Business Studies

BA (Hons)


The Business Studies course at Stirling provides a flexible yet focused learning experience. You will build a strong knowledge base and master the skills and competencies to form a foundation from which managerial expertise can develop throughout your working life. The curriculum develops understanding of the internal functions and structures of organisations. You may also undertake one of a number of combined degree courses that include Business Studies and another subject. Academic teaching is augmented by a number of guest speakers from industry.

Our teaching staff is international in character and active in various areas of current management research. Research, therefore, informs their teaching, making it relevant to current debates within business.

Key information

  • UCAS: N100
  • Degree type: BA (Hons)
  • Study methods: Full-time, Campus based
  • Duration: BA (Honours) - 48 months BA - 36 months
  • Start date: September / January
  • Course Director: Dr Tom Forbes; Assistant Programme Director - Christine Wilson
  • School: Stirling Management School
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Dr Tom Forbes University of Stirling Stirling FK9 4LA Scotland UK + 44 (0) 1786 466941

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Course objectives

Business Studies

BA (Hons)

This course helps you to develop skills essential for a career in modern business and management

This course achieved 85% student satisfaction in the most recent National Student Survey

Would you like to work in a business environment? This course provides you with an essential understanding of the functions and structures of organisations.

Our focused, yet flexible, approach to learning means you can undertake one of a number of combined degree courses, which include Business Studies and another subject. However, those students intending to specialise in Business Studies are encouraged to take modules in related subject areas, such as Accountancy, Business Law, Economics, Computing Science Psychology or Sociology.

Whichever route you choose, the knowledge, skills and competencies you will acquire offer a firm foundation on which to continue developing your management expertise.

Our teaching staff are active in various areas of current management research both within the UK and internationally. This informs their teaching, making it relevant to current debates within business.

What makes us different?

World-class library and teaching facilities

Studying for a degree means learning in different ways; managing your own time; conducting research; mastering new computer skills. We have the facilities and advice on hand to help you do all this - and do it well.

Learn more

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Life at Stirling

Of the many reasons students come to Stirling, such as academic reputation and research standards, one factor is always cited: the outstanding beauty of the University's Stirling campus. View our online films to get a picture of what it's like to live and study on our beautiful campus.

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Entry requirements

Academic requirements

Four-year Honours degree

SQA Higher:
BBBB - one sitting.
ABBB - two sittings.

GCE A-level:

IB Diploma:
32 points

Three-year Honours degree

SQA Adv. Higher:

GCE A-level:

IB Diploma:
35 points

Other qualifications

Year one minimum entry
Scottish HNC/D - Bs in graded units
English, Welsh and NI HNC/D - Merits and Distinctions.
Advanced entry
Advanced entry may be possible with an HNC/D in Business. Please consult our Advanced Entry pages for more information.

Access courses:
Access courses and other UK/EU and international qualifications are also welcomed.

Additional information

General entrance requirements apply
Mathematics Standard Grade (3), National 5 (C), Intermediate 2 (C), GCSE (C) or equivalent.
If examinations are taken over two sittings, or there are repeats or upgrades, the entrance requirements may be higher.

INTO University of Stirling

INTO University of Stirling offers an International Foundation programme for those international students who do not meet the required academic and English-language criteria. These courses offer a route to study at the University of Stirling through an excellent teaching and learning experience located in the high-quality study facilities on campus.

International Foundation
Successful completion of the International Foundation in Business, Finance, Economics and Marketing to the required standard provides direct entry to year two of this degree.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

  • IELTS: 6.0 with 5.5 minimum in each skill
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade C
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 54 with 51 in each component
  • IBT TOEFL: 80 with no subtest less than 17

More information on our English language requirements

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

Fees and finance

Fees 2016/7

Overseas students (non-EU) £ 11,555.00
Scottish and EU students TBA
Students from the rest of the UK £6,750 per year for a maximum of 4 years


Fees 2015/6

Overseas students (non-EU) £ 11,275.00
Scottish and EU students £ 1,820.00
Students from the rest of the UK £6,750 per year for a maximum of 4 years

Please note: Scottish and EU students can apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have tuition fees paid by the Scottish government. Students from the rest of the UK can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of the tuition fees, from the Student Loan Company.

