BA (Hons) Leadership, Business and Management (Top-up) - University of Portsmouth
BA (Hons)

Leadership, Business and Management (Top-up)

Become an effective manager and a confident leader

Course Overview

Why take this course?

The global economy is developing rapidly, providing new challenges and opportunities. Competition is fierce and organisations are looking for new ways to improve their creativity, innovation and efficiency. Focusing on strategic management issues and current and future developments in business, this ‘top-up’ course will enhance your existing knowledge about the dynamic and exciting world of business. It will provide you with the opportunity to acquire deeper knowledge and understanding of key business and management subjects that are highly relevant for any management career.

This nationally recognised academic qualification is delivered in partnership with you and your employer. Incorporating elements of your work into your learning, it will cause as little disruption as possible to your employment and help you to make a more effective contribution to your organisation, as well as improve your career prospects.

Find out more about this course and our facilities by attending one of our regular open evenings where you can meet teaching staff and current students.

What will I experience?

You will learn alongside fellow students from a variety of backgrounds, industries and disciplines which will broaden your knowledge and experience.  Your fellow students will form part of your future business network and you are likely to support one another long after graduation.

We aim to keep tuition fees as low as possible, offering extremely good value to employers wishing to offer their staff professional development and to those who want to prove their worth by achieving a higher education level honours degree.

What opportunities might it lead to?

This course is ideally suited as a career step into a wide range of management roles and responsibilities.  Our Purple Door Careers and Recruitment team will support you in developing the skills needed to pursue employment opportunities in your chosen career area.


Keeley Ormsby, business student

Ultimately I wanted to get this qualification to increase my confidence and achieve something that will boost my personal development.

Keeley Ormsby, business student


Business and Management

Find out what our students say about studying at Portsmouth, including:

  • Insight into different aspects of the business world
  • Lecturers who are experienced in their field and are passionate about sharing their knowledge
  • Excellent work placement opportunities and careers support

Browse all courses in Business and Management

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Structure & Teaching

Year One

Strategic Management is designed to help you to apply strategic management frameworks and concepts to the organisation in which you are employed. It will enable you to evaluate the future direction of your organisation. 

Topics include:

  • the academic field of strategic management
  • the strategic management decision process
  • strategic analysis of the external environment, internal resources and competences
  • business level strategy
  • corporate level strategy
  • international strategy
  • generating and selecting strategic options
  • methods of growth
  • managing change and reviewing past strategies

Improvement & Creativity will help develop your knowledge and understanding of the application of ideas, methodologies, processes and techniques for improving and sustaining the performance of organisations.

Topics include:

  • change management
  • performance measurement
  • operational improvement
  • Lean and Six Sigma
  • process management
  • employee engagement
  • embedding and sustaining change and improvement programmes
  • creativity in terms of organisational climate and techniques

Year Two

Critical Leadership: Theory and Practice covers traditional and current approaches to leadership and takes a critical approach which encourages you to debate accepted norms, to explore leadership practice within organisations and consider your own emergent leadership potential. 

Topics include:

  • leader vs. leadership and the leader vs. manager debate
  • traditional leadership theories, traits, functions, styles
  • leadership and followership models
  • implicit leadership and the romance of leadership
  • negative leadership
  • gender and intercultural leadership
  • leadership competencies and leader selection
  • training development and the assessment of leaders

Critical Thinking and Research Skills for Business will enable you to design a sound proposal for a piece of original research to be completed as your dissertation or independent study project in the final year. 

Topics include:

  • thinking and critical thinking
  • the nature of research
  • philosophical foundations of research – choice of perspective
  • methodologies and methods
  • accessing and reviewing literature as part of a student research project
  • using appropriate sources, including the library, internet and search engines
  • research planning and management
  • ethics and awareness of the wider environment
  • research design – producing a proposal
  • data collection and analysis – qualitative and quantitative methods
  • writing up research

You can then choose between:

The Dissertation which is a piece of independent research and builds on the skills developed during the taught part of the course. You will write up the results of your research in a dissertation of 10,000 words with tutorial support by a supervisor allocated to you depending on the subject area you have chosen. 

The Independent Study Project (ISP) is a piece of independent research which results in 10,000 words comprising several artefacts including learning logs and a reflection upon the process. Unlike the Dissertation, the work is more prescriptive and you will be directed towards the research topic, the expected output and structure. No primary research is undertaken in the ISP. Regular workshops are held throughout the teaching block and submission of the learning logs will allow the ISP tutor to provide formative feedback prior to submission of the final report.

We use the best and most current research and professional practice, alongside feedback from our students, to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.

Teaching and Assessment

Our approach to learning is friendly, supportive and participative with teaching taking the form of lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops and work-based learning. You will benefit from the diversity of students on the course, who come from many different business backgrounds, bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with each other.

How are you assessed?

We ensure a balance in assessment approaches to suit your differing learning styles. Here’s how we assess your work:

  • examinations
  • online activities
  • presentations
  • essay assignments
  • a 10,000-word dissertation

Tutor's view


Liz Sharples
Business and Management

This part-time, top-up BA (Hons) degree programme is designed to allow you to embark upon a balanced and inspiring journey that transcends through 'Strategic Management', 'Operational Improvement and Creativity' and 'Critical Leadership'; all innovatively delivered within our friendly and supportive environment.

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Facilities & Features

Academic Skills Unit (ASK)

ASK will help you become a successful university student. Our workshops are designed to improve a number of essential academic skills from essay writing and understanding plagiarism to revision and exam techniques. This is a great way to enhance your academic performance and make a smooth transition into university study.


We have invested heavily in open access computer suites across campus. Great working spaces with high-spec PCs (multimedia and CAD), Macs and printing facilities. There is also more specialised software and equipment available such as large format printing, audio-visual equipment and language laboratories. Should you need any assistance, there are specialist technicians on hand to support you in using the facilities.

University Library

Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.

Budgeting for your studies

There are extra costs associated with studying, which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.

Recommended texts:
If you wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow from the University Library, the average price is £50-£60. You may be studying up to 6 units a year, each with a standard recommended text.

General costs:
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for costs of photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

Final year project:
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose to develop.

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Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

Career prospects
Where next?

With this qualification under your belt, there will be a range of career opportunities within business open to you, including marketing, sales, administration, e-commerce, accounting and human resource management.

You will also be eligible to progress onto a relevant Master's programme offered by Portsmouth Business School, or elsewhere.

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

  • business development officer
  • recruitment consultant
  • emarketing executive
  • publicity officer
  • risk analyst

Work experience

Work experience
Employment boosting opportunities

This course is delivered in partnership with you and your employer. Incorporating elements of your work into your learning, it will cause as little disruption as possible to your employment and help you to make a more effective contribution to your organisation, as well as improve your career prospects.

Career planning

Career planning

To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.

Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.

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Apply now

Online application form

Apply direct using our online form

Your application will be received by the University's Admissions Team before being transferred to individual departments for consideration and processing.

Portsmouth Business School visiting opportunities

Portsmouth Business School holds regular open evenings for those interested in postgraduate and part-time study. For more information and to register please visit our events page.

International Students

Staff from our international Office regularly attend overseas exhibitions. To find out more about these and our visits to your region see our International Office exhibitions page.

Fees and Funding

Find out more about fees and funding available to you at Portsmouth.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.

University of Portsmouth
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Portsmouth PO1 2UP

T: +44 (0)23 9284 8484