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Full-Time MBA Application Process

Please review the entry requirements and read the instructions on this page carefully before you apply. Our friendly admissions team can advise you through every stage of the process and provide support to help you settle in the vibrant city of Manchester. We can also put you in contact with current MBA students and  ambassadors. If you have any questions during the application process, please don't hesitate to contact us.

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2020 programme start date

The start date of the Full-time MBA programme has changed from 1 September 2020 to 1 December 2020. 

The Full-time MBA provides the opportunity to be part of a special personal and professional journey with an amazing group of classmates from all around the world. We are expecting a class of 90 – 100 students with around 30 nationalities. Our MBA classes always have a fantastic sense of community and we know that face-to-face interaction and networking is an important element of your MBA experience. 

We are committed to ensuring that any disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic is kept to an absolute minimum. The UK is now easing restrictions and starting to get back to some normality, however, the later start date will enable us all to plan with certainty and minimise any potential disruption caused by travel restrictions around the world, to allow us to deliver the programme face-to-face and allow our students who are coming from many different countries to start the MBA in Manchester together at the same time.

Applications for 2021 now open

Applications for September 2021 entry are now open. Please note the application deadlines below.

 Application form & Application document deadlineVideo assessment deadline
Round 1 Monday 5 October 2020 Sunday 11 October 2020
Round 2 Monday 2 November 2020 Sunday 8 November 2020
Round 3 Tuesday 1 December 2020 Sunday 6 December 2020
Round 4 Tuesday 5 January 2021 Sunday 10 January 2021
Round 5 Monday 8 February 2021 Sunday 14 February 2021
Round 6 Monday 15 March 2021 Sunday 21 March 2021
Round 7 Monday 19 April 2021 Sunday 25 April 2021
Round 8 Monday 24 May 2021 Sunday 30 May 2021
Round 9 Tuesday 1 June 2021 Sunday 6 June 2021

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Application guidelines

Your CV is an important part of our assessment. Please email your CV with your other application documents to

The minimum work experience requirement is at least three years’ post-graduation work experience with strong consistent career progression and achievement.

Your CV/résumé should have a simple clear well-formatted layout, no more than two pages in length. Please make sure your CV includes the following information.

Professional experience

  • Each job you have taken since graduating from your undergraduate degree (if you have one) in reverse chronological order, starting with your current position.
  • Include the month/year start and end date, company name, job title and salary for each position undertaken.
  • If you have worked in more than one position for the same company, please show each position separately to highlight your career progression.
  • For each position, include bullet points of your key responsibilities and achievements; and if relevant include information about any management experience and reporting levels.
  • It is good practice to include a one or two-line description of the context in which each company operates, for example: Global investment advisory firm with operations in 8 countries and $36B USD AUM.

Academic credentials

  • Details of all your qualifications, including your Bachelor’s degree, any Master's degree, postgraduate diplomas/specialisations and professional qualifications.
  • Any academic distinctions, honours or awards.

Please email your essay (maximum one A4 pages) with your other application documents to

In your essay, please include information about the following:

  1. Why do you feel it is the right time in your career to study an MBA and why would you like to gain a place on the Manchester MBA?
  2. What are your immediate goals after you complete the programme?
    • How do you believe your previous experience and transferable skills, combined with the Manchester MBA, will help you to achieve your goals?
    • Which industry sector(s) and companies are your preferred target and which country/region would you like to work in?
  3. What is your plan B if you are unable to achieve your preferred goals immediately?
  4. What are your longer-term aspirations?

Please submit a scanned copy of your official degree transcript(s) and certificate(s) with your other application documents to

  • If your original document is not in English, you must provide a translation from a certified translator.
  • If your degree is not from the UK, you need to provide the grading scale from the university where you are studying.

Your transcript(s) should show:

  • The type of degree awarded
  • Date of enrolment and date your degree was conferred (date of graduation)
  • The courses you took; the marks you achieved
  • Your final result, GPA or average grade

If you have graduated from a UK university, we only require a copy of your certificate showing your degree classification (e.g. second class upper).

We reserve the right to contact your degree-awarding institutions and/or professional associations for further information in connection with your application if required.

Candidates without a degree

If you are applying as a non-degree candidate, please provide evidence of any the following, which could support the assessment of your academic ability to complete the MBA.

  • Professional qualification, such as ACCA, FCA, CIMA. If you have a professional qualification please provide:
    • A copy of your certificate proving you have been awarded the qualification
    • Proof of your membership of the professional body/organisation
  • Other academic qualifications
  • Any relevant training courses and certificates you have completed
  • Examples of where you have demonstrated expert knowledge in your business area, for example:
    • Public speaking engagements at industry conferences
    • Delivering expert training
    • Reporting specialist knowledge to the Board or other high-level Committee
    • Writing articles for business publications

We will request your references after you submit your application form, using the contact details you provide in the form. We do not need to receive your references by the application deadline, however we will need to receive them before making a decision.

  • When completing the application form, you should include the contact details of your two referees. The referee's contact email should be their company email address. 
  • We will ask your referees to complete our official online reference form, therefore do not ask your referees to submit a reference letter. The form is a simple questionnaire which is quick to complete and when submitted is delivered automatically to the MBA Admissions Team.
  • Your referees should ideally be people you report to directly or indirectly in your current company and are able to comment on your professional achievements and skills. If at the time you apply you do not wish to inform your employer, you can use a referee from a previous company. As the MBA is a post-experience programme, we do not accept academic references.

