University of Chester

Programme Specification
Business Management with Placement Year BA (Hons) (Single Honours)
2014 - 2015

Bachelor of Arts (Single Honours)

Business Management with Placement Year

Business Management with Placement Year

University of Chester

University of Chester


Undergraduate Modular Programme


Classroom / Laboratory,


7 Years

Annual - September




17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Business and Management Warrington School of Management



Sunday 1st May 2011

  • To provide a broad, analytical and integrated study of business management that enables students to develop an understanding of contemporary management theory and practice across a range of sectors and organisational contexts.
  • To provide a programme of study, which offers students a grounding in the disciplines, and methodologies of business management and to stimulate a critical awareness of the factors associated with the changing focus of contemporary management practice.
  • To enable all students to develop a management centred approach, within an academic context, that is relevant to a wide range of contexts, organisations and industries.
  • To provide opportunities for students to develop skills, behaviours and apitudes commensurate with the dynamic nature and needs of management practices in the 21st century, including web based technologies, information technology and internal & external organisational communications. 
  • To provide students with a flexible pathway that allows a basis from which to identify, develop, scrutinise and challenge a comprehensive range of business management models, frameworks and theories, and to apply them to actual situations in a range of internal and external working environments.
  • To enable students to develop and use a range of generic (transferable), cognitive, intellectual, personal and interpersonal skills required for effective undergraduate study and future vocational needs.
  • To provide an appropriate base for access to further study or professional qualifications by encouraging the knowledge, skills and attitudes to become life-long learners who recognise the need to engage in Continuous Personal and Professional Development.
  • To foster employability and transferable skills throughout the programme.
  • To provide a coherent programme of study that will prepare students for post-University employment and careers in a wide variety of organisations and sectors. 
  • To enable students to be strong contenders in a competitive employment environment.
  • To enable students to participate in a paid placement year, through which they can apply and further develop the theoretical knowledge gained on the programme. 

Knowledge and Understanding There is an expectation that degree programmes covered by this subject benchmark statement should provide a broad, analytical and highly integrated study of business and management. Studentsshould be able to demonstrate relevant knowledge and understanding of organisations, the external environment in which they operate and how they are managed. There is likely to be an emphasis upon understanding and responding to change and the consideration of the future of organisations and the external environment in which they operate. The interrelationships among and the interconnectedness between these areas are very important within the overall student learning experience, and should be demonstrated in the capabilities of successfulstudents from all modes of delivery.
Organisations - this encompasses the internal aspects, functions and processes of organisations including their diverse nature, purposes, structures, governance, operations and management, together with the individual and corporate behaviours and cultures which exist within and between organisations and their influence upon the external environment.
External environment - this encompasses a wide range of factors, including economic, environmental, ethical, legal, political, sociological and technological, together with their effects at local, national and international levels upon the strategy, behaviour, management and sustainability of organisations.
Management - this encompasses the various processes, procedures and practices for effective management of organisations. It includes theories, models, frameworks, tasks and roles of management together with rational analysis and other processes of decision making within organisations and in relation to the external environment. Within the framework of these three main areas, it is expected thatstudents will also be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding in the following areas:

  • markets - the development and operation of markets for resources, goods and services
  • customers - customer expectations, service and orientation
  • finance - the sources, uses and management of finance; the use of accounting and other information systems for managerial applications
  • people - the management and development of people within organisations
  • operations - the management of resources and operations
  • information systems - the development, management and exploitation of information systems and their impact upon organisations
  • communication and information technology - the comprehension and use of relevant communication and information technologies for application in business and management
  • business policy and strategy - the development of appropriate policies and strategies within a changing environment, to meet stakeholder interests
  • pervasive issues - sustainability, globalisation, corporate social responsibility, diversity, business innovation, creativity, enterprise development, knowledge management and risk management.

