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Business Management or Business and Marketing?

Business briefcase

So you know you want to do a business degree, but are struggling to choose between management and marketing… don’t worry, you’re not alone; this is a common problem for many potential business students. Here are a few steps that will help you choose which pathway best suits you.


Career aspirations

Ask yourself what you want to do when you graduate and what type of company you’d like to work for. Do you see yourself thriving in the fast-paced world of advertising? Perhaps you want to manage a team in a blue chip company? Or maybe your ideal job falls somewhere in-between. Visualising your ideal scenario will help you discover the right path to achieving that career.


Job prospects

Comparing graduate job prospects will help you understand where your degree can take you. Search for jobs containing descriptions and keywords such as ‘management degree’, ‘marketing degree’ and ‘degree’ on job sites to see what opportunities are currently available. This will help you understand the different graduate marketing and management roles (useful inspiration for when you’re studying) and will also give you an indication of your future earning potential.

Marketing is one of the fastest growing creative industries and it offers a huge range of advertising, sales, social media, design, analytics, events, communications and ecommerce roles. New types of graduate-level jobs are always being developed to keep up with advancements in technology and new marketing trends. Marketing tends to be more creative than management and there are more opportunities to specialise, e.g. Copywriter, Social Media Manager, Email Marketing Executive or Exhibition Organiser.

Management is a broader area of employment which offers opportunities in every type of organisation. Many graduates progress into management and consultancy roles but the versatility of a business management degree also means that many choose careers in related functions, such as Finance, Procurement, Business Development, Human Resources and Project Management. Don’t expect to walk straight into a senior-level role, you’ll still have to work your way up, but a degree provides a solid foundation which could lead to you managing your dream company.


Marketing vs Management

Pitch the marketing industry against the key aspects of management and write down all the things you like, or don’t like, for each. Seeing the pros and cons written down might make your decision clearer.



A business management degree tends to focus on the more authoritative aspects of business. You’ll learn how to plan, organise and strategise. There’ll be a focus on leadership and analysis so consider if this fits with your skillset. A business and marketing degree will cover the principles of business but obviously the focus will be on the practitioner side of business, through marketing and understanding consumer behaviour. There will be opportunities to be more creative but you’ll have to execute your campaigns rather than just considering the strategy, so consider if you’re someone who likes to look at the bigger picture or focus on the detail.


Compare modules

The easiest way to compare the two degree courses is to compare the modules that you will study. Universities will list the module information online so you can compare a BA (Hons) in Business Management with a BA (Hons) in Business and Marketing. Modules will vary between different universities so it is advisable to look at a few options. Both degrees cover the principles of business so there will be overlap, but there should be more specialist modules as you progress through the course. Look at these distinctive modules in detail to help you choose between the courses.


Don’t stress

Both of these degrees will equip you with business acumen and desirable workplace skills – there are few roles where knowledge of business would not be useful. Many marketing graduates go into management roles and vice versa so don’t get stressed if your career aspirations are quite vague at the moment. Both careers are filled with fantastic growth potential, plus there is always the option to continue your studies with a postgraduate or professional qualification after graduation.


The importance of a specific degree

One thing you should understand from the start is that both of our courses share a lot of core modules, meaning that whichever you choose to study you’ll graduate with a valuable undergraduate degree qualification. Both programmes will set you in good stead in a competitive job market but the main difference between the two pathways comes from the specialised modules that give you the edge in your chosen field.
Your career prospects will be dramatically improved (by approximately £500,000!) just by having any qualification. And this is especially true for a degree from University of Essex, which is ranked as one of the top 40 universities in the UK!


Want to learn more? Download our prospectus today