Online MBA courses are gaining popularity due to their flexibility and accessibility. In today’s competitive job market, an MBA is a valuable differentiator that can open doors to management and senior executive roles while enhancing your skills for greater business success.

However, with numerous options available, how can prospective students choose the right program to align with their career aspirations? In this guide, we demystify the MBA ranking system and provide valuable insights to help you make an informed decision when it comes to applying for an MBA.

Here is our guide to online MBA rankings in Australia.

Comparing the basics

When considering the best universities for an online MBA, it’s essential to compare the basics of each program:

  • Cost: Consider the total cost, including tuition and any additional fees.
  • On-campus requirements: Determine if there are any mandatory on-campus activities and their location.
  • Duration: Assess the program’s length, typically ranging from 12 to 24 months.
  • Flexibility: Investigate the program’s flexibility to fit into your work and life responsibilities.

Once you’ve narrowed your options, the next step is to explore how each online MBA program ranks compared to others on your shortlist.

The Australian MBA rankings conundrum

One challenge in selecting the right online MBA program for you is the variation in rankings across different systems. There is no one ‘best’ MBA ranking system. You may find that the top program in one ranking may not even appear in another. You may also find that the ranking methodologies change from year to year, and what was reflected in last year’s results may be strikingly different to this year. To make sense of this, let’s explore four of the major ranking systems.

QS World University Rankings 2024: Australian universities

The Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings are considered a global indicator of university performance. In 2024, the QS World University Rankings evaluated 1,500 institutions, ranking employability, sustainability and international research outcomes using an analysis of 17.5 million academic papers and input from over 240,000 academic faculty members and employers. This ranking offers insights into universities’ global standing.

What is the QS measurement methodology?

The programs are ranked in the following areas:

  • Academic reputation: 30%
  • Citations per faculty: 20%
  • Employer reputation: 15%
  • Faculty student ratio: 10%
  • International faculty ratio: 5%
  • International student ratio: 5%
  • International research network: 5%
  • Employment outcomes: 5%
  • Sustainability: 5%

QS World University Rankings 2024

Global rank University
14 The University of Melbourne
=19 The University of New South Wales
=19 The University of Sydney
=34 Australian National University
42 Monash University
43 The University of Queensland
72 The University of Western Australia
89 The University of Adelaide
90 University of Technology Sydney
=130 Macquarie University
140 RMIT University
162 University of Wollongong
=173 The University of Newcastle
183 Curtin University
=189 Queensland University of Technology
=233 Deakin University
242 La Trobe University
243 Griffith University
=285 Swinburne University of Technology
=307 University of Tasmania
=326 University of South Australia
=375 Western Sydney University
380 Flinders University
=410 University of Southern Queensland
=415 James Cook University
=421 University of Canberra
=431 Murdoch University
529 Edith Cowan University
=567 Bond University
=590 CQ University
601-610 Charles Darwin University
651-660 Southern Cross University
711-720 Victoria University
801-850 Australian Catholic University
801-850 Charles Sturt University
951-1000 University of New England
1001-1200 University of the Sunshine Coast
1401+ The University of Notre Dame

CEO Magazine Global MBA rankings: Australian universities

CEO Magazine targets business leaders and those who aspire to lead. The CEO Magazine Global MBA rankings cover MBA, Executive MBA and online MBA programs, most recently from 161 schools in 27 countries. Here, we look at the online MBA rankings for 2023.

What is the CEO magazine measurement methodology?

According to CEO Magazine, data points for full-time and part-time MBA programs are judged according to these weightings:

  • Quality of faculty: 34.95%
  • International diversity: 9.71%
  • Class size: 9.71%
  • Accreditation: 8.74%
  • Faculty-to-student ratio: 7.76%
  • Price: 5.83%
  • International exposure: 4.85%
  • Work experience: 4.85%
  • Professional development: 4.85%
  • Gender parity: 4.85%
  • Delivery methods: 3.8%

Online MBAs are graded according to the same metrics, except delivery method and class size.

2023 CEO Magazine Global Online MBA rankings

Global rank University
=13 Griffith University
15 University of South Australia
17 Macquarie Business School
18 Torrens University
20 Australian Institute of Business
=27 Victoria University Business School
28 La Trobe University
=29 Central Queensland University
36 RMIT University

Times Higher Education World University rankings

Times Higher Education is a weekly magazine in the UK. Originally published in 1971 as part of The Times newspaper, it became a magazine in 2008.

