Business (top-up) - BA (Hons)

Are you looking to further your business knowledge and extend your foundation degree or HND?


Studying our Business (top-up) course allows you to strengthen your understanding of the world of business through an extra year of study converting your HND or Foundation Year into a full degree.

You’ll gain a broad understanding of enterprise together with fundamental skills such as critical thinking, team-working, and problem solving. You’ll also learn essential theory in areas including entrepreneurship or strategy to enable you to analyse and evaluate solutions to complex, real-life problems.

As a successful graduate you could enter a career in all areas of business such as consultancy, marketing, operations management or human resource management, as well as having the skills to set up your own business.

Reasons to study a Business Top-up degree at Kent

  • Top-up your current qualification to a full degree in just one year
  • Some of our expert academic staff appear in the top 2% of researchers worldwide
  • You study at a ‘Triple Crown’ accredited business school
  • All KBS students are eligible for employability support from enrolment until three years after graduation
  • You can take part in our specialised Backpack to Briefcase scheme
  • Add a Year Abroad or Year in Industry for real-world experience or choose to launch your own self-employed venture in our 'Selfie Year'
  • Tailor your degree to suit your aspirations with flexible optional modules
  • Turn ideas into a successful business at our ASPIRE centre
  • Support from Academic Peer Mentors and an Academic Adviser

What you’ll learn

Over the year, you will take compulsory modules in entrepreneurship, management, strategy, human resources, and operations management before tailoring the course to suit your needs with a series of optional modules. Choose to study modules that address topics at the forefront of the business world, from digital marketing to leadership, and develop an expertise that will allow you to make a difference.

See what you’ll study

Flexible tariff

Make Kent your firm choice – The Kent Guarantee

We understand that applying for university can be stressful, especially when you are also studying for exams. Choose Kent as your firm choice on UCAS and we will guarantee you a place, even if you narrowly miss your offer (for example, by 1 A Level grade)*.

*exceptions apply. Please note that we are unable to offer The Kent Guarantee to those who have already been given a reduced or contextual offer.

Entry requirements

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. All applications are assessed on an individual basis but some of our typical requirements are listed below. Students offering qualifications not listed are welcome to contact our Admissions Team for further advice. Please also see our general entry requirements.

  • medal-empty

    A level

    N/A. The only qualifications accepted for this programme are:

    • English HND (Higher National Diploma) in a business-related subject with an average merit grade/merit profile, or
    • Pearson/BTEC HND (Higher National Diploma) in a business-related subject with an average merit grade/merit profile, or
    • UK foundation degree in a business-related subject at 60% overall average.
  • medal-empty GCSE

    Mathematics and English grade C

  • medal-empty Access to HE Diploma


  • medal-empty BTEC Nationals


  • medal-empty International Foundation Programme


  • medal-empty T level

    The University will consider applicants holding T level qualifications in subjects closely aligned to the course.

If you are an international student, visit our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country, including details of the International Foundation Programmes. Please note that international fee-paying students who require a Student visa cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.

Please note that meeting the typical offer/minimum requirement does not guarantee that you will receive an offer.

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

Please note that if you do not meet our English language requirements, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.


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Course structure

Duration: 1 year full-time

Our programmes require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules, typically taking four modules per term over two terms in each of the three stages of study. The course structure provides a sample of the modules available for this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.

Stage 3

Your studies begin in early September with a two-week Study Skills module. Following this, you study a range of compulsory and optional modules that extend your knowledge from a wide range available. Our modules cover all aspects of business including human resource management, innovation and enterprise, leadership and business ethics.

Compulsory modules currently include

This module facilitates the development of an entrepreneurial mind-set, and equips students with necessary cutting-edge knowledge and skills vital for generating value in a knowledge based economy. The curriculum will include the following areas of study:

  • Broader application of entrepreneurship
  • Co-creation as a new form of generating value in an innovation ecosystem.
  • Managing innovation entrepreneurially
  • Entrepreneurial opportunity
  • Entrepreneurial Motivation
  • Entrepreneurial Marketing
  • Entrepreneurial Finance – Finance fuels entrepreneurship.

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.

This module will introduce students to the key concepts of managing people, involving an examination of organisational, human resource management and industrial relations theory. This will be achieved through relating relevant theory to practical people and organisational management issues.

Indicative topics of study are:

  • The theory of strategic HRM; Strategic HRM and Business Strategy;
  • Strategic HRM and Organisational Performance;
  • Strategic employee involvement and participation;
  • HRM in the public sector;
  • HRM in Small and Medium Enterprises;
  • HRM in the voluntary sector.

