Business - BA (Hons)

UCAS Code:
Sandwich (4 years)
September 2016, September 2017

Places on this course are available through Clearing

240 points (or equivalent) are required for this course in Clearing.
See the 'Entry Requirements' tab for more detail.


0121 331 6777

Open 9am - 5pm
Monday to Friday

Our course gives students the best possible start for many different careers in business services. This four year degree includes an invaluable placement year – you'll learn on the job and apply your business studies to real work experience.

You'll study a wide range of topics, giving you the flexibility to follow a career path that's right for you. Our graduates have gone on to work for successful and exciting companies such as Rolls Royce, L'Oreal and Sony.

New for 2017/18

Business - BA (Hons)*

If you’re looking to start this course in 2017, it's important to know that the content and structure are undergoing a substantial review and are likely to be different to what is outlined here. We’ll publish more detailed information about the changes over the next few months. If you’re starting in 2016, the course content/structure won’t be affected by the review.

*This course is subject to approval.

Summary of our new course

This suite of programmes has been designed to give you the knowledge, skills and insight valued by business. On completion of a common first semester, you can choose to keep your studies more general by continuing with BA (Hons) Business, or become more career focused by continuing with BA Business (Analytics) or BA Business (Marketing).

Each module will add to your understanding of business and equip you for the challenges of a changing business environment. You will be given the opportunities to develop the confidence and competence necessary to make an immediate difference to employing organisations or through your own business start-up.

Sign up for course updatesBenefits of our new curriculum

What's covered in the course?

On this course you’ll learn about the key areas of business including finance, management, marketing, logistics and strategy, but will also have the flexibility to tailor your learning to your own career choices.

We encourage you to gain as much real-life, hands-on experience as possible. You’ll work on case studies of real companies, developing your own ideas and solutions to the challenges facing real businesses.

You’ll benefit from our exceptional links to business as well as the experience that our staff bring from the Ministry of Defence, aerospace and multimillion pound conglomerates. You’ll also have the opportunity to enter national and international student competitions. Recent students won the European Business Masters Cup, and travelled to Stuttgart University in Germany for the award.

In the third year you’ll complete a compulsory work placement, applying your knowledge to a real workplace. By the time you finish your placement, you’ll be ready to specialise your interests and learn all about international business strategy before you graduate.

Our business students have worked with local and nationwide companies, such as Hyundai Motor UK and Unipart Eberspacher Exhaust Systems, during their studies. They’ve even won awards during their placements.

“The staff are really good at helping you to get to where you want to be – they take the time to help you out.” Katherine Anley

Why Choose Us?

  • We’re known by businesses for producing outstanding graduates with the skills and experience employers want. Many of our graduates are taken on by graduate schemes and have gone on to work for extremely high-profile companies such as HSBC, Tesco, NHS, Nissan, GlaxoSmithKline, Goldman Sachs, Santander, Warner Bros and JP Morgan.
  • Our many accreditations from professional bodies mean that you can be sure that your degree is highly relevant to industry and your future career.
  • You’ll get to hear from high-profile guest speakers who’ll share their wealth of experience and industry insights with you. Previous speakers include Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Apprentice finalists, the Chairman of Unilever and Chief Executive of the world's leading beverage company, Diageo.
  • This course has a whole range of fun and hands-on extra-curricular opportunities to help you build up your experience and knowledge. You can even start your own business with the help of the Concept Factory, our purpose-built social space for enterprising students.
  • You can take part in the Leadership Challenge and work on real business projects with people like Morgan and Westfield Sports Cars.
  • There’s also our Employability Week where you can take on volunteer projects, network, and improve on your CV and interviewing skills.
Student ambassador helps Open Day visitor

Open Day - 8 October 2016

Our next University-wide Open Day will take place on Saturday 8 October 2016. Come along to find out more about our courses and see our facilities.

Register now

Please note: we are currently reviewing our entire course provision for 2017/18. Details will be included in your registration email.

