Plymouth Business School

BA (Hons) Business

Be confident and capable of tackling any business challenge with an array of management skills at your fingertips. This course will help you develop an understanding of the relationships between different business disciplines and examine how constraints in one area affect decision making in another. Gain a variety of skills during your induction programme, including time management, presentation skills and report writing, and develop them throughout your degree and beyond.

This course marries the academic and the vocational in order to maximise your career and lifetime opportunities.

DLHE results for BA (Hons) Business

We’re very proud of our DLHE survey results, 87% of students were in work/study six months after graduating*

Apply through Clearing for September 2019

Clearing is the last opportunity to achieve a place this September.

If you are yet to apply to the University of Plymouth you can pre-register for Clearing to receive priority treatment on results day.

Apply through Clearing

Careers with this subject

Outstanding managers are highly valued in commercial, manufacturing and service organisations. Companies such as Siemens, Barclays, Eli Lilley, KPMG, Orange, RBS, Toshiba and Lloyds have all been eager to accept our graduates. Our postgraduate programmes provide further professional development, and increasing employment prospects.

Advice from graduate Hayley Jones:

 "I would advise someone wishing to enter into a career in sales to firstly get as much experience as possible in that area, whether it be through placements, apprenticeships, voluntary work, telesales, retail assistant jobs etc. 
Secondly, ensure when interviewing for these types of roles you convey that you are passionate and driven. This is because to be successful in sales, you need to be able to cope with pressure and have the constant determination to create your own success."

Find out more about Hayley in her case study


Graduate Matthew King tells us the career benefits of studying with Plymouth:

"All the academic and practical skills which you gain from studying at the University of Plymouth make you a highly attractive candidate to potential employers." 

Find out more about Matthew in his case study

Key features

  • Take the opportunity to work with businesses, not-for-profit enterprises, charities, schools and colleges on real consultancy projects.
  • Discover the nature of dynamic business through a variety of teaching methods. Our lectures, videos, student centred learning materials and a range of group activities will ensure you are accomplished in the key business fundamentals.
  • Benefit from our friendly, informal learning environment.
  • Enhance your career and lifetime opportunities with this course’s balance of the academic and vocational modules.
  • Learn about key sustainability issues in contemporary business management during your third year.
  • Become one of a large number of our graduates who have successfully entered the business world in a wide range of commercial, manufacturing and service organisations in both private and public sectors in areas such as accounting and finance, management and marketing.
  • Wide range of elective modules on offer; especially in the final year, which provides flexibility and allows the student to specialise in a particular aspect of business.
  • Join the Devon Junior Chamber and receive training and professional mentoring.

Course details

  • Year 1
  • Examine all aspects of the business world, its operations, and the strength and limitations of its disciplines. Learn how to get the most out of your degree and your time at university.

    Core modules
    • ACF103 Business Accounting

      Business Accounting introduces accounting as the measurement, recording and communication of financial information for the purpose of business decision making in the context of risk, sustainability and liquidity. Business Accounting exposes the practical application of a range of relevant accounting techniques which enable effective decision making process. On successful completion of the module students should be able to prepare, report and analyse the key financial statements for decision making purposes.

    • ECN1013 Introduction to Business Economics

      This module provides an introduction to economics in a business context. It explores some basic concepts and techniques involved in economic analysis at an introductory level, and considers the relevance of economics and the economic environment, to business decision-making.

    • ENT101 Entrepreneurial Thought and Action

      The module will provide participants with an introduction to the theme of Entrepreneurial Thought and Action, allowing students to explore theory associated with Entrepreneurship before putting it into action through a practical exercise. It will develop a range of academic and professional skills around this theme including: consulting, research; feedback and reflection; professional presentation skills; team working, leadership and project management.

    • HRL100 Organisational Behaviour

      This module introduces you to the study of individuals and groups within the organisational context.

