Business Management BSc (Hons)

Full-time undergraduate (2 years, 3 years, 4 years with foundation year, 4 years with placement)

Chelmsford, Cambridge

January, September


You want a solid foundation in business, a place to launch your career from when the time is right. Our full-time Business Management BSc (Hons) degree course is made for you. Based in Cambridge, while studying at ARU you’ll interact with businesses and get inspired by guest speakers. Plus there’s the chance to take a placement year in industry. Our partnership with the Chartered Management Institute gives you advanced management training and a competitive advantage that will make you stand out from the crowd.

Full description


We work with employers to make sure you graduate with the knowledge, skills and abilities they need. They help us review what we teach and how we teach it – and they offer hands-on, practical opportunities to learn through work-based projects, internships or placements.

Throughout your Business Management course, you’ll attend lectures and seminars on career-relevant issues such as CV preparation, job-hunting, obtaining work experience and using social media to enhance your profile and employability. With your range of transferable skills, you are prepared for a career that can cross any sector or industry. Regular visits from employers, guest speakers and business events, mean you can build your network, speak to potential employers about your CV and how hiring you will benefit them. 

By choosing the placement option for your degree, you'll graduate in four years having been able to put all these skills into practice with invaluable work experience. Our placements and employability team will give you information that’s relevant to your vocation, help you find your placement and strengthen your skills and experience in preparation for employment.

Modules & assessment

Level 3 (foundation year)

  • Foundation in Business
    This module will provide students with the necessary skills to begin studying at level 4 in courses related to Business, Accounting, Finance, Marketing, Tourism and Economics. Students will be introduced to the core skills necessary to succeed in higher education, including thinking critically, researching and referencing appropriately, demonstrating appropriate numeracy and ICT skills, and communicating effectively verbally and in writing. Students will also be introduced to specific concepts related to their degree programmes including the functions of a business, business law, ethics and intercultural studies. Real-world applications of these theories in business will be highlighted, and students will practice applying the theory to case studies. The module is made up of the following eight constituent elements: Interactive Learning Skills and Communication (ILSC); Information Communication Technology (ICT); Critical Thinking; Core Maths; Ethics; Intercultural Studies; Business Law; Introduction to Business.

Level 4 modules

  • Global Business Environment and International Strategy
    You'll explore the factors that affect business, from a mostly external perspective, including elements of globalisation and international business and the fundamental skills needed in the world of business. Political, Economics, Social, Legal, Ecological and Technological factors will be examined in the macro business environment and how these interact in a competitive environment with globalisation, technological and social change to create complex strategic options for organisations. You will also explore in some detail the concept of sustainability and introductory economics.
  • Organisational Behaviour
    You'll be introduced to a range of organisational behaviour issues that you may encounter in your career and be provided with evidence-informed analyses of ways in which culture, leadership, structure and motivation affect workers and workplaces. This foundation enables you to analyse the human side of management and diagnose problems affecting organisations both independently and as part of a group. You'll have the opportunity to take managerial, critical, symbolic-interactivist and feminist perspectives to business issues and organisational behaviour related theories, models and concepts to build your social capital and critical analytical skills. Specifically, we will equip you with the knowledge and human capitals to understand how people and organisations function in individual, group and organisational levels based on the latest academic evidence on topics such as motivation, leadership, teams, organisational structure and culture. Finally, we aim to inspire you to value and continuously use the best available academic evidence on effective management of people and organisations throughout your career.
  • Introduction to Business Contracts and the Law
    As an introduction to a broad range of civil legal issues, you'll get an insight and appreciation of the various ways in which the law impacts on the world of commerce and our everyday life. The module provides a foundation across a broad range of fundamental legal principles and concepts of the English Legal System. The rights and obligations of legal entities/individuals under the Law of Contract and the Law of Tort will also be examined.
  • Introduction to Financial Analysis and Management
    Finance and business information is the lifeblood of any organisations operations and decisions. You’ll work with data and case studies from organisations, meet with businesses to understand the practical use this key information is put to and present your decisions on a going concern or start-up. As you present your analysis of key information and conclusions to other stakeholders, you'll develop your persuasion and negotiation skills.
  • Digital Business and Principles of Marketing
    This module presents a fusion between the philosophies which underlie marketing, with a strong emphasis of integrating digital and traditional concepts and the real life application of marketing across a variety of sectoral contexts. You'll examine the core marketing concept of customer value and the interplay between marketing and sustainability and the ethical challenges and critiques of modern marketing. You'll gain a wide range of knowledge across a breadth of sectors and be able to adapt these to whatever career or future research you choose. On completion of the module you'll have not only a solid grounding in marketing philosophies and theories but also a critical view of marketing, based around the realisation of the reality of modern digital marketing operations and management in a context of increasing global economic challenges, but also within a context where the customer profile is shifting to become increasingly demanding, critical and questioning of the motivations and ethics behind the marketers activities.