This course is open to International students

Birmingham City Business School

Discover Birmingham City Business School

Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.

Visit the School website

Where our students go

Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:

  • Appleton Woods Ltd
  • Barr Beacon Secondary School

And in jobs such as:

  • Business Development Assistant / Intern
  • Trainee Teacher

Entry Requirements

Entry Requirements for Clearing 2016

240 points (or equivalent) are required for this course in Clearing.

Use the UCAS Tariff Tables to work out your points.

Call our Clearing hotline 0121 331 6777.

Alternative options

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

UK students

At the point of enrolment you must have GCSE English Language and Mathematics at Grade C or above. Equivalent qualifications will be considered.

280 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels

Typical Offers
UK Qualification Requirements 2016/17
GCE A Level/ AS Level 280 UCAS Tariff points from a minimum of 2 A Levels (BBC offer made in grades). This may also include General Studies and Critical Thinking. Remaining points can be made up with AS Levels in different subjects. AS Level in the same subject of an A Level will not be accepted.
Access to Higher Education Diploma 45 Credits Level 3, 15 credits Level 2 including Level 2 English Language and Maths for all programmes
BTEC National Diploma (12-units not including early years) D*D* or combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 280 UCAS points
BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units not including early years) DMM - 280 UCAS points
BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ National Award (6-units not including early years) Combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 280 UCAS points
BTEC Diploma in Foundation Studies in Art and Design Distinction
International Baccalaureate Diploma 28 points overall
Irish Leaving Certificate Minimum of 280 UCAS points - Higher Levels
Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher Minimum of 280 UCAS points
Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options) 120 tariff points combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 280 UCAS points
Other qualifications
If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.

Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.
EU/International students
EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications Requirements 2016/17
IELTS 6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands
International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses). 28 points overall
Country-specific entry requirements and qualifications.


International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).

Non-standard entry

The programme welcomes applications from students who have significant relevant work or life experience but who may not necessarily meet all of the published academic requirements for their chosen course. The University must be satisfied that your work or life experience is equivalent to the qualifications that other applicants will be studying. We want all of our students to succeed and will only offer a place where we believe that an applicant is capable of completing their chosen course with a strong final degree classification.

The admissions team will be pleased to discuss individual circumstances with prospective students.

The UCAS tariff is changing

If you're considering applying for this course to start in September 2017 onwards, it's important to know that the UCAS tariff system is changing.

UCAS tariff points – the points system most universities use to compare different qualifications – will be introducing a new system on how points are calculated.

More about the new tariff

Unconditional Offers

Unconditional Offers

If you are a full-time undergraduate applicant for 2016/17, and show particular potential, we may be able to make you an unconditional offer if you make us first choice and satisfy certain criteria.

To be considered you must hold, or be predicted to achieve:

280 points or above from three A levels (equivalent to grades BBC or above)
predicted DMM at BTEC level

You will also be required to attend an interview.

More about unconditional offers

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BA (Hons) Sep 2016 SW 4 years £9,000 per year Apply via UCAS
Sep 2017 SW 4 years £9,250 per year Apply via UCAS

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BA (Hons) Sep 2016 SW 4 years £12,000 per year
Sep 2017 SW 4 years £12,000 per year Apply via UCAS

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.

The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.


Places available to start in September 2016

If you would like to start this September, you can apply through Clearing.

0121 331 6777

International students can also apply to start this September through Clearing. More information for international students.

Want to start in September 2017?

You can apply via UCAS from 6 September 2016.

Additional costs

There are no compulsory additional costs or charges associated with studying on this course. While you may choose to purchase personal copies of text books, all our key text books are available from our library or online (subject to normal library loan and online access arrangements).

Based on the past experience of our students, you might find it helpful to set aside about £50 for each year of your studies for your personal stationery and study materials. All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Your personal statement

Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

This course is not available part-time

Got any questions?

Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.

