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. 

Economics

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!

Economics is a major social science which explores challenges faced by our societies today, including inequality, environmental sustainability and economic policy. Economics draws on and influences other social sciences and humanities, and it is also a core business discipline which is integral to understanding organisational behaviour, strategy and corporate performance. 

Watch this video on BCU Economics! 

At BCU our offering is distinctive. It possesses a social-conscience, so we do not restrict our teaching to common-place economic theories.  We are committed to teach a range of different, sometimes competing, Economic theories and methods, and then consider their impact on a particular range of different stakeholders. This approach is both applied and engaging, and requires you to explore and discuss within a supportive classroom environment to build both your understanding and your employability job ready skills.

Read 

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:

Many of these can be accessed for free on platforms such as YouTube. 

Listen to Podcasts 
Visit 

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).   

Start Connecting  

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.  

Watch  

If reading isn’t up your street We would strongly recommend you start by watching tv shows like Dragon’s Den and The Apprentice.   

You could watch movies like The Social Network, Jobs 2016, Walt before Mickey. It will enable you to understand how businesses are created and what the strategies of businesses are.   

Marketing

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. 

Events and Leisure Economies 

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, here’s our list of things you can do to prepare for your course.

Reading and research

There are numerous things you can look at that are specific to your area of study but we also encourage you to have a look through our blog, which includes the latest staff and student stories, and more.

Events

Read anything and everything around events, experiences, venues … if it captures your attention it’s 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. Check out ‘Event Industry News for daily event updates, this will help you prepare a whole portfolio of examples to discuss in your classes.  

Sports Management

Read up on the latest developments in ‘Sports Management’. 

When you fancy a break from reading why not watch some of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, which are being hosted right here on our doorstep.

Watch and take part

There are plenty of relevant and insightful videos on our BCU YouTube channel that will give you information about university life and what it’s like to study your course.

Events

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.

Sports Management

There are lots of exciting sporting events taking place this summer in Birmingham and across the UK. Consider how these activities were organised to develop talking points for classes when you join us.

Esports Management 

Play Esports for fun! - You've no doubt been working hard over the last year to prepare for university; enjoy your summer, get as much experience and involvement around the Esports industry as possible and remind yourself why you're excited to be joining us this year.

Get inspired - Inspiration can come from unlikely places. If you're an Esports Management student, attend and, if possible, contribute to Esports events, take pictures on location, stream on a streaming platform or develop an Esports blog. If you are in Birmingham, get out into nature or a bustling city centre, and see what captures your imagination. As much as Esports Management is a business management degree interacting with the Esports Industry, developing your holistic understanding of Esports as a creative expression, sport-like competitions, and your overall business knowledge will be helpful for you during the course.

Listen

There are several informative podcasts you can listen to help inform your studies. Some of our favourites include:

Events           

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! 

Sports Management

Listening to a podcast at the gym or while you're catching the bus can be an easy way to absorb new information and gain deeper knowledge of the subject.

Why not try Sports Management’s Podcast 

Esports Management 

With one quick search you'll be able to find suitable streams, podcasts, and audiobooks to learn more about Esports and the current status quo of the industry.

Great streaming platforms include Twitch and Facebook Gaming. Great Podcasting and audio book platforms include Spotify, Audible, and Apple podcasts. Check them out!

For something more long-form, Audible offers a 30-day free trial for students, so why not make the most of this by finding an autobiography of someone whose career you admire or delve into some Esports history. YouTube also has plenty of podcasts, esports event analysis and creative pieces from some of the esports greats such as Duncan "Thorin" Shields, Dom Sacco, Geo Collins and Richard Lewis, which you might want to watch or listen to and these are generally broken up between Esports titles, Esports genres or holistic Esports news.

Social Media and who to follow

It might be a good idea to set up a professional social media account on LinkedIn and Twitter so that you can network with your peers. Make sure you consider your professional image and identity, as what you say and post influences how you will be portrayed to others.

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.

Events

The Events industry is great for sharing – if you need some inspiration over the summer here are some great accounts to follow;  

Sports Management and Esports Management

It's never too early to start making some industry connections and learning from others in your field.

Create an Instagram account and start following professionals and researchers in the field, such as @seem_bcu 

Create a LinkedIn profile and begin connecting with people – start with the team here in your course!