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Best Distance MBA from UK

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georgep

Joined: 11 May 2011
Posts: 84
Best Distance MBA from UK
Thu May 12, 2011 01:35 PM
Hi all,
After a lot of research, I decided to go for Durham - Global MBA by distance learning. Just got the unconditional offer today.

Key reasons for me:
1. Triple accredited
2. Top world ranking (their Full time) - FT 2011 ranking 55 - Economist 2011 ranking 55 ( Full time gives an indication)
www.dur.ac.uk/dbs/about/rankings/
3. No compulsory visit to the school - hence less opportunity cost.
4. Fee £ 14000 - Spread the cost - pay as you go model
5. Local exam centre - (I live in London)
6. Good internet technology in use - watched sample lessons.
7. Good curriculum and flexibility.
8. Reputed, "old" university.
9. Can be completed as soon as 2 yrs
10. The MBA degree issued is same as Full time/Exec. No marking such as DLMBA or eMBA or MBA (online) or MBA (by distance) etc.


My profile:
1. 16 Yrs of IT consultancy experience in EMEA region.
2. Can't afford to take off from work - or loose pay
3. Age 39
4. 2 kids - so no go for evening or weekend classes.

Other schools I considered and why did not go further.
I did not consider any non-triple accredited ones.

1. Warwick - Around 18 days off required to attend compulsory workshop. nearly a month off from work (in 3 years) - No London Exam centre - Opportunity cost!
2. Manchester - 30 days off :-(
3. Henley - 20 days off :-(
4. Strathclyde - 18 days off, No London Exam centre (or extra cost).

Key minus points for me:
1. The exams are conducted on Weekdays - I have to take day off (loss of pay) - Anyway all universities in my list have the same issue.

I am self-financing my MBA with no employer support such as paid day-offs, etc. So, I guess the value for money and to fit in my work-life - Durham fits the bill.


PS: I am not a PR or marketing guy for Durham. I am just letting my views for people like me.


===============================
Update on 03/05/2013
-----------------------------
Wow!, this thread is still going well even after 2 yrs..

Please note that DBS has sharply increased the price to £19000.

www.dur.ac.uk/business/glc/mba-dl/

[Edited by georgep on 03 May 2013]

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georgep

Joined: 11 May 2011
Posts: 84
Best Distance MBA from UK
Thu May 26, 2011 12:34 PM
By the way, I got admission now from Warwick and Manchester as well. But I am going to stick with Durham.

Anyone in this discussion board joined Durham this year?

[Edited by georgep on 26 May 2011]

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gaju1869
Joined: 28 Dec 2010
Posts: 29
Best Distance MBA from UK
Fri May 27, 2011 12:24 PM
Although Distance Learning MBA will not mention it on degree papers ( which is most unlikely) one can not say that it was a full time. If you are in London I suggest please join at-least part time MBA where you will be attending classes on weekends. Distance learning MBA will not fetch you desired returns.
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gaju1869
Joined: 28 Dec 2010
Posts: 29
Best Distance MBA from UK
Fri May 27, 2011 12:31 PM
By the way, I got admission now from Warwick and Manchester as well. But I am going to stick with Durham.

Anyone in this discussion board joined Durham this year?

I too got an offer from Durham for its Full Time MBA but I preferred to join Henley since it is for Senior Managers with more experience
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georgep

Joined: 11 May 2011
Posts: 84
Best Distance MBA from UK
Mon May 30, 2011 06:28 PM
As I mentioned before I can't take part time/weekend programs. Henley is too expensive and opportunity costs are way too high. 20 days off work is required. Thanks for the comparison anyway.

I am clear on my decision. Durham stays at the top of my list.

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georgep

Joined: 11 May 2011
Posts: 84
Best Distance MBA from UK
Mon Jun 06, 2011 10:17 AM
Hi,
Anyone from emerging economy countries (BRIC) in this forum?

What do you think about the value of UK MBA such as Durham in your country?

Thanks for sharing your views.

[Edited by georgep on 06 Jun 2011]

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CANUCK
Joined: 28 Feb 2011
Posts: 41
Best Distance MBA from UK
Mon Jun 06, 2011 12:43 PM
Right,

Just finishing the Warwick MBA...

