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Business Management with a Foundation Year - BA (Hons) *

  • UCAS Code: N104
  • Level: Foundation
  • Starting: September 2021
  • Study mode: Full Time (4 Years), Full Time (5 Years with Professional Placement)
  • Location: City Centre

Studying with us in 2021/22

It is possible that the 2021/22 academic year may be affected by the ongoing disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Any arrangements put in place by the University for the 2021/22 academic year will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, pandemic-related/health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.

Looking for a foundation course in business management in Birmingham? Our BA (Hons) Business Management with a Foundation Year course has lower entry requirements and can lead to a full undergraduate qualification.

This course has been specifically designed to allow home and EU students, who do not initially meet the Birmingham City University entry requirements for our standard Business management degree, to undertake additional level 3 study designed to ensure they are successful on their chosen degree course.

Tailor your Business Degree

When you successfully complete your Foundation Year, you will be able to progress onto a range of Undergraduate courses at the Birmingham City Business School (excluding our Integrated Master's degrees). These include:

What's covered in the course?

Business and Management are broad subjects, widely recognised and highly regarded by employers for the skills and knowledge they give to graduates. Business focuses on operations and functions while management explores the concepts, theories and practices which have an impact on organisational success.

At Birmingham City University we have combined the essential elements of these subjects into BA (Hons) Business Management - a broad-based degree which prepares you for a range of exciting careers. You will explore how organisations evolve, how they grow, why they change and how they survive and flourish. Coupled with this you will develop and practise the competencies managers need to make this happen.

Three things make BA (Hons) Business Management distinctive. Firstly, you gain an understanding of business operations including Human Resources, Marketing, Consultancy, Finance, Strategy, Logistics and Supply Chain, coupled with the knowledge and ability to engage, lead and develop people.

Secondly, research tells us employers want graduates who, in addition to knowledge, have attributes and attitude appropriate to a professional environment. We have addressed this with a theme of management development running throughout Business Management to ensure you will graduate with both a good degree and the competence to start, maintain and thrive throughout your career.

Thirdly, a key part of studying Business Management is learning about the ‘real world’ context so you will explore corporate responsibility, ethical operations, the use and management of social media and technology, and internationalisation in our post-Brexit/Global world.

Why Choose Us?

  • This course is designed to progress students who fall below normal entry requirement levels on to full Undergraduate degrees.
  • This degree course is aligned with the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).This means that the course is as professionally relevant and up-to-date as possible, taking into account the very latest developments in the profession.
  • On all of our courses you will gain a professional focus and real world experience of management, ensuring you are equipped to make an immediate impact in the business world. You have the opportunity to embark on a year-long professional placement as part of your degree course.
  • You’ll be involved in real world business projects and hear from leading industry speakers, who will share current thinking around business and management. You’ll also get the chance to go behind the scenes at places such as the luxury outlet shopping centre Bicester Village and Manchester United Football Club with our trips and visits.
  • Recognising the global scope of business, all our courses have an international focus. This is embedded throughout the curriculum, giving you the opportunity to transform your experience with us into a global one. There are a variety of exciting possibilities open to you, ranging from our successful international travel scholarships scheme, through which you can spend a summer working for a charitable organisation overseas, to one of our many overseas study exchange programmes.
  • As a student on one of our undergraduate degrees, you will be able to benefit from our Graduate+ initiative. This three-year award course enables you to gain award levels for all the extra-curricular activities you undertake so that you can stand out from the crowd on graduation.
  • Our staff have worked in managerial roles for some of the biggest brands in the world, including the likes of Tesco and Selfridges.
  • You’ll be able to choose from three distinct associated courses – Supply Chain Management, Consultancy or Enterprise, enabling you to tailor your interests to a specific course. Conversely, you could stay on the main Management route. The flexibility of the course means you aren’t tied down to any set career path – the skills you learn can be applied to any industry, whether you’re working in large teams or individually.
  • We put a heavy emphasis on the hands-on skills needed in modern business management, with practical assessments as well as exams.
  • You will study in our state-of-the-art City Centre Campus, ideally located for you to take advantage of our links to Birmingham’s business district, one of the largest in the UK
  • The course will prepare you for a variety of management roles, whether they are based in the public, private or voluntary sector, a multinational company, a local organisation or your own business.

