Get a head start
You may choose to use this time to start thinking about your degree and your chosen career path. To help you get started, we have put together some links to resources relevant to your degree, as suggested by our lecturers. Click on your relevant subject area below to find out more.
Accounting, Finance and Economics
Starting your studies with us soon? We’re looking forward to welcoming you! If you want to get a head start on your studies and get clued up on what’s to come, look at our list of resources for things you can do to prepare for your course.
Accounting and Finance
Keep up to date
If you are going to be studying a finance or economics course, we recommend you become abreast with happenings in the financial world.
You can do this by watching the business news every day on the BBC, paying particular attention to the markets and events linked to companies and the economy. You should also read the business pages of daily newspapers – in print or online.
You could open a ‘stock demo’ account with an online trading platform to get a feel for price movements of companies, and you should research why some companies experience sudden price movements, either upwards or downwards.
Even if you’ve already received an offer and plan on joining us later this year, attending our BCU open days and applicant taster days will give you valuable insight into your course, and give you the opportunity to talk with your future lecturers and current students. It gives you the chance to gain valuable insight into what is in store for you at BCU.
If you are looking to join the following Economics courses, BSc (Hons) Economics, BA (Hons) Business Economics, or BSc (Hons) Financial Economics, look no further for tips and ideas on how to prepare for your course over the summer. We’ve come up with a range of options for you to explore and get you uni ready!
Watch this video on BCU Economics!
A good introduction to BCU’s logic of teaching a wide range of economic theories and approaches comes from the traditional but also the new and urgent economic, societal, and environmental issues is Juliet Schor’s article: Economics as if the last forty years didn’t happen.
Read anything and everything, do not restrict yourself to a single main stream-media channel or paper (Bloomberg, The Economist, Financial Times, BBC Economy etc.). Consider watching international news channels as well, such as Al Jazeera, Press TV, CNN , Xinhua, Russia Today, Times of India, Africa News etc.) Remember to compare what you are reading to alternative sources – try to get a balanced view that takes into consideration the attitudes of different theories.
Not to mention that as an aspiring economist living in times where mainstream economic models and theories are challenged, you might want to invested time and effort reading the Classics (or at least visiting and re-visiting their scripts!): Adam Smith’s 'The Wealth of Nations', Karl Marx’s 'The Capital', John Manyard Keynes’s 'The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money'. They can help you understand the economic reasoning behind policies and practices of today. Varoufakis’s 'Talking to My Daughter About the Economy' is an essential read, or listen, containing every basic concept of economics in the form of story-telling, and for those with more patience David Harvey’s 'A Brief History of Neoliberalism'.
Research and Explore
Exploring Economics, Core Economics and Real Econ are amazing platforms for those who are interested in economics that include beginners sessions to more advanced. Here is a great starting point for researching further into subject-specific areas and topics.
Start asking your own questions about economic phenomena that do not make sense! Why is the water cheaper than the diamond, although the former is more necessary? Do we currently have problem with economic scarcity or economic distribution of the wealth produced? What is the economic reasoning behind wars? Could environmental issues be resolved via the market mechanism or with different alternatives?
Refresh your maths!
Although from day one at BCU we start with the very basic maths (yes! Even 1+1) we end up by the end of Semester One of your first year to teach you basic calculus. However, it is always worth it to always practice on your own, as you (and your future employers) will highly appreciate these skills. Here you can start practicing some A Level maths in case you never attended the course.
Watch the 10 min videos of RSA Animate:
RSA ANIMATE: Economics is for Everyone!
RSA ANIMATE: Crises of Capitalism
RSA ANIMATE: The Paradox of Choice
RSA ANIMATE: Re-Imagining Work
RSA ANIMATE: The Economic Consequences of Mr Brown
RSA Minimate: Climate Change and the Future of Humanity | David Wallace-Wells
RSA ANIMATE: Superfreakonomics
Watch movies and documentaries
Here are some great films and series you can add to your summer watch list:
- The Emperor's New Clothes (2015),
- The Big Short (2015),
- The Wolf of Wall Street (2013),
- Debtocracy (2011),
- Capitalism: A Love Story (2009),
- Sicko (2007),
- The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (2007),
- The Corporation (2003).
Many of these can be accessed for free on platforms such as YouTube.
Listen to Podcasts
Visit Museums, Galleries, the open market, and talk to people from different professions, backgrounds, activities. Talk to local businessmen, workers, politicians about economy and try to make sense whether they make sense of the economy.
Business, Management and Marketing
We're not expecting you to be experts in your field when you join us but getting a head start can help you underpin the key concepts of your area of study and help you start thinking about the future.
