International Business and Economics

BSc (Hons)

In a globalised environment, economics can unlock answers to some of the biggest questions faced by business and wider society. 

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type
Entry requirements

BBB (standard offer)

BBC (contextual offer)


4 years with integrated placement year (international students may opt out of the placement year)

UCAS code(s)


Start date

Course overview

From predicting the impact of Brexit to the implications of globalisation on local demand, the International Business and Economics degree will give you the tools to answer some of the biggest questions faced by business today from a global perspective.

You will develop an understanding of how businesses work from an international perspective, gaining analytical, transferable skills to evaluate international markets, and make informed decisions relevant to the world of business.

The course will introduce you to theories, models and methods in economics, brought to life and contextualised from a global perspective. 

You will learn from our business experts at Aston Business School which is part of an elite group of global business schools that hold the gold standard of ‘triple-crown’ accreditation from AACSB, AMBA and EQUIS. 

Our economics teaching team includes six winners of national teaching awards, the authors of the one of the best-selling economics textbooks and established researchers who bring up-to-date expertise to the curriculum. Two members of the teaching team have also acted as assessors at graduate recruitment sessions for the Government Economic Service (GES). This gives you a unique opportunity to learn from people who have an input into the hiring decisions of the largest employer of economists in the UK.  

Millan Chauhan

"I completed my integrated placement year in audit at Mazars where I learnt a great deal, it was a very rewarding chapter of my university life. Having a years’ experience already in the financial services was a contributing factor in getting my current role as an Investment Analyst and has become a highly sought after pre-requisite in today’s job market."

Millan Chauhan
BSc (Hons) International Business and Economics
Investment Analyst, YOU Asset Management

Why International Business and Economics at Aston University?

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Professional accreditations
This programme leads to accreditation or exemptions from several professional bodies, including CII and CIMA
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Earn more
Our graduates are among the highest paid in the country, earning on average £36,100 five years after graduating (Longitudinal Education Outcomes, 2023)
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Safe in our hands
Ranked 25th in the UK for'graduate prospects – outcomes' (Complete University Guide, 2024)
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Gold standard teaching
Aston University was awarded Gold - the highest possible rating for the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF, 2023)
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Recognised for quality
Aston Business School is proud to be among 1% of business schools worldwide with triple accreditation
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66th in the world
We’ve been ranked as 66th in the world for business and management studies (QS World University Rankings By Subject 2024)

Course description

BSc (Hons) International Business and Economics

This degree will develop your theoretical and technical skills with an international perspective, meaning you can progress to a career in a broad range of settings in business, finance, the public and the third sector. Our alumni have gone into roles such as a data analyst or international economist, and many have joined graduate schemes with high profile businesses. 

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What we will provide
First class teaching in the UK’s second largest city. We have an international reputation for excellence in teaching and learning and our inspirational teaching staff are co-authors of one of the leading textbooks in economics used by many UK universities. Six of our teaching staff are recognised with awards for teaching and learning in economics. Members of the teaching team also contribute to A -GamE, a centre established at Aston to share best practice in the use of games, experiments and simulations in teaching.  

We are also an Adobe Creative Campus meaning you will have access to top-notch software licenses, including Adobe and Solidworks, commonly used in industry.

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What you will provide
A curious mind and an interest in the world of business. It is important you learn how to adapt a growth mindset to your studies – understanding that intelligence and success come from applying yourself, a willingness to learn and an ambition and drive to excel.

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What skills we teach
We put a strong emphasis on analytical and quantitative skills which are highly valued by graduate employers. Furthermore, you will be able to work in teams and communicate economic and business concepts as well as analysis to non-specialists.

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Placement year
Taking a placement year will boost your employability – it’s what makes Aston University graduates some of the most employable in the country. Many of our students obtain graduate positions with the same employer that they completed their placement with. 

The Aston placement year forms an integral part of your educational journey and gives you the chance to put theory into practice, gain relevant work experience, and develop professional and transferable skills.  

It is compulsory for all home students. International/EU students can request permission to opt out of the placement year, but we strongly recommend that it is completed where possible. An alternative to a work based placement is the possibility of studying abroad.

