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Management is needed throughout the world. It is a requirement in all organisations designed to get things done – small or large, national or multinational, private or public sector, profit-seeking or not-for-profit. All those with responsibility for people, resources, activities and information will need some development in management

Checklist: why study management in the United Kingdom? • The UK has a long tradition as a trading, financial and business centre, and a reputation for educating international students to a high standard in management studies. • Its business schools are world-renowned and closely linked with commerce and industry. More management students are educated in the UK than in the rest of Europe put together. • UK qualifications are recognised all over the world. • You can study at all levels – undergraduate, postgraduate, Master’s and doctorate. • The UK has 111 business schools, in all areas of the country. Many of them have invested heavily in developing state-of-the-art learning facilities and attracting high-quality staff. • The opportunity to improve your fluency in English will improve your job prospects and help both you and your employer develop international links.

1 What do I need to think about? You must first determine what your existing qualifications and experience enable you to do. Second, you should decide where your ambition lies. Your answers to the following questions will help you reach a decision: • Are you keen on a work-based vocational course that will allow you to progress to a higher level, or perhaps return home better prepared for the world of managerial work? • Do you need an access course that will serve as a foundation for more advanced study, or permit you to increase your language proficiency so that you can gain from further study? • Do you want a three- or four-year BA or BSc course, or a two-year foundation degree, to gain both academic and practical skills? • Do you need a postgraduate Master’s programme (MA, MSc) that will serve as a foundation either for doctoral study or prepare you for enhanced work in a functional area of management? • Or do you wish to follow preparation courses that will permit you to enter an MBA programme at an appropriate stage in your career. Finally, you need to decide on location. Colleges and universities specialising in management subjects are located throughout the four countries that make up the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland). Many of them establish strong links with local businesses and services in both the public and private sectors. These links are beneficial for students, enabling them to research problems or take up job placements that enhance their learning experience.



Different institutions may award the same certificate or degree, and strive for the same goal of excellence, but their differing characteristics give them individuality. Do not assume that all excellent institutions in the UK are based in London. Fees are approximately the same for each type of qualification, but you should bear in mind that living costs in different locations can vary significantly.

2 What, how and where can I study? The table below is intended to help you decide what you can study, at what level, and in which institution. It covers all management courses except for the MBA, because this is covered in more detail in the leaflet Master of Business Administration (MBA), in this series. There are also separate leaflets on Business and Finance and on Accountancy within this series.

What, how and where you can study management Type of study

What it involves

Where you can study

Work-based courses Modular courses such as GNVQ, NVQ and SVQ

Available in ‘business’ and in ‘retail and distributive services.

Further education colleges. Some private providers.

(Normally students are aged 16–18) Vocational A-levels Scottish Highers and SGAs (Normally students are aged 16–18)

Higher National Diplomas (HND)

See the leaflet Choosing a workbased training course in this series. Involves introduction to how a business works, planning, finance, marketing, communications and customer relations, and human resources.

Sixth form colleges. Secondary schools with sixth forms. Further education colleges.

All courses provide work experience, which may be a three-week block. Teaching by case studies, teamwork and problem-solving. Assessment of written work. These courses offer a solid, practical introduction to managing an organisation.

Further education colleges. Some universities.

Two-years study (Normally students are aged 18 plus)

An HND usually helps gain entry to the second or third year of an undergraduate course for those wishing to progress further in higher education.

Access courses Access to business courses One year

These courses provide an alternative entry route into higher education for those lacking formal educational qualifications.

Sixth form colleges. Further education colleges. Some universities.

Many are designed specifically for international students, and contain an English language component. They are increasingly popular.


Undergraduate degree courses Foundation degrees Two years

These degrees are non-honours degrees. They are designed as employment-related higher education qualifications for those wishing to work in business, industry or the service sector.

Colleges of further education.

Some universities.

Graduates can progress into a third year for completion of their studies at honours level.

Honour’s degrees Three or four years Four-year courses are usually called sandwich courses. They include a work-experience element equal to 12 months in one or more blocks.

It is important not to confuse foundation degrees with access courses. The range of courses is huge. Examples of degree titles include: • Business • Business Administration • Business Finance • Business Management • European/ International Business Management • Management Studies with a language, e.g. Chinese, Japanese, French, Spanish, German.

Some colleges of further education.

Almost all universities.

There are also sector-specific degrees (e.g. Retail management, Public services) and degrees in functional areas of management (e.g. Human resource management, production and Operations management).

Postgraduate courses Certificates and diplomas Full-time (two years) or part-time (four years)

Taught MA or MSc degrees

These are taught courses that serve as an introduction to postgraduate study. They are offered in specific areas of management (e.g. Total quality management) as well as general management. Successful candidates may complete an MA or MSc by undertaking a dissertation. Master’s programmes invariably comprise taught modules and an individual dissertation.

Many universities. Chartered Institute of Management approved centres (over 500 throughout the UK and overseas):

Many universities.

One year full-time They may aim at general management, or be specific to a functional area (e.g. Marketing, Human resource management), or be aimed at a particular sector (e.g. Public sector, Not-for-Profit, Retail).


Research degrees Master of Arts (MA)/ Master of Science (MSc) (minimum one year)

MPhil (minimum two years) PhD (minimum three years) DBA (usually part-time)

Research degrees may include a few taught modules such as Research methods. The culmination is an individual thesis ranging from 10,000 to 40,000 words. Students normally have a personal supervisor.

