Oxford MBA Entry Requirements

Last Updated on January 25, 2023 by

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A lot more than simple business skills are needed to find success in the modern-day corporate landscape. Being a world-class university, Oxford offers an MBA course that is specially designed for contemporary professionals and can allow you to be a part of a distinctive community.

The MBA course at Oxford’s Saïd Business School comprises 40% lecture, 25% case study, 25% team project and 10% simulations. This program is designed to equip you to think independently, laterally and logically, while going through a year of wholesome experiences.

Not all people can get a chance to pursue the Oxford MBA program. Ranked 16th in the Global MBA Rankings (QS Universities 2021) the program is a dream of numerous aspirants who want to strengthen their career prospects at this prestigious university. But only a few of them get the chance to turn their dreams into a reality, precisely 20%.

What are the eligibility requirements to apply for Oxford MBA?

If you want to apply to the Oxford MBA, your undergraduate GPA should be 3.5 or above. If your GPA is below 3.5, you could make it up with strong GMAT or GRE scores. The GMAT score required for applying to the Oxford MBA is 700+ for Indian students. The median GMAT score of 2019-20 batch was 690. You should also have work experience of more than 2 years. The current batch’s average work experience is 5 years. You will need to submit a personal statement or essay reflecting impeccable communication skills, leadership potential, analytical skills and a strong fit for the program. You should also submit two references that could be professional or academic.

Once you have submitted the above, you will need to complete an online assessment. This consists of three parts: two motivation-based video questions, two competency-based video questions and one written response. You can practice for the questions before submitting the final response.

How to get into Oxford University MBA Program?

Oxford University’s MBA is a one-year full-time program that runs from September to September. The application process is completely online and starts the previous year in July. It has four stages with definite deadlines. The last deadline usually falls in March. Here are some of the ways you can increase your odds of getting accepted into the coveted Oxford MBA program:

  • Evaluate your fit: The Oxford University surely is an amazing place where you can explore exceptional opportunities. However, not everyone can cope up with the challenging curriculum and program structure followed by the institution.  In order to successfully complete an MBA course there, one must have the capability to thrive amongst intellectuals belonging to diverse parts of the world (normally up to 90% of the class is from outside UK), enjoy thought-provoking conversations with both peers and professors, as well as embrace unique ideas while abiding by the culture of a century-old university.

In comparison to most other business schools, Oxford University strives to find applicants who can perfectly fit within its one-of-a-kind community. The ideal way to understand whether you are well-suited to lead the life of an Oxford MBA student would be to talk to the current students, explore the campus and try to imagine yourself going through similar experiences. During the Oxford admission interview process, you can be asked whether you have visited the campus before or not. By detailing the experiences of your visit, you can showcase your solid proof of interest in the program.

  • Communicate more than your credentials: While, of course, your credentials and qualifications matter, but so do your character and personality. One of the most vital elements of the Oxford MBA application shall be to communicate your personal story in an effective manner. Oxford is known to have a specific interest in building a community of students who desire to make a meaningful impact on the world.

The ideal students aim to develop solutions and influence the current paradigms of society. Hence, you should try to communicate the fact that you have the authentic zeal and innovative ideas to make a difference during your admissions process to increase your odds. In addition to your GPA and test scores, you must also focus on the ways that enable you to channel your aptitude into doing something positive.

  • Tell a cohesive story: Authenticity is a crucial component of the admission process for Oxford MBA. The ideal means to achieve this authenticity is to tell a consistent story throughout your application process. This includes interviews, personal statements, recommendations, as well as work experiences. All of it must also highlight your potential to impact your future classmates and Oxford culture. It is important to see to it that your intent and character are reflected in a powerful manner throughout your application.
  • Tailor your responses: While crafting your assessment responses and application, you must try to customize your answers to reflect exactly why you desire to pursue your MBA at Oxford. The university gets thousands of applications every year, and hence a generic one won’t pique their interest. You should always try to research the program as much as possible and craft original answers. Copying and pasting responses that you may have written for other schools is not advised for your Oxford application.
  • Smartly select people to write recommendation letters: The recommendation letters you present during the admission process must be from the individuals who have worked with you before for a minimum of 6 months. While it can be tempting to get a letter from the CEO of your current company, it is always better to opt for someone who knows you and your work personally instead. A thoughtfully crafted letter from a person who is well acquainted with you and your skills would definitely increase your chances of getting into the university, no matter whether that is a manager or your department head.
  • Keep preparing for the interview: You would want to come across interesting, genuine, and yet professional for your interview. Be as honest as possible in your approach, even if it includes talking about your weaknesses. You must also try to showcase your strengths to the best of your ability during the interview without going overboard. Much like with your application process, it is also important to stress how you can add value to Oxford and its community during the interview process.

The Oxford MBA is a truly life-altering experience, one that can not only upgrade your skills and knowledge quotient but also put you in touch with the best brains of the world. If you are aiming to get into this prestigious program, make sure to connect with our experienced counselors for strategies, tips and admissions roadmap

About Oxford Saïd Business School

According to the school’s website, Oxford Saïd Business School “… aspires to be a world-class business school community, embedded in this world-class University, tackling world-scale problems.” 

Oxford Saïd relies on the guidance of its core values reflected in its student body. Oxford Saïd’s core values are to be transformational, collaborative, respectful, purposeful, entrepreneurial, and excellent. The drive for excellence is at the heart of the institution. 