    • MKT110 Essentials of Marketing

      Aimed at Business students this module examines the philosophy and functional activities that comprise the business area known as Marketing. It considers the application of this concept across a range of organisations and markets, focusing on achieving competitive advantage through the development of a marketing mix based around customer centrality.

    • PBSCDP100 Career Development Programme 1

      The module will make use of practical evaluation tools, exposure to role models and information sources, and will focus on self awareness, esteem and aspiration, opportunity awareness, and career adaptability. The concepts of the resilient and thriving individual and competent and confident professional will be introduced and provide context to career development and facilitating improved student competitiveness in the labour market.

    • STO100 World of Enterprise

      This module will introduce students to the key concept of enterprise. There will be a consideration enterprise in the form of organisations, entrepreneurial activity, initiative and resourcefulness and projects. The module will provide the foundation knowledge of how organisations work with a focus on people, process and outputs. The changing global context and digital nature of information will be covered as will emerging models of business. There will be an emphasis on people in organisations and sustainability.

  • Year 2
  • Gain the skills to assess how and why businesses innovate and determine why enterprise is critical to success. Discover how different areas of business require different managerial approaches. You will explore subjects such as Operations, People Management and Enterprise and Innovation, and have the opportunity to choose 2 elective modules from a range of subjects; including languages.

    Core modules
    • ENT200 Enterprise and Innovation

      The purpose of this module is to develop the students’ knowledge of enterprise and the key role of innovation. The module explores key issues impacting a growing business, highlighting the importance of innovation to sustainability and competitive advantage.

    • EPIE200 Placement Preparation

      This module is aimed at students who will be undertaking an industrial placement in the third year of their degree. It is designed to build on skills learned in Stage 1 and helps students in their search for a placement, and in their preparation for the placement itself.

    • HRL200 People Management

      The aim of the module is to provide you with knowledge and understanding of the core activities concerned with managing people, including an appreciation of the work and social context in which those activities take place. The module covers a range of people management practices, as well as introducing important contextual factors such as legislation which play a key role in shaping the employment landscape. The module consists of a combination of lectures, case studies, activities and self-directed learning. This module contributes to the CMI accreditation of the Business Management programme, and you must ensure that you complete all aspects, including attending and participating in class activities in order to be eligible.

    • HRL201 Professional Development Planning

      This module attempts to develop students¿ employment related and research skills, in order to prepare them to undertake a final year research project and to manage their future careers.

    • STO200 Introduction to Operations Management

      Operations, the activity of producing, delivering and supporting goods and services, lies at the heart of businesses. This module introduces the major themes of how this can be done in practice, describing the challenges faced across the goods-services range of industries. It further develops an appreciation of organisational responses to operational issues and the decisions, techniques and technologies which are used to meet them.

    Optional modules
    • ECN2008B Contemporary Business Economics

      This module develops and applies concepts of economics and industrial organization to the analysis of the behaviour of firms, industries and markets.

    • ELC203 English for Academic Purposes

      This module develops students' level of English in order to operate effectively in an academic context at stage two.

    • FREX01 French 1

      This module is designed for beginners in the language, or those whose previous qualification/experience is not equivalent to GCSE grade B. It develops communicative competence at a basic level, enabling students to establish and maintain adequate social relations with speakers of a foreign language, negotiate everyday needs in a foreign country, and communicate using spoken and simple written language in a limited social or work setting.

    • FREX02 French 2

      This module is designed for students whose previous qualification/experience in the language is at least equivalent to GCSE grade B, or as a progression from Basic. It develops communicative competence at an intermediate level, improving students' ability to establish social and working relations with speakers of the language, to understand key aspects of the target culture, and to handle useful routine writing and reading tasks.

    • HRL203 Project Management

      The module introduces students to projects and project management in contemporary organisations. It show cases and allows students to practice a selection of recognised best practice tools and techniques, both hard and soft. Students will be required to participate in a real-live project and produce an output. They will evaluate both deliverable(s) and process and communicate their findings.

