The University of Southampton
Southampton Business School

N106 BSc Business History with placement year (4 years)

Bring fresh thinking to today’s business challenges through an understanding of the past. On this unique degree you’ll gain essential accounting and management know-how and advanced critical thinking skills, plus the opportunity to gain invaluable professional experience during a year’s work placement.

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Introducing your degree

This unique programme combines academic rigour with real-world professional experience, giving you the edge when you enter the job market. You’ll cover key accounting, finance and management topics, as well as choosing modules from the University’s highly regarded history department. A distinctive business history module, Organisation and Accountability from a Historical Perspective, combines both disciplines. During this module you’ll delve into material from the National Archives and interrogate the documents behind major economic, political and business decisions, gaining a deeper understanding that will illuminate your thinking about current and future events. You’ll have the opportunity to continue your exploration of archival documents and showcase your skills through your dissertation research. In addition, you’ll be able to apply and develop your skills during a one-year industry placement, which is a great opportunity to enhance your CV. Taught by world-leading academics, the course will enable you to contextualise present-day innovation and corporate performance and anticipate the business implications of political and social changes such as Brexit. This well-informed perspective, alongside your exceptional management and critical thinking skills, will impress employers in a wide range of sectors.





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This four-year, full-time course comprises core, compulsory and optional modules and a dissertation, plus a one-year industry placement in year three.

The first-year modules are shared across a number of our degrees, giving you the flexibility to move to another business management programme should you wish to

A distinctive set of compulsory modules in the first year will introduce you to contemporary business concepts and practices, including accounting and practical management skills. You’ll also study the historical development of commerce, industry and technology, and examine the key ideas that have shaped organisations, economies and societies. This will provide a broad social and historical context that will inform both your history and business studies as you progress through the course.

View the programme specification for this course.

Programme Structure

Personalise your course 

The second and final years offer a high level of flexibility. Alongside two core/compulsory modules per year, you’ll be able to choose from a wide range of business and history modules to advance your knowledge and professional skills in areas that interest you.

Business options include modules on international banking, risk management, knowledge management and financial markets.
You could choose to advance your studies in financial and management accounting.
History modules cover topics ranging from the history of urban nightlife to the Third Reich, or from the rise and fall of the British Empire to celebrity, media and mass culture in Britain.

You can study a language or choose from a selection of innovative interdisciplinary modules, which cover topics including living and working on the Web, social enterprise and intercultural communication. 

Integrated business history studies

A distinctive final-year module, Organisation and Accountability from a Historical Perspective, brings together history and business, enabling you to apply your business knowledge to the analysis of past events. Using archival material from the National Archives, including papers from government departments and prime ministerial files, you’ll interrogate documents that tell the story of historical business, political and economic events. This will give you a deeper understanding of the agency behind economic change that will inform your thinking about current and future events and challenges. Past students have examined the valuation models used by the Treasury when Rolls-Royce was nationalised in 1970, and scrutinised papers from Margaret Thatcher’s office regarding the privatisation of British Gas in the 1980s. 

Your industry placement 

In the third year you’ll spend a minimum of 32 weeks on an industry placement. This is a fantastic opportunity to enhance your business management, problem solving and analytical thinking skills in a real-world context and enhance your CV. You’ll gain relevant work experience, learn new skills and have the chance to develop your professional networks. In addition, students currently earn an average of £17,000 on placement. 

Our placement partner organisations range from large multinational companies to smaller, local organisations, including:

  • IBM
  • SAP
  • JP Morgan
  • L’Oréal
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Blue Chip Markets
  • Xerox
  • BMW Group
  • Nissan
  • The Walt Disney Company
  • Panasonic
  • Fresh Relevance

In-depth dissertation study

In the final year you’ll apply your business and history skills to the dissertation, once again using business-related archival documents as the basis of your studies. You’ll receive support from your supervisor to identify a research question in an area that interests you. The dissertation is a great opportunity to develop a specialism that will advance your career in a particular direction and showcase your intellectual talents to potential recruiters. Past students have explored: 

  • the design and implementation of the petroleum revenue tax
  • the development of offshore tax havens
  • the construction management of the Channel Tunnel
  • the privatisation of British Railways
  • the valuation of the National Coal Board for nationalisation in 1940s
  • the British space programme
  • the project management of Concorde 

Outstanding academics 

You’ll be taught by academics at the forefront of their fields. They bring the latest concepts and research findings to your learning, and their links with industry inform the course content. 

Programme leader Dr Roy Edwards is interested in the history of decision-making practices in government departments and firms. He is currently investigating how governments conceptualised industrial policy from the 1930s to the 1970s. He is co-founder of A2SN (the Archive and Artefact Study Network) and is involved in the Business Archives Council, helping to implement the national strategy for business archives. He provides advice and subject expertise to British Library collection specialists who are developing a content strategy for business history.

Dr Mark Gatenby, who leads the programme’s distinctive first-year modules, studies roles, hierarchies, networks and policies as spaces for individual and group action. His work draws on theoretical and methodological perspectives from a range of disciplines. He also leads an innovative co-design programme, in which students take an active role in shaping the year one modules. 

Dr Stratos Ramoglou uses philosophical methods of inquiry to address business issues. His cutting-edge theories on entrepreneurship have been published in world-class scientific journals. 
History lecturer Dr Eleanor Quince’s research focuses on the design, manufacture, consumption, collection and display of objects. She teaches a module called Retail Therapy. 

Dr Helen Paul, an economist and economic historian, regularly features on BBC radio talking about her specialist research areas, which include financial revolution, slavery, naval history and Atlantic history. She teaches the interdisciplinary module on economic history.

Research-led education

Both the course content and the way it is delivered are directly informed by our academics’ research.

In the Business School, tutors and lecturers on the course are at the forefront of research into management education practice, business history and self-managed learning. Dr Stefan Cantore’s work on self-managed learning was recently recognised in the British Academy of Management education practice awards.

History academics draw on research into their specialist areas – for example, Professor Kendrick Oliver, who lectures on the space age, is the author of To Touch the Face of God: The Sacred, the Profane and the American Space Program, while Professor Neil Gregor, who lectures on the Third Reich, recently published Daimler-Benz in the Third Reich.

Key Facts

One of a few UK undergraduate degrees to combine the study of history and business.

Gain an understanding of today’s business world in the context of key technological and conceptual developments.

Put your knowledge into practice, gain invaluable workplace experience and develop your professional networks on a one-year industry placement.

Apply your business knowledge to archival records to gain new insights into significant past business events.

Develop essential business and management skills and the ability to think crucially and analytically, enhancing your career prospects.

Taught by expert academics whose research directly informs your learning

Personalise your course by choosing from a wide range of optional business and history modules in the second and final years.

A high level of academic and pastoral support throughout the programme.

Our innovative use of self-managed learning, an approach that develops independent thinking, has been recognised by the British Academy of Management.

Programme Director

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

GCSESouthampton Business School requires all applicants to achieve at least a Grade 4 in English and Grade 6 in Mathematics GCSEs (taken in England) or a Grade C in English and B in Mathematics (where taken in Northern Ireland or Wales). If you are taking an alternative Mathematics qualification please contact our admissions team via
A Levels:
GCE A-level



ABB with A in Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

General Studies is not accepted.

The below subjects are considered as restricted. This means that we can accept one subject from the following list if combined with other academic subjects:

Applied subjects
Art: including Design, Fine Art, Photography, Textiles
Communication Studies
Creative Media
Creative Writing
Critical Thinking
Film Studies
Health & Social Care
Home Economics
Hospitality and Supervision
Leisure Studies
Media Studies
Music Technology
Outdoor Education
Performing Arts
Public Services
Sports Studies/Science
Theatre Studies
Travel & Tourism

Please note: Computing, Computer Studies, Product Design and Applied Business (single and double awards) are not considered to be restricted subjects.

International Baccalaureate34 points, 17 at higher level
BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Business

Distinction, Distinction, Distinction

If you are studying a Level 3 BTEC or OCR Cambridge qualification in Business then this can be accepted. However, if another subject area is being studied we would advise you to check with us prior to applying to ensure this is acceptable.

Contextual offers

The University of Southampton is committed to widening participation and ensuring that all students with the potential to succeed, regardless of their background, are encouraged to apply to study with us. The additional information gained through contextual data supports our admissions teams to recognise a student’s potential to succeed in the context of their background and experience. Students who are highlighted in this way will be made an offer that is lower than the typical offer for that programme.

A typical contextual offer is ABB from three A levels or the equivalent from alternative qualifications (the restricted subjects above will still apply).

Please see our contextual admissions pages for more information.

International Foundation programmes

We welcome applications from overseas students offering foundation programmes with a substantial amount of academic study. Less than half the programme should be English language tuition and you will be expected to reach a high standard in your programme comparable to our A level requirements. For more details on the suitability of you programme please contact the Admissions Team at

Other qualifications

We welcome students with other qualifications eg European or Welsh Baccalaureate, Scottish Advanced Highers and Irish Leaving Certificates. You will be expected to attain an equivalent standard to the A level applicant.

If you have professional experience, or credit through prior learning at another institution, you may be eligible to use this experience against some of the programme requirements for period of study. You will need to present evidence that you have met the learning outcomes of the programme. Full details can be found in the University’s Policy on the Recognition of Prior Learning. If you think this may apply to you, please contact the Faculty's Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Mature applicants

Age 21 and over: recent evidence of study in last two/three years - applicant could be interviewed.

Qualifications from other countries

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.

Language requirements

In accordance with University regulations, applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence of competency in English by offering one of the recognised tests in English. Alternatively, you should supply evidence that you have undertaken formal study in English at an institution that teaches award-bearing programmes in English.

The following test scores are accepted for direct entry:

  • IELTS 6.5 overall, with a minimum of 6.0 in all bands

See a complete list of the other English language qualifications we accept.

Test results should be less than two years old at the time of expected registration at the University of Southampton and must be verified before admission.

If you do not meet the University’s English language entry requirements for direct entry onto our BSc programmes, you may be eligible to study on one of the University’s pre-sessional English language courses. For further information on these pre-sessional programmes, please visit the Centre for Language Studies website.

Selection process:

Your application will be carefully considered and we will weigh up many factors – not only your academic achievements, interests and aptitudes, but also your motivation and your academic reference.

We make our decisions in most cases on the UCAS form alone. Candidates who require special consideration (eg on grounds of age, disability or non-standard entry qualifications) may be invited for an interview.

International Foundation Year

International students who do not currently meet our entry requirements may be able to join this course on successful completion of our International Foundation Year. For more information visit the International Foundation Year course page.

Visit our International Office website or the NARIC website for further information on qualifications.

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.


Typical course content


Year 1

Semester One

Either MANG1019 Foundations of Business Analytics OR MANG1007 Management Analysis (if no A level Maths)

Ideas that Shaped the Business World 1: Government and Society
Financial Accounting 1

Year 3

Students can refer but not repeat the placement year, hence any student failing the placement will be offered a transfer to the BSc Business History three-year programme.


Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

Course fees for 2017/18 full-time UK and EU undergraduate students are typically £9,250 per year. Tuition fees for international students differ between each course. Most part-time courses cost 50% of the full-time fee.

View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

BooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However, due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items (eg pens, pencils, notebooks, etc). Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
OtherApproved calculators: Candidates may use calculators in the examination room only as specified by the University and as permitted by the rubric of individual examination papers. The University approved models are Casio FX-570 and Casio FX-85GT Plus. These may be purchased from any source and no longer need to carry the University logo.
Printing and copyingIn most cases, written coursework such as essays, projects or dissertations are submitted online and by hard copy. The costs of printing a hard copy for submission of such coursework will be the responsibility of the student. The cost of photocopying will also be the responsibility of the student. For more information about University printing costs visit:
PlacementsAccommodation/travel costs: Students will be expected to cover travel and accommodation costs (including the costs of travelling to interviews, which some employers may reimburse). Insurance: If you choose to take a placement outside of the UK, you will need to pay for adequate insurance to cover both your travel and your work on placement. Medical Insurance: If you choose to take a placement outside of the UK, you will need to pay for adequate medical insurance cover. Immunisation/vaccination costs: If you choose to take a placement outside of the UK you may need to pay for immunisations and vaccinations. Disclosure and Barring Certificates or Clearance: For certain placements, your employer may request you undergo a Disclosure and Barring check. Your employer may or may not pay for this.
TravelSome modules may include optional visits. You will normally be expected to cover the cost of travel and admission, unless otherwise specified in the module profile.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

Career Opportunities

You’ll graduate with practical management skills, professional experience, exceptional critical and lateral thinking skills and a well-rounded, contextualised view of the business world. This combination will enable you to bring fresh thinking to real-world business challenges – something that will be very attractive to potential employers.

The course gives you the flexibility to prepare for a career in accountancy, or you could go into management or consultancy roles in a wide range of sectors. It is also an excellent foundation for postgraduate studies and a career in academia.

Learning & Assessment

You’ll learn through a mix of lectures, seminars, tutorials and independent study. Our academics use a range of methods to create a stimulating and interactive learning environment, including group work, case studies and problem-solving exercises, as well as training in practical management techniques. The study of archive documents, videos and other contextual material are integral to the Information, Organisation and Accountability from a Historical Perspective module.

You’ll learn about current issues in business from industry guest speakers, and there is an opportunity to visit a company in year one and talk to managers about its operations and strategy.

The design of our modules helps you to develop transferable skills, such as team working, communication and time management, that will be essential in the workplace.

Assessment methods vary by module, but will include exams, individual and group assignments, multiple-choice tests and your dissertation. You’ll also be required to complete a reflective learning report on your industry placement.

Innovative learning approaches

During the first year you’ll be introduced to self-managed learning. This is an approach that encourages you to ask questions and conduct your own research, equipping you with independent thinking skills that will be invaluable for your studies and your future career.

In addition, the first-year modules are co-designed by a group of students and academics. They meet weekly to discuss improvements to the course and develop initiatives to enhance your learning experience. 

Student support

We teach in small groups, which means we can offer our students a high level of personalised support. As well as informal opportunities to receive feedback and discuss your progress, every student has one-to-one sessions with their personal academic tutor, who can offer guidance on course-related or personal matters. 

To help you settle into university life, the Business School also runs a ‘peer assisted learning scheme’, through which second-year or final-year students can offer guidance and direct you to any support you might need.

Supporting your placement

To help you get the most from your placement we have designed a comprehensive placement preparation programme, developed with input from top employers. You’ll also receive support from our dedicated placement officers before your placement and during your year in industry, when they will keep in touch through visits, phone calls, emails and via social media.

Study Locations

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