Now that you have a good idea of all the possible Master of Science in Entrepreneurship and MBA programs offered in the UK, it’s time to create a list of between 6 and 15 programs that you are interested in applying to.

In order to narrow down all entrepreneurship programs in the UK to a shortlist of between 10-20 programs, you need to do three things:

  1. Consult UK business school rankings in order to get a better understanding of your chance of admission at different UK business schools.

 

  1. Research the location of each business school that you are interested in. Picking a good location and size of course/university is important for your experience.

 

  1. Visit the websites of each program that you are interested in and find the following information:

Deadlines

Cost, scholarship, and financial aid opportunities

Curriculum

Three unique features of that program

 

  1. Consult the Rankings

Many students apply to business schools and graduate programs strictly based on rankings. While rankings are an important source of information, they are just another resource to help you with your decision. When looking at rankings, focus on national rankings of universities within a single country– international university rankings that compare universities from around the globe are not very accurate.

There are two main university rankings in the UK:

The Guardian League Tables

The Complete University Guide League Tables

Remember, university rankings generally rank the undergraduate (Bachelor degree) experience. Although, generally the better undergraduate universities also tend to have solid graduate programs, some universities may specialize in certain fields. Pay more attention to the ranking of the business program, because that is what you will be studying.

Depending on how strong of a candidate you are (more on this later), you want to use rankings to make sure that you apply to universities in the top half of all business programs and to make sure that you don’t only apply to the top 3 business programs. Use rankings to make sure you apply to a wide range of courses, including a few top ranked schools, a few close to top ranked schools, and a few a bit further down the rankings. The important thing is finding a course that you will be accepted to, where you can get financial aid to make it affordable for you, and where you feel comfortable living for 1-2 years.

Lets start with the Guardian League Tables at http://www.theguardian.com/education/ng-interactive/2015/may/25/university-league-tables-2016

Section2_UK-GuardianLeague

 

As you can see by adjusting the subject area menu, rankings change substantially based on which subject area you select. In addition, there are many wonderful universities in each country that you have never heard of. You have probably heard of Cambridge and Oxford (#1 and 2 in the UK), but how about St. Andrews, Surrey, Bath, Exeter, Imperial College, Lancaster? There are many great universities in the UK and this research process will open your eyes to the possibilities of graduate study in the UK– there are for more options than you realize.

Now go to the Business, management & marketing subject area rankings.

Section2_UK_GuardianBusiness

Keep in mind that business is a very popular subject and that almost every university has some kind of business program– compared to other subjects such as Anthropology or Classics that only have 20 or so ranked universities.

The next step is to use this rankings to go back through the UCAS list of Masters in Entrepreneurship courses in order to have an additional piece of information when looking at the the 300+ available programs.

Remember you can use the Complete University Guide rankings in the same way. Make sure to click on subject and a list of subjects will appear. Select Business & Management studies.

Section2-UK_CompleteUnivGuide

http://www.thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk/league-tables/rankings

  1. Research the Location

If you noticed, each ranking has options to search by region as well as by subject area.These ranking sites divide the United Kingdom into between 10-12 regions and each region is a unique part of the UK with its own history, traditions, dialect of English, and climate for entrepreneurship. Do you want to study in a big city or would you be happy in the quiet countryside? Do you want busy London, or do you prefer historical Edinborough?

At this point you probably don’t care– you just want to study in the UK. However, location is important and the more you learn about it the more you will discover your preferences. Of course, there is no substitute for a visit to the UK to check out each course and location, but until you have that opportunity, researching from afar is the best that you can do.

Maps of the UK: http://www.lahistoriaconmapas.com/atlas/england-maps/regions-of-england-map.htm

Section2_UK-Map1

 

As an entrepreneur, you also have to think about where the biggest or most accessible entrepreneurship ecosystems in the UK are. The link below provides a breakdown of the largest metropolitan areas (cities) in the UK.

According to one website, London is by far the largest city in Britain, followed by Birmingham and Manchester as second cities, several major cities, and many large cities.

  • Megacity: London
  • Second cities: Birmingham, Manchester
  • Major cities: Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle, Sheffield
  • Large cities: Belfast, Bristol, Nottingham, Southampton/Portsmouth, Leicester, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Middlesborough, Brighton, Bournemouth

Largest cities in the UK: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_metropolitan_areas_in_the_United_Kingdom

Section2_UK_Map-cities

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cities_in_the_United_Kingdom#Map_of_the_cities

 

Size isn’t everything, and although London and its Silicon Roundabout is king of entrepreneurship in the UK, Tech City UK profiles 20 other technology centers from Belfast to South Wales.

