The bar is higher than ever for executive performance. Executives need a sound grasp of sophisticated business and financial concepts, and the confidence to draw on multiple approaches to problem solving. They need a thorough understanding of policy, strategy and operational matters to take up leadership roles.
Developing and honing executive capabilities at senior levels in organisations requires considerable time and energy. Few executives and senior managers can take 12 to 18 months for full-time study, which can be disruptive to careers, difficult to sustain financially and hard on employers who do not want to lose valued managers. Part-time study can also be problematic for busy executives who find it difficult to manage personal and professional commitments with evening and weekend study.
Melbourne Business School’s Senior Executive MBA (SEMBA) program specifically addresses the challenges of studying for experienced executives. It comprises 10 x 9-day residential modules over an 18-month period, but requires only five weeks away from work in each of two calendar years.
Our SEMBA program is a global experience, with seven modules delivered in Melbourne and three overseas in Asia, Europe and North America.
By bringing together an exceptional cohort of ambitious, talented and experienced managers from diverse sectors and professions, the SEMBA program provides a highly supportive environment for developing intellectual potential and gaining cutting-edge competencies.
Our participants, professors and international partners represent one of the most prestigious and influential business networks in the world. We invite you to become part of this powerful collective.
The SEMBA program commences in May each year. Students commit to attending a nine-day module of study approximately every six to eight weeks for 18 months. This equates to five weeks away from work in Year 1 and five weeks in Year 2, concluding in September.
Class size: approx. 40
Average age: 42 years
Average years’ work experience: 20 years
Nationalities represented: Australia, South Africa, USA, India, Ireland and China
Industries represented: Advertising, Natural Resources, Financial Services, Government, Health & Pharma, IT & Telco, Real Estate, NFP, Hospitality & Tourism and Consulting
- 10 x 9-day residential modules over an 18-month period
- Melbourne-based modules commence Saturday morning at 11.00am and conclude the following Sunday afternoon at 3.00pm
- International modules require a maximum nine days away from home, including travel time. The seven Melbourne-based modules are conducted at Melbourne Business School's residential facility in Carlton, Victoria. The three international modules take place in Asia, Germany and the US
- Students are in residence for the duration of all modules.
- Students are expected to complete all coursework, no exemptions or substitutions are granted in the SEMBA program
To view more detail on individual subject areas, please refer to our Draft Subject Guide.
Applications should be submitted online at apply.mbs.edu.
Entry to the SEMBA is highly competitive. Meeting minimum entry criteria does not guarantee an offer to the program. Applicants are assessed in rounds on specified dates and short-listed for an interview before offers are sent out.
- Completed application due: 30 June
- Offers sent out approximately: 31 July
- Offers accepted approximately: 30 Aug
- Completed application due: 30 Sept
- Offers sent out approximately: 31 Oct
- Offers accepted approximately: 30 Nov
- Completed application due: 30 Nov
- Offers sent out approximately: 17 Dec
- Offers accepted approximately: 30 Jan
*Only limited places available at this stage.
- Completed application due: 30 Jan*
- Offers sent out approximately: 15 Feb
- Offers accepted approximately: 1 Mar
To apply, you will need to provide:
- A CV, showing a minimum ten years’ management experience, gained after graduating from an undergraduate degree, in any organisation or industry.
- Certified copies of Bachelor and/or Master degree transcripts, which should include subjects completed, marks achieved and proof of completion.* Applicants without formal tertiary qualifications should contact the Executive MBA Programs Office to discuss alternative entry criteria.
- Personal statements relating to your goals and how you can contribute to the program.
- Contact details of two professional referees. Referees will not be contacted until following the interview (if short-listed) and you will be notified prior to contact being made.
- An excellent command of English (copy of IELTS or TOEFL score, where required).
- A Graduate Management Admissions Test may be required if you have not completed pervious tertiary study. (GMAT is the worldwide standard in aptitude assessment for admission to postgraduate management programs. For further information, visit the GMAT Educational Testing Services website.)
*Please ensure copies of transcripts and passport are correctly certified. Certified copies are not required until you reach the interview stage.
Applicants will be notified of the outcome by email. As limited places are available each round, the Selection Committee may decide to place an application on 'hold' for consideration in the next round. Successful applicants will be notified of their offer to the program. Applicants who applied for scholarship consideration will also be notified of the outcome of their application at this point in time.
Unsuccessful applications will not be reassessed in following rounds. The School appreciates that considerable time and effort are required to apply for a place in the program. However, it regrets that it cannot comment on specific factors that may have led to the the Selection Committee’s final decision.
The fee for the 2017 SEMBA program is AUD$121,800 and subject to change on an annual basis. The program fee includes:
- Full tuition for all modules
- All text books, instruments, case material, readings, articles and study notes
- Residential accommodation (in Melbourne and overseas) for the duration of the program
- Meals on class days
- University of Melbourne and international partner institution fees.
The program fee does not include travel costs, associated with the international modules, such as airfares to Asia, Germany and the US, airport transfers, visa charges and travel insurance.
Students are responsible for some meals on class days of the international modules, as well as incidental expenses, incurred during the modules, such as telephone, laundry, car parking and other personal charges. Students located outside Melbourne are also responsible for their travel costs to and from Melbourne for the MBS-based modules.
Please note, an acceptance fee of AUD$5,000 is required to secure your place on the program. This amount is allocated toward your first modules’ tuition upon commencement of the program.
The Australian Government's FEE-HELP is available for those who meet the eligibility criteria. Repayments are deducted from your taxable income by the Australian Tax Office. Please refer to the FEE-HELP website for additional information about FEE-HELP limits, which can vary each year.
Students who pay their own fees are often able to claim tuition expenses as a self-study tax deduction, provided the degree is relevant to their job. Check with your financial advisor to find out if you are eligible.
SEMBA students can be completely or partially company sponsored. We are happy to talk to employers about the benefits of the program for their staff and to facilitate the company sponsorship process. We can also provide prospective students with a business case to share with their employer, outlining the benefits of supporting participation in the program.
The Dean’s Scholarship for Women and Management and a number of smaller scholarships are available for the SEMBA program.
The smaller scholarships are intended for applicants from under-represented groups in the program who can demonstrate the value they would bring to the class. As a guide, these scholarships generally range from AUD$10,000 to AUD$15,000.
There is no separate application required for consideration for these scholarships (only for the Dean's Scholarship for Women and Management). If you wish to be considered, simply indicate this request when completing your SEMBA application online. The Selection Committee will review all requests and grant scholarships on merit.
Dean’s Scholarship for Women and Management
Melbourne Business School has a strong commitment to providing executive development opportunities to women and encouraging their participation in advanced programs. The Dean’s Scholarship for Women and Management is awarded to an outstanding candidate for the SEMBA program. The recipient will demonstrate significant professional achievement, authentic leadership skills and the capacity to excel in a dynamic and challenging academic environment.
The Dean’s Scholarship for Women and Management is funded by Melbourne Business School and the MBS Alumni Community. It is worth AUD$50,000 and awarded as a partial tuition-fee waiver, granted in equal instalments over the duration of the program.
Women in senior executive roles, who commence the SEMBA program, are eligible to apply.
How to apply
Please request an application form for the Dean’s Scholarship for Women and Management from the Executive MBA Programs office. The scholarship application requires brief responses to questions on professional achievement, personal motivation and what attributes you will bring to the SEMBA program. Applications to the Dean’s Scholarship for Women and Management will only be considered in conjunction with a completed application to the Program.
Download a copy of the Dean’s Women and Management Scholarship flyer.