Loans and Grants

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible undergraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

First year

In year one, you'll cover core business principles, giving you an understanding of everything from accounting to management to marketing. You'll also learn about the current environments in which businesses operate and present a group business idea on your new venture creations module.

You'll also get to work in groups and present a business plan to leading industry professionals, 'Dragons' Den'-style.

Accounting and Finance
30 credits
Economic Environment (Autumn term)
15 credits
New Venture Creations (Spring term)
15 credits
Marketing in Business
30 credits
Managing Organisations People and Self
30 credits

Second year

In your second year, you'll start to learn more about problem solving, business management and entrepreneurship.

Creative Problem Solving (Autumn term)
15 credits
Business Operations and Logistics (Autumn term)
15 credits
The Business Entrepreneur (Spring term)
15 credits
Contemporary Business Issues (Spring term)
15 credits
HRM Resourcing and Development
30 credits
Marketing Communications Planning
30 credits

Third year

With the support of our dedicated placement team, you'll secure a year-long work placement with an organisation that allows you to further explore an area that interests you.

The placement is an incredible opportunity to apply the knowledge that you have developed to a hands-on role and get invaluable work experience before you graduate. Employers and graduates feedback to us about how important this year is and if gives you a real head start when finding a job.


Final year

In your final year, you'll learn about international business strategy and have the opportunity to focus on the areas of business that particularly interest you, you'll be able to choose from modules such as global, digital or sustainable marketing to leading strategic change or international management.

International Business Strategy (core)
30 credits
Global Marketing (Autumn term)
15 credits
Making sense of organisations (Autumn term)
15 credits
Business Statistics (Autumn term)
15 credits
Sustainable Marketing (Autumn term)
15 credits
Digital Marketing Strategy (Autumn term)
15 credits
PR Planning (Autumn term)
15 credits
Managing the Human Relations Function (Autumn term)
15 credits
Managing and Leading Strategic Change (Autumn term)
15 credits
Business operations and systems (Spring term)
15 credits
Globalisation (Spring term)
15 credits
Social Marketing (Spring term)
15 credits
Creative Industries Marketing (Spring term)
15 credits
The Real World of Management (Spring term)
15 credits
Contemporary Advertising (Spring term)
15 credits
International Human Resource Management (Spring term)
15 credits
Placement project
30 credits

Course Structure

You’ll be assessed by a combination of course work, written exams and practical exams. You’ll have approximately 12 hours per week contact time, consisting of a mix of lectures, tutorials and seminars, but with an open door policy, staff are on hand whenever you need them.


Our travel scholarship scheme gives you the opportunity to bid for funding to take part in a volunteer project overseas. This is an incredible opportunity to develop your skills and enhance your employability, from writing and presenting a bid for funding to demonstrating just how resourceful you can be in a new and challenging environment. Previous students have built an orphanage in Ghana, organised sports events for disadvantaged children in Morocco and taught Business Studies in Thailand, making a huge difference to other people’s lives, as well as their own.

Trips and visits

During your second year you’ll be encouraged to take part in national and international competitions, events and projects, such as taking over the Emerald Forest Hotel in Germany – a simulated hotel giving you the opportunity to learn what it’s like to run a business.

Birmingham City Business School students have recently celebrated success in a number of competitions, one group won the nationwide Uni Popshop competition, which saw them They have travelled to London’s famous Spitalfields Market to trade their goods and raise money for charity, while another group travelled to Germany to take part in the European Business Masters Cup and won the prestigious award.

Teaching breakdown

27 Time in lectures, seminars and similar MidnightBlue
48 Time in independent study RoyalBlue
25 Time on placement LightSkyBlue

Assessment breakdown

22 Written exams DarkOrange
45 Coursework FireBrick
33 Practical exams #fece5a

Student stories

Hannah Sookias

With the flexibility and variety of a sandwich course as well as a big city location, Birmingham City University gave Hannah the opportunity to flourish academically and individually.

