Cambridge Executive MBA Entry Requirements

Studying an Executive MBA (EMBA) at Cambridge can be a great way of levelling up your knowledge, developing your higher level skills, and unlocking the door to new roles, companies and career paths. However, Cambridge’s EMBA is extremely competitive, and it is essential that applicants go above and beyond the minimum entry requirements in order to have a realistic chance of securing a place.

This guide goes through all of the entry requirements for the Cambridge EMBA programme, including what qualifications, work experience and additional tests you need to complete in order to maximise your chances of receiving an offer.

What is Cambridge’s Executive MBA?

Cambridge offers two types of Executive MBA (EMBA): Cambridge Executive MBA, beginning in September, and Global Executive MBA, beginning in January. Both courses are 20 months long and are designed for senior executives with management responsibilities (teams, resources, budgets, and/or projects) in their organisation. Cambridge’s EMBA is studied alongside a full-time position, so course modules are delivered over 6 weekends and four week-long sessions.

Cambridge’s Executive MBA programmes consist of a range of core modules, including Management Science, Corporate Finance, Strategic Management, Managing Innovation, Negotiation Skills, and more. There are also opportunities to learn and develop more skilful practice in its Management Praxis courses, as well as expand your self-awareness and business skills in its Personal & Professional Development courses. The EMBA also includes the opportunity for travel during its International Business Study Trip. The location of the trip is selected based on current economic trends around the world, with previous EMBA classes visiting the United States, Brazil, Argentina and China.

Cambridge Executive MBA entry requirements

Academic qualifications

To apply for the Cambridge Executive MBA, you will need a minimum of a good 2:1 or first-class Bachelor’s degree with honours from a recognised UK university (or international equivalent). For universities that provide percentage grades, you will typically need a grade of 65% or above.

As part of the application process, you will be required to attach scanned copies of all your degree transcripts and certificates. If your transcripts are not in English, you will need to have them translated into English and verified by an official source, such as an official translator or the British Council.

Professional experience

Cambridge does not specify a certain number of years’ experience as an entry requirement, however you are expected to be an established senior executive within your organisation with management responsibilities. Most Executive MBA applicants have between 6 and 22 years of professional experience.

You will also need to demonstrate how an EMBA will accelerate your career development and progression. EMBA applicants are expected to continue working full-time during the programme, so you will need to show evidence of your employment status and career plan.

Admissions test

In most cases, you will be required to take the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) or Executive Assessment (EA). The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) and Executive Assessment (EA) are tests that are designed to assess your thinking skills and abilities, as well as demonstrate your preparedness for re-entering a rigorous academic environment.

The average GMAT score for Cambridge’s MBA programme is 687, so you should aim for this as a benchmark when preparing for the test. Although your application will be considered as a whole, a high GMAT score can help you stand out from other highly competitive applicants. You can find more tips for preparing for the GMAT in our helpful guide.

If you meet Cambridge’s academic requirement and feel the skills covered by the GMAT/EA can be demonstrated by your work experience, you can apply for a GMAT/EA waiver or exemption. GMAT/EA waivers can only be granted after success at the interview stage, and if your degree does not meet the minimum requirements, you will need to take the GMAT or EA regardless.

For tips on how to prepare for the GMAT, read our helpful guide or reach out to our team to be matched with a professional GMAT tutor today.

English language proficiency

To study Cambridge’s Executive MBA, you will need to demonstrate your English language fluency. If you are not a national of a List A country or do not hold a university degree completed in a List A country within the last two years, you will need to take an English proficiency test.

The most common English language proficiency tests accepted by Cambridge are the TOEFL and IELTS. If you are taking the TOEFL, you will need to achieve a score of 110 with no sub score less than 25. If you are taking the IELTS, you will need to achieve a score of 7.5 with no sub score less than 7.0. Our guides provide more detailed information and tips on how to prepare for the IELTS and TOEFL.