The school aspires to develop its students through collaboration and critical thinking. Students are encouraged to innovate, create, and achieve the very best they can. Every student is respected, and Saïd strives to form an inclusive community.  

From a historical perspective, Oxford is known for being one of the oldest universities in the world, although the exact foundation date is unknown. Oxford has become a name recognized around the globe. You may even have an Oxford English Dictionary, printed by the university’s press, on your desk right now. 

The university is more than just a historical site framed by movies as a picturesque place to visit. The benefits of the Oxford “brand” extend beyond the superficial; the institution is dedicated to its students’ excellence and development. 

Oxford Saïd Business School pairs Oxford University’s prestigious history and reputation for excellence with a fresh entrepreneurial spirit. As such, Oxford Saïd is equipped to prepare you for today’s modern processes and problems.

Currently, Oxford’s Saïd Business School offers three MBA programs:

  • Oxford MBA: This is a one-year full-time program.
  • Oxford 1+1 MBA: This is a program that offers the opportunity to combine a master’s degree with the one-year MBA program. In this program, you complete a master’s degree of your chosen discipline in the first year. The following year, you will move on to the one-year MBA. 
  • Oxford Executive MBA: The last option is the executive MBA program conducted part-time over 22 or 24 months. This option consists of 16 to 18 modules that run approximately every five weeks to fit alongside students’ working schedules. These modules are one week in length. 

oxford mBA entry requirements

Application requirements

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Applications for the class of 2021-22 are closed.

Applications for the 2022-23 class, commencing in September 2022 open on 30 July 2021

We wish you the best of luck and look forward to welcoming you to our school.

Work experience

Relevant experience

You should have at least two years of full-time work experience, detailed on a one page CV. We look for evidence of career progression and international exposure, as well as being able to show leadership potential. We do not look for experience in a specific sector. 

Career plan

You will be asked to detail your post-MBA career plans and demonstrate how the programme will equip you with the skills to reach these goals. By indicating a clear view of your professional development, you will show us that you understand the strengths of your professional experience, have researched your future professional goals, and how an MBA will bridge the gap between the two.

Undergraduate degree

You will be asked to upload all your university degree academic transcripts/mark-sheets to the online application form.

All applicants are required to have completed a recognised undergraduate degree. As evidence, you will be asked to upload all your university degree academic transcripts/mark-sheets to the online application form. These must outline the subjects studied or grades obtained from each academic year.

If your original transcripts are not in English you must also supply an official translation. 

GMAT or GRE score

We look for a high level of quantitative and analytical skills evidenced by your GMAT or GRE results.

GMAT

We don’t ask for a minimum score, but GMAT scores of 650 or above are considered competitive. Our current class has a median GMAT score of 690.

  • All sections of the GMAT must be taken in order to be considered valid
  • Official online scores must be accessible by our admissions department for your application to be considered complete. For GMAC to release your official scores to Saïd Business School, please give your test centre the following code: Q0G-4B-59
  • GMAT scores are not valid if they are older than five years on the application deadline date
  • Contact GMAC directly to arrange to take the test

GRE

A GRE verbal score of 160 and a quantitative score of 160 is considered competitive, however we do accept all scores. Our current class has a median of 160 (verbal) and 160 (quantitative).

  • All sections of the GRE must be taken in order to be considered valid
  • Official online scores must be accessible by our admissions department for your application to be considered complete. For ETS to release your official scores to Saïd Business School, please give your test centre the following institution code: 0807
  • GRE scores are not valid if they are older than five years on the application deadline date
  • Contact ETS directly to arrange to take the test

Please note you must submit either a GMAT or GRE score result with your application, regardless of your previous work experience, studies, or qualifications. Further detail can be found on our FAQs page.

Written work

As part of your application, you will need to submit a supporting statement

  • Tell us something that is not covered in your application which you would like the Admissions Committee to know about you. (Maximum 250 words)

If you are applying under the Oxford 1+1 MBA scheme you also need to submit the following essay:

  •  Explain why you see this as particularly beneficial for you and how it fits with your career and personal development aims. (Maximum 250 words)

Re-applicants will need to submit an additional essay as below:

  • What improvements have you made in your candidacy since you last applied to the Oxford MBA? (Maximum 250 words)

When reviewing your essays, the admissions committee will be looking for evidence of the following: good communication skills, leadership potential, analytical skills, fit with the Oxford MBA community, among other characteristics.

Online assessment

You will need to complete five questions via our online assessment platform.

To virtually meet you, get a sense of your personality and see how you think on your feet, you will need to complete an online assessment as part of your application:

  • Two motivation-based questions – all candidates will answer the same questions
  • Two competency-based questions – these will be randomised
  • Written response – this will be randomised and light-hearted to show us how you can think on your feet!

The motivation-based questions give you the opportunity to demonstrate your motivations for undertaking an MBA and why the Oxford MBA is the right programme for you.

The competency-based questions let you demonstrate the skills and qualities we look for, such as decision-making, problem-solving, influence, leadership and strong communication skills. 

Once you have submitted your application for either the Oxford MBA or Oxford 1+1 MBA you will see a link in your application status portal. This will enable you to register with Kira Talent, our online assessment platform, and complete your assessment. This link will appear up to 24 hours after submitting your application, therefore we strongly encourage you to leave yourself enough time to practice and complete the online assessment by the deadline in which you are applying.

