The biggest and best MBA online degrees in Australia, with rankings based on program size and features.
Here is a ranking of the top 25 online MBAs in Australia based on program size.
The list shows how many students are enrolled in 100% online postgraduate courses in the field of Management and Commerce. As you can see from the table, RMIT is on top, followed by Deakin University and UNSW. The biggest MBA online programs have 1,500+ Australian students.
Some websites have also ranked MBA programs in Australia based on features. One of the major features for many students is price – that is, course fees. Other features include the option for accelerated learning and whether students have to sit exams. Most programs are designed for part-time study.
According to Lerna Australia, the five best online MBA programs in Australia are headed by UTS, James Cook University, and Southern Cross University.
1. University of Technology Sydney (UTS)
The UTS Online MBA, backed by the AACSB-accredited UTS Business School, emphasises cultural sensitivity and ethics in decision-making across different business settings.
2. University of Adelaide
The University of Adelaide's online MBA merges theory with practical application, preparing graduates to lead confidently across sectors while focusing on adaptability and resilience.
3. James Cook University (JCU)
JCU's MBA Global helps students integrate global trends and data analytics into actionable business strategies. The standout feature is its Integrated Global Capstone Project.
4. Southern Cross University (SCU)
SCU's MBA program is recognised for its wide-ranging curriculum and specialisations. With accolades from the Good Universities Guide 2023, it's known for quality education and student support.
5. RMIT University
RMIT's online MBA addresses the demands of Industry 4.0 by offering insights into technology and digital trends. Engaging sessions with industry experts and a selection of minors set this program apart.
Australia's largest graduate business schools
Sydney and Melbourne are the hubs for the biggest graduate business schools in Australia. The University of Sydney, University of New South Wales (UNSW), and RMIT University top the list, with the majority of students opting for online courses.
University reputation (entry scores)
University prestige often correlates with entry scores. Topping the list for their Bachelor of Business or Commerce programs are the University of Sydney, University of Melbourne, and UNSW.
MBA tuition fees
Fees for MBA courses vary significantly, ranging from $35,880 at SCU Online to a hefty $99,630 at Melbourne Business School. It's worth noting that SCU Online provides an affordable MBA, with its online program offering six start points annually and choices for specialisation.
Most in-demand MBA specialisations
Popular MBA fields include Finance, Marketing, Business, and Healthcare Management. For those aiming at high earning potentials, specialising in Business Analytics, Entrepreneurship, Finance, and Marketing is advisable as these fields are known for producing lucrative salaries.
Course fees are a big consideration in the top 5 online MBA rankings at Learning Lab. Programs are ranked according to tuition fees while also accounting for other factors such as study flexibility.
- SCU Online
- James Cook University
- University of Adelaide
- UTS Online
- RMIT University
If you earn a Master of Business Administration online with an Australian university, your degree is valid and internationally recognised. Australian universities are self-accrediting bodies, meaning a degree qualification you receive from them is fully accredited under the Australian Qualifications Framework.
Australia has a well regulated higher education sector. Business schools based in Australia that issue Master of Business Administration degrees are trustworthy, noting that the vast majority of MBAs are conferred by public universities.
Enrolment statistics indicate that many Australians consider an online Master of Business Administration to be worthwhile. And you're definitely able to learn business management online.
The number of Australians enrolled in postgraduate Management and Commerce courses, including MBA programs, was 42,629 in 2019 (Source: uCube). Of these, 22,224, or 52%, were classified as fully online students. That percentage is likely much higher today with increased take-up of online learning options.
There is no obvious evidence that an online MBA in Australia is perceived as somehow "less than" an MBA earned at a campus. The difference between the degrees is generally not apparent anyway. Australian universities that run online programs also have on-campus courses. The degree you receive at graduation doesn't indicate the study mode.
Benefits of earning an MBA through online learning include that you: have a flexible study schedule, can easily work while studying part-time, get the convenience of a home base and no travel, can choose essentially any online university, and will build digital technology and communication skills while studying.
The negatives that go with online study include the inability to network in person and the challenge of studying purely online.
