Students preparing for their graduation ceremony at Canterbury Cathedral

Business, Management and Finance Pre-Master's - GDip

2018

Develop your knowledge and understanding of organisations, the external context in which they operate and how they are managed. Build your language skills with dedicated modules in English for the purposes of study in the fields of Business and Finance and develop a broad set of academic skills to prepare you for a Master's degree in business, management or finance.

2018

Overview

On this programme you learn about:

  • the effects of the external environment, including economic, environmental, cultural and ethical, at local, national and global levels upon the behaviour, management, and sustainability of organisations 
  • the processes, procedures and practices for effective management of organisations including the management of people and corporate social responsibility
  • the development of appropriate policies and strategies within a changing environment, especially in relation to: marketing; finance; cross-cultural issues; diversity and values; operations management; communications; strategy; innovation, and social responsibility. 

Develop critical thinking and analysis skills, as well as effective problem-solving and decision-making skills. You also learn to apply ideas to various situations through effective oral and written communication, including the preparation and presentation of business reports and how to conduct research into business and management issues.

You can develop your independent study and research skills through a combination of subject modules within Kent Business School (KBS).  You also have the opportunity to improve your English language competence through dedicated modules offered by Kent International Pathways at the Centre for English and World Languages.

On successful completion of the Graduate Diploma (and through meeting the University’s progression and English language requirements), you can choose from a number of postgraduate degree programmes offered within KBS including:

About Kent Business School

Kent Business School has over 25 years’ experience delivering business education. Our portfolio of postgraduate programmes demonstrates the breadth and depth of our expertise. Academic research and links with global business inform our teaching, ensuring a curriculum that is relevant and current. We are ranked as a top 30 UK business school for the standard of our teaching and student satisfaction. We also hold a number of accreditations by professional bodies.

Studying at KBS gives you the opportunity to increase your employability with real-life case studies, a student council and a business society. We have strong links to local and national organisations providing opportunities for projects, internships and graduate placements. The School attracts many high-profile speakers from industry and last year included visits and lectures from staff of the Bank of England, BAE Systems, Barclays, Lloyds Insurance, Cummins, Delphi and Kent County Council.

National ratings

In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, we were placed 25th (out of 101 institutions) in the UK for research intensity in business and management studies and 98% of our research was judged to be of international quality. The School’s environment was judged to be conducive to supporting the development of research of international excellence.

The School was also ranked 24th for its breadth and depth of research across the whole community of research active staff by the Association of Business Schools.

Course structure

The Pre-Master's is a modular course which runs for three terms, starting in September. The structure is uniquely designed to prepare you for postgraduate study in your chosen field. You take modules in English and Skills for Specific Academic Purposes and then choose a number of modules from your chosen academic specialism.

Modules

The course structure below gives you an idea of the modules that will be available to you and provides details of the content of this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change from year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation. The programme will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take ‘wild’ modules from other programmes offered by the University. This enables you to customise your programme and explore other subject areas which interest you or which may enhance your employability.

Modules may include Credits

A synopsis of the curriculum

Students will be expected to develop the ability to use appropriate techniques of analysis and enquiry within Operations Management and to learn how to evaluate alternatives and make recommendations. Topics include:

• Strategic role of operations and operations strategy

• Design of processes and the implications for layout and flow

• Design and management of supply networks

• Resource planning and management

• Lean systems

• Quality planning and managing improvement

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15

The module provides a broad, basic understanding of strategy and strategic management, on which further strategic analysis and exploration of strategic issues can be built. It introduces students to the key vocabulary, concepts and frameworks of strategic management and establishes criteria for assessing whether or not a strategy can be successful. It introduces students to frameworks for analysing the external and internal environments and to different theories of how these relate and of their impact on strategy formulation and implementation.

Students will learn how to identify strategic issues, develop strategic options to address them and decide which option(s) to recommend. Through theoretical readings and case studies, students will develop an appreciation of strategy in different contexts and from different perspectives and of the complexity of strategic decision-making. Students will enhance their ability to read business articles from a strategic perspective and to present strategic arguments in a structured manner

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15

This module provides a critical introduction to the main theories and debates in International Business and uses these theoretical lenses to explain core phenomena in international business.

