Top 10 Online MBA Programs in Australia You Are Actually Likely to Complete

Australia's best online MBA programs are flexible, affordable and help you stay motivated.
Andrew Lancaster

Andrew Lancaster


Australia's top online MBAs for 2021 combine academic quality with learning when it suits you. The programs are great for busy people. You can study efficiently, doing quick study sessions when you're alert and free of distractions.

  • An online MBA course offers the same benefits as a campus-based program. It will challenge you intellectually, develop you professionally, and improve your career prospects markedly.
  • The best online MBA programs have extra advantages. They are flexible and provide value for money. And they keep you going by being dynamic and interactive.

You can test an online course by doing 4 initial units, which earns you a Graduate Certificate in Business Administration. Continue the MBA if it's working for you.

Cheapest Online MBA in Australia

If you don't want to pay too much, Australia's cheapest MBA offers the best value for money. By "cheapest", we mean best value in the lower-priced category of modern online MBAs.

You should know that we are not counting "self-paced" MBAs, which offer little to no support and where you don't have regular classmates. Completion rates for these kinds of degrees are terrible, making them a waste of money for most people who enroll.

We are also excluding MBAs that are just online versions of an on-campus degree. Adapted MBAs waste time and are more difficult than necessary. You are forced to follow a campus-based calendar -- meaning multiple subjects at once, long exams and long breaks. Here is what we recommend for real value in 2020.

Student pleased to do the cheapest online MBA

Southern Cross University

Southern Cross University (SCU Online) offers an affordable MBA that you are able to complete on a modern learning platform. The 100% online program has 6 start points per year and consists of a series of 7-week modules. You can choose the general program or major in: accounting, health services management, information and knowledge management, or managing and leading people. SCU Online programs are built just for distance learning, making for an easy and intuitive online learning experience.

Australia's Best Online MBAs

Online Study Australia presents only the best courses and that's what we've done here. The top online MBA programs share some things in common.

  • The programs are modern, flexible and designed for online study.
  • Students benefit from advanced digital learning and communication technologies.
  • Assessment is continuous instead of exam-based.
  • The degrees are well priced.

The top ranking MBA programs are ideal if you want to study business administration in an efficient, time-saving manner. Plus you'll earn a respected qualification at the end.

Online MBA studies using a smart device

James Cook University

Just about everything you could want in an online MBA program is offered by James Cook University. As you'd expect, the affordable program runs year-round – allowing you to finish quicker or, if you want, take a break at any time of year. Students focus on 1 unit at a time, which allows study to be combined with full-time employment. You're also assigned a Student Success Advisor and can access everything you need via LearnJCU. The program offers the choice of 3 concentration areas: global perspective and strategy, data management and analytics, and organisational leadership.

Ducere Global Business School

Ducere Global Business School has been running an excellent online MBA program for a number of years. Graduates receive an MBA degree from the Business School's university partner, Torrens University Australia. The program has strong claims to be Australia's best. Professional development revolves around doing real online projects in small teams.

You develop applied skills and form online connections with Australian businesses. The program provides a better learning model for mature-age students who: (a) want to develop real skills and (b) don't want to waste time on academic exams. Completion rates are fantastic, showing just how much students enjoy the activities.

University of Adelaide

The University of Adelaide’s online MBA brings the best of both worlds. You benefit from the experience, knowledge and insights of the prestigious Adelaide Business School. At the same time, students are afforded all the modern conveniences, such as 100% online study, 6-week teaching blocks, interactive learning opportunities and dedicated online support.

The curriculum is well thought out and rigorous. Students gain the tools to be able to confidently run a company, studying topics such as leadership, finance, marketing, innovation and entrepreneurship. Specialist streams are also available in the fields of health management and information technology.

Southern Cross University

Southern Cross University (SCU Online) offers a highly affordable MBA delivered on a modern learning platform. The 100% online program has 6 start points per year and consists of a series of 7-week modules. You can choose the general program or major in: accounting, health services management, information and knowledge management, or managing and leading people. SCU Online programs are built just for distance learning, making for an easy and intuitive online learning experience.

Become a Responsible Leader

Responsible consultative leader

MBA studies give you the opportunity to develop your ability to be a responsible leader. Responsible leadership is about looking outward – beyond just narrow, short-term goals.

