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The Student Insider

Business fundamentals: how a degree in Business Administration is your first step into almost any industry


Written by
Allie Fitzgibbon

In a fast-moving global economy, demand for workers with strong business acumen and a relevant and transferable skillset is high. The University of London’s BSc Business Administration aims to prepare you for a wealth of different management roles in almost any industry – from multinational corporations to start-ups and not-for-profit organisations. With a tight graduate job market and graduate vacancies predicted to keep increasing, we look at why the BSc Business Administration should be your first step towards your career ambitions.

Two business people talking and sitting beside a laptop

Developed in partnership with member institution Royal Holloway and online learning platform Coursera, University of London offers a ground-breaking BSc in Business Administration. Available to study fully online from almost anywhere in the world, the degree programme aims to provide a platform to develop the essential knowledge and skills required to succeed in today’s business environment.

Dr Paul Dudley is Director of Distance Learning in the School of Business and Management for Royal Holloway and Programme Director for the Coursera BSc Marketing and BSc Business Administration. He explained how Royal Holloway takes a unique approach to studying the subject.

At Royal Holloway, we take a sociological and political perspective to business and management. That’s really a USP for Royal Holloway and I think this gives our students an important extra insight. Yes, we will give you the fundamentals of what you need to be successful in a career in business, but we will also extend beyond that to advance your understanding of key contemporary issues.

“Having a detailed understanding of business and management – both inside and outside of organisations – is fundamental to your career and development. As we navigate a complex global economy, particularly during challenging times, we really see the ripple effect of our interconnected world. Predicting the future is fraught with problems but understanding how we’ve got here is vital in thinking about how we might evolve and adapt. So Royal Holloway’s approach of considering these issues from a historical and sociological point of view gives students a unique perspective.”

The programme offers two pathways – Business Administration and Business Administration with Human Resource Management. Dr Dudley explained why Human Resources is such an important function in business.

“HR has been a vital business function since the 1980s. Because what’s your most important resource? Your people. But it’s become increasingly important in our interconnected, social media world. That’s why in our programme we look at HR in a broad context, understanding how a company’s reputation is so linked to its employees and the damage that can be done to a brand if you don’t look after your staff.

“Our programme also has a strong focus on international business, particularly the Asia-Pacific region, because emerging economies are such an important component of the world around us.”

Graduates from Royal Holloway’s School of Business and Management have gone on to work at leading global companies like Versace, Barclays, Nissan, Deloitte and Goldman Sachs in a range of management functions – from HR to accounting and marketing to operations.

Dr Dudley believes students gain essential skills on the programme that make them highly attractive candidates.

“A key theme of the degree is being able to play with puzzles and look at them from multiple vantage points. We talk about puzzles rather than problems because by using the word problem you’re framing it as a threat, whereas most puzzles can be solved if you think creatively around them. Our students learn academic playfulness, tenacity, creativity and strong communication skills – a large part of the degree is how you put together an argument. All of these transferable skills will be useful no matter what field they go into.”

The graduate job market is thriving, with research by Universities UK revealing that the number of graduate vacancies is 20% higher than in 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic. Job vacancies for graduates are expected to increase again this year by more than 20% compared with 2021.

In addition to the skills and knowledge you gain on the programme, you will also have access to the wealth of online resources and live sessions offered by the University of London Careers Service.

The University of London Career Service’s experienced Careers Consultants offer an all-year programme of regular live and interactive webinars and careers drop-ins, supporting you to explore your career options and improve your job-hunting techniques in a global, virtual classroom of your fellow students.

Laura Brammar, Deputy Head of University of London Careers Service, said: “Our outstanding insight and understanding of what recruiters are looking for is enhanced by our close work with UoL alumni and employers from across the world. We offer our rich bank of online careers resources and recordings to help you maximise your career management and professional skills, whether you are a Career Starter, a Career Developer or a Career Changer. You can access the University of London Careers Service Virtual Learning Environment through the Student Portal whenever suits you.

You can also improve your career prospects and professional development skills by completing our new Career & Employability Micro-Modules. On completion of each micro-module, you are awarded a Career Futures Certificate of Completion, which will be recognised on your degree transcript.

Show you mean business and take the first step into your future career with the University of London’s BSc Business Administration.

See the University of London Careers Service for more information.