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Studying business studies

Find out how business studies could take you from behind the desk in a classroom to behind a desk in a boardroom.

What is business studies?

Business studies looks at how businesses work. The subject covers things like:

  • Objectives and strategy: what businesses set out to do, and how they plan to achieve them
  • Accounts and finance: how businesses manage their money, and where they get it from
  • Management and administration: how businesses are organised, and how they use staff and resources
  • Production and marketing: how businesses create their products, and how they find people to sell them to

Business studies also has some crossover with other subjects like accountancy and economics, which looks at how businesses relate to society and the wider world.

Where can I study business studies?

You can study business studies at GCSE, and at A-level. These courses involve a lot of maths as well as essay writing, although you will normally get a chance to develop practical skills in project planning and management, for example. There are also BTECs and NVQs available in business and management.

Another option is to do an apprenticeship in business, administration and law, where you will get work experience with a company in an area such as administration, management or sales.

Most universities offer degrees in business subjects if you want to study business in higher education. These range from general business studies degrees to more specialist degrees such as business administration or business management. Certain degrees such as management science may be more theoretical, whereas others like business and accountancy are more mathematical. Some universities might offer business degrees as sandwich courses, where you will spend a year working in a business, and you can also study business with another subject such as English as a joint honours degree.

You won’t need to have studied business studies at A-level to get onto a business degree, but you will need good GCSEs and at least one A-level in a facilitating subject such as maths or English. You might also be able to study a business degree after studying a HND or a foundation degree in a business subject first.

Where can it lead?

Many business studies students go into management and administration jobs in businesses in commercial businesses, and a business studies qualification can also be helpful to get into finance, banking or insurance. But skills in management and marketing are also required in other areas such as charity, social work and local government, while a knowledge of business is also important for consultancy, certain teaching jobs and for financial journalists.

A business studies qualification is also good grounding for studying an MBA, which is a master’s degree in business administration. You can study an MBA at many universities and business schools in the UK, and some companies might fund their staff to study for an MBA part-time while they work.

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