Distance Learning MBA: Frequently Asked Questions

01 April 2022

Applying to an MBA programme is a huge decision. We know that you want to make sure you have all the information you need to select the right school for you and to enable you to submit a complete and competitive application. To make the whole process easier for you, we have compiled a list of answers to the most common questions we get asked by our prospective Distance Learning MBA candidates.

What are the eligibility criteria for the Distance Learning MBA?

We require at least four years’ postgraduate managerial work experience.  We are seeking evidence of consistent progression including increased people management, budgetary and/or project management responsibilities.  Alongside this, we ask for a good Honours degree, but would also be happy to consider candidates without an undergraduate degree if they can demonstrate suitable managerial level experience with a proven ability to achieve.

There is no requirement for you to take a GMAT or GRE Test for the Distance Learning MBA.  

Do I need to take an English language test?

All our programmes are delivered in English, so if English is not your first language or you have not graduated from an English-speaking university or worked in an English-speaking environment for at least two years, you must demonstrate a minimum overall standard in one of the University’s recognised tests of English. You can submit your application prior to sitting a language exam and the Selection committee will decide whether one is required or not. All we ask is that you are thinking ahead and are ready to take a test as soon as possible if it is requested.

What references do you require?

We require one reference from your current, direct line manager. If you are self-employed, an alternative might be a longstanding client or customer. If you are in a senior position without a line manager, you might ask a member of the Board. Meanwhile, if you have left education within the last five years, you can provide one academic and one professional reference.

Referees should be able to comment on your business or academic acumen. You are welcome to provide further references if you feel this will strengthen your application, but these are optional.   

Reference requests are initiated by you from within your application form and your referee(s) will then receive an email containing a secure link to the WBS online reference form. Note that we do not accept references from family members or friends, and they cannot be from a personal email address.

If it is distance learning, why do I have to choose Warwick or London?

You have the option of applying to the Warwick Distance Learning MBA or the Distance Learning MBA (London). The main difference is that, depending on which one you are enrolled on, you will attend your two residential weeks at either our University of Warwick campus, or at WBS London, located at the iconic Shard building. 

What are the application deadlines?

We have two intakes each year for both Warwick and London formats, one in January and one in May. For each intake we have three rolling deadlines and the latest dates can be found on their course web pages. But our year-round application process means that as soon as you complete your application it will be processed and considered, so there is no reason to delay if you are ready to apply.  

Due to the more limited number of places available at the Shard, we would advise applying as early as you can if you are keen to secure a place.

How do I prepare successfully for my video interview?

The video interview is the final step of the application process and will be used to inform the Selection Committee’s decision. It is a little different from a face-to-face interview as it is recorded rather than being interactive, but it does mean that you don’t have to worry about scheduling an interview time or overcoming time zone restrictions. You will be provided with instructions on how to use the software and there are practice questions so you can get comfortable with the format. The interview takes about half an hour to complete.   

The interview is not designed to catch you out!  Rather, it is an opportunity for you to share your experiences and knowledge and to demonstrate what you will bring to your class. It also enables us to understand what you want to achieve and to make sure we can offer what you are looking for.   

To prepare, we recommend that you reflect on the core competencies we are looking for:

  • Strategic Thinking: Thinks broadly and strategically, demonstrating sound commercial acumen
  • Problem Solving & Creativity: Open to new ideas, experiences and learning opportunities. Shows clear analytical thinking, getting to the heart of complex problems and identifying innovative and creative solutions
  • Drive for Results: Strong focus on delivering a high-quality service or product. Seeks opportunities for self-development and career advancement. Manages pressure effectively and copes well with setbacks
  • Personal Impact: Communicates and networks effectively and successfully persuades and influences others. Relates to others in a confident and relaxed manner.
  • Leadership: Initiates action, gives direction and takes responsibility. Supports others, shows respect and positive regard, and puts people first.

It is important that you complete your interview by the given deadline. If you have been successful in your application, you should receive your offer decision within ten days of the interview submission deadline.  

What scholarships do you offer on the Distance Learning MBA?

