This degree has three stages, each comprising 120 credits.
- You’ll start Stage 1 with a 60-credit introductory business and management module.
- Thereafter, for your remaining 300 credits, you'll combine the study of business and management with marketing.
Optional Access module – visit Am I ready? to find out about starting this course with a preparatory Access module.
You’ll begin Stage 1 with an introduction to the essential disciplines of business and management; investigating the question ‘What is a business?’ and exploring the functions of human resource management, marketing, and accounting and finance. You'll also look at how retailing has developed and the various marketing techniques that are being used by retailers.
Stage 2 begins with focusing on the essential functions of an organisation: human resources; marketing; operations management; and accounting and finance. You’ll examine their key practices, processes and contribution to an integrated approach to management.
You’ll then draw on your own experiences of interacting with business organisations as an employee, customer or stakeholder, as you discover the ways in which businesses begin, function and prosper in the twenty-first century.
Stage 3 begins with the fascinating world of strategy – from its origins and development as a subject to the controversies that dominate contemporary strategic debate.
You’ll follow this by focusing on the application of marketing concepts beyond commercial marketing and consider the issues of ethics and responsible practice in marketing.
To complete your degree, you will study one further module from a range of business-related subject areas.
The modules quoted in this description are currently available for study. However, as we review the curriculum on a regular basis, the exact selection may change over time.
We make all our qualifications as accessible as possible and have a comprehensive range of services to support all our students. The BA (Honours) Business Management uses a variety of study materials and has the following elements:
- studying a mixture of printed and online material – online learning resources may include websites, audio/video media clips, and interactive activities such as online quizzes
- using mathematical and scientific expressions, notation and assorted techniques
- working in a group with other students
- using and producing diagrams or screenshots
- undertaking practical work
- finding external/third party material online
- using specialist software.
If you feel you may need additional support with any of the elements above, visit our disability page to find more about what we offer. Please contact us as soon as possible to discuss your individual requirements, so we can put arrangements in place before you start.
Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment
This qualification develops your learning in four main areas:
- Knowledge and understanding
- Cognitive skills
- Practical and professional skills
- Key skills
The level and depth of your learning gradually increases as you work through the qualification. You’ll be supported throughout by the OU’s unique style of teaching and assessment – which includes a personal tutor to guide and comment on your work; top quality course texts; e-learning resources like podcasts, interactive media and online materials; tutorial groups and community forums.
Read the detailed learning outcomes here
If you have already studied at university level, you may be able to count it towards your Open University qualification – which could save you time and money by reducing the number of modules you need to study. At the OU we call this credit transfer.
It’s not just university study that can be considered, you can also transfer study from a wide range of professional or vocational qualifications such as HNCs and HNDs.
You should apply for credit transfer before you register, at least 4 weeks before the registration closing date. We will need to know what you studied, where and when and you will need to provide evidence of your previous study.
For more details of when you will need to apply by and to download an application form, visit our Credit Transfer website.
Classification of your degree
On successfully completing this course, you’ll be awarded the BA (Honours) Business Management degree. You’ll have the opportunity to attend a degree ceremony. If you choose to specialise – for example, in economics, your degree title will be BA (Honours) Business Management (Economics).
The class of degree (first, upper second, lower second or third class honours) depends on your grades at Stages 2 and 3.
As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the qualification-specific regulations below and the academic regulations that are available on our Essential Documents website.
Skills for career development
This degree course will help you develop a broad set of skills that are of high value to employers, including the ability to:
- understand key business functions such as marketing, human resources, information management, accounting and finance, and operations in their wider organisational and social context
- put together reasoned arguments and question assumptions
- draw together, analyse and critically evaluate information
- understand the nature of leadership skills and behaviours within organisations
- communicate effectively, clearly and accurately with others
- use ICT to research, identify and present information
- manage time and take responsibility for your own personal development.
The skills and knowledge you’ll develop by studying this degree will equip you to follow a number of career paths, and are recognised by employers as having great value for work in management and business. A qualification in business management can lead to opportunities in a wide range of areas such as:
- middle and senior management positions across all sectors
- advertising and marketing
- human resources
- banking, including investment banking
- sales and retail
- management consultancy
- business journalism
- transport and logistics.
Employers are keen to utilise the commercial awareness that business graduates offer, as increasing globalisation and continual changes in technology, communications, financial services and distribution of goods and services open up new business opportunities. This awareness can also lead to opportunities in specialist areas concerned with offering guidance to managers, such as management consultancy or business journalism.
Many graduate-level jobs are open to graduates of any discipline, particularly in business, finance, management consultancy and the public sector. Some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree.
In addition to improving your career prospects, studying with the OU is an enriching experience that broadens your horizons, develops your knowledge, builds your confidence and enhances your life skills.
Exploring your options
Once you register with us (and for up to three years after you finish your studies), you’ll have full access to our careers service for a wide range of information and advice – including online forums, website, interview simulation, vacancy service as well as the option to email or speak to a careers adviser. Some areas of the careers service website are available for you to see now, including help with looking for and applying for jobs. You can also read more general information about how OU study enhances your career.
In the meantime if you want to do some research around this qualification and where it might take you, we’ve put together a list of relevant job titles as a starting point (note that some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree):
- business development officer
- recruitment consultant
- e-marketing executive
- publicity officer
- risk analyst
- advertising account manager
- management consultant
- business journalist
- human resources manager
- sales and retail manager
- business analyst
- area manager
- logistics manager
- marketing manager.
Want to see more jobs? Use the career explorer for job ideas from the National Careers Service, PlanIT Plus in Scotland and Prospects across all nations. You can also visit GradIreland for the Republic of Ireland