Business Management BSc (Hons)

Undergraduate degree

Advance your understanding of business and management and develop the skills, knowledge and confidence to launch a fulfilling career as a business leader with our 100% online bachelor's degree.

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About your online business management degree

Whether you're new to business management, looking to expand on your existing experience, or an aspiring leader seeking to advance your current career path, our distance learning Business Management BSc (Hons) is ideal for you. You'll develop the full range of business and management skills that today's organisations need to be successful in competitive and ever-changing markets.

Studying online will give you the flexibility to expand your commercial knowledge within a supported learning community and develop your career prospects around your other commitments.

Course highlights

  • Advance your understanding of contemporary business theories and practices that underpin successful organisations of all sizes, structures and sectors
  • Study with a work-based approach that allows you to gain practical experience and the leadership skills required to make an impact in your workplace as you learn
  • Develop business critical management skills that employers are looking for
  • Receive professional accreditation with an industry-recognised Chartered Management Institute (CMI) qualification

How you'll study

This course is studied 100% online
Course length

Study this course over 4 years

Start dates

Start in January or September

Application deadline

Our next deadline is

28th June 2024

UK Quality Assured

Course overview

Our course is designed to help aspiring business managers at all skill levels to achieve their personal and career goals. You’ll develop a solid understanding of the key management skills and strategic thinking you need to launch or enhance your business career. You’ll cover the key elements that contribute to the success of organisations, large or small, including human resources, financial management, marketing, the creation and sourcing of sustainable products, and business law. You’ll also look at the current issues in the world of business such as globalisation, sustainability and the impact on the external environment, social change and organisational behaviour.

As well as studying the theories that underpin business and management, you’ll focus on developing relevant and practical knowledge of leadership that can be implemented immediately into your workplace, enabling you to see an immediate difference to your performance. You’ll take an in-depth look at how culture, leadership, organisational performance and structure, and motivation can impact workers and workplaces to aid your ability to effectively manage people and organisations throughout your career.

At ARU, our specialist online learning tutors will provide you with the same level of support you would expect from being on campus and our Careers team offer customised career guidance to help you achieve the personal and professional development that you're looking for. The flexibility of our online course means that you can study on a self paced schedule that suits you.

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Due to the structure of this course, there will be instances where you will study two modules simultaneously during a trimester. You will be supported by your tutors to help manage your workload and assessment deadlines.

Please contact one of our advisers to discuss the pacing of this course and the options available to match your circumstances.

Global Business Environment and International Strategy

In this module, you’ll be introduced to the factors that affect business from an external perspective. These include elements of globalisation and international business, and the fundamental skills that are needed for managers to navigate the business world. Political, Economic, Social, Legal, Ecological and Technological factors will be examined in the macro business environment. You’ll then learn how these factors interact in a competitive environment with globalisation, technological and social change to create complex strategic options for organisations. The module will also give you the opportunity to embark on a detailed exploration of concepts like sustainability and introductory economics.

Organisational Behaviour

You'll be introduced to a range of organisational behaviour issues that you may encounter in your career and be provided with evidence-informed analyses of ways in which culture, leadership, structure, and motivation all affect workers and workplaces. This foundation will then enable you to analyse the human side of business management and diagnose problems affecting organisations both independently and as part of a group. This module will give you the opportunity to take managerial, critical, symbolic-interactivist, and feminist perspectives to business issues and organisational behaviour related theories, models, and concepts to build your social capital and critical analytical skills. Specifically, we will equip you with the knowledge needed to understand how people and organisations function in individual, group, and organisational levels based on the latest academic evidence on topics such as motivation, leadership, teams, organisational structure, and culture. Finally, we aim to inspire you to value and continuously use the best available academic evidence on effective management of people and organisations throughout your career.

Introduction to Business Contracts and the Law

As an introduction to a broad range of civil legal issues, you'll get an insight and appreciation of the various ways in which the law impacts on the world of commerce and our everyday life. The module will provide you with foundational knowledge across a broad range of fundamental legal principles and concepts of the English Legal System. You’ll then examine the different rights and obligations of legal entities/individuals under the Law of Contract and the Law of Tort.

