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12 Month MBA Online: One Year Fast Track!

Get your MBA quicker by doing a 12-month online program. You can accelerate your MBA with year-round study or a project-based course.
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Why waste time and drag out your studies? You don’t have to. By choosing the right online program, you can fast track an MBA in 12 months or less.

The standard length of a Master of Business Administration in Australia is 12-16 subjects. That typically means from 18 to 24 months of full-time study.

You can cut a full 6 months off the timeframe, and finish in one year, by doing an accelerated online course. To get your MBA quicker, choose a flexible program that allows for year-round study. A further option is to ease academic intensity by doing online projects for credit.

Let’s look at how you get an MBA in just 12 months. We’ll also list some of the best 1-year online MBA programs in Australia.

Why 12-Month MBA Online Programs are Good

Smiling woman with laptop computer on desk

The big advantage of completing an MBA in 12 months is the efficiency of it. You can achieve something important in the quickest way. By gaining a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in just a year, you conserve time – and possibly energy as well – compared to a drawn-out degree.

Being able to finish it in 12 months was really appealing. I’m the kind of person who just needs to get things done.

Ami Wallace, Ducere MBA graduate

The 12-month MBA perhaps works best if you don’t want to fill your spare time over a long timeframe. You will be going hard at your studies, but only for about half the normal amount of time. That allows for a greater level of focus and commitment.

Once you’ve completed your degree, you will have spare time to do something else. Whether that be relaxing or taking on other challenges, you can move on to the next chapter of your life sooner.

12-Month MBA from Torrens University Australia

Woman using computer with online education symbols radiating out

One of Australia’s fastest MBA programs is available from Torrens University Australia. Torrens has partnered with Ducere Global Business School to offer an accelerated MBA online. Most graduates – around 80 percent – finish the MBA (Innovation and Leadership) within 12 months.

Why is this MBA program so short? The answer is that the program is project based. Much of the course consists of doing online projects with companies and other organisations.

Everything has been quite easy right from the get go. It’s all been quite easy and smooth to work through. I will definitely recommend it to anyone who is looking to study.

Peter N., Ducere MBA graduate

The Business School works hard behind the scenes to provide a smooth, easy experience. Students get to do interesting work online and build skills. And they don’t waste time on exams, dry theory, etc. The emphasis is on applied learning.


One-Year “Data and Cyber Management” MBA from UNE

Professional man and woman looking at his laptop while standing

One year is all it takes to earn an MBA with a technology management major. The University of New England allows online MBA students to take up to 4 units each trimester, allowing you to get an MBA in just under 12 months.

The MBA (Data and Cyber Management) from UNE is for any managers who expect to be working in an environment with a significant digital presence. These days, that’s just about every manager.

The opportunities in cyber are fantastic, especially if you start with an understanding of strategy and policy – as taught in this course.

Kylie W., UNE MBA graduate

The cheap and affordable degree covers general management topics as well as subjects such as: big data, cyber security, digital operations, project management and risk analysis.


FAQs About 12-Month MBAs

Yes. A small number of Australian universities offer fully accredited 1-year Master of Business Administration programs online. Doing an MBA in one year requires a full study load and continuous study (i.e. no extended break over the summer). See Ducere’s MBA degrees for great examples.

In Australia, accredited online MBA programs take from 12 months to 3 years to complete – assuming no time is taken off by the student.

  • A 12-month MBA online program requires a student to go continuously for 12 months with a full study load.
  • A 1.5 year online MBA program means the student studies full-time but for no more than 2 semesters in a year, with no study scheduled over the summer months.
  • A 2-year MBA online requires students to study continuously with a part-time load.
  • A 3-year online MBA program means the student studies part-time for 2 semesters each year.

Under the Australian Qualifications Framework, a Master of Business Administration, like most other masters degree by coursework, takes 1.5 or 2 full-time academic years (refer to Summary Table 1).

However, the standard duration is 1.5 full-time academic years. Most business schools either (i) require applicants to have a relevant degree or significant experience or (ii) allow students to gain advanced standing after doing a Graduate Certificate in Business Administration. The use of advanced standing reduces the required length of an MBA from 2 years down to 1.5 years. In theory, an applicant without a business degree or significant experience could only enroll in a 2-year MBA program.

The standard length of an Australian MBA program is 12 units / subjects (or equivalent). Full-time study equates to 4 units per semester and there a 2 semesters in the standard academic year.

An accelerated MBA is where the Master of Business Administration program allows students to study continuously year-round. Compared to a study rate of 4 subjects part-time or 8 subjects full-time per year, accelerated MBAs allow 6 to 12 subjects to be completed each year.

Accelerated online MBA programs limit scheduled breaks to less than a month and can be completed in two-thirds of the normal time.

Traditionally, Australian universities teach over two semesters each year and have a long break over the summer months. Accelerated programs may add a third, summer semester. Alternatively, an accelerated MBA program could consist of a sequence of several study blocks per year, each block separated by a break of no more than a week or two.

12 months is the shortest MBA program in Australia. According to regulatory standards, 1.5 full academic years is the minimum length of an MBA. It is possible to attain 1.5 academic years of study in 12 months with an accelerated program that allows for continuous study.