Key themes in responsible leadership are (i) considering all stakeholders, from customers through to regulators and the general public (ii) establishing business practices that are sustainable and (iii) having a global mindset.

Doing an MBA program gives you the mental space, and the conceptual and applied frameworks, to develop as a responsible leader. Students learn how to make decisions with big-picture considerations in mind.

We created our organisations to serve us (not the other way around) and they are the primary vehicle we have for changing the world for the better. If they are to help us meet the challenges we face as a global society, organisations must act responsibly – be a force for good.

~ Grahame Broadbelt

Griffith MBA (Responsible Leadership)

An excellent way to learn responsible leadership is with the 100% online MBA offered by Griffith University. The 12-unit program has core values of responsible leadership, sustainable business practice and global orientation. It will help you develop a modern, progressive leadership style. The flexible MBA can be studied part-time, year-round. A graduate certificate (4 units) is also available within the program. Subjects include economics, finance, marketing, integrated accounting, people, strategy, and doing business across the Asia-Pacific region.

UK MBAs for Australians on a Budget

Cheap, budget MBA

Did you know that it's possible for Australians to do an online MBA with a UK university? The degrees are cheaper than their Australian counterparts and potentially bring greater career value. What's more, you get study support that's based in Australia.

You can earn a 100% online MBA degree from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David or the University of East London. In each case, the cost is about half that for a similar Aussie MBA program.

A British MBA qualification could be a great addition to your CV. You'll also be able to promote the fact that you will have done an online industry project with a leading company or organisation in the UK.

Masters degrees in the UK are highly regarded by employers. They are also popular among international students, indicating the UK's globally-recognised strength in this area... this extra higher-level qualification shows your ability to commit to an intense period of work.

~ Prospects

University of Wales Trinity Saint David MBA

The University of Wales Trinity Saint David is offering a 100% online MBA to people based in Australia. The program is highly affordable and includes a loan facility.

The MBA course is delivered in partnership with Melbourne-based Ducere Global Business School. Each student has the opportunity to do real project work with a leading company or other organisation from the UK. Key topics include global business challenges, HR management, marketing and financial management, digital entrepreneurship, and strategy. Assessment is regular and is done without traditional exams.

University of East London Executive MBA

Here's a way to simultaneously build new skills, advance your career, impress your friends, save time and save money. In partnership with Ducere Global Business School, the University of East London is offering an Executive MBA for students living in Australia. The 100% online program consists of 5 subjects and an industry project, and takes just 12 months to complete. Tuition fees are highly competitive and part scholarships are available. The program is open to students with a bachelor degree or extensive management experience.

Online MBAs for Technology Managers

Technology managers discussion

Specialist online MBA degrees are available for technology managers. The programs are ideal for (a) general managers who oversee technology work and (b) IT professionals advancing into leadership and executive roles.

MBAs for technology managers limit the amount of technical content. As with other MBA programs, the goal is to produce graduates with flexible leadership and business management skills.

The great advantage of doing an MBA, rather than an IT masters, is that the degree opens unlimited career opportunities. An MBA is a general leadership qualification.

An MBA builds professional confidence in IT leaders. You enhance problem-solving skills that help you push through all kinds of challenging situations... Many IT professionals use their MBA as a springboard into senior roles that pay more and offer higher income potential.

~ John Edwards

UNE MBA (Data and Cyber Management)

One of the most industry-relevant MBA degrees is available from Australia's leading online university, the University of New England. UNE's online MBA with a specialisation in Data and Cyber Management prepares managers for executive roles that may include data and security leadership. The 12-unit program covers topics such as global cyber security, big data, the cyber mindset, digital operations and project management, and leadership in practice. Students complete a relevant industry project organised by UNE's education partner, Ducere Global Business School.

University of Adelaide MBA (Information Technology)

The University of Adelaide’s online MBA is a high-quality program delivered using excellent e-learning technology. You benefit from the experience and knowledge of the Adelaide Business School. At the same time, students are afforded modern conveniences, such as 100% online study, 6-week teaching blocks, collaborative learning with fellow students and dedicated online support. The 12-unit program gives you the tools to confidently manage projects and businesses. Among other topics, students examine how to do business in the IT sector and the challenges facing IT managers.