Our BSc Business Management (including foundation year) is open to Home and EU students. It will be suitable for you if your academic qualifications do not yet meet our entrance requirements for the three-year version of this course and you want a programme that increases your subject knowledge as well as improves your academic skills.
This four-year course includes a foundation year (Year Zero), followed by a further three years of study. During your Year Zero, you study four academic subjects relevant to your chosen course as well as a compulsory English language and academic skills module.
You are an Essex student from day one, a member of our global community based at the most internationally diverse campus university in the UK.
On this course, you learn what’s involved in managing organisations in an increasingly complex world. We look at the enduring patterns in how people, groups, organisations, economies and societies function and interact. By understanding these behaviours, you can manage them effectively in times of significant change.
With BSc Business Management, you gain a rich understanding of how organisations operate – what they do, how they develop strategies and why.
Study areas include:
management, innovation and new technologies
the international business environment
operations and supply chain management
human resource management
ethical business management
The first year of your business management degree also introduces you to the core principles of accounting, finance and marketing to provide you with the essential business knowledge needed for a successful career.
In your final year, you have the opportunity to put your knowledge into practice by completing an in-depth, independent research project or dissertation. This will give you the chance to further develop vital employability skills in areas of research, time management and critical thinking.
This course is taught at Essex Business School. We champion responsible management and ethical business practices; you join a school not just committed to excellence in business education and social science research, but an intellectual community working to make business better. We don't just prepare you for a successful career; we'll help you shape the kind of world you want to live in.
Find out more about our teaching style at Essex Business School, watch Dr James Fowler’s Management taster session:
Take advantage of Essex Startups, the support scheme for entrepreneurial students.
We’re world renowned for our research on workplace behaviour and management.
We are ranked in the Top 150 for Business and Economics in THE World University Rankings by Subject 2023.
Our expert staff
You are taught by a highly qualified, enthusiastic team of academics and experienced, relevant business practitioners with wide-ranging research interests. Their research is used in your lectures and seminars so you learn about the latest issues impacting business today.
The role of bodies, knowledge and skills in consumption
Business model innovation
Essex Business School is home to practising academics who are active and influential in their field, such as Lecturer in Management and Marketing Dr Muhammed Akran. Dr Akram’s research focuses on the intersection of Marketing and Management. He is particularly interested in digital technologies and their impacts on consumer behaviour and marketing strategy.
By studying within our Essex Pathways Department for your foundation year, you will have access to all of the facilities that the University of Essex has to offer, as well as those provided by our department to support you:
We provide computer labs for internet research; classrooms with access to PowerPoint facilities for student presentations; AV facilities for teaching and access to web-based learning materials
Our new Student Services Hub will support you and provide information for all your needs as a student
Our social space is stocked with hot magazines and newspapers, and provides an informal setting to meet with your lecturers, tutors and friends
In our landmark Essex Business School building - the first zero carbon business school in the UK - you’ll see our sustainable approach to business first-hand. Set around a lush winter garden, are a wealth of inspiring teaching and study zones.
Our custom designed building provides you with superb facilities:
Our business school is located on the University’s Knowledge Gateway, where you may be able to take advantage of networking and work experience opportunities with businesses located on site.
Business management skills are as highly valued as your degree by many graduate employers, therefore, we embed a series of core and specific skills into our undergraduate curriculum for BSc Business Management to ensure that our graduates are suited to careers in business management and leadership roles.
All of our taught modules embed elements of our skills map which emulate the skills which are required by employers of business graduates, these generally include:
iX Business Consultant at IBM – the multifunctional information technology conglomerate
Our management graduates enjoy successful careers in their fields.
Additional to the skills development offered by Essex Business School, BSc Business Management students can also take advantage of the University of Essex Careers Service which focuses in particular on supporting the development of undergraduate employability, including: careers fairs, career mentoring, skills development, careers advice and guidance, placement year support, job opportunities, start-up support and more.
We have studied some really insightful case studies in my business management modules and our assignments have involved a lot of practical work, including: market research; writing a marketing plan: ethnographic research; strategy and analysis - which altogether has given me a sound understanding of how the concepts and models taught in the lectures are applied in the real-life setting.
