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What can I do with a Degree in Hospitality Management?

Hospitality management graduates are highly employable, applying their skills to careers in events, hotel and conference management, sales and business development.

Top Career Opportunities in Hospitality Management (more…)

5 Achievable New Year’s Resolutions for Happier Living

It’s a fresh year and a fresh start – a new year gives us all the opportunity to make changes in our lives. Here are 5 New Year’s Resolutions that will make you happier in 2018.

  1. Take a digital detox

Many of us can no longer focus on a simple task without reaching for our phones. Set aside 30 minutes a day for technology breaks and unplug from all your devices – computer, iPad, laptop, phone etc. Temporarily disengaging from emails, social media, and the internet is a wonderful way to recharge.

  1. Plan a holiday

A Wisconsin study showed lower levels of tension and depression among women who took holidays more frequently (once or twice a year) versus those who vacationed less often. In fact, it turns out that even simply anticipating a holiday can boost happiness for weeks, according to a Dutch study.

  1. Walk more

Walking 10,000 steps a day (or about 5 miles) is a low-impact way to improve your health. Download a free app to help you keep track of your daily steps. A study from the University of East Anglia found that those who switched from driving to walking or cycling to work benefited from improved well-being.

  1. Develop a sleep schedule

People who sleep for eight to nine hours a night tend to wake up happier. Get on a regular sleep schedule and your body will adjust, increasing the chances you’ll rest longer. Go to bed and wake up around the same time each day.

  1. Learn something new

Learning is a core need for our psychological well-being; it can help us build confidence and a sense of self-efficacy. That doesn’t mean we have to go back to school. You could take up a new hobby, learn a new language, or learn how to play an instrument. If a higher education or a degree has been your New Year’s resolution, you can still achieve it with online studies.

Two-year degrees: Another plan to raise tuition fees

As part of the mission for more flexible higher education, the UK government has announced plans to offer students accelerated two-year degrees. The cap for such courses will be increased from £9,250 to £11,100 a year. Students would take the same number of units and have the same amount of teaching and supervision, but degree courses would be delivered in one less year. Students would be expected to work more intensively through the year, with reduced holiday time to allow for a heavier workload. Will this initiative ease the debt burden on undergraduates?


A costlier option

If a two-year course were to take up 45 weeks a year rather than the standard 30 weeks a year, this could amount to a sizeable extra £1,350 maintenance loan per student per year. According to The Times Higher Education, the extra £5,550 tuition fee loan and the extra £2,700 maintenance loan could mean a bigger debt over the two years of more than £8,000 compared with the debt accrued by a student on a three-year degree.


The impact on mental health

The state of student mental health is a growing problem and two-year degrees are likely to exacerbate this situation. 50% of students say that financial worries have a negative impact on their mental health, and with fewer holidays and a more intense study schedule, the stress is likely to get worse, not better.


Compromise the learning experience

Compressing study into the shortest possible time is likely to impoverish the learning experience. Education needs time for thought and reflection and students cannot develop intellectually if they are under pressure to stuff facts into brains as fast as possible. Students would have far less time to think about, plan and write their assignments and will end up missing out on extracurricular activities or work opportunities if they have little spare time alongside studying.

The idea of increased flexibility in higher education is a good one; it is high time that we move away from the one-size-fits-all approach to university education and give students more choice and freedom over how they learn.

While two-year degrees may appeal to school-leavers as a way of saving a year’s tuition costs, they cannot be a feasible option for the demographics whose access to higher education is restricted. If you’re balancing employment and childcare with a full-time education, it’s unrealistic to squeeze any more into your schedule. In fact, the barriers to education may be put up even higher.

Top 10 Student Discounts in October

There are a lot of benefits to being a student – the biggest benefit is arguably all the student discounts you can receive. Use your NUS card to its full advantage.

Here is a list of the best student discounts we have spotted this month.


Accessorize – 30% student discount for a limited time.

Boohoo – Enjoy 20% student discount when you shop with Boohoo online.

Deliveroo – Enjoy £4 off your first order when you order online.

