Have you dreamed of starting your own business or are interested to learn more about the business world? Studying for a business degree sets you up with many employable skills, ideal for most careers.
Business is an opportunity to learn about the theories of management, finance, administration and marketing, and how to apply these to real-world problems.
What is business?
Business is the study of how an organisation or company operates. This can cover administration, finance, marketing and development, business law and entrepreneurship.
Business studies degrees vary in the type of course and its focus. Whether you would prefer a generic degree such as business studies or a specialised course like resource management for example. Most degrees offer the opportunity to complete a year-long work placement to gain work experience.
The types of degrees include:
- Business studies degree: Covers various areas of business in the first year or two including economics, marketing, accounting, managing people, business law and more.
- Business management degree: Similar to business studies, this degree has more emphasis on management, and the use of maths in business, whilst still covering other areas taught in the business studies course.
- Business analytics degree: Focuses on statistical analysis to help businesses use data effectively when making decisions. An analytics degree can sometimes be combined with business management, where you would also learn the key skills in management.
In the second or third year, this is when you will choose to tailor your modules based on the areas which interest you. You will need to check the course details to see how flexible tailoring the modules are.
What are the modules for this course?
The modules on this course will depend on the type of degree you choose, either a generic business studies degree or a more specific degree. Generally, you will cover the key areas of business on an introductory level in the first year. In your second or third year, you will learn about these topics in more depth and can choose to specialise in certain modules, depending on your course.
The key to writing a personal statement for your business degree application is to demonstrate interest and enthusiasm in the subject.
These are the typical modules to expect:
- Accounting and finance
- Business analytics
- Business and environmental sustainability
- Business law
- Business management
- Corporate governance, risk and ethics
- Data analytics
- Fundamentals of accounting and finance
- Human resource management
- International business and management
- Marketing principles and contemporary practice
- Organisations and analysis
- Personal skills development
- Strategic leadership
- Understanding the economy
What are the entry requirements?
Usually, business degrees can vary in their requirements, based on the type of course you choose. UCAS points requirements range from 96-159. This can include:
- A-levels: A minimum of two A-levels are usually required. Entry grade requirements range from AAA-CCC with most university courses asking for BBB. Maths at A-level is preferred.
- BTECs: Some universities may accept BTEC qualifications for business degrees. The expected grades range from DDD-MMM.
- Scottish Highers: Entry requirements range from BBBB to AAABB, with the most common requirement of BBBB. Some universities may ask for Advanced Highers in addition to Highers at grade ABB.
- International Baccalaureate (IB): For students taking the international baccalaureate, the required overall score can range from 38-26 points.
Additionally, work experience, further reading and volunteering are beneficial for this degree. You could seek experience in any field of business, either as an intern or shadowing someone in a business development role, for example.
This could be in a team working role such as a weekend job at a restaurant or with a social enterprise. Also, expanding your knowledge through reading is ideal. Look into relevant business magazines including Prospect, and The Economist, or check the websites of professional bodies such as the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).
How do I write my personal statement for this subject?
The key to writing a personal statement for your business degree application is to demonstrate interest and enthusiasm in the subject. Universities are keen to know why you chose it, your future goals and who you are.
The first thing to focus on is why you have a particular interest in business. Have you always wanted to open your own business? Has someone in your family inspired you with their successful business? Think about the reasoning behind this choice of degree and talk about the modules you are most excited to study and learn more about.
Additionally, to explain why you are interested in business, it’s beneficial to demonstrate that enthusiasm. Have you had any relevant work experience or shadowing opportunities? Talk about how you have experienced the working of a business.
You can also talk about any voluntary work you have done. This could be volunteering in a charity shop or with a social club. Learning about business may be theory based but it also heavily focuses on collaborating with others and working individually. Any experience showing either of these things is helpful.
The university will also be interested to know if you have been practising further reading and staying in the loop with business news. You can talk about any additional reading or business magazines you have read.
The university wants to gain a scope of who you are. This means you can include a section about your interests outside of academic study. Do you play an instrument or sport? Do you love to travel or write? Include what you think shows your personality best.
Jobs can vary based on your interest, specialisms and further training.
Lastly, you want to ensure the statement is well-written. Providing an error-free statement shows your care and commitment to your work and your writing skills.
What books or equipment do I need?
Your university will provide a recommended reading list to help with your studies. However, further reading is advised as it can help develop your insight and interest in business. Reading material is available in books, magazines, online blogs and professional bodies.
Some examples of valuable books for business courses include Business Adventures by John Brooks and The Innovator’s Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book That Will Change The Way You Do Business by Clayton M. Christensen. For magazines, Campaign and Wired are solid recommendations. As the subject of business covers many professional bodies, you can look into the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) or Institute of Leadership & Management (InstLM) for more information and resources.
For equipment, the university will also recommend what is required. Some essential items include a quality laptop to write up assignments and notes. Any organisational items can benefit as well including stationery, notebooks and folders.
How will I be assessed?
Assessment can vary based on the course you choose and differ by module. These are the typical types of assessment you can expect:
- Final-year project
- Group projects
- Presentations (individually and in groups)
- Seminar performances
- Written exams
What are the career prospects?
With a business degree, career opportunities are endless as you will gain worthwhile skills relevant to multiple industries. You can also go into recruitment, banking, the media or hospitality. All of these roles exist within many businesses such as fashion, food, tourism and many more. Whether it's in the public, private or volunteering sector, you can find a suitable position. Another option is going down the route of teaching business at school or university, with further training.
Graduates with finance and accountancy specialism, often go into further training to achieve their chartership. These graduates can also train to work as financial advisors, tax managers, business consultants and investment analysts.
What jobs can I get with this degree?
Jobs can vary based on your interest, specialisms and further training. For some roles, you directly go into a job and others take more training. Here are some potential job examples:
- Account executive
- Bank manager
- Business analyst
- Business development manager
- Business process manager
- Chartered management accountant
- Company secretary
- Corporate investment banker
- Data analyst
- Events manager
- Forensic accountant
- Financial adviser
- HR recruiter
- Hotel manager
- Investment analyst
- Management consultant
- Marketing management
- Operational researcher or manager
- Project manager
- Risk manager
- Supply chain manager
How does business change at a postgraduate level?
Undergraduate degrees take around three to four years, four years with a placement year, whilst a postgraduate degree takes two years to complete.
Business is the study of how an organisation or company operates.
At the postgraduate level, business degrees are more specialised and taught at a higher level of study. This is where you will usually choose one of the modules you learnt at the undergraduate level and specialise in them. For example, some postgraduate business degrees include Management and Organisational Behaviour MRes/PhD, Business Analytics MSc and Human Resource Management MLitt.
What is the average grad salary in this area?
Salaries can vary for graduates, depending on the job you choose, your experience level and your location. The average salary for a business graduate ranges between £24,000-£26,000. Generally, entry level-positions for a graduate role can start at £23,000, whilst the most experienced workers can earn up to £35,000.