Which online MBA program from Australia would you prefer? How about the cheapest, a marketing MBA, or a data analysis specialisation? Maybe you just want the best all-round degree. Here are the 11 best types of online MBA courses.
MBA Courses Online
An online Master of Business Administration is accelerated when you can study across the year without any long breaks. The advantage of the accelerated study mode is that you can finish your degree 33% faster.
In Australia, an accelerated program makes it possible to earn your MBA over 12 months of full-time study or 24 months part-time.
Accelerated programs are preferred by many. You're able to make progress steadily and consistently as a working professional. Here's a list of excellent accelerated courses from Australian universities... READ MORE
All MBA programs displayed on this page are recommended by Lerna Australia and we consider them to be among the best online MBA programs in Australia.
Here's a shortlist of value-for-money programs that you might consider the best for different reasons. What they share in common are that: (a) the courses are well priced, flexible and accelerated (b) students benefit from advanced learning technology and (c) assessment is continuous and doesn't rely on exams.
James Cook University
Just about everything you could want in an online MBA program is offered by James Cook University. As you'd expect, the affordable program runs year-round – allowing you to finish quicker or, if you want, take a break at any time of year. Students focus on 1 unit at a time, which allows study to be combined with full-time work. You're also assigned a Student Success Advisor and can access everything you need via LearnJCU. The program offers the choice of 3 concentration areas: global perspective and strategy, data management and analytics, and organisational leadership.
Ducere Global Business School
Ducere Global Business School has been running an excellent MBA program for a number of years. Graduates receive an MBA degree from the Business School's university partner, Torrens University Australia. The program has strong claims to be Australia's best. Professional development revolves around doing real online projects in small teams.
You develop applied skills and form online connections with Australian businesses. The program provides a better learning model for mature-age students who: (a) want to develop real skills and (b) don't want to waste time on academic exams. Completion rates are fantastic, showing just how much students enjoy the activities.
University of Adelaide
The University of Adelaide’s online MBA brings the best of both worlds. You benefit from the expertise, knowledge and insights of the Adelaide Business School. At the same time, students are afforded all the modern conveniences, such as 100% online study, 6-week teaching blocks, interactive learning opportunities and dedicated online support. The curriculum is well thought out and rigorous. Students gain the tools to confidently manage teams or run a company, studying topics such as leadership, finance, marketing, innovation and entrepreneurship.
A great investment as part of your MBA studies would be to become knowledgeable and proficient in business analysis. With an MBA in Business Analytics, you'll learn how to leverage data to inform business decisions.
To survive and thrive, companies increasingly must exploit big data to understand business processes and customers, allowing for data-driven strategy and decision making.
You can study for this specialisation with or without a relevant background. Graduates are trained to generate, present, commission, interpret and act on business intelligence... READ MORE
If you don't want to pay too much, Australia's cheapest MBA programs offer the best value for money. By "cheapest", we mean an MBA from an Australian university that is both affordable and good quality
Here's what we recommend for value in 2022. These are the two cheapest MBA degrees according to the Good Universities guide. Each costs around $33k in total.
Southern Cross University
Southern Cross University (SCU Online) offers an affordable MBA that you do on a modern learning platform. The 100% online program has 6 start points per year and consists of a series of 7-week modules. You can choose the general program or major in: accounting, health services management, information and knowledge management, or managing and leading people. SCU Online programs are built just for distance learning, making for easy and intuitive online learning.
UNE MBA (Data and Cyber Management)
One of the most industry-relevant MBA degrees is available from Australia's leading online university, the University of New England. UNE's MBA with a specialisation in Data and Cyber Management is designed for the managers of the future. It encompasses critical skills that all managers need in today’s digital economy. The 12-unit program covers financial management, business strategy, big data, the cyber mindset, digital operations, project management and leadership in practice. Students complete an industry project organised by UNE's education partner, Ducere Global Business School.
Protecting the online business environment and securing sensitive data are essential in many business management roles. Gain these skills as part of your MBA education with an online MBA in Cyber Security Management.
Topics you may study in a cybersecurity MBA include risk analysis, threat management, digital operations and big data. As well, students do general MBA subjects such as leadership and project management.
Graduating with an MBA in Cyber Security Management positions you for any leadership role while also giving you an inside track on cybersecurity jobs... READ MORE
Data analytics is relevant to many management positions. The best leaders leverage business analysis to support decision making. Understand data analytics well allows you to make better decisions and be a technology manager.