Re your post and your list of items...

Durham: No compulsory visit to the school - hence less opportunity cost.

This is where I have issues as the interaction with students from around the world was invaluable and worth any days away from work, and out weights any costs. Trying not to go to Campus is costing immensely more than the few dollars in money, as well the contacts made are enduring. I still keep in regular contact with my September seminar team mates, and will continue to do so.

I have the two kids, dog, etc etc. but not IT as I'm in Marketing but I would suggest you are cutting yourself short from the benefits of attending Campus.
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gaju1869
Joined: 28 Dec 2010
Posts: 29
Best Distance MBA from UK
Tue Jun 07, 2011 05:26 AM
I agree with Canuck I did my distance learning MBA 10 years before since I could not afford tuition fees at that point of time. I could reap the benefit of DL MBA to some extent but always wanted to do it full time by attending campus and decided to go for it now.
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georgep

Joined: 11 May 2011
Posts: 84
Best Distance MBA from UK
Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:51 AM
I think you guys have valid points about attending campus. I have already compared all schools regarding this option.

Durham offers two on campus options at no extra fee.

1. Global MBA Summer School (one-week per year)
2. Global MBA Residencies (intensive modules on campus and exam workshops).

They also made it as optional rather than compulsory.

I think I will take your advice and attend a summer school, if I like it, I will try to take residency. Obviously the cost will increase- since it is optional I can always choose.

Thanks.
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CANUCK
Joined: 28 Feb 2011
Posts: 41
Best Distance MBA from UK
Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:12 PM
Yes, even if you can't afford to go to campus full time the Warwick DLMBA does have an intensive September seminar where you are on campus for about nine days per year, invaluable. The course intensiveness and the syndicate seminar groups, as well as other times when you get to meet other students, such as meals, socially or otherwise, develops some lasting contacts world wide.

The Warwick DLMBA has been the ticket for me, I'm based in Canada, for reasons already posted here on FINDMBA within the two threads I have responded to so far.
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CANUCK
Joined: 28 Feb 2011
Posts: 41
Best Distance MBA from UK
Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:20 PM
Warwick September seminar is included in yearly fees while obviously the travel, meals and accommodation are not, but then again they probably aren't included with other programs either.

I don't know much about the other school's programs but I've enjoyed and greatly benefited from my experience at Warwick, so I would recommend Warwick DLMBA from experience not from comparison of program outlines.
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georgep

Joined: 11 May 2011
Posts: 84
Best Distance MBA from UK
Thu Jun 09, 2011 09:06 AM
Durham Business School
-----------------------------------
I just completed the online registration process. Simple and straight forward process and friendly, helpful administration team.

I am allowed to complete the full programme on my own pace till 2016 (minimum duration is 2 years).

Registration fee was £375
For the first term I opted to take only 2 core modules - each costing me £1100.

So for the next six months all I pay is £375 + (£1100 *2) = £2575 (includes everything - books/materials, online, exams, etc).

For self financing student like me who doesn't like to take heavy bank loans, it is a great news. Pay as you go is a top plus point.

:-) "No loans to worry at the end of the programme" :-)
:-) Plus Value for money :-)

I haven't recived any course material yet. I am yet to attend online induction programme.

I will post more info as I progress through the course.

[Edited by georgep on 09 Jun 2011]

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CANUCK
Joined: 28 Feb 2011
Posts: 41
Best Distance MBA from UK
Thu Jun 09, 2011 11:49 AM
Good luck with your choice, all the best!

Keep Warwick in mind if the other doesn't live up to expectations.

I'm busy researching PhDs now......
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georgep

Joined: 11 May 2011
Posts: 84
Best Distance MBA from UK
Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:44 AM
Here is a good analysis of various distance MBAs, but there isn't details about my school of choice. It is refered in the comparison table at the end.

media.economist.com/media/WMBA/WMBA_Special_2010b.pdf

But I used it to eliminate some programmes such as Imperial, Open, Bradford, etc - before eliminating based on triple accredition.

