Business

Business (top-up) - BA (Hons)

Overview

Build on your business skills and experience, study BA (Hons) Business (top-up) and prepare for a career in the dynamic business environment. Kent’s top-up programme offers you the chance to gain an honours degree in just one year of university study, if you already have a HND or a foundation degree in a business-related subject.

Our Business (top-up) programme equips you with the expertise needed to lead, change and understand the business and management environment. Structured to reflect the ever changing business landscape, it embeds key themes such as globalisation, sustainability and innovation.

If you are considering a career in business leadership and management, or seeking the opportunity to further develop your knowledge through postgraduate study, a business degree can help get you there. As a successful graduate you could enter a career in consultancy, marketing, operations management or human resource management, as well as having the skills to set up your own business.

Our BA (Hons) Business (top-up) degree programme

Studying Business (top-up) you gain a broad understanding of business, together with fundamental skills like critical thinking, team working and problem solving. You will learn the essential skills to enable you to analyse and evaluate solutions to complex, real-life problems.

On our flexible programme, you take a range of compulsory modules starting with a two-week Study Skills module. Following this you choose from a broad range of optional modules allowing you shape your degree to suit your aspirations and interests, exploring areas such as digital marketing, business innovation and cross-cultural management. You can even choose to deepen your knowledge on a specific business aspect thorough a research-led project.

You have excellent opportunities to experience business in action through hands-on experience via in-class live case studies from our visiting industry experts, enterprise challenges and company visits. You also have an opportunity to gain entrepreneurial skills that will enable you to accelerate your innovative thinking into practice.

Experiential Learning

Kent provides a variety of employability opportunities for students during their studies. These range from short-term company internship opportunities to, voluntary work with local charities and University Business Societies. The central Careers and Employability Service also offers an exciting Employability Points Scheme. In addition to this, the Kent Business School specialised team of Employability experts provides support to all our students in personalised 1:1 meetings as well as online support via the Employability blog. Unique to KBS, our Alumni have access to all employability support for three years after their graduation.

Extra Activities

In addition to your studies, our students can discover how to turn their ideas into a successful business at our ASPIRE centre, which provides practical advice and support to all entrepreneurially-minded students, and runs our Business Start-up Journey initiative.

Many of our students also get involved with societies including the Kent Business Society, which in previous years has organised:

  • Social events
  • Talks from industry leaders including top tech entrepreneur Tom Illube, Becky Sims (CEO, Reflect Digital) and Emmanuel Enemokwu (JehuCal founder).
  • Networking events

An Outstanding Student Experience

Kent Business School is dedicated to ensuring a positive experience for all our students, from induction to graduation, and beyond. As a Student Success school, we are committed to championing Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion, and warmly welcome students from all backgrounds. Your experience is central to what we do, so we will listen to you every step of the way, through our robust Student Voice processes and mechanisms.

Alongside a world-class teaching and educational experience, KBS delivers a wide-ranging package of support, designed to ensure that you can maximise your time with us:

  • Every student is allocated an Academic Adviser from our highly skilled academic staff team, who will meet with you individually to give you personalised guidance on your academic journey with KBS.
  • Our dedicated Student Support Team, led by the Senior Tutor, are on-hand throughout term time and during vacations to provide confidential, sensitive, pastoral support and guidance to our students.
  • Academic Peer Mentors, recruited from the School’s most experienced undergraduate students, are available to help you to navigate your course and the modules that they themselves have sat, giving you insider access to someone who knows what it’s like to study on your course.

About the School

Our School is a leading Business School, accredited by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), which places us within the top institutions globally for business degrees, with only 5% of the world’s Business Schools attaining this accreditation.

Our programmes offer world-class business education enabling transformative learning experiences built around the School’s fundamental values of sustainable innovation and responsible management practice. Our students are at the heart of all considerations and through engaging teaching, world-class research, professional partnerships and an international community, we create an exciting atmosphere in which to learn and thrive.

All of our programmes at Kent Business School address the challenges of modern global business and we aim to meet industry demands of producing quality graduates by ensuring we unlock our students’ potential, expand their thinking and nurture their talent.

Entry requirements

Home/EU students

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Typical requirements are listed below. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice. 

Please note that meeting this typical offer/minimum requirement does not guarantee an offer being made. Please also see our general entry requirements.

New GCSE grades

If you’ve taken exams under the new GCSE grading system, please see our conversion table to convert your GCSE grades.

  • Certificate

    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.
  • Certificate

    GCSE

    Mathematics and English grade C

  • Certificate

    Access to HE Diploma

    N/A

  • Certificate

    BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)

    N/A

International students

The University welcomes applications from international students. Our international recruitment team can guide you on entry requirements. See our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country. 

However, please note that international fee-paying students cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.

If you need to increase your level of qualification ready for undergraduate study, we offer a number of International Foundation Programmes.

Meet our staff in your country

For more advice about applying to Kent, you can meet our staff at a range of international events.