    • LAW2225 Commercial Law

      In outline this module covers elements of commercial law, trading, commercial relations and practice. It includes aspects of commercial transactions, agency, regulation enforcement and remedies.

    • MKT215 Marketing Fundamentals

      Aimed at Business students this module examines the philosophy and functional activities that comprise the business area known as Marketing. It considers the application of this concept across a range of organisations and markets, focusing on achieving competitive advantage through the development of a marketing mix based around customer centrality.

    • SPNX01 Spanish 1

      This module is designed for beginners in the language, or those whose previous qualification/experience is not equivalent to GCSE grade B. It develops communicative competence at a basic level, enabling students to establish and maintain adequate social relations with speakers of a foreign language, negotiate everyday needs in a foreign country, and communicate using spoken and simple written language in a limited social or work setting.

    • SPNX02 Spanish 2

      This module is designed for students whose previous qualification/experience in the language is at least equivalent to GCSE grade B, or as a progression from Basic. It develops communicative competence at an intermediate level, improving students' ability to establish social and working relations with speakers of the language, to understand key aspects of the target culture, and to handle useful routine writing and reading tasks.

    • STO204 Business Ethics

      An introduction to ethical issues relating to corporate strategy, social responsibility, organisational structure, finance and human resource management, capitalism, markets, international business, the environment, advertising, and trends such as ethical consuming, ethical investments

    • STO205 An Introduction to International Business

      This module explores the changes in the world economy because of globalization and the strategic choices that a multinational corporation must make in such a globalized world. It examines the role of international trade and foreign direct investment in creating a more integrated world economy. Further it addresses the risks associated with foreign exchange transactions as also the advantages of regional economic integration such as European Union. Finally it deals with the firm level issues such as supply chain management, human resource management and financial management in the global context.

    • STO206 Shaping the Future: creating sustainable organisations

      This interdisciplinary module develops students' ability to assess how organisations can adapt, innovate and thrive in response to the macro social, economic and environmental forces impacting society and organisations. The module develops an awareness of the key physical, structural, social and moral challenges faced and encourages students to develop innovative systems thinking approaches to how organisations can adapt to, mitigate against and capitalise on this unprecedented period of intense and unpredictable change.

  • Placement year (optional)
  • Gain valuable on-the-job experience through an optional placement year. Supported by a dedicated team, you can undertake a paid position within a public or private sector organisation relevant to your interests. While following a training programme agreed with your employer, you’ll also be supervised by academic staff throughout the year. You may even decide to set up your own business. If you choose to undertake a placement, you can do so after your second year.

    Core modules
    • EPIE300 Placement Year

      The placement year consists of an extended period of appropriate professional experience in a business or organisation. It allows the student to gain relevant experience to consolidate their studies and prepare for final stage study and employment after graduation.

    • EPIE301 The Placement Project

      This module requires students to produce a project relating to their placement experience.

  • Final year
  • Take the opportunity to practice your new consultancy skills on challenging operational or strategic real-life projects, or carry out an individual research project. You can tailor your final year to have a focus on a particular theme, such as human resources, or strategy, or a combination of subjects that are
    relevant to wider business activities.

    Core modules
    • STO302 Strategic Analysis and Research Methods

      The module seeks to develop students¿ understanding of business research methods and strategic analysis. A purpose of the module is to prepare students for their Term 2 dissertation work. This is achieved through students developing a research plan and a strategic analysis report relevant to the topic of their dissertation.

    Optional modules
    • ACF312B Financial Management

      A development of the finance topics covered in earlier accounting modules, and includes working capital management, investment approval under uncertainty, risk management, efficient markets, cost of capital, company valuation and restructuring.

    • ECN3013A International Trade and International Finance

      This module explores the economic implications of globalisation by investigating current trends in international trade and international financial markets.

