Birkbeck's part time degrees require committment

Birkbeck College, part of the University of London, specialises in part-time study and, in common with other institutions, is seeing a rise in applications to its management studies programmes.

Birkbeck offers a foundation programme in management studies plus three four-year BA programmes: Organisation of Work, Economics and Labour Law (popular with those working in the trade union sector); Management; and Accounting and Management. There's also a BSc in Information Systems & Management for the more IT-minded.

There are currently 200 students on the different management programmes and it's recommended that would-be students put their applications in early. The first selection evening is held in April, followed by further events throughout the year. There are no formal entry requirements for those over 21 (and over 95 per cent of Birkbeck's students are between 25 and 45), beyond a compulsory maths and essay test.

But this is no easy option: Birkbeck's courses are taught and examined to the same level as the rest of the University of London.

"We make it clear from the outset this is hard," says Dr Linda Trenberth, director of undergraduate programmes in Birkbeck's school of management. "Our students are often juggling a family, a full-time job and part-time study. Some of them come through amazing difficulties, including real family traumas, yet they are still able to support their families, keep their jobs going and sit exams. They're a special breed."

It certainly requires commitment to meet the demands of the four-year course. Students must attend three evenings a week, between 6pm and 9pm, and undertake private study and coursework. As yet there is no distance learning option, although Birkbeck is looking at this.

The course covers everything-you-ever-needed-to-know about management, from accounting, economics and capital markets to marketing, HR management and commercial law. Graduates go on to work in a wide range of organisations, in business and the public and non-profit sectors.

This is certainly the hope of Arik Benichoy, 27, who is currently awaiting the results of his BA in accounting and management. Benichoy, who works full-time as a security supervisor for an airline, hopes the degree will help him move into airline management.

"I heard about Birkbeck from some colleagues who said the hours were good if you're working," he said. "Even so, it's a big commitment. It's not easy and even though my English is good, at first I struggled with the terminology. But the college staff gave me a lot of support and were available when I needed help."

"Because I do shift work I was able to be flexible and the airline was good enough to give me time off for my exams," says Benichoy. "The college has a great library and computer facilities that are open until late.

"I'm thinking of doing a Masters in airline management next. I feel this will give me a competitive advantage because it will give me a focus to build on the broad knowledge of the first degree. However, I may have a year off first because it really is very intensive."

The lowdown

Birkbeck College is based in Bloomsbury, central London, and is part of the University of London.

The undergraduate management programmes last four years and involve three evenings of tuition a week.

The college waives its normal entry requirements for those over 21 (although there is a maths and written English test). Those under 21 need to meet the normal university entry requirements, typically two A-levels or four AS-levels.

The fees are £1,086 per annum.

www.bbk.ac.uk

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: We are currently looking for a Geog...

Tradewind Recruitment: Phase Co-ordinator for Foundation and Key Stage 1

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Phase Co-ordinator for Foundation and Key S...

Tradewind Recruitment: SEN Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: SEN Teacher We have a fantastic special n...

Tradewind Recruitment: History Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an 11-18 all ability co-educat...

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links