Find out more

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

Course Accreditations

This course is accredited by:

Chartered Management Institute

Subject to approval

This course is in the final stages of approval to ensure it meets the very highest standards of quality, creativity and applied learning.

Entry Requirements

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

Essential Requirements

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

Typical Offers (UK Students)

GCSE English Language and Maths at grade 4 or above, at the point of enrolment. Equivalent qualifications will be considered. Plus, you must have achieved or be completing one of the following:

UK Qualification Requirements 2020/21
A Level / AS Level Obtain a minimum of 80 UCAS tariff points at A-level and/or AS-level.
Access to Higher Education Diploma Pass overall with 60 credits, 45 at Level 3. Must already hold GCSE Mathematics and English Language Grade 4 or higher or the equivalent at application point.
BTEC National Diploma DM combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 80 UCAS points.
BTEC Extended Diploma MMP (80 points).
BTEC Subsidiary Diploma Accepted alongside other acceptable level 3 qualifications to meet 112 UCAS Tariff Points.
International Baccalaureate Diploma

Obtain a minimum of 24 points overall. Students who do not complete the IB Diploma and who achieve the minimum of 11 points from two High Level subjects, will be considered on the basis of their IB Certificates and alongside other acceptable level 3 qualifications to meet 80 UCAS Tariff Points.

Irish Leaving Certificate (Higher Level) Pass the Irish Leaving Certificate with a minimum of 80 tariff points, achieved in three level subjects.  This must include Maths and English Language taken at either Ordinary level (minimum grade O1-O4 (or A-C/A1-C3)) or Higher level (minimum H3/D1 taken from three subjects).

NCFE CACHE Level 3 Applied General Certificate in Health and Social Care

  • 80 UCAS points.
  • Can be considered along with A-levels or a combination of equivalent level 3 qualifications
Scottish Advanced Higher

Achieve a minimum of 80 tariff points achieved in either three Advanced Highers or from a combination of two Advanced Highers plus two Highers. Where three Advanced Highers have been taken achieve a minimum of grades CDD. 

Where a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers have been taken you must achieve (grades of DD in two Advanced Highers plus grades of DD in two Highers). 

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.
Additional information for EU/International students

Applications from international applicants with equivalent qualifications to 80 points are welcome. Please see your country page for further details on the equivalent qualifications we accept.

In additional to the academic entry requirements listed above, international and EU students will also require the qualifications detailed in this table.

EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications Requirements 2020/21

6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands

If you do not meet the required IELTS score, you may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English courses. Please note that you must have a Secure English Language Test (SELT) to study on the pre-sessional English course. More information.

From A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels

  • UK students
  • International students

Award: BA (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2021

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 5 Years with Professional Placement
  • £9,250 per year
  • Apply via UCAS

Award: BA (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2021

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 4 Years
  • £13,200 per year

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.

Guidance for UK/EU students


UK and EU students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

Applying through UCAS
 Register with UCAS
 Login to UCAS
 Complete your details
 Select your course
 Write a personal statement
 Get a reference
 Pay your application fee
 Send UCAS your application

Year One

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).

20 credits

This module will help you to develop the essential academic skills required to be successful in Higher Education.  Within a supportive class environment and your own individual study this module will help you to develop basic research skills, academic writing and reflection skills.  Acquiring these skills will aid your transition to undertake the higher levels of study associated with your chosen degree programme.   

During this module you will be required to maintain a learning diary to reflect upon the enhancement of your own academic skills development. The majority of taught sessions will involve interactive discussion and activities led by the module tutor.  Certain sessions will introduce you to services and resources available to you at Birmingham City University.

20 credits

This module will equip you with the essential skills required to be successful in Higher Education.  Within a supportive class environment and your own individual study this module will help you to develop the professional presentation, time management and team working skills that will be needed in your subsequent study at Birmingham City University and in graduate employment.  Acquiring these skills will aid your transition to undertake the higher levels of study associated with your chosen degree programme and increase your self-awareness, confidence and assertiveness.   

