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The difference between an Executive MBA and a MBA

Tue, 11 May, 2021


In the UK and around the world there are many professional development course available and it can be difficult to tell them apart.

In 2019, the number of people applying for Executive MBA programmes had increased by over 30% since 2015. That was recorded by the Times Higher Education (formerly the Times Higher Education Supplement) that also reported the number of female students enrolled in EMBA courses had reached its highest percentage of 31.2%.

With global interest in EMBA courses growing, NSIRC partnered with Leicester Castle Business School (LCBS) at De Montfort University, to provide an Executive Master of Business Administration degree that draws from the industrial expertise of TWI Ltd.

Academia to enhance career goals

LCBS has created a diverse and novel learning environment suited to business professionals interested in meeting the future challenges of society and enterprise. Their mission statement of 'beyond business as usual' highlights their enthesis on understanding and exploring the need for good practises within regional and international business.

In Google FAQs, users are asking about the difference between an Executive MBA and a traditional MBA course. So to help you see the wood from the trees, NSIRC has created a quick guide to help career professionals to tell the two programmes apart.

What does MBA mean?

  • MBA stands for Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Course are typically designed towards those wanting to gain new management skills and knowledge, across a more diverse range of business subjects. Many courses support professional development ambitions and can help unlock leadership potential. where students are looking towards positions within senior management.

Programmes such as those from DMU, look to improve traditional values of strategic, analytical, critical thinking and leadership skills, but also include more modern subjects of competitive advantage, such as social mission and sustainability.


What is the difference between an EMBA and a MBA?

The mode of delivery

The main difference between an EMBA and a traditional MBA is the way in which the programme is taught, allowing students to keep working while they study.

Part time programme

Courses exist outside of traditional university practices like on-site lectures and 12 week study periods, instead using more remote working and shorter more intense days of study.

EMBA vs MBA: professional development through academia without compromise on your career. Photo: Unsplash
EMBA vs MBA: professional development through academia without compromise on your career. Photo: Unsplash

What is an Executive MBA degree?

'Executive' refers to a delivery format that is aimed at full-time workers with considerable experience in management positions within an organisation. Recruiting students of the same or very similar professional experience levels is intended to keep discussions relevant, driven and specific.

The EMBA is a Generalist Management Masters degree, suited to learners who what to achieve personal development by reflecting on their career so far, and with the ambition for career progression.

Benefits of an Executive MBA course

  • Transform a specialist in a management generalist. You could join an EMBA course while working a very particular area,
  • Close interactions to improve teamwork skills and build a more valuable network of contacts
  • Professional growth and enhanced career development
  • Stay employed while earning your degree
  • Improve your critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Executive coaching and mentoring, helping students decide their career future ambitions

(De Montfort University, Leicester Castle Business School)

For more information about the Executive MBA course from NSIRC and Leicester Castle Business School, please visit the course page.

Other articles from NSIRC:

MSc programmes at TWI in Cambridge

Reasons why an Executive MBA is worth it

Watch the Executive MBA Webinar on YouTube