from ETS is 0807. There is no department code, this can be left blank. TOEFL scores will not be valid if they are more than two years old on the application deadline date of the stage in which you are applying.

  • Minimum Score: 110
  • Minimum required on each component: Listening - 22; Reading - 24; Writing - 24; Speaking - 25

IELTS score:
The International English Language Testing System, or IELTS™, is an international standardized test of English language proficiency for non-native English language speakers. If you choose to take the IELTS you need to sit the academic test. IELTS scores will not be valid if they are more than two years old on the application deadline date of the stage in which you are applying.

  • Minimum Score: 7.5
  • Minimum required on each component: 7.0

*List of majority English speaking countries as defined by the UK Visas and Immigration office.
Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Belize, Guyana

What is the institution code for ordering official language scores?
The institution code for ordering your official TOEFL score sheet from ETS is 0807.
There is no department code, this can be left blank.

If you choose to take the IELTS you need to sit the Academic test.
If you sit the TOEFL it must be the general test.

TOEFL and IELTS scores will not be valid if they are more than two years old on the application deadline for the stage in which you are applying.

My TOEFL/IELTS language result is below the minimum score. Will you accept this for the programme?
No. You must achieve the minimum total and component scores to be considered for the programme. This is a strict University requirement and we are unable to consider applicants whose TOEFL/ IELTS scores do not reach the indicated minimum criteria.

Back to top

Financial aid

I am applying for a scholarship. Do I need to pay the application processing fee?
Yes. All applicants must pay the application fee. Some scholarships may cover all fees for the MBA programme including the application fee, therefore if you successfully secure a scholarship, you may be eligible for a refund of your application fee.

Are there scholarships available?
Yes, scholarships are available from Saïd Business School, Oxford University and its Colleges, or external sources. We recommend applying early to maximise the number of scholarship opportunities for which you are considered. For the majority of Saïd Business School and Oxford University scholarships, nothing more than the standard course application is usually required. If you fulfil the eligibility criteria, you will be automatically considered. Some scholarships have fixed application deadlines and additional requirements, therefore please view individual scholarship details on our website.

Back to top

Interview process

Are all applicants interviewed?
No. Applications are short-listed by the MBA Admissions Committee and only successful candidates are then invited for interview. 

How do you decide whether to interview an applicant?
We review the application in its entirety and assess whether it satisfies all of our requirements

Do I have to come to Oxford for an interview?
If you are selected for an interview, you will be invited to come to the School and have your interview here. We also offer interviews at key locations in other countries - your invitation to interview will specify all options available at that time. Applicants are invited to attend an in-person interview whenever possible. However, if you are not able to attend in person we will arrange a Skype interview for you. This will not affect our final decision, we treat applications via Skype, in Oxford, or in other cities equally.

Who will conduct my entry interview?
Your interview will be a one-to-one discussion with a senior member of the Admissions Team, the Careers Development Team, Faculty or an industry advisor. Industry advisors are a select group of senior executives who have experience of working for leading firms across a broad range of sectors, who also work closely with our careers team.

Back to top 

Post interview process

If I am unsuccessful in my application, will you give me feedback about the decision?
The final decision of the admissions committee is final and it is the policy of the School not to offer feedback regarding admission decisions. If you are unsuccessful in gaining a place on the programme, you are welcome to re-apply in the future. To do this, a completely new application will need to be submitted which meets the application criteria at that time. Candidates can only submit one application for entry in each academic year.

Can I re-apply in the future if I am not offered a place on the current year's MBA programme?
If you are unsuccessful in gaining a place on the programme, you are welcome to re-apply in the future. To do this, a completely new application will need to be submitted which meets the application criteria at that time. The Committee will look to see how you’ve progressed since the time of your previous application. 

Back to top 

Military

Do you accept candidates from the armed forces?
We welcome applicants from the armed forces. Our one-year MBA is an efficient way to complement the experience you gained during your service and prepare you for a successful civilian career.

We look for candidates who have demonstrated leadership and are looking to make a positive impact in their careers. We recognise and appreciate the skills veterans have gained during their service, and this experience, when combined with a good bachelor's degree and a strong GMAT score, contribute to the criteria required for a successful application.

If you are interested in applying to the Oxford MBA, our veteran community can prove useful. Please do not hesitate to contact our current Veteran's Rep and Recruitment Manager dedicated to our military applicants if you are looking to start the application process. We are also able to provide an application fee waiver code for all military applicants. In your introduction email, please outline your nationality, service and any other information which can help us provide personalised feedback.

Back to top

Life in Oxford

What is a college?
As an Oxford student, you will belong to one of the University’s 38 colleges. College life will enrich your time at Oxford, offering you the chance to socialise with students and faculty from diverse academic backgrounds in situations ranging from high table dinners to college balls. Colleges are a focus for sporting and cultural activity: teams compete with each other in sports such as rowing, cricket, and rugby; plays and musicals are staged in college halls and gardens; and concerts take place in college chapels and quadrangles. Find out more about colleges here.

What is the relationship between the Saïd Business School, the Colleges and the University? How does the MBA fit into this?
The University of Oxford is formed of academic Departments and Colleges. This means that, in addition to being a member of a University Department (which, in the case of the MBA, is the Saïd Business School), MBA students are also members of one of Oxford's many colleges.

The MBA course is taught centrally at the Saïd Business School, not in college, so the college you become a member of does not affect your teaching. College membership bursts the business bubble and offers you the chance to interact with students from other disciplines and degrees. In addition, some colleges may offer you the option to rent college-owned accommodation too. 

What type of accommodation does the School offer?
Students do not live at the School. Students coming to Oxford have the option of choosing either to rent privately or to apply for college or university-owned accommodation. College-owned housing is many students’ first choice, however there is limited availability and this cannot be guaranteed for every graduate student. 

Should you be unable to secure a college room, rental property in Oxford is plentiful. The University's Accommodation Office offers advice on seeking privately rented accommodation once a student has been admitted to the programme and secured college membership.

Can I visit the School?
Yes, we welcome visits from prospective students. The best way to see the School and find out more about the MBA programme is to attend one of our Open Days. If you are not able to attend one of these, we ask that you complete this campus visit request form

Back to top 

If you have a question that is not answered above or elsewhere on the site, you can get in touch using this form.