Plymouth Business School

BA (Hons) Business

UCAS course code N104
Institution code P60

1 year

Course type


Study location Plymouth

Deepen your knowledge of the business environment and your understanding how organisations operate. Discover how and why businesses innovate and why enterprise is critical in the marketplace. Prepare for a career in the world of business and improve your professional and business communication skills.


Careers with this subject

Our course offers a fantastic way to kick-start your career, increasing your value as an employee in your chosen field, and can also open the door to postgraduate study.

Real experience every step of the way

As well as expert-led teaching, all undergraduate modules within Plymouth Business School have integrated CV building activity, for example, through micro-credentialing, problem-based learning, or embedded direct employer activity.
We have ensured every module contains a real world problem-based exercise. We have reached out to employers directly to involve real business in our assessments. You will experience real world employee engagement every month.
We know this is key to student academic and graduate success.

Careers service

The University of Plymouth has a dedicated careers service supporting you from the moment you start your degree, to three years after graduation.
Careers advice is embedded into your academic programme through workshops, events, placements, networks - working with the academic staff teaching on your course. We also offer materials, networks and resources online through our 24/7 portal, and a wide-range of activities, opportunities and support centrally in the Careers Service space within the Student Hub.
We are here to help you to explore, connect and succeed.

Key features

  • Study this course over two years (Level 5 and 6) or one year (Level 6 only). Providing a route for students from a range of business foundation degrees (and equivalent) to top up to Honours. The two year programme offers students the opportunity to undertake a placement between their first and second year. 
  • Our innovative one or two year course embraces a broad spectrum of industry relevant modules and is especially attractive to students who wish to build a career in business. We aim to provide students with the ability to exercise personal responsibility and decision-making in the competitive world of business. 
  • Develop an appreciation of the dynamic marketplace in which businesses operate and the implications of this for business decisions and organisational culture. 
  • All undergraduate modules within Plymouth Business School have integrated within them a CV building activity, for example, through micro-credentialing; real world problem-based learning; or embedded direct employer activity. 
  • Benefit from academic staff with strong relevant industrial and academic experience and tutors who not only provide excellent teaching but also great pastoral care.

Course details

  • Year 1

  • This course offers a wide-ranging business core in Level 5 where you can focus on international trade or supply chains, through your choice module which also includes communications for non-native speakers. Level 5 entrants can undertake an optional placement year between Levels 5 and 6. Level 6 involves the study of specialist areas – HRM, managing change, enterprise, innovation and creativity, and digital marketing or experiential practice. A common Level 5 core with BA (Hons) International Business Management enables you to switch courses before the start of Level 6.
    Students may take either Level 5 plus Level 6 consecutively or Level 6 only, depending on entry qualifications.
    Level 5
    Zero credit modules
    • PBS500CPD Careers and Professional Development (zero credit): This module is aimed at enhancing student employability and supporting those wishing to apply for placements.

    Core modules

    • The Effective Manager: People and Marketing (HRL5007)

      Effective managers are vital to the success of organisations. This module will introduce some of the key areas of management practice, exploring the effective management of people and marketing activities in organisations and the role played by the line manager in both. It also explores skills and competencies required for effective management practice, as well as helping students to plan, manage and evaluate their own independent learning, and to communicate effectively in professional and academic contexts.

    • Careers and Professional Development (PBS500CPD)

      This module is aimed at enhancing students employability skills and knowledge especially those 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.

    • Economic and Financial Data for Business Decision Making (ECN5009)

      Excellent business performance can only be sustained if managers have access to high quality information. This module explores economic and financial data, common management decision making techniques (e.g., processes, models, analytical methods, and information support) and analytical frameworks in the context of their role in informing key business decisions (e.g., pricing, investment, cash flow, organisational finance, research and development etc).

    Optional modules

    • International Trade and International Finance (ECN5006)

      This module explores the economic and financial implications of globalisation by examining contemporary topics in international trade and international financial markets. It enables the consideration the impact of the contemporary trading and financial system on areas key business decision making.

    • International Supply Chain Management (MAR5004)

      Through this module, you will acquire a comprehensive understanding of the principles and practices of international supply chain management and the complexities involved in planning, coordinating and operating various business processes in the management of international supply chains.

    • The Challenge Module: Sustainable Business (PBS5001C)

      Through this module you can select from a choice of topics related to the big challenges business and society are facing today. These might be drawn from the UN Sustainable Development Goals or a country’s industrial strategy.

    • The Challenge Module: Sustainable Supply Chains for Global Trade (PBS5002C)

      In this module, you will be challenged to evaluate the sustainability of the globalised business world. You will assess conflicting viewpoints and present balanced arguments for the environmental, social and economic sustainability of the supply chains that support global trade.

