Studying a business degree, whether at an undergraduate or postgraduate level, is a common first step into a range of vocations.
Where to study business is an important decision for prospective students, so Times Higher Education has published a world ranking of business and economics degrees.
The subject ranking for business includes 200 universities across 27 different countries.
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Although the US dominates the ranking, universities in the UK and across Asia also do particularly well.
Three of the 26 Asian institutions in the ranking feature in the top 20, making Asia as represented in the highest positions as the UK, which also has three universities in the top 20.
Canadian, Dutch, Australian and German schools also perform well for business and economics degrees.
The ranking uses the same methodology as the World University Rankings, but with slightly more weight given to teaching and research metrics and slightly less to citations. The full methodology can be found here.
Scroll down for a full list of degrees covered by the ranking and what you can do with a degree in them.
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Top five universities for business and economics degrees
Stanford’s graduate business school admits students for MBA, PhD, master’s and executive degrees.
The school’s dean is Jonathan Levin, a renowned expert in industrial organisation.
In 2006, the school received what was then the largest endowment ever given to a business school: $105 million from an alumnus and the founder of Nike.
The business school at Stanford is known to be the most selective in the US, determined by the competition for acceptance on to a course. Typically, less than 7 per cent of applicants secure a place.
Postgraduate students can also take joint degrees at other schools, combining business with subjects such as earth sciences, education and law.
Although there is no specific business and management programme for undergraduates, students can choose to major in economics, international relations or management science and engineering.
The Sloan School of Management, also known as MIT Sloan, offers business programmes at the university.
In addition to MBA courses, executive training programmes and other postgraduate degrees, the school also teaches undergraduates through “Course 15”, which adds a business perspective to students with a technical and quantitative background.
The classes include problem sets that use real-world business cases and approaches them with a scientific methodology. The course also provides opportunities to do research and take part in entrepreneurship competitions.
Business courses cover a variety of topics at MIT, including operations research, consulting, entrepreneurship, finance, information technology, product development and marketing.
There is an emphasis on innovation across all these topics. Many influential new ideas in business, including the field of system dynamics, were born out of work at the Sloan School.
MIT is one of the most prestigious universities in the world. Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, next door to Harvard, it is a hub of innovation and entrepreneurship.
Undergraduate business students at the University of Oxford study economics and management within the traditional degree framework, largely taught in college in small group tutorials.
Oxford’s academic department for business is the Saïd Business School, which teaches across business, management and finance.
The school is 20 years old – fairly new compared with other prestigious business schools around the world.
Current dean Peter Tufano was at Harvard Business School before going to Oxford.
The postgraduate programmes on offer include the popular MBA programme, an executive MBA programme, a PhD in management studies and master’s degrees in financial economics, law and finance and strategic management.
MBA students can also extend their one-year degree to combine the course with one of the specialised master’s programmes.
All business students are members of an Oxford college and participate in university life outside the business school. Not all colleges accept business students but the majority do.
The London Business School is part of the University of London system and it was founded in 1964 under its original name of The London Graduate School of Business Studies.
The main campus is located in Marylebone, London and a second satellite campus was opened in Dubai in 2007.
All candidates are expected to take internationally recognised exams such as the IELT or GRE to demonstrate their proficiency in English.
The college’s main course is the MBA (Master in Business Administration) which is centred around a group of core modules with a number of different elective courses for students to choose between. The university also offers master’s courses in finance, financial analysis, management and leadership and strategy.
Notable alumni include Tony Wheeler, co-founder of the Lonely Planet travel guides, Cyrus Pallonji Mistry, former chairman and CEO of the Tata Group, and Dame Mary Marsh, the former CEO of the NSPCC.
Rounding off the top five universities that provide the best business and economics degrees is the University of Cambridge. The university is made up of 29 separate colleges.
The university is also home to over 100 libraries, which hold more than 15 million books in total.
Business and economics degrees are generally taught at the Cambridge Judge Business School. Courses include the MBA, master of finance, master of accounting and a number of MPhil programmes.
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Best universities for business and economics 2018
Click each institution to view its World University Rankings 2018 profile