15 Best Business Schools in Europe – 2024

April 9, 2024

best business schools in Europe

There are many advantages to pursuing a business degree in Europe, especially if you’re interested in pursuing an international career. In this article, we’ve listed 15 of the best European business schools, all of which take pride in having international communities and global networks, as well as a wide range of focus areas and star faculty. Many of these schools offer programs in English, though some might also appeal to those who speak Spanish, German, French, or Italian. Whether you’re considering an MBA, an MSc, a doctoral degree in business, or a single executive education course, these top business schools in Europe have excellent programs that could help you land a great job and take part in an extensive international alumni network.

Types of Business Degrees

While some of these business schools include undergraduate, master’s, doctoral, and vocational programs, others are focused specifically on graduate education. Here’s a bit of background on the main degrees offered at these institutions:


 The equivalent of a bachelor’s degree in the US, schools such as IE in Madrid and Alliance in Manchester offer undergraduate degree tracks. IE even offers dual degrees in which students can combine a Bachelor’s in Business Administration with one of seven outside concentrations. For admissions, these programs require high school completion, as well as certain international qualifications, such as an International Baccalaureate diploma.


 A Master of Business Administration is perhaps the most common business graduate degree. Pursuing an MBA is a great idea for those with some business experience aiming for C-suite jobs and entrepreneurial success. While this degree does not guarantee business success, earning an MBA at one of these top European schools can certainly be a useful stepping stone. For admission into one of these MBA programs, you will most likely need to provide an undergraduate diploma and your GMAT scores, among other elements.

Best Business Schools in Europe (Continued)


 A Master of Science in business tends to focus on specialized skills in a particular area, as opposed to the broader lens of the MBA. Specializations for MSc degrees include finance, accounting, international management, and marketing. While MBAs usually expect that incoming students have professional work experience, MSc tends not to have this requirement, and students often complete this degree soon after completing undergrad.

Doctoral Degree

 A PhD is an in-depth training in academic research skills, for those who aim to go into a career business scholarship. A PhD is different from a DBA (Doctorate of Business Administration), which is designed for professionals who want to apply research methods in the business field, rather than in academia.

Certificates and Executive Education Programs

 In addition to these degrees, many of the European business schools below offer certificates and individual course programs, aimed at enhancing certain business skills that complement one’s graduate training or work. INSEAD’s Business Foundations Certificate and London Business School’s Data Science for Competitive Advantage are two examples of such programs.

15 Best Business Schools in Europe

Continue reading to learn about some of the top business schools in Europe:

1)  SDA Bocconi School of Management (Milan, Italy)

Established in 1971, SDA Bocconi is the top international business school in Italy, and, according to the Bloomberg rankings, all of Europe. This school has also been ranked as #3 in the world for its MBA by Financial Times. SDA Bocconi offers its courses in English, and prepares students to “detect the evolution of the global market, anticipate the business shifts and lead the response to change.” Its programs are also known for their flexibility, as students often design their own curricula. And considering Milan is one of the fashion capitals of the world, SDA Bocconi offers a specialization in Luxury Business Management. In addition to MBAs, the school offers DBAs and a fast-paced, intensive summer Global Leaders Program. If you see yourself pursuing a prestigious degree in a dynamic Italian city, SDA Bocconi could be for you.

 2) IESE Business School (Barcelona, Spain)

This Barcelona-based business school was ranked #2 worldwide by the Financial Times in 2023 and #1 MBA program worldwide by The Economist in 2021. And for good reason: according to the IESE website, over 94% of MBA students landed top jobs within three months of graduating. With an emphasis on international immersion, IESE professors represent over 20 nationalities and have an “open-door” policy, making them accessible for mentorship. In addition to spending intensive time studying on the Barcelona campus, students can participate in exchange programs across five continents.

3) IMD Business School (Lausanne, Switzerland)

Degree programs at IMD, including an MBA, Executive MBA, and MSc in Sustainable Management & Technology, emphasize impact, ecological sustainability, and a “pioneering” approach to technology and AI. The MBA program highlights international perspectives, with over 30 nationalities represented in recent cohorts and the vast majority of students entering into the program with over 3-years of professional business experience. In fact, alumni of the IMD’s programs (over 130,000 of them, at that) currently work in over 180 countries, forming a powerful support network.

4) INSEAD Business School (Fontainebleau, France)

With the motto “The business school for the world,” INSEAD fosters a global community through its Executive Education, Master’s, and Doctoral programs. In addition to France, the school has campuses in Singapore, United Arab Emirates, and the United States, and throughout these campuses, INSEAD boasts a truly international learning environment, in which no one culture is dominant over others. Additionally, the Career Development Center is devoted to supporting students before they even set foot on campus, leading to impressive success with job offers upon graduation.

5) London Business School (London, UK)

The MBA program at London Business School combines core courses, electives, experiential learning, and career development for an accelerated track into business career advancement. According to the Financial Times, this school ranks as the #2 Business School in Europe, the #1 in the world full-time Master’s in Finance post-experience program, and the #1 in the UK (and #3 in the world) for its full-time master’s in management. Subject areas include Accounting, Economics, Finance, Management Science and Operations, Marketing, Organizational Behavior, and Strategy and Entrepreneurship.

