How to Study MBA in UK Without GMAT?


Sristy Sharma
Updated on Apr 12, 2023 04:59 PM IST

Ever wondered if you could pursue an MBA in UK without GMAT? Well, while it is possible, applicants would certainly have to focus on the other important aspects of an MBA application. Read on to find out how to study in UK without GMAT.

How to Study MBA in UK Without GMAT?

If you have ever wondered whether you could study an MBA in UK without GMAT, then look no further! In this article, we talk about the different ways you can pursue your dream course without having to present GMAT scores in the UK. While it may seem preposterous, more and more B-schools in UK are choosing to enrol students in MBA without GMAT.

GMAT, the Graduate Management Admission Test, is the world-renowned standardised test used by top B-schools to enrol prospective students on a variety of management programmes. However, in recent years, several business schools around the globe have offered alternative routes for aspirants to apply for MBA without GMAT in UK and other countries as well.

From alternative entrance exams to reference and recommendation letters and much more, universities and colleges accept a range of options that qualify a prospective student’s candidature. In this article, apart from different methods you can choose to pursue an MBA in UK without GMAT, we will also highlight the different universities that accept MBA applications without GMAT and other crucial information as well.

Can I Study MBA in UK Without GMAT?

Quite simply, yes, you can study MBA in UK without GMAT. GMAT is a standardised aptitude test that can help universities and business schools evaluate the basic aptitude of an applicant. However, with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, many universities have waived their GMAT requirements, allowing applicants to study MBA without GMAT.

Many UK universities now base their admissions on other criteria such as past academic record (GPA), CV, work experience, Statement of Purpose (SOP) and Letters of Recommendation (LORs).

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Eligibility to Study MBA in UK Without GMAT?

Since we know it is possible to study MBA in UK without GMAT, it is important to understand how you can make it possible for yourself. Listed below are some of the ways you can still enrol in an MBA without GMAT in any one of the top UK universities this year.

Bachelors Degree

UK universities will require applicants to have a bachelor's degree in a field relevant to the fields of business and management. Although not a compulsion, having a degree in a relevant field will show that the student is not new to the field.


GPA is already a compulsory requirement for international students to apply for MBA courses in the UK. However, every university has its own GPA requirement.

In general, to get admission to UK business schools for MBA without GMAT, international students need to have a GPA of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale.

English Proficiency Requirement

The IELTS exam is highly regarded in the UK, so much so that UK universities ask international students applying to MBA courses to meet their specific IELTS band score requirement.

The minimum IELTS bands score required is 6.5 bands although section-wise requirements may be set at 6.0 or 5.5 bands.

Having said that, scores of other English proficiency tests such as TOEFL, PTE, or Duolingo, can be submitted alternatively.

Work Experience

Work experience in corporate organisations, or institutions applying principles of business, is required from international students applying for MBA in UK without GMAT.

This requirement may or may not be a compulsion depending on the university or business school. However, having work experience can boost ones chances of admission.

Letters of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation (LOR) from authorised persons are also required for MBA admissions in the UK.

UK universities and business schools ask for a specific number of LORs (at least two at most b-schools). Additionally, they mention specific recommenders. Students can submit additional LORs, if they so wish, as far as they satisfy the requirements mentioned by the university.


Almost all MBA universities in UK ask applicants to submit an MBA SOP, with or without GMAT scores. However, in the case of an MBA application without GMAT, the importance of an SOP increases. UK universities expect the SOP to act as the voice of the applicant and state their reasons and motivation behind choosing their university, course, and specialisation. An MBA SOP can help universities get an idea about the knowledge and passion of the student and how they can be an ideal fit for the university.

How to Study MBA in UK Without GMAT?

The GMAT is a standardised exam, most often used for admission to courses in the fields of business and management. However, in case a university chooses to do away with GMAT scores for MBA admissions, they look at alternatives such as:

GRE Exam

Same as the GMAT exam, the GRE is also used for admission to graduate programs. However, unlike GMAT its applicability is not limited to MBA courses. MS courses in STEM, humanities, liberal arts, etc. require GRE scores. Banking on its widespread acceptance, UK universities have started accepting the exam as an alternative to GMAT scores for MBA courses.

Before applying for MBA with GRE scores, students are advised to check whether the university accepts GRE scores or not.

Work Experience

Work experience is also one of the most crucial factors in MBA admissions in the UK. This is primarily because work experience means that the student has worked in the industry and can be expected to be aware of general norms and practices. So, the higher the years of experience, the greater the chances of admission.


UK business schools often assess a candidate based on the projects they have been a part of. These projects can be academic or non-academic. While academic projects include those assigned as part of the Bachelor's degree, non-academic projects can often mean volunteering or extra-curricular activities such as being an active member of a committee on campus.

Online & Part-time MBA Courses

Online and part-time MBA courses can be a suitable option for international students who want to study an MBA without GMAT but are unable to enrol in a full-time MBA degree.

Top Universities for MBA in UK Without GMAT

Here are some of the top UK universities and business schools along with their alternative requirements for applying for MBA without GMAT:

UK MBA University

Admission Requirements without GMAT

London Business School

GRE scores

MBA SOP stating post-MBA goals

Personal statement with any additional information about their achievements

University of Cambridge

Meet academic requirements

Work Experience

Evidence for having skills in critical reasoning, analytical writing, problem-solving, and data analysis

University of Oxford

Meet academic and other eligibility requirements

GRE verbal score of 160 and quantitative score of 160

Imperial College Business School

GRE verbal score of 156 and quantitative score of 158

Copy of transcripts detailing modules taken and grades achieved

Up-to-date Academic CV

Alliance Manchester Business School

GRE test scores

Warwick Business School

GRE test scores

The Warwick test

University of Birmingham

Honours degree or equivalent professional degree

Five years of work experience

IELTS: 7.0 bands, with 6.5 bands in each section

University of Hertfordshire

Honours degree or equivalent professional degree

Appropriate work experience

IELTS: 6.5 bands, with 5.5 bands in each section

University of Bristol

Recognised bachelor's degree from a recognised university with 60% or above aggregate percentage

IELTS/Evidence of English medium education with 80% or above in English subject

Northumbria University

Recognised bachelor's degree from a recognised university with 60% or above aggregate percentage


Appropriate Work Experience

How to Apply for MBA in UK Without GMAT?

