Looking to earn an MBA from a top business school in Europe? You have a wide range of choices at your disposal. From the United Kingdom and France to Germany and Spain, there are several business schools in Europe.
So much in fact, that we had to streamline our list to just 25. And with Europe playing host to some of the world’s best-known companies and firms, you can count on having no shortage of career opportunities upon graduating.
In this blog post, we will look at 25 of the best business schools in Europe that should be on your radar.
We will also provide additional information about what makes each one special while advising on how to choose the best one for you.
Is an MBA Important?
- Have you begun to feel like your career is stuck in place?
- Are you motivated to learn more about business but don’t have the time to go back to school full-time?
- Are you looking for a way to make yourself more competitive?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then an MBA from one of the 25 best business schools in Europe might be exactly what your career needs.
After all, an MBA can help open doors, give you new skills, and make you into a better manager and leader.
It can also help change your network for the better and give you a chance for a salary increase.
Best Business Schools in Europe for International students
Factors to Consider When Choosing an MBA Program Right for You
When considering which business school in Europe to attend, here are some factors you should weigh:
- Cost and length of program: The cost of an MBA ranges from $10,000 to several hundred thousand dollars.
Consider the cost of living in the city or region where the MBA program is located.
You may also want to consider how long you will have to be away from work during your studies.
- Location and ease of travel: Most MBA programs last for a year or two years.
During those months, you’ll spend a great deal of time studying at the school—or traveling back and forth to it if you live in another city or country.
So, think about how easy it is for you to travel between work, home, and school.
- Reputation: Some business schools are very prestigious; others are not as widely known.
Think about whether it’s more important to you that your degree comes from a highly ranked school that may be more expensive—or one that isn’t quite so well-known but is still good quality and less costly.
- Full-time vs Part-time: Many business schools offer full-time MBA programs as well as programs designed for students who continue working while they’re earning their MBAs (part-time).
If possible, talk with colleagues who have earned their degrees through part-time programs and ask them about their experiences before making a decision about which path is best for you.
If a part-time option isn’t available at your target school, consider an online degree from any of these business schools in Europe to avoid relocating.
- Specialized vs General Programs: An MBA can focus on specific areas of business such as finance or accounting – or be general in scope.
Decide whether you want training in all areas — which can help prepare you for different kinds of jobs later on, or instead choose an area that interests you most right now.
The List of Best Business Schools in Europe(UK, Spain, France, Germany Denmark, Italy, Netherlands, and Switzerland)
Your MBA is an investment in your future.
It’s a big commitment of your time and money, and if you’re looking to attend internationally, it’s also a tremendous investment of opportunities.
That’s why we have done the hard work for you by compiling our list of the 25 best business schools in Europe, according to Bloomberg’s analytics.
In our ranking system, we use the following weighted factors to determine which are truly the best of the best:
- Faculty research: The amount of published research produced by a school is indicative not only of their academic standards but their global impact on business as a whole.
- Faculty excellence: We take into account feedback from students about professors’ teaching methods and overall quality as well.
- Alumni community, strength, and earnings after graduation: Schools with strong alumni networks provide endless opportunities for internships, jobs after graduation, mentorships down the line in your career, and lifelong friendships with fellow students well after graduation day has come and gone.
- Entrepreneurship and Learning: Most prospective students who look for the best MBA programs in Europe also want to know how seriously these business schools in Europe take their classes in Entrepreneurship and Business Methodology. So, this was one of the ranking criteria.
Now, let’s look at the best business schools in Europe, their pros, and cons:
International Institute for Management Development (IMD), Switzerland
Coming top on this list of the best business schools in Europe is IMD Business School. No surprise here, is there? IMD is located in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Consistent with its stated mission, the IMD MBA program focuses on leadership and entrepreneurship. The school emphasizes a strong global network of opportunities for students and graduates, as well as academic partners throughout Europe (and beyond).
The school’s ranking is due to its continued support for this mission statement through numerous networking opportunities for students and graduates.
The Swiss location also means that many of the business schools’ case studies focus on European companies or companies based in Europe.
Additionally, since Switzerland borders France, Germany, Austria, and Italy—with easy access to other parts of Europe by train—Swiss-based business schools like IMD are ideally located for students who want to continue working in that region post-graduation.
