In France, students have a number of options for choosing the course they want to follow, especially in the fields of business, marketing and management. Once they have passed their baccalauréat, young people can opt for a Bachelor's degree or a BBA from a business school. But how do they choose between the two courses? What are the differences between a Bachelor's degree and a BBA for a student who wants to go to business school? Find out here all you need to know about these two most sought-after programmes at French business schools.

Bachelor and BBA: what are the differences?

Bachelor's degrees and BBAs (Bachelor of Business Administration) are increasingly popular with students. In fact, many students are turning to business schools that are accessible after the baccalaureate in order to obtain professional training . Previously, jobs with responsibilities in marketing, international trade and management were mainly accessible after 2 years of preparatory classes, followed by 3 years at a grande école.


Today, the hundreds of business schools established in France accept post-baccalaureate students via a selection process involving written and oral tests. Students can opt for a Bachelor's degree in various fields or a BBA (Bachelor of Business Administration) . The names of these programmes are similar, but there are important differences between them.


The main differences between a Bachelor's degree and a BBA are the length of the course , the teaching methods used and the international scope of the programme. Let's take a look at these differences to understand the specific features of the Bachelor's and BBA programmes offered by business schools in France.

Bachelor's and BBA: different lengths

The main difference between a Bachelor's degree and a BBA is the length of the course. A Bachelor's degree is a 3-year post-baccalauréat programme. It offers students a short course that enables them to enter the world of work quickly or to continue their studies and move on to a Master of Management or Master of Science, for example. It is also important to note that the Bachelor's degree is part of the European LMD (Licence-Master-Doctorat) system. This is used to standardise the various higher education courses offered throughout Europe.


The BBA is inspired by Anglo-Saxon countries, with a 4-year programme. This course is longer, but is designed to give students a more professional approach. Thanks to the professional experience they have already acquired, they can quickly find a job abroad after completing the course. Of course, this does not mean that students with a Bachelor of Business Administration cannot go on to a Master's degree. It is entirely possible to join a Master of Management or Master of Science programme after the 4 years of the BBA. In fact, this is one of the common points between the Bachelor and the BBA.

Bachelor's or BBA: what are the differences?

The Bachelor and BBA programmes are also distinguished by differences in curriculum. Of course, the specifics of each programme vary from one business school to another. On the whole, however, the Bachelor's and BBA programmes begin with two general first years. These enable students to learn the basics of marketing, management, law, finance and business management through theoretical courses and practical work. In fact, there are many Bachelor's degrees that students can choose from according to their preferences. Some Bachelor's degrees focus on engineering sciences and data analysis, while others prepare students for careers in the arts.


However, the BBA offers students the opportunity to choose options from the second year of the programme in order to develop specific skills that align with their career plans. Some business schools, such as emlyon business school in Lyon, give students the opportunity to study abroad from the second year of the programme. They can study for a fixed period at one of the school's international campuses.


Then, the third year, which is also the last year of the Bachelor's programme, aims to specialise students. Students in the Bachelor's programme are preparing for an imminent career with group projects and real-life situation to develop their skills. BBA students have more time to devote to the various teaching methods that structure the programme. To give just a few examples, business games, flipped classes, group projects and e-learning structure the daily lives of BBA students.

Going international: a BBA for longer experience abroad

In addition to the differences in courses, the BBA does not have the same purpose as a Bachelor's degree. The BBA aims to give students a more international outlook . The programme can be in English or French. The BBA is the ideal choice for students who want to benefit from an international education that prepares them for a career abroad, particularly in an English-speaking country.


It should be noted, however, that some Bachelor programmes also offer a curriculum in English. However, the international dimension of a Bachelor's degree is limited by the length of the course. Students can travel abroad and visit international campuses , but not for as long as BBA students. In fact, the majority of the Bachelor of Business Administration course can be taken abroad. Internships in companies abroad, visits to international campuses and exchanges with partner universities punctuate the 4 years of the BBA.


The BBA's international outlook boosts students' employability both in France and abroad. In fact, not all of them go on to work abroad after graduation. Recruiters in France are also looking to employ people who have gained international experience during their professional training.


The international dimension is therefore an integral part of the Bachelor's and BBA programmes, particularly the BBA. Graduates are prepared to practise their profession in a multicultural context , with or without expatriation. The reputation of these courses encourages American, Australian and Canadian companies to open their doors to these graduates.


Ultimately, students have no barriers. They can shape the career path they want to take, whatever their destination.

Further study after a Bachelor's or BBA degree

A Bachelor's or BBA degree does not necessarily lead to a job. In fact, many students prefer to continue their studies in order to obtain a higher-level degree. Why do they do this? Continuing your studies after a Bachelor's or BBA has many advantages for students. They have the opportunity to deepen their knowledge and skills by specialising in a specific field. They also develop skills that are actively sought after by recruiters around the world. Their objective is to be able to aspire to positions of high responsibility later on, such as joining the management of a company.


