Imperial College Business School

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Imperial College Business School
Imperial College London Business School logo.png
Type Public business school
Established Operational Research/Management Science (part of Mechanical Engineering Department, 1955), Department of Management (1971), School of Management (1987), Tanaka Business School (2003), Imperial College Business School (2008)
Dean Professor Nelson Phillips
Location London, United Kingdom
Campus Urban
Affiliations Association of MBAs

Imperial College Business School is a triple accredited business school located in London, United Kingdom and a constituent of Imperial College London. The current business school was opened in 2004 by Queen Elizabeth II.[1] It is based at Imperial's main South Kensington campus in West London.


Management Science Taught (1955–1971)[edit]

The business school can trace its earliest origins to 1955, when the Operational Research/Management Science (ORMS) course started at Imperial in the Production Engineering Section of the Mechanical Engineering Department.[2] There were only 5 students enrolled when the programme commenced in October 1955 at 14 Prince's Gardens, with an arrangement in place for students to be able to attend one-day intensive economics and accounting courses for one or two terms at the London School of Economics.[2] The agreement became a reciprocal one lasting until 1966. In the mid-1960s, there was even the idea of creating a joint School of Administration, Economics and Technology (between Imperial and LSE) but this was ultimately rejected in favour of a new graduate school of business being started in the capital (and another in Manchester, now known as the Alliance Manchester Business School) in line with Lord Frank's 1963 report recommendations.[3] Imperial and LSE acted as co-sponsors in the establishment of this new school, named the London Graduate School of Business Studies and now known as the London Business School.[2] Accordingly, the London Business School's first academic planning board included the heads of Imperial College and LSE.[4]

Department of Management Science (1971–1987)[edit]

Prime Minister Gordon Brown visits for a Q&A session on the economy

From the ORMS course, a Department of Management Science (DMS) was established at Imperial in 1971, under the leadership of Samuel Eilon.[5] The department was composed of staff and students from Imperial's Industrial Sociology Unit and at its inception had 15 academic staff and around 60 students on an MSc course.[5] Over subsequent years the department grew and its focus shifted towards business studies.[5]

School of Management (1987–2003)[edit]

In 1987 the Department of Management Science was merged with Imperial's Department of Social and Economic Studies to form a new School of Management, based in new purpose built accommodation on Exhibition Road.[6] David Norbun was the first Director.[6] The School launched a new three-year part-time Executive MBA course.[7]

Tanaka Business School (2003–2008)[edit]

In 2000 Gary A. Tanaka, an alumnus of Imperial, agreed to make a substantial donation to the college.[7] It was decided to utilise the donation, together with other resources, to fund the transformation of the School of Management into a research-led business school.[7] Tanaka ultimately donated a total of £27 million to Imperial, of which £25 million went to the new business school, in what was at the time the largest single donation to any European business school.[8][9] The new Tanaka Business School was launched in 2003, with David Begg as Director.[7]

Imperial College Business School (2008–present)[edit]

In August 2008 the school was renamed Imperial College Business School because the old name did not strongly emphasise its association with the College. The school's accommodation was subsequently named "the Tanaka Building".[10] An alternative speculation is that the college changed the name of the school to distance itself from Tanaka's fraudulent activities[11] after he was tried and found guilty of conspiracy, securities fraud and investment adviser fraud in the same year.

In March 2013 the British hedge fund manager and Imperial alumnus Alan Howard donated £20.1 million to fund the establishment of a finance research centre, the Brevan Howard Centre for Financial Analysis.[12]

Imperial College Business School



The main building is located at Imperial's South Kensington campus and has its main entrance on Exhibition Road.[1][13] The building was designed by Foster and Partners and Buro Happold.[1] It was constructed between September 2002 and June 2004 at a cost of £15.7 million, and was opened in 2004 by Queen Elizabeth II.[1] The building was renamed the Tanaka Building in August 2008.[10] The business school also operates out of a secondary building, 53 Prince's Gate, also in South Kensington.


South Kensington is home to a high concentration of cultural institutions:

Taught programmes[edit]


Imperial College Business School offers the following postgraduate programmes: MBA (Imperial MBA, Imperial Executive MBA & Global MBA), Master's programmes, Joint Master's programmes, and a Doctoral programme.

Regarding the Finance programme, the most quantitative programme offered at the business school is the MSc in Risk Management & Financial Engineering. During this one year programme, the students are able to choose their electives allowing them to have tailored programme to their career prospects. In this master, over 90% of the students are international students from all over the world, creating a cultural melting pot. Most of the students work as: trader, quants', risk manager or consultants.


The school itself does not offer undergraduate degrees, however the majority of undergraduate students in other faculties at Imperial College London will have the option of studying management modules towards their degrees. Some departments' students can combine management with their science courses to attain a joint-honours degree. Medical students can study an intercalated BSc in Medical Sciences with Management while in their fourth year before returning to clinical training. Medical students from other universities can join this course.