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 are likely to include:

  • Strategic role of operations and operations strategy
  • Design of processes and the implications for layout and flow
  • Design and management of supply networks in national and international contexts
  • Resource planning and management
  • Lean systems
  • Quality planning and managing improvement.

Optional modules may include

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

  • 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.

This module will introduce students to the key concepts, theories and issues involved in international marketing. In doing so it will enable students to understand how to identify and evaluate opportunities in international markets and assess the different market entry modes available to companies. In addition students will consider the need to adapt marketing mix elements for different international markets. Indicative topics of study are as follows:

  • Introduction to international marketing: Definitions, theories, approaches and motives.
  • International Marketing Research
  • Assessing international markets: The political and economic environment
  • Assessing international markets: The Sociocultural environment
  • Theories and frameworks for International market evaluation and selection
  • Market entry modes: export, intermediate and hierarchical
  • International marketing plans and strategy: Segmentation, targeting and positioning
  • Designing the global marketing mix: Product, pricing, communication and distribution decisions.

The module will provide students with the tools of marketing communications. Specifically students taking this module will be able to evaluate strengths and weakness of marketing communications channels. Over the course of a term the module will provide students with an understanding of the principles, methods and strategies of marketing communications. The main tools of marketing communications will be discussed as well as their suitability and effectiveness:

Indicative topics are:

  • The communications process
  • Advertising
  • Strategy and media planning
  • Image, brand management and packaging
  • Direct marketing
  • Digital and interactive media
  • Sales promotion, merchandising and point of sale
  • Public relations and corporate identity
  • Exhibitions, trade shows, product placement and sponsorship
  • Personal selling.

The module looks at how digital marketing applications can be used by modern organisations. The module considers the fundamental technologies that support digital marketing along with the regulatory and societal challenges that must be taken into account, for example, privacy and data protection. The methods available to attract customers through digital marketing are covered making a distinction between paid methods, such as sponsored search, and non-paid methods, such as an organisation’s own social media assets. Issues around loyalty are considered especially in the context of falling search costs which enable customers to switch providers.

The unique nature of digital products, for example music downloads or video streaming, are outlined with the marketing challenges and opportunities this presents. The module stresses the importance of implementation, using applied examples, and the uncertainty involved.

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.

This module will explore more advanced management and organisational theory to facilitate students’ examination of the challenges that face managers in contemporary organisations. As well as considering these challenges from a mainstream managerial perspective, the module will also draw on the perspective of critical management studies as a means of providing an alternative viewpoint on contemporary management issues.

Making decisions is one of the most important things any manager or business must do. Making smart decisions, however, can be extremely difficult due the complexity and uncertainty involved. Decision Analysis (DA) provides a structured and coherent approach to decision making. It involves a wide range of quantitative and graphical methods for identifying, representing, and assessing alternatives in order to determine a best course of action. DA is regularly employed by many leading companies in the pharmaceutical, oil and gas, utilities, automotive, and financial services sectors. In this module, you learn about the basic concepts of DA and how to apply it in a variety of practical business planning situations.

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. Indicative topics are:

  • Management and culture
  • Different approaches to cross-cultural management
  • Cultural-frameworks and its application
  • Roles of the global manager
  • Global management challenges.

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.

International and Comparative Human Resource Management aims to provide an analysis of HRM practices in different national contexts as well as multi-national organisations. Indicative topics may include:

  • International HRM practices in different national contexts
  • HRM in Multi-National Organizations
  • HRM Leadership in Multi-National Organizations
  • International staffing policies and expatriate management
  • Cultural differences and HRM practices
  • Ethical issues in International HRM
  • Convergence theory and International HRM
  • The future of International HRM in the 21st Century.

The aim of this module is to provide students with (1) a systematic understanding of how information technology is driving business innovation, (2) the methods and approaches used by managers to exploit new digital opportunities, and (3) an appreciation of the knowledge and skills needed to manage the business innovation. By the end of this module, students will be equipped with the necessary knowledge and tools to deal with current business issues including digital transformation and emerging business models via technological innovations.

The aim of this hands-on and highly practical module is to introduce students to the power of data intelligence in transforming the way businesses operate. Students will learn how to develop a successful big data strategy and deliver organisational performance improvements through the use of data analytics.

Indicative topics covered in the module include: business intelligence principles, data visualisation and dashboards, data warehouse and integration, artificial intelligence in business applications, big data, social network analysis, text mining, and participatory approaches for problem structuring.

Students will be exposed to a variety of case studies which demonstrate how pervasive data intelligence and analytics have become in every industry and sector, including examples from supply chain management, transport, marketing, finance, healthcare, and human resources. By the end of the module, students will have an understanding of how specific companies use big data and a grasp of the actionable steps and resources required to utilise data effectively.