It is a requirement to take an admissions test, normally GMAT or GRE. Please review the Full-time MBA entry requirements for details.

Due to the closure of tests centres around the world, we understand that it is currently challenging for our MBA applicants to prepare for and take GMAT or GRE. We will accept the online versions of these tests. In the short-term, we will also consider offering candidates the option to take our own admissions test - The Manchester Admissions Test (MAT) - which you can take online at home. If you wish to take this option, please choose ‘Request MAT’ when completing the application form. After submitting your application and required documents, we will send you an invitation to take the MAT.

Please check carefully if you are required to take an official English language test. The only exceptions are candidates who fit the categories outlined in detail in the Full-time MBA entry requirements. Please check carefully, as due to UK immigration regulations no other exemptions are permitted.

If you are normally required to take an English language test, we will accept TOEFL iBT® Special Home Edition which is available everywhere that TOEFL iBT testing is normally available, with the exception of Mainland China and Iran. For applicants from Mainland China and Iran we will accept Pearson Versant (Student Placement Test). Please contact us if you would like to take the Pearson Versant (Student Placement Test) and we will provide you with a Test ID Number (TIN).

The University of Manchester is a prestigious institution and on the government list of ‘Highly Trusted Sponsors’ and we are allowed to ‘vouch’ for the English language level of our students. These tests are therefore acceptable for the Tier 4 student visa, if you are admitted and decide to join the programme in Manchester.

Online video assessment

This year, we are including a video assessment as part of our application process.  

Why are we introducing a video assessment? We understand that the traditional essays and test scores only tell us part of your ‘story’.  The video assessment provides you with an opportunity to share what you will bring to our unique MBA in a more personal way. We hope the video assessment will bring to life the person we have learned about on paper from your application.

After you have submitted your application, we will email you an invitation to take the online video assessment. You will take the video assessment on the ‘Kira Talent’ platform and the email will come from Please save this email address to your safe list so that the invitation does not go to your junk mail.

You must complete the video assessment within 7 days of receiving the invitation. Your application will not be assessed until both your application and your video assessment are complete.

The video assessment comprises of four questions, which are designed to be answered without preparation in real-time. This will help us gain a sense of your personality, potential and communication skills, particularly your ability to think on your feet and communicate in a concise manner.

The four questions are as follows:

  • One motivation-based question
  • Two competency-based questions
  • One random light-hearted question

The motivation-based question gives you the opportunity to tell us why you feel you need an MBA and why you think the Manchester MBA is the right fit for you.

The two competency-based questions are designed to be a little more challenging, like the typical question you might receive in a job interview. The first competency-based question is around the topic of leadership and problem-solving. For example: "The Manchester MBA aims to develop leaders that not only understand their corporations but also understand their people, how to motivate and how to lead them. Describe a time when you faced a challenge leading a project; what did you do to resolve the situation and what did you learn from the experience?"

The second competency-based question is around the topic of teamwork and empathy. For example:"The Manchester MBA involves working in teams on live consulting projects for external clients. Tell us about a time when you were working in a team and there was a conflict in the team. What did you do to address this situation and what did you learn from this experience?" 

The whole video assessment should only take 20 to 30 minutes to complete, although we advise you to spend some time getting familiar with the system and the questions by answering as many of the practice questions as you like.

Once you start the actual assessment, you only have one chance to answer each question and it is not possible to replay the questions. You will have 45 seconds of preparation time and 90 seconds to respond. The system will automatically submit your recording after that time and move to the next question.

You can practice as much as you like!

When you register in the system, you will see there are two practice questions by default. However, you can take as many as you want until you feel comfortable! 

Competency-based questions are designed to let you talk about an experience or challenge you have faced and highlight your skills. Think of some experiences that you have had that you can use as examples. Remember you only have 90 seconds to answer, so make sure you have time to tell us not just the example but also about your actions and skills.

In order to complete your assessment, you will need the following:

  • Laptop or desktop computer (Windows or Mac OS).
  • Strong internet connection
  • Front-facing camera (built-in or external)
  • Microphone (built-in or external, headset/headphones will work too)
  • Speakers (built-in or external)

We know from recording the questions ourselves that talking to a camera is not as easy as it seems and we are not expecting you to be a superstar video presenter! We simply want to have the opportunity to get to know you a little better. 

We will make a holistic review of all the elements of your application. The video assessment, like test scores, is simply an extra element to help with our initial assessment. There are no right or wrong answers, this is not a test to pass or fail. Most importantly, we are not testing your English language skills or your accent. Don't worry, most of our students are not native English speakers!

We would like to get to know the authentic you, so try to answer the questions drawing on your experience, be confident, show your personality and let your uniqueness shine. 

The video assessment will not replace face-to-face admissions interviews used in the final stage of the admissions process, as the depth of conversation and personal interaction is an invaluable part of the process.


You can practice as much as you like, however once you start the assessment questions, you only get one chance to answer and it is not possible to replay the questions. We will not give a second opportunity to take the assessment unless Kira Talent (the owner of the platform) informs us that there were technical issues during your assessment.

If you are not happy with your responses, there are other areas of the application where you can shine.

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