Digital Business and Principles of Marketing

This module presents a fusion between the philosophies which underlie marketing, with a strong emphasis of integrating digital and traditional concepts, and the real-life application of marketing, across a variety of sectoral contexts. You’ll examine the core marketing concept of customer value, the interplay between marketing and sustainability, and the ethical challenges and critiques of modern marketing. This module will help you to gain a wide range of knowledge across a breadth of sectors and be able to adapt these to whatever career or future research you choose. On completion of the module, you’ll have not only a solid grounding in marketing philosophies and theories but also a critical view of marketing, based around the realisation of the reality of modern digital marketing operations and management in a context of increasing global economic challenges. Your understanding of marketing will incorporate the current cultural context, in which the customer profile is shifting to become increasingly demanding, critical and questioning of the motivations and ethics behind the marketer’s activities.

Introduction to Financial Analysis and Management

Finance and business information is the lifeblood of any organisation’s operations and decisions. In this module, you’ll work with data and case studies from organisations, meet with businesses to understand the practical use this key information is put to, and present your decisions on a going concern or start-up. As you present your analysis of key information and conclusions to other stakeholders, you'll develop your persuasion and negotiation skills.

Understanding the Consumer

This module introduces you to consumer behaviour – both what and how we buy – and gives you a deeper understanding into how marketers tailor their offers to consumer demands and market trends, as well as how consumer behaviour is influenced by new products and services, the marketing mix, and its design and implementation. The psychological and sociological models and theories of emerging consumer psychology research will be illustrated with practical examples of the day-to-day marketing activities of product and service providers. You'll work in teams, following market research techniques, to develop your skills and entrepreneurial awareness. By analysing your research, and identifying a need within a consumer group, you’ll propose a business case for a new market offering. The basis of this assignment will be formed by how you use marketing techniques to convey the proposed offering and the value to the target consumer, as well as how this would affect their decision making and behaviour and motivate them to purchase. On completion you will have gained technical and professional marketing skills to be able to identify opportunities, and the transferable skills to be able to develop appropriate and entrepreneurial business cases creatively and innovatively.

The Entrepreneurial Journey

Entrepreneurs are people who identify and exploit opportunities for new products, marketing, or processes to generate economic and social value. Entrepreneurship is not just about new venture creation; it involves using creative or innovative ideas to recognise and develop solutions. You’ll work as part of a team over three rounds of activity (such as gamification, experiential learning, and simulation) to focus on the identification of an opportunity, the creation of a product or service, and pitching a concept to work as part of the team in order to develop your skills and collaborate with organisations and guest speakers.

Business Innovation

Development and management of new products and services is deeply linked to the results of companies, and innovation plays a key role in their long-term success. In this module, you’ll discover the innovation concept and its strategic role, as well as the process involved in the development of innovative and sustainable new products and services. From the perspective of business and marketing, you’ll relate idea generation and launch with its practical application in industry and commerce. You'll think independently to improve your ability to work outside of the comfort of structure and security, all the while learning the tools you need to develop your critical thinking and creativity. You'll learn innovation theories and new developments in suitability and the circular economy; understand how firms develop new consumer-centric sustainable and innovative products/services; improve your creativity skills; and understand the success factors for new products. In teams, you'll develop your own new product based on a provided brief and will present it in a pitch presentation with accompanying media to a panel for evaluation.

Developing Professional Practice and Using Information in HR

This module will give you a sound understanding of the knowledge, skills, and behaviours required by human resources (HR) professionals, whether in a generalist or specialist role – as described in the CIPD HR Profession Map (HRPM). You’ll embrace the ‘thinking performer’ perspective and cover the competencies needed by HR professionals to collaborate with others and function efficiently and effectively in an organisational context. You'll assess your own strengths and identify a continuing professional development plan. This plan will be based on the capabilities required for ethical, business-focused, and interpersonal professional conduct, exploring and recognising the strategic importance of the effective management of the human resource and people management, and progresses a critical appreciation of the role of HR. You’ll explore and recognise the strategic importance of effective HR management and, using work-based research and good practice, you will critically evaluate the role of HR in formulating strategies to prepare business cases and present viable and realistic improvements which shows an appreciation for issues identified in your research.

