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Saïd Business School – University of Oxford

Saïd Business School, part of Oxford University, is located in the university town of Oxford in England.  The school offers a one-year, full-time MBA program and a part-time Executive MBA program as well as two-year dual-degree options.  Saïd is recognized for the opportunities it offers in the wider Oxford University, its international community of professors and students, and its emphasis on combining rigorous academic training with practical experience.

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Saïd employs more than 60 professors, lecturers, readers and visiting professors who teach courses across the business school’s 11 subject areas.  Additional researchers from the University of Oxford support the initiatives of Saïd’s eight research centers, which cover topics such as retail management, business taxation, and entrepreneurship and innovation.

Saïd breaks down the teaching methods for its courses into four separate categories: 25 percent case study, 40 percent lectures, 10 percent simulation and 25 percent team projects.  The school prides itself on teaching courses in partnership with industry practitioners to ensure material is relevant to real-life situations.

The 12-month program begins with a formal induction in late September.  Prior to that, students meet each other during a welcome reception and a team-building treasure hunt around the Oxford campus.  Classes start at the beginning of October.  Saïd structures its program into three terms of 10-week classes that stretch from October to June, referred to as the Michaelmas, Hilary and Trinity terms.  Students then select one of four summer options, followed by a two-week capstone course in September.  There are two approximately month-long breaks in the winter and spring between the 10-week terms and a shorter break before the start of the summer session.  During the spring break, students may elect to go on a one-to two-week student-led trek to visit alumni and recruiters located around the globe.

In the Michaelmas term, students take six required core courses, covering business fundamentals such as finance, decision-making, strategy, marketing and operations. Students are also divided into small study groups that reflect the diversity of the class; these groups review course material together throughout the term.  Starting in January of the Hilary term, students complete two elective courses alongside two more required courses.  Finally, in the Trinity term, students take five elective courses out of roughly 25 options, covering academic areas from private equity to retailing.  During the summer, students can complete a four- to six-week strategic consulting project, or complete an eight- or nine-week internship while taking two shorter elective courses.

As part of Saïd’s emphasis on applied learning, students must complete a one-week Entrepreneurship Project in the ninth week of the Hilary Term.  In this project, students develop a business plan and then present it to a panel of investors.  Students can gain further practical experience by working in teams during the summer on a Strategy Consulting Project for a corporate or non-profit sponsor. As of 2013, students can also take part in the newly launched Global Opportunities and Threats Oxford initiative.

Other MBA Degree Options
Beyond the 12-month full-time MBA program, Saïd also offers a part-time Executive MBA program that takes place over 21 months.  In addition, the school offers the Oxford 1+1 MBA program, which allows students to complete—in two years—an MBA and another master’s from one of eight Oxford departments: the School of Geography and the Environment, the Department of Education, the Oxford Internet Institute, the Department of Computer Science, the School of Interdisciplinary Studies, the Department of Sociology, the Department of Social Policy and Intervention, the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography, the Faculty of History, or the Centre for Criminology.  There are a total of 25 dual-degree options across the participating departments.

Core Courses at Saïd

  • Finance I
  • Decision and Data Analytics
  • Financial Reporting
  • Strategy I
  • Firms and Markets
  • Leadership Fundamentals
  • Marketing
  • Operations Management

Degree Offerings at Saïd
Full-time MBA Program

Oxford 1+1 MBA Program

Executive MBA

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Clubs, Conferences & Competitions
Saïd students are welcome to join the more than 200 clubs and societies established at Oxford.  For instance, the Oxford Entrepreneurs club is currently the largest entrepreneur group in Europe.  The club organizes speaker series, business plan competitions, a mentorship program, meetings with angel investors, and an incubation center for students interested in launching a business while at the University.  Students may also participate in a full range of sporting activities, from organized club sports such as hockey or rugby to more casual games of cricket on the business school lawn.  Oxford University’s 38 colleges are another source of social activity and networking on campus.  Every Saïd student is a member of one of the university’s colleges, which are known for their individual identities.  Colleges often compete against one another in athletic events and host musical and theatrical performances.

In conjunction with its students and centers, Saïd organizes a number of conferences each year.  One such conference is Silicon Valley Comes to Oxford, an annual event that invites successful Silicon Valley entrepreneurs to Oxford to lead master classes, tutorials and panel discussions.  The school also hosts the Oxford Private Equity Forum, which brings investors and advisors to campus to discuss challenges and opportunities within the global private equity industry.

In addition, students may participate in a number of entrepreneur-related competitions. For example, the Venture Capital Investment Competition allows students to evaluate and invest in actual companies, while the Saïd Business School Seed Fund invests in startups led by students and alumni.

Campus Spaces
The Saïd Business School building opened in 2001 and houses most of the MBA program.  The building, arranged around an open courtyard, encompasses four lecture theaters, a common room, a 300-seat auditorium, an outdoor amphitheater and multiple seminar and project rooms.  The two-story Sainsbury Library is also located in the building and offers two reading rooms for both quiet study and group work.

The Thatcher Business Education Centre opened in 2013 at Saïd, made possible by a recent donation of £15 million by the school’s original benefactor, Wafic Saïd.  With its formal opening ceremony taken place early in 2013, the facility has allowed the business school to expand its teaching and executive education operations.
Housing is not guaranteed, and students may accept accommodations offered by their college.  Saïd students may opt into one of seven colleges exclusively for graduate students or one of the 30 colleges and six private halls for undergraduate or graduate students.  Students also have the option of renting rooms off campus.

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Career Services
Saïd’s Careers Service helps students with their job search, prepping for interviews and building their career-related skills.  Senior executives specializing in different industries serve as sector consultants, offering expert advice to students in panel discussions and one-on-one meetings.  Careers Service also organizes industry panels, case study workshops, and workshops on résumés, networking and interviewing.  Roughly 80 companies visit Saïd each year to give corporate presentations, participate in career panel discussions, and recruit students for internships and full-time employment.

Career Statistics
For the class graduating in 2013, Saïd states that out of the 166 graduates who reported back to the school, 89% had secured employment within three months after graduating.  The average salary was £60,589.

Of those who found employment, 20% went into consulting and financial services each.  Sixteen percent joined the non-profit sector, while 10% pursued entrepreneurial opportunities.  The remaining took places in diversified industry.  Companies that hired two or more students from the graduating Class of 2013 include Amazon, PwC, Accenture, KPMG and McKinsey & Company.

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The Class Profile
Saïd’s MBA class that entered in the fall of 2014 was comprised of 230 students.  The average GMAT score of the class was 692.  At the time of matriculation, the average student in the class was 28 years old and had completed five years of work experience.  A full 16% of students came to Saïd from the consulting sector, while 20% had previously worked in financial services and 9% in the technology industry.  Smaller numbers of students had pre-MBA careers in media and entertainment, consumer products and non-profits sectors, among others.  Thirty-five percent of students in the entering Class of 2015 hold undergraduate degrees in maths or engineering, while 27% studied business or management.  Only 8% of the class pursued the humanities during college, 11% have academic backgrounds in economics, and 5% hold degrees in medicine or science.

A full 95% of the students who began Saïd’s MBA program in 2014 are international.  Close to a quarter of the class comes from North America, while 23% of students hail from Central Asia, 15% from Europe and 8% from Eastern Asia.  Eleven percent of students are dual citizens, and women make up 33% of the class.

Application Procedures
Applicants to Saïd may apply in one of six stages, which take place in mid-September, mid-October, mid-January and mid-March, late April and late May.  However, the school strongly recommends applying early.  To apply, candidates must submit academic transcripts, a GMAT score, a CV, an online application form, two academic or professional references, three essays and a £150 application fee.  Applicants who are non-native English speakers should also send in a TOEFL or IELTS.  Once applications are completed, the admissions committee invites selected candidates to interview in person at Oxford, at overseas Information Events or via Skype with a faculty member, sector consultant or senior administration member.  Interviews are required for admission.

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Course fees for the MBA program for 2015 to 2016 are £47,925.  Saïd notes that students should also budget between £11,408 and £16,854 for living expenses and course materials.

Four scholarships are offered by Saïd: the Saïd Business School Scholarship, which covers full tuition fees and living expenses for selected students with impressive academic and work accomplishments; the Said Foundation Scholarship for female students, which covers up to £45,000 of tuition for two outstanding female candidates; and the Skoll Scholarship, which covers tuition and offers a living expenses allowance for students with a record of social entrepreneurship. The school offers up to £15,000 to each admitted female student, through the Forte Foundation.  Students may also seek out scholarship awards through the larger Oxford University.

For students planning on using loans to finance their degree, Prodigy Finance offers a loan capped at £47,925 to all full-time MBA students.  Saïd encourages its international students to investigate the private, government and nonprofit lenders available in their native regions and countries.

One-Year Program Tuition (per year)
Course Fees: £47,925
Living Expenses: ~ £11,408 – £16,854
Total: £59,333 – £64,779

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Oxford’s Stage 3 deadline has passed.  Interview invites will be sent by January 29, 2016.  Final decisions are scheduled to be released on March 4, 2016.

Stage 1 final decisions were released on October 16, 2015. Said’s Stage 2 deadline has also passed, final decisions were released by December 11, 2015.  The deposit is due within 30 days of the offer of admissions.



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Mailing Address:
MBA Office
Saïd Business School
Park End Street
Oxford OX1 1HP
Phone: +44 (0)1865 288800
Fax: +44 (0)1865 288805
Twitter: @OxfordMBA

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