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Business and Human Resource Management - BA (Hons)

Course Overview

The essential course information

Download the course factsheet
UCAS Code:
BA (Hons)
  • Full Time (3 years)
  • Sandwich (4 years)
The Department of Management and Human Resources
Birmingham City Business School
City North

This course is accredited by:

chartered institute of personnel development

The skills required to judiciously recruit and get the best from employees are as vital to a business as an understanding of how it operates. This course explores how to enthuse and empower staff, and how this then benefits business performance.


The study of business provides a detailed understanding of the way organisations work, how they operate within their specific environment and the impact on individuals working within them.

This pathway develops a general knowledge of business to complement a more specialised area of study. Modules introduce key themes, specifically, business operations (how it works) and entrepreneurship (creating opportunity within a competitive environment).

You learn how to apply business theory, identify types of business opportunity and address a range of business issues in an imaginative way. Investigating the issues confronting individuals within a business, you will develop an awareness of the problems businesses can face in general, and be able to identify a number of possible responses.

Human Resource Management

The Human Resource Management pathway offers an in-depth study of the close integration between people management and the needs of the business.

It looks at how businesses can attract, retain, motivate and manage people and aims to offer you the opportunity to reach the high standards necessary to pursue a successful career in this field.

The programme provides the knowledge, skills and attitudes to effectively manage people within an organisation, as well as communicate well with customers.

You develop methods, practices and techniques for human resource management within a range of situations, and upon graduation, you will be able to demonstrate how to integrate human resources within the wider business strategy, and manage a variety of interpersonal issues that may arise within an organisation.

Find out more about Birmingham City Business School!

Key Facts

Our graduates have secured jobs as recruitment consultants and customer services advisors.
They work for companies such as National Express, Warwickshire County Council, West Bromwich Building Society and Network Group.

  • Birmingham City Business School is one of the UK’s most established, respected and largest Business Schools.
  • This course expresses the vital importance of attracting, retaining, motivating and managing personnel, and integrating people with the needs of the business.
  • This course is accredited by The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).  This means that you can achieve the Intermediate Level Diploma in Human Resource Management alongside your degree, as long as you have joined the CIPD.  The award is conditional on successfully completing the Honours degree programme in the appropriate module areas.

  • Joint Honours degrees allow you to study two main subject areas and potentially aim for employment in two distinctive areas.
  • Studying a core first year, before moving to subject-specific modules, gives subject flexibility and increases your employability.
  • A year-long work placement means you get inside the business world, pick up key transferable skills, and put theory into practice.

Why Choose Us?

  • Get involved with exciting co-curricular activities and boost your employability skills, through our Leadership Challenge. Take part in national and international competitions, charity events, workshops and interactive sessions, and enjoy excellent chances to work with external organisations.
  • Birmingham City Business School enjoys close links with industry; your course reflects business challenges so it’s recognised and valued by employers.
  • Learn how recruiting the right employees - and enthusing and empowering them - benefits business performance.
  • The business element offers sharp focus on the way organisations operate in their market, how imaginative ideas can solve stubborn problems, and how you can think and act like an entrepreneur.
  • Teaching includes case studies that look at the published results of real companies, and high profile guest speakers share experience and insight.
  • You have the chance of a twelve-month exchange programme in the second year at one of our international partner institutes.
  • Local companies respect and often recruit Birmingham City Business School’s graduates. As well as helping you find a suitable place for your work experience year, the Placement Office advertises around 1,000 jobs each year.
  • Birmingham City Business School welcomes around 3,000 students from over 80 countries, so you have a whole world of experiences, business and social, on your doorstep.

An alternative degree:

Interested in a degree that allows you to earn whilst you learn – and combines blocks of study with employment? Take a look at our sponsored work based degree, BA (Hons) Leadership & Management (work based) degree.

Download the Course Programme Specification

Entry Requirements

Typical UK QualificationRequirements 2014/15
At the point of application, you must have GCSE at Grade C or above in English Language and Mathematics. (Equivalent qualifications will be accepted).
A-levels BBC - 280 points.
Foundation Satisfactory completion of a full-time Foundation Course of an appropriate type.
BTEC Extended Diploma/ BTEC National Diploma DMM
BTEC Diploma/ BTEC National Certificate DD together with another qualification

Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.

Unconditional Offers 2014/15

If you are a full-time undergraduate applicant for the 2014/15 year, and show particular potential, we may be able to make you an unconditional offer if you make us first choice and satisfy certain criteria.

Learn more about unconditional offers >>

Typical UK / International QualificationsRequirements 2014/15
IELTS 6.0 overall
TOEFL Minimum score 550
International Baccalaureate (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses). 32 points
Country-specific entry requirements and qualifications.
Non-standard entry

The programme welcomes applications from students who have significant relevant work or life experience but who may not necessarily meet all of the published academic requirements for their chosen course. The University must be satisfied that your work or life experience is equivalent to the qualifications that other applicants will be studying. We want all of our students to succeed and will only offer a place where we believe that an applicant is capable of completing their chosen course with a strong final degree classification.