[Edited by georgep on 15 Jun 2011]

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Duncan

Joined: 18 Apr 2011
Posts: 6011
Best Distance MBA from UK
Wed Jun 15, 2011 01:02 PM
The above linked report from The Economist is great! Aston and Warwick look best in the UK.
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georgep

Joined: 11 May 2011
Posts: 84
Best Distance MBA from UK
Thu Jun 16, 2011 09:43 AM
I think any triple accredited school will do. There is good level of confidence in them. After that it is more of your choise based on personal needs and your career objective, etc.

In short, ask yourself what do you want to do with your MBA?
The answer will help you to make the correct choice. Don't be influenced by any of the marketing propaganda of any school.

As far as my choice is concerned, I know exactly what I want to do with my MBA and where I would like to end up and how long will it take and what are the other things required to get there.

Here is a true story of someone at my client site ..

I met him 4 years ago. He had 10+ years of IT consultancy experience in the UK.
One fine morning, he decided to do an MBA. He did lot of research and opted to go for a full time MBA at a top tier school.
He wrote GMAT and got good ranks and got admission at few top schools but decided to do at TopUK Business School
He resigned his job and joined. He completed the full time MBA with good ranks. Soon after the completion he joined a management consultancy.
Something must have gone wrong he did not stay there for more than 6 months, then joined another managerial role - this time in a bank.
Again did not stay for more than few months. Then, jobless for a while. He could not stay like that as the "prestigious MBA loan"
calling him to go back to work.

I recently saw him again. He is doing the same job at the same company with exactly the same salary that he had before his MBA adventure.
Only difference is that he has a "prestigious fulltime MBA" degree and must be having a 70K+ loan to pay (forget the 1 year opportunity cost and fulltime study expenses).
And he seemed to be happy with his job now!

I even started questioning myself, what did the MBA bring to him? Is it worth?
After a lot of self reflection, I realised that it is up to you. It is not the MBA that will change you, it is you and your goal.

The moral of the story .. "know thyself"

So, clarity in your goal is the key :-)

Good luck to every one!



[Edited by georgep on 15 Aug 2011]

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CANUCK
Joined: 28 Feb 2011
Posts: 41
Best Distance MBA from UK
Thu Jun 16, 2011 12:34 PM
Yes,

Failure to plan is planning to fail.

You have to embrace the change otherwise more letters after your name will not make a difference. Embracing the change will not happen in 6 months, and you will most-likely not walk into an ivory tower corner office within that time as well.

WOW, 70+ debt for the MBA (could be 95+ at some schools) , DL is just as good, same degree, and many will respect you for trying to achieve it while still working.

I still personally stick with my recommendation of the Warwick DLMBA as the best choice out there.
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Duncan

Joined: 18 Apr 2011
Posts: 6011
Best Distance MBA from UK
Thu Jun 16, 2011 02:44 PM
I also think the Warwick MBA is a great choice, and I especially like the way you can go onto campus quite flexibly, and even move between the DL, PT and FT modes. I volunteer as an MBA admissions interviewer, and one thing that strikes me is that many MBAs have functional skills but not soft managerial skills, mainly because they are not actually involved in managing people. For those folk, any MBAs with intensive groupwork (which can also be part of a DL course) really can develop their capacities...
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CANUCK
Joined: 28 Feb 2011
Posts: 41
Best Distance MBA from UK
Thu Jun 16, 2011 02:56 PM
Definitely because to move into management is to move into managing people. If you don't develop the interpersonal skills to interact with people, you will not be successful in applying what you learnt at the MBA.

The international interaction with the other students was invaluable for exposure to other nationalities and cultures.

Warwick DLMBA with on campus seminars worked out great!

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georgep

Joined: 11 May 2011
Posts: 84
Best Distance MBA from UK
Fri Jun 17, 2011 09:36 AM
Guys,
Soft skills are hard to develop, it has to be built over years.
Not that easy to pickup in a one week seminar.

Even a fulltime Oxford MBA could not develop that in student who lives at Oxford campus, eats and sleeps his MBA over a year with "world class" cohort. It is the fact.

Please be realistic. How could a one week Warwick (or Durham or any for that matter) seminar magically develop softskills? Do they have a "softskill magic wand"? and a spell such as "Implemete soft et international skills rapidmo..." that can be put on a DL student and he acquires world class softskills, international skills and cultural skills magically. :-) Is n't it false marketing?