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, 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

The module will include:

Audit of students skills in reading and comprehension of higher learning material.

Identification of behavioural barriers to effective learning.

Internet searching.

Harvard referencing.

The development of the necessary skills and awareness for self management through:

1. feedback from testing

2. group discussion

3. analysis

4. presentations

5. reasoning

6. referencing

7. research and essay writing

Find out more about CB357

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.

Find out more about CB613

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

Find out more about CB676

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.

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;

Strategic HRM in the international context.

Find out more about CB684

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

Find out more about CB786

Optional modules may include

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

Find out more about CB755

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.

The main 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

Find out more about CB544

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:

Topics may cover:

• 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

Find out more about CB546

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.

Indicative topics are: The digital marketing environment; Enabling technologies for digital marketing; Website design, implementation and analysis; Social media; Social commerce; Customers in the Internet age: knowing, reaching & retaining the customer; Network effects and versioning; Loyalty, Customer Relationship Management and Data Mining; E-Marketing campaigns; Brands in the Internet age; Data protection, privacy and legal issues; Digital marketing and globalisation

Find out more about CB602

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

Find out more about CB751

This module will explore more advanced management and organizational theory to facilitate students’ examination of contemporary management challenges. 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. Indicative topic areas may include:

Globalization and anti-globalization

The character of ownership – foreign versus national ownership

Social and environmental sustainability

Corporate social responsibility and corporate criminality

Corporate governance

Organizational misbehaviour and resistance

Organizational identity and identity work

Masculinisation and Feminisation of Management

New forms of work such as emotional labour and aesthetic labour

New organizational forms

Find out more about CB678

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.

Indicative topics are:

• 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

Find out more about CB658

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.

Find out more about CB788

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.

Find out more about CB688

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

Find out more about CB746

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

Find out more about CB520

Fees

The 2021/22 annual tuition fees for UK undergraduate courses have not yet been set by the UK Government. As a guide only full-time tuition fees for Home undergraduates for 2020/21 entry are £9,250:

  • Home full-time TBC
  • International full-time £16800

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

Full-time tuition fees for Home undergraduates in 2020 were £9,250.

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.* 

EU students

EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals will no longer be eligible for home fee status, undergraduate, postgraduate and advanced learner financial support from Student Finance England for courses starting in academic year 2021/22. It will not affect students starting courses in academic year 2020/21, nor those EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals benefitting from Citizens’ Rights under the EU Withdrawal Agreement, EEA EFTA Separation Agreement or Swiss Citizens’ Rights Agreement respectively. It will also not apply to Irish nationals living in the UK and Ireland whose right to study and to access benefits and services will be preserved on a reciprocal basis for UK and Irish nationals under the Common Travel Area arrangement.

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.

Funding

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.

Scholarships

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 AAA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages

The scholarship is also extended to those who achieve AAB at A level (or specified equivalents) where one of the subjects is either mathematics or a modern foreign language. Please review the eligibility criteria.

Teaching and assessment

In the Governments recent Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) assessment of teaching at UK universities, Kent was awarded a Gold rating. Based on the evidence available, the TEF panel judged that the University of Kent delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK.

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.

Teaching

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.

Assessment

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

Undergraduate students can expect around 8 contact hours per week, depending on year of study and optional module choices made. The remainder of the working week consists of self-guided study based on degree programme content and requirements of specific modules. 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.

Programme aims

For programme aims and learning outcomes please see the programme specification below:

BSc Business (top-up)

Teaching Excellence Framework

All University of Kent courses are regulated by the Office for Students.

Based on the evidence available, the TEF Panel judged that the University of Kent delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK.

Please see the University of Kent's Statement of Findings for more information.

Independent rankings

In The Guardian University Guide 2021, 83% of final-year Business, Management and Marketing students were satisfied with the overall quality of their course.

For graduate prospects, Business and Management Studies at Kent was ranked 22nd The Complete University Guide 2021.

Of Business Studies graduates who responded to the most recent national survey of graduate destinations, over 94% were in work or further study within six months. (DLHE 2017).

Careers

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 Business (top-up) - BA (Hons)

Full-time applicants

Full-time applicants (including international applicants) should apply through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) system. If you need help or advice on your application, you should speak with your careers adviser or contact UCAS Customer Contact Centre. 

The institution code number for the University of Kent is K24, and the code name is KENT.

Application deadlines

See the UCAS website for an outline of the UCAS process and application deadlines. 

If you are applying for courses based at Medway, you should add the campus code K in Section 3(d).

Apply through UCAS

Contact us

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United Kingdom/EU enquiries

Enquire online for full-time study

T: +44 (0)1227 768896

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International student enquiries

Enquire online

T: +44 (0)1227 823254
E: internationalstudent@kent.ac.uk

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School website

Kent Business School

Discover Uni information

DiscoverUni logo

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
  • Information about courses
  • Information about providers

Find out more about the Unistats dataset on the Higher Education Statistics Agency website.