If you see an MBA program advertising a duration of, say, 10 months or less, you should check whether the program is accredited. The qualification may not be recognised by TEQSA or Australian employers.

You can join an MBA program and do a relatively short course by enrolling in a Graduate Certificate in Business Administration. The course is just four subjects long and can be completed in one semester of full-time study. Entry requirements tend to be lower, such as by allowing for course admission without a bachelor’s degree.

Subjects in the Graduate Certificate are drawn from the larger MBA program. Completed subjects can be automatically used as credit towards a Graduate Diploma in Business Administration (8 subjects in total) or an MBA degree.

In Australia, a 1 year MBA is a full-time program whereas a 2 year MBA is a part-time program. Both programs are accelerated and mostly available though online study only.

Some Australian universities also offer 2-year full-time MBAs. These are extended programs that consist of 16 units (or equivalent) rather than the standard 12 units.

In Australia, a 1-year MBA means accelerated full-time study online while a 2-year MBA is accelerated part-time study online. A 1-year MBA is better if you want to finish quicker and can handle a full study load. A 2-year MBA is more compatible with working full-time. More courses are available in the 2-year, part-time format.

1-year MBA programs are relatively cheap and affordable, with costs in line with most online MBA programs. They tend to be cheaper because they are offered online, which acts to reduce tuition fees somewhat.

1-year MBAs are significantly cheaper than extended MBAs that consist of 16 subjects instead of the usual 12 subjects. Extended MBAs are expensive both because of the larger number of units and because they are usually offered as premium degrees.

Completing an MBA in one year means studying continuously (year-round) in the online format with a significant study load. Students who are able to do this find that it is worth it because they can handle the study load and are able to fast track their studies. One-year programs are flexible enough to allow students to take time off or reduce the study load if and when this is required. There is no extra cost or risk from enrolling in a one-year MBA program.

Most online MBA students find accelerated programs are worth it. Accelerated MBA studies is the preferred method for most students who enrol in online MBA programs. “Accelerated” means pushing through to complete your degree more quickly by studying year-round. An academic year may consist of three trimesters or six study periods, spread across the year to include summer months.

In terms of motivation, it may be easier to get into a study routine and stick with it than to take long breaks, thereby causing disruption and dragging out your MBA degree. A popular feature of accelerated courses as well is that they avoid end-of-term exams. You avoid this stress through continuous assessment, relying on assignments, projects, short quizzes, etc.

Yes. Online MBA degrees are take seriously. See this article for more information.

In summary:

  1. Employers won’t notice your MBA was online. It’s not written on your degree.
  2. Earning an MBA through online learning is actually an achievement to be proud of.
  3. Employers rate most business schools about the same, whether they offer online degrees or not.
  4. Prestigious Australian universities offer MBA degrees online.

How About 2 Years of Part-Time Study?

Wall clock showing the time of 7 minutes and 12 seconds past 10 o'clock

A common way to get an MBA is to do an accelerated program of 2 years of part-time study. This may be the best option if you want to fast track your MBA while easily maintaining a full-time job.

An accelerated online MBA will typically have you doing just one subject at a time. Each subject takes around 6-7 weeks to complete from start to finish. Students then get a short break before moving on to the next subject. At this pace, 12 subjects can be completed over 24 months.

Accelerated part-time programs are popular because you can comfortably balance study with other commitments. At the same time, you finish in just two years. The programs are ideal for busy people.

Accelerated MBA online

7 Responses

  1. Nic
    | Reply

    A decade or more ago, there were few to zero options available for a one-year MBA. But due to changing preferences by business professionals and a desire to shorten career breaks, the situation has changed. More and more business schools are rolling out one-year MBA programs.

  2. Eugene Myers
    | Reply

    I didn’t know accelerated part time programs are a thing til now. This sounds interesting but I am still having my doubts. How competitive would this degree be against those who did the usual route? Or would there be no differences?

  3. Louis R.
    | Reply

    I was under the impression (I was told by several people) that getting an MBA in 12 months just was not possible. I have been told it can take as many as 5 years in fact! I am learning more on this site about it than I have elsewhere. Thanks for all this information. I had put it off because of the pandemic but the fact that I could have used that time to actually learn online AND gain an MBA… I could just kick myself!

  4. Peter
    | Reply

    I actually didn’t know you can get a 12 month MBA program online. I always thought that didn’t apply to virtual classes. I may be just be too outdated with the norms given that it’s been a while since I graduated from my undergraduate degree. Its great to know that this is available.

  5. Jason Davis
    | Reply

    This was one of my bigger concerns. I wanted to advance my career options and get an MBA but the time it took to get them in most cases just took too long. Knowing I can get it done in a year though is a big game-changer for me. If I can manage to do this whilst carrying on with work, I think this would be my best option.

  6. Riley Harris
    | Reply

    Common sense suggests a fast-track program is smart if you’re planning on getting into a fast-paced work environment. If you can handle a fast-track MBA program, you’ll be more prepared for a fast-paced job. Likewise, your prospective employer will see you can handle challenges.

  7. Derek James
    | Reply

    I’ve always admired people who fast-track their way to a degree. Fast-tracking doesn’t mean you’re doing things haphazardly either. I think it means you’re devoted to obtaining a degree and you likely will learn more because you’re so focused on the subjects you must master.

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