BA (Hons) in Applied Business and Management

Available to payroll and pensions professionals who wish to further enhance their work based skills and knowledge in relation to generic business and management, the BA (Hons) in Applied Business and Management (CIPP) builds on your industry knowledge and skills to take your capabilities to a strategic level.

The qualification is aimed at professionals who are in, or aspire to be in, a managerial position within their organisation and are responsible for strategic decisions and change which benefits the organisation as a whole.

It will not focus on the legislation or technical skills associated with payroll and pensions as these are assumed, instead, it will cover topics such as project management and how to manage change successfully within an organisation.

Once successfully completed you may choose to enrol on the MSc in Business and Reward Management.

The BA (Hons) in Applied Business and Management (CIPP) also helps towards meeting the criteria in order to apply for Individual Chartered Status.

Who is this qualification aimed at?

Those who already hold professional qualifications and want to further develop and enhance their strategic knowledge and value within their organisation.

Why should you invest in the qualification?

This qualification is designed as a top up to the CIPP level five qualifications and will give you increased confidence to question and challenge decision making, and make recommendations which could lead to improvements in the workplace.

The qualification builds on existing skills and knowledge for managers, or aspiring managers. Work based project and assignments allow you to apply what you have learnt in your daily role, benefitting your organisation.


The BA (Hons) in Applied Business and Management qualification covers the following modules and indicative areas of study:

Enhanced leadership

The ability to:

  • Lead with confidence
  • Be a resilient leader
  • Be a connecting leader

Managing change

  • The process and classification
  • Organisational learning
  • Leadership and management
  • The nature of business organisations
  • The nature of governance and change
  • Power and politics in change
  • Organisational culture and change
  • Teams and organisational change
  • Structure and change
  • Change interventions
  • Management theory and strategy

Project management

  • Assess the various definitions and characteristics of a project
  • Explore why organisations in different sectors need to engage in projects and consider different types of project
  • Evaluate the implications of the ‘project management triangle’ of scope, time and cost
  • Demonstrate an understanding of external business environmental factors and how they may affect a project (PESTLE)
  • Appreciate the various stages of project management and understand the various stakeholders involved
  • Examine critical success factors and ways in which projects may fail
  • Evaluate current IT availability and its application to project management

Finance for professionals

  • Understand the nature of accounting: financial accounts, accounting statements, adjustments, cash flow
  • Understand the nature of company finance
  • Evaluate accounting information and service
  • The facilitation of operational and financial control
  • Analysis and interpretation of financial reports
  • Management accounting

Work based investigation

  • The basis of management research and the different foundations for the development of knowledge
  • Methodology and research strategy in terms of research approach (inductive vs. deductive); types of data (qualitative vs. quantitative), access to data (e.g. sampling strategies) and quality of data (e.g. validity or situational)
  • Research methods: the tools and techniques used to identify data sources, capture, record and analyse data

Students will identify a relevant area for investigation within their workplace related to their field of academic study.  Students will be expected to present the rationale, objectives, outline the methodological approach and any associated ethical issues, all resulting in SMART recommendations to the benefit of their work place.


The BA (Hons) in Applied Business and Management programme is an 18 month course which the University of Derby runs in collaboration with the CIPP. The majority of material will be studied at home and supplied through the student website. However, students will be required to attend tutorials at the University of Derby where they will have opportunities to apply the learning to work based scenarios during the 18 months study. 


Recognition of Prior Learning (APEL)

BA (Hons) in Applied Business and Management (CIPP) – allowing students who do not hold one of the desired entry level payroll qualifications direct access to the qualification based on other qualifications that they hold, and/or their previous experience in payroll and/or pensions.

As advised by the University of Derby, APEL can be:

  • Certified – to give recognition of learning which has been formally assessed and for which a certificate has been awarded
  • Experiential – to recognise that knowledge and skills can be developed through many types of experience, such as work and voluntary activities

Enquirers must hold at least three years’ experience within a business, payroll or pensions environment. In addition your experience should include strategic aspects such as project management, managing change and team leadership. This is subject to final assessment by the University of Derby/CIPP.

If you are unsure about which qualification route is the right one for you click here for payroll or pensions, call 0121 712 1010 or email us.

How much does this cost?

Full price: £4,699

This is a University of Derby qualification professionally endorsed by the CIPP.  Upon receipt of your completed form your enrolment will be processed and you will receive an invoice from the University of Derby.

These prices are for the duration of the course of study.  

What do my fees include?

  • Access to the University of Derby student website which provides:
  • Discussion forums so that students can support each other and tutors can respond to any questions that students may have
  • All core study material
  • A module tutor to provide you with support through each subject during your studies
  • All tuition and study materials
  • Dinner on the first evening only
  • Lunch at tutorials
  • University registration and University of Derby student card

Student loans

Due to changes in HEFCE funding, students enrolling on the Foundation Degree in Payroll Management, Foundation Degree in Pensions Administration and Management and BA (Hons) in Applied Business and Management for the autumn 2012 intake onwards are eligible for student loans to assist with funding these qualifications.

Student loans are available to all self-funding students in England who have not had a student loan previously. They are not based on, nor do they affect, your credit rating.

Students living in Scotland or Ireland are not currently within the student loan process. Students looking for public support to assist with funding these qualifications should apply for a part time student grant from their respective government body.

The benefits of a student loan to an individual would be:

  • No requirement to pay course fees upfront
  • No re-payment unless you reach the gross earnings threshold for student loans being £21,000 – from September 2012
  • Repayments only commence following completion of the qualification
  • You only pay back the equivalent of 9% of your earnings in excess of the gross pay threshold
  • No effect on your credit history
  • No re-payments due should you not be in work
  • No time limit for payment of the full loan
  • Gain an industry recognised University accredited qualification which is supported by a Chartered Institute
  • No credit check takes place and the loan is automatically available on the basis of the qualification being recognised by the Student Loans Company

Further information on student loans can be viewed here.

Students applying for a student loan must do so through the Student Loan Company. Application packs will consist of the part-time Tuition Fee Loan application form (for new students starting their course on or after 1 September 2012), along with notes and guidance to help students with their application. Information can also be found here.

Please contact the education team on 0121 712 1010 or before completing the student loan application to obtain the correct information.

To download a student loan application form, please the Student Loan Company website.

Key information

Enrolment details for the Autumm 2018 intake will be added here in due course. Please register your interest on this qualification if you are interested on enrolling onto the Autumn 2018 intake.

Use the CIPP's business case template to gain approval for CIPP qualification:

BA (Hons) in Applied Business and Management - Business Case Study

For more details email