Study Abroad

MBA in Europe – A Guide to the Top MBA Colleges in Europe

28 September, 2023
parthiva mewawala

Europe has long been considered one of the top destinations in the world for higher education. With institutions such as Oxford, Cambridge, University of Bologna, University of Sienna, University of Paris, and Naples Federico set up several centuries ago, Europe represents a longstanding relationship with quality higher education. And with the new Financial Times rankings for MBA degrees out, this belief has only gotten further cemented. Over 35 prestigious institutions have found a place in the top 100 MBA programs, standing firmly behind the US. In fact, European schools also beat out American schools on many factors – costs, ROI, salary increase, and time constraints. It’s no wonder that students from all over the world are flocking to the UK, France, Italy, Spain, and Switzerland to solidify their professional careers with a top-notch MBA in Europe.


Why should you choose to do your MBA in Europe?


Getting your MBA from Europe promises you distinct advantages over your peers – lower tuition fees, shorter courses, highly-regarded programs, great employment opportunities, high salaries, and unrivalled networking opportunities.


  1. Quality of the MBA


With nearly 40% of the top 100 MBA programs from around the world based out of Europe, you can be assured that the competitiveness of your degree will be unparalleled. You will be part of a high-achieving international cohort from a variety of professional backgrounds giving you opportunities to network with people from all over the world.


  1. ROI


As an international student, one of the most critical questions you should ask is about the purported ROI of your program. Fortunately, getting an MBA in Europe lets you save money without compromising on the coursework and practical industry exposure. The courses are significantly shorter, ranging from 12 – 18 months, and reasonably priced. Moreover, you also have to spend less on your living expenses and you can start repaying your loan with the new job much sooner than an American MBA.


  1. Quality of Life


Now, it is no surprise that European companies have some of the best payscales for MBA graduates in the world with an average starting salary of $102,000. These paychecks come with some of the most labour-friendly laws on the planet which practically guarantees greater work-life balance and family time. Additionally, most Western European nations are melting hotpots of culture with great urban lives and some of the best scores on Quality of Life indices.

Read More – The most liveable cities in the world and their top colleges

How to choose the best colleges for an MBA in Europe?


There are several great, equally competent MBA programs available all over Europe. Each one of them has unique, distinct features on offer that make them the top choice for many students. But how should one ideally pick the right college? While there are many factors that need to be accounted for, we’ll focus on three of the primary ones here:


  • FT and QS rankings – Financial Times and QS are world-renowned college ranking lists that have garnered a lot of trust in the past few years. These lists use a myriad of factors including employability, peer perception, competitiveness, diversity, and research output to ascertain the top programs. You can look up these lists to choose the right program for yourself.
  • Tuition fees – Different colleges have different fees for non-EU students based on the length of their program and the location of the college. For instance, your MBA from Milan, Italy will cost much less than getting one from Paris, France. But you also need to pair the cost factor with other advantages and disadvantages to come to a final decision.
  • Location – We all have had dreams of settling down abroad in cities like Paris and London. Getting an MBA in Europe can bring those dreams to fruition. But don’t let your dreams sway you. Do your research to find out the most ideal location for you. Are you looking for an urban setting? Or a more idyllic rural one? Do you want to be in a city with a lot of history or one with a vibrant arts and fashion scene? Do you want a more affordable suburb or a right-in-the-middle bustling cityscape? Answer these questions and you’ll have a better outlook on which college to apply to.

Read More – How to choose the right college for higher education abroad?

The top colleges for MBA in Europe


Now we finally come to the list. Each of these 10 colleges is as good as the next. Don’t try to chase the perception that the first-ranked college is better than the tenth-ranked one. What matters is which college is a better fit for you. Which college will give you the environment and opportunities you require to succeed in your career? Which college will teach you the most?


The top 10 MBA colleges in Europe


Business Schools in EuropeQS Global MBA Ranking 2022
HEC Paris4
London Business School6
IE Business School7
IESE Business School10
Esade Business School13
Said Business School13
Judge Business School17
Imperial College Business School21
SDA Bocconi School of Management23

Read More – Top 10 MBA schools based on graduate career outcomes

HEC Paris


Established in 1881, HEC Paris is one of the world’s oldest business schools with a base of 70,000 alumni spread across the globe in leadership roles. Located just outside of Paris, the university offers easy access to the vibrant life and opportunities of multicultural Paris along with the peace and accessibility of the suburbs. It is ranked in the top 10 by most ranking lists and often takes the top spot in Europe. HEC offers great graduate employment opportunities with its deep industry connect and robust alumni base.

While the GMAT is not compulsory for admission to its top MBA programs, students are encouraged to send in their scores. A minimum of two years of work experience is required to be eligible for the MBA program. Freshers, with zero work experience, can apply for their MiM program.