Within the module there will be a combination of teamwork and self-directed study so as to foster a culture of innovation and collegiality that will significantly benefit your transition to degree studies and the learning and teaching philosophy of your chosen degree pathway. Through working with your peers and in addition to regular contact with the module tutor, the module enables you to enhance your ability and confidence to undertake academic study at degree level.  

20 credits

This module will provide you with an introduction to the business environment, different business functions, and how they relate to each other. Considering how businesses operate within its context will allow you to develop a broad approach to understanding how businesses work and inform your future degree and career choice.

This module will use case studies to introduce and explore different issues and the assessment will require you to relate the topics covered in this module to a real world business that will be visited during this module.

20 credits

An Introduction to Management and Leadership will provide an overview of the essential skills, attributes and actions of a successful manager in today’s business environment.

20 credits

The Foundation Practice Project module is a practical piece of extended work related to your chosen degree. It will require you to apply the knowledge and skills developed throughout your current level of study and will enhance your ability to work individually and as part of a team. During the project you will be given the space, time and facilities to support deeper appreciation for your specialisation and you will be encouraged to demonstrate creativity in the design, planning and execution of a project.

Within the module there will be a combination of teamwork and self-directed study so as to foster a culture of innovation and collegiality that will significantly benefit your transition to degree studies and the learning and teaching philosophy of your chosen degree pathway. Through working with your peers and in addition to regular contact with an assigned supervisor, the module enables you to negotiate your learning and will directly contribute to your professional development and appreciation of how others work.  

20 credits

This module will help you to develop the essential business skills required to be successful in a business context.  Within a supportive class environment and your own individual study this module will help you to develop your understanding and skills related to IT, data collection and analysis, project management, networking and leadership. Acquiring these skills will aid your transition to the higher levels of study associated with your chosen degree programme and enhance your employability.   

During this module you will be required to maintain a learning diary to reflect upon the enhancement of your own academic skills development.  The majority of taught sessions will involve interactive discussion and activities led by specialist tutors.  During this module there will be a field trip to explore how skills are utilised and developed within a business context.

Year Two

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 100 credits).

20 credits

You will learn to appreciate the current concerns among HR managers, and be aware of current and forthcoming UK and European legislation. 

20 credits

You will propose opportunities for the creation of value for a range of stakeholders, through the application of marketing concepts and practices. You’ll also demonstrate transferable skills, which are essential to a career in marketing and business. 

20 credits

You will undertake and report on activities in relation to skills and competencies essential for today’s graduates. 

20 credits

You will prepare basic budgets based on standard cost calculations, as well as create basic extracts from financial statements.

20 credits

You will gain an understanding of the main elements of organisational structures, as well as being able to recognise team-related employee behaviours exhibited within the workplace. 

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete at least 20 credits from the following list of OPTIONAL modules.

20 credits

This module will introduce you to the concept of entrepreneurship. You will study the basic concepts and theories in entrepreneurship, how entrepreneurs develop and grow individually and what it takes to launch an enterprise. In order to achieve this there will be a range of case studies of successful / unsuccessful entrepreneurs, understanding entrepreneurship across borders and explore to what extent success of entrepreneurs could be based on the traits, styles and behaviours of the entrepreneurs.

20 credits

This module is intended to provide students with a broad understanding of what is meant by employee engagement, including how it can be linked to and yet be distinguished from other related concepts like employee involvement and employee participation. Enduring definitions like that of the Maslach Burnout Inventory or the Utrecht model which measure employee engagement through the three elements: vigour, dedication and absorption will be considered, as will the CIPD’s own work around the three dimensions of: intellectual engagement, effective engagement and social engagement.

20 credits

The aim of this module is to allow you to understand how Operations Management is involved in all disciplines, sectors and areas of business and its management – not just the traditional view within supply chain management. You will gain an understanding of the management of resources for producing and delivering products or services in today’s increasingly global market. It aims to equip you with the knowledge and understanding of operations management in terms of its design, planning, control and improvement. Alongside this you will learn to apply the concepts and techniques to practical issues and live case studies of current issues.

All core modules are guaranteed to run. Optional modules will vary from year to year and the published list is indicative only.