The admissions team will be pleased to discuss individual circumstances with prospective students.

Application Details

Full Time: Apply through UCAS.
UCAS Code: NN16.
Apply via UCAS

Non-EU (International) students:. There are three ways for international students to apply: direct to the University, through a country representative or through UCAS. Please read our guidance on how to apply.

UCAS Information

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

UK, EU and international students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.

You submit an application via the UCAS website with a list of up to five courses. All choices are confidential during the application process so universities and colleges considering an application cannot see your other choices. Applications must be completed by mid-January of the year that you wish to start university.

You can monitor the progress of your application using the UCAS Apply system.

Fees and Finance

Fees for students from the UK or EU countries?
Start Mode Duration Award Fees
Sep 2014 FT 3 years BA (Hons) £7,500 per year
Sep 2014 SW 4 years BA (Hons) See below
Fees for students from non-EU countries (International)?
Start Mode Duration Award Fees
Sep 2014 FT 3 years BA (Hons) £10,100 per year

The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

Where a full-time undergraduate student opts to extend the normal length of a Bachelor’s degree by an additional year in order to take a full-year work placement there will be no fee for the additional placement year.

Additional costs

There are no additional compulsory costs for this course however you may wish to purchase text books or additional materials relating to the subject area.

Financial Options and Advice

We have deliberately tried to set fees that reflect the cost of course delivery in order to help our students avoid debt.

Full-time students won't have to pay for tuition fees until after their studies - there are government tuition fee loans available. If you are a full-time student, after leaving university you will start to pay back your loan once you are earning over £21,000 a year, at a rate of nine per cent on any income above £21,000. So if you were earning £25,000, you would pay back nine per cent of £4,000, or £30 per month.

Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis offers key facts on fees, loans and grants:

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

International Students

International Students at BCU

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK. Our reputation for excellence is soaring globally, thanks to the superb links we forge with industry, our international alliances, and our focus on practical, vocational learning.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.

BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally–recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC

Open Days

Saturday 14 June 2014 (9am - 3pm)

Open Day Courses Tab June2014

Our Open Day provides you with the perfect opportunity to visit the University and discover just what we have to offer.

You can learn more about our courses, great teaching and links with leading employers – as well as our £260 million investment in facilities.

There is a non-stop programme of events and activities running throughout the day, so we recommend that you arrive at 9am to ensure you get the most out of the day.

Who is it for?

The day will cover all levels of study but is predominantly for undergraduate courses.

bcyou icon registerRegister to attend the Open Day

University Approach to Employability

Expertly woven into our curriculum and work experience opportunities, and underpinned by a diligent approach to career preparation and the close involvement of professional bodies, the University views employment as one of the principal rewards for a student's ambition, application and academic achievement. It's why the University is one of the country's top 30 universities* for placing students in graduate-level employment.

Our close links with business and the professions mean that our courses are always relevant, up-to-date and meet the exact needs of the current marketplace. Wherever possible, we involve employers in planning the curriculum, while many of our lecturers come from and maintain their links with industry, ensuring they are up to speed with the latest developments.

Employability will be an integral outcome of your studies.

* Sunday Times University Guide 2012

Employment Opportunities

If you take the Business pathway, you will be well placed for graduate fast-track training and entry-level management posts in a number of industries, including commerce, government, community organisations and charities. You may also use your knowledge to set up your own entrepreneurial venture.

Business courses are one of the top 12 degree subjects for getting a job according to a recent article in the Telegraph, with 85 per cent of business graduates nationwide going into work or further study.

Completing a pathway in HRM provides you with excellent career opportunities, including roles in employee relations, employee development and recruitment. Organisations recognise that a strong HRM team is an essential part of a business, and the HRM pathway will allow you to perform effectively in roles in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors.

You will also have the opportunity to increase your employability skills and experiences with the Leadership Challenge (a series of events, projects and competitions mirroring real-life business) and take advantage of the unique facilities at the Concept Factory, our purpose-built social space for enterprising students.

Find out more about the Leadership Challenge

Find out more about the Concept Factory


You will benefit from the opportunity to spend a year working in industry between your second and third study year, allowing you to acquire invaluable, hands-on experience ahead of your career in business.

It is an excellent opportunity for you and your placement company. Your work experience allows you to develop a greater understanding of the business world, pick up key transferable skills, and put theory into practice, whilst your placement company can gain from your fresh ideas and enthusiasm.