    • ELC314 International Business Communication

      The module is designed to help students who have English as a second language to develop and refine their ability to communicate effectively in English in the global business environment encompassing different national cultures, business practices and systems. Students will engage in a range of written and oral tasks and assessments which will develop their business communication skills.

    • ELC315 Professional and Academic Communication

      This module is designed to help students to further develop and refine their ability to use English appropriately and effectively in professional and academic contexts at Year 3. They will do this by reviewing their language development by identifying an area of weakness and adopting appropriate strategies to make progress in that area; engaging in a small research project which they will present to the class; writing an essay and practising relevant professional and academic English skills in small class groups. This course requires consistent, steady work throughout the semester.

    • ENT300 Enterprise Creation

      The module offers the opportunity to develop the skills and understanding necessary to write a professional business plan and bid for venture capital funding.

    • FREX01 French 1

      This module is designed for beginners in the language, or those whose previous qualification/experience is not equivalent to GCSE grade B. It develops communicative competence at a basic level, enabling students to establish and maintain adequate social relations with speakers of a foreign language, negotiate everyday needs in a foreign country, and communicate using spoken and simple written language in a limited social or work setting.

    • FREX02 French 2

      This module is designed for students whose previous qualification/experience in the language is at least equivalent to GCSE grade B, or as a progression from Basic. It develops communicative competence at an intermediate level, improving students' ability to establish social and working relations with speakers of the language, to understand key aspects of the target culture, and to handle useful routine writing and reading tasks.

    • HRL300 Organisational Leadership

      This module examines the role of leadership in relation to structural, social, political, cultural and psychological processes at individual, team, organisational and national levels, adopting multiple perspectives. The ethical and moral responsibilities of corporate leaders are critiqued as is the inter-relationship between leadership, governance, decision-making and change.

    • HRL301 Managing Change

      The module provides a broad understanding of equality and diversity in the workplace. The module considers the paradigms underpinning regulation and voluntarism, organisational equality and diversity at the levels of strategy and operational practice, and how group and individual identities are constructed in the workplace.

    • HRL305 Human Resource Management

      Consideration of HR strategy and current developments in the management of human resources in modern organisations operating within complex environments

    • HRL306 Leadership Practice

      Through study, reflection and exercises, this module seeks to develop knowledge and embed the practice of doing leadership. You will explore four different ‘practice’ realms essential to leading: 1) self practices (understanding one’s self as a leader), 2) presentational practices, 3) relational practices and 4) strategic practices. Although theoretical perspectives will provide the substance of lectures, seminars will use arts-based methods to create spaces in which students can experiment with the significance of these ideas for their own enactment of leadership.

    • HRL310 Equality and Diversity in the Workplace

      The module provides a broad understanding of equality and diversity in the workplace. The module considers the paradigms underpinning regulation and voluntarism, organisational equality and diversity at the levels of strategy and operational practice, and how group and individual identities are constructed in the workplace.

    • HRL314 International Human Resource Management

      Students are introduced to: the implications of globalisation for HRM and labour, the particular human resource management problems confronted by Multinational organisations and human resource management systems in a range of different national contexts.

    • LAW3233 Commercial Law

      In outline this module covers elements of commercial law, trading, commercial relations and practice. It includes aspects of commercial transactions, agency, regulation enforcement and remedies.

    • MAR330 Procurement Management Processes

      This module explores the concept of strategy from theories of strategy to models of the strategic process, relating these models to strategy in the procurement function through the use of SCM relevant strategy analysis tools such as PESTLE, SWOT, Portfolio Analysis. As procurement is an important element of an institutions corporate strategy plans the relevance will be examined.

    • MKT315 Marketing Management

      The module is designed to provide business students with an understanding of the essential elements of the marketing management process. It explores the way in which marketing strategies can be developed and implemented in business organisations, and the relationship between marketing and other functional areas of management.