Karolina Hausman, BSc Business Management, 2019
UK entry requirements
UK and EU applicants:
All applications for degree courses with a foundation year (Year Zero) will be considered individually, whether you
think you might not have the grades to enter the first year of a degree course;
have non-traditional qualifications or experience (e.g. you haven’t studied A-levels or a BTEC);
are returning to university after some time away from education; or
are looking for more support during the transition into university study.
Our standard offer is 72 UCAS tariff points from at least two full A-levels, or equivalent.
Examples of the above tariff may include:
BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma: MMP
T-levels: Pass with E in core
For this course all applicants must also hold GCSE Maths at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent). We may be able to consider a pass in Level 2 Functional Skills Maths where you cannot meet the requirements for Maths at GCSE level. However, you are advised to try to retake GCSE Mathematics if possible as this will better prepare you for university study and future employment.
If you are unsure whether you meet the entry criteria, please get in touch for advice.
Mature applicants and non-traditional academic backgrounds:
We welcome applications from mature students (over 21) and students with non-traditional academic backgrounds (might not have gone on from school to take level 3 qualifications). We will consider your educational and employment history, along with your personal statement and reference, to gain a rounded view of your suitability for the course.
You will still need to meet our GCSE requirements.
Essex Pathways Department is unable to accept applications from international students. Foundation pathways for international students are available at the University of Essex International College and are delivered and awarded by Kaplan, in partnership with the University of Essex. Successful completion will enable you to progress to the relevant degree course at the University of Essex.
International & EU entry requirements
We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.
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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
If you are an international student requiring a Student visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.
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.
Our Year 0 courses are only open to UK and EU applicants. If you’re an international student, but do not meet the English language or academic requirements for direct admission to your chosen degree, you could prepare and gain entry through a pathway course. Find out more about opportunities available to you at the University of Essex International College.
This course is designed to provide you with a broad overview of all the main areas of business management, whilst also allowing you to be flexible to study your own areas of interest.
Year zero provides with you the necessary skills and knowledge in order for you to progress onto your chosen area of study. Successful completion of year zero guarantees you entry to the first year of your undergraduate degree course.
In the first year our current students cover the fundamentals that every business manager needs to know. However, we are planning some changes to our first year and we’ll be tailoring it more closely to your chosen course. Then in second and final year you will have a mixture of compulsory and optional modules.
We offer a flexible course structure with a mixture of core/compulsory modules, and optional modules chosen from lists. Please be aware that we are planning changes to our first year to make it more relevant to your chosen course.
Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field. The following modules are based on the current course structure and may change in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.
We understand that deciding where and what to study is a very important decision for you. We’ll make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities as described on our website. However, if we need to make material changes, for example due to significant disruption, or in response to COVID-19, we’ll let our applicants and students know as soon as possible.
Components and modules explained
Components are the blocks of study that make up your course. A component may have a set module which you must study, or a number of modules from which you can choose.
Each component has a status and carries a certain number of credits towards your qualification.
What this means
You must take the set module for this component and you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component but you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
You must take the set module for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
Compulsory with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
The modules that are available for you to choose for each component will depend on several factors, including which modules you have chosen for other components, which modules you have completed in previous years of your course, and which term the module is taught in.
Modules are the individual units of study for your course. Each module has its own set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria and also carries a certain number of credits.
In most cases you will study one module per component, but in some cases you may need to study more than one module. For example, a 30-credit component may comprise of either one 30-credit module, or two 15-credit modules, depending on the options available.
Modules may be taught at different times of the year and by a different department or school to the one your course is primarily based in. You can find this information from the module code. For example, the module code HR100-4-FY means:
The department or school the module will be taught by.
In this example, the module would be taught by the Department of History.
What influences management and marketing today? Develop your knowledge of the most significant issues in management and marketing theory and practice and build your analytical skills and practical knowledge of this dynamic sector. Explore core elements within the field of management and marketing, covering topics such as international management, corporate responsibility, consumer behaviour, advertising and leadership.
What is economics? And what are the main economic theories and principles? Build your understanding, studying topics in microeconomics and macroeconomics. Develop your knowledge of economic implications and build your analytic skills in using simple mathematical techniques and economic diagrams.