You will be provided with preparation time and practice sessions before going live with your real responses. The whole online assessment should only take up to 30 minutes for you to complete. All you need is a desktop or laptop computer with a functioning webcam, microphone and internet connection.

References

We require two professional or academic references.

Using the online application form you will need to submit two references, preferably from professional referees. Once your referee details are input into the form, your referee will receive an automatic email from the School with details on how to complete the online reference form. Please note we can only accept references from a valid work/professional/institutional email address and not from Gmail/Hotmail accounts.

English language capability

You will need to prove your English language capability through one of the below means if you are a national of a non-majority English speaking country (listed below) as defined by the UK Visas & Immigration Office*.

A TOEFL score

Test of English as a Foreign Language® is a standardized test to measure the English language ability of non-native speakers wishing to enroll in English-speaking universities. The institution code for ordering your official TOEFL score sheet from ETS is 0807. There is no department code, this can be left blank. TOEFL scores will not be valid if they are more than two years old on the application deadline date of the stage in which you are applying.

  • Minimum Score: 110
  • Minimum required on each component: Listening – 22; Reading – 24; Writing – 24; Speaking – 25

An IELTS score

The International English Language Testing System, or IELTS™, is an international standardized test of English language proficiency for non-native English language speakers. If you choose to take the IELTS you need to sit the academic test. IELTS scores will not be valid if they are more than two years old on the application deadline date of the stage in which you are applying.

  • Minimum Score: 7.5
  • Minimum required on each component: 7.0

Cambridge Certificate (C1 Advanced)

The C1 Advanced (formerly known as Cambridge English: Advanced or CAE) is an international standardised test of English language proficiency for non-native English language speakers.  We will only accept scores which are less than two years old on the application deadline date of the stage in which you are applying.  If admitted you will be asked to supply an official copy of the certificate.

  • Minimum score: 191
  • Minimum required on each component: 185

Cambridge Certificate (C2 Proficiency)

The C2 Proficiency (formerly known as Cambridge English: Proficiency or CPE) is an international standardised test of English language proficiency for non-native English language speakers.  We will only accept scores which are less than two years old on the application deadline date of the stage in which you are applying.  If admitted you will be asked to supply an official copy of the certificate.

  • Minimum Score: 191
  • Minimum required on each component: 185

*UK Visas & Immigration office English speaking country list

Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Ireland, Jamaica, Malta, New Zealand, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, USA, UK. 

English language wavier

At the discretion of the Admissions Committee, the requirement to provide English language test scores may be waived. You can apply for a waiver if you have completed, or are currently completing one of the following:

A degree-level course that is:

  • full-time
  • at least nine months in duration
  • undertaken at a recognised institution where teaching and assessment throughout the course is undertaken entirely in English; and
  • has been completed within 2 years of the start date of the course to which you are applying.

You can also apply for a waiver based on substantial professional experience if:

  • you have worked for a minimum of two years in a majority English speaking country where the main language for the role was English
  • your role involved daily professional use of each of the four language components (reading, writing, listening, and speaking)
  • you worked in an appropriately technical context to demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively in an academic environment; and
  • your role has ended no more than two years before the start date of the course to which you are applying.

If you meet either criteria based on your previous education or your professional experience, you will need to indicate this by answering yes or no to the English Language waiver questions on the ‘English Ability’ tab on your application form. If you choose the professional experience option, you will need to summarise your role and use of English to enable the assessors to judge whether it meets the criteria.

Application form & fee

Please ensure you have all the above requirements before submitting your application form.

Please ensure your application is complete and that your £150 application fee has been paid upon submission.

The admissions committee can only consider a candidate once all supporting documentation has been received. We conduct spot checks on a regular basis to ensure the authenticity of applicants’ references, work experience and academic background. We also reserve the right to ask for supporting evidence if necessary.

Ready to apply?

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Applications for the Oxford MBA class of 2022-23 open on 30 July 2021.When the application system opens begin your application by clicking on the button below. 

Alternatively, browse our Frequently Asked Questions to answer any further queries you may have.

Application process

How do I submit an application?
We only accept applications through our online application system

Transcripts and other mandatory supporting documentation must be scanned and uploaded to the application form. Please note that your degree transcripts and your copy of your GRE or GMAT results can only be uploaded once you have submitted your application. You will receive a link to begin the online assessment component of your application 24 hours after you have started your application. Ensure you upload all required supporting materials and complete your online assessment by the application deadline or your application will remain incomplete.

Additionally, make sure your referees submit their recommendations by the deadline, as only completed applications will be considered in each application stage. You do not need to wait until your referees have submitted their recommendation to submit your application. 

Please note that the School’s form is different from the Graduate Application Form used by the University of Oxford Graduate Admissions Office for other graduate-level courses. If you are applying to the 1+1 you need to submit an application to your chosen partner MSc as well as applying to the MBA. Please check the entry in the graduate studies prospectus for details of the entry criteria, application requirements and deadlines for your chosen partner MSc.

When should I apply?

Applications for the Oxford MBA class of 2022-23 open on 30 July and the deadlines are:

  • Stage 1: Wednesday, 1 September 2021
  • Stage 2: Wednesday, 13 October 2021
  • Stage 3: Wednesday, 12 January 2022
  • Stage 4: Wednesday, 23 March 2022

The deadline is 23:59pm UK time on each of the above deadline days.