Project Management and Implementation

Project management is a key skill for any future professional. This module focuses on providing a sound basis for managing or working on projects. In essence, the concept of managing a project hinges on one quite basic principle, managing the triangle of: quality of the project outcomes, cost, and time. The module covers: Project Management Body of Knowledge; the importance of stakeholder and risk management; scheduling and costing; monitoring and controlling techniques, time management and resource optimisation; improving the success of projects; and the principles of agile project management.

Sustainability and Responsible Business

You'll develop an understanding of the shift towards more environmentally, socially and economically responsible business practice, and in particular focus on the drivers behind this shift. This includes enhancing your understanding of the sustainable development goals and growing business arguments for including a consideration of sustainability in all business and management practice. The module promotes a personal approach to the issues of sustainability and personal and social responsibility. The module includes an authentic assessment where you'll be diagnosing, designing, and evaluating an environmental management plan for your households or organisations, while reflecting on your personal responsibility and ethical behaviour. You'll pay special attention to questioning the different responses of business in relation to social responsibility and sustainable management. If you're studying BA (Hons) Business Management, successful completion of this module provides exemption against the Chartered Management Institute’s (CMI) unit 5022V1 Organisational Corporate Social Responsibility.

Strategic Management

Strategic Management is a fascinating module in our business management degree that studies the long-term purpose and direction of organisations through analysis of how to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage. You'll explore core frameworks and analytical techniques that will enable you to assess the resources and capabilities of organisations in relation to the conditions of the industry, macro environment, and stakeholder pressures. Your focus then turns to strategic implementation, specifically in relation to business-level and corporate-level strategies. This is organised around five thematic areas: the evaluation of strategic options in terms of suitability, acceptability, and feasibility; 'intended strategy development' versus 'emergent strategy development'; the role of organisational structures and systems in strategy development; and leadership of strategic change; and finally the practice of strategy (who is involved in strategy development, the types of activities in which strategists are involved, and the types of methodologies that strategists use). With a practical and problem-oriented focus, the emphasis is on application of concepts and frameworks, helping you to gain insight into strategic challenges faced by an organisation. Throughout the learning period, you'll reflect on the global nature of competition, how strategic management can contribute to the creation of shared value and business sustainability.

Marketing Communications

This module is designed to give you an overall understanding of marketing communications and the part that it plays in business success. You'll explore both the role of communications and the integrated nature of modern advertising campaigns, and the tools, techniques, and implementation strategies used in online and offline marketing communications. You'll analyse the advantages and disadvantages of each, illustrating how the tools interact with the other elements of the marketing mix and why this integration is important. The promotional planning process at the strategic, tactical, and operational levels is identified, examined, and applied. You'll gain the knowledge and skills needed to pursue a career in the marketing industry and, in particular, marketing communications in either a company or agency. The assessment requires you to develop your theoretical knowledge, and demonstrate your skills in applying this theory to the creation of marketing communications in the appropriate media formats. Your brief will be to develop your advertising campaign – live where possible – which you will present to a panel of experts (from the company when live). You can then take this feedback to reflect upon and improve your communications plan where necessary for the report submission. Working in a team, you'll develop your skills and marketing knowledge, whilst exploring cultural trends, entrepreneurial opportunities, and reflect on your own pitch and performance to develop a positive, creative experience.

Business Management Undergraduate Major Project

The major project will give you the chance to demonstrate what you have learned on live brief assessments and be part of an interdisciplinary team addressing a current issue in business. You'll be presented with a current business issue and be required to research, analyse, and evaluate the issue effectively as a team. You'll act as the expert in your field of study to bring the perspective of that specialty to a complex business problem. You'll identify the key problems and issues, conduct literature reviews, evaluate information, investigate and adopt suitable development methodologies, determine solutions, process data, critically appraise, and present the findings of your project using a variety of media. You'll create a poster presentation on your project for your team to display and then answer the questions of an audience made up of academics and employers at a poster presentation event. You'll write a group business report on the outcomes of your project, evidencing your recommendations alongside an individual piece of reflective work on how you approached the issue, worked successfully as a team member, conducted robust business research, and developed sound conclusions and recommendations.