Lykos believes that studying at the Business School helped develop the skills to organise his time effectively and prioritise his commitments. He has also gained from the University’s practical, real-world approach to business.

John Ling

John was particularly attracted by the accessibility, flexibility and focused content of the course.

I can honestly say that one of the best things about the course was the help and application of tutors, which helped give me a great learning experience.

Our accreditations

Birmingham City Business School has a range of professional accreditations, which not only recognises the quality of our teaching and courses, but also ensures our programmes remain cutting-edge, relevant and linked to the latest industry developments and contacts.

We are a Platinum Approved Learning Partner for the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), which means that we have been assessed against one of the highest benchmarks in the world, so you know you’re getting the highest level of teaching.

Our accreditations come from leading businesses such as the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and the Institute of Risk Management (IRM). We have also been recognised as a Partner in Learning by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).

Study and work abroad

If you are interested in undertaking part of your studies abroad, the Erasmus scheme may be of interest to you. It allows higher education students to study for part of their degree in another European country.

It is open to undergraduates in their second year (or above) and offers a unique opportunity to enhance your CV and experience new cultures. If you study with us you will have access to an Erasmus co-ordinator, who can provide information about which institutions we have links with.

Find out more

Further Study

As a business graduate, you’ll have the opportunity to progress to one of our postgraduate courses such as an MBA or one of our MSc Management courses. We’ll provide advice and support to help you to decide what path is right for you based on your interests and career goals.

Because of the wide range of topics covered on this course, you could also go on to study towards professional qualifications in accountancy, human resources or marketing.

Student stories Peter Tighe

From Sales to Management at L’Oreal

Peter Tighe graduated with a BA (Hons) in Business Studies in 1991. After spending time at P&O European Ferries and Homepride Foods, Peter has spent the majority of his career with the world’s largest cosmetics company, L’Oreal, moving from sales to management, and from the UK to France, the Middle East and south-east Asia, looking after some of the world’s most well-known brands.

He joined L’Oreal as Project Manager in 1995, later moving into sales management to broaden his skills, before becoming Commercial Manager for the new luxury haircare brand Kerastase. The next step was becoming General Manager for Redken UK – a premium brand that had started to struggle, but still had a core of dedicated customers. After setting a new vision and strategy to build a strong and sustainable future for the brand, he left for Paris as Zone Manager for the division looking after Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and India.

Enhancing employability skills

Our emphasis is always on employability and ensuring that you develop the skills and experience that employers value, which is why this course features a compulsory placement year. Our links with industry means we know what employers are looking for and we tailor our teaching accordingly.

Our expert staff will tutor you through a huge range of business skills and theory that will prepare you for a career in many areas of business. You’ll learn about how to evaluate and apply PR, marketing strategy, operations, management, leadership and communication to a successful business.

Many of our modules involve group evaluations, presentations, reports and business plans with the aim of developing a range of skills such as working in a team, problem solving and analysing data. As skills that are valued by employers, these activities will be beneficial in helping you to secure a job after graduation.

You’ll also gain valuable experience through our Employability Challenge Weeks, as well as our Leadership Challenge programme. Both give you the chance to apply your skills to innovative and exciting projects, industry talks and workshops. You’ll also receive guidance on how to complete application forms and how to write effective CVs.


Your placement year is an opportunity to gain really valuable, direct experience and with business links locally, nationally and worldwide, we’re able to support you to find a placement that is relevant to your studies and your future career.

Katherine Anley spent a year at Hyundai Motors UK, supporting the team in a frontline role, she worked with a number of departments to coordinate information to help manage the relationships with their 170 dealerships.

James Robertson spent his placement year at Unipart Eberspacher Exhaust Systems (UEES) – an automotive manufacturer and supplier.

During his placement he worked on the biggest contract in the business’s history, getting involved in a range of logistics challenges. His performance during his placement won him a place on Unipart’s prestigious graduate scheme.

