Business Management and Geography

BA (Hons)

Clearing places are available on this course

UCAS code: N2F8

Start dates: September 2024 / September 2025

Full time: 3 years, or 4 if a work placement is chosen

Part time: up to 8 years

Location: Headington

Department(s): Oxford Brookes Business School, School of Law and Social Sciences

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Overview

Businesses need to prioritise sustainability, whatever sector they’re in, whatever their size, wherever they are in the world. Making progress towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals is key for protecting people and the planet – and it’s up to future leaders like you to make it happen.

Oxford Brookes was one of the first universities to embed responsible management in our business courses. Combining your study with geography, you’ll prepare to become a change maker, whether that’s within an organisation or working with businesses to help them make a difference.

We'll challenge you to make connections between environmental risks and business activity. In business modules, you’ll look at business problems and responsibilities through a sustainability lens. At the same time, you’ll explore the geographic and social impact of climate change.

From field trips to a placement year, you won’t be short of opportunities to boost your employability. You’ll find our graduates in a range of roles at multinational businesses, charities, governments, and more.

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Business Management and Geography, BA Hons degree course students studying together at Oxford Brookes University

Why Oxford Brookes University?

  • Responsible leaders
    We’re signed up to the UN’s Principles for Responsible Management Education so you can be confident you will learn business the right way.
  • Experience business
    Across the course you will interact with different businesses and business leaders. You'll have the opportunity to go on work placement with the likes of BMW or IBM.
  • Multidisciplinary approach
    Gain an understanding of both business management and geography, drawing on expertise from both the Business School and the School of Law and Social Sciences.
  • Sustainability focus
    While many geography degrees have a sustainability focus, it’s not as common for business courses to cover it to the level we do.
  • Hands on field trips
    Take part in practical work in your first year and a residential trip (typically overseas) in your second year.
  • Free language courses

    Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Course details

Course structure

Each year of this course is designed to build on your knowledge. You’ll study the functions of business and the impact of the external environment on business choices. While exploring key issues, you’ll sharpen your skills in areas like critical thinking, decision making and working with others effectively.

What can geography tell us about how we relate to the natural world? How can we understand the complexity of culture? You’ll ask these questions as part of your geography studies, as well as looking at the environmental processes behind climate change. You’ll also learn key techniques for research like surveying.

Throughout the course, we’ll help you understand how to apply your knowledge. This is key for your dissertation and whatever you decide to do next. You’ll also have the chance to explore your interests with optional modules in areas like future cities and business ethics.

Unlike other universities, you don’t have to decide whether you want to do a placement before you apply. However, it’s a great opportunity to apply your skills and make connections.

Business Management and Geography, BA Hons degree course students in a seminar at Oxford Brookes University

Learning and teaching

We have a reputation for innovative development of course content and learning takes place through a variety of means and modes of delivery, including online, and in lectures, interactive seminars and workshops, debates, case studies, group-working, problem-solving activities and fieldwork. In geography, you’ll have the opportunity to develop your research skills through involvement in laboratory analysis and field investigations. 

In Years 1 and 2 you’ll have locally-based fieldwork. In Year 3 you’ll write up the results of your research and submit them to our UK-wide research journal Geoverse.

Assessment

Students on this course will experience a rich variety of assessment forms designed both to evaluate and support student learning. We will usually assess you through coursework, but a few modules involve examinations. Individual coursework and small-group assignments include;

  • project investigations
  • working in virtual teams
  • presentations
  • brief papers
  • project and business reports 
  • critical essays
  • learning journals.

You will use dedicated software for data analysis such as Geographical Information Systems (GIS).

Field Trips

Field work is one of the cornerstones of Geography at Oxford Brookes. We provide a range of opportunities for field investigations in the Oxford region, other parts of Britain and abroad.

During the first two years of your degree, you are introduced to geographical research techniques through practical and field courses. These courses provide training in research design, use of IT, and quantitative and qualitative methods that form the basis of geographical investigations.

You will participate in a number of local field trips in your first year, providing an introduction to aspects of human and environmental geography. In your second year, a one-week residential field course gives you the opportunity to apply your research skills. In your final year, you may undertake independent fieldwork if you choose to write a dissertation. The optional Expedition module offers further opportunities to undertake overseas fieldwork.

Where will I go?

Destinations for the second year compulsory field trip vary from year to year, but in recent years students have visited Malta, Gibraltar and Spain.

For field trip costs see the Tuition Fees section.

Study modules

Teaching for this course takes place Face to Face and you can expect around eight hours of contact time per week. In addition to this, you should also anticipate a workload of 1,200 hours per year. Teaching usually takes place Monday to Friday, between 9.00am and 6.00pm.

Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • Exploring International Business

    In this module, you’ll be actively engaged with the study of Business and Management, through exploring essential characteristics of organisations in a global context, while assessing the role of management within this. You’ll explore the functions of business and the impact of the external environment on business choices. You’ll also use a variety of media including simulation and published accounts of decisions being enacted by businesses and managers today. 

    This will equip you with the core concepts required to analyse and research business and management issues. You’ll also develop your academic and employability skills, such as critical thinking, evidenced based decision-making and collaboration.

  • Professional Practice 1

    In this module you will start to develop the personal and professional skills and mindsets to help you transition into your studies and life at Oxford Brookes. Through this module you will join and help build a student community and together you will review and understand the key topics required for you all to become critical thinkers and to thrive as independent learners.
  • Introduction to Human Geography

    What can geography tell us about what it means to be human and how we relate to the natural world? How can we understand the complexity of human identity and culture? In this module, you’ll gain an understanding of human geography, as you investigate key themes of space and place, environment and society. You’ll gain core analytical skills for your degree, as you consider how society and culture shape our landscapes, and how spatial differences and inequalities are generated. You’ll consider how approaches in human geography can shed light on pressing political issues today. 

  • Introduction to Physical Geography

    In this module you’ll examine key themes and topics in physical geography, using climate change as an overarching context. You’ll gain a geographical grounding in climate change science and examine core areas that relate to climate change in physical geography, including environmental processes, systems and management linked to climate change. You’ll explore recent and future developments in physical geography.

  • Investigating Geography

    In this module, you’ll gain core skills you need to succeed in your Geography degree. You will undertake the first steps as a researcher in geography, and report on a range of geographical topics. You’ll learn how to address pressing global challenges through key geographical techniques, as well as scientific, economic and political investigation.

  • Introduction to Geographic Skills and Techniques

    In this module, you’ll be introduced to the techniques most widely used in human and physical geographical research, including:

    • mapping
    • surveying
    • observational recording
    • focus groups, interviews and questionnaires.

    The module introduces practical geographical techniques and broader academic techniques such as literature work, citations and referencing.  Although the module is largely theoretical, in preparation for the year 2 module ‘Advanced Research Skills for Geographers’, you’ll also undertake local field-based exercises, designed to demonstrate the techniques in action. You’ll be involved in tasks such as:

    • making detailed, empirical geographical observations using widely employed geographical equipment
    • locating and exploring geographical databases and archives
    • using basic digital mapping programmes to investigate the physical and human environment.

Year 2

Compulsory modules

  • Professional Practice 2

    This module will help you develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for making effective career decisions and managing your future career development, including transitions into graduate employment, self-employment or further study (including professional training courses) whether in the UK or overseas. In the context of the Business School commitment to responsible management education (PRME), this module will support you in taking an informed and critical view of the current and future world of work and consider your future role and responsibility, not only to yourself but also to others. This module will raise your awareness of the services and support offered by the Careers Service and OBBS WAVES (Work and Voluntary Employment) team. The aim is to encourage you to further develop your career by engaging in placements, internships, volunteering and other extracurricular activities offered by the University.
     
  • International Business Strategy

    In this module, you’ll delve into the social issues and opportunities associated with international business, and the challenges associated with a dynamic business environment. To develop your understanding of globalisation, you’ll be provided with a thorough overview of current affairs. You’ll also explore international business, while considering issues of sustainability and equality. 