• Explaining international economic transactions (trade theories, national competitiveness)

• Explaining the existence of MNEs (internalisation theory, eclectic theory, monopolistic advantages)

• Explaining the coevolution of environment and MNEs (institutional theory, resource dependence theory, evolutionary theory, investment development path, product life cycle theory)

• Explaining the growth and decline of MNEs (stages model, network theory, market entry/expansion modes, transaction cost theory)

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15

This module offers a critical analysis of how multinationals select their target markets and modes of entry and how they manage their various functions in an international context, balancing the needs for global integration and local responsiveness respectively.

• Managing the internationalisation process

• Country selection

• Choosing and designing entry modes

• Managing collaborative arrangements

• International marketing

• International human resource management

• International supply chain management

• International finance

• Research and development in an international perspective

• Managing multinationals using electronic commerce

• Managing multinationals responsively

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15

The module is designed to encourage student autonomy and to develop self-confidence in students’ ability to research a topic independently. Participants are guided and facilitated by the tutor through a series of group workshops in which the sharing of ideas is encouraged for exploration and discussion. Students are further supported via bi-weekly 1 to 1 tutorials during which they will discuss their work and progress with the tutor. LA525 is unique in the sense that the course material is produced almost entirely by the students themselves, thus enabling a fully bespoke learning experience. This module is designed for confident speakers of English. There is a shorter 15 credit version (LA524) for those who require a little more language support.

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30

This module presents an overview of what work psychology is and its relevance and usefulness in improving our understanding and management of people (including ourselves) at work. Many work places operate sophisticated and expensive systems for assessing the costs and benefits of various workplace elements but often do not extend this to the management of employees. This module aims to demonstrate the benefits of having a comprehensive understanding of the role psychology can play in the management of people in contemporary organizations. Indicative content includes:

• Work psychology

• Individual differences and psychometrics

• Best practice personnel selection

• Stress and well-being

• Motivation

• Stereotypes and group behaviour

• Leadership and diversity

• The dark side of personality

• Political behaviour in the workplace

• The psychology of entrepreneurs

• Using work psychology to enhance employability

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15

The module content will include:

* Marketing planning

* The market: understanding and analysing the marketing environment

* Segmentation, targeting and positioning

* Marketing research

* Understanding customers and buyer behaviour

* The organisation: marketing strategy and ethics

* The marketing mix (goods and services)

* New product development

* Marketing communications

* Pricing

* Marketing channels

* Contemporary issues in marketing

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15

This module offers a comprehensive introduction to the area of cross-cultural management research. Based on a critical analysis of the assumptions underlying various approaches to studying national cultures, frameworks are applied to understand cross-cultural issues managers in international organisations may face.

• Different approaches to cross-cultural management

• Traditional approaches to studying cross-cultural management

• Different Levels of culture

• Cultural-frameworks

• Applications of cultural frameworks to managerial problems

• Critical evaluation of traditional approaches to studying cross-cultural management

• Emic vs. Etic approaches to cross cultural management

• Interpretive approaches to cross-cultural management

• Critical approaches to cross-cultural management

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15

Business ethics and sustainability are central to contemporary management and thus this module will explore the following topics:

• History, definitions and timeline of society's view on business ethics and sustainability

• Cross-disciplinary approaches to ethics and sustainability

• Role of globalisation, policy and culture

• Ethics and ethical dilemmas

• Change Management, Values, Governance and Leadership

• Sustainable Business Models

• Social Innovation

• Partnerships and collaboration

• Responsible Supply Chain Management

• Environmental Assessment Frameworks and Sustainable Management in practice

• Sustainable Supply Chain Management

• Innovation and creativity

• The role and responses of Corporations, SMEs, Public and not-for-profit organisations

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15

A synopsis of the curriculum

Students will be expected to develop the ability to use appropriate techniques of analysis and enquiry within Operations and Service Management and to learn how to evaluate the alternatives and make recommendations. Topics include:

• The nature of services and service strategy

• Service development and technology

• Service quality and the service encounter

• Project/Event management and control

• Managing capacity and demand in services

• Managing inventories

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15

This module aims to develop a critical understanding of the role of digital marketing in modern organisations. The module considers what digital marketing strategy means looking at a range of examples across business sectors. Core areas are looked at including the technologies which make digital marketing possible, the relationship between digital marketing strategies and the wider organisation, the key issues in the development and implementation of digital marketing strategies and the threats, security and other, posed by digital marketing.

The following topics may be covered:

Enabling technologies for e-commerce: The Digital Marketing Environment, Digital Marketing Strategy; The Internet and the World Wide Web; Mobile platforms; Dot com and multi-channel; Social Media and Web 2.0; Database and data warehouses; Web site design and management; Marketplaces; B2B Digital Marketing; Business Models and Innovation.

