Business in Combined Honours - information for current students only

Looking for Business courses starting in 2012?

All our Combined Honours courses have been replaced by new Joint Honours courses.  This will not affect existing Combined Honours students, or new Combined Honours students joining Aston in 2011.

Course information

The course specification below is provided for current students.

The degree aims to deepen your understanding of how businesses operate and to develop your ability to recognise and analyse the economic, technical, financial, social and organisational parameters within which modern managers make decisions.

After a common and broadly based first and second year you will choose topics for specialisation in your final year.

Jump to:

  • Subject guide & modules
  • Learning, teaching & assessment
  • Placement year
  • Career prospects
  • Personal development
  • Facilities & equipment
  • Teaching staff
  • Further information

Subject guide & modules


The first two years of business provide a broad coverage of all key business functions, allowing you to choose modules in your final year to specialise in your chosen field.

First Year

  • Principles of Financial Accounting: foundation in Finance and Accounting concepts; methods and statements; the interpretation of information.
  • Economic Environment of Business: the business enterprise, markets, prices and production, the advanced mixed economy environment.
  • Organisational Behaviour: the concept of "organisation" and the social scientific analysis of some of the issues of organisational life.
  • Quantitative Methods: introduction to the use of mathematical and statistical techniques in the business context.
  • Information Technology in Business: understanding of the role of I.T. in management and acquiring basic skills with the micro computer.
  • Business Decision Analysis: the examination of business problems using basic quantitative methods.

Second Year:

  • Operations Management: the nature and scope of operations management including product and service planning, design, organisation and control.
  • Marketing Strategy: the analysis of marketing opportunities, developing plans and communicating recommendations.
  • Business Economics: assessing the economic environment; implications for business of environmental changes.
  • Management Accounting: available tools and techniques to provide relevant financial and quantitative information for planning, control and decision-making.
  • Business Game: designed to ensure a synthesis of tools, techniques and knowledge drawn from a spectrum of managerial disciplines. Students will work in groups to run a company.
  • Business Policy: an introduction to the techniques available to firms to gain competitive advantage

Placement Year:

Our placement office in one of the largest Business Schools in Europe has extensive contacts to enable us to introduce you to organisations of the type with which you wish to develop your career. This is usually paid employment. The Business School encourages as many students as possible to undertake a placement as it is a definite advantage in gaining a job after graduation.

Final Year: 

Two core compulsory subjects:

  • Finance: the evaluation of long term capital projects and financing methods which fund the activities of the organisation.
  • Value-based Strategy: the development, evaluation and selection of major strategic thrusts.

Up to four optional subjects (See prospectus)

Placement year

The optional year of employment can provide you with experience of the area you are looking to go into and lays the foundation for your final year of study. It is highly attractive to potential employers and around 30% of our students are offered a job upon graduation by their placement year employer. You have the option to apply for a placement either in the UK or abroad. You can do this either by searching and applying for one yourself or looking through our comprehensive database on placements available (between 2,000 and 3,000 jobs are advertised every year). You will be required to attend a programme of preparation, support and advice to increase the likelihood of getting a placement.

Career prospects

As a manager you will be a problem solver, planner and leader. The Business programme aims to prepare you for these challenges. You will have the opportunity to develop the skills to deploy key resources such as people, time and money effectively and efficiently. Interdisciplinary Business graduates have a consistently strong track record in finding graduate jobs in the private and public sectors. This includes positions in management, finance, marketing, HR, administration and sales roles with companies such as the BBC, Co-operative Bank, Deloitte, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, HSBC, IBM, Jaguar Land Rover, KPMG, Marks & Spencer, the NHS, PWC and Tesco.

Personal development

Our business degrees are designed to also give you a range of transferable and practical skills to succeed within your chosen career. We make extensive use of group working and presentations to prepare you for the reality of working life. Such work develops your team working and negotiating skills.

There is the opportunity to develop professional skills and enhance employability by spending a year employed with an industrial, commercial or public sector organisation. It is therefore strongly recommended that you choose a sandwich programme including a placement. However, it should be noted that a placement is compulsory only for Interdisciplinary students if they are studying a language as one of their subjects.

Facilities & equipment

Our teaching accommodation has very recently been completely refurbished and all lecture theatres and seminar rooms are fully equipped with the latest teaching aids. Extensive use is made of our Virtual Learning Environment to help support your studies.

Aston Business School has dedicated computer suites for the exclusive use of its undergraduates including Combined Honours Business students. The university library facilities are extensive, modern and accessible and specialist staff are available to help you find the information you need.

Further information

Tel: 0121 204 4283; Email: ids@aston.ac.uk


Student Profile

Student Profile

Mr Francesco M. Montuori,

Business Administration & French

"Studying Business and French as combined subjects has been a great choice because it has widely opened my horizons in terms of learning, cultural exchange and career aspirations. You can experience the teaching of two faculties and gain a solid and varied academic background, which is very well regarded by employers."


Excellent Different Distinctive