All about business

Angela Lawrence, Associate Dean, Staffordshire Business School

Just about every university that you stumble across will offer degrees in Business – it’s an all-encompassing subject that prepares students for a multitude of careers. It’s popular and fun to study. So, what is a business degree?

The foundations

Business degrees usually cover a range of core knowledge that will help you to understand how businesses operate, whether you start work in the offices or as part of a management team. Learning core subjects such as marketing, finance, human resource management and organisational behaviour will equip you with knowledge that makes sense of the business environment within which you work. Modern businesses appear to be less hierarchical, so a good all-round knowledge of the mechanics of business operations is a great foundation for a career in any business sector.

Where will this take me?

Most students decide to study so that they can enhance their employment opportunities on completion of their degree. Business students often ask what careers may be opened up to them with a degree in Business and to be quite blunt, pretty much every organisation that you will work for throughout your working life will operate as a business. Whether public, private, not-for-profit (charity) or self-employed, the same business principles apply – an organisation has to make money to invest money in the growth of the business.

How can I specialise?

So, although a business degree gives you an all-round view of business operations, there are still ways in which you can specialise within your degree, to make it more enjoyable and more relevant to you:

1) Degree Choice

Students can specialise in their business degree choice. For example, at Staffordshire Business School we offer 3 business degrees, each of which has a specialised focus in contemporary areas of business:

Business Management and Sustainability
Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Finance and Business Enterprise

The beauty of each of these degrees is that during the first year, students follow a common syllabus regardless of which degree they have chosen. This means that should they decide to change their study focus having “dipped their toes” into the waters of business study, the transfer onto one of the other business courses is fairly seamless.

2) Different lengths of study

For some of our business degrees you can also specialise by choosing different lengths of study – we have accelerated two-year versions of both our Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship and our Finance and Business Enterprise degree. Two years of study means two years of fees, not three, so it costs less and you get to the job market more quickly! Added to this, employers recognise that students who have undertaken an accelerated degree are resilient and hard-working – you have to be to take on continual study without the Summer break afforded to most university students.

3) Options modules

You can also specialise by choosing optional modules that suit your interests and needs. All of our courses offer options modules in the second and third year of study, making it possible for you to control the content of your degree to suit your preferences. We recently asked students and graduates which options choices they would like and they chose subjects such as Psychology in Business, Social Media Strategy and PRINCE2.

4) Placement years

Taking a year out to undertake a business placement is possibly one of the best things you can do to add value to your degree. We know from experience that the students with placement year experience tend to do better in the jobs market when they leave university – which makes sense, as they have more to write about in their CV. One of our Business School students, Jack, had this to say about his placement year at Aldi:

“I have experienced first-hand just how relevant a Business Management degree from Staffordshire University can be. The theories we learn, practice, and apply to assignments can be similarly applied to real-life business situations. I completed a 12 month Industrial Placement with Aldi. Throughout the Placement I had the opportunity to lead various projects – looking at real business issues – where the models and approaches taught at Staffs proved to be instrumental in promptly understanding the situation and assessing the appropriate direction to take to find the most effective solution. A Staffs Business degree is your competitive advantage!” – Jack Tordoff.

Further study

And of course, many of our business graduates enjoy the university experience so much, that they decide to go on to study further on completion of their business degree. Fortunately, we have an attractive range of postgraduate degrees in subjects such as International Business Management, Digital Marketing Management and Accounting and Finance, so there are plenty of options to choose from. Going into the job market with a postgraduate qualification immediately gives employers an indication of how committed and capable you are – it’s a great asset to your CV.

Enterprise and entrepreneurship

Not everyone wants to work for someone else. In the UK currently, there are approximately 4.31 million self-employed workers. If you’ve got a business dream and want help in turning it into a reality, then on completion of your business degree you could get support from our Enterprise Zone, who can help with your business start-up challenges

Find out more about the range of courses on offer at Staffordshire Business School today – we don’t just teach business, we’re busINess.