Business and Management
Reading and Research
If you want to understand the basics of business, then start with reading some introduction to business books and articles. Start reading the success stories of entrepreneurs and how they are managing the businesses and bringing innovation and creativity. Try to understand the structure of the business.
Read articles from Harvard Business Review and explore articles like Developing a Digital Mindset (hbr.org). Update yourself on new knowledge and topics like What Covid-19 Taught Us About Doing Business During a Crisis (hbr.org).
Networking is extremely important for businesses. Make an account on LinkedIn and try to follow and connect with the successful businesses. You can also start following the BCU Business faculty on LinkedIn.
Set up a professional social media account on LinkedIn and Twitter so that you can network with your peers. Make sure to consider your professional image and identity, as this is how you will be portrayed to others straight away.
In terms of accounts to follow, a good place to start is with our own social media channels on Facebook and Twitter. Here, you can keep up to date with all important news and events from around the University.
So… You’ve decided on a career in marketing and will be starting your course in September? Congratulations on your decision and welcome! We’ve been working hard to ensure that your course is interesting, informative and engaging!
Want to get off to a flying start? If so, there are some things that you can do over the summer months to get prepared – Take a look at some useful tips below…
Reading & Research
First off – Don’t worry. Whilst you’ll be an expert once you graduate, we don’t expect you to start out that way! That having been said, if you have an awareness of some of marketing’s key concepts, you’ll be placing yourself in prime position for acquiring new knowledge.
There are lots of great marketing books and journals you can read to get clued up on your course so get looking. Additionally, why not check out the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s website – It is packed with information about marketing as a career. Another great source of information is the BBC’s Bitesize series which has some great information and videos about what lies ahead for you in your future career as a marketer. Other great sources of online information include Hubspot’s Marketing Blog and you can also keep up to date with what’s happening at our very own student-run marketing agency ‘The Link’ by following us on Linkedin.
Speaking of Linkedin, do you have an account set up as yet? Linkedin is the world’s largest professional network and is widely used by recruiters so if you don’t yet have an account, or if it needs work, do spend some time over the summer polishing it up and start connecting!
A marketing book which focuses upon the use of modern techniques such as Dave Chaffey’s ‘Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation & Practice’ is a really good starting point and definitely worth taking a trip to your library for.
The best thing you can visit to prepare even further for your course is a BCU Applicant Taster Day. Not only will you get to speak with future lecturers for your course and find out about general university topics such as accommodation and finance, but you will also be able to get hands on with activities through marketing taster sessions.
An applicant taster day gives you a more tailored and personalised experience than an open day, and you will also be able to meet and speak with current students studying your future course.
Events and Leisure Economies
If you are looking to join an Events or Leisure Economies course this September, look no further for tips and ideas on how to prepare for your course over the summer. We’ve come up with a range of options for you to explore and get you University ready!
Events are hands on - try to attend as many events as you can over the summer. There are a whole host of free and exciting events hosted across the summer months, immerse yourself within them! Look for examples of good or bad Events Management, what did you enjoy, what made it an experience, what would you have done differently?
Birmingham itself is playing host to a whole range of events across the summer as part of its Festival 2022 programme including free events such as the Eccentric Melodies Concert and The Unfinished Conversation exhibitions by John Akomfram. Check out the Visit Birmingham Page or Unboxed for more details of events in Birmingham.
Read anything and everything around events, experiences, venues … if it captures your attention its worth the read! Whilst each module you participate in will give you specific readings it is great to start the course with some background information on events that you have a specific interest in. You could start with reading event programmes, websites, event news and blogs or look at textbooks that focus on Event Management. Events Management: An Introduction is an essential read and will be a core textbook used throughout your degree as it covers a little bit of everything. Visit Event Industry News for daily event updates, this will help you prepare a whole portfolio of examples to discuss in your classes.
There are lots of website around Event Management which will offer you a good insight into the practicalities of the Events Industry, Meet Green is a great example of this (although there are many more) and their Glossary will provide you a good insight into some of the key terms you will be exploring next year. You could also be researching into the many, many, many different types of events that happen around the globe – the more examples you have up your sleeve, the better!
There are some great videos and films around ‘behind the scenes’ of a variety of events on YouTube which can be added to your summer watch list. There are also many examples of ‘when events go wrong’ which can be great examples of why Event Management is so important. Check out Netflix Fyre Festival documentary for an extreme example of what not to do! Ted Talks are also an interesting watch, especially around the concept of experience.
There are many wonderful podcasts out there right now for you to listen to which discuss all aspects of Event Management from an industry perspective. These are great for picking up hints, tips, and key terminology that you can begin to apply next year. We love The Savvy Event Planner, The Meeting Planning Madness Podcast and #EventIcons, although there are many more!
The Events industry is great for sharing – if you need some inspiration over the summer here are some great accounts to follow;