All assessment is designed to allow you to demonstrate what you’ve learned, and to make sure you’re developing the knowledge and skills you need to complete the course. You can expect an interesting mix of coursework, essays, exams and activity-based assignments. Your coursework could include problem-solving activities, consultancy projects, presentations and reports.

How you'll study

Our Business Management BSc (Hons) degree is studied 100% online.

You’ll study through Canvas, our world-class online Learning Management System (LMS), which can be accessed from your phone, PC or tablet, at home or on the move. Canvas provides instant access to study materials, forums, and support from tutors and classmates, as well as enabling easy submission of your assignments.

On successful completion of your studies, you’ll be invited to attend a graduation ceremony on campus. If attending the ceremony in person is not possible then we’ll arrange to have your certificate sent to you.

Supported distance learning

We understand that distance learning is different to traditional campus study and if you’re new to online study you may have concerns or apprehensions about studying your business management degree online, and that’s natural.

To help put your mind at ease we have a dedicated Distance Learning Support Team to help and support you throughout your time at ARU, starting with your first online induction and staying with you right through to graduation. In addition, you’ll also be supported by specialist online business degree tutors, well experienced in supporting distance learning students.

Once you start your online business management course, we encourage the creation of online communities and many of our learners find these connections with others invaluable, helping them to stay motivated, share concerns or make new friendships.

Contact us to talk through any questions or concerns or visit our support page for more information about the support services available.

Our support services

Gold-standard education

We're proud to have received a Gold award for the quality of our education in a UK-wide review of university teaching standards.

Why we're rated Gold

Our course content and delivery is rated as outstanding with the review citing ‘innovative and highly effective course design and content that inspires students to actively engage and commit to their learning’.

We’re also rated outstanding in the areas of:

  • student engagement in learning
  • learning environment and academic support
  • learning resources
  • student engagement in improvement
  • approaches to supporting student success
  • intended educational gains
  • approaches to supporting educational gains.

What is the Teaching Excellence Framework?

The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) is a national scheme run by the Office for Students that focuses on the areas students care most about: teaching, learning, and achieving positive outcomes from their studies.

It has three outcomes: Bronze, Silver and Gold.

This rating was awarded in September 2023, and lasts for four years.

TEF 2023 Gold Award - Teaching Excellence Framework

Be part of the University of the Year

We're proud to be the Times Higher Education (THE) University of the Year 2023.

The prestigious THE awards honour ’exceptional performance during the 2021-22 academic year, and reflect ARU’s success in delivering high-impact projects during this period, despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The award recognises the difference we make in the region and our communities – while also acknowledging the broader impact of our world-leading research, and the contributions our students and graduates make to society.

THE 2023 Awards Logo


CMI Accredited

Our Business Management BSc (Hons) is accredited by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

CMI accreditation means you may opt to, at no extra cost, receive a second professional qualification upon successful completion of your programme. By adding this CMI qualification to your University qualification, you’re really on the road to success. Other benefits include:

  • Professional recognition and Chartered Management status
  • Free access to CMI online management and leadership resources during your ARU course and for a period of time after you complete your ARU course
  • Access to the CMI career development centre with resources to help with writing CVs, interview simulations and career management tools
  • CMI membership and opportunities for networking with other CMI members
  • Access to CMI events
Chartered Management Institute LOGO


What could an online business management degree do for my career?

Our Business Management BSc builds upon your experience and introduces you to the theory behind leadership practice. This invaluable knowledge will help you find innovative solutions to new management challenges in the workplace.

Our Business Management BSc (Hons) course attracts a variety of individuals from all walks of life with different strengths, skillsets, and aspirations. This means that you'll have the opportunity to engage with other students that may have different business and research ideas that can help you improve performance.

But whether you have years of experience under your belt and wish to expand your knowledge with a formal qualification or are simply considering your next career move, you might wonder what online business and management courses can offer you that you don’t already have.

The skills you’ll learn as part of this hands-on approach will also help you discover new strengths and unlock your own potential, giving you not just the professional and critical understanding, but also the confidence to take risks and stand out from the crowd. The strategic thinking and critical evaluation skills you'll learn will empower you to take action in the decision making process that is often required by a project leader.

