Course details

Study options

Full-time: 3 years

UK/EU fee

£9,250 per year* (2020/21)

International fee

£14,045 per year (2020/21)

UCAS points

120 (September 2020 entry)

UCAS code


Course level



BA (Hons)

Start date



Derby Campus

If you do not achieve the typical entry points required, you may want to consider studying this course with foundation year.

View with foundation year optionView with foundation year option

Course description

If you would like to study part-time, you may be interested in Business and Management HND and BA (Hons) Business Management (top-up)  

Top10Business and Management at Derby ranked Top 10**The Guardian University Guide 2020
100%overall satisfaction - BA (Hons) Business Studies**National Student Survey 2019
Top10for teaching quality - BA (Hons) Business Studies**Times/Sunday Times 2019 University Guide
Why you should study Business Studies at the University of Derby

Offering a firm foundation for your career, this challenging degree explores the theories and practices which underpin our knowledge of business.

Skills and knowledge to take you far

The BA (Hons) Business Studies equips you with the vision, resourcefulness and high-level skills which employers need to shape strategy and drive change. The qualification will set you apart as a ‘business-ready’ graduate who can rise rapidly to higher level roles and make a significant impact in any sphere of business, in any organisation.

You will gain a deep understanding of why businesses perform in the way that they do, along with valuable research and analytical skills to support business decision-making and problem-solving.

This Course is ideal for anyone keen to deepen their knowledge of business theories models and frameworks. It combines traditional business disciplines with insights into contemporary issues such as business analytics, digital media, innovation and globalisation.

Conduct in-depth research

We focus on fostering your skills in research, analysis and critical thinking, drawing on current business practice. You will become adept at collecting and interpreting data, evaluating evidence and presenting your findings in compelling ways. You will also develop the confidence to articulate arguments and challenge the status quo.

We introduce you to a wide range of business research methods so that you can devise your own research proposal covering a theme of your choice. You will then devote a large proportion of your final year to independent research and producing a dissertation style report.

Find your business niche

We give you the chance to explore a broad spectrum of business areas before deciding where your main interests lie. You can then tailor your studies to match your personal strengths and preferences.

In stage one, you will gain a solid grounding in areas such as strategy, finance, HRM, marketing and enterprise. In stages two and three, almost half of the course is made up of optional modules so that you can chart your own direction and gain more specialist knowledge. You could, for example, explore consumer behaviour, harness social media for business or investigate financial markets.

If, after stage one, you decide that you would like to focus more on the management aspects of business, there may be the opportunity to transfer to one of our suite of BA (Hons) Business Management programmes.

Ed Hollands

From Business Studies to Dragons' Den success

Graduate Ed Hollands went on the BBC's Dragons' Den TV show and used the skills he gained on our Business Studies course to win a £30,000 investment.

Read about Ed's route to successRead about Ed's route to success

Learn beyond the classroom

We specialise in real world learning, so there will be ample opportunity to apply your academic knowledge to practical work-related scenarios, business simulations, consultancy projects and case studies.

We support all students to undertake valuable work placements. You can complete your degree over four years to include an optional year on placement. If, however, you decide to study over three years, we encourage you to undertake internships, particularly during the summer breaks. Our former students have undertaken placements with famous names such as Bentley, Enterprise and Rolls-Royce.

Professional credibility

This course has been accredited by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) so you can gain an internationally recognised Level 5 Certificate in Management and Leadership alongside your degree. You will have access to the CMI mentoring scheme, networking events and specialist lectures.

Throughout the degree, you will become an affiliate member of the CMI, at no extra cost, with access to online resources and additional benefits to support your career development and employability.

To help you advance in a career with a financial focus, the course also features optional modules which offer exemptions from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) papers. This will give you a head start if you would like to qualify as a chartered management accountant eventually.

CMI logo

Focused on your future success

Our academic team is made up of business experts who will foster your talent. We pride ourselves on education with the personal touch. You will learn in a stimulating environment.

You can also draw on latest business thinking through our thriving research community. Our staff are undertaking influential research which not only extends academic understanding but also helps business organisations to improve their performance.

In addition, we give you the opportunity to enrol in our Futures Award programme where you can undertake extra-curricular activities to reinforce your development as a business professional.

Broaden your networks

We can put you in touch with some of the brightest business minds. We have strong links with employers across the spectrum, from SMEs to major multinational firms. 

You will engage with leading professional bodies and prominent employers. By attending guest lectures, business conferences, recruitment fairs and major networking events, you can bolster your contacts book for the future. 

What you will study

To complete the BA (Hons) Business Studies, you’ll study modules such as:

  • Business Economics
  • Understanding People in Organisations
  • Understanding the Global Business Environment
  • Finance and Business Performance
  • Marketing Fundamentals
  • Developing an Enterprising Mindset
  • Quantitative Skills for Business
  • Applied Operations Management
  • Research Methods for Business

You will also choose three optional modules from an extensive list which includes Asset Management; Sustainable Supply Chains; Integrated Marketing Communications; Digital and Social Media; People Resourcing and Talent Planning; Employee Development; Managing Financial Resources; Law for Accounting; Public and Third Sector Economies; and Applied Intermediate Macroeconomics. 