Level 5 modules

  • The Entrepreneurial Journey
    Entrepreneurs are people who identify and exploit opportunities for new products, marketing or processes to generate economic and social value. Entrepreneurship is not just about new venture creation, it involves using creative or innovative ideas to recognise and develop solutions. You’ll work as part of a team over 3 rounds of activity (such as gamification, experiential learning and simulation) to focus on the identification of an opportunity, the creation of a product or service and pitching a concept to work as part of the team to develop your skills and collaborate with organisations and guest speakers.
  • Project Management and Implementation
    Project management is a key skill for any future professional. This module focuses on providing a sound basis for managing or working on projects. In essence, the concept of managing a project hinging on one quite basic principle, managing the triangle of: quality of the project outcomes, cost and time. The module covers: Project Management Body of Knowledge; the importance of stakeholder and risk management; scheduling and costing; monitoring and controlling techniques, time management and resource optimisation; improving the success of projects; and the principles of agile project management.
  • Ruskin Module
    Ruskin Modules are designed to prepare our students for a complex, challenging and changing future. These interdisciplinary modules provide the opportunity to further broaden your perspectives, develop your intellectual flexibility and creativity. You will work with others from different disciplines to enable you to reflect critically on the limitations of a single discipline to solve wider societal concerns. You will be supported to create meaningful connections across disciplines to apply new knowledge to tackle complex problems and key challenges. Ruskin Modules are designed to grow your confidence, seek and maximise opportunities to realise your potential to give you a distinctive edge and enhance your success in the workplace.

Level 5 core modules - Cambridge

  • Understanding the Consumer
    You'll explore consumer behaviour but not only the what and how we buy, you'll be getting deeper into how marketers tailor their offer to consumer demands and market trends, how consumer behaviour is influenced by new products and services, the marketing mix and it's design and implementation. The psychological and sociological models and theories and emerging consumer psychology research will be illustrated with practical examples of the day to day marketing activities of product and service providers. You'll work in teams, following market research techniques, to develop your skills and entrepreneurial awareness. By analysing your research, you will propose a business case for a new market offering, after identifying a need within a consumer group. How you use marketing techniques to convey this offering and the value to the target consumer, how this would affect their decision making and behaviour as well as motivate them to purchase will form the basis of your individual assignment. On completion you will have gained technical and professional marketing skills to be able to identify opportunities and the transferable skills to be able to creatively and innovatively develop appropriate and entrepreneurial business cases.

Level 5 optional modules - Cambridge

  • Business Innovation
    Development and management of new products and services is deeply linked to the results of companies and innovation plays a key role in their long-term success. You’ll discover the innovation concept and its strategic role, as well as the process to develop innovative and sustainable new products and services. From the perspective of business and marketing, you’ll relate idea generation and launch with its practical application in industry and commerce. You'll think independently and innovatively and improve your ability to work outside of the comfort of structure and predictability and security whilst learning the tools to develop your critical thinking and creativity. You'll learn innovation theories and new developments in suitability and the circular economy; understand how firms develop new consumer-centric sustainable and innovative products/services; improve your creativity skills and; understand the success factors for new products. In teams, you'll develop your own new product based on a provided brief and will present it in a pitch presentation with accompanying media to a panel for evaluation..
  • Developing Professional Practice and Using Information in HR
    This module will give you a sound understanding of the knowledge, skills and behaviours required by human resources (HR) professionals, whether in a generalist or specialist role as described in the CIPD HR Profession Map (HRPM). You’ll embrace the ‘thinking performer’ perspective and cover the competencies needed by HR professionals when collaborating and working with others and functioning efficiently and effectively in an organisational context. You'll assess your own strengths and identify a continuing professional development plan, based on the capabilities required for ethical, business-focused and interpersonal professional conduct, exploring and recognising the strategic importance of the effective management of the human resource and people management and progresses a critical appreciation of the role of HR. You’ll explore and recognise the strategic importance of effective HR management and using work-based research and good practice, critically evaluate the role of HR in formulating strategies to prepare business cases and present viable and realistic improvement which shows an appreciation for issues identified in your research.