If the opportunity to be considered for University of Oxford scholarships is important to you, you must apply by the January (Stage 3) deadline. Please note our application deadlines are ‘hard’, therefore any applications which are incomplete when the deadline passes will not be considered in that particular stage

We strongly advise candidates to submit their application well in advance of the deadline as this gives our admissions team the chance to process your application and let you know if anything is missing. Please note that when you upload your transcripts and GRE/GMAT score-sheet post-submission, it takes up to 30 minutes for your materials checklist to update.

I submitted my application before the deadline but I haven’t received a confirmation of my application status. Does this mean you have not received it?
You will receive an email confirming the submission of your application straight away. You are then directed to your application materials checklist where you must upload your transcripts and GRE/GMAT score-sheet, and you will also see the link to complete your online assessment. We receive most of the applications for each stage on, or just before, the deadline. Therefore, due to the volume it can take five working days for us to notify you of its status. Once your application has been processed we will email to let you know whether it has been passed to the admissions committee for consideration, or it is missing any mandatory material.

What does my written statement need to be about?

Mandatory statement:

  • Please provide a personal statement that outlines anything additional that you would like the admissions committee to consider (Maximum 250 words)

If you are applying to the 1+1 programme you also need to submit the following essay:

  •  Explain why you see this as particularly beneficial for you and how it fits with your career and personal development aims (Maximum 250 words)

Re-applicants will need to complete the essays mentioned above and another essay on the topic:

  • What improvements have you made in your candidacy since you last applied to the Oxford MBA? (Maximum 250 words)

When reviewing your personal statement and essays, the Admissions Committee will be looking for evidence of the following: Good communication skills, leadership potential, analytical skills, and fit within the Oxford MBA community, among other characteristics.

How many references are required?
We require two references, these can be professional or academic. Using the online application form you will need to register two referees. Once you enter their details, your referee will receive an automatic email from the School with a secure link to the application system and further instructions. They will be invited to rate your performance against a range of competencies and upload a letter of recommendation.

Please note we can only accept references from a valid work/professional/institutional email address and not from Gmail/Hotmail accounts.

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Fees

How much does the Oxford MBA cost?
The course fee for the 2022-23 programme will be £65,520. This fee includes lifelong membership of the Oxford Union

If I receive an offer, how do I secure my place on the programme?
Applicants who are offered and accept a place on the course are asked to pay a non-refundable deposit. For the class of 2022-23 this is £9,000. This deposit is then offset against your course fee.

When should I provide you with my deposit?
The deposit payment is due within 30 days of receiving your offer of a place on the programme. Please note Stage 4 applicants will only have 14 days after receiving an offer within which they must pay their deposit.

Can my application fee be waived?
If you are currently a resident in a country on the World Bank list of low-income countries and cannot afford to pay the application fee, you can indicate this on your application form by selecting the ‘I need a fee waiver’ option in the ‘Application Fee Waiver’ section of your application and following the instructions. If you are not a resident of one of these countries, you must pay the application fee in order to submit your application.

As at 31 July 2020, these countries are: Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Korea (DPR), Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Togo, Uganda and the Republic of Yemen.

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The Oxford MBA

What does a typical MBA class look like at Oxford?
The diversity of nationalities, work experience and age range enhances the group dynamics and offers students a rich environment for learning from the course and from each other.
The 2020-21 cohort comprises students from 67 different nationalities, 47% female, with 92% of the class coming from outside of the UK.

For the last three years, our MBA students had a median GMAT of 690, an average age of 29, and an average of 5 years work experience. (Read our student blogs here to get to know current and past Oxford MBA students)

Are there any age restrictions?
No. The average age of the current class is 29 and ranges from 23 to 40. Younger candidates do need to be able to demonstrate a high level of maturity, combined with evidence of leadership ability. Candidates on the higher end of work experience may want to consider our Executive MBA programme.

What is the structure of the MBA programme?
The programme lasts 12 months from September to September, and roughly follows the structure of the wider University of Oxford’s three terms, with an additional summer term. You will begin the year focusing on your core courses and leadership fundamentals, before undertaking project work combined with elective courses that allow you to tailor your learning. (Find out more about the programme structure)

What percentage of the class will be case study based?
The teaching on the MBA programme is split as follows: 40% lecture, 25% case study, 25% team project and 10% simulations.

I am studying for a Master’s at another University. May I transfer to Saïd Business School for part of the year?
The MBA programme does not accept transfer, exchange or visiting students.

Can I do the Oxford MBA part-time?
No. The Oxford MBA is a full-time, one-year programme, and there is no part-time offering.

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Academic and professional background

Is there a minimum degree/GPA level requirement?
We welcome applications from candidates with a First or Upper Second Class (2.1) undergraduate degree or GPA of at least 3.5/4.0 (or the international equivalent).  However, we will also consider candidates with lower degree classifications if they demonstrate strong career progression and competitive GMAT/GRE scores. 

Do I need any work experience?
Yes. Applicants must have at least two years of full-time work experience, which has been gained since graduation, excluding internships. The current class average is 5 years. We want you to be able to actively contribute to the MBA class by sharing your views, professional experience and skills. 

I have followed a non-traditional career path. Will this have a negative impact on my application?
No. Previous students have come from the non-profit sector, the armed forces and fields including scientific research and academia. If you are interested in what we have to teach you and have a great story to tell about your life to date, we are interested in hearing from you.

