Birmingham Business School

Age: 109

History: The oldest business school in England. It was set up as part of the brand new University of Birmingham in 1902. Birmingham was also the first English university to offer a business degree.

Address: Moved to a multi-million pound home opposite the university in 2004. The school is housed in an elegant 1908 building standing in its own grounds, alongside a new building with state-of-the-art teaching and learning facilities.

Ambience: Surprisingly un-institutional, with friendly and accessible staff. Students have access to university facilities, so you can pedal the night away in the exercise room or go for a run around the leafy Edgbaston campus. Students take part in a "business simulation" weekend.

Vital statistics: The MBA course dates back to 1985. There are full-time MBAs with 75 students; part-time options with 120 students; and MBAs taught to 300 students in Singapore, Hong Kong and Mauritius. A part-time degree can be studied by a modular route of eight seven-day blocks and a project taken over two to four years. The overseas MBA is part-time and modular.

Added value: Birmingham embraced the concept of globalisation before it became a buzz word and it remains at the heart of the MBA. In addition to a broadly based programme focusing on the issues of international business, there are also specialist MBAs in global banking and finance, corporate governance and responsibility and strategy and procurement management.

Easy to get into? You'll need a good first degree (or equivalent) and a minimum of five years' work experience. For those with a decent career behind them, it may be possible to enter without a degree. The school also runs a preliminary year for those not yet qualified for direct entry onto the MBA programme.

Glittering alumni: David Gill, CEO of Manchester United FC; Sir Ian Prosser, deputy chairman, BP; Ian Tyler, chief executive, Balfour Beatty.

International connections: These go back to the university's foundation, when Japanese and Russian students were among the first to arrive. Today, 50 nationalities are represented on the various MBAs. Joint, bilingual MBAs are offered in co-operation with the Ecole Supérieure de Commerce in Montpellier and Fundesem in Alicante, and executive MBAs are taught in Singapore and Hong Kong.

Student profile: The full-time MBA has a male to female ratio of 50:50, with an average age of 30, while on the part-time it's 35.

Cost: £17,700

Return on investment: "Global perspective, international contacts and enhanced personal skills," says the school.

Who's the boss? Professor David Dickinson, an economist.

Prospectus: +44 (0)121 414 6693; mba.bham.ac.uk ; mba@bham.ac.uk

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