An MBA in Data Analytics builds important digital fluency and knowledge. As well as some analytics training, you learn about decision modelling, data management and cyber security.
You don't need a technical background for an MBA in Data Analytics. As with most MBA courses, leadership and management training is the focus... READ MORE
The healthcare industry in Australia is huge and expanding. If you work in health, or would like to, Australian universities offer a selection of online Health MBA courses.
Health majors include Health Management, Digital Health Transformation, and Health Services Management. In all cases, you gain a management and leadership qualification that has value in all industries but especially in healthcare.
Health administration courses are open to graduates from all disciplines. Experience within healthcare or social care services may be beneficial but is generally not essential... READ MORE
An MBA with an HR specialisation is good for HR managers who want to diversify their skill sets. The course is also suitable for general managers looking to strengthen their knowledge and skills in human resource management.
In human resources, managerial responsibilities may include recruitment, performance management systems, learning and development coordination, employee relations, and dispute resolution.
An MBA (HR) is a general management and leadership qualification. Most subjects will be on core business management topics... READ MORE
Marketing is a core business discipline that features in virtually every MBA degree. But you can go a step further and specialise in digital marketing.
A marketing specialisation works for both experienced marketers and those without a marketing background. You learn marketing from a manager's perspective, positioning yourself for executive marketing positions as well as general management roles.
Topics you may explore include digital consumer behaviour, emerging technologies, digital marketing today, and data-driven marketing... READ MORE
An MBA education gives you the opportunity to develop your ability to lead a sustainable organisation. Responsible leadership is about looking outward – beyond just narrow, short-term goals (Grahame Broadbelt).
Key themes in a sustainable MBA online are (a) considering all stakeholders, from customers through to regulators and social impact (b) establishing sustainable business practices and (c) having a global mindset.
Doing a sustainability-themed course gives you the mental space, and the conceptual and applied frameworks, to develop as a responsible leader. Students learn how to make decisions with big-picture considerations in mind.
Griffith MBA (Responsible Leadership)
An excellent way to learn responsible leadership is with the 100% online MBA offered by Griffith University. The 12-unit program has core values of responsible leadership, sustainable business practice and global orientation. Students learn a modern, progressive leadership style. The flexible MBA can be studied part-time, year-round. A graduate certificate (4 units) is also available within the program. Subjects include economics, finance, marketing, integrated accounting, people, strategy, and doing business across the Asia-Pacific region.
MBA in Information Technology, Technology MBA and MBA in Technology Management broadly refer to the same kind of programme. Any Master of Business Administration is essentially a management and leadership course, one in which you can also learn to manage technology projects.
While technical content may be limited, you can still get deep into technology subjects. Specialisations include cyber security management, data analytics management, and design and innovation.
For more technical learning, consider a Masters in Technology Management... READ MORE
In Australia, an MBA typically consists of 12 subjects. Program duration may vary depending on advanced standing, which refers to the credit you receive for prior learning (education and work experience). In roughly equal proportions, you'll study:
- Business disciplines such as accounting, finance, economics and marketing. You'll learn these from a manager's perspective, emphasising business strategy as opposed to technical skill development.
- Management and leadership topics, such as organisational theory and business management principles. MBA students enhance their leadership abilities through "reflection, knowledge building and experiential learning." (Mallory)
- An area of individual or program specialisation. Most MBA graduates have given extra attention to a particular topic, such as business analytics or digital marketing. Specialisations can be baked into the program, chosen up-front, or constructed through choices for elective units.
The course structure may also include a capstone subject, which is a major project you do at the end of the program. The capstone unit is an opportunity to put theory into practice and also explore a particular area of interest. Often, the capstone course counts as two subjects.
A Master of Business Administration (MBA) is the premier education program for managers and leaders. You'll gain a combination of core business knowledge and skills, management and leadership strategies, and advanced skills in your area(s) of specialisation. Expect to achieve the following learning outcomes.
1. A well-rounded business education
Have you noticed that essentially every business, whether small or large, needs people to handle accounting, finance and marketing activities? By earning an MBA, you'll strengthen your knowledge of core business disciplines. You'll gain the business literacy required to interpret information and perform and delegate tasks.
