For 2019, University Centre Peterborough (UCP) has added a range of new degrees to complement its core Business Management BSc. These will allow students to specialise in particular areas of business expertise, from Human Resources to Marketing – but what is the value of a business degree, why does study in Peterborough offer advantages, and how can specialising help boost employability both locally and nationally?
While much of the UK has been struggling against the effects of recession and austerity over the past ten years, Peterborough has not stopped growing. Now, it is the fourth fastest growing city in the country, and with the establishment of an independent, degree awarding university its rapid expansion seems unlikely to slow any time soon. This is not simply a question of population growth, but of economic growth too. 1,779 new companies were formed in Peterborough during 2017 – that’s up 11% over the last previous years – and that rate of growth is expected to continue. According to forecasts in the recent Labour Market Information (LMI) report, Peterborough can expect a 6,288 increase in jobs between 2017 and 2022, while the job increase in the Greater Cambridge/ Greater Peterborough LEP area during the same period is forecast to be 26,433.
There’s also positive news with regard to the quality of local and regional jobs. In Greater Cambridge/Greater Peterborough LEP the average wage is £26,500 – higher than the national average. Certain areas of business look set to be advantageous locally, too. By 2022 there will be a 5.8% increase in Science jobs compared to 3.3% nationally, and a 6.1% increase in Construction jobs compared to 3.5% nationally. As already mentioned, Peterborough’s new independent university has great potential to produce the graduates required to help the city grow by offering degrees that are closely linked to industry. But, in fact, the foundations are already being laid.
University Centre Peterborough, although small in terms of students, is the nucleus around which the new university will be formed – and as part of its development towards this goal has recently expanded its portfolio of business degree qualifications by introducing five new degrees alongside its existing BSc (Hons) Business Management course:
● BSc (Hons) Business Management with Human Resources
● BSc (Hons) Business Management with Marketing
● BSc (Hons) Business Management with Responsible Business
● BSc (Hons) Business Management with Supply Chain and Logistics
● BA (Hons) Digital Marketing and Communications
All of these were created in consultation with local businesses to ensure maximum relevance and employability of graduates.
Why study business?
A degree is rapidly becoming the standard minimum qualification for entry into higher paid levels of business – but what value is a business degree, and how does specialisation help students get a foot on the first rung of their chosen career after they complete their studies? Nationally, 55% of students who completed a Business Studies degree went into a professional role (i.e. one requiring a degree) in that area after graduation. In Peterborough, the picture is especially bright: the largest sector of local employment in the Peterborough region is the business and professional fields. In 2017 the city was 16% above the national average for jobs in Business Management, and by 2022 there is expected to be a 8.7% increase in Business Management jobs compared to 3.3% nationally. This, of course, not only means that studying business at UCP makes sound business sense – it also means that good employment opportunities are right on the doorstep. That’s not just good for students – it means that skills are kept and developed within the city, which is in turn a boost for the local economy.
Specialisation can further help secure employment – and this is the thinking behind the new UCP degrees. Whilst not everyone will know what area they wish to specialise in prior to study – and this is why the broad scope of the BSc (Hons) Business Management remains a valuable offering (although this too can be tailored in years two and three) – those who do may create some advantages for themselves. If you look at the national figure for graduates finding professional employment following a Marketing degree, for example, the percentage rises to 67%. In fact, Marketing is in particular demand in the Peterborough area, with the largest number of jobs advertised being in sales and marketing. That means local employers have identified significant local skills gaps and therefore an inability to recruit locally. The BSc (Hons) Business Management with Marketing and BA (Hons) Digital Marketing and Communications are a direct response to this need.