Microsoft – Up to 50% student discount off Microsoft Products. Students can also benefit from free delivery on all orders.

Pizza Express – Enjoy 40% student discount off your food and drink bill at Pizza Express on Mondays and Tuesdays, and 20% off your food and drink bill on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Sign up for an NUS extra card today and Pizza Express will treat you to an exclusive offer, £10 off when you spend £20.

Schuh –  For a limited time only, Schuh is offering students 20% off everything.

The Gym Group – Students can receive an 8-month membership for £99 – that includes the normal £20 joining fee.

The London Dungeon – Use your student discount code at the checkout to enjoy 39% off the full price ticket.

Thorpe Park – 48% student discount off the Fright Night Halloween Event. Offer valid from 29th September – 31st October 2017.

Warehouse – 20% student discount offer is available until 8th October.


To find out more about registering for an NUS card with Online Business School, click here. Don’t forget that the NUS card comes with a free ISIC card so if you’re an international student, you can still benefit from thousands of discounts.

A-Levels 2017: University isn’t the only option

For many years, university has been touted as the route to a successful career but since the tuition fee hike, many young people are reconsidering their plans to study for a degree. Given that the average graduate debt is at £50,000, it is not surprising that tuition fees are dampening desires to go to university. But fear not – there are plenty of viable alternative options to consider:

  1. Study a degree online

If you want to study for a degree but the high fees put you off, you could consider online learning. Online learning courses are comparatively low cost and a more affordable option to the traditional university route. In addition to this, you have the option to study flexibly so you can learn while you earn. With employers placing huge importance on work experience, the ability to gain this experience and study at the same time can have a positive effect on career prospects.

Earning a full Degree or MBA is a simple and low cost option with Online Business School. We provide students with the opportunity to can earn their diploma online and then top up to a full Bachelors or MBA degree through distance learning or on-campus through at a UK university. You can read more about our university pathways here.

  1. Start work

If you choose not to go to university, you can start your ascent of the career ladder much earlier than your peers. This is an opportunity to gain on-the-job experience and make valuable contacts. It’s up to you to acquire the necessary skills and training where you seek to be an expert. You could take an online course at home to increase your knowledge and make you more employable. And if you later decide that a degree will advance your career, then you could study online and earn while you learn.

  1. Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are a good way to combine practical training in a job with study. You will work alongside experienced staff and gain job-specific skills as well as get time for study related to your role. Roles are diverse and vary from engineering and boat building, to veterinary nursing and accountancy. Apprenticeships can take 1 to 5 years to complete depending on their level and you will gain a qualification.

  1. Gap year

If you’re not sure if university is for you or which career you would like to pursue, then you could take a gap year to reflect and focus on what you want to do next. A productive gap year can be valuable on your CV – that is if you use the time to gain new skills and experiences. You should form a plan of what you will do for the year whether it’s volunteering, getting work experience or travelling the world. You can earn and save money towards your higher education costs or future plans.

Understanding top-up degrees

What is a top-up degree?

Top-up degree courses are aimed at those who already hold a Foundation Degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND). They provide a route for students to achieve a Bachelor’s degree by enabling them to ‘top up’ their existing qualifications.

How long does a top-up degree take to complete?

Typically, topping up your foundation degree or HND to a BA or BSc will involve one further year of study. Part-time options are also available.

What are the study options?

Top-up degrees can be undertaken in a variety of ways, either full-time or part-time, online or on-campus. Study options are very flexible and depend on your personal circumstances.

Why choose a top-up degree?

  1. Study in your own way

Top-up degrees enable you to study in a way that suits you. This flexible approach to learning offers you a range of study options, from studying full-time with on-campus support, to studying by distance learning.

2. Earn while you learn

Top-up degrees are designed to meet the needs of those who have already embarked on a career. Distance learning programmes provide 24/7 access to your learning materials whenever and wherever you are, so you can study around your lifestyle and commitments – which means there is no need to reduce your working hours or take a career break. Earn a degree and money at the same time!

