Executive MBA: Frequently Asked Questions

23 April 2021

We know that applying to an MBA programme is a significant decision and that you want to make sure that 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 students.

What is the eligibility criteria for the Executive 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 a degree if they can demonstrate suitable managerial level experience with a proven ability to achieve. If English is not your native language, you may be asked to take an approved English Language Test. You can submit your application prior to sitting a language exam, all we ask is that you are thinking ahead and have a test booked as soon as possible.

Do I need to take an English language test?

All of 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 the University recognised tests of English. ?You can submit your application without a language test and the selection committee will decide whether one is required or not.

What references do you require?

You will have an opportunity to provide the details of up to three referees on your application form, however only one is mandatory and that has to be from your current, or most recent line manager. If you have left education within the last five years, you can provide one academic reference as part of your submission. Referees should be able to comment on your academic or business acumen. We do not accept references from family members or friends.

What are the application deadlines?

We have two Executive MBA intakes each year, one in March and one in September. We also have two locations to study your Executive MBA, a Warwick based Executive MBA and a London based Executive MBA. For each intake we have 3 rolling deadlines and the latest dates can be found here for Warwick and here for London.

How do I successfully prepare for an interview?

Your interview with us is quite informal and will be more of a chat about your motivations to study at WBS and your career progression so far. There is no formal preparation that you need to do, but you may wish to 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.

The interview takes about an hour to complete and an individual, not an admissions panel, will interview you.

What careers support do you offer on the Executive MBA?

As an Executive MBA at Warwick Business School (WBS), you will have access to tailor-made leadership and professional development designed around our Career Management Cycle for Executives. Through tailored guidance and one-to-one coaching, we will ensure that you leave WBS feeling confident with all the skills to make your next career move.

How do you teach on the Executive MBA?

The Executive MBA is the perfect way to learn face-to-face without the need to step out of full-time work. It will provide you with a diverse network of fellow MBA participants, industry experts, career specialists, lecturers and alumni to learn from, share ideas with and to support you in your future career.

There is a choice of mode of study depending on whether you chose Warwick or London as your preferred location.

For the Warwick based Executive MBA the required modules are taught in four-day blocks, usually Wednesday to Saturday, at our University of Warwick campus, giving you the chance to escape the pressures of your job and truly immerse yourself in the modules. 

For the London based Executive MBA, you can choose between the daytime 2+2 format where teaching on required modules is typically carried out on Fridays and Saturdays (09:00 – 18:00), every other week between September and July, or the evening format where teaching is typically delivered on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings (18:30 – 21:30). Each required module is delivered over a four-week period between September and July.

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

Please be aware that all formats undertake elective modules in the daytime 2 + 2 format or four-day blocks, we do not offer the evening mode of study during the elective phase.

Do you offer any specialisms?

Alongside the Executive MBA's core backbone of building all-round business acumen, you can choose to focus your MBA within one of the areas of Entrepreneurship, Finance, Healthcare or Strategic Leadership. You will gain a letter of acknowledgement from the Dean of Warwick Business School to confirm your success in your chosen specialism.

You will initially study your eight required modules, which are then followed by elective modules, two of which will be in your chosen specialism (three for the Healthcare specialism). You will also undertake your dissertation in your chosen specialist area, supervised by an appropriate member of faculty.

Entrepreneurship Specialism

This specialism will enable you to make calculated decisions between seizing opportunities and managing risk. Whether you want to set up your own business or develop your entrepreneurial mindset within a large corporate or an owner managed business.

Finance Specialism

This specialism is designed for senior management and executives who are likely to have significant exposure to financial issues; typically those progressing to board level in public or private businesses, or taking on responsibilities that include managing financial or accounting professionals.

Healthcare Specialism

This specialism will appeal to both clinical and healthcare management professionals across the healthcare sector, who are looking to develop both their general leadership capabilities, and their sector-specific understanding.

Strategic Leadership Specialism

This specialism will enable you to move into strategic management and organisational leadership positions. You will develop your own leadership style to manage people and organisations and will be able to implement business strategies to lead organisations through technological and market changes.

What is a consultancy project?

Your consultancy project will allow you to apply what you have learnt during your Executive MBA to a real management issue, usually from your own organisation. Depending on your chosen topic, it could open the door to your next career move. It is the culmination of everything you have learnt, enabling 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 the course.

Why should I study at WBS?

If you’re interested in debate, discussion and different ways of doing things, if you’re ready for real development, if you want a diverse network of lifelong contacts, then WBS is the place for you.

What is it that makes the Executive MBA at WBS different?

We welcome Change Makers - At WBS, we welcome students, faculty, staff and corporate partners who embody our Change Maker values, and have a passionate drive to make a positive difference in the world of business and beyond.

Personal transformation - At the forefront of everything we do are our students. We will support and motivate you to unlock your full potential, and achieve your ambitions. But we’re not here to hold your hand; we’ll push, critique, and challenge you to bring out your inner Change Maker. Studying at WBS means being open to new ideas, viewpoints and new voices, helping you take on new perspectives and challenge your thinking.

Diversity matters - Being a Change Maker isn’t about where you’re from, it’s about where you want to go and how you’re going to get there. At WBS we bring people together from across the globe, from different backgrounds, who are restless to change the world and want to use business as a power for good. We don’t see what makes people different as a negative, we see it as the opportunity to share new voices, new viewpoints and new ideas.

Inspirational and applied learning environment - For our students, learning isn’t confined by physical walls. They are constantly curious, embrace independent learning, and have a thirst for knowledge that drives them to find solutions. Our rebellious streak has led us to leave the chalkboard behind, and give our students practical experiences in order to apply their learning.

What scholarships do you offer on the Executive MBA?

We have scholarship funding available to candidates admitted onto the Warwick and London variants of the Executive 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 scholarship, taking into account the following: Essays, ambitions, academic record, work experience and successes, career progression and career potential, interview performance and what qualities you could bring to the cohort. A final consideration is what ambassadorial qualities you may have, and what you could do specifically to fulfil your role as ambassador to WBS.

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 Executive MBA format. For the Warwick based Executive MBA see here and for the London based Executive MBA see here.

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

How long does it take to hear back from WBS?

Our turnaround time is four to six weeks from receiving an application, but please refer to the apply page of your chosen Executive MBA format for more information.

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