About us: 20 years on in Management
From very modest beginnings in 1992, the Department of Management at Birkbeck has become the largest department in the College in terms of registered student numbers.
Our staff are truly international and, whether students come to the Department of Management at Birkbeck as an undergraduate, as an MSc student or to attain a PhD, they are exposed to a rigorous yet inspiring blend of theory, practice and cutting-edge research that equips them with the knowledge and skills applicable to the real world of business.
The establishment of the department
- The first cohort of undergraduate students commenced their studies in the Department in October 1992, enrolling on a portfolio of joint honours BA degrees in management and languages. Four years later, 219 undergraduate students from that cohort graduated.
- From the start, strong cross-disciplinary joint honours programmes have been a key feature of our department’s offer. Two of our earliest degrees were: the BSc Information Systems and Management, a collaborative programme with the Department of Computer Science and Information Systems, and the BA Accounting and Management – and they continue to attract a wide range of students.
- Such has been the success of our undergraduate programmes that, only 16 years after this first group of pioneering students graduated, the Department now offers to London’s working population the full portfolio of undergraduate management and business programmes available at the best British universities. And we are proud to say that, in 2011, 763 students chose to pursue their undergraduate studies with us.
A dynamic department – in more ways than one!
- For the first five years of its life, the Department was based in the College’s old Gresse Street building on the west side of Tottenham Court Road.
- However, in 1997, as a reflection of the extraordinary fast development of the Department, the then Master of the College, Baroness Tessa Blackstone, joined with Dame Vivien Duffield, philanthropist and Chair of the Clore Foundation, and the Secretary of State for Education and Employment to open the new Clore Management Centre (funded by a very generous grant from the Clore Foundation), a purpose-built teaching and research facility for the Departments of Management and Organizational Psychology, overlooking Bloomsbury’s Torrington Square.
- A further physical expansion of the Department’s course offerings took place in 2010, when we extended our offer of business and management programmes to Stratford, East London, as part of the overall Birkbeck Stratford initiative. Such has been the success of this venture that Birkbeck is currently establishing a permanent presence in east London and is working in partnership with the University of East London (UEL) to build a dedicated campus in Stratford, due to open at the centre of Stratford (next to the Theatre Royal and the Picturehouse) at University Square in autumn 2013.
- Like the Clore building before it, the building will become home to a growing number of students choosing to take Birkbeck courses.
- In 2002, we introduced a portfolio of foundation degrees to help us meet the lifelong learning needs of all Londoners, including those for whom direct entry into an honours undergraduate programme is not appropriate.
Our postgraduate portfolio
- We offer a great range of postgraduate programmes for students:
- In 1996, we launched our first postgraduate programme, the MSc International Business; the first 25 students graduated in 1998 and we’ve been delighted to see new graduates from this programme, every year since.
- We now offer a full portfolio of postgraduate business and management programmes; 563 students joined us to study them in 2011.
- The Department has seen a strong expansion of its postgraduate programme portfolio since the integration of the Department into the new Business, Economics and Informatics School structure in 2009, with especially strong development of programmes in the marketing and accounting fields.
New, accelerated undergraduate programmes
- The Department continues to evolve: we have now joined the UCAS system for full-time undergraduate students, with the first cohort of students due to commence their studies in four undergraduate programmes in October 2012.
- The Department has recently entered into international agreements with overseas universities in China and Thailand, as the international reputation of the College and the department grows. Seventy per cent of all postgraduate applications in 2012 have come from applicants based overseas.
- The Department is also leading on collaborative developments with professional bodies. For example, the Department has recently become a strategic partner with ICAEW, where students can put their ACA qualification towards a BSc Applied Accounting and Business degree and topping it up with the ‘softer’ transferable skills that business requires today.
- This combination of research and teaching excellence and flexible programme development lies at the heart of the Department’s offerings with the Department rated in the top 5 of UK universities in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise. The dynamic research culture is reflected by the fact that there are currently 40+ PhD students registered in the Department.
- We are committed to innovation and excellence across our educational programmes, research and are actively increasing our engagement with business and the professions.
The final word: from the Dean of the School of Business, Economics and Informatics
- As Philip Powell, the Dean of the School of Business, Economics and Informatics, says: ‘Birkbeck bravely launched its Department of Management in 1992 at the depth of a recession that saw unemployment peak at nearly three million.
- 'In the next 15 years the economy and the department flourished. These times laid the foundations for our current successes.
- 'In the last three years the Department has, despite the move back into recession, expanded its teaching portfolio significantly, providing nearly 70% more students with the opportunity to study management and its cognate disciplines.
- 'Further growth will involve links with professional bodies and the development of support for entrepreneurial activities. The Department’s research not only contributes to business success in the UK but is the cornerstone of its teaching programmes.’