We have scholarship funding available to candidates admitted onto the Warwick and London variants of the Distance Learning MBA. Our scholarship offering has been designed to promote excellence and diversity within each class, across professional sector, geography, gender and experience. We award scholarships in the following areas:

  • Change Maker scholarship - For those who seek to challenge the norm through their impactful drive and vision. To be considered for this scholarship you will need to demonstrate a confident, determined, forward-facing and open-minded attitude with a commitment to making an impact in business.
  • WBS Inspiring Social Impact scholarship - For those currently working in the third/public sector who strive to use business as a power for good. To be considered for this scholarship you will need to demonstrate a commitment to generating better social outcomes and create a positive impact on society.
  • WBS Inspiring Diversity scholarship - At WBS we’re looking to bring together people from different backgrounds to share new voices, new viewpoints and new ideas to drive positive change in the world. This is why we have created this scholarship, aimed at high-performing talent from diverse and non-traditional geographies, backgrounds and sectors.
  • WBS Inspiring Women scholarship - We are committed to working towards a more gender-balanced future for the most senior positions in the boardroom, and so have teamed up with the 30% Club to offer a scholarship aimed at females who can demonstrate business excellence and are an inspiring role model to others.
  • Alumni Loyalty scholarship - This scholarship is available for Warwick alumni, who possess a thirst for new knowledge, new experiences, and strive to better themselves and the world around them.

Our Selection Committee looks at your application as a whole when considering the scholarship decision, so will take account of your motivations, ambitions, academic record, experience and successes, career progression and future potential, interview performance and which qualities you will bring to the cohort. A final consideration is what ambassadorial qualities you may have, and what you could do particularly to fulfil your role as ambassador to WBS.

You don’t need to specify which scholarship you wish to apply for as the committee will consider which scholarship would be most suitable.

What other sources of funding can I apply for?

Up-to-date information on funding can be found on the fees and funding pages of your chosen Distance Learning MBA format. 

Please note that the Distance Learning MBA is not eligible for the Postgraduate loan through Student Finance.

How is the Distance Learning MBA taught?

While the Distance Learning MBA is studied primarily online, the course is distinguished by our two residential ‘Warwick Weeks’ where you will meet with your fellow students from across the world, take part in study skills sessions, listen to influential guest speakers, participate in lectures and thought-provoking discussions with faculty, your peers and your study group, attend a careers event, and spend time with the WBS team.   

Our online learning environment, my.wbs, removes geographical barriers and gives you access to flexible 24/7 learning. It enables you to discuss issues in real time, engage in lectures, test your knowledge, watch session recordings, access teaching materials and the University of Warwick library catalogue, connect with students across your global cohort and interact with your study group. You’ll also be able to speak directly to your lecturers and the Programme team through the platform.     

Whichever format you choose, working and studying like this gives you the opportunity to apply theory directly back into your organisation.

What is a Strategic Consulting Project?

The culmination of everything you have learnt will be your choice of either a traditional dissertation or a strategic consulting project. The dissertation is the more academic route and with a focus on theory, but which is still highly relevant in business. The strategic consulting project is undertaken in self-selected groups of three and it focuses on practice, so is based in an employment setting. Your project will enable you to demonstrate that you can explore a business issue thoroughly from multiple perspectives and make practical recommendations based on the theories, concepts, frameworks and tools that you have learnt during your course. 

Whichever route you choose, you will be supported by an academic supervisor to guide you or your group through this final piece of work, and we set aside the final six months of your second year for you to complete it.

What careers support do you offer on the Distance Learning MBA?

To ensure you achieve your full potential, our CareersPlus team will support you throughout your MBA journey and beyond.  

You will have access to tailor-made leadership and professional development designed around our Career Management Cycle for Executives and, through tailored guidance, one-to-one coaching, skills webinars and a host of online resources, we will ensure that you leave WBS with everything you need to transform your career.

If you would like to discuss your application to one of our Distance Learning MBA programmes in more depth, we offer 1-2-1 consultations where we can answer any questions you may have about the application process or programme.