Year Three

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 100 credits).

20 credits

You will gain an understanding of modern supply chain management principles and practice, including the evolution of modern supply chain management theory. You’ll understand apply appropriate management frameworks, which can be used for the planning and control of materials and services. You will also evaluate the range of tools and techniques available to aid efficient and effective supply chain managerial operations.

20 credits

You will demonstrate a clear appreciation of the linkages between the roles of management consultants, as well as applying a range of theory, knowledge and skills to diagnose organisational issues. You will complete the module with a clear understanding if the skills needed for developing critical insights into organisational issues.

20 credits

This module gives opportunities to develop your depth of understanding of issues in relation to the development of management competencies to prepare for the workplace, for placement activities and for modern working life.

20 credits

You will gain an understanding in contemporary and technological management issues within HRM and digital marketing. You will also demonstrate an understanding of project management in the context of managing contemporary issues. 

20 credits

In this module, you will apply relevant strategic concepts and techniques of competitive strategy to the analysis of strategic choice. You will enhance your ability to contribute effectively to discussions, presentations or debates. 

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete at least 20 credits from the following list of OPTIONAL modules.

20 credits

This Module enables you to explore the broader roles of managers as consultants as they seek to align organisational systems, processes and activities within an increasingly dynamic external environment. You’ll be working individually, and within a group, to integrate theory and practice to tackle ‘real world’ organisational problems, issues and situations, presented through a case study. In doing so you’ll develop valuable practice-based learning through the use of relevant tools and techniques of problem analysis.

20 credits

In this module you will explore the role of entrepreneurship and small business management with the view of growth. You will investigate and explore how organisations firstly form, then how they begin to evolve. Students will examine how the organisations, their customers and key stakeholders may change as organisations grow to become long term sustainable businesses. Relevant content relating to new venture creation and small business growth theories will be delivered.

20 credits

This module takes as its starting point the assumption that management of organisations, large and small, is now usually done across national boundaries, this is due to competitive forces as well as technological and political changes. These dynamic shifts have led to the need for managers to have more than a passing appreciation of the cultures that various stakeholders come from. The stakeholders include customers, employees and suppliers as well as governments and competitors and it is the relationship between these and the manager which this module seeks to explore.

20 credits

This module, where a programme of study enables it, is open to BLSS students, who choose to undertake an international Study Abroad or Erasmus+ study outgoing mobility placement within their second year of study. The aim of this module is to enable individuals to explore their mobility experience through a cross-cultural lens that focusses on the key themes of their discipline in an international context, cross-cultural awareness, social construction, and the self. Informed by activities that draw on research enquiry, creativity, culture, employability, reflection and professional development.

All core modules are guaranteed to run. Optional modules will vary from year to year and the published list is indicative only.

Final Year

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).

20 credits

Here, you will justify the significance of innovative thinking and idea generation to support responses to organisational challenges, threats and opportunities. 

20 credits

This module provides an opportunity for you to articulate your potential as an aspiring manager and develop a critical appreciation of the complexities of being an executive manager, for example distinguishing between personal intervention and empowerment, and delegation.

20 credits

On this module, you will identify the key traits of a global manager, analysing the relevance of adapting management styles in today’s rapidly-changing global environments. 

20 credits

The module seeks to address key issues confronting managers in a rapidly globalising 21st century. The fast changing global business environment and the dynamics of international shifts in economic power have led to an increased interest in responsiveness of organisations. As you graduate from university with your business management degree you will need to demonstrate a clear appreciation of the key issues of the day and the theoretical work that has attempted to explain them. The module seeks to equip you with ability to critically analyse case material and to engage in meaningful debate both aurally and in writing.

The module will be delivered via lectures and seminars with opportunities for students to participate in discussions around selected issues of the day that have global significance, for example the position of women in senior management positions, regional groupings in a global economy, labour in an integrating world economy, and ethics and corporate social responsibility in international markets.

40 credits

At the end of this module, you should be able to identify, determine and justify a disciplinary-relevant project, including its aims, scopes and objectives. You should also be able to self-manage research, including managing the supervisory process. 