The brand’s university rankings, first reported in 2004, are global and released annually. MBA programs are not specifically graded, nor are online courses, but we can look at the ranking for Business and Economics subjects at Australian universities. The subjects used to create this ranking are:

  • Business and management
  • Accounting and finance
  • Economics and econometrics

What is the Times Higher Education measurement methodology?

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings balance input across 13 performance indicators grouped into five areas. Those areas are teaching, research, citations, international outlook, and industry income.

The subject rankings use the same 13 measures used in the main World University Rankings for 2023 but adjust these measures for each subject.

The weightings for the business and economics ranking are:

  • Teaching: the learning environment: 30.9%
  • Research: volume, income and reputation: 32.6%
  • Citations: research influence: 25%
  • International outlook: staff, students and research: 9%
  • Industry income: innovation: 2.5%

2023 Times Higher Education rankings for business and economics courses

Global rank University
35 University of Melbourne
39 Monash University
51 University of Queensland
55 Australian National University
72 University of New South Wales
88 University of Sydney
101-125 Griffith University
101-125 University of Western Australia
126-150 Queensland University of Technology
126-150 University of Technology Sydney
151-175 Macquarie University
151-175 University of Newcastle
176-200 RMIT University
201-250 Deakin University
201-250 Edith Cowan University
201-250 La Trobe University
201-250 University of South Australia
251-300 University of Adelaide
251-300 Curtin University
251-300 Swinburne University of Technology
251-300 University of Wollongong
301-400 University of Canberra
301-400 Murdoch University
301-400 University of Southern Queensland
301-400 University of Tasmania
301-400 Victoria University
401-500 Central Queensland University
401-500 James Cook University
401-500 Western Sydney University
501-600 Bond University
501-600 University of Sunshine Coast
601-800 Charles Sturt University
601-800 Southern Cross University

AFR BOSS Best Business School rankings

The AFR BOSS Best Business Schools ranking (previously BOSS MBA rankings) is the only system in Australia that ranks business schools. They bring together 19 separate rankings of institutions and business subjects from the Academic Rankings of World Universities (ARWU), The Times Higher Education (THE) and Quacquarelli Symonds (QS). They also take into account the university’s performance in the national evaluation of research, Excellence in Research for Australia.

What is the AFR BOSS measurement methodology?

There are separate rankings for reputation, quality and career impact, career and salary prospects, and an overall ranking that weights the categories equally. The AFR BOSS rankings look only at universities within Australia and the data captures postgraduate studies only. The table below reveals the overall rankings for 2022.

2022 AFR BOSS MBA rankings

Global rank University
1 University of New South Wales
2 University of Melbourne
3 Queensland University of Technology
=3 University of Western Australia
5 Deakin University
=6 Macquarie University
=6 University of South Australia
=6 University of Sydney
9 University of Canberra
10 Curtin University
=11 Griffith University
=11 Monash University
=11 University of Queensland
=11 University of Technology Sydney
=15 University of Adelaide
=15 University of Newcastle
17 RMIT University
=18 Edith Cowan University
=18 James Cook University
20 The Australian National University
=21 Australian Catholic University
=21 University of the Sunshine Coast
23 Murdoch University
23 Swinburne University of Technology
25 University of Southern Queensland
26 La Trobe University
=27 Charles Sturt University
=27 CQUniversity
=27 University of Wollongong
30 Flinders University
31 Victoria University
32 Western Sydney University
33 Bond University
=33 Southern Cross University
35 University of Tasmania
36 University of New England
37 Torrens University Australia

Which online university is best for an MBA?

The best online university for an MBA will depend on your specific needs, career goals and personal preferences. While Australian and global university ranking systems can help you navigate which universities and MBA programs rank against each other, there are several well-respected universities that offer high-quality online MBA programs.

To determine which one is the best for you, consider factors such as program flexibility, cost, the level of student support provided, networking opportunities and how well the program aligns with your career aspirations.

Online universities offering flexible MBA programs such as RMIT Online, Southern Cross University Online, James Cook University Online and Victoria University Online, are all great options to explore and offer a level of support to professionals requiring a level of flexibility to reach their career goals.

We can help you find the right path forward

These global and Australian MBA ranking systems are just one way of exploring the right path for you. Still have questions? Take a look at our six reasons to study an MBA or speak to a Student Enrolment Advisor – they’re here to help.

Speak to a Student Enrolment Advisor

Whether you’re ready to enrol, or just have a quick question, simply fill out the enquiry form below to speak directly to the university’s enrolment team. They will be able to guide you through:

Course eligibility and recognition of prior learning

Course structure and what you will study

Next intakes and how to apply

Fees and time commitments