The Distance MBA Versus The On-Campus MBA

The Distance MBA Versus The On-Campus MBA

The Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a versatile course which is able to be delivered in several forms. Both forms, the distance MBA and the on-campus MBA, each have their own pros and cons. Ultimately it is about choosing the method that best suits you, your learning style and your schedule. If you are wondering which of the two are for you, then read below for a breakdown of each method.

The Distance MBA

The distance MBA, also known as the MBA via distance learning, is fast becoming the most popular means of obtaining the degree. Studying via distance allows students an incredible amount of freedom to study in the hours that suit them. There are no less study hours in comparison to the on-campus model, however it is at the students’ discretion as to when they would like to complete the work. Whilst exceptionally strong organisational skills and personal motivation is needed to study the distance MBA, this option tends to suit the busy working professional much better. It is perfect for those who have irregular working hours, often take business trips or for those who cannot commit to attending classes at a set time every week.

As a distance learning MBA student, you are essentially your own teacher. Of course, there are a number of support staff and lecturers who are more than happy to discuss topics via phone or email, however you will manage the extent to which you will learn. The distance MBA also has a great deal of flexibility when it comes to the time in which you can complete your studies. For example, the AIB 12 Month MBA study model allows students to complete the 12 subjects over three years. This therefore means the degree can be completed in 12 consecutive months, or over the course of 36 months should you wish to take any breaks. If you’re after a flexible study method which can be completed anywhere in the world, then the distance MBA is for you.

The On-Campus MBA

Otherwise described as the in-person learning model, the on-campus MBA differs from the distance MBA in that all course content is delivered face-to-face. If you are the type of person who needs concepts explained to you by a person, then this learning model is for you. When undertaking study on-campus, you will attend a number of lectures and tutorials in which the concepts will be explained to you. It is then your responsibility to use the knowledge you learnt to complete assignments and to apply it in an exam context.

Unfortunately the on-campus MBA does not work for everyone due to the fact it requires you to take the time out of your week to attend classes. If you don’t work full time, or perhaps if you find a programme which allows you to complete it in weekend workshops, then the in-person method can certainly work for you. It is also great for those who have never completed tertiary study before, as you are able to engage with the lecturer face-to-face, and get all of your questions answered very quickly.  

What do you think?

Are you a student of the distance MBA who can tell us about your experience? Alternatively, do you complete your studies on-campus and have found it to be beneficial? I’d love to hear from both parties and discover what has worked for each of you.

This article was written by Laura Hutton on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB. 


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