  1. Affordability

Costs vary depending on the university but fees for online degree courses tend to be notably cheaper than traditional degree programmes (as they are cheaper for universities to operate). Savings associated with top-up degrees also include accommodation and commuting costs.

  1. Better career prospects

A top-up degree can improve your career prospects and can lead to a promotion or salary increase. Earning a degree demonstrates advanced academic skills, organisational skills, and indicates to employers that you have the drive to succeed.

Top-up courses with Online Business School

Earning a full Degree or MBA is a simple and low cost option with Online Business School. We provide students with the opportunity to earn their diploma online and then top up to a full Bachelors or MBA degree through distance learning or on-campus through at a UK university. You can read more about our university pathways here.

Five questions to ask yourself before choosing a career

Choosing a career path is one of the most important decisions we have to make in our lives.

The average person will spend 72,000 hours at work over a 40-year period, so it’s absolutely essential to find a career that is the right fit for you.

Before making any career decisions, consider:

  1. What are your interests?

You may have heard it before: ‘Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.’ The people who are most satisfied with their jobs are usually those that enjoy what they do. When you’re passionate about what you do, you’ll be more motivated and feel more fulfilled.

  1. What are your personal strengths?

Consider careers where you could best utilise your skills and strengths. What are you naturally good at? Investing in your strongest skills will help you choose a job wisely and excel in it. You’ll more than likely enjoy a job if you’re good at it.

  1. What education or training do I need?

Education credentials often guide our career choices. Consider what qualifications you’ll need to pursue your desired career path. If it is likely that you will need additional training, think about how much time and money you’re willing to invest. There are plenty of inexpensive options such as online learning programmes to expand your career prospects beyond those defined by your education.

  1. What is the job outlook?

It’s important to know your job prospects before entering a profession; you don’t want to go through years of studying to find no jobs at the end. You want to avoid entering a dwindling industry, think about your long-term possibilities. Pursue a career with projected job growth, not one that will be obsolete years from now.

  1. What are your salary needs?

Salary shouldn’t be the deciding factor for a career choice but earning potential is a factor to consider. See if your salary expectations can be met within your career field so you can make an informed decision before embarking on a career path. Use a site like PayScale to figure out the average income of mid-career professionals.

How to avoid the top six most common job interview mistakes

It’s essential to use an interview to showcase your best qualities and ensure you’re memorable for all the right reasons. Here are the mistakes made time and time again by candidates.

  1. Failing to prepare

By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. Think about the questions you’ll be asked and go to the interview with a few anecdotes to show off your experience. Go the extra mile when researching the company – find out everything you possibly can. Familiarise yourself with the company’s online presence and make sure to research your interviewers on LinkedIn and Twitter.

  1. Asking no questions

To an employer, no questions signal no interest. An interview is a two-way street, you should ask questions as well as answer them. This is your chance to assess if this company is a good employer so ask the questions that occurred to you as you were doing your pre-interview research.

  1. Dressing inappropriately

The general rule of thumb is formal clothing. First impressions are, by definition, instant; before you have had a chance to discuss your experience, you have already been judged on your appearance. Play it safe and go for a suit; smart attire will demonstrate that you can fit into a professional environment.

  1. Criticising previous employers

You may have bad personal feelings about current/previous employers but never bad-mouth them in an interview. You don’t want to give a potential employer the impression that you’re difficult to work with. Be diplomatic and don’t draw attention to negative aspects of your current/previous job.

  1. Talking too much or too little

Don’t talk yourself out of a job. Stay composed and think before you answer, you don’t want to bore the interviewer. Make sure you give enough information but don’t waffle and miss the point.

  1. Negative body language

Body language can have a significant impact on how you’re perceived so think about how you express yourself. Maintain eye contact, sit up straight and mirror your interviewer. Be sure to smile, too!

Learn how to impress your interviewer in our blog: How to impress in your interview.

Top 10 Student Discounts in July

Balancing finances is one of the biggest challenges facing students, and that’s where we want to help. Every month we will highlight our favourite student discounts so you never have to pay full price again.