You will be encouraged to undertake an optional placement year between stages two and three.

  • Global Business and Strategy
  • Ethics, Sustainability and Community
  • The Business Research Study (double module)

You will also choose two optional modules from an extensive list which includes Supply Chain Systems Modelling; Marketing Services and Experiential Marketing; Market Sensing; Managing the Evolving Employment Relationship; Comparative International HRM; Financial Statement Analysis; International Business Performance Appraisal; International Business Economics; and Investing and Financial Market Behaviour.

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

Smiling girl with scarf sitting in cafe with cup of coffee

Find out more about Business Studies

The best way to find out if studying at Derby is right for you is to experience an Open Day. Get a feel for the city and campus, tour our first-class facilities and see where you could be living.

Book your Open DayBook your Open Day

How you will learn

How you will learn

We take a ‘scaffolded’ approach to learning, so you have full support and direction in the early stages of your studies and gradually move towards stronger understanding and greater independence.

This course instils all the attributes and qualities of a successful business professional, including time management, prioritising, effective communication and networking. Through your contact with academic tutors, mentors and participation in University events, you’ll become well attuned to professional business behaviour.

The course incorporates formal lectures, sometimes involving external speakers; tutor-led and student-led seminars; one-to-one and small group tutorials; research skills workshops; and self-directed study. We place significant emphasis on developing your research skills, critical thinking and confidence in articulating arguments.

By stage three, you are expected to be more in charge of your own learning, with module tutors advising and directing your studies, particularly when you undertake your Business Research Study.

How you are assessed

Our assessment strategy is designed to ensure you can identify issues; decide how to collect, analyse and present evidence about those issues; draw robust conclusions based on the evidence; and then present your findings via different methods of communication.

Assessment is mainly through coursework which can take forms such as traditional essays and reports, group project work, presentations, posters, design of digital materials, and the development of a research proposal to support your independent study. There are also in-class tests and computer-based assessments. At the final stage of the programme your research study will be assessed by a dissertation.

Who you'll meet

You will be taught by an experienced and highly qualified team with outstanding contacts in the wider business community.

They include our Programme Leader, Olivia Ramsbottom who, before she became a lecturer, worked for 16 years as a manager in a number of organisations.  She also runs her own training and consultancy business, providing training and consultancy services to a number of external clients.  She is currently finalising her PhD in conceptualising management for the 21st century, and has a MSc in Management and Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy. 

Entry requirements

September 2020 typical entry requirements

RequirementWhat we're looking for
UCAS points120 (up to 16 from AS-levels)
Specific requirements at A-level

No specific subject requirements

Specific requirements at GCSEGCSE Maths and English Grade C/Grade 4 (or above) or equivalent qualification
IELTS6.0 (with 5.5 in each skills area)
Interview / AuditionN/A

 Alternative entry qualifications:

We usually consider an A-level in General Studies as a supplementary qualification. A good application/performance will be taken into account if you do not meet the criteria/offer conditions.

Our entry requirements for this course should be read together with the University's general entry requirements, which details subjects we accept, alternative qualifications and what we're looking for at Derby.

Fees and funding

2020/21 Fees


£9,250 per year*



£14,045 per year


* The fees stated above are for the 2019/20 academic year; fees for 2020/21 have not yet been confirmed by the UK government. We will update this information as soon as it is available.

Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.

Additional costs and optional extras

How to apply

UK/EU students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for EU students post-Brexit

International students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for international applicants applying for an undergraduate degree


By strengthening your knowledge of business theory and research, the BA (Hons) Business Studies is the ideal preparation for success. When you graduate, you will be armed with an extensive understanding of all the key business disciplines, together with the practical data collection and research skills that mean you can play an influential part in shaping business strategy and performance.  This powerful combination gives you a real advantage when applying for opportunities such as graduate training schemes with major companies.

You will have the professional and ethical attitudes, character strengths, commercial acumen and ambition to make a difference in any work environment. Global perspectives are embedded in every aspect of the course to stand you in good stead for senior roles anywhere in the world.

Our Business Studies graduates are now carving out fulfilling careers in consultancy and client-facing roles in areas such as accounts and finance, HRM, sales, marketing, project management and retail management. Ed Hollands set up his own company, Driven Media, once he graduated.

With its strong focus on research evaluation and analytical skills, the course is also an excellent platform if you want to progress to postgraduate studies. You could, for instance, consider our Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA). As one of our alumni, you would be eligible for a 10% fee discount.

Olivia Ramsbottom

Olivia Ramsbottom
Programme leader

As Programme Leader of the BA (Hons) Business Studies programme, Olivia Ramsbottom is responsible for the success and progression of students, giving academic advice and pastoral support, as well as for recruitment, retention and student satisfaction.  She is also a Senior Lecturer, with teaching responsibilities across Derby Business School.

View full staff profileView full staff profile

Contact us

If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

Contact us Contact us

† Additional information about your studies

4 with optional placement year

Download programme specification

Teaching hours

Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

Additional costs and optional extras

We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.

Included in your fees

Optional costs not included in your fees

Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.

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