Business Management. Is Business Management right for me? Are all Business Management degrees the same? Specialisms

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1 Business Management Is Business Management right for me? If you have an interest in working in the world of management and business then Business Management can set you up well. To get the best out of this degree you will need good time management skills and to be able to think independently, together with a curiosity about the world of business how things work, how to get the best out of people, and how to constantly innovate and improve. The skills you can gain from a business management degree are wide-ranging and provide a good basis for employment in almost any sector. Are all Business Management degrees the same? All universities will offer slightly different degree courses with varied specialisms and modules. Some universities offer both BA and BSc options and you will need to explore with them how these programmes differ although often there will not be much or any difference. Some universities will have a common first year to their Business Management degrees which will give you the flexibility to change to a more specialist, less specialist or different specialism at the end of the first year. If you are unsure whether to take a broad-ranging or specialist degree, or are uncertain about which specialist area might suit you best, this may be a good option for you. Whatever Business Management degree you choose, as you progress, your degree will become increasingly more specialised and you will have more scope to choose optional modules that are of interest to you. Each University will provide information about how their degrees work in their prospectus or on their website, and the most up-to-date information can normally be found on the website. Specialisms There are a number of specialisms you could choose as part of your Business Management degree. These include Accounting, Finance, ebusiness, Human Resource Management, Marketing, Operations Management, Entrepreneurship, Management

2 Consulting and many others. Many universities will also offer options that include a work placement or study abroad. This can give you valuable experience which will often help you to secure a job after university. How will I spend my time? Most Universities schedule from hours of teaching per week for Business Management degrees. Teaching time is usually split between lectures, small group work such as seminars and tutorials, and also some practical sessions in an IT lab. Lectures will often be with the whole year group, which may be up to 700 people. Lecturers will usually give their view on a subject or text and no participation is usually required other than note-taking. You will often find that the lecture notes are available for you to download in advance of the lecture via the university's virtual learning environment (such as Blackboard or Moodle). Seminars and tutorials are a little different in that they often require you to do some sort of preparation beforehand. Seminars will generally have around students and tutorials are smaller again, or may be a one-to-one with the tutor. Both seminars and tutorials are more discussion-based, allowing you to share and develop your ideas and ask any questions you may have. Although slightly daunting initially, these classes will allow you to engage much more closely with the topic of study, your fellow students and the academic staff. With these, the more time you put into preparation, the more you will get out of them. Skills you gain from a Business Management degree Critical, analytical and evaluative thinking Mathematical, statistical and IT skills Good self-management and organisational skills Coherent and concise written communication Communication and presentation skills Research, investigative and analysis skills Independent working Team work Collection and analysis of data These skills can help you gain work in business, marketing, enterprise, law, hospitality, politics, policy, journalism, economics and many other areas, as well as paving the way to further study.

3 Student Viewpoint Sophie Yorke, 2 nd year Business Management student On my first day at Swansea University I attended an induction which provided me with details of the university, my personal timetable, and what I should expect to achieve whilst studying my Business Management degree. My timetable consisted of the following modules: Marketing Principles Introduction to Financial Accounting Academic Professional and Entrepreneurship Skills (APES) Quantitative Methods People and Organisations Principles of Economics Introduction to Management Accounting Statistical Methods Each module consisted of 2 hours of lectures a week plus an hour-long tutorial, together with an advised extra 2 hours of personal reading. As a student I felt I learned better by actually doing work, rather than reading a text book. I found that re-writing, summarising and re-reading my notes helped me remember what I was learning more than reading did alone. Initially, I was surprised at the number of students in my lectures, having previously studied A Levels in classrooms with a maximum of 30 pupils. I was not expecting to find a much larger number of students in the same room studying the same modules! I was expecting our lectures to be split up into Business, Economics and Accounting, but as we were doing some of the same modules we were often all together. The size of lectures can be daunting, and I believe a lot of students have the impression that they have to make friends in the lectures, but this is hard to do when you are sitting next to someone new every lecture! This is not something to be concerned about, as for the second year you will be picking your own modules so will meet different people in smaller groups. I was thankful that I was able to keep up with the workload, which is more than I had for A Levels, but was still bearable. However, the way that lectures were taught was not something that I was used to. During my previous years of study I was used to working in class, whereas lectures consisted of turning up to your lectures with your notes which the lecturers make available online for you to print out. I realised how

4 important it was to do this as I often didn t understand some of the content before the lecture, but when my lecturer explained, it became a lot clearer! I was able to write my own personal notes onto the lecture notes which helped me understand and remember when it came to revising. A typical week for me during the first year was much less stressful than I was expecting. There is a lot less pressure during the first year as the exams and coursework do not count towards your final degree mark. This came as a great relief to me as I was then able to understand where I had made mistakes in my work and what I could do in order to avoid making these mistakes during the second year and this has allowed me to produce higher graded work. An example of this would be the essays that I submitted at first year. The feedback that I received on these pieces of work have helped me to have a better understanding of what I need to do with my essays in the second year. I found the teaching style of my lectures less formal than I expected. The lecturers presentation slides were available online so you could view them in advance of the lecture or again afterwards - or even instead of attending the lecture, although this isn t recommended! Some of my lectures were also recorded, so those I had missed I was able to catch up these were useful as they didn t just include the slides, but also the lecturer explaining the content. At the start of the year I wanted to write about everything, however, as the year went on, I learned what suited me and what would help me learn the most. I discovered that I learn better when I am writing and doing work, rather than sitting and listening. Because of this I enjoyed the tutorials more, as they consisted of much smaller groups of students (typically around 20) and we were able to interact with our tutor, discuss what we did in the lectures and ask questions. Between my lectures I would often go to the dining hall, but during exams or when I had coursework due I found myself going to the library and computer rooms a lot more. Computers are available, although these get busy as peak times. You can bring your own laptop and there are facilities where you can access the internet and get set up on the University network. During shorter breaks between lectures I did group work for my Academic Professional and Entrepreneurship Skills module with a group of 8 other students. Throughout first year I had 2 essays, 6 in-class tests, 5 assignments, and 1 group work assignment. Often these would all be close together so it is good to plan out what you are going to start first, in order of which ones have to be submitted first. I decided not to take part in any of the university s clubs and societies as I already had a part-time job and I did not want to take any more time away from my studies. However, for those who do want to get involved there are a large number available to suit everyone s interests.

5 Overall I am finding university challenging, although I expected this due to the increase in the amount of work we have each year. University is a great experience, and while some students may find that it is not for them, many will thrive. All of the staff I have met so far have been very polite, and lecturers are more than happy to help you with anything, and this can be done through with quick responses.

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