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SOP for MBA in UK: Guidelines, Essay Prompts, Evaluation Criteria at Top Business Schools

Sugandhi Sood Sugandhi Sood
Study Abroad Expert

An SOP for MBA seeks to show your personality beyond your transcripts, test scores, and resume. As an MBA aspirant, it is obvious that you have relevant academic and professional experiences. Therefore, the admission committee expects you to focus on the aspects beyond them. Talk about your experiences and inspirations and whatever else you feel is important to draw the admission committee’s attention to.

All UK Business schools require applicants to submit an SOP, personal statement, application essay, etc. It is a compulsory requirement of the application process and plays a significant role in an applicant’s overall selection process.

How does an SOP for MBA in UK differ from others? Majority of the universities in UK ask candidates to submit a statement of purpose highlighting their motives and suitability for the chosen program and university. However, while an SOP for universities in UK is often a theme-based single essay, such is not the case with a statement of purpose for MBA in the UK.

  • 80% UK business schools like Cambridge Judge, Lancaster, Warwick Business schools ask essay-type answers to specific questions.
  • Unlike SOP for MBA in Canada or USA, UK B-schools do not require a video essay/SOP.
  • As one will expect, each school has its own SOP evaluation criteria, which most universities specify on the website.

Now that you have an idea of an SOP for MBA in UK is to be compiled, let’s checkout the guidelines and instructions established by different universities in UK.

SOP for MBA at London Business School

London Business School is ranked #1 in the UK for the MBA program. The school requires an SOP, referred to as Application Essays, for the MBA admission process.

Essay Prompts

You have to write 500-word essay(s) for the following questions:

  • What are your professional aspirations post completion of MBA degree? How does London Business School play a role in it?
  • Is there any specific information that you would like the admission committee to know about? (optional question)

Evaluation Criteria

The admission committee of London Business School will look for the following aspects in your essay:

  • Evidence of your research
  • Link between your previous activities and future goals
  • How realistic yet ambitious your narrative is

While answering the optional question, ensure that what you are writing is relevant. Otherwise, just don’t attempt it.

SOP for MBA at Said Business School

As a part of the world's highest-ranking institution, University of Oxford, Said Business School makes sure that its students stand out. One way they filter applications is via a supporting statement of 250 words.

Essay Prompt

Write a statement highlighting one aspect of their life which isn’t covered in the application form.

While answering this is substantial for all applicants, SBS requires an additional 250 word essay(s) from case-specific applicants,

  • From Oxford 1 + 1 MBA applicants, SBS need an answer describing how their course choice is beneficial for their long term personal and career development.
  • From Re-applicants, SBS asks to point out the improvements made in their candidacy since their last application to Oxford MBA.

Evaluation Criteria

Along with the question/prompts, Said Business School has also listed the evaluation criteria for an applicant’s SOP for MBA in UK. These include, excellent communication skills, leadership and analytical skills, and suitability for the Oxford MBA community.

SOP for MBA at Cambridge Judge School

As a part of your admission application for MBA, the Cambridge Judge School expects multiple essay-type SOPs- one 500-word essay and three 200-word essays. Furthermore, unlike other UK B-schools, all SOP for MBA at Cambridge are mandatory.

Essay Prompt

In the 500 word essay, you have to ensure that you cater to the following questions:

  1. How will you time during and after Cambridge MBA contribute to your short-term and long-term career objects?
  2. In case you do not have any specific post-study path, how will Cambridge MBA help you?

For 200 word essays, you need to address each of the following prompts:

  1. Tell us the hardest decision you have made and how it has shaped you.
  2. Discuss one of your teamwork-based projects. What are your learnings and experiences from it? If given a choice, is there something you will do differently?
  3. If you have to give a piece of advice to your 18-year old self, what will it be?

While the big-essay may be a standard textbook statement of purpose, the smaller essay requires you to introspect and be creative. Remember your small essays must be upto 200-words and highly relevant.

SOP for MBA at Imperial College Business School

ICL’s Business school demands an SOP, referred to as a personal statement, from prospective MBA students. The school firmly believes that it is your very first interaction with the school and its selection committee, thereby, your opportunity to form a connection with them.

Essay Prompt

Compared to other business schools, here ICL doesn't ask you any specific guidelines to write the personal statement. You can incorporate whatever you want the admissions committee to know.

As per ICL’s previous applicant pool, personal statements that reflect your personality and energy, stand out and leave a mark on the selectors mind.

Before writing your Imperial College Business School’s SOP for MBA in UK, create a draft as your essay should be roughly one side of A4 sheet. Furthermore, there should be a clear formatting and paragraph structure.

There are other universities like Lancaster University, University of Sussex, etc which also ask applicants to submit their SOP for MBA in UK. Your SOPs show the unique characteristics, knowledge, skills, background, essential points, etc about the student and have a great role in the admission process of the students to the particular university.

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