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Which business management course is right for me?

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Do you know that you want to pursue a business degree, but you’re not sure which pathway is right for you? Business degrees are hugely varied, so we’re breaking down some of the specialist business management courses to help you choose the right pathway for you. 

University is a big step, and it’s important to get your course choice right. If you don’t though – don’t worry, our business courses share a common first year allowing you the flexibility to change your mind if you realise an alternative specialism is for you. You can also chat to some of our students before and after applying to get their perspective on studying a particular course, and at the University of Sunderland more generally. We also love to celebrate our students’ successes and find out what they’ve gone on to do after they graduate, so you can read more of our student stories here.

Business and Management

We’ll start off by delving into our broadest business course, the BA (Hons) Business and Management. This is our core business degree course, and our students graduate this course with an overall understanding of how businesses are run. You might be thinking, what do you learn in a business and management course? If you choose this pathway you’ll examine the role of management in business, and how managers are essential to the day-to-day operations of businesses. You’ll also study in-depth the importance of leaders in the modern world of business, and develop a set of strategic decision-making skills that will prepare you for this world.

To bring this course to life, we’ve incorporated live examples and learning exercises including case studies and placement opportunities. We've crafted our modules with input and feedback from industry experts to ensure the course content closely aligns with the needs of the business world. You'll cover crucial digital skills alongside sustainability and social responsibility as a core theme. Overall, completing this course will give you a holistic understanding of how businesses operate but you’ll also examine some of the trending topics at the forefront of industry, including the impact and influence of digital technologies.

This core programme gives you the opportunity to explore several specialisms, so may be the right choice for you if you’re interested in exploring financial management and marketing. All of our “Business and…” courses share a common first year and therefore there is the opportunity to transfer onto one of specialist courses if you decide that’s the right pathway for you. We’ve transformed this course after consulting with industry experts and we’ve listened to feedback from our students to ensure that the module content is engaging and relevant. Because of this we’re proud to say that in the 2021 National Student Survey this course had 95% Overall Satisfaction.

“The best part of my degree was definitely the wide overview of what a business is and how departments interact with each other. The assessments were always meaningful and current and the degree is delivered in a way that everyone, experienced or novice, will always get something out of it. It's fantastic if you prefer the area of strategic management and aim for more senior leadership positions.”

Helder Costa, BA (Hons) Business and Management graduate


Business and Marketing Management

Aside from our core Business and Management course, we offer several specialisms. The first we’re going to take a look at is BA (Hons) Business and Marketing Management.

Business and Marketing Management will incorporate more of the specialist skills you’ll need to embark on a career in marketing. You’ll look at different marketing pillars and strategies, examine customer behavior and develop communication techniques for different target audiences. In the final year of this course, our students also get to take advantage of the Marketing Hub. The Hub has been set up to enable students to offer marketing advice to local businesses, making industry contacts and gaining vital hands-on experience.

We’ve deliberately developed this course in line with professional industry standards and because of this it’s accredited by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM). This gives students who complete the course exemption from the CIM’s first two levels of study and certain modules at the Professional Diploma level.

Don’t just take it from us however, hear more from current student Ahmed about his experience studying on the course:

Business and Financial Management

Our next specialism is BA (Hons) Business and Financial Management, within this pathway you’ll gain a deeper understanding of some of the issues facing businesses from a financial perspective, topics will include accountancy, sustainability, and cash flow.

You’ll build on your core business management knowledge and develop an understanding of the relationship between good financial management and businesses being successful. To help develop your problem-solving skills, we’ll use live case studies and simulations to challenge you to consider what strategic decisions you’d make in a live situation. We’re always carefully considering our students’ feedback and we're thrilled to say that in 2021 this course has 100% Overall Satisfaction according to the National Student Survey.

“The main piece of advice I would offer to prospective students is to make the most of your experience. As part of your student journey, you’ll network with other students and academics, and this is a great opportunity to establish contacts in your field.” - Ashley Liddle, Business and Financial Management student

Business and Human Resource Management

Our final specialism is BA (Hons) Business and Human Resource Management, a course that places an enhanced focus on the personnel-side of business management. A degree in business and human resource management is suitable for students looking to go into people-management and therefore you’ll cover a range of skill aimed at how to inspire and enhance employee’s professional development.

Within this course you’ll also look at the function of human resources within a business, the importance of this function alongside the ever-changing business landscape, including the trend toward digital and remote working.

Our Business and Human Resource Management course is also accredited by the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) and focuses on the practical skills outlined in the CIPD Professional Map.

“Since embarking on my journey at Sunderland, I have been successful enough to secure a HR placement opportunity at Caterpillar whilst studying…My placement year was such a fantastic opportunity; it enhanced my academic skills and general knowledge of the business sector.” - Ellie McKenna, Business and Human Resource Management graduate

Take your next step

Before applying for your chosen course, consider the types of positions you’re aiming for in your future career and this will inform your decision making when settling on a pathway. Don’t worry if you’re unsure, there may be an opportunity to change your specialism at a later date if you discover something you’re more suited for.

Each of our business management degrees will give a range of the employment skills that can be applied to a hugely diverse range of industries in all corners of society. Studying a business degree will give you opportunities to network and explore many facets within the world of business to find the perfect role for you.

Find out more about all of our Business and Management courses or join us at an Open Day to discover more about life at the University of Sunderland.

Published: 14 February 2022