If you have decided to study MBA in UK without GMAT and possess the necessary qualification that allows you to do so then, you must complete the application process for the same, as outlined by your dream university in the country. Detailed in brief here is the general application process commonly followed by business schools in the UK for MBA admissions without GMAT scores.

Step 1: Students must go through the university's eligibility criteria to understand whether they are accepting applications without GMAT scores or not.

Step 2: Go through the alternative eligibility criteria of GMAT scores submission listed by the university.

Step 3: Complete the alternative requirements as listed by the university.

Step 4: Collect all the required application documents and compile them with alternative requirements.

Step 5: Submit the application to the university by paying an application fee, and wait for the offer letter.

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Study MBA in UK Without Work Experience

Documents Required to Apply for MBA in UK Without GMAT

The final application for MBA in UK without GMAT will include general application documents, and documents relevant to alternative eligibility criteria of the university. These are:

  • Application Form,

  • Academic CV (including Work Experience details),

  • Personal Statement,

  • Academic Transcripts (including BBA degree),

  • MBA SOP,

  • IELTS band score,

  • English Proficiency Test Scores,

  • GRE scores,

  • LORs,

  • Research Project Outlines.

Note: This list is non-exhaustive. Students may be asked to submit only selected documents or additional documents.

Therefore, if you are planning to study MBA in UK without GMAT, then it is important for you to understand the ways you can prove your candidature for the programme. In other words, with the help of your professional experience and qualifications, or your academic report and achievements, you may qualify as an eligible candidate. However, it should be noted that submitting a valid GMAT score will significantly boost the chances of enrolment at any top B-school in the UK or around the world.

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What is the course duration of MBA in UK without GMAT?

The course duration of MBA in UK without GMAT is one year. There are three types of MBA courses available in UK - full-time, part-time, and online or distance learning courses. International students can apply for the available specialisations, even without GMAT scores. However, the eligibility criteria specified by the university must be checked first. 

Which are the best universities to apply for MBA in UK without GMAT?

There are a number of best universities to apply for MBA in UK without GMAT. Generally, UK universities allow students to apply for MBA courses with GRE scores as well. Some of the universities accepting MBA applications without GMAT scores are Middlesex University, Birmingham City University, Durham University, University of Lancashire, De Montfort University, Queen Mary University of London, Southampton University, and Cardiff Metropolitan University.

Which MBA specialisations could be applied for in UK without GMAT?

The MBA specialisations which could be applied for in UK without GMAT include those offered by the university. However, the most popular specialisations among international students to study MBA in UK include marketing, financial analysis and management, human resource management, operations management, entrepreneurship, business statistics, and strategic management.  

Can I submit other English test scores in place of IELTS band scores?

You may submit other English test scores in place of IELTS band scores if the university accepts other exams like TOEFL, PTE Academic or Duolingo. Certain universities also consider applicants who have studied in an English medium institution or had English as a compulsory subject in 10+2 and/or the undergraduate degree.

How much do online MBA courses cost in UK without GMAT?

Online MBA courses without GMAT in UK may cost slightly less in comparison to a full-time MBA. While offline MBA courses in UK may cost about GBP 28,000-GBP 60,000 per year, online courses will cost only GBP 12,000-GBP 20,000 per year. Moreover, online courses do not require international students to pay for any relocation costs. 

What are the minimum eligibility criteria to apply for MBA in UK without GMAT?

The minimum eligibility criteria to apply for MBA in UK without GMAT is as mentioned by the university one is applying to. In general, universities require international students to have a three or four-year bachelor’s degree, with an overall GPA of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale, at least 2 years of work experience, a minimum IELTS score of 7.0 bands, an MBA SOP stating personal achievements and 2-3 LORs. 

Does applying for MBA in UK without GMAT have any effect on the tuition fee?

No, applying for MBA in UK without GMAT does not have any effect on the tuition fee of the course. The tuition fee is charged to cover the costs of faculty, material, equipment, personnel, and value addition made by the course. It has absolutely no relation to the submission of GMAT scores. 

What is the starting salary of an MBA graduate in UK?

The starting salary of an MBA graduate in UK ranges between GBP 50,000-GBP 85,000. MBA graduates in the UK find themselves employed within a year of graduation and earn a salary of at least GBP 35,000, which is approximately INR 33,34,000.

What must be included in an SOP for MBA in UK without GMAT?

An SOP for MBA in UK without GMAT must include all the information as per priority which has contributed to the decision of applying for an MBA. MBA SOPs are one of the major factors in getting admission to MBA courses without GMAT scores. Universities expect information including the motivation behind the application, choice of specialisation, university, post-MBA goals, and previous achievements to prove skill sets.

What is the minimum work experience to apply for MBA in UK without GMAT?

The minimum work experience to apply for MBA in UK without GMAT cannot be exactly defined since it may differ from one university to the other. However, students are advised to provide evidence of at least two years of work experience although some universities may require 8-10 years of work experience. Students should, hence, check the eligibility criteria/admission process of the chosen university before applying. 

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