Business and management degrees are strongly related to practice and therefore there should be a strong link between the development of skills and employability of graduates.Students should be able to demonstrate a range of cognitive and intellectual skills together with techniques specific to business and management.Students should also be able to demonstrate relevant personal and interpersonal skills. These include (not in any particular priority order):
  • cognitive skills of critical thinking, analysis and synthesis. This includes the capability to identify assumptions, evaluate statements in terms of evidence, to detect false logic or reasoning, to identify implicit values, to define terms adequately and to generalise appropriately
  • effective problem solving and decision making using appropriate quantitative and qualitative skills including identifying, formulating and solving business problems. The ability to create, evaluate and assess a range of options together with the capacity to apply ideas and knowledge to a range of situations
  • effective communication, oral and in writing, using a range of media which are widely used in business such as the preparation and presentation of business reports
  • numeracy and quantitative skills including data analysis, interpretation and extrapolation. The use of models of business problems and phenomena
  • effective use of communication and information technology for business applications
  • effective self-management in terms of time, planning and behaviour, motivation, self-starting, individual initiative and enterprise
  • effective performance, within a team environment, including leadership, team building, influencing and project management skills
  • interpersonal skills of effective listening, negotiating, persuasion and presentation
  • ability to conduct research into business and management issues, either individually or as part of a team for projects/dissertations/presentations. This requires familiarity with and an evaluative approach to a range of business data, sources of information and appropriate methodologies, and for such to inform the overall learning process
  • self reflection and criticality including self awareness, openness and sensitivity to diversity in terms of people, cultures, business and management issues. Also, the skills of learning to learn and developing a continuing appetite for learning; reflective, adaptive and collaborative learning.
It is recognised that all programmes covered by these standards need to address issues at the European and international business levels. Where specific emphasis is placed upon this, for example, in the title or in requiring study and or work abroad, then appropriate business and cultural understanding and, where appropriate, foreign language capability should be developed and demonstrated by students.
Knowledge and Understanding
  • The various processes, procedures, competencies and practices associated with effective management.
  • The management and development of resources and operations.
  • The diverse nature, purposes, structures, governance, operations, processes and management of organisations.
  • Types of corporate behaviour and the internal and external factors which impact upon this behaviour.
  • The development and operation of markets and the management of customer expectations.
  • The sources, use and management of finance.
  • The development, management and exploitation of information systems and their use in effective decision making.
  • The use of relevant information technologies and their applications to business and management.
  • The development of relevant, effective and appropriate management policies and strategies.
  • The contemporary challenges and issues that face managers in the modern business environment and the organisations in which they operate.

Thinking or Cognitive Skills
  • Application of problem solving skills, knowledge and ideas to a range of situations.
  • Critical reflection upon a period of work based activity.
  • Development of analysis, synthesis and critical thinking in a variety of contexts.
  • Consider and question own values and opinions relating to a number of ethical and social responsibility issues.
  • Analyse relevant theories and concepts to determine their relevance to specific problems and situations.

Practical Skills
  • Development of problem solving and decision making skills.
  • Effective communication skills, oral and written.
  • Quantitative skills such as data analysis and interpretation.
  • Ability to engage in research into business and management issues by utilising relevant data and appropriate methodologies.

Key Skills
  • Communication
  • Application of Number
  • Information Literacy and Technology
  • Improving own learning and performance
  • Working with others
  • Problem solving

Transferable Professional Skills
Reflection, self- awareness, business awareness and openness to life-long learning opportunities.

Level 4 

The programme is designed to prepare participants to ultimately become competent and knowledgeable business management professionals. It aims to provide students with the knowledge, skills and understanding to successfully embark upon a business or management career. Its content and structure have been informed by the QAA’s Benchmark Statement for General Business and Management, the National Occupational Standards for Management and Leadership and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development Core Management Standards.  The programme is further informed by the debates around employability from a variety of employer bodies such as the CBI and IOD and the Higher Education Funding Council for England. In addition, Chester Business School’s extensive involvement in the delivery of management training to organisations and practising managers has been utilised in the programme’s design (eg consultation over module specific content, planned modes of delivery etc).

At Level 4 students develop an understanding of the key business management concepts and the business functions that managers have to be aware of to operate successfully in the modern business environment. In addition participants begin to develop some of the skills necessary to be an effective student and manager. At level 4 students are introduced to the theme that runs through all levels: employability.

Supporting the 'work shadowing' team within the careers department of the university will be a feature at this level. Students will be actively encouraged to utilise the services of these staff and the programme team will support students' endeavours to gain work experience through this scheme at this and in subsequent levels of the programme. In addition  Enterprise Rent a Car will help the careers team to generate graduate scheme awareness by speaking to students about the timing and preparation of applications to these schemes. 

At Level 5 students explore the relationship between functional areas and develop an appreciation of the context in which managers operate. Key aspects of business management behaviour and practice, such as how to manage people and technology and how to make effective decisions, are developed in depth. This level continues the theme of employability, which features in the Research for Business module, in addition to developing students' employability this module prepares students for their work placement and the Applied Business Research Project at level 6.

Level 5 culminates in a period of experiential learning in which learners are provided with an opportunity to apply knowledge, skills and understanding within a University verified organisation. The placement provides the opportunity for students to acquire and develop transferable based skills and to gain an insight into the running of an organisation. Students are supervised and formally monitored during their placement and are required to analyse and reflect critically on their personal and professional development during the placement.