You should expect to pay fees for every year you are in attendance and be aware fees are subject to revision and may increase annually. Students on programmes of study of more than one year should take this into account when applying.

Please note there is an additional charge for the conferral of your degree. This will be charged at the rate applicable when you complete your studies. View more information

Scholarship finder

Scholarships & funding

Information on possible sources of funding

Cost of Living

Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling

Payment options

Find information on paying fees by instalments

Structure and teaching

Structure and content

Semesters 1 and 2 are designed to provide students with a broad grounding in the subjects of Business and Management and include the history of management, management practice, organisational behaviour, decision-making for business, change and business innovation. Analytical techniques that underpin business activity and management are also introduced. Modules will also be undertaken by students from Human Resource Management, Management, Marketing and Retail Marketing.

Year 2 entry is available for suitably qualified candidates who can expect a seamless transition into Semester 3.

Semesters 3 and 4 focus on the fundamentals of Business and Management including the organisation of business, business economics and accounting and finance for business.

Year 3 entry is available for suitably qualified applicants who can expect a seamless transition into Semester 5.

From Semesters 5-8 the Business Studies Degree is structured to ensure that students follow a programme of interlinked core modules which include International Business, Entrepreneurship, Business and Ethics, Strategic Management and Business Research Methods, so providing an excellent grounding in the subject of Business. These are studied alongside a selection of elective modules which may include HRM, Project Management, Marketing, Retail Studies, Operations Management, and Public Sector Management.

You will have numerous opportunities to develop appropriate work-related skills at every stage of your studies, culminating in the Professional Development and Practice module in Semester 8 which helps you prepare for entering the workplace.

View full module descriptions

Delivery and assessment

Teaching is by lectures, tutorials, seminars and workshops. In the advanced modules, great emphasis is placed on the acquisition of skills as well as knowledge. You will deliver presentations in varying formats and formality, helping you to acquire the skills to present yourself as a competent and accomplished individual. Essays and reports help you develop effective written communication skills and the ability to argue a point of view effectively. A variety of seminar formats and projects also allow you to perfect your ability to work in teams.

Finally, the dissertation in the final year lets you conduct research in a business or public sector organisation and apply your academic knowledge to a problem encountered there.

Combined degrees

Business Studies can be studied with:
CourseUCAS Code
Accountancy NNF4
Economics LN11
English Studies NQ13
Film and Media NP13
Finance NN13
French NRF1
Human Resource Management NN16
Law MN11
Marketing NN25
Modern Languages
This programme combines two languages with Business Studies
Politics LN21
Professional Education NX11
Professional Education/Computing Science NX21
Psychology CN81
Spanish NRF4
Sports Studies NC16
This programme comprises advanced modules taken from Business Studies and Management Science
Business Computing G510
International Management Studies N2R9

(For a Combined Honours degree the higher entrance requirements of the subjects usually apply.)

Modes of study

Full-Time; Part-Time

Find out more

Example timetable

The timetable below is a typical example, but your own timetable may be different.

YearSemesterSubject 1Subject 2Subject 3

1 The Global Business Environment: An Introduction Any module Any module
2 The Management Challenge: An Introduction Any available module at the appropriate level Any available module at the appropriate level

3 Fundamentals of Business and Management Any available module at the appropriate level Any available module at the appropriate level
4 The Organisation of Business Any available module at the appropriate level Any Level 9 or 10 module

5 International Business Level 10 module from Management School options Level 9 or 10 module from Management School options
6 Entrepreneurship Responsible Business Level 9 or 10 options in Management or Marketing

7 Strategic Management Level 10 options in Management or Marketing Dissertation
8 Professional Development and Practice Dissertation  

Why Stirling?


In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.


Top 25 in the UK for Business and Management Research

The reputation of our research at Stirling Management School was recognised in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), where the School was placed in the UK’s top 25 institutions for Business and Management, out of 101 business schools.  In Scotland, the School was ranked in the top five.  64% of our research outputs were classified as world-leading and internationally excellent in terms of their originality, significance and rigour and we were ranked 14th in the UK in terms of research impact with over 60% of our research impact judged to have outstanding reach and wide-ranging impact on the policies of public, private and governmental organisations.

Study abroad opportunities

You have the opportunity to study abroad through Stirling's well-established connections with several international universities in the European Union and wider afield including Hong Kong, Canada and the USA.