2. Management and leadership insights
A key reason why you need professional experience before starting an MBA is to gain real-world lessons on managerial challenges, pitfalls, mistakes and triumphs. That experience provides context for learning how to manage and lead effectively.
Prior experience gives you real-life case studies that you can dissect during your MBA studies, while also adding life to the hypothetical scenarios you explore. As an MBA graduate, you'll come away equipped with strategies for how to manage and lead successfully.
Entry requirements for an MBA in Australia vary by graduate school. A business background is not required. You can be admitted to almost any university with a bachelor degree and 3+ years of professional experience. You can also access programs without a degree if you have an extensive leadership history.
Here are examples of admission requirements. Enquire for further details.
12-subject Masters of Business Administration: A degree (or higher qualification) in a business or related discipline, with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 1.0 (out of 4.0).
16-subject Masters of Business Administration: A degree in any discipline with a minimum GPA of 1.0 (out of 4.0).
Graduate certificate pathway: An Australian degree or equivalent, or higher qualification, in any discipline with a minimum GPA of 1.0 (out of 4.0) OR an Australian bachelor degree or equivalent, or higher qualification, in any discipline and a GMAT minimum 550 score OR five years full-time equivalent work experience.
International students are required to provide current evidence of English language proficiency.
A 3-year degree from any Australian university OR work experience regarded by SCU as equivalent to a degree.
Students need to be proficient in English.
Advanced standing: Credit for education, qualifications and/or work history may be awarded through the advanced standing process. This can impact the number of subjects you need to complete, reducing the time and cost of your MBA.
Students may exit the program with a Graduate Certificate in Business or Graduate Diploma in Business after successfully completing a minimum of four and eight subjects respectively.
Tuition fees are $2,900 per unit in 2022. FEE-HELP is available to Australian students. There are 6 intakes annually: Jan, Mar, Apr, Jul, Sep, Nov.
MBA (Innovation and Leadership): A bachelor’s degree and 3+ years of professional experience OR Year 12 (or equivalent) and 7+ years of employment.
MBA in Digital Health Transformation: A bachelor’s degree and 3+ years of professional experience OR Year 12 (or equivalent) and 7+ years of employment.
MBA (Data and Cyber Management): An AQF Level 7 Bachelor qualification or above OR the AQF Level 8 Graduate Certificate in Data and Cyber Management from UNE.
MBA: A university degree and 3+ years in professional management roles OR 5+ years of professional management experience.
The Executive MBA: A degree and 8+ years of experience OR 10+ years of work history.
An undergraduate degree in a cognate discipline and 2 years’ business experience OR an honours degree or postgraduate studies in any discipline and 2 years’ business experience OR 4 years in a managerial role OR other qualifications or practical experiences recognised as equivalent to the above.
Applicants of non-English speaking backgrounds must meet English language proficiency requirements.
Students may exit the program with a Graduate Certificate of Business Administration (Global) or Graduate Diploma of Business Administration (Global) after completing a minimum of four and eight subjects respectively.
A bachelor degree (or equivalent) and 2 years' relevant employment OR completed GMAT with a score of >500 and 2 years' employment OR 5 years’ work history.
You must be proficient in speaking, listening, reading and writing in English as this is the language of instruction.
Applicants for the Master of Business Administration (MBA) online need any undergraduate bachelor's degree plus one of the following:
- A minimum GPA of 5.25 on a 7-point scale and a 90% pass rate
- Four years of relevant work experience
- Graduate Management Admission Test with overall score of 550+ with verbal 25, quantitative 35 and AWA 4.0.
Alternatively, you can qualify by successfully completing a qualification such as a graduate certificate, graduate diploma or master’s degree.
A Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree carries weight and value in Australia. A substantial percentage of Australia's CEOs have MBAs, including Ron Delia (Amcor), Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz (Mirvac), Scott Charlton (Transurban), Andy Penn (Telstra), Brad Banducci (Woolworths) and Peter Coleman (Woodside).
An MBA delivers genuine management and leadership training. When there are a group of applicants for senior roles, MBA graduates have an advantage. Even if the advantage itself is relatively modest, an MBA can still deliver hundreds of thousands of dollars in extra earnings. That's the difference between winning crucial job and promotion opportunities and just missing out.
