Best Online MBA in Australia (Top 5) 2023

The top 5 online MBA programs in Australia in 2023 are from SCU Online, James Cook University, the University of Adelaide, UTS Online, and RMIT University. Each program is flexible and has great features for online learners.

They are all ranked among the top echelon of MBA online degrees by Lerna Courses, where you can obtain brochures with details about each program.

Trends in Online MBA Studies in Australia

MBA study mode trend for Australia
Image credit: Andrew Lancaster

The leading postgraduate program in Australia is the online MBA. While a Master of Business Administration (MBA) has always been the go-to option for aspiring managers, now most students are also choosing online study. During 2019, 24,525 students were listed as studying online for a postgraduate business and commerce qualification from Australian business schools (Source: uCube).

Perhaps two factors best explain the shift towards earning your MBA online. One is the fact that we do so much online these days. Why go to the trouble of attending classes in person when, like everything else, you can do this using a computer, laptop or even your phone?

Another big factor is improvement in the way MBA online courses are delivered. At one time, most online programs were just an on-campus course for which materials were made available digitally. Now, the best MBA courses are purpose-built for online study, with features such as advanced digital learning platforms and 6-8 week teaching blocks for each subject.

Best Universities for an MBA Online

Australian universities offer world-class degrees that you can obtain without having to attend a campus. Furthermore, these online business schools cater to working professionals, meaning you can study part-time and continue working full-time without interruption. Study flexibly when it suits you.

Whatever field of study you are interested in, or if you just want to do a general business management program, you should be able to find what you are looking for. Here is our ranking of the top 5 universities for an online MBA in Australia.

1. SCU Online

SCU Online MBA

Cheap but good is how you could describe the online MBA from Southern Cross University. The program ranks as very close to Australia’s cheapest according to Good Universities online MBA rankings, with total tuition fees of $35,880 for students who start in 2023.

The program appears cheap simply by virtue of being delivered efficiently. Students don’t appear to miss out an anything. Each of the 12 units is delivered within a 7-week teaching period. The program is accelerated, meaning you are able to study throughout the year. You also benefit from a modern digital learning platform and student support.

Students are able to do a general MBA course of specialise in one of four fields: Managing and Leading People, Accounting, Information and Knowledge Management, and Health Services Management.

2. James Cook University

JCU Online MBA

The Master of Business Administration Global from James Cook University is structured similarly to the MBA from SCU Online and is a little more expensive, with a tuition fee for the full program of $44,400. As with most of the MBA programs listed here, you have the option of starting the 12-unit program with a 4-unit graduate certificate course. You can also stop at 8 units and leave with a Graduate Diploma of Business Administration Global.

The program has three concentrations that all students do. They are Global Perspectives and Strategy, Data-Driven Decision Making, and Organisational Leadership and Management. The idea is to prepare graduates to make impactful, strategic decisions that are informed by global trends and data analytics. The program finishes with a capstone project in which students prepare a research proposal for business leaders.

3. University of Adelaide

University of Adelaide online MBA

The University of Adelaide is one of Australia’s more prestigious universities, which helps explain why its MBA comes with a price tag of $56,952 for the full degree. That’s still quite cheap compared some of the other top ranked universities. MBAs from the UNSW Business School and the University of Melbourne cost $104,760 and $99,630 respectively.

What’s good about the University of Adelaide MBA is that you gain an excellent qualification while still enjoying the benefits of a flexible, fully online MBA. The program allows you to collaborate with other experienced professionals, participate in online seminars, and access digital resources easily. Graduate certificate and diploma qualifications are embedded in the program.

4. UTS Online

UTS Online Master of Business Administration

The MBA from UTS Online is definitely one of the most flexible in the country in terms of specialisations. The program allows for majors in business analytics, digital marketing, health, organisational learning, and technology management. If none of these fields are exactly what you’re looking for, there is a “Flex” option to select elective units from any of the mentioned specialist study streams.

The 12-subject degree comprises 4 electives and 8 core subjects that prepare you for success in the modern business world. Students explore topics such as financial fundamentals, leading people and change, marketing in the technological age, accounting for decision makers​, managerial economics, data-driven decision-making, governance and sustainability​, and strategy and negotiation.

The degree is surprisingly cheap given the calibre of the university and program, priced at $51,000 for students commencing in 2023. FEE-HELP loans will cover these costs for Australians.

5. RMIT University

RMIT University Master of Business Administration online

RMIT University offers a fresh curriculum and interesting potential choices of “minors” for anyone interested in being at the forefront of technological leadership. Students may specialise in design thinking, technology and innovation, leadership, or project management. Tuition fees are currently $4,560 per subject.

RMIT Online’s MBA is themed around developing contemporary leaders who will thrive in the dynamic landscape of Industry 4.0. This fast-paced program emphasises future-focused leadership, technology, digital trends, and authentic leadership. Program participants benefit from RMIT’s innovative insights and dynamic courses, potentially gaining a competitive edge over traditional MBA graduates.

Online MBA Australia Fees in 2023

Tuition fees for the best online MBA programs in Australia in terms of value are $35,880 in 2023. That’s assuming you do 12 subjects for a Master of Business Administration from Southern Cross University.

Business SchoolSubject FeeFee x 12 Subjects
SCU Online$2,990$35,880
JCU Online$3,700$44,400
University of Adelaide$4,746$56,952
UTS Online$4,250$51,000
RMIT University$4,560$54,720
Sourced from business school websites. Updated: 5 June 2023.

The most expensive option among business schools in the top 5 list is the University of Adelaide, with courses costs of $56,952.

Australia’s Most Popular MBA Style: Accelerated Online

Something just about all the top-rated online MBA programs have in common is that they’re accelerated. More than that, these fast-track MBA degrees have a similar course structure that working professionals seem to prefer.

The learning experience works like this. Every couple of months, you start a new subject with a small virtual class. Your classmates can be contacted online to share experiences, guide each other, and to potentially work on an occasional group projects.

The whole subject is completed over a 6-7 week study period (also called a teaching period). You’ll be evaluated as you go using assessment tools such as assignments, projects and short quizzes. You’ll have regular contact opportunities with instructors. You’ll even have a Student Success Advisor to help with any non-academic questions and issues. As a bonus, there won’t be a final exam.

If you do a subject every study period, you can complete six subjects annually and a full MBA in two years. This really is a low-stress, efficient way to earn an MBA degree. That’s why you might consider it the best type of MBA for busy people who don’t want to attend a campus.

Entry Requirements: A Bachelor Degree and/or Work Experience

Australian online business schools make accessing their programs quite straightforward. An undergraduate degree in any discipline plus a couple of years of professional experience are the standard admission requirements.

Depending on the business school, you can also gain entry with minimal professional experience or without a degree. You can do this by enrolling in a Graduate Certificate in Business Administration, for which entry requirements may be more relaxed. A graduate certificate consists of four subjects from the MBA program.

Graduate certificate courses are often open to people without a bachelor degree provided you have extensive professional experience, including in supervisory and management roles. The courses may also accept recent business graduates without a significant track record in terms or work experience.

After successful completion of the graduate certificate, you can continue studying for a Graduate Diploma in Business Administration or MBA. Completed subjects count towards these higher education qualifications.