London Business School

LBS Program Overview
The mission of the London Business School is to identify the needs of business leaders in a constantly changing world and equip them with the skills and savvy to thrive in an increasingly global market. As one of only two business schools in the United Kingdom that has twice earned the highest five-star rating by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, LBS is one of the preeminent business schools in Europe and the world.

One of the most common options at LBS is the standard two-year international general management program, although there is an accelerated program that takes one semester fewer. LBS also offers a masters in finance, which takes 10 months full-time or 21 months part-time to complete.

With more than 85% of students hailing from outside of the United Kingdom, an LBS education is an incredibly diverse experience. Only about 20% of recent students were American, while 24% came from Asia and 27% were from other European countries

An additional advantage LBS boasts is its location in one of the world’s capitals of business. London provides unparalleled access to top European companies, and qualified students will have a wealth of options for nearby summer internships. LBS is the only top-10 business school in the United Kingdom, its closest top-tier competitor being INSEAD in France.

The former London Business School admissions officers on the Stacy Blackman Consulting team shared what LBS Admissions seeks:

LBS wants to see demonstrated leadership. They want applicants with international awareness and a desire to work on the international stage thus they want the applicant to have some kind of connection with the international component of the MBA.  LBS is keen on proven data and analytical skills and abilities.

Contact us for an assessment of your LBS MBA candidacy today. Here’s a snapshot of our LBS expertise on the SBC admissions consulting team:

Admissions Stats

Here is a snapshot of how LBS differs from INSEAD:

Class of 2023 Admission Stats INSEAD LBS
Average GMAT* 705 700
GMAT Range* 670-750 Not available
Average GPA 3.5 N/A
Selectivity* Not available 25%
Enrolled MBA Students 1000 509
Women MBA Students 38% 37%
Europe origin 38% 15%
Asia/Oceania origin 36% 34%
North America origin 11% 15%
Central/South America origin 7% 17%
Middle East/ Africa origin 8% 10%

We have found some data more difficult to discern for the top European programs. Much like admit rates for INSEAD, LBS doesn’t report undergraduate majors:

Undergrad Degrees INSEAD LBS
Humanities/Social Science 14% Not available
Engineering/Math 39%
Business/Economics 47%

Application Essays, Tips & Candidate Evaluation 

LBS Admissions is very focused on Leadership. “There is a big emphasis on how we could recognise certain characteristics in applicants who were likely to become global business leaders,” shared a representative of LBS’s MBA program.  LBS really wants well-rounded students. They are interested in mistakes or failures that candidates have experienced and how they have grown from those experiences. Demonstrating global awareness is key, as LBS teaches a global business model, not just the American business perspective.

Cathy, who was accepted to both LBS and INSEAD’s MBA programs and is now a Senior Consultant at Stacy Blackman Consulting, shared the differences between INSEAD and LBS’s essay requirements. “Overall, the most significant difference between the INSEAD and LBS applications is the length: INSEAD has three essays, plus one optional, while LBS has only one, plus one optional and smaller questions in the application form. INSEAD provides you the space to share about your goals, ambitions, experiences through their variety of questions, while LBS expects you to share about them in a focused manner with their two essays.

That naturally means that you’ll have to express yourself much more concisely in the LBS essays, being sure of what aspects of yourself on which you’d like to focus, whereas you’ll have more space to share different aspects of your story and motivations in the INSEAD essays.”

LBS has no language requirement, however, students do benefit from access to free language tuition via King’s College London.

LBS added a video essay requirement several years ago for full-time MBA applicants. The video provides an opportunity for admissions officers to “put a face to a name” and get to know the applicants better.

A former LBS Admissions Officer who is now on the Stacy Blackman Consulting team shared, “the video does not usually provide a reason to ding a candidate, unless the candidate provides answers that are significantly inconsistent with his or her application. So, it is important to be authentic, answer the questions, stick to the time allotted and make sure your answers align with your essays and application.”

One question that will most likely be included in the video invite: What will you gain from the London Business School MBA Programme that you won’t gain from another MBA programme? The other question will be randomly picked from a question bank.

In addition, the actual interview processes are similar between the programs where LBS’s interview is held with one alum and requires you to do a short pitch, resolving a problem presented during the interview.

We asked a former LBS Admissions Officer on our Stacy Blackman Consulting team for application advice. She shared, “Getting applicants to be more honest or real about their backgrounds is tough. Particularly when they have high scores. If the applicant is from a popular demographic profile, it’s even more important to stand out from the crowd. Adversity in one’s background shows character. I like candidates to speak about situations in which they encountered setbacks which opened their eyes to seeing the world and themselves in a different context. When I work with applicants from Asia and the US particularly, they have been groomed to be the best, be number #1. But as Richard Jolly, Adjunct Professor of Organisational Behaviour at LBS, teaches, it’s actually the first follower that makes the leader. It’s ok to be #2.”

Sample LBS Essays

Sample LBS essays from successful admits are instructive to applicants.

More INSEAD Application Tips

View our extensive overview of how the application for LBS varies from that of INSEAD here.

LBS Class of 2024 Key Statistics
Applicants: 2,540
Entering Full-Time MBA Students: 509
Average GMAT Score: 702
Average Age: 29
Average Work Experience: 5.5 Years
Rolling Admissions: No
Women: 37%
International Students: 91%
Nationalities Represented: 74

LBS Important Dates
Round 1 Deadline: September 8, 2023
Round 2 Deadline: January 3, 2024
Round 3 Deadline: March 25, 2024


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