Mathematics and Statistics for Economics and Business
Want to use mathematical techniques to solve problems? And to calculate basic statistical measures? Develop mathematical skills like number work, algebra, geometry, probability and statistics that can be used on any course requiring mathematics above Higher GCSE standard. Learn to solve relevant problems and know how to present data clearly.
Academic Skills covers the key areas that you will experience during your degree, preparing you for aspects of academic study at undergraduate level. The module enables you to develop and enhance your existing abilities by focusing on the core skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking in an academic context. It does this with both generic texts and also, crucially, those related to your subject area. Academic Skills provides strategies for successful communication and interaction through independent and collaborative learning offering opportunity to further enhance your research skills. The content is designed to ensure that you acquire a range of transferable employability and life skills.
Introduction to Management is a broad-ranging module intended to provide a foundation in the most significant issues in management theory and practice, as well as to prepare you for related modules in subsequent years of your degree course.
Because theoretical explanations – i.e., academic interpretations of what managers do and even of what they say they do – and what managers actually do in real organisations on a day-to-day basis may differ, we will also draw out some of the connections and dis-junctures between management theory and management practice. Our teaching also emphasises the ethics of managing and how to balance the bottom line of the business with the organisation's wider responsibilities to society and other stakeholders.
A key module across all our Business, Management, and Marketing courses Introduction to Marketing sets out the fundamental principles of marketing and covers the core elements of marketing management. The module explores marketing planning; the segmentation, targeting and positioning (STP) process; and the extended marketing mix (product, price, promotion, place, people, process, and physical environment). The module aims to help students develop marketing knowledge and skills that are important for future modules as well as the workplace.
This module introduces financial accounting and basic principles and techniques needed to analyse and interpret financial statements. Although the module is intended as an introduction for students majoring in accounting it will also benefit students who wish to gain some insight into the practices of accounting.
You’ll look at the nature and role of accounting and consider who uses accounting information and for what purposes. You’ll discuss the contents of annual reports, especially the narrative sections, and the qualitative characteristics of accounting information. Finally, the module will be concerned with key elements and the format of financial statements. You’ll earn to prepare company financial statements using trial balance and cover the techniques that can be used to analyse and interpret financial statements.
This module is intended for students majoring in accounting and those who have a keen interest in gaining an understanding of elementary financial accounting. Learn the basic principles and techniques for preparing and constructing a set of comprehensive financial statements.
The module commences with an introduction to double-entry booking keeping and accounting equations that govern the recording of business transactions. You’ll then discuss the recognition and measurement principles for accounting for some key items in financial statements, including inventory, accruals, prepayments, long-term assets, and long-term finance, using International Financial Reporting Standards as reference. Finally, the preparation of financial statements from the trial balance for various types of entities, incorporating a variety of simple adjustments.
Quantitative Methods and Finance is an introduction to the subject of quantitative methods and their applications in finance, accounting and management. The module is designed to provide a sound foundation for your future studies in finance, accounting or management. The topics covered include maths revision, the time value of money, rates of change (calculus), statistics, probability distributions and simple regression.
In keeping with Essex Business School's research and intellectual strengths and interests in Business and Society, the overall aims are that students will learn about and critically reflect on the past, present, and futures of values, value and value creation. It will explore themes of what is considered "valuable" and why, along with different models of value creation. The latter will, of course, acknowledge the traditional business school focus on the private sector but move beyond this to include the public and third sectors as well as the social economy and frameworks for de-growth necessitated by the Climate Emergency
Be well prepared for the world of work, management, and leadership in the 21st century.
Drawing on both historical and contemporary sources, this module introduces you to a range of approaches to, and ways of thinking about, organisations and their management.
You’ll gain a secure conceptual, theoretical, and discursive understanding of the academic foundations of the field vital for academic progression.
Talking both an historical and comparative approach The first five weeks of the module will introduce a series of core concepts, and styles of organising, that constitute the established landscape against which contemporary management and organisation studies take place.
The second five weeks will be more fluid in design and delivery. It will draw upon faculty research interests and expertise, as well as topical debates within the field and beyond.