I don’t have a degree but I am a Chartered Accountant/I have completed the ACCA professional qualifications, can I apply?
We view the ACCA Qualification as broadly equivalent to degree standard, but only when you have passed the first nine papers (the Fundamentals level). In this scenario you would be able to make an application to the Oxford MBA without a traditional degree, though we would require a strong performance in your GMAT or GRE to demonstrate your all around academic ability.

Do I need to send you my official transcript via mail?
When you submit your application, you will need to upload a scan of your transcript(s) or a screenshot of your results from your university’s online portal. We are happy to accept an unofficial transcript at this stage. Once the admissions committee has considered your application, if we shortlist you for interview we will reach out and request that you mail us an original copy of your official transcript (or give us access to your official e-transcript if your university offers this service). Please do not mail us your official transcripts until we request them from you.

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GMAT and GRE

What GMAT score do you expect?
We recommend that candidates apply with a GMAT score of 650 or above, though we accept all scores. The median GMAT for the 2019-20 class is 690. A high score does not guarantee a place, nor does a low score disqualify you. It is important to remember that GMAT scores are only one element of your application.

All candidates must submit the results of a GMAT or GRE at the time of application and upload a score-sheet. We are unable to waive this admissions requirement under any circumstances, irrespective of a candidate’s academic or professional background.

As well as uploading your results score-sheet to your application, please ensure that you register our School on your GMAC account so that we can verify your scores online. Our institution code is Q0G-4B-59. GMAT scores are invalid if they are more than five years old on the application deadline date.

If I retake the GMAT test, will you take the latest or the highest score?
We will accept the highest score that you have achieved on the test. If you wish to try and improve upon your existing score before you apply, you are more than welcome to do so. Please note that you cannot ‘mix and match’ scores from different sections on different tests.

Can I practice?

Yes! We would encourage you to practice as much as you can, in order to maximise your chance of obtaining a score that you feel accurately reflects your capabilities. You can practice by using our free online GMAT simulator.

Test centres near me are closed. Do you accept the online GMAT?
Yes, we accept the GMAT™ Online Exam. When booking your online test please keep the time frame for receiving your official score in mind, so that your score is available to us by the application deadline you are applying to.

The online GMAT has no analytical writing section, will this adversely affect my application?
No, the analytical writing does not form part of the formal GMAT score and therefore you will not be adversely affected if you take the GMAT™ Online Exam.

Do you have a preference for the in-person GMAT or GRE or is the online version of the test equally valid?
We have no preference for online versus in-person, however we encourage you to research your options and choose the test style that is right for you. Candidates have expressed frustration with the online virtual whiteboard functionality therefore if the in-person option is available to you it may be worth considering taking that, but please note our MBA Recruitment and Admissions team has no preference.

Do you accept the GRE test for admission?
Yes, we accept both GRE and GMAT scores.

What GRE score do you expect?
We recommend that candidates apply with a GRE verbal score of 160 and quantitative score of 160 or above, though we accept all scores. The median GRE scores for the 2019-20 class are 160 (verbal) and 160 (quantitative). A high score does not guarantee a place, nor does a low score disqualify you. It is important to remember that GRE test scores are only one element of your application.

All candidates must submit the results of a GMAT or GRE at the time of application and upload a score-sheet. We are unable to waive this admissions requirement under any circumstances, irrespective of a candidate’s academic or professional background.

As well as uploading your results score-sheet to your application, please ensure that you register our School on your ETS account so that we can verify your scores online. Our institution code is 0807. GRE scores are invalid if they are more than five years old on the application deadline date.

Test centres near me are closed. Do you accept the online GRE?
Yes, we accept the GRE® General Test at Home. When booking your online test please keep the time frame for receiving your official score in mind, so that your score is available to us by the application deadline you are applying to.

Do you prefer GMAT scores to GRE scores?
No, we have no preference. We do find that majority of our MBA students take and submit GMAT scores rather than GRE, but we don’t have a preference and equally accept either score. In our current 2019-20 cohort, 25% of students submitted GRE scores and 75% submitted GMAT scores.

I have significant professional experience in a highly quantitative role, do I need to submit a GMAT score?
Yes, every candidate wishing to apply for the Oxford MBA must submit either a GMAT or GRE score result with their application, regardless of previous work experience, studies, or qualifications.

I will take my GMAT test after the stage deadline, can I be considered in the earlier stage and provide my test result later?
No, you will need to submit a complete application in order to be considered in that stage. 

I have registered for Saïd Business School to receive my GMAT / GRE scores. Do I still need upload my unofficial score report to my application?
Yes you do. As soon as you submit your application, you will be asked to upload your copy of your GMAT or GRE score report. Even though you have arranged for us to access your official scores, we require your copy in order to complete our verification of your marks.

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Online assessment

To virtually get to know you and see how you think on your feet, you will need to complete an online assessment as part of your MBA application.

This comprises:

  • Two motivation-based questions via video – all candidates will answer the same questions
  • Two competency-based questions via video – these will be randomised
  • Written response – this will be randomised and light-hearted

The motivation-based questions are designed to give you the opportunity to demonstrate your motivations for undertaking an MBA, and why the Oxford MBA is the right programme for you. The competency-based questions will allow you to demonstrate the skills and qualities we look for, such as decision-making, problem-solving, influence, leadership, and strong communication skills. 