Level 5 core modules - Chelmsford

  • Applied Leadership and Communication
    You'll analyse leadership as an interaction between leaders and followers, rather than a downward force from superiors to subordinates. This will help you recognise the effects of values, emotions and shifting power relations on your interactions with both your leaders and your followers. You'll be encouraged to reflect on the skills used by leaders and required for leadership in your relationships. By taking a critical and constructivist view of leadership, you'll recognise leadership skills and potential in both yourself and others, reflecting on the purpose and practice of leadership skills. This includes coding and decoding the language choices and organisational cultures that support effective leadership, analysing leader myths and stories and emphasising the role of followers as active drivers of change within organisations.

Level 5 optional modules - Chelmsford

  • Financial Management
    Financial management is the assessment of the investment and financing decisions of firms and you’ll gain knowledge of the theoretical foundations underlying much of financial management practice and learn how those theories should be applied in practice. You’ll learn how to apply problem solving and analytical skills to complex and current issues in corporate finance.
  • Foundations of Leadership Studies
    You'll be introduced to classical theories of leadership and management, and invited to critique the traits, styles, and decisions made by leaders and managers in real-world organisations. You'll be able to understand, develop and reflect on your leadership skills by: considering the behaviours of effective and ineffective leaders in organisations; critically analysing classical theories and debates about leaders and leadership, and work in groups to develop your ability to lead and work in teams. By focusing on key debates and the associated development of leadership studies as a discipline, this module underlines the contested nature of leadership and management in organisations throughout history while also looking forward to future challenges for leaders and leadership in post-Fordist organisations.

Placement year (Optional)

  • Work Placement
    In a competitive job market, understanding how the professional work place functions, along with well-developed employability skills is key to securing graduate employment. You'll put into practice your learning from the previous 2 years with a company or organisation where you will be supported in developing effective professional practices through guidance in generic and specific employability skills and through independent reflective learning practices to enhance your continuing professional development in a working environment. You'll gain experience of a professional environment underpinned by the theories you have already experienced. You will be expected to be able to reflect on your experience in writing and orally, and demonstrate how you have applied theory and prior learning within the work environment. You're assessed on a pass/fail basis with the aim of supporting you to develop your ability to demonstrate your professionalism, leadership and managerial skills to a prospective employer whilst also learning key communication and personal skills. You must secure a placement, or placements (maximum 2) amounting to 9 months duration with a minimum 3 months per placement. Placements can start at any point from 1 June and must have started by 1 October.

Level 6 modules

  • Strategic Management
    Strategic Management is a fascinating discipline that studies the long-term purpose and direction of organisations, by looking at how to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage. You'll explore core frameworks and analytical techniques that will enable you to assess the resources and capabilities of organisations in relation to the conditions of the industry, macro environment and stakeholder pressures. Your focus then turns to strategic implementation, specifically in relation to business-level and corporate-level strategies. This is organised around five thematic areas: the evaluation of strategic options in terms of suitability, acceptability and feasibility; 'intended strategy development' versus 'emergent strategy development'; the role of organisational structures and systems in strategy development; leadership of strategic change; and finally the practice of strategy: who is involved in strategy development, the types of activities in which strategists are involved, and the types of methodologies that strategists use. With a practical and problem-oriented focus, the emphasis is on application of concepts and frameworks, helping you to analyse and gain insight into strategic challenges faced by an organisation. Throughout the learning period, you'll reflect on the global nature of competition, how strategic management can contribute to the creation of shared value and business sustainability.
  • Sustainability and Responsible Business
    You'll develop understanding of the shift towards more environmentally, socially and economically responsible business practice and in particular focus on the drivers behind this shift; including an understanding of the sustainable development goals and growing business arguments for including a consideration of sustainability in all business and management practice. The module promotes a personal approach to the issues of sustainability and personal and social responsibility. The module includes an authentic assessment where you'll be diagnosing, designing and evaluating an environmental management plan for your households or organisations, while reflecting on your personal responsibility and ethical behaviour. You'll pay special attention to questioning the different responses of business in relation to social responsibility and sustainable management. If you're studying BSc (Hons) Business Management, successful completion of this module provides exemption against the Chartered Management Institute’s (CMI) unit 5022V1 Organisational Corporate Social Responsibility.
  • Undergraduate Major Project
    You'll have the opportunity to bring together your learning on live brief assessments and be part of an interdisciplinary team addressing a current issue in business. You'll be presented with a current business issue and be required to research, analyse and evaluate the issue effectively as a team. You'll act as the expert in your field of study to bring the perspective of that specialty to a complex business problem. You'll identify the key problems and issues, conduct literature reviews, evaluate information, investigate and adopt suitable development methodologies, determine solutions, process data, critically appraise and present the findings of your project using a variety of media. You'll create a poster presentation on your project for your team to display, and answer questions on, to an audience of academics and employers at a poster presentation event. You'll write a group business report on the outcomes of your project, evidencing your recommendations alongside an individual piece of reflective work on how you approached the issue, worked successfully as a team member, conducted robust business research and developed sound conclusions and recommendations.

