The University of Birmingham’s online MBA is the first in the world to receive formal accreditation from one of the leading authorities on postgraduate business education.

The Association of MBAs (AMBA) has accredited Birmingham Business School’s distance learning MBA as a wholly online programme. Previously, all AMBA accredited distance learning MBAs included a residential component, but the Birmingham programme is the first to be delivered completely online. 

Being wholly online, the programme makes it much easier for people around the globe to combine a busy professional life – and family life - with postgraduate study.

Professor Simon Collinson, Dean of Birmingham Business School, said: “I’m delighted that the University of Birmingham’s wholly online MBA programme is the first in the world to receive AMBA accreditation. The accreditation is testimony to our innovative programme design and state-of-the-art online learning experience that benefits professional people around the globe, who would normally find it difficult to study at university full-time.”

Dr Michael Shulver, Designer and Director of the Distance Learning MBA - pictured above - said: “Securing AMBA accreditation for Birmingham Business School’s online MBA reflects the very high standards we have set in designing and delivering this programme of study using the latest technology and teaching methods.


“Previously, no institution has ever applied for accreditation as a wholly online programme. We knew that in working with AMBA on the pilot accreditation we would be subject to increased scrutiny, and that the accreditation process would incur an element of risk. However, I am delighted at the outcome; we have re-defined the Distance Learning MBA for a 21st Century market.”

The MBA programme is one of a number of online Masters degrees offered by the University. Also available is an online Masters of Science (MSc) in International Business, delivered by Birmingham Business School, as well as a Masters in Public Administration (MPA) through the Institute of Local Government Studies (INLOGOV) - the University of Birmingham’s academic centre for research and teaching on local governance and strategic public management.

Since launching in September 2015 the programme has attracted students from over 20 countries. The courses are delivered through the University’s online learning platform and pair world-class academics with the latest teaching methods

Birmingham Business School has restructured its MBA programmes under the heading of ‘One MBA’, enabling students to pursue their studies in a much more flexible way. Each student can select which method of delivery (or location) they prefer for each of their modules.

Although the method of delivery may differ, the content is of the same high quality, leading to the award of the Birmingham MBA, regardless of how the learning is undertaken.

This accreditation by AMBA for the most recent addition to the MBA portfolio provides recognition and assurance for students that the achievements and learning from their distance learning studies is as valuable as that provided by face to face delivery methods.

Accessible on computers and mobile devices, the University’s online learning platform allows for study with a prestigious academic institution while maintaining control over daily schedules in a way that goes beyond that of an on-campus degree programme. The courses are taught using live interactive tutorials, video lectures, case studies, webinars, interactive assignments, digital resources and peer-to-peer social interaction.

AMBA Chief Executive Andrew Main Wilson said: “The University of Birmingham has been a pioneer in the creation of many innovative business programmes, during the past 40 years. Its achievement in being the first Business School in the world to receive formal approval for its online MBA, is testament to its innovative approach to post-graduate management education.”

As with the other variants of the MBA, the online programme is ideal for professionals with three to five years of management experience who are seeking to enhance their practical knowledge as the next step in their careers. The modules on the MBA are taught by scholars and experts in globalisation, accounting, finance, marketing, human resources and operations. For early career professionals, the Business School offers the distance learning MSc International Business.

Birmingham Business School itself carries triple-crown accreditation with the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the Association of MBAs (AMBA) and the European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS). This places it among a handful of elite business schools worldwide.

The online MPA gives students who enrol an opportunity to study contemporary public administration theory and strategy, while connecting with strategic links from many different locations in Europe and further afield. There are three intakes per year for each online programme, in September, January and May. Applications are now being accepted for the next cohort, starting in September. More information can be found at

  • The University of Birmingham is ranked amongst the world’s top 100 institutions, its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers and teachers and more than 5,000 international students from over 150 countries. 
  • Birmingham Business School is a dynamic, internationally-focused school offering undergraduate and postgraduate programmes across the full range of business disciplines. The School’s academic staff are renowned for world-class research and excellence in teaching. 
  • The Institute of Local Government Studies (INLOGOV) is the leading UK centre for the study of local public service management, policy and governance. With over 40 years of experience working within local government and the public sector, the Institute of Local Government Studies creates the latest thinking for public servants. 
  • The University of Birmingham is already one of the largest providers of Distance and Blended learning programmes in the UK. It offers a broad range of post-qualification teacher training (through the School of Education) and economic development (through the International Development Department), as well as an innovative distance learning PhD programme across all areas of Arts and Law.  
  • Its Health Services Management Centre (HSMC) is a leading partner in an international consortium delivering national senior leadership programmes on behalf of the NHS, and the University has launched a successful Masters in Advanced General Dental Practice by distance learning. Birmingham was also one of the founding partners in the Future Learn platform. 
  • The University was the first European institution to partner with US publishing giant Wiley to pioneer a new approach to distance learning. It worked with Wiley to establish the set of three online Masters courses. The publisher is one of the global market leaders at supporting higher education institutions to develop distance learning programmes. 
  • The Association of MBAs (AMBA) is the international impartial authority on postgraduate business education, established in 1967 by a small group of business graduates with the aim to raise the profile of business education and the MBA qualification in UK and Europe. 
  • Its accreditation service is the global standard for all MBA, DBA and MBM programmes. It currently accredits programmes at over 200 business schools in more than 70 different countries. AMBA is the only professional membership association connecting MBA students and graduates, accredited business schools and MBA employers in more than 110 countries.

For more information, interviews or case studies, please contact: Tony Moran, International Communications Manager, University of Birmingham on +44 (0) 121 414 8254 or +44 (0)782 783 2312