After completion of Level 5 students take a Placement Year, further developing the vocational, practical and experiential aspects of the taught modules from that level.  Students will be placed in a range of organisations, and engaged in management activities.  This is viewed as an extremely valuable option, providing students with excellent opportunities to apply theory to practice, learn practical skills, network, enhance employment and careers prospects, and to further develop their understanding of theoretical input on return to the classroom.  

Students also have the opportunity to do WB 5008 The Study Abroad Experience. This study abroad module offers a complementary study opportunity for students in addition to their University of Chester degree. It is an excellent opportunity to learn about the culture of another country whilst following an academic study programme that complements their home-based programme of study. This programme will offer the student the opportunity to add additional modules/courses/subjects to their Chester degree, and be compatible with the student's overall degree profile. Students will already have completed all the criteria for progression into Level 6 of the student's programme prior to embarking on WB5008. The composition of a negotiated programme will be determined by the student's subject department(s); the International Tutor will monitor and formalize the process in a written Learning Agreement. This study abroad placement year includes study at a partner university, the International Student Exchange Programme and the J1 Central Michigan University/Disneyworld Florida placement. New opportunities will become available from time-to-time.

Students may undertake WB5007 International Exchange as a replacement year of level 5. The replacement International Exchange module (WB5007) provides an opportunity to replace their second year of study by studying at a different university in an overseas country. It is important that the content of the modules offered by the overseas university match those that would have been studied during  the student's second year at the University of Chester.

Level 6 of the programme enables students to develop an understanding of how organisations are managed as a whole, whilst at the same time allowing them to specialise in aspects of business management that are of particular interest. Specialisation is achieved by providing a range of option modules that follow themes established at levels 4 and 5, and incorporates an employability based module for instance. A major piece of work is undertaken in the Applied Business Research Project. IS6011 is only available to part-time students

BU6212 and BU6213 are only available in the part-time mode of delivery

All options will only run when sufficient numbers have registered for the modules.

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
BU4201 4 Organisational Behaviour 20 Comp
BU4202 4 Financial Understanding for Managers 20 Comp
BU4203 4 Communications in the Workplace 20 Comp
BU4204 4 The Business Environment 20 Comp
BU4206 4 Marketing Principles 20 Comp
BU4208 4 Organisations: Preparing for Effective Membership 20 Comp
BU5000 5 Business Placement Year 120 Comp
BU5201 5 Contemporary Issues for Management 20 Comp
BU5202 5 Managerial Accounting for Business 20 Optional
BU5203 5 Human Resource Management in Context 20 Optional
BU5204 5 Public Relations Theory and Skills Two 20 Optional
BU5205 5 Research and Planning for Management 20 Comp
BU5206 5 Buyer Behaviour 20 Optional
BU5207 5 Research for Business 20 N/A
WB5004 5 Learning in the Wider World 20 Optional
WB5007 5 International Exchange Module – Full academic year 120 Optional
WB5008 5 The Study Abroad Experience 120 Optional
WB5101 5 Enhancing your Employability through Work Based Learning 20 Optional
BU6201 6 Business Dissertation 40 Comp
BU6202 6 Managing Business Strategy 20 Comp
BU6203 6 HRM Performance 20 Optional
BU6204 6 HRM Development 20 N/A
BU6205 6 Marketing Communications 20 Optional
BU6206 6 Public Relations Skills Three 20 Optional
BU6208 6 Corporate Finance for Managers 20 Optional
BU6209 6 International Finance for Managers 20 N/A
BU6210 6 Law For Managers 20 N/A
BU6212 6 Management of Information Systems & Organisational Knowledge 20 Optional
BU6213 6 Management in Context 20 N/A
BU6214 6 Employability: contextualisation for work 20 N/A
BU6215 6 Applied Business Research Project 40 N/A
BU6216 6 Digital PR & Social Media 20 Optional
IS6011 6 Negotiated Experiential Learning Module (single) 20 Optional
TM6009 6 Major Events in Context 20 Optional

Level 4 : 120 Credits
Level 5 : 240 Credits (including 120 Credits for Placement Year)
Level 6 : 120 Credits
Total:480 Credits

  • A minimum of 240-280 UCAS points must be obtained from GCE A levels or equivalent e.g. BTEC/OCR National Diploma, Certificate
  • Irish Highers, Scottish Highers: B in 4 subjects
  • International Baccalaureate: 26 points
  • QAA recognised Access to HE Diploma, Open College Units or Open University Credits
  • The Advanced Diploma

QAA Subject Benchmarks Statements for General Business and Management 2007

This subject benchmark statement is for general business and management honours degree programmes only. The purpose of general business and management programmes is threefold:
  • study of organisations, their management and the changing external environment in which they operate
  • preparation for and development of a career in business and management
  • enhancement of lifelong learning skills and personal development to contribute to society at large.

