Part-time vs full-time MBA: choosing the right degree

By Professor Guy Ford, Director of the University of Sydney Business School MBA program

Many professionals will reach a threshold in their career where career progression can seem somewhat difficult or out of reach.  This is often when an MBA is contemplated in order to overcome career hurdles, climb the corporate ladder or venture into a new area of business. Once the decision has been made to undertake an MBA, the next question might be whether to do a part-time or full-time MBA.

We have designed two very different MBAs to cater to the demands of individuals at different stages of their career.

Professor Guy Ford
Professor Guy Ford

Part-time MBA

Our part-time MBA has a strong focus on developing the personal and interpersonal skills needed to lead in today’s hyper-connected, global environment. The program is underpinned by our unique approach to learning, which goes beyond the traditional classroom setting and requires students to deliver prototypes and effective solutions to actual business problems.

Who is this part-time MBA program for?

Our part-time MBA is designed for professionals with at least 3-5 years professional experience in a relevant field who are looking for career enhancement at a leadership level, or a career change to potentially increase earning potential. This program caters to the career demands of busy professionals and is taught at our convenient Sydney CBD campus. Delivered over weeknights, weekends and in intensive study blocks, the program will allow you to keep working while you complete your studies.

Part-time MBA course structure

You can complete our part-time MBA in two to three years of part-time study. The program consists of 12 units of study – an integrated core of seven units, an industry capstone and up to four electives chosen by you.

Career opportunities

Choosing to study the part-time MBA will provide you with the ability to maintain your career and income while studying. You will also be able to immediately put into practice what you are learning throughout the program by taking it into your current role to test and implement.

Our dedicated MBA Careers Service will work with you from day one to help you define your career vision and discover the career path that will give you the greatest personal and professional experience.

Full-time MBA

Our full-time MBA is taught over 18 months and has a precise limit on class size. You will ‘learn by doing’ through workshops with industry leaders, intensive group work, and tackling real-world issues with a diverse cohort of students from around the world.

Who is this full-time MBA program for?

Our full-time MBA is designed for professionals with at least 3 years relevant work experience. The program is an ideal choice if you’re looking to change careers quickly and can afford to leave the workforce for a while to complete your degree.

Full-time MBA course structure

Taught over 18 months, our full-time MBA is delivered in an intensive format through which students complete two units of study at a time over a 7-8 week period.

The program comprises 12 units of study grouped into three focus areas:

  1. Personal and interpersonal skill development
  2. Business knowledge and skill development
  3. Building future enterprises.

Career opportunities and internships

Integrated into our full-time MBA, our MBA Careers Service will provide you with a weekly delivery of a structured professional development program covering subjects from media training and building resilience to crafting a TED talk. We will support you throughout the 18 months so that you make the most of your MBA, and we will aim to maximise the opportunity of having many of the world’s best employers on our Sydney CBD doorstep.

You will also have the opportunity to undertake an optional internship during one of the study breaks. We will work with you to place you with one of our local or international partner organisations, based on your individual interests or career goals.

MBA program differentiators

 Part-time MBAFull-time MBA
Length of program2-3 years part-time18 months full-time
Program start datesMarch (Semester 1) and July (Semester 2)August
Cohort size50 students50 students
Professional experienceMinimum 3-5 years relevant professional experienceMinimum 3 years relevant experience
Study modeWeekends, weeknights and intensive study blocksMonday to Friday day classes
GMAT requirementNoNo
Dedicated MBA Careers ServiceYesYes
Admission criteriaThis MBA is currently not available to international students studying on a Student Visa. Non-residents legally in Australia on a visa other than a student visa should contact MBA admissions staff for further information.This MBA is available to international students studying on a Student Visa.

Want to find out more about studying an MBA at the University of Sydney? Contact us today.