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
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
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

Guru Careers: Solutions Consultant

£30 - 40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Solutions Consultan...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£30 - 35k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

Ashdown Group: Systems Engineer - Linux - Central London

£40000 - £48000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Engineer - Linux ...

Ashdown Group: Linux Systems Administrator - Windows, Linux - Central London

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Linux Systems Administrat...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power