University of Chester

Programme Specification
Business BA (Hons) (Combined Honours)
2014 - 2015

Bachelor of Arts (Combined Honours)


Business (IOM)

University of Chester

Isle of Man College of Further and Higher Education

Isle of Man College of Further and Higher Education

Undergraduate Modular Programme

Full-time and Part-time

Classroom / Laboratory,

3 Years

7 Years

Annual - September



17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Business and Management Business and Finance

Business and Management

Business, Strategy & Entrepreneursip

Friday 1st March 2013

  • To provide students with the opportunity to combine the study of business knowledge and skills with another specialist academic area
  • To provide a flexible programme of study, which offers students a grounding in the disciplines, and methodologies of business and stimulates a critical awareness of contemporary issues facing managers in a variety of sectors and organisational contexts
  • To enable all students to develop a management centred approach, within an academic context, that complements and underpins the understanding of other academic areas and disciplines
  • To enable students to identify, develop, scrutinise and challenge a range of business models, frameworks and theories, and to apply them to a broad range of relevant work situations applicable to their chosen fields of study.
  • To enable students to develop and use a range of generic (transferable), cognitive, intellectual, personal and interpersonal skills which are relevant to their chosen academic fields and necessary for effective undergraduate study and future vocational progression
  • 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 provide a coherent programme of study which will prepare students for post-University employment and careers in a wide variety of organisational settings

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.
  • 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

  • Communication - verbal and written communication skills developed through a range of activites and assessment methods (eg presentations and written reports)
  • Application of Number - research methods and finance
  • Information Literacy and Technology - use of information technology and an appreciation of its application in management and business.
  • Improving own learning and performance - lifelong learning skills and continuous personal and professional development.
  • Working with others - group work tasks and activities
  • Problem Solving - experience developed of solving problems and decision making in a variety of contexts

Transferable Professional Skills

Reflection, self- awareness and openness to life-long learning opportunities.

The Combined programme is designed to prepare students to become competent and knowledgeable in the world of business. It aims to provide students with the knowledge, skills and understanding to successfully embark upon a business  career. The programme enables students to study business as a major, equal or minor subject. A broad range of business and management modules are available. These are designed to provide the flexibility necessary to address the needs of a wide range of business organisations.

The programme’s 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.

At Level, 4 students develop an understanding of the key business 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 develop a business career.

At Level 5 students explore the relationship between functional areas and develop an appreciation of the context in which businesses operate. Key aspects of management behaviour and practice, such as how to manage people and how to make effective decisions, are developed in depth.

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 exploration of specific business or management areas.  Specialisation may also be achieved (dependent on pathway) by the completion of a Dissertation or an Individual Research Project which focuses on an appropriate business issue.

Combined Honours only
Mod-Code Level Title Credit Major Equal Minor
BU4001 4 Managing People and Organisations 20 Comp Comp Comp
BU4002 4 Finance for Managers 20 Comp Comp Comp
TM4001 4 Marketing Principles 20 Comp Comp Comp
BU5001 5 Management Decision Making 20 Comp Comp Comp
BU5002 5 Contemporary Issues in Business and Management 20 Comp Comp Comp
BU5003 5 Human Resource Management 20 Optional Optional Optional
BU5004 5 Managerial Accounting 20 Optional Optional Optional
BU5010 5 E-Business Management 20 Optional Optional Optional
TM5001 5 Marketing Planning in Action 20 Optional Optional Optional
WB5101 5 Enhancing your Employability through Work Based Learning 20 Comp Comp Comp
BU6001 6 Business Dissertation 40 Comp N/A Optional
BU6002 6 Strategic Management 20 Comp Comp Comp
BU6004 6 Retail Management 20 Optional Optional Optional
BU6005 6 Law for Managers 20 Optional Optional Optional
BU6006 6 Strategic Finance and Accounting 20 Optional Optional Optional
BU6007 6 Managing Employee Performance 20 Optional Optional Optional
BU6008 6 Leadership and Change Management 20 Optional Optional Optional
BU6009 6 Management Information Systems 20 Optional Optional Optional
BU6017 6 Managing New Business Ventures 20 Optional Optional Optional
TM6003 6 International & Global Marketing 20 Optional Optional Optional
TM6004 6 Marketing Communications 20 Optional Optional Optional

Level 4: 120 credits
Level 5: 120 credits
Level 6: 120 credits
Total:360 credits

The typical applicant will have a minimum of 240 UCAS points, of which 200 points must be obtained from GCE A2 Level or Vocational A Level (6 or 12 unit) awards, including a Grade C in one subject. The remaining points may be achieved from GCE A2/AS Level, Vocational A/AS Level awards, or from Level 3 certification. BTEC National Certificate/Diploma applicants will have a minimum of a Merit profile. Applicants will be expected to hold a GCSE Mathematics qualification at grade C or above. Irish and Scottish Highers: a minimum of BBCC 30 points for applicants studying on the International or European Baccalaureate.  Applications will be considered on an individual basis.Mature students (21 years of age or over) without evidence of the above qualifications are required to demonstrate that they ready to follow a higher education course at Level 1.  Each applicant is interviewed. In addition to formal academic requirements the interview focuses upon relevant personal qualities and skills. Students with non UK qualifications should consult the Admissions Tutor or the International Office at the University.

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. 

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. Students should 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 successful graduates 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 that graduates 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.    

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.  

The Institution seeks to deliver varied, high-quality learning experiences, teaching and assessment in order to develop appropriate knowledge and understanding, and 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 context
  • To provide the vehicle for modular integration within a business context
  • To promote teaching to learning, which will assist students in the achievement of academic goals and imbue them with skills and attitudes which 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 by a minimum of two assessments, 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 Four a student may be asked to describe, discuss, compare, and outline
  • at Level Five a student may be asked to evaluate, analyse, justify, and differentiate
  • at Level Six 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 Institution's assessment strategy has been created in accordance to the University's Teaching, Learning & Assessment strategy.

Students completing the BA Business Combined Honours programme should meet the QAA’s Benchmark document’s standards on knowledge, understanding and skills. The outcome of level three 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.

Consistent with the University’s commitment to widen access and participation, the Institution 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 Institution 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  modules. 

Students studying on the programme will benefit from the experience of staff within the Institution.

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