Would you like to complete an MBA and a master’s degree, but do not have a bachelor’s or diploma degree or a comparable first degree? In the following we inform you about the possibilities to start your studies anyway. These depend on the individual’s previous education and professional career.

Further training with academic degrees is available, for example, for people who work as a specialist, specialist, master or business economist from the Chambers of Commerce and Industry or for graduates from business and administrative academies. In addition, some master’s programs are also tailored specifically to employees with many years of professional experience as a specialist or as an experienced manager.

The study programs currently offered are seldom explicitly aimed at people without a first degree, because the original course of study still leads to an academic first degree in the form of a bachelor’s degree, diploma or another academic degree. Nevertheless, the desire for part-time further education at university level in business is rewarded and the university landscape offers the opportunity to obtain a master’s degree.

Details on the requirements

Those who do not have an academic first degree need at least a general or subject-related university entrance qualification, completed vocational training and at least three years of relevant professional experience. Of course there are also opportunities for all those interested who do not have a high school diploma, the best thing to do is to contact the respective provider directly. In addition to the criteria mentioned above, an entrance test is required to demonstrate the ability to study. If the entrance test has been passed successfully, this also means admission to the trial course and states that you can take the same exams as your fellow students with a first degree. Once you have passed all the required exams, you register as a regular student.

Which providers are there?

For example, the Koblenz University of Applied Sciences offers an MBA without an existing Bachelor’s degree at. The study program deals with general management knowledge and also conveys specialist knowledge in the six specializations of marketing, production management, logistics management, restructuring and insolvency management, health and social economy, leisure and tourism industry and corporate management / financial management. In order to be able to start this course without an academic degree, you must have a high school diploma and at least 5 professional years in one of the above-mentioned fields. The professional practice collected before starting your studies must on the one hand have a strong connection to the chosen subject and on the other hand should mainly have been carried out in a management position, ideally with personnel, budget and project responsibility. Experience abroad is an advantage, but not an obligation. Before the start of the course, there is a placement test and once this has been passed, you receive 180 ECTS points (ECTS stands for European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System, it is a Europe-wide recognized system for crediting course achievements). The number of points is equated with a bachelor’s degree, after which you can start your master’s degree.

Hamburg is home to the Allfinanzakademie, which offers one of the best-known master’s programs for non-academics. This academy is run as a private company and cooperates with a foreign university, which in turn awards an MBA degree recognized in Germany. Prospective students can choose between the two subjects General Management and Financial Management.

The University of Koblenz-Landau is another provider of a master’s degree without a previous university degree. There are two areas of specialization, energy management and health management, with the so-called advanced training master, which can be completed with the academic Master of Science and Master of Arts. Health management is often chosen by healthcare professionals who work in the medical professions as health care workers, paramedics, physiotherapists, speech therapists and occupational therapists. Before studying, you have to take a placement test, five years of professional experience in the industry and proof of a technical or general baccalaureate are required.

At the European Distance Learning University in Hamburg, those without a first university degree have the opportunity to create the necessary prerequisites for an MBA course within the framework of a 6-month qualification program. As soon as 3 modules have been successfully completed, you can start with the MBA in General Management, the Master of Arts in Business Coaching and Change Management or the Master of Science in Business Psychology.

In Austria there is the Danube University Krems, a state continuing education university that specializes in part-time and practice-oriented continuing education courses. As a prospective student, there is a variety of courses with a variety of subject areas to choose from, all of which can be studied without a first degree or bachelor’s degree. With the help of a modular system, in a non-academic further education, various certificates can be obtained, which – if you decide to pursue a master’s degree – will be credited by the university later. This model is ideal for all those interested who have not yet made a final decision and want to test whether the high demands can be met before studying.

Another example of a school where you can get an MBA without a university degree is the Open University, the UK’s largest state-run distance university. The OU offers a very large number of Bachelor’s and Master’s degree courses, which lead to the Master’s degree with different previous training and without an academic first degree. If you are interested in studying at the OU, you should have good to very good knowledge of English. The course is structured in modules and ends with a master’s thesis (a written academic paper).

You don’t have to move to Great Britain to study for an MBA at the OU, because the school has branches in Hamburg, Munich and Cologne. Incidentally, the OU offers MBA studies that have an accreditation seal from three recognized accreditation agencies, namely that of EQUIS, AACSB and AMBA. This is remarkable because there are only about 50 business schools worldwide with three accreditations and the studies are also approved for non-academics.

Finally, it should be pointed out that the number of MBA and master’s programs for non-academics can currently be described as manageable, although a long-term increase cannot be ruled out.

An MBA without Bachelor Degree