But the degree is only worth it when complementary factors are also in play. The ideal MBA candidate has management and leadership potential. They should also have a sufficient professional background to capitalise on the qualification. Having an MBA is essentially worthless if you lack the professional skills and qualifications to lead in your particular niche.
If you doubt the value of getting an MBA degree, a couple of things can tilt the balance in favour of an MBA investment. One is online learning, which lowers tuition fees and allows you to study as a working professional. Another adjustment is to do a specialised MBA, providing a business management education plus extra skill development in the area of specialisation.
Yes, absolutely. An online Master of Business Administration is valid in Australia.
In terms of accreditation, an online degree is no different from an on-campus degree. Australian universities are self-accrediting. That means every degree issued by an Australian university is fully accredited and internationally recognised.
There's also no difference between on-campus and MBA's online in terms of the award. You receive the same testamur (certificate) irrespective of the study mode. And almost every university in Australia that issues MBA degrees achieved through online study also has campus-based degrees.
Employers in Australia don't appear to care how you earned your degree, especially as the majority of MBA students now study online. If you're ever asked in an interview about how you got your degree, we suggest you own the fact that you did it online. Don't hesitate to express pride in your achievement.
With increasing competition and rising education standards, many excellent Master of Business Administration programs are available in Australia. Since online study is now the preferred way to go in postgraduate business courses, the top MBA in Australia is most likely an online course.
But, to be perfectly honest, there is no one best MBA in Australia. The best course is the one that's right for you. Different specialisations are available and extra prestige tends to come with a price tag. There are always trade-offs when choosing a graduate program.
A range of features and services are almost standard from online business schools, including:
- the ability to study year-round without long gaps
- a dedicated Student Success Advisor to advise on non-academic issues
- the flexibility to study part-time without ever needing time off work
- no exams, with continuous assessment based on assignments, group exercises, quizzes, etc.
Leading Australian online business schools
- James Cook University
- Torrens University Australia
- University of Adelaide
- UTS Online
- RMIT Online
- Southern Cross University
- University of New England
You can be accepted into most Master of Business Administration (MBA) online programs in Australia without a degree. For some business schools, you'll need to enter via a graduate certificate pathway.
Students who don't automatically qualify for MBA entry can start with 4 subjects from the program that constitute a Graduate Certificate in Business Administration. Successfully completing the graduate certificate allows you to continue with the rest of the MBA course. You may also have the option to exit with a Graduate Diploma in Business Administration after 8 subjects.
To commence studying without a degree, you need to have a significant professional management background. The number of years of work history required is generally around 4 to 7 years full-time (or equivalent), with 5 years the most common stipulation. Generally, multiple years would need to be in supervisory and management roles.
The average cost of online MBA programs in Australia is $46,659 based on an estimated average cost per subject of $3,888. Students are assumed to complete a 12-subject program, which is the typical course length in Australia.
Data for the cost estimates come from a sample of seven MBA online degrees. Full program fees (for 12 subjects) ranges from $34,719 to $57,756 for the sample. These estimates excludes expensive campus-only degrees that few students do and which can cost upwards of $80,000.
FEE-HELP Australian government loans are automatically available for eligible students.
|University||$ per subject*|
|University of New England||$2,893 (2023)||More info|
|Southern Cross University||$2,900||More info|
|James Cook University||$3,520||More info|
|Torrens University Australia||$3,660||More info|
|UTS Online||$4,218||More info|
|RMIT University||$4,440||More info|
|University of Adelaide||$4,746||More info|
* Indicative program tuition fees for students enrolling in 2022 unless otherwise noted.
The median salary of Business and Management postgraduate coursework students after graduation was estimated at $110,000 for the 2021 cohort. This was second highest out of 21 study areas, only behind dentistry, and compared to an Australian mean for all study areas of $89,700. (QILT Graduate Outcomes Survey).
MBA students generally begin their studies on high salaries. The Master of Business Administration is designed for working professionals on the cusp of senior management roles or already in high positions of responsibility. Pay increases while studying are also to be expected since MBA candidates are usually on a steep segment of their career salary curve.
An MBA has the effect of accelerating earnings growth. Benefits depend on the individual; their work history, talents and qualities, industry, professional networks, and other qualifications. MBAs by themselves do not guarantee high salaries. Nonetheless, the MBA is a widely recognised credential that many smart people are motivated to do because of the financial payoffs.