References

You will need to submit two references as part of your Executive MBA application: one must be a professional reference and one a peer reference. Suitable referees typically include a line manager or direct supervisor (professional reference) and a colleague who you work with closely (peer reference).

Your references are one of the most important parts of your application, so you should select your referees carefully. Make sure that the people you choose know your strengths and weaknesses well and can comment on your career and current performance objectively (i.e. they are of professional relation to you only, and not a relative).

How can we help?

The Profs’ MBA admissions experts can provide you with invaluable support with your application to the Executive MBA course at Cambridge. 90% of our tutors have postgraduate degrees, including MBAs, and many have worked for years in senior roles, including CEOs, Professors, Barristers, Vice Presidents of top companies, and Senior Executives. This makes our tutors best placed to give expert advice on your suitability for the Cambridge Executive MBA programme and how to show you meet the entry requirements in your application. Reach out to our team today to access support.

FAQs

What is the difference between an MBA and an EMBA?

Both MBAs (Master of Business Administration) and EMBAs (Executive Master of Business Administration) are postgraduate qualifications designed to equip students with the tools and connections to enhance their knowledge of business and unlock new career opportunities. However, there are several differences between the two.

Firstly, the entry requirements for MBAs and EMBAs are different. MBAs typically require at least three years of experience, whilst EMBAs typically consider applicants with more than six years of experience. In addition, MBA applicants are expected to have some managerial experience, whilst EMBAs are expected to be senior executives with lots of managerial experience.

How much does a Cambridge Executive MBA cost?

The fees for the Cambridge EMBA starting in September 2023 are £78,800. The fees for the Global EMBA starting in January 2024 are £86,600. There are also other costs associated with Cambridge’s EMBA, including a non-refundable application fee of £150 will also be charged in order to submit your online application. You will also be expected to pay a deposit of £10,000 to secure your place if you wish to accept a conditional offer.

Cambridge also suggests budgeting £7,000 to cover additional costs for the programme once you are accepted. However, the costs associated with your EMBA may be higher depending on your location and the programme you choose. For example, you may be required to travel to and from Cambridge and Shenzhen, and you will also be expected to cover the cost of flights for the International Business Study Trip (although accommodation is provided).

There are funding opportunities for the Cambridge Executive MBA which are listed on the university’s website. If you cannot secure funding, you will be expected to cover all costs yourself.

Is Cambridge Executive MBA worth it?

Cambridge’s Executive MBA programme is a rigorous and expensive course that is designed to be studied alongside a full-time job. Fees range from £78,800-£86,600, however other costs associated with the EMBA can surpass £17,000. That makes the Executive MBA programme a big commitment, both financially and timewise, so it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons.

For many senior executives, an Executive MBA from one of the best business schools in the country is worth this investment. It can help you to develop skills and stay up to date with the newest and most innovative developments in the Business industry, as well as unlocking new career paths and senior roles. The average EMBA alumni salary is £82,000.

What is the Cambridge Executive MBA acceptance rate?

The acceptance rate for Cambridge’s Judge Business School is 31%, according to Forbes. Cambridge’s Executive MBA is very competitive and requires top academic and professional experience, as well as a stand-out application.

When can I apply for the Cambridge Executive MBA?

There are several rounds of applications for the Cambridge Executive MBA. If you are applying for the Cambridge EMBA, you can apply by 14th November (Round 1), 22nd January (Round 2), 6th March (Round 3), 17th April (Round 4), and 7th June (Round 5). If you are applying for the Global EMBA, you can apply by January (Round 1), April (Round 2), June (Round 3), and Late June (Round 4).

Does Cambridge interview for Executive MBA?

Cambridge does hold interviews for its Executive MBA course. Once Cambridge has received your application, it will be reviewed by its admissions committee and you may be shortlisted for interview. Once you have attended the interview, you will usually find out whether you have been successful within one week, however this process may take longer for applications received in the final round of applications.