However, IMD has an acceptance rate of 26.2 percent, making it fairly difficult to get into.
- Cost of an MBA program at IMD: €93,518, $98,512, or CHF 97,500 (Swiss Franc).
- Please note that these costs do not include living expenses. *
IESE Business School is one of the top business schools in Europe, with campuses in Barcelona, Madrid, and New York City. The school offers a full-time MBA program, a part-time MBA program, Executive MBA programs, and Ph.D. programs.
The overall program focuses on entrepreneurship and innovation, helping students develop the skills they need to succeed as future entrepreneurs or global business leaders by helping them understand global markets as well as their strengths and weaknesses.
The admissions process for IESE Business School is competitive (26 percent) which means that students should demonstrate academic excellence and leadership potential through both their professional experience and educational background.
For the full-time MBA, program candidates must complete the application form for IESE Business School’s MBA Program, take the GMAT (or GRE) test if necessary, and submit three letters of recommendation from college professors or professional supervisors with an academic or professional relationship to you, send official transcripts from your undergraduate degree institution(s) (and any other university where you received credits), pay an application fee of €155 ($183), register to attend one of two interviews (in person or via Skype), and have their TOEFL/IELTS scores sent directly from ETS if necessary.
The school’s full-time MBA program begins with a pre-MBA session which lasts four weeks before regular classes begin so that students can acclimate themselves to life in Spain.
The pre-MBA session provides social events for all new incoming students along with workshops on learning skills like how to learn languages quickly when you are living abroad as well as courses on Spanish culture from professors who speak English fluently so that students can feel confident about making friends abroad when they first arrive at the school.
- Cost of an MBA at IESE Business School: €93,500 ($98,549).
SDA Bocconi School of Management, Milan
If you’re looking for an MBA that’s fast-paced, network-focused, and taught in English, Bocconi might be a good match for you.
Its 13-month full-time MBA program has 3 intakes per year: September, January, and April. The class size is about 90 students.
There are two tracks to choose from: International Program (IP), which is focused on internationalization; or Entrepreneurship Program (EP), which is geared towards entrepreneurialism.
Some of the highlights of Bocconi’s curriculum include annual lectures by top business leaders to share their views on the world of business and a Global Consulting Project that enables students to apply course concepts to real companies in emerging markets.
There’s also an optional internship at the end of your program if you’d like a bit more work experience before graduating.
Topics covered in the curriculum include economics and management, finance, marketing leadership strategies, and human resources management with courses including microeconomics for managers and corporate strategy.
- Cost of an MBA at SDA Bocconi: €62,000 ($65,348).
The Institut Européen d’Administration des Affaires is a non-profit business school located on various campuses across Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and North America.
It is easily one of the best business schools in Europe. Degrees offered at INSEAD include Executive Masters in Business Administration (EMBA), Master of Business Administration – Ph.D. Program, Master’s Program for Executives, Sloan Masters in Leadership and Strategy.
Admissions are conducted on a rolling basis throughout the year with three start dates per year.
The GMAT or GRE is required for admission along with proof of English proficiency and official transcripts from previous schools attended.
INSEAD also requires applicants to provide two references from previous employers or professors and a short video clip detailing why they are interested in attending INSEAD.
- Finally, an application fee of €250 must be paid before submitting the application.
With 10 exchange partners across Europe, Asia, and North America and 500 faculty members from over 40 different countries available to students at any given time during their studies, INSEAD prioritizes international experience for its students both inside the classroom as well as outside it through internships both on campus and abroad at various locations around the world; including New York City and Shanghai. 89 percent of MBA graduates received job offers within 3 months of graduation.
- Cost of MBA at INSEAD: €91,225 ($96,151).
London Business School, UK
London Business School is one of the world’s best business schools. The London Business School is a top-ranked business school.
It has been in operation since the 1960s; and has grown to become one of the reputable business schools in Europe. LBS offers various programs in different aspects of Business, like Finance and Business Leadership.
However, nothing should be taken away from this school, as they have one of the best MBA programs in Europe.
In addition, they have notable alumni who have gone on to make a great impact as global entrepreneurs and thought leaders.
- Typically, 92% of their graduate students get employed after 3 months.
- Con: It is very expensive.