A note for all full-time students starting a Bachelor’s degree in 2013/14:

If you commence your studies in September 2013 under the new fees regime, and decide to undertake a placement year (making your degree a four-year sandwich course), please note that you will not be charged a tuition fee for that particular year.

Further Studies

You may progress to the University’s MA and MSc programmes or complete professional examinations in management, human resources, and marketing.

Full Time

About KIS data

From September 2012, all universities and colleges are publishing standardised information for all undergraduate courses in the form of a Key Information Set (KIS). The KIS data is designed to meet the needs of prospective students and allow for informed decision-making when choosing a university course.

Putting our students first

We pride ourselves on our student satisfaction levels which have risen from 73 per cent to 83 per cent between 2010 and 2012. Our dedication to improving the student experience is illustrated by our award-winning student engagement, our close links with business and industry and our £180 million investment in new facilities.

Employability facts

75.5% of business and marketing graduates from Birmingham City Business School who responded to our survey entered employment (and/or further study), earning an average full-time salary of £18,600. 81% of management and human resource graduates from the School also went into either employment and/or further study. Employers hiring these graduates include Stockdale Martin, Morrison's, Hydrapower Dynamics and Jaguar Land Rover, offering positions such as Account Executive, Commercial Analyst and Business Manager.

Working with your Students’ Union

Improving student satisfaction is a priority commitment shared by both Birmingham City University and its Students’ Union. In its strategic planning, the Union has pledged to be more accessible, more relevant and provide more opportunity to engage with a diverse student community.

The Students’ Union is already a key stakeholder in supporting an excellent teaching experience at Birmingham City University, through joint projects such as the Extra Mile Teaching Awards and the Student Rep scheme, which allows students to share their ideas on how they are taught.

As Birmingham City University moves towards a two campus strategy where it can better support enhanced learning and student support facilities across a two-mile radius, the Students’ Union will also be better able to implement its commitment to improve communication and engage with its valued student membership.

Course Structure

As a Joint Honours degree student at Birmingham City Business School, you will study a core first year before continuing onto subject-specific modules in the remaining years of your course.

This exciting development is designed to offer you flexibility of subject choice and increase your employability.

Course Modules

First Year
Accounting and Finance 30
Economic Environment New Venture Creation 15 each
Marketing in Business 30
Managing Organisations People and Self 30
Second Year
Creative Problem Solving The Business Entrepreneur 15 each
Business Operations and Logistics Contemporary Business Issues 15 each
Legal Aspects of HR Contemporary Issues in HRM 15 each
HRM Resourcing and Development 30
Final Year
In the final year you undertake a choice of modules totalling 60 credits from the list below. (The modules stated as 'core' are compulsory).
International Business Strategy (core) 30
HRM Relations and Reward (core) 30
Making sense of organisations or Project/Dissertation Business operations and systems or Project/Dissertation 15 each
Managing the HRM Function or Project/Dissertation International HRM or Project/Dissertation 15 each
Modules that run across both terms: Only one can be chosen
Business Start Up Project or 30
Management Consultancy Project or 30
Dissertation 30
Placement project 30

Assessment Methods

You encounter a wide range of innovative assessment styles, including business reports, academic papers, case studies, individual and group presentations, portfolios and projects, as well as conventional examinations.

Carina Matyssek

Carina Matyssek

Started in September 2011

Carina came to Birmingham City University from Germany. Before she started her degree, she took an internship in the HR department of a major bank in Frankfurt, Germany where she discovered her love of the subject. She applied for Business and HR Management as it combined her passion for the subject with a degree she knew employers would take seriously.

I am very impressed and satisfied with the support from the staff. I have received a great amount of support concerning course-related questions as well as help with my CV, cover letters and preparations for job interviews. I am given the feeling that the staff care about me and are truly happy for me when I receive good feedback from employers.

In addition to this, I enjoy the practical aspect of the course. Doing role play exercises has helped me to understand procedures better, and I have found that it impressed employers when I tell them about my experience.

I am planning to participate in a Master’s programme funded by a large, multinational organisation. This will allow me to work full-time in HR, while gaining a further academic degree.

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development

Accredited by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). This means that you can achieve the Intermediate Level Diploma in Human Resource Management alongside your degree, as long as you have joined the CIPD. The award is conditional on successfully completing the Honours degree programme in the appropriate module areas.


Prospective students from the UK or EU
  • Take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions for answers to a range of questions about our courses and studying here.
  • If you need further help, you can contact the Course Enquiries Team online by using the Course Enquiry Form.
  • Alternatively, call us on +44 (0)121 331 5595.
Prospective students from non-EU countries
  • International enquirers from non-EU countries may enquire via the International Enquiry Form.
  • Alternatively, call us +44 (0)121 331 6714.


For an overview of our undergraduate courses and a range of other information order a printed Prospectus or download a PDF of our Prospectus (16Mb).

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