    By completing this module, you’ll be able to assess the management and operational environment in which international business operates, while also developing the ability to analyse specific international business, innovation and sustainability strategies pursued by firms (MNCs, SMEs, NGOs). 
     

  • Environmentally Sustainable Business

    You’ll look at the environmental sustainability challenges facing society and businesses. You’ll discuss key environmental issues such as:

    • global warming
    • pollution
    • biodiversity loss 
    • freshwater depletion 

    and the role of business in causing as well as responding to such issues. 

    You’ll explore macro (economic, policy, governance) as well as micro (organisational and individual) perspectives. You’ll also be introduced to a variety of stakeholder perspectives and frameworks for evaluating business responses. Through the module you’ll develop your key competencies for sustainability that are endorsed by UNESCO (2017) and the QAA/Advance HE (2021). The competencies are:

    • systems thinking
    • anticipatory thinking
    • normative competency 
    • strategic thinking
    • collaborative competency 
    • critical thinking
    • self-awareness 
    • integrated problem-solving competency.
       
  • Geographical Enquiry and Field Research

    Field work is at the heart of our geography course and this module helps you develop the practical and research skills you’ll need. During this module you will develop essential knowledge and skills in research methods and data analysis. With guidance, you’ll undertake a substantive piece of research, which you’ll conduct during the residential field trip. The research capabilities you build will be invaluable, both for your dissertation and your career after Oxford Brookes.

  • Placement Search and Preparation (compulsory for sandwich mode)

    This module is designed to provide practical guidance and support in undertaking a placement search, preparing for the placement experience, and succeeding in the modern workplace. Throughout the module, you will develop critical self-awareness and personal literacy skills, enabling you to self-reflect on your own strengths and weaknesses and target your placement search effectively. Additionally, you will also explore methods of effective and targeted placement search, increasing your chances of securing a placement.

    In summary, this module is an essential component of your employability journey. By integrating with co-curricular activities, the module provides a holistic approach to employability, ensuring that you'll have a broad range of skills and experiences to draw upon in your future careers.
     

Optional modules

Cities: Geographies of the Urban Experience

In Cities: Geographies of the Urban Experience, you will be introduced to urban geography. Throughout the module, you will explore a range of ways in which cities shape, and are shaped by people. From the modern architectural movement, to protest and public space, you will learn about the central role that cities play in politics and everyday life. Central to the module is understanding the ways in which inequality is built into urban life, and what we can do to challenge it.

Environmental Hazard Management

In this module you will develop an understanding of the way that environmental processes can become potential hazards. You will study how hazards sometimes become disasters and the measures used to manage disasters and mitigate risk. You will explore contemporary approaches to environmental hazard / disaster management including: the efficacy of Aid; the role of the military in disaster relief; whether forecasting really saves lives; and the role of the mass media and new technology in disaster management. You will get to investigate real case studies and present your work individually and as part of a team.

Earth Systems

In this module, you’ll gain an understanding of The Earth as a global system. You’ll consider it in terms of spheres: the geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere, each interacting in different scales of time and space.

You’ll gain core information you need to succeed in physical geography, as you understand how these spheres underpin the character and behaviour of the global system that we observe. You’ll explore each of these spheres in detail, gaining a whole picture of the global system. To do this you will engage with a range of disciplines, including:

  • geology
  • hydrology
  • micro and macro ecology
  • atmospheric chemistry
  • physics
  • computer modelling.

 

Independent Study: Work and Community Related learning

In this module, you’ll have the chance to do some work experience closely linked to Geography. You might be an intern with a company, or working as a volunteer in the local community, or you might have a role in the university, for example as a student ambassador. Your tutors will advise you, but you’ll be in charge of the direction you take and the learning opportunity involved. 

With careful thinking about what you want to achieve and how the work you do will support your learning, you’ll gain a better understanding of the world of work. You may also develop a stronger sense of the career you’d like after Brookes. Whatever the focus of your independent study, you’ll notice the benefits, whether it’s the satisfaction gained from volunteering, the new knowledge you’ve gained or the skills you’ve improved.
 

