There’s still time to apply to these London business schools

With the clock ticking on UCAS applications, we run through the top London universities where you can study business this year.

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Written and reviewed by:
Helena Young
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Gen Z has officially caught the entrepreneur bug. Research suggests a surge in business ambitions among young people, with many starting a side hustle and seeking to become their first boss.

For the next generation of company leaders, there are few places better to learn the tricks of the trade than London. As the country’s commercial centre, the city offers a wealth of opportunities for budding entrepreneurs aiming to make their mark – including through formal education at one of its leading business schools.

Below, we list the five highest-rated business and management degrees to study in London, based on data from the Complete University Guide.

Each program provides a unique path to hone your business skills, and is accepting applications until next Wednesday 31 January.

1. King’s College London

King's College London (1)

  • Number of business courses: 13
  • Typical course requirements: 93 – 152 UCAS points

Topping the list is King’s College London, located in the City of Westminster. Listed as the second-best school in the UK for business studies, it receives an overall score of 95% in the Complete University Guide’s ranking and a stellar score of 96% for graduate prospects.

KCL is host to numerous entrepreneur resources and schemes like the 48-Hour StartUp challenge, where students are pushed to develop and pitch a business idea in two days.

Graduates are also given access to excellent career support services, with the option to engage in work experience in your third year, helping you prepare for job interviews and navigate the professional world.

Notable entrepreneur alumni include William Foyle, founder of Foyles bookshop; Harriet Green, CEO of Thomas Cook Group; and, more recently, Josephine Philips, founder of the sustainable brand, Sojo.

2. University College London (UCL)

  • Number of business courses: 21
  • Typical course requirements: 136 – 168 UCAS points

Founded in 1826, UCL is a world-leading university based in central and east London. Ranked fourth overall for business studies in the UK, it scores 93% overall including 88% for its entry standards, which are famously high.

Outside the classroom, UCL boasts its own student-run incubatory called Venture Garage. Excitingly, there’s also the UCL Technology Fund, a student-managed fund that invests in early-stage startups founded by UCL students.

Away from the desk, UCL’s Students’ Union is one of the largest and most active in the UK. Its 400 clubs and societies cover everything from academic interests to hobbies and sports; no-doubt a big contributor to its high student satisfaction rate of 82%.

UCL graduates include Shou Zi Chew, CEO of global social media sensation, TikTok, and Demis Hassabis, co-founder and CEO of the Google-owned AI company, DeepMind.

3. London School of Economics and Politics (LSE)

  • Number of business courses: 2
  • Typical course requirements: 155 UCAS points

LSE applicants only have two entrepreneur-led courses to choose from; a Management BSc and the data-driven Mathematics, Statistics, and Business BSc. But there’s still plenty else on offer at the UK’s sixth best business school.

At LSE, you’ll join a vibrant hive of thought leaders and future disruptors. With a faculty at the forefront of cutting-edge business and economic thinking, it achieves the highest score overall in the Complete University Guide’s ranking for research quality at 89%.

This year, the LSE business department will also run four startup competitions. Entrants are encouraged to submit business ideas that have a social or environmental impact to win a share of £50k and business coaching to take their early-stage venture to the next level.

You’ll also walk the same halls as famed ex-LSE students including the Saatchi brothers, founders of Saatchi and Saatchi, and Tony Fernandes, the current CEO of AirAsia.

4. City, University of London

  • Number of business courses: 24
  • Typical course requirements: 144 – 159 UCAS points

Part of City, University of London, Bayes Business School ranks as the tenth best business school in the UK overall, and boasts a huge range of full-time bachelor degrees in subjects covering everything from finance and accounting to marketing and analytics.

Bayes’ USP is its placement courses, a four-year degree that offers students the opportunity to work in a professional setting for one year, gaining valuable experience for your CV and making vital contacts in the world of business.

All present and past students can also apply to ‘Pitch it Easy’. This annual startup competition with a cash prize of £30,000 to provide an early seed fund for your business idea, and run by Stelios Haji-Ioannou, founder of easyGroup and ex-student at Bayes.

5. University of the Arts London

  • Number of business courses: 3
  • Typical course requirements: 112 UCAS points

As you might expect from a university of the arts, UAL’s three business courses are designed to help graduates break into the creative sector – specifically, fashion.

Taught at the London College of Communication in Elephant and Castle, each program is designed to “develop leadership and entrepreneurial mindsets”, teaching students soft business skills such as presentation, budgeting, time management, and team working.

After graduation, you’ll also be eligible to apply to UAL’s Creative Business Accelerator, a six-month long programme of business development workshops offering guidance from seasoned entrepreneurs.

Fancy walking the runway alongside ex-UAL giants like Jimmy Choo? Submit your application before 6pm on 31 January.

Do I need to go to university?

Want to start a company, but unsure whether you need a business degree? An alternate option is to forego university altogether. More young people are applying to business apprenticeship schemes; a form of full-time study where you’ll be paid to learn.

University degrees are now almost a life-long tax on graduates. High interest rates means student loan repayment rates are increasing faster than many uni leavers can afford to pay the debt off.

Apprentices gain the same qualifications and are paid for their troubles. And, with the new minimum wage rates expected to be introduced in April 2024, apprentices are set to receive a huge pay bump of 21.2%.

Business owners are onboard, with many saying apprentices are more prepared for the workplace. Today’s employers are seeking to overhaul their recruitment processes to plug skills gaps, arguing that graduate workers are unprepared for work.

In fact, research from LinkedIn found there was a 90% increase in UK job postings not requiring a degree between 2021 and 2022.

Written by:
Helena Young
Helena is Lead Writer at Startups. As resident people and premises expert, she's an authority on topics such as business energy, office and coworking spaces, and project management software. With a background in PR and marketing, Helena also manages the Startups 100 Index and is passionate about giving early-stage startups a platform to boost their brands. From interviewing Wetherspoon's boss Tim Martin to spotting data-led working from home trends, her insight has been featured by major trade publications including the ICAEW, and news outlets like the BBC, ITV News, Daily Express, and HuffPost UK.

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