Helena Pozniak
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Cutting-edge courses fresh off the press

The Independent
With more business degrees on offer than ever before, Helena Pozniak picks out the programmes that deliver employment-ready graduates

Business degrees – both undergraduate and master’s – have multiplied in the last few years, as universities respond to employers and student demand. “Business studies is a good broad-based flexible degree,” says Charlie Ball, deputy director of research at the Higher Education Careers Services Unit (HECSU). “Career prospects for business undergraduates are solidly mid-table – not quite as good as professions such as engineers, doctors or nurses for instance, but business certainly ticks boxes in terms of employability, and equips you for a vast array of roles.” Some 79 percent of business graduates find work upon graduation. Graduates who go on to take a business master’s do similarly well, though tend to wait a little longer until the right job crops up, and are slightly more likely to find work in London.

UNDERGRADUATE

Business Entrepreneurship BA (Hons), Falmouth University

Why?

Undergraduates learn how to run a business by actually setting one up over the course of three years. Students are coached by successful entrepreneurs, and supported by local business networks and start-up organisations. This course is based in Falmouth’s new £9 million facility, the Academy for Innovation & Research, where students, staff and researchers work on live projects and local, national and international levels. Numbers have doubled to 40 for the coming year, and applications are up for 2016.

How much: £9,000 / year

When: launched 2014

Professional programme, part of BA/BSc (Hons) degree, New College of the Humanities

Why?

As part of an undergraduate degree, students at NCH, founded by A C Grayling, follow a “Professional programme”. This covers entrepreneurship, innovation, strategy and problem solving, and the impact of technology. NCH has launched a new strand “my beautiful career” – which brings in top executives from the likes of Twitter, Google and Coca Cola among others for chats, presentations and workshops. “Essentially students at NCH are reaping the benefits of a business degree, without having to focus an entire four years to it,” says a spokeswoman

How much: £18,000 / year

When: ongoing

Part-time Fast Track Business Courses BA (Hons), University Centre Croydon (accredited by University of Sussex)

Why?

A business degree accredited by a respected university that takes less time and costs less than half as much. Piloted in 2012, these undergraduate degrees - Business and Management, Business with Marketing and Business with Finance - are offered as three years squeezed into two, and now offer January entry too. Students can study these part-time in three years rather than five. How does University Centre Croydon manage it? “A key difference is that you’ll be working for part of the summer and have a shorter three-week vacation,” says the University Centre, which also offers a 12 month part time HNC in Business and Management.

How much: Full-time Fast Track £6,000 / year, part-time Fast Track £4,000 / year, Fast Track HNC £3,600

When: January and September entry

Marketing and Business Intelligence BA (Hons), University of Derby

Why?

One of a suite of new marketing degrees launching this year, this course aims to build on core principles of marketing by using tools of business intelligence, data analytics and market research. Maths and computing experts help students perfect skills in data analytics. This degree was created, says the university, to meet employer demand. “Market sensing, brand positioning, customer engagement are all increasingly based on insights drawn from big data.”

When: September 2015

How much: £8,500 / year

POSTGRADUATE TAUGHT MASTER’S

Project Management and Innovation MSc, Strathclyde Business School, University of Strathclyde

Why?

A course to address the need for skills in managing projects that bring innovation and change in technology and organisation. This course could lead to careers in management and policy making roles across the private and public sectors, says the university. Students collaborate with Strathclyde’s Technology and Innovation Centre, where research and live projects are underway.

How much: £12,000

When: September 2015

Business and Finance MScs, Bournemouth University (BU)

Why?

BU launched a suite of specialist finance-related master’s degrees in 2014, all at £9,000 – focusing on international accounting, international taxation and finance, international investment and finance and an MSc in Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship – which looks both at issues faced by new businesses and ways of perking up established businesses. In 2015 the university is also launching:

Consumer Behaviour MSc, BU

Why?

Understanding consumers is critical in any market, says BU. This degree equips you with skills to understand what people prefer, what influences them, how they make decisions and how they approach the buying process.

When: September 2015

How much: £9,000

MScs in accounting, investment, international banking and international finance, Bangor University’s Business School (including London campus)

Why?

Bangor Business School is launching these five new specialist courses this year: accounting; accounting and banking; investment management; international banking and international finance, to meet demand for more career focused courses and for more international content. Ranking highly amongst UK business schools for research, Bangor is rated as one of the top 16 institutions worldwide for banking research.

When: launched September 2015

How much: all courses £9,000 at Bangor campus. International banking, investment management and international finance are also offered at Bangor’s London campus in Broadgate Tower for £16,500. Bangor’s established MA in banking and finance is offered for the first time this year in London for £16,500.

Digital Fashion Strategy MSC, GCU London

Why?

As with many industries, fashion has been turned on its head by technological change; local companies become global, communities form easily, and new fashion business leaders emerge. This course looks at how consumers and businesses adjust to new modes of doing business – how brands are created, promoted and experienced. “This course aims to activate the digital fashion leaders of the future”, says GCU.

When: September 2015

How much: £8,400

Fashion Business Creation MSc, GCU London

Why?

A degree to support fledgling fashion businesses as they launch and develop. A mix of latest research, experiences from entrepreneurs, the programme aims to tap new talent and encourage new business methods.

When: September 2015

How much: £8,400

Human Resources and Organisations MSc, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

Why?

The best bits from three previous degree programmes (management and human resources, international management relations and HR management, and organisational behaviour) have been combined into a single course, with the opportunity to specialise any of the strands. As well as academic theory typical of the LSE, students brush up presentation skills, interviewing techniques, communication skills and team-working.

When: September 2015

How much: from £19,944

International Business MSc, Warwick Business School (WBS)

Why?

A new degree from this heavyweight business school which covers core elements of business before moving on to international business strategy. “Employers are increasingly asking for an understanding of global business and working in and with different countries and cultures,” says a spokesman. WBS has more than £2 million of scholarships earmarked for master’s students which are worth chasing.

When: September 2015

How much: £26,000

Marketing Strategy & Innovation, Cass Business School, City University London

Why?

A programme which promises to equip students with state of the art knowledge to tackle complex marketing issues such as innovation, social media marketing and market research. Cass says it makes the most of it central London location. “Our students meet and learn from leading marketers at global companies such as Interbrand, Twitter, Google and Visa,” says a spokesman.

When: launched September 2014

How much: £18,000

Global Masters in Management, London Business School (LBS) and Fudan School of Management, Shanghai

Why?

Delivered jointly by both schools, this two-year course allows students to gain both a Master’s in Management and an MSc in international business. The first year is taught in London, the second in China’s business capital of Shanghai. “Deepen your business knowledge and gain a unique two-world perspective in both Europe and Asia,” says LBS.

When: September 2015

How much: £37,500

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