'Organisations' should be understood throughout this text to include a wide range of different types including, for example, public, private and not-for-profit, together with a comprehensive range of sizes and structures of organisations. Similarly, the term 'business' should be interpreted generically. 

'Preparation for business' should be taken to mean the development of a range of specific business knowledge and skills, together with the improved self-awareness and personal development appropriate to graduate careers in business with the potential for management positions and to employability in general. This includes the encouragement of positive and critical attitudes towards change and enterprise, so as to reflect the dynamism and vibrancy of the business environment. 

Not every student will engage subsequently in a business and management career, or will have entered directly from secondary education. Therefore, lifelong learning skills should be understood to include the development and enhancement of a range of general transferable intellectual and study skills, which, while being highly appropriate to a career in business and management, are not restricted to this.

While there is a clear expectation that all such general degree programmes should cover these three purposes, the actual balance will vary among individual higher education institutions and may also reflect the requirements for recognition by professional bodies. The particular balance being delivered should be explicable and demonstrable in terms of the specified learning outcomes of particular programmes. 

The methods of learning and teaching are geared to progression and integration through the levels of the programme.  The individual module descriptors provide details of learning outcomes as well as methods of teaching and learning.  The major forms of teaching methods will be lectures, seminars and workshops.  Other methodologies will be employed as appropriate.  These may include; field trips, visits, directed reading, interactive learning via the University computer network, case study analysis, individual research, group learning activities, reflective log/portfolio (e.g. utilising student progress files in relation to personal development planning) and presentations.  Industry practitioners will also be used wherever possible, as repositories of up to date, expert knowledge in their specialist or functional areas. 

The Department seeks to deliver varied, high-quality learning experiences, teaching and assessment that supports and develops appropriate knowledge and understanding, and further seeks to enhance a variety of key/transferable skills.  This is facilitated through the outcome-directed nature of learning, teaching and assessment, in a student-centred environment, which provides incremental opportunities for independent and autonomous learning.

The assessment strategy for this degree will serve three purposes:
  • To test the level of knowledge and skills acquired, measured against the specified learning outcomes, and applied within a relevant business management;
  • To provide the vehicle for modular integration within a business management context;
  • To promote learning strategies, which will assist students in the achievement of academic goals and imbue them with skills and attitudes that will assist in life-long learning.
Assessment will follow the university model of a 4,000 word equivalency per module.  Each module will be summatively assessed, with formative assessment also employed throughout.  Student assessment will employ rigorous, objective testing to ensure that learning outcomes are met.

Assessment tasks will grow in sophistication and complexity as a student progresses on the programme.  For example:

  • at Level 4 a student may be asked to describe, discuss, compare, and outline;
  • at Level 5 a student may be asked to evaluate, analyse, justify, and differentiate; 
  • at Level 6 a student may be asked to criticise, synthesise, appraise, formulate.

However, it is expected that students will begin to use and develop critical skills from the beginning of the programme.

Students will be assessed in a number of ways, including essays, industry-related reports, presentations, poster displays and presentations, assessed seminars, reflective reports, examinations. 

The departmental assessment strategy has been created with respect to the University's Teaching, Learning & Assessment strategy.

Students completing the BA Business Management with Placement Year Single Honours programme should meet the QAA’s Benchmark document’s standards on knowledge and understanding, skills and the assessment strategies.  The outcome of level six should be a graduate student who will be able to offer added value to the market place by meeting the expectations of employers via the application of acquired transferable, integrated skills, and the developed body of knowledge gained from the programme.   In addition the graduate will have amassed valuable life skills such as self-awareness, creative problem solving, and autonomy, which could be applied in a wide variety of circumstances which they will face. They will have been instilled with a positive attitude towards reflection, self- awareness and will possess openness towards seeking out life-long learning opportunities, which may be translated into the pursuit of professional qualifications.   In addition students on this programme will have significant businesss awareness and hands-on workplace experience.

Consistent with the University’s commitment to widen access and participation, the Department has a flexible admissions policy, and encourages applications from mature students and from groups normally under-represented in higher education. The general policy is to look for a good level of literacy, together with proven interest and/or experience in an appropriate subject.

The Department has considerable experience in successfully addressing the practical and learning needs of a wide range of students.  This include mature students, those entering education with a non-standard academic background and those with a wide range of disabilities.  Equality and diversity issues are embedded and addressed in all departmental modules. 

Students studying on the programme will benefit from the experience of staff within the department. Many staff have extensive experience in delivering management training for organisations and practising managers, at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

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