Section2_UK-TechCities

http://www.techcityuk.com/technation/

 

  1. Visit course websites and research online

Now that you have a better idea of how universities and business schools are ranked and which ones are located in entrepreneurship hotspots, it’s time to return to the UCAS list of courses and pick out several that you are interested in applying to. For each program, make sure to be aware (but not obsessed) of the business school ranking, the focus of the program, and the availability of an entrepreneurship community nearby.

London is by far the largest entrepreneurship center in the UK, and one of the largest in Europe. Do you want to study and live in London, or would you be okay taking studying in a smaller entrepreneurship ecosystem where it may be easier to get individual attention?

Go back to thee Complete University Guide and use the region heading at the top of the page. Start with London and list the top 7 universities in London. Remember you are aiming for universities in the top half or top 50 of the rankings.

Section2_UK_rankingsbyregion

http://www.thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk/league-tables/rankings?r=London&s=Business+%26+Management+Studies

 

London School of Economics (Top 10 ranking)

University College London (Top 10)

King’s College London (Top 10)

City University London (Top 20)

SOAS, University of London (Top 30)

Brunel University London (Top 50)

Queen Mary, University of London (Top 50)

 

As you see, London has an extraordinary depth in its local business schools with 18 total universities listed and 7 in the top 50.

Now go back UKPASS search engine and type in the keyword “entrepreneurship”, the subject “Business and management studies”, choose “Greater London as the region, and select “Full time” and “Taught” as mode and type of study.

UKPASS search

http://ukpass.prospects.ac.uk/pgsearch/UKPASSCourse

 

Now you will have just 68 results and you can focus on the business schools that you have identified to be in the top half of the rankings.

Repeat this same exercise with other regions of the UK. For example, if not London, then Scotland, in the wild northernmost part of the island boasts more world class universities per person than anywhere else in the world.

Glasgow, a regional entrepreneurship center is home to multiple universities including the University of Glasgow and Strathclyde, while historical Edinburgh is home to  both the University of Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt University. The world-famous University of St. Andrews is just to the north.

Section2_UK_scotlandrankings

http://www.thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk/league-tables/rankings?r=Scotland&s=Business+%26+Management+Studies

 

Regions of the UK

London

London is the center of entrepreneurship in the UK and is home to seven top 50 business programs.

 

London School of Economics (Top 10 ranking)

University College London (Top 10)

King’s College London (Top 10)

City University London (Top 20)

SOAS, University of London (Top 30)

Brunel University London (Top 50)

Queen Mary, University of London (Top 50)

 

Scotland (Biggest cities are Glasgow and Edinburgh)

Scotland has a host of top universities, including St. Andrews and Aberdeen, but would you want to be far on the northeastern coast at St. Andrews, Aberdeen, or Dundee, or in the regional entrepreneurship hubs of Glasgow or Edinburgh?

 

St. Andrews (Top 10 ranking)

Strathclyde (Top 10) (in Glasgow)

Edinburgh (Top 30) (in Edinburgh)

Aberdeen (Top 30)

Heriot-Watt (Top 30) (in Edinburgh)

Glasgow (Top 30) (in Glasgow)
Stirling (Top 50)

Dundee (Top 50)

Edinburgh Napier (Top 50) (in Edinburgh)

 

Northwest (cities of Manchester and Liverpool)

The northwest is simple with each major city boasting one top university in the field of business. Which city has the most entrepreneurial community though?

 

University of Lancaster (Top 10 ranking)

University of Manchester (Top 30)

University of LIverpool (Top 50)

 

West Midlands (city of Birmingham)

Birmingham is the biggest city in the UK after London and is home to four top business programs within 30 min of the city. If you are an international student without a car, being in the city may have its advantages though.

 

University of Warwick (Top 10) (in Coventry, 30 min from Birmingham)

University of Birmingham (Top 20) (in Birmingham)

University of Aston (Top 30) (in Birmingham)

University of Keele (Top 50)

University of Coventry (Top 50)

 

Up to you to explore on your own:

East

East Midlands

Southeast

Southwest

Wales

Yorkshire

Northeast

Northern Ireland

 

Your assignment: Find 20 programs in places where you would be happy to live at top 50 UK business schools.

Once you learn how to use the rankings and know a little bit about the geography of the UK, you will no longer be searching in the dark. If you are interested in entrepreneurship, London should definitely be on your list, so find 5-7 programs to research in London. Then find a couple programs in the large cities with entrepreneurship activity, and read up on Wales and Scotland, two very interesting, very different parts of the United Kingdom.

Visit the website of each program and write down the following information:

  • Deadlines
  • Cost, scholarship, and financial aid opportunities
  • Curriculum
  • Location and entrepreneurship opportunities
  • Three unique features of that program