- Cost of an MBA at LBS: €97,500 ($102,765).
Instituto de Empresa (IE) Business School, Spain
At IE Business School, students from around the globe earn degrees in everything from corporate social responsibility to international relations.
For those who can’t decide on a single specialty, there are also dual degree programs that allow students to concentrate on two different fields at once.
Most of the school’s MBA graduates work in industries like consulting and technology.
In addition to financial assistance offered by the school itself (although IE Business School does receive more applications than it has scholarship funds), it offers opportunities for students to apply for outside funding through organizations and companies like the Fulbright Commission and Private Equity Women Investor Network (PEWIN).
- Cost of an MBA at IE Business School: €72,000 ($75,888).
Cambridge Judge Business School | University of Cambridge, UK
The Cambridge Judge Business School MBA is ranked No. 7 in Europe and No. 19 globally by the Financial Times. The school has been ranked No. 1 in Europe for entrepreneurship and, in the same ranking, is No. 4 for careers in finance.
It is by far, one of the most popular MBA programs in the world. And hence, it remains one of the best business schools in Europe.
Cambridge graduates have gone on to work for companies like Amazon, Facebook, Google, and JPMorgan Chase & Co., among others.
If you love all things STEM-related, Cambridge University might be a good choice: It has a strong focus on science and technology education in addition to business skills training, according to the university’s website.
- Cost of an MBA at Cambridge: €71,357 ($75,270.95).
Saïd Business School | University of Oxford, UK
Next up is Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford. The school is located on the main campus in Oxford and offers a one-year MBA program, two-year MBA program, and an executive MBA program.
- The school is located on a beautiful campus.
- You would have access to libraries with state-of-the-art technology and resources.
- You will have money after graduation because your friends working at Goldman Sachs are always paying for everything.
- It is reasonably more expensive than other elite business schools in Europe featured on this list.
- Although there are a lot of bars in town, Oxford’s nightlife doesn’t compare to London’s or Paris’; if this is something you’ll look out for in your time at Oxford.
- Cost of an MBA at Oxford: €115,329 ($121,557).
HEC Business School, France
HEC Paris is one of the oldest business schools in Europe, established in 1881. HEC is consistently ranked among the best business schools in the world, and it has its accreditation, EQUIS.
With that kind of pedigree, you know you’re going to get a quality degree from HEC Paris. The school offers Master of Science programs, including a Master of Science in Management that can be completed entirely online.
- Cost of an MBA at HEC: €78,000 – €80,000 ($82,212 – $84,320).
- Estimated expenses (books, transportation, etc.) cost an extra €24,825, excluding living expenses.
Alliance Business School | University of Manchester, UK
Alliance Business School’s programs are available in full-time and executive styles, with a full-time MBA taking 18 months to complete.
Highlights of this business school include:
- A strong emphasis on international business and global collaboration
- The ability to study with students from over 100 different countries
- Internship opportunities in several cities around the world
Drawbacks of Alliance Business School include:
- A lackluster career services team that provides few opportunities for students and alumni.
Cost of an MBA at Alliance Business School: €53,810 ($56,762).
Esade Business School, Spain
Esade Business School was established in 1958 and is equally one of the oldest business schools in Europe. It is ranked 11th on our list. It is fair to say that Esade is one of the best business schools in Europe and Spain. Their programs include a one-year full-time MBA and a Global Executive MBA.
Students will have a great time studying in this school, as the Financial Times acknowledged. As it features a lush environment conducive to learning, and top professors with years of experience from all over the world.
- Cost of an MBA at Esade Business School: €74,035 ($78,033).
ESMT Business School, Germany
The ESMT MBA program is a two-year, full-time (or part-time) MBA. The school looks for international students who have a variety of academic and professional backgrounds, from engineers to consultants to business owners. These students create an eclectic, dynamic learning environment for the ESMT MBA program.
ESMT’s strengths lie in its diversity and focus on leadership development. Its European location gives it access to many of the continent’s competitive industries, giving you exposure to new ideas and opportunities during your MBA experience.
In addition to the core curriculum, all students choose at least one specialty track such as marketing or strategy. You also have your choice of where you want to spend your second year—Berlin or Silicon Valley—and which language you want to study (English, German, or Mandarin).