Once you have submitted your application for either the Oxford MBA or Oxford 1+1 MBA you will see a link in your application status portal. This will enable you to register with Kira Talent, our online assessment platform, and complete your assessment. You can complete this any time before the application stage deadline in which you wish to apply. 

You will be provided with preparation time and practice sessions before going live with your real responses, and the whole online assessment component should only take up to 30 minutes for you to complete. All you will need is a desktop or laptop computer with a functioning webcam, microphone, and internet connection.

What will the motivation-based questions be?

These are designed to give you the opportunity to demonstrate (via video response) your motivations for undertaking an MBA, and why the Oxford MBA is the right programme for you. Every applicant applying for the class of 2021-22 will be asked the same two questions.

Example: Why is an MBA the next step for you to further for your career?

What will the competency-based questions be?

These will allow you to demonstrate (via video response) the skills and qualities we look for, such as decision making, problem solving, influencing, leadership, teamwork, change management, and communication. They will be randomised, with applicants for the class of 2022-23 receiving two competency-based questions from a pool of available questions.

Example: Take a minute to tell us about a time where you’ve overcome a challenging situation, either professionally or personally. What was your approach to resolving the situation?

What will the written-response question be?

We will also ask you to submit a ‘live’ written response. Instead of a pre-prepared essay that you’ve had weeks to perfect, you will be given a light-hearted question to answer there and then within the Kira Talent platform. The question will allow you to demonstrate your written communication skills and how well you can think on your feet. It will be randomised, with applicants for the class of 2021-22 receiving one written-response question from a pool of available questions.

Example: Apples are more versatile than bananas. Discuss.

How do I complete the online assessment?

After submitting your application for either the Oxford MBA or Oxford 1+1 MBA you will see a link in your application status portal. This will enable you to register with Kira Talent, our online assessment platform, and complete your assessment. You can complete this any time before the application stage deadline in which you wish to apply, for example if you wish to apply in Stage 1 you need to submit your complete MBA application and also complete your online assessment by the Stage 1 deadline.

As access to the online assessment portal is only available after you have submitted your application, you need to leave enough time to complete your online assessment well in advance of the application deadline. We strongly advise you to give yourself a few days between submission and the deadline to ensure all aspects of your application are complete on time.

How detailed do my answers need to be? Are there right or wrong answers?

We want to hear your honest, authentic, meaningful responses to the questions, but we don’t want you to be reading from a pre-written essay. These video assessments are designed to show your personality and ability to think on your feet, and we want to hear the answers you can come up with on the spot!

There are no right or wrong answers, and this isn’t a test. It’s just a way for us to get a glimpse into you and your personality and help to let you stand out as the unique candidate that you are!  

Do I get to practice?

Absolutely! We encourage you to practice as much as you want, so that you’re comfortable with the format of our questions and how you feel comfortable answering them. You will be provided with preparation time and practice sessions before going live with your real responses, and the whole online assessment component should only take up to 30 minutes for you to complete. All you will need is a desktop or laptop computer with a functioning webcam, microphone, and internet connection.

Can I re-take the assessment if I’m not happy with my responses?

You can practice as much as you like, but once you click start on the real assessment, you will only have once chance. Sit back, get comfortable, and practice until you feel prepared.

How much time do I get to complete my responses?

You will have unlimited practice time, which we recommend taking advantage of. When it comes to the real assessment, once you click ‘start’ you will see your question. For each motivation-based question you will have 60 seconds of preparation time and then 90 seconds for your response. For each competency-based question you will have 45 seconds of preparation time and then 60 seconds for your response. For the written question you will not have preparation time, however you will have 5 minutes for typing your response. To ensure you don’t encounter any issues in completing your online assessment and submitting your complete MBA application we strongly suggest sitting your online assessment in advance of the deadline. If you leave it until the final hours of the deadline and encounter technical issues you may miss the application deadline, so try to give yourself a few days. 

How long should my written response be?

You will have 5 minutes to write your written response, so don’t worry, we’re not expecting a novel. Anywhere from 250-500 words is sufficient, as long as your response shows off your communication skills. 

Is there a dress code?

No. While you’re welcome to wear a business suit if you feel comfortable doing so, we are happy for you to dress comfortably. Business casual is completely acceptable, and we will likely not see below your waist. At the end of the day we just want your personality to shine through, be that in a polo shirt or a ball gown!

Where should I complete my video assessment?

You can take this anywhere you have a good internet connection, decent lighting, a functioning webcam and microphone, and where you’re able to focus on the test without distractions. This could be in your office when your colleagues have left for the day, at home at your kitchen bench, or in a library!

What happens if I experience technical difficulties while completing the online assessment?

For technical assistance please contact Kira Talent directly, either by clicking the green ‘Need Help?’ tab on the right hand side of the screen when within the Kira platform, or by visiting https://support.kiratalent.com/.

To ensure you don’t encounter any issues in completing your online assessment and submitting your complete MBA application we strongly suggest sitting your online assessment in advance of the deadline. If you leave it until the final hours of the deadline and encounter technical issues you may miss the application deadline, so try to give yourself a few days.

I can’t find the link to the online assessment

You will need to complete your MBA or 1+1 MBA application. As soon as you submit your application, you will be asked to upload your copy of your GMAT or GRE score report, and you will also see your unique link to complete your online assessment. We recommend submitting your application early enough to give you sufficient time to complete your online assessment before the deadline for which you are applying. 

English language requirements

What is the English language requirement to apply to the MBA?

