Best MBA in Australia: 2023

Discover the best MBA in Australia. Compare MBA programs by size, reputation, tuition fees, specialisation, and more to find your ideal program.

Which is Australia's best MBA? That depends on what you want from an MBA degree. The best MBA depends on how much you can afford, what you want to learn, study logistics, and the value of prestige.

For instance, the Melbourne Business School offers the most expensive MBA program. UNSW, University of Sydney, and University of Melbourne are renowned for their competitive admission requirements. These universities, along with Monash University, attract the highest number of graduate students in management and commerce.

Let's look at some rankings to help discover the top MBA options in Australia. All types of courses are considered, from expensive to cheap, and both face-to-face and online. The guide includes some top picks for good value MBAs.

1. Australia's Biggest Graduate Business Schools

The biggest MBA programs in Australia are clearly popular with prospective students. While size isn't the best measure of quality, a business school must be doing something right to attract students in large numbers.

The table ranks universities by the size of the graduate management and commerce program. The biggest postgraduate schools in Australia are based in Sydney and Melbourne. The majority of Australian MBA students now choose to study online, a phenomenon that predates the COVID pandemic.

UNSW and RMIT University are the most popular with Australian students. For international students, the largest programs are at the University of Sydney and Monash University.

Graduate Business School Australian International Total students
University of Sydney 1,272 8,772 10,044
University of New South Wales 3,701 4,362 8,063
Monash University 803 5,515 6,318
University of Melbourne 2,247 3,703 5,950
RMIT University 2,931 2,696 5,627
Torrens University Australia 520 5,085 5,605
University of Queensland 695 4,258 4,953
Macquarie University 1,238 3,687 4,925
CQUniversity 332 4,209 4,541
Deakin University 2,120 2,130 4,250
University of Technology Sydney 1,203 2,814 4,017
Charles Sturt University 1,288 2,399 3,687
Australian National University 144 3,358 3,502
Southern Cross University 983 2,301 3,284
Queensland University of Technology 2,022 1,247 3,269
University of Wollongong 244 2,800 3,044
Griffith University 1,616 1,169 2,785
La Trobe University 404 2,152 2,556
University of Adelaide 398 1,668 2,066
University of Tasmania 366 1,677 2,043
Curtin University 839 1,058 1,897
Federation University Australia 91 1,763 1,854
University of South Australia 751 964 1,715
Edith Cowan University 347 1,258 1,605
University of Western Australia 910 693 1,603
University of Newcastle 649 917 1,566
Western Sydney University 481 1,019 1,500
James Cook University 247 1,222 1,469
Swinburne University of Technology 859 597 1,456
Murdoch University 275 1,121 1,396
University of Canberra 375 804 1,179
University of Southern Queensland 699 471 1,170
Victoria University 353 754 1,107
Flinders University 250 771 1,021
University of the Sunshine Coast 146 776 922
University of New England 709 66 775
Bond University 214 540 754
Charles Darwin University 71 438 509
Australian Catholic University 180 242 422
Source: uCube Higher Education Statistics, 29 May 2023

Pros and cons of large MBA programs

A bigger graduate business school indicates the MBA program is popular. Many people must think the school offers good value for money.

A further positive of size is that students may be offered more choice. A large budget allows the university to employ more instructors and offer more majors and subjects.

But a drawback to large business schools is that you easily get lost in the crowd. Instructors may be too busy to give you one-on-one advice. Also, student services may be stretched, making it harder to do things like vary your subject choices.

2. University Reputation (Entry Scores)

Group of four university graduates

Getting an MBA from a business school with a good reputation adds a feel-good factor. Some prestige goes with saying you got your MBA from the University of Melbourne or Australian National University for example.

You don't have to dig deep to figure out how much prestige you get from studying at a particular university. People – including employers – don't usually bother checking out the latest business school rankings. Prestige is linked to the university's brand more than the business school itself.

A solid way of measuring prestige is to quantify how hard it is to get into undergraduate courses. The table shows the Australian universities with the highest indicative cut-off scores for getting into Bachelor of Business or Bachelor of Commerce programs. On top are the University of Sydney, University of Melbourne  and UNSW.

3. MBA Tuition Fees

Tuition fees are an important value factor. Students pay full fees for postgraduate courses, including MBAs and other masters. Domestic students are eligible for FEE-HELP loans from the Australian Government.

MBA tuition fees vary greatly. As the table shows, the cheapest MBAs are around $35k - $40k for the full 1.5 years of study. The most expensive are much more. The highest total tuition fees push above $60k.

Note that the fees shown are for domestic students. For international students, the fee is normally the same or higher. MBA fees are, on average, about 17% higher for international students.

Graduate Business School Full fee in AUD, 2023 start
SCU Online $35,880
University of New England $41,460
University of Southern Queensland $42,600
Edith Cowan University $39,675
Southern Cross University $37,680
University of the Sunshine Coast $38,784
Charles Darwin University $40,500
James Cook University $44,400
CQUniversity $37,422
Charles Sturt University $43,200
Australian Catholic University $42,000
University of Wollongong $44,280
Victoria University $52,800
Swinburne University of Technology $50,400
Western Sydney University $47,628
Federation University Australia $40,650
Flinders University $48,654
University of Canberra $42,000
University of Technology Sydney $51,000
Murdoch University $39,240
University of Newcastle $38,832
University of Tasmania $49,875
Monash University $57,750
University of South Australia $55,650
La Trobe University $58,500
Curtin University of Technology $57,327
Griffith University $61,500
Bond University $49,149
Deakin University $55,500
RMIT University $57,600
Macquarie University $60,000
University of Adelaide $55,500
University of New South Wales $81,720
Australian National University $51,735
University of Sydney $68,250
Queensland University of Technology $66,150
University of Western Australia $61,500
University of Queensland $80,208
Melbourne Business School $99,630
Fee for domestic student assuming 1.5 years of study (12 subjects). May include some online-only courses.

SCU Online MBA

SCU Online has one of Australia's most affordable MBA degrees. You study on a user-friendly learning platform. The 100% online program offers 6 start points each year and is made up of a series of twelve 7-week modules. You can choose a general program or specialise in Managing and Leading People, Accounting, Information and Knowledge Management, or Health Services Management. SCU Online programs are designed just for distance study, making for a smooth learning experience.

4. Most In-Demand MBA Fields

Smiling woman using laptop

Although a Master of Business Administration is fundamentally a management degree, students can potentially add value to their studies by choosing a specialisation that is in-demand with employers. You can improve your managerial skill set and/or be better prepared for work in specialist fields with the right kind of program.

Popular with students

In terms of what students are interested in studying, the 10 most popular MBA fields are:

  1. Finance
  2. Marketing
  3. Business
  4. Healthcare Management
  5. Accounting
  6. Project Management
  7. Engineering
  8. Leadership
  9. Business Analytics
  10. Entrepreneurship.

These are the majors for which we have found there is most interest and search volume.

Fields with the highest salaries

When aiming for the highest salary potential with your MBA degree, it's advisable to specialise in promising fields such as Business Analytics, Entrepreneurship, Finance, and Marketing. These specialisations are known for being among the highest paying business degrees, which typically results in lucrative salaries for managers.

These field are also popular choices for MBA students, as they offer valuable skills that can be applied even without extensive prior experience. Even if you don't plan to practice the relevant discipline beyond a managerial role, pursuing these majors can enhance your capabilities and contribute to professional success.

Further reading: MBA Career Paths and Opportunities