Attention will be paid, however, to the contemporary organisational challenges posed by issues including the climate emergency, the persistence of structural inequalities within organisations, and the rise of alternative organisational forms and practices.
Professional and Academic Development (Management and Marketing)
A key module across all our Business Management and Marketing coursers; Professional and Academic Development (Management and Marketing) is a foundation in core academic skill requirements with the intention of improving the standard of work across all first-year modules. The module will also enable you to begin to focus on career planning and employability skills and establishing a career path. In addition, this module ensures all students have adequate access to their personal tutor on a regular basis.
The primary aim of this module is to deliver a range of study skills and introduce professional development at the start of Essex Business School students’ undergraduate programmes.
Management accounting enables you to provide three key areas of information to any business: costing, decision-making, and planning and control. In this module you focus on costing, but also see how this area overlaps with the other two, as all three areas always interact. You also develop your knowledge and understanding of management accounting and the context in which it operates.
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.
Operations Management is concerned with how organisations produce goods and/or services. Since the production of goods and/or services is the reason why organisations exist, it is clear that the effective and efficient management of operations is a central concern for all managers, regardless of the size or sector location of their organisation.
This module outlines the stages involved in creating a marketing plan and explains the tools and concepts used by marketing managers when developing strategies. To apply your learning, you undertake a consultancy project for a real-world business in response to a marketing brief. You demonstrate your grasp of segmentation, targeting and positioning, as well as a range of marketing communications tools.
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 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 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.
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 compulsory module equips you with effective study practices to excel in your second year at Essex Business School. It gives your guidance on how to use feedback effectively to improve and develop your academic skills and improve your performance. It provides the opportunity to create an action plan for your personal and professional development whilst at university.
Political, economic, and socio-cultural changes have culminated in the emergence of Human Resource Management (HRM) as a distinct function within many organisations.
In particular, HRM has taken an increasingly strategic view of the organisations' employees as drivers of competitive advantage with primary HRM functions including recruitment and selection, performance and reward management, and training and development, which are correspondingly aligned with this aim. This is also accompanied by an increasing emphasis being placed on a host of new devolvement's including the use of digitised employee management systems and an emphasis on promoting organisational sustainability.
This module will explore existing theories and approaches to contemporary strategic HRM, while also adopting a critical perspective on their impact and implementation. In doing so, it will consider how institutional and cultural contexts shape the ways in which employer-employee relationships are constructed, enforced, and normalised and will seek to highlight and explain the oft-observed gaps between theory and practice. This will enable you to develop a critical appreciation of strategic HRM challenges and an understanding of its potential impact on individuals, organisations, and the wider society.
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.
Applications for our full-time undergraduate courses should be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Applications are online at: www.ucas.com. 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 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 EU applicants 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.
For information on transferring from another university, applying when you are not at school or college, and applying for readmission, please see How to apply and entry requirements
Please note that this course is not open to international applicants.
If you are an undergraduate student residing in the UK who has received an offer to study with us in October 2023, you will receive an email invitation to book onto one of our Applicant Days. Our Colchester Campus Applicant Days run from February to May 2023 on various Wednesdays and Saturdays, and our Southend Campus Applicant Days run from March to June 2023 on various weekdays and Saturdays. Applicant Days provide the opportunity to meet your department, tour our campus and accommodation, and chat to current students. We appreciate that travelling to university events can be expensive. This is why we have increased our Applicant Day Travel Bursary cap, allowing you to claim up to £150 as reimbursement for travel expenses. For further information about Applicant Days, including Terms and Conditions and eligibility criteria for our Travel Bursary, please visit our Applicant Days webpage.
Visit Colchester Campus
Home to 15,000 students from more than 130 countries, our Colchester Campus is the largest of our three sites, making us one of the most internationally diverse campuses on the planet - we like to think of ourselves as the world in one place.
If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tours allows you to explore our University from the comfort of your home. Check out our Colchester virtual tour and Southend virtual tour to see 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.
At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.
The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification 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, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the 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 students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications. The University would inform and engage with you if your course was to be discontinued, and would provide you with options, where appropriate, in line with our Compensation and Refund Policy.
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.