This module allows students to extend their knowledge and understanding of innovation and new product marketing. It is based around conceptual understanding of what a new product is and illustrating effective new product marketing practices through a systematic new product marketing process. Indicative topics are:

  • New Products Marketing and Innovation
  • New Product Strategies
  • Models on New Product Development
  • Market Research and its Influence on New Product Development
  • Managing the New Product Development Process from Idea Generation to Commercialisation (and this includes national and global rollouts).
  • The Marketing/R&D Interface.

The module aims to provide students with a broad perspective of the role of marketing in society. The module will also provide students with the tools to analyse and reflect on their own consumption behaviour in relation to sustainability and broader societal implications. Specifically, students will be able to examine the current trends and challenges facing society, including sustainability, social responsibility, poverty, ethics and other social-economic related issues. Ultimately, the students will be able to develop a deeper appreciation of the role and impact of marketing and business practice on today’s society. Sessions in this module will cover concepts such as:

  • Concepts, theories and debates about the roles and responsibilities of marketing in society
  • Societal and green marketing - definitions and frameworks.
  • Pillars of sustainability
  • Designing, implementing and evaluating social marketing programmes
  • Transformative consumer research
  • Subsistence and ‘Bottom of the Pyramid’ marketing
  • Macro- and critical marketing
  • Ethical issues emerging in marketing.

Many developed economies are dominated by services, and service organisations require a distinctive approach to marketing strategy both in development and execution. The module will demonstrate how a holistic approach to the incorporation of a services perspective is crucial for marketing in general. The module will explore the distinctive characteristics of services and explain how they impact on the marketing approaches used by firms. Sessions in this module will cover concepts such as:

  • The nature of services and their importance in creating value for customers
  • Developing effective services marketing strategies that create competitive advantage for firms
  • The customer decision making processes within service encounters
  • The application of marketing mixes to services
  • The sharing service economy
  • Complaint handling and service recovery
  • Service quality models
  • Service dominant logic vs goods dominant logic.

This module will allow students to work on a substantive piece of research which will allow them to frame and prioritise real business problems using well known fields and frameworks within academic business and management disciplines.

  • Developing important research questions in the area of business and management
  • Literature search and review
  • Understanding different research designs used in business and management research projects
  • Collection, use and analysis of secondary and primary data
  • Developing Analytical and Critical Thinking in using theory and data to frame and address business and management problems
  • Preparing and structuring the Business/Consultancy Project
  • Referencing, Citations and Developing writing skills
  • Communication and Presentation skills.

The module aims to develop critical appreciation of the management activities and leadership skills required in dynamic organisations operating in both national and international contexts. Current theory and research on the role which appropriate leadership behaviours can play in improving managerial and organisational effectiveness is explored. In addition a core feature of the module is student engagement in a range of individual and group development activities and their subsequent

self-reflection on their progress and ongoing development needs. In doing so the module aims to develop self-awareness and emotional intelligence in the practice of management, as well as promoting the importance of personal strategies relating to career management, and individual leadership behaviour.

This module focusses on performance management activities undertaken by both line managers and functional HR managers in organisations in a variety of contexts (such as private, public and voluntary sector) and geographical settings (domestic and international). The aim of the module is to analyse organisational processes and practices pertaining to the optimisation of employee performance and managing related aspects of the employment relationship. Underpinning theories/principles related to this module arise mainly from psychology and organisational behaviour origins, and will include critiques from a variety of appropriate perspectives such as ethical, unitarist, pluralist, and labour process perspectives. A key aspect of the module is to develop students' conceptual and practical skills in managing employee performance.

 "The aim of this module is to equip students with basic knowledge of analytics tools to analyse and interpret data

This module will examine how Excel can be used for financial data analysis.

A brief revision of each financial concept will be presented. The syllabus will typically cover:

Introduction to Excel:

  • Basic functions, mathematical expressions

Data Analysis with Excel:

  • Data analysis, charts, solver, goal seek, pitot tables and pivot charts

Financial Valuation:

  • Applications of time value of money
  • Applications of capital budgeting techniques in Excel (IRR, NPV, Scenario Analysis, Monte Carlo simulation)
  • Company Valuation Models
  • Portfolio Analysis and Security Pricing:
  • Portfolio models, calculations of efficient portfolios, variance-covariance matrix
  • Beta coefficient estimations and security market line
  • Bond Valuations
  • Binomial option pricing, Black-Scholes model.

