Business Studies at university level can be split up into many different subjects, or taken as one whole. Just to show how diverse the subject is, the following are often either compulsory or elective in many Business degrees:
- Strategic Management,
- Accounting & Finance,
- Human Resource Management,
- Management Science (aka. Operational Research,
- Information Systems (aka. Computing),
- Quantitative Techniques (aka. Maths),
- Foreign Language(s).
When looking at standard B/M courses, there will be some variation but most of them should be quite flexible. This is a big advantage in this degree because you can do what you like, what you're good at and what will help you in your careers - make the best of your options!
Look at the degree course components to see which ones you like the most, as I said they tend to be v flexible anyway, but look out for subtle differences. Bath do an excellent course In Business Administration (AAA/AAB typical offer), which is very practical in nature and you do projects and case study work from the beginning. Others are more academic and involve more theory (from a social science perspective) from economic theory to studying Marx's ideas. Also, you might want to consider how mathematical the degree is (LSE require AS Maths for e.g) to see if it suits you or not. Another aspect to think about is work placements (sandwich placements) where you organise a year in the middle of the degree, which you spend working gaining experience. Work experience is a bonus when applying for jobs after uni and gives you a taste of working life and what you might want to do in your career. However, it isn't for everyone and some people prefer to do the 3 years (or 4 sometimes) without getting out of the routine of studying for exams. A different example is Bath, which has two six-month paid placements (1st half of 2nd year, 2nd half of third year).
People go on a lot about the 'standard' or 'ranking' of universities, and they are often quite ignorant and gullible when it comes to these rankings. Rankings at undergraduate level are considered subjective more so, as experienced Project managers, business consultants normally always have an MSc or MBA type degree, which is extremely different to BSc level. So be careful when looking at these rankings below- they do not paint the whole picture - you can even see how 'accurate' they can (not) be by the huge differences between the two lists:
Times Business 2006
5. St Andrew's
14. Royal Holloway
19. Queen's, Belfast
Guardian Business 2006
2. St Andrew's
13. Queen's, Belfast
Life as Business Student
Graduate Destination and Careers Prospects
Typical career destinations for Management graduates included accountancy (Big 4), consultancy, merchant banking, teaching, retail/marketing and HRM/recruitment.
After completing your undergraduate degree, you are not normally considered eligible to apply for an MBA (Master of Business Administration) degree without at least a few years experience in the business sector. However, there are few universities who offer admission straight after graduation at BSc level (Cardiff). MBA fees have risen sufficiently, and it varies on the university you attend, with the most noteworthy universities asking for £24,000 per term (CASS), so working straight after your degree will no doubt be a requisite for most students. However, when in full time work, it may be that your employers ask you to take up a sabbatical by completing an MBA with all costs paid for. If you are in the unfortunate position of having to pay for your own fees, you will be pleased to know that MBA graduates have starting salaries per year in excess of what a Porsche 997 brand new would cost you.
King's College London
Central London- BM one of the best courses at King's and this is reflected by its relatively high entry requirements. Typical offer - AAB or ABB (if you do Maths A level). The course gives a broad coverage of all aspects of BM but you choose many of your modules. The first 2 years have 2 compulsory units in Quantitative & Qualitative Methods (Math/Statistics). In the final year you choose all 8 of the modules. Intake of around 100 with around 20 applicants per place - sounds like a lot but its not as competitive as it appears since most people applying don't meet the requirements. Single honours or joint with Maths, Computer Science, French, Physics and probably more. Top 20 university and good reputation as part of the prestigious University of London. Course rep has been improving massively recently, from 31st to 15th to 9th according to the Times rankings.
Has the advantage of a large business school so research is excellent, there are even more modules to choose from, facilities and resources are excellent. It is located on the Jubilee Campus, which opened in 1999 so its v new and it looks great! Many combinations of degree including Industrial Economics (and Insurance) for a more academic path, Management with a language e.g Spanish or even Chinese. Possibility of going to Nottingham's campus in Malaysia (which is a good experience and much cheaper too!). Typical offer - ABB, intake around 175 for straight Management. also has specialised degrees in E-commerce & Digital Business and Finance, Accounting and Management. Modular/Credit system so you can choose literally any modules from Politics to a language as one of your options for credits. Top 10 - 15 university with great reputation and top 5-10 for the course
Three miles from Coventry, near Leamington Spa and Birmingham - has a very large business school with all the advantages of Nottingham and added reputation. Courses include Management, International Business (must have a language and it is 4 years) and Accounting and Finance (some exemptions from major accountancy bodies). Management in particular is very flexible since 9/15 of the modules in the 3 years are chosen by you and the other 6 are compulsory. With so many options you can specialise in Marketing, Operations or Personnel Management, Accounting & Finance, small business management etc. University reputation is great, top 5-10 and the course is also very much top 5, being well taught and having so much flexibility.