London Business School


Located a few stops away from the Financial District of London, MBA graduates from this school get access to unparalleled opportunities in the domains of finance, investment banking, and consulting. 94% of the cohort is international representing close to 100 countries on the campus. It is well-known for its prestigious programs in accounting, economics, finance, management science, operations, marketing, organizational behaviour, strategy, and entrepreneurship. 94% of its grads end up accepting offers in the UK, Europe, and Asia Pacific within three months of graduating.


IE Business School


Located in the bustling metropolis of Madrid, one of the world’s best-known cultural hotspots, IE is Spain’s leading business school. Having existed for the past 500 years, it has forged relationships with business schools around the world, affording its graduates international exposure to academic environments of top-ranked business schools around the globe. With tuition fees ranging from $80,000 to $110,000, it is one of the more affordable business programs in Europe. Madrid has a high standard of living, with amazing cultural and historical experiences. It is also well connected to the rest of the continent, allowing students to travel and explore.



INSEAD is one of the world’s largest graduate business schools with campuses in Europe, Singapore, San Fransisco, and Abu Dhabi. Its truly international appeal gets even more magnified when you learn that its 165 teaching faculty stem from 41 different countries to teach a class of 1300 inspired students. Its reputation precedes its name with some of the best graduate outcomes in the continent. It offers MiM, MBA, and Executive MBA programs for some of the most talented professionals worldwide.


IESE Business School


Another well-known school from the country of Spain, IESE is located in Barcelona, Spain’s cultural capital. While the city is better known for its footballing traditions, there is much more on offer for international graduates. Traditionally, IESE has been better known for its Executive MBA programs but its full-time MBA as well as Global MBA have also become highly-ranked. The core focus of the program is to enhance the business acumen, leadership skills, and strategic view of the graduates, preparing them for a world fraught with disruptions.


Esade Business School


Management education programs from Spain are quickly climbing the ranks and establishing themselves as quality, competent programs. Another management school from Barcelona, Spain finds itself on this list of top MBA colleges in Europe. Esade is ranked 21st in Business and Management Studies by QS, making it one of the most sought-after programs for graduates looking to give their global careers a headstart. Their diverse yet inclusive campus prepares job-ready graduates driven by integrity, sensitivity, curiosity, and leadership. Students are exposed to a diverse set of entrepreneurial, business, and organisational activities, giving them the analytical and reasoning capabilities necessary to become great leaders down the line.


Said Business School


A part of the prestigious Oxford University, Said Business School brings with it a rich legacy of quality academics. Graduates of this school get to interact with a prestigious history of past noble laureates, respected academicians, statesmen, business leaders, and other great people from all walks of life. Keeping true to its roots, the coursework is rigorous and consists of a holistic mix of theory, practical projects, and case studies. To stand a chance to get recruited, you’ll need a well-rounded application highlighting your achievements in academics and your job. Your GMAT scores also need to be in the upper echelons of the 90th percentile.


Judge Business School


Much like Said, Judge Business School is also part of one of the world’s best-known and most prestigious universities, Cambridge University. Although it is still a relatively new school, established only in the 90s, access to the centuries of academic excellence of Cambridge gives it the rigour and prestige it needs. Graduates also get to be in the centre of one of the world’s most vibrant technological entrepreneurship clusters. Innovation, entrepreneurship, and interdisciplinary collaboration are encouraged to ensure each graduate undergoes a transformative journey of capable growth. Due to the immense competitiveness of the program, admissions are extremely selective. High academic scores, a plethora of extracurricular activities demonstrating leadership skills, and great GMAT scores are required for consideration.


Imperial College Business School


Many of the world’s business leaders, helming colossal global operations, come from Imperial College. A school known for producing quality managers, with a sense of balance between technological innovation and human impact, Imperial College is a top 10 college in management and marketing. Its research-led programs are trusted by governments, policymakers, and business leaders to produce quality management professionals ready to face a disrupted world.


SDA Bocconi School of Management


Located in Milan, Italy’s cultural renaissance centre with great historical significance for both Europe as well as the world, SDA Bocconi is a leading school of management for MBA in Europe. Counted amongst the top MBA colleges in Europe, SDA Bocconi promises to impart an international education that prioritizes market globalisation and inclusive economic development, enabling leaders to create a better world. SDA Bocconi has risen in prominence in the last few years, having cemented its name as a respected institution.


Choosing to do your MBA in Europe can yield great results for your career. With better ROI, great pay, and work-life balance Europe can spell a better career for many aspirants. There are tons of competitive programs to choose from; each one as great as the other. Based on the factors that matter to you, you can shortlist the right colleges and forge a compelling application. Or take our help at IMS International. With our mix of global education expertise and decades of experience sending students abroad to the top MBA colleges, you can rest assured that your application will be in good hands. Most of our students end up with at least three admit offers and scholarships. And more than 90% of them get into the world’s top 100 institutions. To know how we can help you, fill this form out here and our education advisor will contact you.