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BA Business Management with a Modern Language

Why we're great

  • Essex Business School is ranked in the UK’s top 20 by the Chartered Association of Business Schools.
  • Our Department of Language and Linguistics is listed in the world’s top 150 (QS World University Rankings).
  • We focus on ethical management and sustainable business practice.

Course options2017-18

UCAS code: N1R9
Duration: 4 years
Start month: October
Location: Colchester Campus
Based in: Essex Business School
Fee (Home/EU): £9,250
Fee (International): £13,350
Fees will increase for each academic year of study.
Home and EU fee information
International fee information

Course enquiries

Telephone 01206 873666

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About the course

How does management theory relate to practice? What makes an effective leader?

On this course, you study business management alongside learning one language to increase your international employability. You learn what’s involved in managing organisations in an increasingly complex world, including topics such as:

  • management
  • organisational behaviour
  • business strategy
  • leadership

In your first year, you benefit from a fully-rounded business education by also studying introductions to accounting and marketing so you can choose from a range of career options upon completion of the course. In your second and final years, you can develop expertise in your preferred area of business by choosing from a selection of optional modules.

BA Business Management with a Modern Language is taught at Essex Business School, ranked in the UK’s top 20 by the Chartered Association of Business Schools. We are an international community of students, staff and entrepreneurs championing responsible management and ethical business.

You are taught languages in the Department of Language and Linguistics, ranked in the top 10 departments in the UK for research (REF, 2014).

Study abroad

Your year abroad (in your third year) enables you to further develop your chosen language and provides you with the opportunity to study different national business environments, legal frameworks and customs. It also allows you to develop your study of particular management specialisms that you would otherwise miss when studying your language modules.

You will not be charged tuition fees during your year abroad.

Our expert staff

Essex Business School staff are world-renowned for their research. They use research in seminars and lectures to ensure you experience a business education at the cutting edge of issues affecting organisations across the world.

Your language modules are taught by native or bilingual speakers. Our modern languages staff will share their experiences of professional translation, interpreting, subtitling, film, art, business and culture with you and integrate language learning with linguistics wherever appropriate.

Specialist facilities

Our landmark new Essex Business School building is the first zero carbon business school building in the UK. Set around a lush winter garden, the Eden-style dome gives the building its own micro-climate.

You benefit from excellent facilities and services, such as:

  • a virtual trading floor with Bloomberg Terminals offering direct use of Bloomberg data, information and analytics
  • modern lecture theatres
  • study pods and innovation booths for group working
  • a café with an adjacent sun terrace
  • study skills resources and advice

Our Colchester building is located on the Knowledge Gateway area of Campus, giving you the chance to make connections with innovative technology businesses located on site.

You also benefit from the learning resources available within our Department of Language and Linguistics:

  • Melissi Digital Classroom software for subtitling and interpreting
  • a new 20-position Interpreting Lab
  • Meet other linguists and practise your language skills at our Language Cafés
  • Experience world cinema at our Modern Languages Film Club
  • Our Languages for All programme offers you the opportunity to study an additional language alongside your course at no extra cost

Your future

As a graduate of our BA Business Management with a Modern Language you’ll be equipped with the knowledge and skills for your career in management. In a job market which is becoming increasingly global, having studied a foreign language places you in a very advantageous position regardless of which career path you follow. Your year abroad will have developed your confidence, independence and maturity.

You will develop employability skills throughout you course and can take advantage of career support both within the School and from the University’s Employability and Careers Centre. There are lots of opportunities for work experience, internships and volunteering.

Our recent graduates have gone into graduate level roles in companies such as:

  • PWC
  • IBM
  • Deloitte
  • EY
  • Bank of England
  • Hiscox
  • John Lewis Partnership

In 2015, 84% of Essex Business School undergraduates and 98.6% of our international (non-UK/EU) undergraduates were in graduate level work or study within six months of graduating (DLHE 2015 leavers).

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Example structure

Studying at Essex is about discovering yourself, so your course combines compulsory and optional modules to make sure you gain key knowledge in the discipline, while having as much freedom as possible to explore your own interests. Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore to ensure your course is as relevant and up-to-date as possible your core module structure may be subject to change.

For many of our courses you’ll have a wide range of optional modules to choose from – those listed in this example structure are just a selection of those available. The opportunity to take optional modules will depend on the number of core modules within any year of the course. In many instances, the flexibility to take optional modules increases as you progress through the course.

Our Programme Specification gives more detail about the structure available to our current first-year students, including details of all optional modules.