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15

This module presents an overview of what workforce diversity is and its relevance and usefulness in improving our understanding and management of people (including ourselves) at work. The demographics of the population and the workplace are changing drastically because of a number of factors, such as an increasing number of ethnic minorities and women in the workforce and in management. Accordingly, there is a need to effectively understand and manage workforce diversity not only to increase organisational business outcomes but also to create an inclusive workplace in a socially responsible manner.

The module will examine issues confronting managers of a diverse workforce. In particular issues such as ethnicity, race, language, ageing, disability, gender, and intersectional identities will be discussed. Two key approaches towards managing diversity will be explained, i.e. the social equity case of managing diversity, and the business benefits case of managing diversity. The module will explore a range of diversity related concepts and topics, such as social identity, stereotyping, discrimination, intergroup conflict, structural integration, and organisational change.

Main themes covered by this module will include:

Origins of diversity and equal opportunity in the workplace context;

Social and psychological perspectives on workplace diversity;

The UK and European diversity contexts;

Business benefits case and social equity case of managing diversity;

The legal framework for diversity;

Organisational approaches to diversity;

Contemporary issues central to the experiences of diverse individuals in the UK and in organisations across a range of diversity dimensions;

Diversity management in an international context

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15

Teaching and Assessment

Assessment is through a combination of:

  • coursework assignments
  • seminar contribution
  • written seen/unseen examinations
  • evaluation of contributions to discussions, both ‘face to face’ and on-line
  • presentations
  • project reports

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • develop your knowledge and understanding of organisations, the external context in which  they operate and how they are managed
  • raise your level of spoken and written English for business and management studies to that required for potential entry to a Master’s level programme in the area of business and management (or to enhance written and spoken linguistic skills if English is your  first language or you are already proficient).
  • develop an understanding of the international environment in which organisations operate and an international perspective on business and management issues
  • develop an appropriate range of cognitive, critical and intellectual skills, research skills and relevant personal and interpersonal skills

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain a knowledge and understanding of:

  • organisations, the external environment in which they operate and how they are managed; the    dynamic and changing nature of business and the consideration of the future of organisations within the global business environment 
  •  the effects of the external environment, including economic, environmental, cultural and ethical, at local, national and global levels upon the behaviour, management, and sustainability of organisations 
  • the processes, procedures and practices for effective management of organisations including the management of people and corporate social responsibility 
  • the development of appropriate policies and strategies within a changing environment, especially in relation to: marketing; finance; cross-cultural issues; diversity & values; operations management; communications; strategy; innovation, and social responsibility 

Intellectual skills

You gain the following intellectual skills:

  • cognitive skills of critical thinking, analysis and synthesis.
  • effective problem solving and decision making.
  • the ability to assess a range of options together with the capacity to apply ideas and knowledge to a range of situations

Subject-specific skills

You gain the ability to:

  • understand the interrelatedness of different aspects of business.
  • identify, formulate and solve business problems.
  • create, evaluate and assess a range of options together with the capacity to apply ideas and knowledge to a range of situations.
  • effectively communicate, verbally and in writing, using a range of media which are widely used in business such as the preparation and presentation of business reports.
  • conduct research into business and management issues.

Transferable skills

You gain the following transferrable skills:

  • spoken and written English appropriate to the study of business and management.
  • effective self-management in terms of time, planning and behaviour, motivation, self-starting, individual initiative and enterprise.
  • interpersonal skills of effective listening and presentation.
  • learning to learn and a continuing appetite for learning

Careers

Students progress to studying at Master’s level in the areas of business, management and finance.

Professional recognition

Kent Business School is a member of the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) and the Chartered  Association of Business Schools (CABS).

Entry requirements

Equivalent of an honours degree from a UK or other approved university in a related subject, or an equivalent professional qualification.

We will consider applicants holding equivalent qualifications or work experience. 

All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, and professional qualifications and experience will also be taken into account when considering applications. 

International students

Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information for your country. 

English language entry requirements

English Language requirement: IELTS 5.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each section.

Staff research interests

Fees

The 2018/19 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

Business Management and Finance (Pre Master’s) - GDip at Canterbury:
UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £9250 £15200

For students continuing on this programme fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact information@kent.ac.uk

General additional costs

Find out more about accommodation and living costs, plus general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.

Funding

Search our scholarships finder for possible funding opportunities. You may find it helpful to look at both: