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Executive Master in Business Administration (EMBA)

by Ismail N   ·  2 months ago   ·  

One of the most popular post-graduate programs offered in universities in Malaysia is the Master in Business Administration (MBA). However, for this article, I want to talk about Executive Master in Business Administration (EMBA). What is the difference between the two? Which one should you pursue if you wish to further your study?

Let’s start with a short disclaimer. Please note that this article is written based on my experience doing my EMBA. Perhaps other people experienced it differently. Nonetheless, I aim to write many articles on this program, including looking at every module inside the programs. Hopefully, it could be beneficial to others who plan to do it in the future. But, it is best to refer to the lecturers and people in charge at the university that you apply to.

Program Structure

It is structured for you to understand how business is run and administered, how decision making is made strategically and other fields related to business such as leadership and managing talents. In other words, at the end of the program, the aim is that you should be able to think like an entrepreneur or CEO of a company.

What is the difference between MBA and EMBA?

In terms of the modules/subjects, they isn’t much of a difference. However, I understand that EMBA is designed for students who are further along in their careers and want to continue working full-time while doing their Masters. Therefore, it is offered part-time and not full time.

With this in mind, EMBA program is tailored to prepare you to handle managerial level work in the office. It is not as detailed as MBA. Those doing MBA are more likely to continue with their PhD, whereas, those doing EMBA will likely pursue their career in corporate world and climb the corporates ladder. However, it might not necessarily be the case and could still be vice versa.


A degree in any field is sufficient plus some working experience (might not be necessary depending on your degree and CPGA). Since the course is in English, English proficiency level must be good or else you will struggle. Last but not least, enough money to pay for the fee. Currently around 20k.

Those with working experience at managerial level should have the advantage and find the course very interesting as a discussion forum.

Once enrolled, you will need to complete a total of 41 credit hours of coursework. The total credit hours include program core and specialization courses (30 credit hours), research project (5 credit hours) and elective courses (6 credit hours). No need to worry much about this. Just make sure you attend the class regularly and complete your assignments when asked.


As I said earlier, the modules are relevant to business people and include finance, accounting, economic, leadership, marketing, etc. Again, don’t worry much. You only learn what a manager need to know. You are not doing EMBA to be an Accountant or Economist. But at the end of the day, you should know how to read a financial report and understand the demand and supply in various types of market work.

Coursework & Research Project

Referred as written or practical work done by a student during a course of study, usually assessed in order to count towards a final mark or grade. Ok, for me I was mostly asked to do written assignments. Can be in the shape of case study or reserach on a particular topic. Certain subjects have exams 😀 (Clue: those that require you to do a bit of calculation).

One challenge that you will face is doing Group Assignments. I mean everybody has their opinion and in order to keep the teamwork going, you need to be level headed and open to any suggestion. Check for your own weakness. For me, I can’t work last minute because I have problems sleeping late at night. Hence, I always take the initiative by preparing drafts, suggesting ideas, etc. With this, we don’t have to stay up late on the last day to complete the coursework.


I do find Executive Master in Business Administration (EMBA) quite useful for managers in the corporate world. I’m not sure for those who wants to be an academician. Perhaps if there is a uni in Malaysia willing to offer me a lecturer post, I could write on this next time. Whatever it is, the most important part is to pursue the knowledge and not the certificate. RM20k is not cheap just to get a piece of paper. Push your lecturer to the limit and ask questions if you can’t understand. Try to relate with your office work. I’m sure you will come back to the office as a better manager.


1 Comment

  1. Baru jelas perbezaan diantara MBA dan EMBA sebab ada rakan sekerja sedang mengikuti secara part time. Penerangannya juga sama seperti didalam posting blog tidak terlalu heavy dan academik. Memandangkan rakan datang background engineering.


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