Indicative topics are:

  • Features of debt instruments and risks associated with investing in these instruments
  • Debt and money markets (participants, operations, trading activities)
  • Fixed-income instruments (Government bonds, corporate bonds, credit ratings, high-yield bonds, international bonds, mortgage-backed securities, etc.)
  • Money market instruments (Treasury bills, commercial paper, repurchase agreements, bills of exchange, etc.)
  • Fixed-income valuation (traditional approach, arbitrage-free approach, yield measures, volatility measures)
  • Term-structure of interest rates and classic theories of term structure, derivation of zero-coupon yield curve
  • General principles of credit analysis (credit scoring, credit risk modelling, etc.)
  • Fixed-income portfolio construction and management strategies (portfolio’s risk profile, managing funds against a bond market index).


The 2022/23 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  • Home full-time £9250
  • EU full-time £13000
  • International full-time £17400

For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.

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.* 

Your fee status

The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.

Additional costs

General additional costs

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


University funding

Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details. 

Government funding

You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.


General scholarships

Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.

The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence

At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence. 

The scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of A*AA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages.

We have a range of subject-specific awards and scholarships for academic, sporting and musical achievement.

Search scholarships

Teaching and assessment

Our enthusiastic team of international teaching staff are all experts in their field of study and are regularly published in leading journals worldwide. They guide and support your learning, bringing their subject to life and drawing you into the conversation.


We use a variety of teaching methods, including;

  • lectures
  • small group seminars
  • group projects
  • presentations.

Classroom-based learning is supported by the latest online technologies and learning platforms.


Your progress is assessed through coursework and exams. Coursework takes a variety of forms and includes;

  • reports
  • essays
  • group presentations
  • video podcasts
  • online tests and quizzes.

Exams are individual written assessments tested under time-controlled conditions.

Contact hours

For a student studying full time, each academic year of the programme will comprise 1200 learning hours which include both direct contact hours and private study hours.  The precise breakdown of hours will be subject dependent and will vary according to modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Methods of assessment will vary according to subject specialism and individual modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Independent rankings

Business and Management at Kent was ranked 37th out of 124 in The Complete University Guide 2023.


For graduate prospects, Business, Management and Marketing at Kent scored 74% in The Guardian University Guide 2021 and ranked 22nd in The Complete University Guide 2021 for Business and Management.

Successful KBS Graduates: Graduate destinations

Our Business (top-up) graduates find work in public and private sector management and consultancy, both overseas and in the UK in a wide range of companies and organisations, including:

  • Deloitte
  • KPMG
  • PwC
  • Lloyds Bank
  • Sainsbury’s
  • Tesco
  • Transport for London
  • Yahoo! UK
  • Thames Valley Police
  • Heineken.

Many of our students also stay local and find job opportunities regionally in small and medium firms or even set-up their own businesses as well-equipped entrepreneurs.

Embedded employability: Developing career-enhancing skills

The Backpack to Briefcase scheme provides bespoke career and skills development events and activities for all Kent Business School students. Available from the first year through to graduation, Backpack to Briefcase is designed to prepare you for a successful career after university.

To help you appeal to employers you will graduate with a solid grounding in core business management concepts, theories and skills in a global context but also key transferrable skills such as critical reflection, cultural awareness, creativity and innovation, effective time-management and productive teamwork as well as enhanced confidence, intellectual curiosity and resilience. As a KBS graduate you will be able to demonstrate to your employer how you have developed The Grad Goals.

You can also gain skills by signing up for one of our Kent Extra activities, such as adding much-sought-after analytical skills or computing skills to your degree via Kent’s Q-Step Centre.

Ongoing support: Help finding a job

Kent Business School has an excellent international reputation and good links with businesses locally and globally. Our qualified careers practitioners provide support to all business undergraduate students for up to three years after graduation.

In addition, Careers and Employability Service at the University, can also provide advice on how to apply for jobs, write a good CV or perform well in interviews.

Apply for this course

If you are from the UK or Ireland, you must apply for this course through UCAS. If you are not from the UK or Ireland, you can choose to apply through UCAS or directly on our website.

Find out more about how to apply

All applicants

Apply through UCAS

International applicants

Apply now to Kent

Contact us


United Kingdom/EU enquiries

Enquire online for full-time study

T: +44 (0)1227 768896


International student enquiries

Enquire online

T: +44 (0)1227 823254


School website

Kent Business School

Discover Uni information

Discover Uni is designed to support prospective students in deciding whether, where and what to study. The site replaces Unistats from September 2019.

Discover Uni is jointly owned by the Office for Students, the Department for the Economy Northern Ireland, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales and the Scottish Funding Council.

It includes:

  • Information and guidance about higher education
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Find out more about the Unistats dataset on the Higher Education Statistics Agency website.