Language options

The language module that you will study will depend upon your level when you arrive in the department and we are happy to accept students with no previous knowledge of the language. The structure shown below is an example of the progression for a student who has an A Level or equivalent in Spanish, but it is possible to start at an initial level with no prior knowledge of the language (unless you major in French, when an A Level in French is required). Please refer to the progression pathway table to find out which modules are suitable for your linguistic profile.

You can study up to one language with this course.

The below example structure shows a student studying Spanish.

Year 1

Discover the nature and role of accounting, discussing who uses accounting information and for what purposes. You learn about the processes used to record, summarise and present accounting data, using the computerised accounting package MyAccountingLab. You also investigate the development and role of regulation in governing accounting practice.

Explore the most significant issues in management theory and practice. You draw out some of the connections and disjunctures between management theory and management practice. You also consider the ethics of managing, and how to balance a business’s priorities with the organisation's wider responsibilities to society and other stakeholders.

This module encourages you to become an active, independent learner, with the ability to reflect on business situations and form your own opinions. We cover areas designed to help you adjust to a university business education so you can perform to your full academic and professional potential. We explore the importance of referencing, constructing a coherent argument and developing writing skills for a variety of purposes, such as academic essays, exams and reports. We develop your analytical skills, critical thinking, presentation and communication skills to help you get the most from your time at university.

Want to learn Spanish from scratch? And spend four weeks abroad during the summer? Build your language abilities, so you can read short stories or novels in Spanish, as well as articulate your ideas verbally or in writing. Undertake a research project, in Spanish, on a topic of your choosing.

This compulsory module aims to help you excel in your academic studies by introducing you to effective study techniques and tools, including the study skills support and resources available to you within Essex Business School. You receive guidance on your academic progress, as well as your personal and professional development. These sessions offer you the opportunity to meet and develop networks and connections within the School and provide key support throughout your first year by helping you to develop the skills and learning strategies needed throughout your degree.

Year 2

This module builds on your understanding of management, work and organisation, exploring how these concepts have evolved over time and how they are understood now. You look at how management theory relates to organisational practice, examine the social dynamics underpinning the field of organisation studies and analyse some of the most important themes affecting management today.

Gain a more advanced understanding of the international context which helps to shape the strategies and operations of organisations, and explore some of the current issues and challenges facing organisations within the international business environment. In particular, you focus on international political economy, covering the major economic systems in the world, and tracing the historical evolution of the global order.

The business world is increasingly global, complex and fast changing. While some organisations are consistently successful over a long period of time, many fail and are forgotten forever. In theory it should become consecutively easier to imitate the strategies of winning companies and dissipate their profits. In practice, however, only a few firms become long-term leaders. In this course, you explore why that is.

This module links subject understanding to employability, ensuring you’re prepared to take advantage of graduate opportunities at the point they’re advertised. You gain an understanding of the graduate labour market and recruitment processes, as well as timelines for recruitment and interview and assessment centre techniques. You also learn about options for postgraduate study.

This module introduces quantitative and qualitative methods used in management and marketing research and demonstrates how they are applied in different settings. We explore the methodological, ethical and practical elements of designing business research and learn how to gather, review and analyse data from a variety of sources. You develop your presentation skills and learn how to plan, organise, manage and share research projects.

This module builds on your understanding of marketing concepts to highlight the role of marketing managers within organisations. You explore the essential stages and tools in crafting successful marketing strategies. You look at how marketers identify target audiences, differentiate and position products/services and manage communication and distribution channels. You then apply these concepts as you develop your own marketing strategy.

Marketing practices have dramatically changed with the rise of social media and new technological developments in devices, platforms, and applications. The digital environment presents new opportunities and challenges for marketers. Through a combination of theory, case studies, best practice examples, current news items, and assignments, you learn how the internet is now integrated into all the marketing functions and activities of modern businesses.

Want to build your confidence when both speaking and writing in Spanish? Develop your language abilities, expanding your vocabulary and improving your listening and oral skills. Expand your understanding of Spanish and Latin American culture and history through the use of texts, films and conversations with native speakers.

Final year

This module aims to develop your understanding of leadership in organisations. You explore a range of traditional and current leadership theories and relate these to business and managerial practice. You also examine business ethics and develop your team working, critical thinking and problem solving skills.

Gain an understanding of the main quantitative and qualitative methods used in business, management and marketing research, and an appreciation of the practical application of these skills within a variety of research settings. You explore the methodological, ethical and practical considerations in the design of business research, and the collection, analysis and dissemination of research data.