Amazon Prime – Amazon Student membership gives you One-Day Delivery on millions of eligible items for six months, unlimited streaming of more than 15,000 Movies and TV Shows with Prime Video, access to over a million songs and hundreds of hand-built playlists, with Prime Music. Plus, after the six-month trial, you’ll only need to pay £39/year for Prime membership (50% off).

Apple – Apple offers students special education pricing for Mac and iPad. You can save up to 10% on Mac and 5% on iPad.

Groupon – Enjoy a 10% student discount when you purchase a deal on Groupon.

McDonalds – Get a free Cheeseburger, Mayo Chicken or McFlurry Original with the purchase of an Extra Value Meal or Wrap Meal.

National Express – 26% discount on travel across the UK. The coaches serve all major towns and cities, as well as many of the main airports, direct to the terminal door.

Odeon – Receive an additional 25% off student ticket prices. Valid Monday to Thursday.

Pure Gym – Students can get up to 20% off gym memberships. Most classes are free and they’re open 24/7 with no contract and the option to freeze your membership if necessary.

Ticket Factory –  you’ll only pay a £1 fulfilment fee on the order which reduces the fees by more than 50%.

Zizzi – 30% off your total food bill every Monday & Tuesday, and 25% off your total food bill Wednesdays, Thursdays & Sundays. Offer available to 31st July 2017.

16-25 Railcard – if you’re aged 16 to 25, you can enjoy 1/3 off rail fares when you go by train. The Railcard costs £30 for the year and with your NUS card, you can save 12% off this cost.


To find out more about registering for an NUS card with Online Business School, click here. Don’t forget that the NUS card comes with a free ISIC card, so our international students can still benefit from thousands of discounts.


10 steps to writing a good CV

It’s that time of year again. You’ve graduated and now you’re job hunting – but so is everyone else. How do you set yourself apart?

A strong CV is your best chance to make a good first impression, so you’ve got to get it right. Here’s how.

  1. Presentation and layout

We live in a world where presentation is everything. Make your CV stand out by creating a professional-looking document. Ensure it is easy on the eye by using the correct font including size with sufficient white space to break up the text. Bullet points can help to divide the layout of your CV and enhance its readability.

  1. Keep it concise

Keep your CV to the recommended two pages. The aim of the CV is to get an interview, not to tell your life story. Employers spend, on average, just 8 seconds looking at any one CV. To keep their interest, you must be clear and concise.

  1. Tailor it to the role

Create a unique CV for every job you apply for. It is a huge mistake to send the same generic CV for every job application. You must tailor your CV to each role you apply for. Take the time to research the company and use the job specification to work out exactly what skills you should point out to them in your CV.

  1. Proofread

Errors on a CV demonstrate a lack of professionalism and will most likely lead to your application being rejected. Ensure attention to detail; use a spellchecker and ask someone else to double-check what you’ve written.

  1. Include key information

Personal details, including name, address, phone number, email address and any professional social media presence should be clear. It is not necessary to include a date of birth or a photo.

  1. Include a personal statement

The personal statement sits at the top of your CV and is the first section the employer will come across. Give a brief overview of the qualities you have to offer and reference your skills and experience ensuring they are tailored to the position. Keep it between 30-60 words and no more than 5 lines long.

  1. Avoid CV clichés

Buzzwords make your CV meaningless – employers see the same words used over and over again. Swap them for plain, factual statements to show you’re right for the job.

  1. Quantify your achievements

This is one of the most effective ways to attract an employer’s attention. Use metrics or results for at least 40% of the bullet points on your CV. Employers love to see numbers – they add credibility to your accomplishments.

  1. Don’t leave gaps

You need to account for recent gaps in employment. Employers will be suspicious if you conceal a gap. Instead show how you used the time constructively. Mention volunteering, training courses or creating your own project.

  1. Keep it up-to-date

It’s crucial to review your CV on a regular basis whether you’re looking for a job or not. Update your CV with new skills and experience as often as you can, so you don’t later forget something that could be important.

Learn how to eliminate mistakes from your CV in our blog: 14 CV mistakes to avoid.