Level 6 optional modules

  • International Intercultural Management
    You'll get a comprehensive introduction to international intercultural management and research. Today’s business environment is increasingly diverse and managers and staff in a broad range of organisations work with people from across the world. The aim is to critically explore intercultural issues and challenges in international and diverse work contexts and develop an understanding of how cultural factors can influence decision-making, collaboration and communication as well as identifying when culture is not the main factor. You'll examine different regional business environments and their cultural and institutional differences, explore classic and contemporary thinking on culture and intercultural management and be encouraged to apply theories and ideas to practice and relate them to your own experience through various examples, cases and practical activities. The module further aims to help you develop as competent globally minded professionals who are able to engage with the complexities and challenges of working and collaborating in international and diverse contexts, have an understanding and openness to difference and how to avoid stereotyping. The module draws on the diversity of your group as a resource and attempts to generate dynamic learning experiences that sensitise you to each other's cultural differences, identities and work practices.

Level 6 optional modules - Cambridge

  • The Reflective and Empathetic Entrepreneur
    From ideation, to prototype and testing, this module is about looking back on experiences and learning from them. An entrepreneur must be resilient, to keep going, and keep trying despite mistakes, lack of funds, or opportunities. You'll look at theories of reflection, and is analytical and theoretical in its approach. We look at the numbers and analysis to work out the next steps, reflecting on previous learning on the course. You'll build your social networks and capital, learn to pitch, find out how to apply for grants and write a successful bid and speak to entrepreneurs to find out what made them successful. We link to the patchwork framework and the entrepreneurial toolkit to help you to pull on your personal resources and we consider diversity and entrepreneurship as you prepare for self-employment or taking your entrepreneurial skills into the workplace. You'll be invited to explore different types of entrepreneurs and reflect on your own skills, knowledge and behaviours. The assessment will be scenario-based critically analysing the resources that can be used to overcome specific issues affecting the entrepreneur.
  • Marketing Communications
    This module is designed to give you an overall understanding of marketing communications and the part that it plays in marketing and in business success. You'll explore the role of communications and the integrated nature of modern advertising campaigns, the tools and techniques used in marketing communications, both online and offline whilst looking into how and why each tool is used. You'll analyse the advantages and disadvantages of each, illustrating how the tools interact with the other elements of the marketing mix and how they must all integrate to achieve vital synergy. The promotional planning process at the strategic, tactical and operational levels is identified and examined and applied. You'll gain the knowledge and skills which will enable you to pursue a career in the marketing industry and in particular marketing communications in either a company or agency. The assessment requires you to develop and demonstrate your theoretical knowledge, as well as to develop your skills in the application of this theory in the creation of marketing communications and the appropriate media formats. Your brief will be to develop your advertising campaign – live where possible - which you will present to a panel of experts (from the company when live). You can then take this feedback to reflect upon and improve your communications plan where necessary for the report submission. Working in a team, you'll develop your skills and marketing knowledge, whilst exploring cultural trends, entrepreneurial opportunities and reflect on your own pitch and performance to develop a positive, creative experience.
  • Employment Law and Relations
    People represent a key source of sustainable competitive advantage for most organisations. Employment law continues to expand both in terms of volume and complexity and the amount of regulation covering the employment relationship and the workplace has grown substantially in recent years. You'll gain a comprehensive understanding of employment law and employment relations in terms of theory, debates and practices in national and international settings and from a theoretical and behavioural competency perspective. Your knowledge, understanding and skills will let you brief and support organisations on the consequences of current and future developments in employment law/relations and give up-to-date, timely and accurate advice concerning the practical application of key legal principles of UK employment law. This will relate both to collective and individual employment relations and the actions of employers, employees and their respective organisations, whilst offering support and advice to management regarding best practice. Throughout the module you'll reflect critically on theory and practice and take into consideration both legal and ethical issues.