You have the flexibility to transfer to any standard undergraduate course offered within Birmingham City Business School after successful completion of your foundation year and you may also transfer to any specialist Business Management pathway when you successfully complete your second year if you choose to stay on this course.     

The specialist pathways offered as part of the Business Management suite of courses are:

BA (Hons) Business Management (Consultancy) enables you to specialise in consultancy, gaining an insight into the theory and application of the requirements of this role. The pathway recognises that there are indeed many similarities between the roles of managers and consultants and therefore argue that consultancy skills should be seen as essential for managing and leading organisations, irrespective of job role or function as individuals become ‘internal consultants’.

BA (Hons) Business Management (Enterprise) provides a route for those interested in development and sustainability of new business operations, offering a route for those interested in launching their own enterprise. Whether you have an idea in mind or like the idea of launching something new and different, taking the enterprise route maybe for you. 

Business Management (Supply Chain Management) gives you an opportunity to undertake specific modules designed for those who seek a deeper insight into the operation and complexity of the supply chain. You will explore contemporary supply chain initiatives and review corporate strategy, globalisation, international alliances and the key features of procurement and outsourcing. 

An additional variant we offer is:

BA (Hons) Business Management (Professional Practice) which provides you with the opportunity to study for your final year whilst working full time. This will fast-track your professional development and provide a practice-based education.  This route, which utilises work-based learning in your final year, allows you to apply your studies directly in your work experience.  There will also be opportunities to try out different graduate roles with a wide variety of placements and internships on offer to complement your studies.

Each course has been designed to:

  • Develop sound theoretical and conceptual knowledge in relation to business and management;
  • Incorporate a theme dedicated to development of you as a manager  
  • Equip you with the ability to apply theory and practice in a range of organisations and situations;
  • Develop the key transferable skills that are essential to start and maintain your career;
  • Allow you to specialise in consultancy, enterprise or supply chain management through the study of relevant elective choices;
  • Provide you with opportunities to develop practical knowledge through work-based learning.
  • Instil in you a thirst for knowledge to support lifelong learning.

We have designed these courses with your future in mind. Studying with us will enhance your understanding of organisations and the environment in which they operate.

Chartered Management Institute
Chartered Management Institute

This course is accredited by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI). This means that you can achieve the Level 5 CMI Certificate in Management and Leadership alongside your degree. The award is conditional on successfully completing the Honours degree programme in the appropriate module areas.

Further Study

When you successfully complete your Foundation Year, you will be able to proceed on to any of of our undergraduate degree courses offered within Birmingham City Business School (excluding Integrated Master's). 

What our students say

"Undertaking a placement year with consistent support from staff, the opportunity to apply theory to the real-world working environment has proved invaluable. Birmingham City University has exceeded my expectations both from an academic and professional perspective."

Jamal Qurban, Business Management student

Enhancing employability skills

You will have opportunities to undertake live projects with real employers, and study contemporary relevant business issues, developing the capability to manage the complexity and uncertainty of the contemporary workplace.

Business Management, and its associated programmes, incorporate modules specifically designed to build a professional and independent approach to study which facilitates lifelong learning.


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+

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:

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 £340 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

"Our Foundation Year programme in Business Management is designed to support you through this first year, with modules on the context of business and practice projects geared towards helping you develop your academic and interpersonal skills - all while enriching your business knowledge and experience and setting you up ready to make the most of your BA (Hons) degree."

Nicky Walker, Course Leader

Vanessa Clarke Profile Picture July 2016

Vanessa Clarke

Senior Lecturer in Management Development

Prior to her academic role, Vanessa successfully held management positions within high profile global companies including Tesco, Next and The Body Shop. She has also worked for The Prince's Trust where she was responsible for leading teams and influencing at Director level to co-ordinate peer mentoring programmes for young people across England, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Full Profile

Richard Oddy Profile Picture 100x150

Dr Richard Oddy

Senior Lecturer and Programme Director

Dr Richard E. Oddy is a Senior Lecturer and Course Director specialising in Marketing, Sport, Event and Esports Management. He has developed and launched a number of new courses in these specific fields, and has over a decade of teaching experience at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Full Profile