Our students

At least 94% of our graduates are in work or further studies within six months of graduating.  Many of our alumni are now working in leading organisations across the world

Here is what some of our alumni have to say about their experiences at the University of Stirling Management School and life after graduation.

Careers and employability

Career opportunities

Where are our graduates now?

Business Studies graduates are currently working in 20 countries around the world including: Norway, Kenya, Canada, Singapore, Australia, USA, Germany and Hong Kong. They are contributing to the performance of a range of private, public and third sector organisations including:

  • Tesco
  • HM Revenue & Customs
  • Natural History Museum
  • Royal Bank of Scotland
  • Kimberley-Clark Professional
  • Land Rover
  • Scottish Government
  • Lloyds Banking Group
  • Gillette UK Ltd
  • EMI Music Publishing
  • Diageo
  • Ernst & Young
  • NHS
  • Local authorities across the UK
  • Unilever

Recent graduates from Stirling’s Business Studies degree started their careers in the following roles:

  • IT Co-ordinator, Component Sense 24
  • Sales & Marketing Executive, Grants Foods Ltd
  • Operational Management Trainee, Radisson Blu Hotel
  • Recruitment Consultant, Inspired Edge Limited
  • Business Development Executive, 2e2
  • Customer Advisor, Bank of Scotland

Graduates who left Stirling up to ten years ago have now forged careers in the following areas:

  • Teachers (either primary or Business Studies)
  • Key Account Manager, Sitekit Solutions Ltd
  • HR Business Partner, Forth Valley College
  • Information Security Manager, Kwik-Fit Financial Services
  • National Marketing Manager, BT
  • Partner Relationship Manager, Hewlett-Packard
  • Leasing Manager, The Brandspace Group
  • International Recruitment Consultant. Solutions Driven 

The grounding that a Business Studies degree provides you with in demonstrated in the wide range of professions that some of our more established graduates are currently working in:

  • MD/CEO of own firm
  • Business Analyst, Inveresk plc
  • Head of Business Support, Stirling Council
  • Strategy Manager, Britannia
  • Finance Manager, Proctor & Gamble
  • Head of Individual Fundraising, Natural History Museum
  • Retail Operations Manager, Bass Leisure Retail
  • Information Policy Manager, The National Archives

Stirling Management School’s Careers Mentoring Scheme

The Careers Mentoring Scheme is open to all 3rd and 4th year students across Stirling Management School.  Mentoring is widely recognised as an effective tool for enhancing your career prospects and of ensuring informed choice, and this scheme is designed to provide additional support as you progress through your studies, as well as preparing your for progression into your desired professions. Mentors are all former students of Stirling Management School who know what it is like to be unsure about your future career plans.  They are keen to pass on tips relating to potential careers and applying for jobs.

The benefits of the scheme include:

  • Improving your employability skills
  • Building your confidence and self-esteem when applying for jobs
  • Searching and applying for suitable jobs, writing CVs, interview skills
  • Providing an insight into the world of work and a particular industry

For more information, discover other ways in which our alumni get involved with our students.

Internship—what they are and why you should consider doing one?

An internship is an opportunity offered by an employer to students (or interns) over a fixed period of time, which enables the student to gain practical experience. The Career Development Centre has details of internships available around the world with large private sector organisations, as well as opportunities with smaller local businesses which are promoted through both the Third Sector Internship Scheme, the Saltire Foundation, and our very own Stirling Internship Programme.  As a student, you will automatically be registered onto the University’s Vacancy & Events System which means that you will receive regular updates regarding new opportunities as they become available.

Six reasons why you should consider an internship:

  1. Boost your CV and stand out from the crowd in order to have an edge in the graduate job market. 
  2. Make professional connections which may lead to the offer of a job upon graduation
  3. Test your career choices – internships can ease your transition into future careers or alternatively, help you decide that you don’t want to work in that area after all
  4. ‘Real world’ business experience, enabling you to put theory into practice
  5. Develop transferable skills such as communication, team working, problem-solving, decision-making, initiative and creativity
  6. Help fund your studies by earning a full-time salary during the vacation periods
© University of Stirling FK9 4LA Scotland UK • Telephone +44 1786 473171 • Scottish Charity No SC011159
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