Ashridge Business School

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The Independent Online

Age: 52

History: Began life as a management college offering short executive courses, before moving into full and part-time MBA provision.

Address: In the former stately home of the Duke of Bridgewater, set in 190 acres of rolling parkland near Berkhamsted in Hertfordshire.

Ambience: A prestigious business school with a divine location, tailor-made for stressed-out managers – just half an hour from Euston station. It has a fitness centre with a swimming pool, squash courts, gymnasium, sauna and Jacuzzi.

Vital statistics: The MBA programmes are practical, with students undertaking a consultancy project for a real business. Teaching is in small groups, and each student has a supervisor. The full-time MBA centres on five modules including leading change and business in society.

Added value: Companies sponsor students to carry out a free piece of consultancy. The school says it's an ideal test for companies considering recruiting Ashridge MBA students. There is a state-of-the-art learning resource centre with virtual access for distance learning.

Easy to get into? You'll need a degree or a professional qualification, although you may be admitted without, if you are seen as a high-flyer. A minimum of five years' managerial experience (preferably international) and the GMAT examination or an Ashridge test is also required.

Glittering alumni: Mark Harris, chief executive, National Lottery Commission; David Woodhouse, managing director of Hall and Woodhouse; Belinda Phipps, chief executive of the National Childbirth Trust; Rob Williams, finance director, The Economist Newspaper.

International connections: There are plenty of overseas students and an international study week is included in the course. The school has strong connections with AFF in Norway; Mgruppen in Sweden; Melbourne Business School in Australia; the University of Otago in New Zealand; the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa; the Beijing Foreign Language Institute; and Case Western Reserve University in the USA.

Student profile: The average age on the full-time course is 35, and 37 on the part-time MBA. The ratio of men to women is 70:30. The 2010 full-time MBA class has 28 mature MBA participants with an average of 10 years' working experience across various industries and roles. The group includes 13 nationalities, with most having at least five years' management experience.

Cost: £32,350 (plus VAT) for the part-time MBA, and £29,500 (inclusive of VAT) for the full-time course. It was never going to be cheap, was it?

Who's the boss? Professor Kai Peters is the school's chief executive.

Prospectus: +44 (0)1442 841483;;