Consultation with business
All UCP degree programmes need to consult with business as part of the validation process. For each degree there is a representative from a local business who sits on the panel to justify the specific course, and there is also ongoing contact with larger businesses to gauge needs and establish direct feed of students to businesses and vice versa. This means that specialist business degrees can be created to take advantage of job market needs and in response to business forecasts. For example: ● By 2022 there is projected to be a 15% increase in jobs in the Transport and Storage industry in Peterborough – good for Business Management with Supply Chain and Logistics ● By 2022 there is projected to be an 18% increase in jobs in the job Human resources and industrial relations officers in Peterborough – good for Business Management with Human Resources ● In 2017 Peterborough was 2% above national average for ICT practitioner jobs and 8% above average for ICT for users, and it is forecast that by 2022 there will be a 9% increase in jobs in the Information and Communication industry in Peterborough. UCPs BSc (Hons) Computing and Information Systems offers advantages in these areas
UCP BUSINESS MANAGEMENT DEGREES
BSc (Hons) Business Management UCP has consulted widely with prospective employers on the content and design of this completely revised programme to ensure that the skills students are learning are industry-standard. The first year of the course provides the student with a grounding in a variety of business disciplines, which underpin later learning. In years two and three the student has a choice of optional modules, providing the opportunity to tailor their degree. In the final year a 30 credit Major Project on a topic of the student’s choice allows for further individual specialisation.
Teaching staff have strong professional profiles, and close partnerships with local businesses allow UCP to draw on their expertise and resources for both input and assessment. Case studies will be used for the learner to apply higher level intellectual skills in their analysis and problem solving, and in some cases to justify and reflect upon their business decisions and strategies to a panel of academic and industry ‘experts’ in a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style scenario, or a group presentation made in the form of a pitch to senior management.
Students are encouraged to be active learners whose knowledge and understanding is gained through a positive relationship with academic staff, who will act as mentors, rather than ‘lecturers’. The involvement of industry specialists will also be crucial, and again they are not seen purely as ‘guest lecturers’, but as part of the university community. All the courses at University Centre Peterborough are studied in smaller class sizes compared with other universities with a typical class size of under 30 students.
NEW DEGREES FOR 2019
BSc (Hons) Business Management with Human Resources
The first year of the course provides students with a grounding in a variety of business disciplines which underpin later learning. In year two students begin to specialise in Human Resource Management with the module Managing People. In the final year the Human Resources Management speciality is completed by studying Responsible Recruitment and Employment Law, Employee Relations and a major project on a Human Resources topic of the student’s choice.
BSc (Hons) Business Management with Responsible Business
The first year of the course provides students with a grounding in a variety of business disciplines, which underpin later learning. In year two students begin to specialise in responsible business with the module Social Innovation. In the final year the specialty is completed by studying Responsible Recruitment and Employment Law, Leadership for Sustainability and a major project on a responsible business topic of the student’s choice.
BSc (Hons) Business Management with Marketing
The first year of the course provides students with a grounding in a variety of business disciplines, which underpin later learning. In year two students begin to specialise in marketing with the module Integrated Marketing Communications. In the final year the HRM speciality is completed by studying Marketing in the Digital Age, Public Relations and a major project on a marketing topic of the student’s choice.
BSc (Hons) Business Management with Supply Chain and Logistics
The first year of the course provides students with a grounding in a variety of business disciplines, which underpin later learning. In year two, students begin to specialise in supply-chain with the module International Trade Dynamics, plus a choice of options. In the final year the specialty is completed by studying, Sustainable Supply-chain Management and a major project on a logistics or supply-chain topic of the student’s choice.
BA (Hons) Digital Marketing and Communications
Collaboration has specifically identified a need for graduates with practical knowledge of both content management and technical skills in digital marketing, as well as an enhanced business and commercial awareness, and practical skills within areas such as project management and social media marketing. Employability and personal development modules are included at each level of the course and this culminates in the Professional Placement module in the final year. The course also incorporates professional competencies by mapping directly to the Certificate in Professional Marketing (Digital Marketing) of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).
● All degrees are accredited by Anglia Ruskin University and studied at University Centre Peterborough over 3 years full-time (2 full days a week over two semesters per year) or 4 years parttime (1-2 full days a week over two semesters per year). All courses start in September 2019 and you can make your application now.
To find out more, visit: www.ucp.ac.uk