If you are a National of a non-majority English speaking country* (see list of majority English speaking countries below), you must supply suitable evidence that you have reached the required level of proficiency in English when you submit your application. 

We accept either the IELTS, internet-based TOEFL test, C1 Advanced test, or C2 Proficiency. Our required minimum total and component scores are shown below.

A TOEFL score:
Test of English as a Foreign Language® is a standardised test to measure the English language ability of non-native speakers wishing to enrol in English-speaking universities. The institution code for ordering your official TOEFL score sheet from ETS is 0807. There is no department code, this can be left blank. TOEFL scores will not be valid if they are more than two years old on the application deadline date of the stage in which you are applying.

  • Minimum Score: 110
  • Minimum required on each component: Listening – 22; Reading – 24; Writing – 24; Speaking – 25

IELTS score:
The International English Language Testing System, or IELTS™, is an international standardised test of English language proficiency for non-native English language speakers. If you choose to take the IELTS you need to sit the academic test. IELTS scores will not be valid if they are more than two years old on the application deadline date of the stage in which you are applying.

  • Minimum Score: 7.5
  • Minimum required on each component: 7.0

Cambridge Certificate (C1 Advanced)
The C1 Advanced (formerly known as Cambridge English: Advanced or CAE) is an international standardised test of English language proficiency for non-native English language speakers.  We will only accept scores which are less than two years old on the application deadline date of the stage in which you are applying.  If admitted you will be asked to supply an official copy of the certificate.

  • Minimum score: 191
  • Minimum required on each component: 185

Cambridge Certificate (C2 Proficiency)
The C2 Proficiency (formerly known as Cambridge English: Proficiency or CPE) is an international standardised test of English language proficiency for non-native English language speakers.  We will only accept scores which are less than two years old on the application deadline date of the stage in which you are applying.  If admitted you will be asked to supply an official copy of the certificate.

  • Minimum Score: 191
  • Minimum required on each component: 185

*List of majority English speaking countries as defined by the UK Visas and Immigration office.
Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Belize, Guyana

Do you ever waive the English language test requirement?
Yes. At the discretion of the Admissions Committee, the requirement to provide English language test scores may be waived. You can apply for a waiver if you have completed, or are currently completing, a degree-level course that is:

  • full-time
  • at least nine months in duration
  • undertaken at a recognised institution where teaching and assessment throughout the course is undertaken entirely in English; and
  • has been completed within 2 years of the start date of the course to which you are applying.

You can also apply for a waiver based on substantial professional experience if:

  • you have worked for a minimum of two years in a majority English speaking country where the main language for the role was English
  • your role involved daily professional use of each of the four language components (reading, writing, listening, and speaking)
  • you worked in an appropriately technical context to demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively in an academic environment; and
  • your role has ended no more than two years before the start date of the course to which you are applying.

If you meet either criteria based on your previous education or your professional experience, you will need to indicate this by answering yes or no to the English Language waiver questions on the “English Ability” tab on your application form. If you choose the professional experience option, you will need to summarise your role and use of English to enable the assessors to judge whether it meets the criteria.

What is the institution code for ordering official language scores?
The institution code for ordering your official TOEFL score sheet from ETS is 0807.
There is no department code, this can be left blank.

If you choose to take the IELTS you need to sit the Academic test.
If you sit the TOEFL it must be the general test.

TOEFL and IELTS scores will not be valid if they are more than two years old on date of the application deadline for the stage in which you are applying.

My TOEFL/IELTS/C1/C2 language result is below the minimum score. Will you accept this for the programme?
No. You must achieve the minimum total and component scores to be considered for the programme. This is a strict University requirement and we are unable to consider applicants whose TOEFL/ IELTS/C1/C2 scores do not reach the indicated minimum criteria.

If you have been affected by test centre closures please get in contact with our team.

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Scholarships

I am applying for a scholarship. Do I need to pay the application processing fee?
Yes. All applicants must pay the application fee. Some scholarships may cover all fees for the MBA programme including the application fee, therefore if you successfully secure a scholarship, you may be eligible for a refund of your application fee.

Are there scholarships available?
Yes, scholarships are available from Saïd Business School, Oxford University and its Colleges, or external sources. We recommend applying early to maximise the number of scholarship opportunities for which you can be considered. For the majority of Saïd Business School and Oxford University scholarships, nothing more than the standard course application is usually required. If you fulfil the eligibility criteria, you will be automatically considered. Some scholarships have fixed application deadlines and additional requirements, therefore please view individual scholarship details on our website.

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Interview process

Are all applicants interviewed?
No. Only candidates who are shortlisted by the admissions committee are invited for interview. 

How do you decide whether to interview an applicant?
We review the application in its entirety and carefully consider whether it satisfies all of our requirements and whether the candidate is someone who has the potential to achieve their post-MBA goals.

When will I find out if I have been invited for interview?

You will be notified on whether or not you have been short-listed for an interview for 2022-23 intake on the stage date below:

  • Stage 1: Wednesday, 29 September 2021
  • Stage 2: Wednesday, 10 November 2021
  • Stage 3: Wednesday, 16 February 2022
  • Stage 4: Wednesday, 20 April 2022

Do I have to come to Oxford for an interview?

