What are the key differences between a regular and part-time MBA?

As the requirements of modern businesses continue to become more complex and demanding, management and business graduates are expected to handle challenging issues that arise with finesse and efficiency.

This mounting expectation on business education to train students accordingly has resulted in the diversification of regular degrees such as a conventional MBA into other formats such as mini MBAs, global MBAs and part-time MBAs.

While the selection of an appropriate MBA format can be tricky, it can help us understand the features of different MBA programmes along with their differences.

This blog will help you get to grips with features of the MBA full-time course and part- time course and the differences between them. Let’s get started!

What does a full-time MBA involve?

A full-time MBA programme involves a structured and intensive course curriculum that is typically spread over 1.5 to 3 years. Almost all full-time MBA courses involve mandatory attendance and a rigid academic schedule that doesn’t allow you to pursue any other course or job simultaneously.

They may also have high entry criteria which can make it difficult to qualify. Although pursuing a full-time MBA can be hectic and expensive, it allows you to experience college life and offers placement assistance after your graduation.

What does a part-time MBA involve?

A part-time MBA is usually customised around students’ schedules and responsibilities, thus making it appropriate for working professionals or people with family responsibilities. This format allows you to balance your academic obligations with other responsibilities or even a hobby.

The coursework lasts two-six years, making the programme spread out.  Another advantage is the affordability—since the course is stretched over multiple years and typically taken by working professionals, it’s easier to foot the bill.

Differences between the two MBA formats

Although both full-time and part-time MBAs have similar goals and offer similar subject knowledge and management skills, there are many differences between them and we’ve highlighted these below.

Full-time MBA

Part-time MBA

Full time MBA courses generally attract students who have just finished their bachelor’s degrees and want to enter a management role. It’s perfect  for those who are in the early stages of their career and can dedicate two years to go back to school.

Part time MBA courses usually appeal to working professionals who cannot abandon their jobs or financial obligations. These courses can also be a good fit for those who want to re-establish their careers while maintaining their family and social lives.

Almost all full-time courses can be completed within two years.

Part-time MBA programmes are based on the student’s pace and flexibility. They can be completed within 2 to 6 years.

Full time courses seldom have fixed course structures and allow personalisation in the form of electives or course specialisations.

Most part-time course allow students to structure their own curriculums entirely or partially.


Other than being able to choose electives and specialisations, students can choose their subjects and the timeline in which to study them in.

Full-time courses offer an immersive learning experience in a campus set-up that allows students to explore new surroundings and interact with new people on a regular basis. This can also build excellent networking skills.

While part-time courses allow students to meet their faculty and peers, they are not required to report to the campus regularly, providing them enough time for other responsibilities.


Both formats of the MBA have their own pros and cons. You can pursue the format that suits your budget and professional interests the best.

If you are in search of ideal MBA courses in Ireland or any other foreign country of your choice, IBAT College offers both - regular and part-time formats.

Pursuing a full-time or part-time MBA in Dublin from IBAT can give you the opportunity to gain requisite business expertise along with the experience of studying in a multicultural city with diverse people.

Click here to learn more about the courses.