Some universities.

An MPhil is awarded after a longer period of original research, and is often used as a stepping stone to the PhD (or DPhil as it sometimes called). The DBA (Doctor of Business Administration) is increasingly popular in business schools. It is aimed at managers who wish to achieve a significant academic research qualification in a management or business topic.

Other types of study Distance learning

Short courses and Continuous professional development

Distance learning is available at many levels. Look for courses on

Some universities.

Look for short courses on

Residential business schools.

Many of the Chartered Management Institute approved centres offer training leading to qualifications by distance learning. See:

Professional institutes such as the Chartered Management Institute, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

3 Entrance Entrance requirements vary. The standard entrance requirement for higher education institutions in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is two or three A-levels together with GCSEs, or the equivalent. In Scotland the standard is four or five Scottish Higher passes or the equivalent. The grades required will depend on the popularity of the course and the status of the institution. Once you have made the decision you need to ensure that your application gets the best consideration. If applying to a postgraduate course, clearly indicate the details of your educational achievements. A copy of your academic transcript is usually required. Also, be clear in your application about your work experience and the responsibilities you have had in each job.

4 How can I register as a professional? There is no statutory professional registration in the UK for management. Many managers with postgraduate qualifications and management experience are members of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI). To become a Chartered Manager requires the presentation of evidence from the workplace, and thus requires several years of management experience. If you are registered on a programme of study leading to one of the Institute’s qualifications, you will be eligible for student membership.


For specialist areas of management such as marketing, human resources, quality and information technology, there are professional bodies to which you can become affiliated. Similarly, for those working in sectors such as health and local government, there are bodies that deal with the professional issues for those managers.

Will a United Kingdom qualification be recognised in other countries? UK qualifications are widely recognised all over the world, but you should check that the qualification you aim for in management is recognised and useful in your own country. It is up to you to find out whether the qualification is acceptable to employers, government departments and professional bodies in the country where you intend to work.

5 Next steps

Checklist: your next steps • Before you apply for a UK course in management, do some thorough research at home (or in the countries where you would like to work) about the best qualifications for the career you would like to follow. • Ensure that you have the English language ability required by the institutions you intend to apply to. For an undergraduate course this may be an IELTS score of 5.5 to 6.5, while for a postgraduate course an IELTS score of 6.0 to 7.0 may be required. Ask at your local British Council office where and when you can take the test. • Apply for undergraduate degree courses, foundation degrees (England only) and Higher National Diplomas through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) at For other courses apply to the institutions direct.

6 What else do I need to know? The regulations for entry into the UK are constantly changing and it is vital that you check the Home Office Border and Immigration Agency (BIA) website ( on a regular basis and check locally with your British Mission so you are aware of how UK immigration procedures will affect you. With the introduction of the new Australian-style points-based system you will need to keep even more up to date with the new immigration system changes when applying for a visa or work permit. For information on the points-based system go to: For advice on working in the UK: For advice about visas: For practical advice on living in the UK download Studying and Living in the UK from:


7 Where can I find more information? The British Council has produced the Education UK portfolio to provide international students with a wide range of information and guidance that will help them find out more about studying a UK course and other important issues, such as applying to study, entry clearance and living in the UK. The portfolio includes: • • • • •

the Education UK website and a number of country websites containing locally relevant information – The essential guides to education in the UK: Undergraduate and pre-university; Postgraduate and MBA* Universities, Colleges and Schools Handbook* Club UK magazine,* also available online at Postgraduate UK magazine.*

*The publications are available at a selected number of British Council offices for students to use. The Education UK websites are a valuable source of information, with a database of over 450,000 courses and profiles of institutions that contain details of entry requirements and course fees; some offer a virtual tour of their campus.

Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) PO Box 28 Cheltenham Gloucestershire GL52 3LZ

Unistats The official website here to help you compare subjects at universities and colleges in the UK.

Telephone +44 (0)87 0112 2211 Fax +44 (0)12 4254 4961 E-mail Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development CIPD House Camp Road Wimbledon London SW19 4UX

Chartered Institute of Marketing Moorhall Cookham Maidenhead Berkshire SL6 9QH

Telephone +44 (0)20 8971 9000 Fax +44 (0)20 8263 3333

Telephone +44 (0)16 2842 7500 Fax +44 (0)16 2842 7499

Chartered Management Institute Management House Cottingham Road Corby Northamptonshire NN17 1TT Telephone +44 (0)15 3620 4222 Fax +44 (0)15 3620 1651 or 3rd floor 2 Savoy Court Strand London WC2R 0EZ Telephone +44 (0)20 7497 0580 Fax +44 (0)20 7497 0463 E-mail Website

UK Council for International Student Affairs Information and advice on living and studying in the UK


Other useful resources Complete Guide to Courses in Business, Management and Economics, CRAC/Trotman 2007–08: over 4,000 detailed course entries grouped into 20 specialised areas of business, and with UCAS course codes. See Note: please note that this book may not be available at your local British Council office

While every effort has been made to ensure that the information given here is correct and up to date, the British Council accepts no legal liability for its accuracy, currency or completeness.

April 2008 Š British Council 2008 The United Kingdom's international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. A registered charity: 209131 (England and Wales) SC037733 (Scotland).



Management is needed throughout the world. It is a requirement in all organisations designed to get things done – small or large, national o...


Management is needed throughout the world. It is a requirement in all organisations designed to get things done – small or large, national o...