Political Geography: Place and Power

What are the connections between place and power? This module introduces you to political geography and geopolitics. You’ll look at both historical and ongoing debates to enable you to understand the spatial and material relations of political power, including territory, borders, mobility, security, nations, nationalism, sovereignty and environmental politics. You’ll interrogate and challenge common assumptions about geopolitics and explore geographical ideas in the light of current events, emphasising the relevance and real-world application of political geographical thought.

International Markets and Competition

In this module, you’ll consider the different exchange rate regimes, both in theory and in practice. You’ll also explore theory of international trade, the costs and benefits of protectionism, national and international measures to encourage competition. You’ll also be able to understand how to prevent anti-competitive behaviour and their rationale, and study the international organisations that control and regulate free trade.

You’ll be able to analyse international data from a variety of sources, and explain international trade patterns including trading blocks and the role of MNCs and FDI. 

Design Thinking and Project Management

You start to build your project management experience and apply a design thinking framework to identify, develop and refine an idea. You will be working in teams and have the opportunity to work on a problem and apply a design thinking approach which is integrated with the workshop. You will take part in a series of workshops, building on previous learning. You will apply your knowledge and understanding of project management to a specific challenge. This will help you to develop your practical problem solving skills, improving your collaborations skills and communication skills.

Family and Society in Business

Through this module you will build a comprehensive understanding of the impact of family businesses and social economy organisations (SEO’s) on the business landscape. 

Firstly you will focus on family businesses and develop your insight into the unique challenges, dynamics, and advantages of family-owned enterprises, along with the strategies for effective governance and smooth transition across generations. You will delve into the study of cooperatives, including definitions, types, principles/values, governance structures, and the benefits and challenges associated with them. You will conclude the module by examining the role of SEOs in economic development and exploring the current state of SEOs in the business landscape. You will also look at the contribution of SEOs to sustainable economic growth and societal well-being.
 

Year 3 (compulsory for sandwich mode)

Compulsory modules

  • CHOOSE ONE MODULE FROM:

  • Placement

    On this placement you will be able to access a 40-52 week work-based learning / placement opportunity to help develop your employability and enterprise skills. You will gain first-hand knowledge and experience of making applications to and working in a placement role. You will set your own work-based targets and reflect upon your progress in the role you have on your placement. Halfway through your placement you will make a presentation to your line manager and placement tutor which summarises your gained knowledge on your placement and the tasks you have/ will complete in your placement role.
  • Full Year International Study Abroad

    This is your opportunity to study Business topics abroad in order to experience a different national, educational and business culture and to build on your knowledge, understanding, skills and competencies you’ve gained so far. You will undertake an international study exchange at a university outside the UK, arranged with the University’s exchanges office. This international study exchange lasts for one academic year and is taken after your second year of studies (Level 5).
  • OR CHOOSE THESE TWO OPTIONS:

  • Short Placement

    This 24-week placement is your opportunity to develop your employability and enterprise skills. In the UK or Europe you will gain first-hand knowledge and experience of making applications to and working in a placement role. You will set your work based targets and reflect upon your success in your placement role. At the end of the placement, you will make a presentation to your line manager and placement tutor which summarises the knowledge and skills you have developed on your placement
  • Work-based Learning

    This module is also a 24-week work-based learning opportunity for you to develop your employability and enterprise skills. As on the other modules you will have the opportunity to obtain first-hand knowledge and experience of making applications to and working in a placement role. This could include employment, volunteer work experience or undertaking a consultancy type project. 

    You will agree a brief before your work-based role begins,set work based targets and reflect upon your success in your placement role. At the end of the placement, you will make a presentation to your line manager and placement tutor which summarises the knowledge and skills you have developed on your placement.
     

Year 4 (or year 3 if no sandwich mode)

Compulsory modules

  • Business Governance and Human Rights

    It is becoming increasingly accepted for businesses to be socially responsible. In light of this, our module provides you with the opportunity to understand current corporate structures and governance regimes, which are being used to hold businesses accountable for their activities. With a particular emphasis on human rights, you’ll explore issues such as human trafficking, child labour, discrimination, environmental degredation and abuses within global supply chains.

    You’ll be equipped to evaluate the ways in which businesses are meeting their social responsibilities internationally, the capacities for businesses to have possible impacts, and strategies for development and change. 
     

  • Business Strategy and Futures in Disrupted Environments

    This module will equip you with the necessary skills to appreciate, understand, and cope with a fast paced, and changing business environment. Within a contextual framework of current disruptive innovations, you’ll also evaluate and challenge the norms of business models. 

    You’ll gain analytical skills that can be used to evaluate the impact of disruptive innovation, new technologies, modes of employment and their impact on business now and in the future. These analytical and evaluation skills can also be used to develop directed goals for career development.
     

  • Professional Practice 3

    Build your knowledge of the theory and practice of career management. You will demonstrate critical insight into your own knowledge, skills and experience and consider how this might allow you to manage your post-graduation career. You will also apply these ideas as you develop and run a learning activity for others.

Optional modules

Arid Zone Environments

What is the nature and extent of arid environments and how do they interact with the global climate system? In this module you’ll gain knowledge of:

  • long-term and short-term variations in climate
  • the nature and extent of drylands
  • the rates and types of processes operating in these environments.

You’ll also look at human impacts on drylands, including desertification, salinization (increasing salt content in soils) and deforestation, and consider the impact that future climate change may have on arid systems.

 

Future Cities

What will cities look like in fifty years? What did thinkers from the mid-nineteenth century to today propose about how to reconstruct and manage urban life? From global warming to ageing populations, you'll examine the trends that are shaping the cities of the future, and gain key analytical skills as you consider how cities might best adapt to these challenges. As with the Year 2 Cities module, we’ll focus on urban society as much as on city form, regarding people and place as inseparable.

Disasters, Development and Society

Why are some people and places more vulnerable to disasters than others? What are the origins of this inequity, and what can we do about it?

You'll explore the relationship between disasters, environment and society. And learn why disasters are not ‘natural’, but are rather produced by their development context. You'll learn why uneven development breeds uneven vulnerability to risk, and vice versa.

You'll gain knowledge of development geography and political ecology. And examine why a physical hazard-focused approach to disaster risk management is problematic and the need for alternatives that address systemic root causes of risk.

We will look at the workings of power and politics at all stages of disaster (before, during and after) at a range of scales. You'll assess current practice in disaster risk reduction throughout the module. Along with examining the role of climate change in shifting geographies of vulnerability.

Business Ethics

This module is designed to address our changing world that is facing social and environmental challenges. You’ll develop the capacity to make ethically defensible decisions as members of business organisations and of society in general. You’ll analyse and evaluate the ethical propositions of others. And you’ll evaluate the ethics of different systemic models of production, distribution and exchange.Upon completing this module you will be able to evaluate and apply ethical reasoning to local and global business dilemmas and economic systems, and you’ll be able to evaluate the significance of a range of western and non-western ethical perspectives. 

Leading and Managing Change

After completing this module, you will have an understanding of the nature of change and key theories, frameworks, principles and practices relevant for the management and leadership of change. You'll be able to evaluate critically the actions taken by those leading change. You will be better prepared to lead and manage change in your own managerial careers and have an increased awareness of your own potential for ongoing personal development in leading and managing change.

 

Sustainable Futures

On this module, you will look at current and future global challenges that face geographers. 

You will draw on academic research expertise. You will look at physical, human and environmental geographical issues related to a sustainable future. 

You will explore what geographers can contribute using your geographical skills:

  • the geographical imagination
  • ethical subject-hood
  • integrative thinking
  • spatial thinking 
  • and a structured exploration of place

Climate Change: The Physical Basis

You will develop a broad understanding of climate science. By examining evidence from a range of observation, process, modelled and paleoclimate data.

You will explore how the chemical and physical changes. Which is often driven by human activity and has global and regional impacts. You'll also look at how this leads to informing the climate policy-making process.

Social Enterprise and Social Innovation

 

The module covers a multi-disciplinary approach to contemporary issues in entrepreneurship allowing you to develop a well-rounded skill set. Throughout the module, you will learn from experts in the field and gain practical insights into entrepreneurship. You will have the opportunity to engage in practical learning, including research and working within a community of like-minded individuals, enhancing your personal and professional growth. Moreover, emphasis is placed on interaction within a research community, providing you with valuable teamwork and communication skills.

Overall, this module offers you a unique learning experience that combines academic rigour with practical insights, giving you a competitive edge in the job market while developing essential research and self-development skills.

Geography dissertation OR Interdisciplinary Dissertation (Double)

This module gives you the chance to do an independent investigation on a topic that fascinates you. Whether you’re creating a field-based, computer-based, laboratory-based or library-based topic, you’ll gain core skills for your future career and shape your project around your passions.

Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from those shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.

Careers

With this degree on your CV, you’ll be able to show employers you understand the practices of business and management as well as the issues around environmental change, globalisation, urbanisation, and sustainability.

Our graduates go in a range of different directions. You might apply your skills to roles in:
  • environmental management
  • conservation
  • leisure and tourism
  • consultancy
  • geography teaching.
Many of our students go on to graduate training schemes in international companies such as Aldi, AC Nielsen, IBM, Virgin Mobile, Intel, Yell, O2 and Dell. Our graduates find they’re also a great match for roles in advertising, banking, the Civil Service, the arts and media, and services management.

Student profiles

Entry requirements

Wherever possible we make our conditional offers using the UCAS Tariff. The combination of A-level grades listed here would be just one way of achieving the UCAS Tariff points for this course.

Standard offer

UCAS Tariff Points: 112

A Level: BBC

IB Points: 30

BTEC: DMM

Contextual offer

UCAS Tariff Points: 88

A Level: CCD

IB Points: 27

BTEC: MMM

Further offer details

Applications are also welcomed for consideration from applicants with European qualifications, international qualifications or recognised foundation courses. For advice on eligibility please contact Admissions: admissions@brookes.ac.uk

If you don’t achieve the required tariff points you can apply to join a foundation course, like Foundation in Business or an international foundation course to help to reach the required level for entry onto this degree.

International qualifications and equivalences

Tuition fees

Please see the fees note
Home (UK) full time
£9,250

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

Home (UK) sandwich (placement)
£1,600

International full time
£16,300

International sandwich (placement)
£1,600

Home (UK) full time
£9,250

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

Home (UK) sandwich (placement)
£1,700

International full time
£17,100

International sandwich (placement)
£1,700

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2024 / 25
Home (UK) full time
£9,250

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

Home (UK) sandwich (placement)
£1,600

International full time
£16,300

International sandwich (placement)
£1,600

2025 / 26
Home (UK) full time
£9,250

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

Home (UK) sandwich (placement)
£1,700

International full time
£17,100

International sandwich (placement)
£1,700

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 534400

financefees@brookes.ac.uk

Please note, tuition fees for Home students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Oxford Brookes University intends to maintain its fees for new and returning Home students at the maximum permitted level.

Tuition fees for International students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students. 

The following factors will be taken into account by the University when it is setting the annual fees: inflationary measures such as the retail price indices, projected increases in University costs, changes in the level of funding received from Government sources, admissions statistics and access considerations including the availability of student support. 

How and when to pay

Tuition fee instalments for the semester are due by the Monday of week 1 of each semester. Students are not liable for full fees for that semester if they leave before week 4. If the leaving date is after week 4, full fees for the semester are payable.

  • For information on payment methods please see our Make a Payment page.
  • For information about refunds please visit our Refund policy page

Additional costs

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course are detailed below.

Information from Discover Uni

Full-time study

Part-time study

Programme changes:
On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website. For more information, please visit our changes to programmes page.