Currently all our interviews are taking place virtually. Should restrictions change and if you are invited for interview, you will be invited to come to the School and have your interview here. This gives you the opportunity to see the School and meet some of our current students. We also offer interviews at key locations in other countries where possible – your invitation to interview will specify all options available at that time. However, if you are not able to attend in person we will arrange an online interview (via Skype, Zoom, or similar) for you. This will not affect our final decision, we treat interviews via online platform, in Oxford, or in other cities equally.

Who will conduct my interview?
Your interview will be a one-to-one discussion with a senior member of the Recruitment and Admissions Team, Faculty or an industry advisor. Industry advisors are a select group of senior executives who have experience of working for leading firms across a broad range of sectors, who work closely with our careers development team.

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Post interview process

When will I find out the outcome of my application?
If you have been invited to interview, and after all interviews have been conducted, the admissions committee will decide which candidates will receive an offer to join the MBA programme.

Final decisions for 2022-23 will be emailed to all candidates on the final decision deadline of the stage in which you have applied below:

  • Stage 1: Wednesday, 27 October 2021
  • Stage 2: Wednesday, 8 December 2021
  • Stage 3: Wednesday, 16 March 2022
  • Stage 4: Wednesday, 25 May 2022

If my application is unsuccessful, will you give me feedback about the decision? The decision of the admissions committee is final and it is the policy of the School not to offer feedback regarding admission decisions. If you are unsuccessful in gaining a place on the programme, you are welcome to re-apply in the future. To do this, a completely new application will need to be submitted, which meets the application criteria at that time. Candidates can only submit one application for entry in each academic year.

Can I re-apply in the future if I am not offered a place on the current year’s MBA programme?
If you are unsuccessful in gaining a place on the programme, you are welcome to re-apply in the future. To do this, a completely new application will need to be submitted which meets the application criteria at that time. The Committee will look to see how you’ve progressed since the time of your previous application. 

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Oxford 1+1 MBA

The information above regarding our entry requirements, admissions process, and interview process for the Oxford MBA programme is also relevant to applicants to the Oxford 1+1 MBA programme.

For additional information specifically relating to the two-year Oxford 1+1 MBA programme, please visit our dedicated 1+1 FAQs page.

Military

Do you accept candidates from the armed forces?
We welcome applicants from the armed forces. Our one-year MBA is an efficient way to complement the experience you gained during your service and prepare you for a successful civilian career.

We look for candidates who have demonstrated leadership and are looking to make a positive impact in their careers. We recognise and appreciate the skills veterans have gained during their service, and this experience, when combined with a good bachelor’s degree and a strong GMAT or GRE score, contribute to the criteria required for a successful application.

If you are interested in applying to the Oxford MBA, our veteran community can prove useful. Please do not hesitate to contact our current Veteran’s Rep and Recruitment Manager dedicated to our military applicants if you are looking to start the application process. We are also able to provide an application fee waiver code for all military applicants. In your introduction email, please outline your nationality, service and any other information that can help us provide personalised feedback.

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Life in Oxford

What is a college?
As an Oxford student, you will belong to one of the University’s 38 colleges. College life will enrich your time at Oxford, offering you the chance to socialise with students and faculty from diverse academic backgrounds in situations ranging from high table dinners to college balls. Colleges are a focus for sporting and cultural activity: teams compete with each other in sports such as rowing, cricket, and rugby; plays and musicals are staged in college halls and gardens; and concerts take place in college chapels and quadrangles. Find out more about colleges.

What is the relationship between the Saïd Business School, the Colleges and the University? How does the MBA fit into this?
The University of Oxford is formed of academic Departments (such as Saïd Business School) and Colleges. This means that, in addition to being a member of a University Department, MBA students are also members of one of Oxford’s many colleges.

The MBA course is taught at Saïd Business School, not in college, so the college you become a member of does not affect the teaching of the programme. College membership bursts the business bubble and offers you the chance to interact with students from other disciplines and degrees. In addition, some colleges may offer you the option to rent college-owned accommodation too. 

Are there clubs or networks I can get involved in?
Absolutely! In addition to the rich MBA community available to you as an Oxford MBA student, you will also have access to wider Saïd Business School activities, clubs, and groups, such as the Oxford Business Networks (OBNs) . As a member of a college, you will this additional network at your fingertips, not to mention the wider Oxford University community. There is no end to the amount of activities and initiatives you can get involved in, the problem will be choosing between all that there is on offer!

What type of accommodation does the School offer?
Students do not live at the School. Students coming to Oxford have the option of choosing to either rent privately or to apply for college or university-owned accommodation. College-owned housing is many students’ first choice, however there is limited availability, and this cannot be guaranteed for every graduate student. 

Should you be unable to secure a college room, rental property in Oxford is plentiful. The University’s Accommodation Office offers advice on seeking privately rented accommodation once a student has been admitted to the programme and secured college membership.

Can I visit the School?
Yes, we welcome visits from prospective students. The best way to see the School and find out more about the MBA programme is to attend one of our Open Days. If you are not able to attend one of these, we ask that you complete this campus visit request form. For the latest updates regarding COVID-19 please visit out school’s coronavirus page.

Can I stay and work in the UK after the MBA?
A new two year post study work scheme was announced by the UK Government on 11 September 2019. This will be a visa students can apply for after completing a degree and whilst still in the UK with a current Tier 4 visa and will allow unrestricted work in the UK. We are awaiting further details but it seems this may only come into effect for those completing their course in or after the summer of 2021. Visit the UK Council for International Student Affairs for more information.

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