Want near-native level competence in Spanish? Wish to deal quickly and precisely with written or spoken documents? Refine your knowledge of Spanish grammar and vocabulary by studying different texts. Practice your writing with essays and reports, and learn to express yourself clearly in complex situations.

Since the 1980's, Human Resource Management (HRM) has promoted the view that it is the people (rather that the technology, products or marketing strategies) of the organisation that are the key to organisational success. You question the assumptions made within HRM as a philosophy and practice, and how this approach has implications for the way that employees are conceptualised, managed and treated within organisations.

This module builds on your understanding of management and organisation by considering the ethics of business activity. You are introduced to the origins, practice and theory of business ethics and corporate social responsibility (CSR). You consider a range of perspectives and use business literature to critically examine organisational ethics and analyse its constraints.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) has grown dramatically over the past 25 years. FDI manifests itself as foreign affiliates of international companies. Currently more than 800,000 of these foreign affiliates are in existence, all of which need to be staffed. These staffing needs bring with them challenges unique to the multinational enterprise that domestic firm do not have to contend with. In this module you explore the additional complexities introduced by conducting HRM across national borders.

Discover the psychology of organising. You investigate the role of the individual in the organisation, the construction of meaning, bureaucratic and technological consciousness, organisational socialisation and secondary adjustments, and the significance of organising principles such as time, gender and motive. Use film and video material to explore the issues raised and to provide contextual support for the ideas, including feature films such as GI Jane, She Stood Alone and Vertigo.

Year abroad

On your year abroad, you have the opportunity to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised. The rest of your course remains identical to the three-year degree.


  • Teaching includes a combination of lectures, seminars and computer-based lab sessions
  • Modules delivered by experts in the field as well as guest speakers
  • Contribute and interact in lectures through the use of smart technology
  • Lecture presentations and notes are uploaded online beforehand to help you prepare in advance
  • Activities designed to develop your practical language skills, such as role-play and class presentations
  • Cultural and social themes are explored through film, music, the internet, theatre and literature
  • Complete your final-year project in consultation with a personal supervisor


  • Assessed through traditional methods of end-of-year exams and multiple choice questions in class tests and essays
  • Plus more innovative and creative assessments include laboratory work, poster presentations, real-business case problems and group presentations
  • Languages assessed through role-plays and translations

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UK entry requirements

A-levels: BBB
GCSE: Mathematics C

IB: 30 points, including Standard Level Mathematics grade 4, if not taken at Higher Level. We are also happy to consider a combination of separate IB Diploma Programmes at both Higher and Standard Level. Please note that Maths in the IB is not required if you have already achieved GCSE Maths at grade C or above.

Exact offer levels will vary depending on the range of subjects being taken at higher and standard level, and the course applied for. Please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.

Entry requirements for students studying BTEC qualifications are dependent on units studied. Advice can be provided on an individual basis. The standard required is generally at Distinction level.

International and EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Email for further details about the qualifications we accept. Include information in your email about the high school qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

IELTS entry requirements

English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.0 overall. (Different requirements apply for second year entry.)

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

If you are an international student requiring a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.

Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels required. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications.

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Visit us

Open days

Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex. In 2017 we have three undergraduate Open Days (in June, September and October). These events enable you to discover what our Colchester Campus has to offer. You have the chance to:

  • tour our campus and accommodation
  • find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
  • meet our students and staff

Check out our Visit Us pages to find out more information about booking onto one of our events. And if the dates aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.

Virtual tours

If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.


Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.


Applications for our full-time undergraduate courses should be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Applications are online at: Full details on this process can be obtained from the UCAS website in the how to apply section.

Our UK students, and some of our EU and international students, who are still at school or college, can apply through their school. Your school will be able to check and then submit your completed application to UCAS. Our other international applicants (EU or worldwide) or independent applicants in the UK can also apply online through UCAS Apply.

The UCAS code for our University of Essex is ESSEX E70. The individual campus codes for our Loughton and Southend Campuses are ‘L’ and ‘S’ respectively.

Visit days and interviews

Resident in the UK? If your application is successful, we will invite you to attend one of our visit days. These run from January to April and give you the chance to explore the campus, meet our students and really get a feel for life as an Essex student.

Some of our courses also hold interviews and if you’re invited to one, this will take place during your visit day. Don’t panic, they’re nothing to worry about and it’s a great way for us to find out more about you and for you to find out more about the course. Some of our interviews are one-to-one with an academic, others are group activities, but we’ll send you all the information you need beforehand.

If you’re outside the UK and are planning a trip, feel free to email so we can help you plan a visit to the University.

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The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its course finder is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep prospective students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.