Level 6 optional modules - Chelmsford

  • Contemporary Issues in Leadership and Management
    You'll explore sustainable work practices and think critically to comply with the highest professional standards whilst also exploring personal and social responsibility. You'll understand key developments in business and the external contexts of HR and provide sustainable organisational and HR solutions to address them. You'll gain a wider understanding of the impact of strategies and policies on sustainable business decisions. Your knowledge of sustainability, including preconceptions about ethics and sustainability will be identified, expressed and developed to encourage you to play a leading role in activating change in your immediate surroundings as well as in communities and organisations. You will look at the contribution of reward to business viability and advise on the appropriateness of sustainable policies and practices paying particular attention to questioning the different responses of a business and their social responsibility and sustainable management.


You can expect an interesting mix of coursework, essays, exams and activity-based assignments. Your coursework could include problem-solving activities, consultancy projects, presentations and group or individual reports. You'll also be able to access support materials supported by materials accessed through our learning management system (Canvas). 

All assessment is designed to allow you to demonstrate what you’ve learned, and to make sure you’re developing the knowledge and skills you need to complete the course.


This is a 2 year, 3 year programme or 4 years with placement

Alongside your core modules you will pick a number of optional modules. Please note that modules are subject to change and availability.


Where you'll study

Your faculty

You have a highly active mind and see opportunity everywhere. Now you need theory and life-changing skills to sharpen your approach to management. At the Faculty of Business & Law, you will immerse yourself in a multicultural environment where technology blends with teaching to create a dynamic and innovative learning environment. An environment to help you gain those skills.

Where can I study?

Tindal Building on our Chelmsford campus

Our striking, modern campus sits by the riverside in Chelmsford's University and Innovation Quarter.

Explore our Chelmsford campus

Lord Ashcroft Building on our Cambridge campus

Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

Explore our Cambridge campus

Placement year

We want to make sure that you’re fully prepared for an increasingly competitive job market, so we offer a four-year degree option which includes a work placement in the third year. It’s an opportunity to apply and enhance your skills while developing new ones. You’ll also build valuable professional networks.

It could be that you have one placement during Year 3, or you could have two or three, giving you the chance to experience different organisations and working practices. Many of our students find that their placement company hires them when they graduate. We have a specialist team to help you find a placement and support you during this year. You might work in the UK or go abroad: our students have worked at leading organisations such as PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), Bosch, BMW, Airbus, BskyB and KPMG. This period of work experience can help set your final-year studies in context and may well help with your dissertation topic. All in all, it’s a fantastic way to stay ahead of the competition.

Studying abroad

You could broaden your horizons by spending time living and studying abroad. This could be a short study visit or a semester spent in Europe, Canada, the USA or Malaysia. It will look great on your CV and help you take advantage of opportunities in the international job market.

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students starting 2020/21 (per year)


UK & EU students starting 2020/21 (per year, accelerated degree)


International students starting 2020/21 (per year)


Placement year (UK, EU, international students)


Fee information

For more information about tuition fees, including the UK Government's commitment to EU students, please see our UK/EU funding pages

How do I pay my fees?

Tuition fee loan

UK and EU students can take out a tuition fee loan, which you won’t need to start repaying until after your graduate. Or alternatively, there's the option to pay your fees upfront.

Loans and fee payments

International students

You can pay your tuition fees upfront, in full or in two instalments. We will also ask you for a deposit of £4,000 or a sponsorship letter. Details will be in your offer letter.

Paying your fees


We offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships, which provide extra financial support while you’re at university. Some of these cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Explore ARU scholarships

Funding for UK & EU students

Most new undergraduate students can apply for government funding to support their studies and university life. This includes Tuition Fee Loans and Maintenance Loans. There are additional grants available for specific groups of students, such as those with disabilities or dependants.

We also offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships, which provide extra financial support while you’re at university. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.

Funding for international students

We offer a number of scholarships, as well as an early payment discount. Explore your options:

Entry requirements

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Important additional notes

Whether you're studying entirely online or through a blend of face-to-face and online learning in September 2020, you'll need a computer and reliable internet access to successfully engage with your course. Before starting the course, we recommend that you check our technical requirements for online learning.

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email for further information.

We don't accept AS level qualifications on their own for entry to our undergraduate degree courses. However for some degree courses a small number of tariff points from AS levels are accepted as long as they're combined with tariff points from A levels or other equivalent level 3 qualifications in other subjects.

International students

We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.

Whether you're studying entirely online or through a blend of face-to-face and online learning in September 2020, you'll need a computer and reliable internet access to successfully engage with your course. Before starting the course, we recommend that you check our technical requirements for online learning.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for postgraduate courses.

Improving your English language skills

If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry onto a degree course.

We also provide our own English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) in the UK and overseas. To find out if we are planning to hold an ELPT in your country, contact our country managers.

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