As with all of our online courses, your business management degree also teaches you essential digital literacy – as technology becomes a part of our everyday lives, employers need these practical skills, and actively seek them out in candidates. And, thanks to the flexible nature of our teaching resources, you’ll also master independent study, research skills, organisation, time management and self-motivation.

What job roles can I consider with an online business management course?

An online business management degree prepares you for a career in business, which can apply to any sector or industry. These are just some of the job roles that Business Management BSc (Hons) graduates may consider:

  • Business adviser
  • Business analyst
  • Business development manager
  • Management consultant
  • Project manager
  • Risk manager
  • Supply chain manager

If you are looking for more information about these job profiles and potential salary earnings see It’s important to note that salaries can vary widely depending on the job role, employer, industry sector and location.

What can I study after a Business Management BSc?

Depending on your long-term goals and interests you may decide to explore a postgraduate qualification such as an MBA. A Master’s degree is the most common type of postgraduate qualification and usually focuses on a specific area of a wider subject which may support your future career development. Having a bachelor’s degree under your belt is a key entry requirement in opening doors to further higher education.

What skills will I get from a business management degree online to help my career?

Choosing to study a Business Management BSc will give you many transferable skills; here are just some of them:

  • Collect, retrieve, sift, select, organise, analyse, interpret and present information from a variety of sources
  • Use communication and information technology effectively for business applications
  • Use different means of communicating to different audiences
  • Work effectively, both independently and within a team environment, making use of a range of interpersonal skills
  • Appreciate the relevance of a multi-disciplinary and multicultural approach to business and management

Careers Advice Service

Once you become an ARU student you will be able to access our Employability service to help you at whatever stage of your career, whether that’s landing your dream job or the next progression step.

We offer:

  • careers advice, including one-to-one online and telephone appointments with our experienced advisers
  • help with your CV, job searches, applications and interview preparation
  • an online portal packed with useful careers resources
  • our Employability Programme, which helps you hone the skills employers say they want in graduates.

Entry requirements

You’re expected to have at least 80 UCAS Tariff Points at A Level or NVQ Level 3 (or equivalent) and Maths and English GCSEs (or equivalent) at grade C or above.

If you have relevant work experience but no traditional qualifications, or if you have other professional qualifications (e.g. ILM, CMI), we still encourage you to apply as all applications are considered on an individual basis.

If English is not your first language, you will be expected/asked to demonstrate a certificated level of proficiency of at least IELTS 6.0 or equivalent.

As a distance learner, you’ll also need a suitable computer with internet connection, together with sufficient IT competence to make effective use of word processing, internet, and email.

Fees & funding

The full tuition fee for this online business management course is £15,900.

The tuition fees you pay each year will be £3,975. The course is studied over 4 years.

Accredited Prior Learning may reduce the tuition fees. This will be confirmed once your application has been submitted.


Government-backed part time student loans are available to cover the cost of studying this course. These are subject to eligibility and terms and conditions.

We offer payment by instalments, so you can spread the cost of studying with us.

For military students: You can use your ELCs towards this course. ARU is a recognised ELCAS provider (number 1007). Please contact your Learning Centre for details of ELC, eligibility and how to apply.

For more information on how you fund your studies please see our funding page.

What our students say

Brandon - ARU Student

The tutors, students and staff have been extremely helpful towards making it an enjoyable and worthwhile management degree, the past four years have flown by!

Read Brandon's story
Mari - ARU Distance Learning Student

As an international student I feel lucky to have chosen ARU. The lecturers have been very supportive and the content of the modules were extremely interesting.

Read Mari's story
Stephen - ARU Student

The course has had a positive impact on me and my career development. I introduced a number of organisational improvements, which are continuing today! My career has benefited greatly, as midway through my course I was promoted.

Read Stephen's story
Katherine - ARU Distance Learning Student

Campus learning was not an option for me, but distance learning allowed me to learn from the comfort of my own home. I do not feel that distance learning has undervalued my university experience at all.

Read Katherine's story

Frequently Asked Questions

Next application deadline:

28th June 2024

Discover what you're made of.Apply now before the application deadline.

Find out more about Distance Learning on our blog:

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