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Business and Management Subject Guide

Thinking about applying for a postgraduate degree in business and management? A business management course is a great way to build on your undergraduate studies or change career direction. You might be looking for courses that allow you to focus on a certain area of business, such as international business or business development, or are looking to gain a widely valued qualification like an MBA. With many universities offering high quality business management courses, it’s important to choose the right course and university for your needs.  

Read on to find out everything you need to know about business and management courses, why you should do one, the entry requirements, and where you could study. 


Why do a business and management degree? 

This industry-focused discipline aims to train professionals that form the backbone of organisations and companies of all sizes, all around the world. Business and management courses are built around the planning, organisation, analysis, and ongoing management of all kinds of business activities. 

Students taking on a business management course at postgraduate level will develop the knowledge and skills they’ll need to contribute to the operation of a successful business, or even start their own. From innovative start-ups to established multinational companies, you’ll understand what enables a business to succeed in challenging circumstances. 

As a graduate of a postgraduate business management degree, you’ll be highly desirable to a wide range of employers across almost all industries. Transferable skills—including communicating effectively, leading, managing projects or people, reporting, presenting, and more—will be valued in your target industry. 

Entrepreneurship or working in a start-up environment is a dream for many business management graduates, and you’ll be well placed to turn your business ideas into reality with specialist knowledge and training. 

What qualifications can you get? 

There are a number of business management degree types available for current or prospective postgraduate students. 

An MSc degree, such as the MSc in Business & Management or MSc in Management (International Business) are one option. These comprehensive taught courses provide a strong foundation of knowledge and will allow you to develop key professional skills, as well as engage in further exploration of more specific topics. There may be an element of research involved, such as a project or dissertation. 

You could also get an MA in Business Management, which is likely to have less of a scientific focus and more of a social sciences or humanities one. 

The MBA, or Master of Business Administration, is a widely known and popular qualification for students in this area. It tends to have a broader curriculum, and typically expects applicants to have several years of experience in a management or leadership role before enrolling. 

It’s also possible to undertake a research degree in the business and management area, such as an MRes, MPhil or PhD. This will allow you to independently conduct research in the field of business management, contributing to the development of global knowledge and practices. 

Go to: Search business and management courses

What jobs can you do with a business and management degree? 

Completing a postgraduate degree in this area is a great way to maximise your career prospects in this field, making yourself eligible for a wider range of business management jobs.  

An attractive characteristic of business and management degrees is their relevance to businesses and organisations of all kinds. As a result, you’ll find that you’re qualified for jobs in many different countries and industries. With hard work and perseverance, you may also be able to rise to senior leadership or chief executive positions. 

You’re also well placed to start your own business across many sectors, as well as being highly attractive to startup companies. 

Business and management jobs you could do include, but are not limited to: 

  • Account executive 
  • Accountant 
  • Arbitrator 
  • Business development manager 
  • Business process manager 
  • Data analyst 
  • Forensic accountant 
  • Human resources manager 
  • Industrial relations manager 
  • Investment banker 
  • Management accountant 
  • Management consultant 
  • Operations manager 
  • Project manager 
  • Risk manager 
  • Stockbroker 
  • Supply chain manager 

What are the business and management degree entry requirements? 

To get a place on a business or management degree, you’ll typically need to have at least a 2:2 grade at undergraduate honours level. This can often be in any subject area. 

Professional experience in a business or management context, particularly leadership experience, is highly valued and may allow you to apply even if you don’t have the necessary academic qualifications. 

At least two years of professional experience is usually a requirement for MBA courses. 

You’ll often be expected to be able to show previous research experience, or extensive industry experience, if you’re applying for a doctoral research degree in business and management such as a PhD. 

What business and management courses are there? 

There are a number of different business and management courses to choose from. While many will overlap in content covered, each will have its own particular focus and may involve unique professional or industrial experience opportunities. Some of the available courses include: 

  • MBA – Master of Business Administration 
  • MA – Business and Management 
  • MSc – Management (International Business) 
  • MSc – Business with Human Resource Management 
  • MSc – Engineering Business Management (online) 

What topics does a business and management degree cover? 

Each business and management degree will have its own unique set of modules, including compulsory core modules and a range of optional elective modules. Some of the topics you could expect include: 

  • Strategic management for competitive advantage 
  • Organisational behaviour and practice 
  • Leadership and management development 
  • Finance and risk management 
  • Critical issues in business and management research 

What do you learn in a business and management degree? 

Completing a business and management course at postgraduate level will equip you with a broad set of industry relevant skills, without the need for prerequisite education in a certain area. Whether you’re coming from a humanities or engineering background, you’ll learn to: 

  • Communicate effectively with various audiences, for a variety of purposes, from reporting to negotiation 
  • Solve problems of various kinds, from HR to operations 
  • Manage and lead people, inspiring and guiding them to achieve their best and meet business objectives 
  • Think critically and strategically, allowing for proactive management of the business 
  • Manage projects, processes or programmes of work 
  • Create, manage and analyse data to support effective management and business success 

How will you be taught and assessed? 

On your business and management degree, you’ll usually be taught through regular lectures and classes, as well as seminars and tutor group discussions. Independent and group work, which could be in the form of essays, projects or presentations, are also common. Some courses may include a research project or dissertation. 

Assessment is typically in the form of graded assignments, such as essays or presentations, as well as assessment of project or dissertation work. 

How long is a business and management degree? 

Your postgraduate business and management degree will typically be one year long, if studied full time, or two years long for part-time students. This is not always the case, however, with some courses lasting for 16 or 18 months. 

MBA courses may be between one and two years long, full-time, depending on the programme. 

Where can you study business and management? 

There are hundreds of postgraduate business and management degrees to choose from across the UK, at more than 200 universities, so you’ll never be short of choice. 

You can use our dedicated postgraduate course search tool to find your perfect business management degree. 

If you want to study business management, some universities to consider include: 

What similar subjects are there to business and management? 

While business and management degrees can be the perfect choice for many students, you might find a similar subject more suited to your academic or professional objectives. You could consider pursuing a course in: 

  • Accounting 
  • Economics 
  • Finance 
  • Marketing 
  • Human Resources 

Next: Search for business and management courses


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