    • The Challenge Module: Responsible Entrepreneurship in Action (PBS5003C)

      Through this module you can develop an understanding of the big challenges business and society are facing today, in the context of entrepreneurship. These might be drawn from the UN Sustainable Development Goals or a country’s industrial strategy and will be informed by established business theories. You will develop and reflect on a business idea which has sustainability at its core.

  • Optional placement year

  • Core modules

    • Placement Year (PBS600PLC)

      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. Students on BA International Business may also or alternatively undertake a study placement at an approved partner institution.

  • Year 3

  • Level 6
    Zero credit modules
    • PBS600CPD Continued Career and Professional Development (zero credit): This module is aimed at further enhancing student employability and builds upon the Level 5 module.

    Core modules

    • Contemporary HRM (HRL6002)

      In this module, you will focus on exploring the management of human resources in modern organisations operating in complex environments.

    • Managing Change (HRL6004)

      This module considers the importance of change management and how it can be achieved and sustained. You will examine how change affects organisations and the individuals who work within them. You will go on to evaluate the means by which change can be analysed and implemented, considering the interactions between strategy, policy, human resources, and the organisational environment.

    • Continued Careers and Professional Development (PBS600CPD)

      The Continued Career and Professional Development module is a development scheme designed to enhance students’ employability and builds on the stage 2 module. The stage 3 module focuses on providing students with information on graduate options and equips them with the knowledge and skills necessary for articulating and recording achievement and applying for graduate positions. The module also includes a number of workshops and events designed to develop students’ skills and knowledge, with the purpose of filling gaps in their CV’s and enhancing their employability.

    • Enterprise, Innovation and Creativity (STO6004)

      The module will enable you to use creative processes to develop an innovative and viable business concept and to pitch for resources from potential stakeholders.

    • Strategy and Business Improvement (STO6006)

      This module brings a strategic and problem-focused view to business improvement, techniques and concepts which are key to developing competitive advantage, both in goods and service based industries. Particular consideration is given to strategic analysis, development and implementation, operations strategy, key aspects of operations and business improvement such as process and layout design, capacity and demand management, agility, lean, performance measurement and quality management.

    Optional modules

    • Experiential Practice (HRL6010)

      This module provides you with the opportunity both to reflect upon practical experience as well as develop your capabilities and profile so you are on course for life after graduation.

    • Public Relations in the Digital Era (MKT6008)

      This module seeks to demystify public relations, explain what it is, how it can be used and its relationship with marketing. You will explore both marketing public relations and corporate public relations and examine how marketers can utilise public relations as part of the marketing mix in the digital era.

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 top up programme specification

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

For entry onto the two-year programme applicants should possess a commensurate level 4 business related equivalent to 120 credits of study at Level 4. 
For entry into the one-year programme you must have completed a foundation degree or equivalent with a business or management emphasis, equivalent to 120 credits of study at Levels 4 and 5. It is expected that such qualifications will include a significant focus on: marketing, organisational behaviour/people management, accounting/finance, and business environment.
Candidates whose first language is not English require IELTS 6.0 (with a minimum of 5.5 in each element) or equivalent. English language requirements 
We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary. 
Please contact the Admissions Team with any queries.

Fees, costs and funding

Student 2023-2024 2024-2025
Home £9,250 £9,250
International £16,300 £17,100
Part time (Home) £770 £770
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 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. More information about fees and funding.

Additional costs

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

Meet our experts

  • Lecturer in Service Operations Management and Business Strategy (Education)
    Programme leader. Expert in services and operations management
  • Lecturer in Economics
    Expert in macroeconomics, microeconomics and international trade
  • Lecturer in Finance
    Expert in corporate finance and co-inventor of the Cost Carbon Calculator
  • Lecturer in Finance and Economics
    Research interests include dynamic macroeconomics and international finance
  • Lecturer in Human Resources and Leadership
    Research interests include innovation and change from a HRM perspective
  • Lecturer in Marketing (Education)
    Expert in online marketing, facilities management, leisure and catering
  • Associate Professor in Marketing
    Research interests in poverty reduction and consumer behaviour
  • Lecturer in Marketing (Education)
    Expert in digital and social media marketing
  • Associate Professor in Business Management & Operations
    Expert in Big Data and experienced chartered engineer
  • Associate Professor (Senior Lecturer) in Strategic Management
    Member of Editorial Board, Journal of Finance and Management in Public Services

Plymouth Business School

Fitzroy Building

The University of Plymouth is creating an exciting new space for the Plymouth Business School in which current and future students can foster the knowledge and enthusiasm that they will need to achieve their ambitions. Work is underway at the heart of our city centre campus. 
Watch our video visualising what the new building will look like.