Course fees[edit]

The cost of the full-time Imperial MBA (from September 2016) is £45,000.[14] The Global Online MBA, Weekend MBA and Executive MBA cost £33,000, £42,000 and £46,000 respectively. The MSc Finance and MSc Management courses attract fees of £32,000 and £26,000 respectively.[15][16]

Research and doctoral programme[edit]

Imperial College Business School is recognised as a leading research institution in business and management. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), Imperial's business school had the highest proportion of ‘world-leading’ (4*) and ‘internationally excellent’ (3*) research in the UK (92%), ahead of the London School of Economics at 89%.[17][18]

Doctoral students joining the business school's 5-year PhD in management programme assimilate into one of the following three research groups:

  • Management Group - examines many of the core management disciplines such as economics, health management, marketing, operations management, and strategy and organisational behaviour. The Group's work is complemented by the two specialist groups (below).
  • Finance Group - active in quantitative finance research. The group has particular interests in derivative pricing, capital markets research, credit risk modelling, risk management and financial econometrics.
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship Group - focuses on how innovation occurs, how new products and processes are developed and how new ideas transfer from the lab to the organisation and how new products are adopted by consumers.


Entrance to the PhD programme is highly competitive. The acceptance rate for new doctoral researchers at the business school is around 5% each year, with an annual intake of around 15 students.[19] For the Master in Finance, the admission is very competitive as well, with an admission rate below 10%.


Imperial College London places in the top 10 universities in the world, including in the 2016 Times Higher Education and QS World Universities Rankings.[20]

Imperial College Business School ranked 3rd within the UK in the 2015 Financial Times.[21]

Innovation Imperial ranks 1st in entrepreneurship within Europe, in Businessweek, the Financial Times, and The World's Most Innovative Universities Rankings by Reuters[22][23][24]

Masters in Finance The MSc in Finance is ranked 2nd in the UK and 11th in the world by the Financial Times in 2016.[25]

MBA Imperial's MBA was ranked 4th in the UK and 11th in Europe by the Financial Times in 2016.[26]

Masters in Management The Financial Times has ranked the MSc in Management 1st in the UK in 2011 and 2013.[27]

Academic staff[edit]

Directors and Deans[edit]

  • Sam Eilon (1955–1987)
  • David Norbun (1987–2003)
  • David Begg (2003–2012)
  • Dot Griffiths (2012–2013)
  • G. "Anand" Anandalingam (2013–June 2016)
  • Nelson Phillips (July 2016–present)

Other notable academic staff[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d 21st Century Learning Environments. OECD Publishing. 2006. p. 100. ISBN 9789264006508. 
  2. ^ a b c "A History of Management Science at Imperial College (1955-1989)" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-07-30. 
  3. ^ "History of the Department - About us - Department of Management - Home". 2016-05-09. Retrieved 2016-07-30. 
  4. ^ Allan P. O. Williams. "The History of UK Business and Management Education". p. 16. Retrieved 2016-07-30. 
  5. ^ a b c Gay, Hannah (2007). The History of Imperial College London, 1907-2007: Higher Education and Research in Science, Technology and Medicine. World Scientific. p. 578. ISBN 9781860947094. 
  6. ^ a b Gay, p 579
  7. ^ a b c d Gay, p 580
  8. ^ Beckett, Francis (18 May 2004). "Degrees of gratitude". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  9. ^ "Former student donates £27m". BBC News. 26 October 2000. Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  10. ^ a b "Imperial College London - Business school changes name". Times Higher Education. 28 August 2008. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-07-27. Retrieved 2009-07-28. 
  12. ^ Werdigier, Julia (11 March 2013). "Hedge Fund Donates $30 Million to Imperial College". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 March 2013. 
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-08-24. Retrieved 2010-09-12. 
  14. ^ Alexander Rodriguez-Melo (2016-06-14). "Fees and scholarships | Imperial College Business School". Retrieved 2016-07-30. 
  15. ^ "Fees and scholarships | Imperial College Business School". Retrieved 2016-07-30. 
  16. ^ "Fees and Funding for MSc Management". Retrieved 2016-07-30. 
  17. ^ [1]
  18. ^ "Business School performs well in REF 2014 | Imperial College Business School". 2014-12-18. Retrieved 2016-07-30. 
  19. ^ "How many students do you accept onto the Doctoral programme every year? | Imperial College Business School". 2015-10-27. Retrieved 2016-07-30. 
  20. ^ "Times Higher Education". World University Rankings 2016. 
  21. ^ "LBS Leads UK Gains In The FT's Ranking Of The Best European Business Schools". BusinessBecause. Retrieved 2016-07-30. 
  22. ^ "Reuters". The World's Most Innovative Universities. 
  23. ^ "MBA Rankings: Top Schools for Entrepreneurship - Businessweek". 2013-01-14. Retrieved 2015-03-10. 
  24. ^ "Financial Times" (PDF). Top 10 MBA's in Select Categories. 
  25. ^ "Financial Times Finance Rankings". Financial Times. 
  26. ^ "Full-Time MBA | Imperial College Business School". 2016-06-09. Retrieved 2016-07-30. 
  27. ^ The Financial TImes. "FT Global Masters in management ranking 2011". The Financial Times. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°29′57″N 0°10′29″W / 51.4992°N 0.1748°W / 51.4992; -0.1748