University Profile: Commerce, Management and Marketing | Commercial management and marketing

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What you will learn
Business and management degrees focus on how organizations work – their business strategies and management styles. Marketing is the art of communicating with customers, drawing on psychology, sociology, marketing and politics to promote the value of a company or product.

A diverse range of courses are offered in these related fields. Some will focus more on trade or retail; others will focus on tourism or international business. However, the common threads of any business degree tend to be finance, marketing, and human resource management.

You will gain an understanding of markets, finance, operations, people management, information systems, policy, strategy and data. Courses will also explore the ethical implications of a business. If your work focuses on retail, you could debate fair trade issues, for example.

A key element of people management is the ability to identify with them and understand their needs. Marketing students will develop an ability to understand market needs and customer behavior, and improve customer satisfaction.

How are you going to learn
Some business courses will have a more defined professional element, so you’ll be working as a team to build a business and market a product before you’ve finished looking at your reading list. This group work will help you develop your teamwork and leadership skills. Other courses will make internships a required part of the degree. Most universities will boast good links to business, which means guest lecturers and the opportunity to network. You will likely be assessed through coursework, although there is likely to be a practical element to assessment as well (through presentations, for example).

Graduate Marketing students can use the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s Graduate Gateway to gain further qualification by taking a small number of additional modules.

Entry requirements
An A level (or equivalent) in mathematics, economics or business studies is likely to help your application. Marketing degrees usually have flexible entry requirements, but A-levels in English, Media Studies or Business can help your application for the more competitive courses.

What job can you get?
These are popular courses, which means tougher competition for jobs. And because it’s not as specialized a field as architecture or medicine, you may find yourself dealing with economics or history graduates who decide to pursue a career in business. It’s worth remembering that most start-ups fail in their first three years, so if you hope to be a small business owner, you’ll need to be tough and develop a thick skin.

That said, the nature of your business background and the hands-on experience you gain will put you in a good position to get a job in the financial industry or with one of the top companies that hire graduates. Graduate programs should give you a good general business foundation and the ability to focus on a particular area, such as human resources, finance, or marketing.

And these skills aren’t just valued by ad agencies. Organizations across a wide range of sectors – public, private and voluntary – all have a marketing department, while the ability to communicate, debate and present well will be viewed favorably by employers around the world.

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