Business Degrees – What’s In A Name?
Interested in studying the popular area of business but don’t know the difference between Business Studies, Business Management, International Business or plain Management? There is a huge selection of ‘business’ and ‘business related’ courses available at UK universities and it may be harder than you think to identify which is best for you.
Degrees in Business and Management are certainly very popular with both home and international students and searching on UCAS will bring up a plethora of course titles. So how do you differentiate between them? The first thing to realise is that you shouldn’t rely on the course title. Don’t ignore a course because you are determined to study a BA in Business and it happens to be a BSc in Management. Different universities may give similar courses different titles and conversely different sounding courses may have very similar content.
Whatever the exact title, the core focus of any business degree will be on how organisations operate – what they do, their styles of management and their business strategies and will cover subjects such as accounting, finance, business administration, economics and human resources. As with all undergraduate degrees it is important to do your research and establish not only what the compulsory modules are in each year of study but also how much optional specialization is offered and how the course is taught and assessed.
Broadly speaking, business related degrees can be split into those that cover a wide spectrum of business related subjects and those which focus more specifically on a specialist area. If you are a student who is interested in business as whole, but not sure of which area to focus on, then you could consider the Management BSc offered by the London School of Economics (LSE) or the Business Studies BSc from Lancaster. Love maths and interested in working in technology? Then perhaps the Management Science course at UCL is for you. More specialist still are the courses designed for students who are absolutely sure of their future career path such as the Business and Automotive Management degree offered by Oxford Brookes.
Entry requirements for business courses differ markedly from university to university with the most selective institutions asking for 3 A grades at A-level (or equivalent). Most do not require specific subjects to have been studied although popular choices include Maths, Economics, IT, Computing and Geography. Very competitive universities will often offer Management degrees which do have particular requirements, usually for Maths A-level. The BSc Management course at LSE asks for Maths A-level but also likes students who can offer an “eclectic mix of contrasting subjects.” King’s College London, on the other hand, asks for 3 A-levels “to include at least one humanities or social science subject.”
Some undergraduate business courses offer so called “sandwich years”, giving students the opportunity to take a placement year, putting their learning into practice and giving them valuable work experience for their CV’s. Other courses offer students the chance of spending a year abroad, gaining the first hand knowledge of another culture that can be crucial in business.
Joint honours degrees are also popular within this area allowing students to combine business with a second subject, often a modern foreign language.
Whichever course you choose you can rest assured that you will be studying a subject that combines both theoretical and practical work. Most business courses in the UK have good working relationships with local and global organisations. Academics develop close links with industry either as consultants or through research giving students the opportunity to learn from real-life case studies and acquire the transferable skills that will be useful to them in their future careers.
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