The truth is that it takes years in the real world and on the field to develop such skills.

I have spoken to real C-level executives with MBA and got their expert views. They said the Exec Mgt skills are made of ..

1. Content ( your core functional skills) +
2. Management knowledge (acquired via MBA or experience over several years) +
3. Soft skills (acquired via parctical experience and/or coaching) +
4. Exec skills (acquired via exec coaching and experience )

I have got item 1 and currently building item 2. MBA is the right tool to build the managment knowledge "rapidmo".
Still a long way to go ...

No hard feelings guys.. It is very interesting to see all our view points.
We are MBA students/aspirants, if we don't wash, rinse and hang it dry, who else will?

[Edited by georgep on 17 Jun 2011]

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Duncan

Joined: 18 Apr 2011
Posts: 6011
Best Distance MBA from UK
Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:11 AM
Hi George. I think it would be easy to read what you've written and conclude that the MBA doesn't develop soft skills and simply imparts knowledge. I don't think you really believe that, and I certainly don't. Certainly, an MBA isn't a guarantee of perfection. However, I think an MBA helps people develop in many ways, and the more there's group work there more it helps develop soft skills. I think that's because of what you also suggest: it's experience that develops soft skills. And, of course, soft skills are not like hard skills. You either know, or do not know, how to calculate a beta. But there are degrees to which soft skills are developed and maintained.

In my opinion, a key thing for some MBAs is to get away from narcissism, from the defensive fantasy of their own perfection. At top business schools, I come across this attitude a lot with applicants or students. People refuse to admit that their soft skills are weak. But, at the same time, imagine the impact of an elective on negotiation skills. Everyone feels and admits a huge benefit from that, and it shifts not just the skills but in a way one's whole attitude towards cooperation. That's one simple example of how education can shift a soft skill a lot. Another clear example is cross-cultural working culture: a small experience can lead to a big difference.

So, no, face-to-face work isn't magic. No-one said it was. But can be really helpful for people whose existing role does not allow them to develop their soft skills, and who otherwise might not be aware of their potential to develop.

[Edited by Duncan on 17 Jun 2011]

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CANUCK
Joined: 28 Feb 2011
Posts: 41
Best Distance MBA from UK
Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:48 PM
A long journey is started by taking that first step, you don't learn everything within that first step but will learn as the journey progresses. At least you have taken that first step in the right direction by opening up your horizons.

If you stay in your comfort zone i.e. interacting with the same people you will not have the opportunity to take that first step.

The 10 day seminars are intense going from breakfast together at 07:00 and going to sometimes 21:00 in the evening with lectures and syndicate group work. But it is the exposure to diversity outside of your comfort group that is invaluable, and the intensity is what can accelerate the experience, but you have to be looking for it to happen.

Agree, no magic, but incredible possibilities...

[Edited by CANUCK on 17 Jun 2011]

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cdrsteve
Joined: 24 Jun 2011
Posts: 12
Best Distance MBA from UK
Sat Jun 25, 2011 11:24 AM
I am in similar situation, and I work between Canada, US, Hong Kong and China. The only practical way for me to pursue a MBA is via distant learning.

I have received offers from Durham and Strathclyde, and am in the process of deciding between the 2. My main concern is whether there are difference in delivery of course content. i.e. which program provide more resourses on-line and whether the programs provide for on-line discussion.

At this point, Strathclyde seems to be a better choice for me, as I may be able to take some sessions in Hong Kong.

Where can you watch the sample online lessions for Durham?

[Edited by cdrsteve on 25 Jun 2011]

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cl_75
Joined: 30 Jun 2011
Posts: 3
Best Distance MBA from UK
Fri Jul 01, 2011 07:39 AM
Hi cdrsteve,
If you want to see samples lessons from Durham, go to:
www.dur.ac.uk/dbs/glc/support-for-dl/
You can use the guest access to see a sample.

Regards
cl
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cdrsteve
Joined: 24 Jun 2011
Posts: 12
Best Distance MBA from UK
Sun Jul 03, 2011 09:32 AM
Thanks, CL

I am just wondering if there are any course sample for Strathclyde.

Just realized that I actually qualify for a fee reduction at Strathclyde because of my membership in CIMA.
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