Our Placements Office will also help you find shorter placements to do while you study, so you can gain as much industry knowledge as you can.

More about our placement opportunities...


OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.


BCU Graduate+

Through our courses we give you the skills and experience needed to get a head start when applying for jobs. But we offer something extra too – Graduate+.

Our unique programme gives you the chance to develop valuable skills outside of the more formal classroom learning. We award points for Graduate+ activities (including firewalking!) and these can be put towards a final Graduate+ award.

More about Graduate+

Graduate jobs

Our graduates have gone on to successful careers in a wide range of roles, including business administration, marketing, press and public relations, financial advisors, customer service, HR and stockbroking, and some have even started their own businesses. For example, Peter Tighe has travelled all over the world as part of his various management roles at L’Oreal.

Some have even started up their own companies, like Hannah Sookias who went on to build her own PR company. Because of the many skills Hannah learnt on this course, she's also a partner in a management consultancy business.

If you're interested in running a business from the top down you can take inspiration from John Ling, who went on to become CEO of BXL Services. They support young people in work-based learning and the creation of social enterprises.

International Students

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Meet our international students

Our course is popular with many international students because it looks at all the different areas that make up a successful business. The subjects covered on the course can be applied worldwide, including international business strategy and marketing.

Our staff have worked all over the world, which is a big draw for international students. They have an extensive knowledge of multinational companies and how businesses operate around the globe.

International students will also be supported to continue improving their English language skills.

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.


BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC

Curzon facilities eatery
Curzon facilities staircase
Curzon facilities student hub

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.

The Curzon Building

This course is based at our City Centre Campus – and specifically The Curzon Building, alongside other Social Sciences, Law, Business and English students.

The £63m building offers students a unique social learning space, including a dedicated student hub incorporating student support services, in the heart of Birmingham’s Eastside development.

The Business floors house an extensive number of IT facilities, breakout areas, and specialised rooms. The Marketing Link Agency is designed to replicate a modern marketing firm, allowing students to get real-life experience of working in the marketing sector. There is also the City Trading Room, which features state of the art stock market tracking equipment, keeping you up to date with all the financial comings and goings of the London Stock Exchange and Wall Street.

The Curzon building is also conveniently close to Birmingham’s business and financial centre, allowing for strong links between your studies and the real world.

The Curzon Building also features:

  • An impressive new library with access to over 65 million full text items and stunning views of Eastside City Park
  • Your Students’ Union which is located in a beautifully restored 19th century pub, The Eagle and Ball
  • A modern 300-seat food court with space to study and socialise
  • Brand new, accessible IT facilities with full Office365 for all students for free
  • Shared facilities with the wider campus including the recently opened Parkside Building and Millennium Point

Meet our staff

Our staff are at the top of their field, regularly publishing research and with keeping up links with businesses all over the world. They use their strong industry connections and memberships to enhance your learning.

You'll connect with high renowned industry professionals as many continue to work in the industry as consultants, researchers and expert authors.

Steve Harris

Senior Lecturer Business Operations and Strategy

Steve Harris has previously worked for Lafarge as both a design draughtsman and quality controller in their manufacturing plant, and then went on to work as an aircraft engineering manager within the Royal Air Force. His research interests currently include business sustainable enterprise and leadership identity. 

Martin Hipkiss

Martin Hipkiss

Senior Lecturer

Martin Hipkiss joined Birmingham City University in 2001 and has worked with a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate students to help them to better understand the nature of management and organisations and how to work within them.

Dr Inge Hill

Senior Lecturer Strategy and Entrepreneurship, SFHEA

Inge Hill has a wide ranging career in government and government agencies, Third Sector organisations, the private sector, running her own consultancy business and working in Higher Education. Inge's focus in her teaching is on sharing her insight into applying strategic thinking to business practice. 

UK prospective students:

UK enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5595

EU / International prospective students:

International enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5389

Already applied?

Email the applications team

+44 (0)121 331 6295