Aston Business School

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The Independent Online

Age: 35

History: Began life as the department of management of Birmingham Central Technical College. Later became Aston College of Advanced Technology and then Aston University in 1966.

Address: On Aston's amazingly green campus, in the middle of Birmingham.

Ambience: The purpose built business school is housed in a £22m redevelopment that opened in 2006. The main art deco university building is said to be the largest brick edifice in Europe. Accommodation includes the lakeside complex with 647 en suite rooms, and all MBA students are guaranteed on-campus rooms.

Vital statistics: One of the biggest business schools in Europe. The full-time MBA has over 80 students and lasts one year, ending with a three-month, in-company project. The part-time option has 250 students and can take up to five years. An executive MBA is available from March 2011.

Added value: Part-time is highly flexible: you can study on-campus or by distance learning, or hop between the two. Lectures are recorded and DVDs are sent to students, together with study materials, so they receive the same diet as those on campus. All modes of study are accredited by AMBA, and the school has EQUIS and AACSB accreditation too.

Easy to get into? Minimum requirements for the MBA are a degree – although exceptional candidates are taken without degrees – and three years' management experience.

Glittering alumni: Pradeep Lal, managing director, Vodaphone Fiji Ltd; Claire Curtis-Thomas, MP for Crosby; Gregor Townsend, former Scottish international rugby player; Phil Popham, managing director, Jaguar/Land Rover.

International connections: Close links with European business schools including EDHEC in Nice, EADA in Barcelona and Vlerick Leuven Gent in Belgium. All full-time MBA students complete a study visit to another leading European business school, and there is also the opportunity to spend one term abroad.

Student profile: Average age on the full-time MBA is 29; part-time, 33. The male to female ratio on the full-time MBA is even. EU and international students make up 94 per cent of the full-time intake.

Cost: The full-time MBA is £22,000; part-time and distance learning £16,040. There are a limited number of scholarships available for full-time students who meet eligibility criteria.

Return on investment: "To develop yourself as a leader with vision, knowledge and understanding – a leader worth following," says the school.

Who's the boss? Professor Michael West, psychologist and leading authority on teamwork.

Prospectus: +44 (0)121 204 3100; mba@aston.ac.uk; www.astonmba.com

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