5 best business courses at the world’s best universities | Top Universities

5 best business courses at the world’s best universities

By Aisha Khan

Updated July 28, 2023 Updated July 28, 2023

Business is one of the most versatile and popular subjects in higher education. Whether you want to specialise in finance or start your own business, many business degrees allow you to tailor your programme to suit your interests, ideal for students seeking flexibility and varied career opportunities. 

The QS World University Rankings 2024 marks the 20th edition of the rankings, featuring 1,500 institutions across 104 locations.  

So, if you’re hoping to study a top business programme at one of the world’s best universities, here are five examples of where you can do just that: 

Bachelor of Commerce, University of Melbourne 

Melbourne city centre

Students on this course build a strong foundation in core commerce subjects while having the flexibility to discover their interests. There are six majors to choose from in either the first or second year: accounting, actuarial studies, economics, finance, management, and marketing.  

The University of Melbourne is ranked as Australia’s best university and 14th globally according to the QS World University Rankings 2024.  

Unsurprisingly, 80 percent of graduates are employed full-time within four months of graduating, with 34 percent of graduates securing a job at EY Deloitte, KPMG, PwC or NAB.  

The campus is also conveniently located close to Melbourne’s central business district, making it easy for students to take part in industry experience opportunities, such as the UniMelb Startup competition or Future Leaders Forum.  

If Australia is on your list of top study destinations, you can learn more about this year’s top-performing institutions here.  

EMBA, Cornell University  

Cornell University Sage Hall

Not only is Cornell University ranked 13th in the world, it’s also part of the prestigious Ivy League, a clear indication of its academic excellence. 

Students considering the executive MBA programme have three options to choose from depending on your location and career goals: the Americas, Metro NY, and Healthcare Leadership

A major benefit of the EMBA programme is being able to apply your learning on the spot, particularly if you’re still working alongside your studies. 

Professor Mark Nelson, the former Dean at Cornell’s SC Johnson College of Business, said: “Students can tailor the programme to meet their unique needs because they’re able to use their assignments to address some of their own challenges in their current roles.  

“As a result, you end up having a private consulting arm, where faculty and students are helping you become successful during the programme, which is really impactful in a challenging economy.” 

Business Administration, National University of Singapore (NUS) 

National University of Singapore

NUS’s business school operates a modular system where students can design their own curriculum. Examples of possible modules include communications and new media, economics, psychology and technopreneurship (for those who want to work in tech-based businesses).  

NUS is ranked as the eighth best university in the world, in addition to being Singapore’s highest-ranked university. 

Beyond your studies, the University Scholars Programme provides dedicated support and training in leadership development, including industry opportunities abroad. 

Exchange programmes are also an integral part of NUS’s appeal as they partner with over 120 universities and schools worldwide, including NYU, McGill University, and University of Hong Kong.  

NUS also ranks seventh globally for employment outcomes, indicating its success in helping graduates launch their careers. 

Business Analytics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Ranked as the best university in the world for 12 years in a row, MIT is well known for its academic rigour and innovative thinking.  

Students on the business analytics programme at MIT’s Sloan School of Management can take part in a seventh-month capstone project. This involves collaboration with industry professionals to solve real-world data science challenges and a full-time internship with the school’s host organisation.  

According to MIT’s 2022 employment statistics, 100 percent of graduates received full-time job offers within the first three months and earned a median base salary of US$132,000. Some of the most common roles include business intelligence engineers, data scientists, and operations analysts.  

For guidance on what MIT are looking for in the admissions process, especially for the video essay requirement, read our article here.  

MBA, Imperial College London 

Imperial College London

This one-year programme consists of pre-study and core modules to build your knowledge of business operations along with your choice of specialisation. Examples of concentrations include entrepreneurship, digital strategy and transformation, and environmental, social and governance (ESG) and stakeholder impact. 

In addition to being ranked sixth in the world, Imperial College London is also the third-best university in the UK. Studying here means you’ll have the advantage of being based in London, which has been ranked as the world’s best city for students according to the QS Best Student Cities 2024

If becoming a better business leader is one of your top priorities, the Personal Leadership Journey is designed to give you those skills through workshops, reflective exercises, and one-to-one meetings with your careers consultant.  

Zena Dhanak, a student on the Weekend MBA programme who also helps run her family business, General Technology, said: “I’ve enjoyed supplementing what I’ve learned on the course with Imperial’s enterprise lab and having access to mentors and coaches. There are plenty of resources that I’ve found useful for my own work, such as networking and meeting other people who have started their own businesses.” 

This article was originally published in July 2023 .

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