6) IE University Business School (Madrid, Spain)

IE’s business programs feature management, economics, strategy, and finance, all while placing strong emphasis on technology and innovation. IE has dedicated startup labs, joined by up to 40% of students, leading to about 50 new companies emerging on-campus each year. Due to this emphasis on technological entrepreneurship, many graduates end up working in the tech industry (as well as in e-commerce, consulting, pharma, and other areas).

7) Mannheim Business School (Mannheim, Germany)

Mannheim is considered the #1 business school in Germany, a country with immense economic and political sway in Europe. In addition to MBAs, Mannheim offers focused master’s programs in Management, Sustainability & Impact Management, Management Analytics & AI, and Accounting & Taxation. The school’s professors work to bridge theory and practice in business education (all the while regularly publishing in leading journals and speaking at conferences around the world). With over 100 corporate partners, Mannheim regularly invites representatives as guest lecturers, and these companies often end up recruiting graduates.

8) St. Gallen Business School (St. Gallen, Switzerland)

Seminars at St. Gallen Business school are based on the “St. Gallen Concept of Integrated Management,” which has become a standard in modern management theory. This holistic approach combines a scientific basis with practical relevance. With both full management courses and open seminars, St. Gallen offers a range of different options and intensity levels for study, all of which combine theory and practice.

9) Cambridge Judge Business School (Cambridge, UK)

Ranked #1 in the Financial Times for Responsible Business Education, as well as #2 for one-year MBA programs in the UK and #2 for Master of Finance Global Ranking, Cambridge Judge is a top program in business research and education. The program is home to interdisciplinary research centers that focus on topics from Circular Economy, to Health Leadership and Enterprise, to Risk Studies, to Energy Policy. As a fully integrated department within University of Cambridge, faculty members regularly engage in interdisciplinary collaboration, and Cambridge Judge boasts one of the largest concentrations of interdisciplinary management research activity in Europe.

 10) Oxford University Saïd Business School (Oxford, UK)

This business school offers 15 degree programs, including its BA in Economics and Management, several MBAs, MScs in Global Healthcare Leadership, and DPhils in Finance. With internationally-recognized faculty members and a strong alumni network, Oxford’s programs have been recognized as 1st in the world (the MSc in Financial Economics) and 1st in the UK (the BA in Economics and Management).

 11) ESADE Business School (Barcelona, Spain)

ESADE is ranked #1 in Spain and #8 Worldwide for its MSc in International Management, as well as #7 Worldwide for its MSc in Marketing Management. In addition to these top programs, ESADE offers MSc degree programs in Business Analytics, Finance, Innovation & Entrepreneurship, and Sustainability Management. The school also promotes a global mindset, offering global study tours, overseas internships, and possibilities for earning a double degree with outside institutions.

 12) Cranfield School of Management (Bedford, UK)

One of the oldest business schools in Europe, Cranfield is the UK’s only fully-postgraduate university, offering a range of master’s degrees, doctoral degrees, and postgraduate apprenticeship programs. These programs are designed to be flexible, making it possible for students to full-time or part-time (or even online), alongside faculty members who are committed to practicality and rigor.

 13) EDHEC Business School (Lille, France)

Founded in Lille, EDHEC includes campuses in Nice and Paris, and the school offers a range of master’s and doctoral programs in both English and French. EDHEC prioritizes entrepreneurship and internationalism. One highlight is the school’s Centre for Responsible Entrepreneurship, which was founded in 2022 to make sure that entrepreneurship makes a positive impact on society and the economy. EDHEC Business School also prides itself on its extensive alumni network of former students who have initiated successful startups.

 14) ESIC University Business & Marketing School (Barcelona, Spain)

ESIC offers undergraduate university degrees and master’s degrees, as well as vocational training programs. Not only is this school ranked among the top 100 MBA programs worldwide, but it was also ranked #23 for Best Courses for Latin American Students in América Economía. With an impressive network of universities, businesses, and alumni, ESIC prioritizes maintaining relationships with graduates and responding to their needs throughout their careers.

 15) Alliance Manchester Business School (Manchester, UK)

Alliance Manchester, now celebrating its 200th year, offers an ample selection of degrees and short business courses, across 4 main divisions and 6 special institutes. The school’s “research ethos” has three main components: producing innovative research, creating impact beyond academia, and developing world-class engaged scholars addressing the world’s most pressing challenges. Alliance Manchester also supports a large number of candidates through scholarships awarded as part of the admissions process. In 2024, Financial Times ranked Alliance Manchester as #1 in the UK and #6 in Europe for its Careers Service, as well as #10 globally in the category of Environmental, Social, and Governance.

Best Business Schools in Europe – Final Thoughts 

If you’re thinking of pursuing an MBA or another business degree, and you’re also craving an international experience, attending a business school in Europe could be a worthwhile option. For more information on international education programs, we recommend checking out the following articles: