business degrees
Source: Lancaster University Management School

In the dynamic and ever-evolving 21st century, advanced business degrees have emerged as a pivotal catalyst in shaping leaders who can thrive in an increasingly complex and competitive world. With their comprehensive curriculum and practical training, these degrees provide aspiring professionals with the skills, knowledge, and insights required to navigate the challenges of the modern business environment.

The most effective business degrees transform students into leaders by equipping them with a range of critical skills. They foster a deep understanding of organisational behaviour, financial management, marketing strategies, and operations, enabling students to make informed decisions and drive sustainable growth. These skills make graduates more employable — in the UK, the proportion of employers wanting to hire MBA graduates for strategic planning roles rose from 41% in 2020 to 51% in 2021.  

Beyond a job, perhaps the bigger impact of an advanced business degree is a broadened mindset. This makes for a solid foundation to help students address complex challenges holistically. From mastering data analytics to leveraging technological advancements, these students have the agility to innovate and capitalise on emerging opportunities. Such adaptability is crucial in a world where technological progress, globalisation, and societal shifts continuously reshape industries.

Here are four UK universities with business degrees that will give you the necessary skills and experiences to thrive:

business degrees

Students at the Lancaster University Management School are given the tools necessary to land the jobs of their dreams, no matter which business degree they choose. Source: Lancaster University Management School

Lancaster University Management School

As a triple-accredited top 10 UK business school — part of a top 10 UK university — Lancaster University Management School (LUMS) is known for great things. It was ranked number one in the UK for research power in REF 2021. But what makes it stand out from the crowd is the edge it gives students when entering the job market.

With the help of the award-winning LUMS Careers Services, students can make use of personal appointments, workshops on CV writing and preparing for interviews, and in-person and online events where they meet employers and learn about their recruitment processes.

“I don’t think I would have had the skills or the confidence to get the job I have today without doing my Master’s degree,” says Zareen Khan, MSc Economics graduate and now an Economic Advisor with the UK Government Department of Science, Innovation and Technology. “It taught me what I needed to have the confidence to go for my dream job.”

The school gives Master’s students the opportunity to expand their horizons with a study abroad option. “In the summer of my MSc, I studied at the Vienna University of Economics and Business in Austria as a participant in the ‘ISU WU’ summer school. Then in the autumn semester, thanks to academic merits, I was awarded a place in the Post-master at ‘Kozminski University’ in Warsaw,” says Giuseppe Patanè, MSc Management graduate and current Date Science Assistant Manager at Lloyds Banking Group. “It was very challenging yet deeply rewarding in terms of personal growth.”

Lancaster’s programmes pair well with the career support. The Management MSc nurtures your professional development, teaching you the skills and range of management techniques to navigate the complexities of business worldwide. Whereas MSc Economics, designed for graduates interested in a wide range of careers involving economics, features special guest lectures, research events, a weekly seminar series, and annual workshops and conferences on subjects such as game theory and macroeconomics.

business degrees

Saïd Business School has a powerful alumni network, giving students and graduates access to the best advice and connections. Source: Saïd Business School

Saïd Business School

At Saïd Business School, delivering impact through business is no mere catchphrase. Embedded within the #1 university in the world (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023), Oxford Saïd has what it takes to transform students into leaders for the extraordinary times we live in — and in as little as a year.

The Oxford MBA is a one-year journey filled with diverse views from a 64-nationality student body, made more dynamic by their wide range of backgrounds and industry experience. As one of the best gender-balanced top business schools in the world, all views are heard and shared. All of this makes for a refreshing mix of brilliance that grows networks as much as it sparks life-long friendships.

And that’s just the business school alone. MBA students have access to Oxford’s large, powerful alumni network and high-profile guest speakers as well through membership in the most prestigious debating society in the world: the Oxford Union. With no shortage of fresh perspectives, Oxford MBA students get to truly understand the role of business in society, adding impact to their current and future careers from day one.

For those looking for a two-year experience, the Oxford 1+1 MBA combines all of the above with a master’s degree from selected Oxford University departments. Choose from one of 35 Oxford master’s degrees — which include Master of Public Policy (Blavatnik School of Government) and MSc in International Health and Tropical Medicine (Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine) — to gain specialised expertise in a particular field. Then you develop business skills by completing the MBA.

Applications for both programmes will open in August. In the meantime, download a brochure to learn more about the Oxford MBA or 1+1 MBA.

business degrees

Nottingham University Business School is internationally acclaimed for its degree programmes. Source: Nottingham University Business School

Nottingham University Business School

Nottingham University Business School (NUBS) offers degrees at the forefront of business education and research. Its strengths lie in entrepreneurship, innovation and business sustainability. 

The school aims to shape the future of responsible leaders and management in an increasingly interconnected world. Opportunities to study abroad, collaboration with global firms, professional development support, events with top corporate leaders, tailored career support, and diverse campus — all of this contribute towards guiding NUBS students to realise their potential contribution to business, economy and society.

“Furthering my studies in the UK has been a great experience and joining Enactus — a not-for-profit, student-led organisation within the university — has only enhanced my time here. Not only did it show me the social and environmental sides to business, I experienced the power of using entrepreneurial action to sustainably transform lives,” graduate Jacob Choy said.

NUBS holds a range of acclaim, recognition and features in national and international rankings. Among these are: Chartered Banker Institute Centre of Excellence accreditation (the gold standard for all banking professionals) for the MSc Banking and Finance; dual-award status from the Chartered Institute of Marketing for the MSc Marketing; NHS Leadership Academy endorsement for the Executive MBA Healthcare; and full accreditation by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development for the MSc Human Resource Management and Organisation.

It is ranked 11th globally and fourth in the UK for sustainability education in the Better World MBA 2019 rankings; top 150 globally in the QS World University Ranking by Subject 2020 (Business and Management, and Accounting and Finance); and consistently ranks among the UK’s top business schools in The Guardian University Guide 2019.

business degrees

The University of Portsmouth helps students realise their potential with their business degrees. Source: University of Portsmouth

University of Portsmouth

The University of Portsmouth’s business degrees prepare students to become career-ready professionals and offer you wide-ranging support every step of the way. Learning is practical and hands-on. There are several experiential learning spaces and plenty of opportunities for students to apply theory to practice, whether through coursework based on current real-world issues or ways to get involved in consultancy or advice work with local businesses to address real challenges they are experiencing. This is complemented by paid placements, the enterprise scheme, and networking events.

The expertise of lecturers at Portsmouth’s Faculty of Business and Law inspires students to maximise their potential. The University’s Business and Management studies were ranked second among modern universities by research power, according to the Times Higher Education. But education is only impactful with enough support. Here, Portsmouth provides outstanding additional support, from academic skills tutoring to mentoring schemes, library workshops, and well-being initiatives.

Programmes like BA (Hons) Business and Management and BA (Hons) Accounting with Finance empower students with the knowledge and professional skills for successful careers from day one. For example, students work with industry-standard software and have the opportunity to undertake additional CV-enhancing certifications, such as the Bloomberg certificate and MSO Excel certificate. As an accredited course, Accounting with Finance exempts students from ACCA, CIMA and ICAEW professional examinations. To learn more about the University of Portsmouth’s Faculty of Business and Law, head to its Instagram page here or order a prospectus here.

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International