Further study after a Bachelor's or BBA generally leads to a Master's degree, an MBA (Master of Business Administration), a Specialised Master's degree or even a Doctorate. Holding a higher-level degree enables students to qualify for positions that are usually inaccessible with a Bac +3 or Bac +4. As a result, students also increase their value on the job market and therefore the pay they can expect to receive.


Continuing your studies is also an opportunity to stand out in an increasingly competitive job market. Even if students with a Bachelor's or BBA degree quickly find a job in their preferred field, some positions are more competitive than others. Demand is sometimes higher than supply. In this case, the most interesting profiles with a prestigious academic background are more likely to be selected.


These are not the only reasons for continuing your studies. Continuing after a Bachelor's or BBA degree also allows you to grow in maturity, deepen your knowledge, improve your language skills, discover different cultures and meet new people. A longer university course is also an opportunity to develop your professional network so that you can take advantage of better opportunities in the future.


Joining a Master's, MBA or similar programme is a great way to broaden your international experience , for example through exchange programmes. Graduates can continue their studies by immersing themselves in another country and joining one of their school's international campuses, for example. Business schools' partner universities also welcome students who wish to continue their studies.


There are several routes available after a Bachelor's or BBA, whatever the student's level of professional experience. The type of study chosen depends on the student's preferences and plans. Below is a non-exhaustive list of possible studies after completing a Bachelor's or BBA degree at a business school :

  • MSc in Leading Sustainable Transformations ;
  • MSc in Global Sales Excellence ;
  • MSc in Digital Marketing & Data Science ;
  • International MBA ;
  • MSc in International Marketing & Business Development.


A Master's degree or Master of Science (MSc) is generally the most common choice for graduates of a Bachelor's or BBA. A Master's degree takes 1 or 2 years to complete, depending on the specialism. It is the ideal choice for students who want to specialise and move into positions of responsibility . Next comes the MBA (Master of Business Administration), lasting 1 or 2 years, for those who want to develop their management skills further. As for the Specialised Masters, this course is generally accessible after a 4 or 5-year degree. The 12-month programme enables students to boost their careers by preparing them for a wide range of professions.


Of course, the choice of studies in which to pursue higher education depends on each student's personal goals and professional ambitions. It's important to bear in mind that this is a personal investment. The best thing to do is to contact the various business schools and find out more about the programmes they offer after a bac +3 or bac +4 degree.

Focus on the Global BBA

Now that the differences between the Bachelor's degree and the BBA are clearly established, let's focus on the Global BBA. This is a degree-level programme that is becoming increasingly popular in France. Its aim is to prepare students for a career in international business. The Global BBA is a Bachelor's degree in management sciences that awards a postgraduate diploma in international management.


Students who complete the Global BBA become holders of a Bachelor's degree with the "State-controlled" label. This label guarantees the quality of Global BBA teaching and recognition of the diploma. It can be awarded to any higher education programme that meets the academic quality criteria required by the State. Both public and private institutions are eligible for this label.


The admission requirements for the Global BBA are flexible to allow as many students as possible to enrol on the programme. It is open to all baccalaureate holders, whatever their speciality. Admission is by competitive examination. After making their applications on the Parcoursup platform, students must pass the written and oral tests before they can be admitted. Baccalaureate holders are not the only ones who can apply for the Global BBA. The course is also open to holders of a bac +1 or bac +2, also on a selection basis. What's more, the Global BBA is accessible via VAE (validation of prior learning).


The Global BBA programme is taught in English or French , depending on the business school. Many schools in France, such as emlyon business school, offer the Global BBA. This programme is particularly popular with students. As far as the curriculum itself is concerned, the Global BBA emphasises international experience. Students are encouraged to undertake placements abroad, exchanges at partner universities and stays at the school's international campuses. In fact, most of the Global BBA programme can be completed entirely abroad.


Finally, the Global BBA trains students for the professions of the future by teaching them the skills that are actively sought after on the job market. A variety of teaching methods are used for this purpose. E-learning, group projects and flipped classes are regularly used to facilitate student learning. The possibility of obtaining a double degree with the Global BBA also enhances the competitiveness of graduates.

Differences between a Bachelor's degree and a BBA: what should you bear in mind?

In short, the Bachelor's degree and the BBA are two higher education programmes accessible after the baccalauréat. Both prepare students for an international career by providing them with key skills. However, there are major differences between the two programmes. The Global BBA is a longer programme lasting 4 years, with a longer period abroad, whereas the Bachelor's degree is generally offered in 3 years by business schools.


As for teaching methods, the Bachelor takes a more academic approach with theoretical courses, whereas the BBA offers professional training focused on putting acquired skills into practice.