Graduate Diploma in Business Administration

Start date
One academic year
Course Type
Postgraduate, Taught

For 2021/22:
£8,280 (UK students)
£19,020 (International students)


Providing a thorough grounding in functional issues in management, the Graduate Diploma in Business Administration is a qualification in its own right. It also empowers those who seek to gain entry to our MSc and MBA programmes.


Please rest assured that we will make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities described. However, it may be necessary to make changes due to significant disruption, for example in response to COVID-19.

Information for future students and applicants

This programme provides a thorough grounding in functional issues in management and is a qualification in its own right. It also empowers those who seek to gain entry to our MSc and MBA programmes.

We aim to introduce you to a wide range of management disciplines that develop your abilities to:

  • Synthesise diverse theoretical issues
  • Analyse complex business situations from theoretical and practical perspectives
  • Understand team dynamics
  • Build confidence in articulating and presenting solutions to a critical audience

Why study this course?

  • A flexible Diploma route to MBA and MSc programmes
  • An essential and recognised qualification in business
  • English language support is provided throughout the programme
  • Students experience a wide range of teaching and learning methods
  • The GDBA enhances employment opportunities for participants

Coronavirus (COVID-19) latest updates and FAQs for future students and offer-holders

Visit our FAQs


Components of full-time MBA (Preliminary Year) and Graduate Diploma (all modules are 10 credits):


For programme fees and information of further costs for our MSc programmes please visit our Fees and Financing page. Alternatively, find information on our MBA costs at our MBA fees page.

Scholarships may be available, find out more about our scholarships by using our PG Funding Database.

International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government; find out more.

How To Apply

1 July 2021 is the application deadline for international students applying through the student route who wish to study in the United Kingdom. We are not able to consider applications for 2021 made after this date. The deadline for Home students is 9 September 2021.

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

Our Standard Requirements

  • A 2:2 degree or equivalent from a recognised University.
  • Post-graduation work experience is desirable but not mandatory.

Learn more about entry requirements

If you are currently studying at a Chinese university, please view our specific entry requirements including our list of acceptable universities for further study at Birmingham.

International Requirements

International Students

English language requirements: 6.0 IELTS with no less than 5.5 in any band.

IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any band is equivalent to:

  • TOEFL: 80 overall with no less than 19 in Reading, 19 in Listening, 21 in Speaking and 19 in Writing
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE): Academic 51 in all four skills
  • Cambridge English (exams taken from 2015): Advanced – minimum overall score of 169, with no less than 162 in any component

Course overview

We employ many teaching and assessment methods on this programme that reflect the standards required by our MBA and MSc programmes. For international students, we offer continuing English language support to enhance your learning experience.

The student group consists of those studying the GDBA as a standalone qualification, as well as those undertaking both the first year of the MBA 24/21 month programmes, and the first year of the MSc 24 month programmes.

The programme offers 12 taught modules including:

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Operations
  • Organisational Behaviour
  • Global Business and Business Policy

Students on this programme have gained employment in both private and public sector organisations, and it has launched many successful careers. It offers opportunities for higher study to those candidates whose experience, qualifications or language ability may be insufficient for direct entry to our Masters programmes.  

Classes and seminars supplement lectures, where fuller analysis and discussion takes place and important business skills, such as analysis, argument and synthesis, can be developed. Case studies are used as a means of relating theory to practical situations and students will often work in small groups with other students on assignments designed to develop problem solving and interpersonal skills.

Birmingham Business School understands the importance of undertaking an MBA Business programme for your career development. Finding the right employment afterwards will clearly be an important objective and our primary aim is to help you do so.

The Careers in Business team and experienced consultants provide a specialist careers support service located in University House for the exclusive use of Business School postgraduates.

What our MBA graduates go on to do

For many who join us, the Birmingham MBA is a major step towards developing an international or strategic focus within their careers. Some accelerate successful careers with existing employers. Others create potential for change. Major directions include jobs in banking, business analysis and development, management and strategy consulting, corporate finance and investment, human resource management and marketing.

Careers in Business

Our in-house careers unit is for the exclusive use of postgraduate students in the Business School.  Their role is to support your career development and this can be done in a variety of ways.

  • Advice and guidance, provided by professionally qualified Careers Advisors, who offer individual consultations,
  • Career Development lectures and workshops and a Career Management skills programme;
  • Employer liaison, bringing in a variety of organisations to give presentations
  • Offer vacancies for full-time work and dissertation projects and deliver skills sessions and mock interviews.

Personal skills are increasingly valued by employers and this is reflected in our Personal Development module and Skills Series that include sessions on a wide variety of topics such as Networking, Team Working, Time Management, Leadership, Consulting Skills, Personal Image and Presentation, Assertiveness, Influencing and Persuading Skills, Stress Management and Emotional Intelligence.

‘Incubator’ support

Many students will have their own business idea that they would like to develop and we can provide support for this.  Our Entrepreneurship & Innovation Centre gives practical support for embryo businesses. The Centre provides professional office and meeting (incubator) space and one-to-one expert guidance and advice.  Access to the Business School network (industrial links, partners, advisers/mentors, alumni and other students) is available, as are networking events, work space, skills programmes, funding, and, where possible, access to the media. The Centre also runs a Postgraduate Enterprise Summer School, which MBAs are encouraged to attend, designed to prepare you to:

  • Develop a business idea from the concept stage to a fully fledged business proposition
  • Know the steps required to set up their own business
  • Be aware of the requirements to commercialise research in an academic environment.
  • Be able to work effectively in a team environment
  • Identify which role they are best suited to in a business team

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