Plymouth Business School

MBA Master of Business Administration (top-up)


1 year

Course type


Study location Distance Learning

The MBA is recognised worldwide as the premier postgraduate qualification in the field of business management. This MBA is a ‘top-up’ programme designed specifically for holders of postgraduate diplomas in business or management, allowing you to ‘fast-track’ your studies to gain a full MBA award. The programme assessment is project based and supported through expert supervision and online learning – it can be studied from any location worldwide.

Master of Business Administration (top-up)

Careers with this subject

The Plymouth MBA provides an outstanding opportunity to accelerate your career into senior managerial positions, whether in marketing, human resources management, maritime logistics, economics, supply chain management or international strategic management. MBA graduates continue to achieve high salaries, beating MBA averages from a decade ago. 

Careers service

The University of Plymouth has a dedicated careers service supporting you from the moment you start your degree, to three years after graduation.
Careers advice is embedded into your academic programme through workshops, events, placements, networks - working with the academic staff teaching on your course. We also offer materials, networks and resources online through our 24/7 portal, and a wide-range of activities, opportunities and support centrally in the Careers Service space within the Student Hub.
We are here to help you to explore, connect and succeed.

Key features

  • Postgraduate diploma holders can gain a prestigious MBA from a leading UK University.
  • Study from any location worldwide.
  • Supported by online learning resources with access to the University e-library.
  • Choice of three start dates: September, January and April.

Course details

  • Year 1

  • You will progress or articulate to the programme following the successful completion of 120 Level 7 credits in business and management or an equivalent postgraduate diploma. You are required to undertake a single 60 credit Level 7 dissertation chosen from a broad range of topics including marketing, human resource management or international strategic management, under the supervision of an appropriate academic with relevant subject expertise.
    The programme consists of a single module: MBA project. The programme has no taught modules and support is provided through specially developed online learning resources and regular supervisory meetings, typically through email exchange and Skype or an equivalent software system. The programme is designed to be an academic challenge but appropriate support and guidance will be provided, particularly for those who have been away from higher education for a while. 
    The design of our postgraduate programmes focuses on four taught modules and a capstone project. We believe that simplicity in programme design provides you with a better learning experience. The dynamic and challenging nature of contemporary business does not isolate concepts into small packages – and neither do our programmes. This approach links concepts together as they are in the real world, and enables you to focus in on what really matters. 

    Core modules

    • MBA Project (STO7000)

      You will undertake a work-based research project in which you will demonstrate the acquisition of the knowledge, understanding, skills and abilities appropriate to the award of the MBA degree.

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest programme structure and may be subject to change:

MBA Master of Business Administration (top-up) programme specification_3070

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.

Entry requirements

  • Minimum 120 Level 7 credits or equivalent in a business or management subject. 
  • Examples of such qualifications include:
    • a Diploma in Management Studies from a British University
    • Edexcel Extended Diploma in Strategy Management 
    • Pearson BTEC Extended Diploma in Management and Leadership
    • Postgraduate Diploma in Business and/or Management related studies
    • NCC Education PG Diploma in Business Management 
  • Qualifications and academic performance will be reviewed by the Programme Director.
  •  Advance Post Graduation Diploma in Maritime Business Management from IMBA.
  • Candidates will be required to be competent in English. Candidates whose first language is not English require IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 5.5 in each element) or equivalent in a secure English language test. If the candidate’s English language does not meet the above standard, they will be given the opportunity to complete one of the University’s pre-sessional English language courses. English language requirements. 
  • Work experience is considered as part of the application process but is not essential.
  • We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary. 

Fees, costs and funding

Student 2023-24 2024-25
Part time (Home) £4,995 £5,250
Part time (International) £4,995 £5,250
There is a possibility to pay fees in instalments. Find out more about paying your fees. 

How to apply

When to apply
Most of our taught programmes begin in September. Applications can usually be made throughout the year, and are considered until programmes are full.
Before you apply
Familiarise yourself with the information required to complete your application form. You will usually be required to supply:
  • evidence of qualifications (degree certificates or transcripts), with translations if not in English, to show that you meet, or expect to meet the entry requirements
  • evidence of English language proficiency, if English is not your first language
  • a personal statement of approximately 250-400 words about the reasons for your interest in the course and outlining the nature of previous and current related experience. You can write this into the online application form, or include it as a separate document
  • your curriculum vitae or résumé, including details of relevant professional/voluntary experience, professional registration/s and visa status for overseas workers
  • proof of sponsorship, if applicable.
If you require further information take a look at our application guidance. 
Disability Inclusion Services
If you have an impairment, health condition or disability, learn about the additional support the University provides.
International students
Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office. Take a look at our how to apply information or email
Submitting an application
Once you are happy that you have all of the information required you can apply using our online postgraduate application form (the blue 'Apply now' icon on this page). 
What happens after I apply?
You will normally receive a decision on your application within four weeksof us receiving your application. You may be asked to provide additional information; two academic/professional references, confirming your suitability for the course; or to take part in an interview (which in the case of overseas students may be by telephone or video conference) and you will be sent a decision by letter or email.
We aim to make the application procedure as simple and efficient as possible. Our Admissions and Course Enquiries team is on hand to offer help and can put you in touch with the appropriate faculty if you wish to discuss any programme in detail. 
If you would like any further information please contact the Admissions and Course Enquiries team:
Telephone: +44 (0)1752 585858
Admissions policy
More information and advice for applicants can be referenced in our admissions policy which can be found on the student regulations, policies and procedures page. Prospective students are advised to read the policy before making an application to the University.

Introduction to the MBA Master of Business Administration programme. 

Subject specialism pathways

The MBA top-up programme offers one core award with the option of subject specialism pathways including, but not limited to, the following awards – if available during your course of study.

Master of Business Administration (Global Supply Chain Management) provides an outstanding opportunity to enhance the specialist knowledge and skills you require to become a senior manager in the fields of global supply chains, logistics and international procurement.

Master of Business Administration (Entrepreneurship) provides the opportunities to develop entrepreneurial skills needed across a variety of settings and a high level of understanding of entrepreneurial business decisions and innovative marketing strategies.

Master of Business Administration (Finance) provides the opportunity to explore in depth – through the development of a specific research project – finance in the wider international context and build the theoretical knowledge and advanced practical skills required in the increasingly complex global economic and financial sectors.

Master of Business Administration (Marketing) provides the opportunity to enhance – through the development of a dedicated project – the capacity, knowledge and skills for analysing complex marketing situations, making business decisions and implementing appropriate strategies in an international context.

Master of Business Administration (Human Resource Management) provides the opportunities to develop the advanced knowledge and skills required for contemporary HR management, in a business and organisational context.

Master of Business Administration (Operations Management) provides the opportunities to develop skills and competencies to help businesses manage the planning, production and delivery of their products and services. Through this, you become an expert professional in operations and supply chain management.

Master of Business Administration (Maritime Business Management) provides opportunities to further your maritime management knowledge and skills, helping you to lead the maritime industries of the future. This pathway has been developed in conjunction with the International Maritime Business Academy.

Meet our experts

Fitzroy Building

The University of Plymouth is creating an exciting new space for the Plymouth Business School in which current and future students can foster the knowledge and enthusiasm that they will need to achieve their ambitions. Work is underway at the heart of our city centre campus. 
Watch our video visualising what the new building will look like. 

Plymouth Business School