    • SPNX01 Spanish 1

      This module is designed for beginners in the language, or those whose previous qualification/experience is not equivalent to GCSE grade B. It develops communicative competence at a basic level, enabling students to establish and maintain adequate social relations with speakers of a foreign language, negotiate everyday needs in a foreign country, and communicate using spoken and simple written language in a limited social or work setting.

    • SPNX02 Spanish 2

      This module is designed for students whose previous qualification/experience in the language is at least equivalent to GCSE grade B, or as a progression from Basic. It develops communicative competence at an intermediate level, improving students' ability to establish social and working relations with speakers of the language, to understand key aspects of the target culture, and to handle useful routine writing and reading tasks.

    • STO301 Operations Management for Competitive Advantage

      This module brings a strategic and problem-focused view to operations management, concentrating on spheres key to operations based competitive advantage, both in goods and service based industries. Particular consideration is given to operations strategy, supply chain management, lean thinking, performance measurement, quality management, project management and topical developments.

    • STO306 Current Issues in Management

      This module exposes students to current debates within the field of business and management. The content will be fluid as it will draw on contemporary case studies, technological innovation, government legislation and philosophical, ethical or environmental debates.

    • STO308 Current Issues in Information Technology

      The module reviews the latest in IT practice and research and its relevance to the management discipline. It covers topics such as legislation, ethics, security, sustainability and corporate governance and the role IT plays in these.

    • STO310 Project

      This module enables the student to integrate knowledge and skills to develop a specialist area of knowledge and, with supervision, conduct their own investigation and report their findings.

    • STO312 Business Management

      The module is largely student based and designed to enable student involvement with real business issues. Students work in small teams to produce a consultancy style report or equivalent. This module is only available to final year students on BA Business.

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BA Business programme specification 4814

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

88 - 96

A level: 88-96 points including a minimum of 2 A Levels. This course considers general studies

BTEC: 18 Unit BTEC Extended Diploma: MMM in any subject.  

BTEC National Diploma modules
If you hold a BTEC qualification it is vital that you provide our Admissions team with details of the exact modules you have studied as part of the BTEC. Without this information we may be unable to process your application quickly and you could experience significant delays in the progress of your application to study with us. Please explicitly state the full list of modules within your qualification at the time of application.

Access: Pass a named Access to HE Diploma in any subject with at least 33 credits at merit/distinction.

IB: 24-26 overall to include 4 at in any subject at Higher Level. 

GCSE (or equivalent) mathematics and English at grade C or above. 

14-19 Diplomas: accepted – please enquire. 

Other combinations and non-A level qualifications also considered.

Short of the entry requirements for this course? Don’t worry you may be eligible for a foundation year to prepare you for possible entry onto this course for the following year.


For a full list of all acceptable qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

English language requirements

Fees, costs and funding

EU applicants should refer to our dedicated Brexit webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s plans to leave the European Union.

New Student 2018 2019
Home/EU £9,250 £9,250
International £13,000 £13,400
Part time (Home/EU) To be confirmed To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances.

Undergraduate scholarships for international students

To reward outstanding achievement the University of Plymouth offers scholarship schemes to help towards funding your studies.

Find out whether you are eligible and how you can apply

Additional costs

This course is delivered by the Faculty of Business and more details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are listed on the following page: Faculty of Business additional costs.

How to apply

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email international-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

Assessment breakdown

  • ? 33% exams
  • @ 67% coursework

Let our graduates inspire you

The Plymouth Business School experience

Study sessions for students by students: Peer Assisted Learning Scheme (PALS)

To complement your formal learning we offer regular sessions that provide the opportunity for you to learn with and from your peers. Share knowledge, discuss ideas, and ask questions in a relaxed and friendly environment
Find out more about how PALS can benefit your studies

Meet your lecturers

*These are the latest results from the National Student Survey. Please note that the data published on Unistats is updated annually in September.

The results of the National Student Survey (NSS) and the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey (DLHE) are made available to prospective students and their advisors through the Unistats website.