- Cost of a part-time MBA at ESMT: €38,000 ($40,052).
St. Gallen Business School | University of St. Gallen, Switzerland
The University of St. Gallen is a public research university in St. Gallen, Switzerland. It was founded in 1898 and is the largest of its kind in Switzerland and the oldest business school in German-speaking Europe.
The business school has more than 200 professors and 7,000 students, making it the largest faculty at the University of St. Gallen, which itself has about 9,000 students.
It is also research-oriented and known for its rigorous academic standards it’s one of only 43 business schools worldwide to be triple-accredited by EQUIS, AACSB International, and AMBA.
As far as specialty programs go, there are two MBA programs available at St. Gallen: a 15-month full-time MBA program for experienced professionals with an average work experience of 6 years; then there’s an 18-month part-time Executive MBA (EMBA) program for working executives that offers attendance on weekends.
- Cost of part-time MBA at St. Gallen: €58,500 ($61,659).
EADA Business School, Spain
Eada Business School is one of the top business schools in Europe, especially in Spain. It is located in Spain and features one of the best MBA programs in Europe, and at a cheaper cost, too.
So, if you are looking for an MBA that is great but not too expensive, we assure you that you will find Eada worth your time and money.
- Cost of an MBA at EADA: €39,000 ($41,106).
EDHEC Business School, France
EDHEC Business School is located on different campuses in Lille, Paris, and Nice in France. They are ranked 15th on our list of the best business schools in Europe. This school includes a three-month consulting project that trains students to solve real-world business problems. You’ll also learn how to think strategically to make better decisions.
Specializations offered: Accounting and control; big data; financial economics; markets, organizations, and strategy; marketing management, etc.
Cost of an MBA at EDHEC Business School: €46,000 ($48,484).
Mannheim Business School, Germany
Mannheim is a top business school located in Germany. It is a full-time, one-year program that is taught entirely in English.
- Accelerated one-year program.
- Strong international reputation.
- Close location to Frankfurt and Heidelberg, two of Germany’s largest cities and economic hubs.
- A shorter program means more classes in a small period of time—a large workload for most students.
Cost of an MBA at Mannheim: €49,500 ($52,173).
Imperial College, UK
A member of the prestigious Russell Group of British universities, Imperial College is located in London. The school was founded in 1907 and now has almost 2,000 students enrolled in its academic programs. These include finance and economics, which are taught using an interactive format.
This means that you’ll participate by reading articles of your choice outside the classroom, while the meeting with your professors and peers allows you to engage in discussion about them.
This style ensures that you will always be actively involved with what’s being discussed. Imperial College is known for its strong alumni network, boasting approximately 20% of the world’s CEO members of business organizations such as Fortune 100 companies or similar-sized firms from other countries. It also has a strong reputation for research: it’s one of Britain’s top two research universities based on citations per paper published between 2007 and 2013 (the other being Oxford).
- Cost of an MBA at Imperial College: €66,912 ($70,525).
Cranfield School of Management, UK
The Cranfield School of Management is a top-ranked business school located in the quiet village of Cranfield, near Bedford. Tuition in this school varies depending on what you are applying to study. As a student, you have access to the school’s library, which has over 80,000 electronic books in addition to its printed holdings.
As one of the best business schools in Europe and the UK, Cranfield attracts students from all around the world. The international experience you’ll gain here will help you build valuable connections for the future.
- Cost of an MBA at Cranfield: €45,622 ($48,124).
Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
Copenhagen Business School is a public university situated in Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark. Established in 1917, it is one of the largest business schools in Europe with more than 20,000 students and an annual intake of around 1,000 exchange students.
The school’s mission is to “create and disseminate research-based knowledge about management for business and society.” A number of its programs have earned international accreditation from EQUIS, AMBA, and AACSB. In addition, CBS is equally one of the cheapest business schools in Europe.
- Cost of an MBA at Copenhagen Business School: €43,000 ($45,358).
Rotterdam School of Management | Erasmus University, Netherlands
Rotterdam School of Management – Erasmus University is one of the largest business schools in Europe. It’s a school with an international character and it focuses on the development of leadership skills. It offers a variety of business courses that can be customized according to your interests.