If you're the kind of person who can stick with a weekly study schedule, you'll likely succeed with your online MBA course and gain all the benefits of the world's most popular graduate degree.
The Australian Institute of Business (AIB) claims to have "Australia's No. 1 MBA for Working Professionals" based on higher education statistics. This claim may be true in terms of student numbers, although the statement can't be verified using publicly available data.
When you look at enrolments of Australians in postgraduate Management and Commerce courses who are studying part-time online, the largest enrolment category is Non-University Higher Education Institutions (excluding Avondale). A total 2,754 students were in this group in 2019, many of whom may be studying with AIB. The largest comparable enrolment figure for a university is 1,717 students at RMIT University.
To answer this question of whether an Australian MBA is worth it, you'll need to look at your personal circumstances and inside yourself to figure it out. By the way, this reflective process is often a significant part of MBA programmes. But we can also provide some guidance to help you unlock the answer.
Don't worry about MBA salary statistics
We should first point out that you SHOULD NOT trust the salary statistics reported for MBA degree values. MBA candidates are typically hard-working professionals who are already on an upward career trajectory. Reliably disentangling the pay benefits of their MBA studies from what they might have achieved anyway is an almost impossible task.
Remember the intangible benefits from a management education
Much, and probably the vast bulk, of the value of a Master of Business Administration comes from many intangibles. There's much more to it than just the impressive credential you carry with you when applying for jobs or walking into the job interview room. Some bosses or prospective employers may value your degree and be influenced by it; others may not. But there's much more to consider.
Your MBA program will enhance your on-the-job performance and leadership skills. Your MBA education will also positively impact on your confidence, the manner in which you carry yourself, and your written and verbal fluency on management matters. The fact that made the effort to get it also demonstrates enthusiasm for leadership and a hungriness for challenges and self-improvement. Such factors boost your career prospects and will make you a more formidable job candidate irrespective of the piece of paper held.
Are you right sort of person to do an MBA?
Some people don't like being leaders or having high levels or responsibility. They prefer to have a supervisor instruct them what to do. Other people have maxed out in terms of career development and don't have the drive or ability to get ahead whatever happens with their education. These are NOT the sort of people who should enrol in an MBA program.
Getting an MBA could easily pay for itself multiple times over if, on the other hand, your career is on the rise or has the potential to do so. Suppose you were to earn just an extra $10,000 annually for the remainder of your career because of holding an MBA. Over, say, 30 years, that's an earnings boost of $300,000. Not bad at all.
How you can reduce costs
As we've explained, the value of an MBA comes from much more than just the piece of paper. You can focus on your learning and career goals when choosing a program, meaning you don't have to do an expensive degree from a prestigious business school with eye-watering fees. You have the option to just find a course you like that's within your budget.
You can test an MBA course with relatively low risk by complete a Graduate Certificate in Business Administration. This course typically consists of four foundation or specialist subjects from a much larger MBA program. After finishing, you can either (a) walk away with your graduate certificate qualification or (b) continue studying and put all the completed subjects as credit towards an MBA.
Online learning is also an important option to reduce costs. Accelerated online MBA programs allow you to get your degree fairly quickly while continuing to work full-time. That avoids foregone salary costs. You can also continue advancing your career in the workplace while studying with a fast-track MBA.
Entry requirements for online MBA programs are generally more relaxed than what you might expect. You can access many MBA courses with just a bachelor's degree in any discipline and two years of professional experience.
You can also be admitted to some MBA programs without a bachelor degree by enrolling in a Graduate Certificate in Business Administration. Subjects in the graduate certificate are also part of MBA coursework. Upon successful completion of the course, you can keep studying for an MBA.
Enrolling in a grad cert may also allow to effectively join some MBA programs with minimal relevant professional experience.
Entry requirements vary by program, so check the specific conditions on the business school's website. Only a small proportion of Australian graduate schools set a minimum Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) score as a condition of entry. Some programs may require you to write a personal statement as part of the application.
English language proficiency requirements apply to all programs. Also be aware that fully online programs are unavailable to international students on a Student Visa.
FEE-HELP government loans are available to eligible domestic students to cover course costs.