Rotterdam School Of Management is located in Rotterdam, Netherlands which has a lively atmosphere. The city has more than 100 nationalities and over 30% have foreign roots.
Rotterdam has a good location surrounded by major European cities like London, Brussels, Paris, and Berlin which are less than two hours away by train.
If you’re looking for an MBA program where you can study abroad or take electives at partner schools then this school is for you.
The curriculum emphasizes internationalization through exchange programs with other universities around Europe as well as the Asia Pacific region such as University College Dublin (Ireland), Waseda Business School (Japan), and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Hong Kong) just to name few examples.
- Cost of an MBA at RSM: €57,000 ($60,078).
Politecnico di Milano, Italy
Politecnico di Milano (POLIMI) is located near the center of Milan and offers a variety of programs taught in Italian and English, including a full-time MBA that lasts 15 months, an executive MBA that can be completed in 20 months, and an EMBA Global Americas & Europe program.
All programs are designed to prepare students for leadership roles in business, government, and society.
The curriculum focuses on practical skills combined with theoretical classroom learning. Students will also get plenty of opportunities for networking within their cohort and also through extracurricular activities like consulting projects with local businesses or studying abroad at one of Politecnico di Milano’s partner universities.
Cost of an MBA at POLIMI: €40,000 ($42,160).
ESIC Business School, Spain
ESIC Business School, established in Barcelona in 1907, is one of the largest private business schools in Europe. The school offers undergraduate, graduate, and executive programs in Spanish, English, and Portuguese.
ESIC Business School’s undergraduate and graduate degree programs are accredited by the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science. International students are welcome to apply to this school.
- Cost of an MBA at ESIC Business School: €32,800 ($34,571).
Essec Business School, France
Essec Business School is a grande écoles based in Cergy and founded in 1907. Today, it has over 6,000 students and more than 200 faculty members.
It offers many different programs, including an MBA. It is found in Paris, Singapore, and Morocco, too. It is one of the most affordable business schools in Europe.
- Year of foundation: 1907
- Number of students: 6,000+
- Number of faculty: 200
- Undergraduate tuition fee: from €15,000 per year.
Cost of an MBA at Essec Business School: €49,500 ($52,173).
Warwick Business School (WBS) | University of Warwick, UK
Warwick Business School was originally established in 1967 as the School of Industrial and Business Studies. It is located in Coventry, England.
Equally, it makes our list of the best business schools in Europe simply because of its high educational and research standards, and its affordability.
Programs offered at Warwick Business School include an M.B.A., M.S.C., DBA (Doctorate in Business Administration), and Executive education in various business, science, and industrial management courses offered in the school.
Additionally, Career Services at WBS offers career counseling, and professional training to equip students with the skills needed to excel in their job search process and long-term professional development.
- Cost of an MBA at WBS: €53,751.60 ($56,700).
EAE Business School, Spain
EAE Business School is one of the best business schools in Europe and Spain. Its MBA is ranked within the top 25 in Europe. Plus, their international programs are recognized by many important specialized publications.
The Master in International Management (MIM) is a full-time program that gives students an understanding of how businesses operate around the world.
The program will give participants a global perspective on business and management, as well as expertise in their field of specialization.
Courses are offered in Barcelona or Madrid, with most students choosing to start the MIM program at one campus and finish it at the other for a truly international experience.
Participants will have access to leadership training programs throughout their time at EAE, which offers career advice and networking opportunities with professionals working for leading multinational companies.
- Cost of an MBA at EAE Business School: €29,500 ($31,093).
WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management
This institution is a primarily private-funded business school with campuses in Vallendar/Koblenz and Düsseldorf.
It is a premier Business School in Germany and is consistently recognized among Europe’s top Business Schools.
Bachelor Program, Master in Management and Master in Finance Programs, Full-Time MBA Program, Part-Time MBA Program, and Kellogg-WHU Executive MBA Program are among the courses available. Visit their website.
The University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
The UvA has developed into a leading research institution on a global scale, earning a stellar reputation for both fundamental and socially significant research.
The university also provides a Master’s program in “Entrepreneurship” in addition to MBA programs and other business-related academic programs. Visit their website.
Technical University Berlin
TU Berlin is a sizable, well-respected technical university that has made notable contributions to both teaching and research.
It also impacts the skills of outstanding graduates and has a cutting-edge, service-oriented administrative structure.
The institution provides master’s degree programs in areas including “ICT Innovation” and “Innovation Management, Entrepreneurship & Sustainability.” Visit their website.
ESCP Business School
This is one of the first business schools ever established. ESCP has a true European identity because of its five urban campuses in Paris, London, Berlin, Madrid, and Torino.
They offer a distinctive approach to business education and a global perspective on management concerns.
The ESCP provides a variety of master’s degree programs, including one in entrepreneurship and sustainable innovation and another for executives in digital innovation and entrepreneurial leadership.
Technical University Munich
This esteemed school combines first-rate resources for state-of-the-art research with distinctive educational possibilities for 42,000 students.
The mission of the university is to build long-lasting value for society via excellence in research and teaching, active support of up-and-coming talent, and a strong entrepreneurial spirit.
The Technical University of Munich promotes an innovative environment with a focus on the market as an entrepreneurial university. Visit their website.
EU Business School
This is a top-tier, globally recognized business school with campuses in Barcelona, Geneva, Montreux, and Munich. It is officially approved on a professional level.
Students are more prepared for careers in today’s quickly changing, globally integrated business environment, thanks to their realistic approach to business education. Visit their website.
Delft University of Technology
This university offers free optional entrepreneurship courses that MSc and Ph.D. students from all TU Delft faculties can take.
The Master Annotation Entrepreneurship program is available to master’s students who are interested in technology-based entrepreneurship. Visit their website.
This is a cutting-edge university in Europe for design, entrepreneurship, and technology.
It is situated in Barcelona and is known for teaching science and entrepreneurship to industry leaders from all around the world.
One of the innovative university programs offered by Harbour.Space is “High-Tech Entrepreneurship.” All Harbour.Space degree-awarding programs are intended to be completed in less than three years for bachelor’s degrees and two years for master’s degrees by requiring full-time intensive study for virtually the entire year. Visit their website.
Copenhagen Business School
This university is a one-of-a-kind business-oriented institution that offers a comprehensive range of Bachelor’s, Master’s, MBA/EMBA, Ph.D., and Executive programs in English and Danish.
CBS provides a Master’s degree in Organizational Innovation and Entrepreneurship for students who are interested in entrepreneurship. Visit their website.
Vlerick Business School
This esteemed business school is located in Ghent, Leuven, and Brussels. The university has a long history of conducting original research on its own initiative.
Vlerick is characterized by openness, vitality, and zest for invention and business.
They offer a well-known master’s program with a concentration on “Innovation and Entrepreneurship”. Visit their website.
Trinity College / Business School
This business school is located in the heart of Dublin. In the last 1 year, they have been accredited three times placing them in the top 1% of business schools in the world.
Trinity Business School was founded in 1925 and has had an innovative role in management education and research which both serve and influence the industry.
Over the years, The School has played a pioneering role in bringing the MBA to Europe and has created one of Europe’s most sought-after undergraduate business degree programmes as well as having a series of top-ranked MSc programmes.
They also have a vibrant Ph.D. programme with successful graduates working across the globe and generating impact through their research. Visit their website.
Based on interdisciplinary and cutting-edge research, Lund University provides one of Scandinavia’s biggest collections of programs and courses.
The small size of the university campus fosters networking and provides the right environment for new developments in science.
The University also operates the Sten K. Johnson Centre for Entrepreneurship and a Master’s degree in Entrepreneurship. Visit their website.
The university provides a Strategic Entrepreneurship program that focuses on venture creation, venture management, and business renewal while giving you a Master’s level in Business Administration. Visit their website.
The University of Groningen
It is a research-focused university that offers a wide range of prestigious bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. programs in every discipline, all in English.
The University has its own Centre for Entrepreneurship, which provides research on, education about, and active support for aspiring business owners through VentureLab weekends, workspace, and much more. Visit their website.
Wrapping It Up
Whether you’re interested in the traditional MBA or a specialized program, Europe has plenty of options. These business schools in Europe share one thing in common: they’re all great choices to help you reach your goals.
Think about what you want out of a graduate program, then research these schools and the programs they offer. If possible, visit them and make sure it feels like a good fit both educationally and personally. Good luck with your search!