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Career prospects
As an economist specialising in international business, you will be open to a diverse range of different jobs and careers. Some graduates work in different posts in multinational businesses or as economists, for example in the Government Economic Service (GES). Others opt to go into consultancy, finance, banking and a wide range of other graduate schemes and public sector roles. Economists have flexibility.

How you will learn

We adopt an innovative range of teaching and assessment methods including in-class games and continuous assessment. Assessments are also designed to reflect the type of task you would typically undertake in a graduate job. Examples include consultancy reports, briefing notes and team work.

At the start of your course, you will be allocated a personal tutor; this member of academic staff can offer individual study advice and guidance and is there to help support your studies. Module tutors are also on hand to answer any questions and all modules are recorded so you can revisit and listen to the lecture.  

Through case studies, real-world examples and challenges, you’ll explore international business and economics in an applied context and your placement year gives you an opportunity to develop your employability skills further. 

In addition, lectures from business leaders and mentoring programmes keep the focus on the application of knowledge, rather than the collection of theories. Our high-profile Visiting Professors – some of the UK’s leading business leaders – also share their vast experience with our students and provide us with unique insights into what they look for in students and graduates.  

Traditional teaching is supported by our virtual learning environment, which hosts a range of electronic supporting materials. You have access to the University Library which has over 25,000 books and a wide range of electronic journals. 

What you will learn

The degree will provide you with the ability to think rigorously about situations and problem solving, alongside the opportunity to learn technical skills. You will learn about economic theories and business models and build on your analytical and mathematical skills to understand how to solve a breadth of issues in business and wider society.

First year

Your first year is designed to give you core foundations in micro and macroeconomics, mathematics and statistics as well as from day one applying economic concepts to a diverse range of real-world issues. In addition, you will be introduced to a range of important wider business concepts.

Second year

You will develop a detailed understanding of economic theories and international business strategies. In addition, you will learn to perform data analysis using quantitative methods and computing techniques. The modules will lay a solid foundation towards your final year studies. 

Placement year

The Aston University placement year forms an integral part of your educational journey and gives you the chance to put theory into practice, gain relevant work experience, and develop professional and transferable skills. Our award-winning careers and placements team are on hand to support you through every step of your placement journey.

Placement stories

This course offers an Exchange Partnership Second Degree Pathway, meaning you could study overseas at one of our partner institutions during your placement year and graduate with two undergraduate degrees for the price of one.

Exchange Partnership Second Degree Pathway

Final year

In your final year, you will complete a research dissertation on a topic of your choice, showcasing your ability to conduct independent research with a clear consideration of ethics, theory and methods. 

You will continue to deepen your knowledge of theories and advanced quantitative techniques, with a strong emphasis on their application in a diverse range of international settings. Subject areas include International Trade, International Business and Strategic Management.

Tolu Olugunju Business and Politics student

My placement year experience

Tolu Olagungu completed two placements as part of his degree - at Redbull and Mercedes Benz. His experiences opened his eyes to the world of opportunities out there.

Course objectives

  1. Provides education and training in economic and international business concepts and theories.
  2. Provides core knowledge of quantitative methods and computing techniques for data analysis.
  3. Develops your ability to critically evaluate economic and international business theories and data analysis.
  4. Develops your ability to apply the concepts, theories and quantitative methods studied to business and policy decisions in a diverse range of international settings, whilst recognising important cultural differences.
  5. Stimulates an interest in economics and develops appreciation for its application to a range of real-world issues and its relevance in a variety of contexts.
  6. Develops a range of generic skills that will be of value in employment and self-employment such as team working and communication skills.
  7. Provides the knowledge and skills base required to proceed to further studies in economics, international business or in multidisciplinary areas that involve economics.


Modules and learning outcomes

Year 1 modules

In your first year you will study the following core modules:

Module TitleCredits
Introductory Accounting for Business15
Introduction to Organisational Behaviour15
Mathematics for Economics15
Statistics for Economics 15
Introduction to Marketing Management15
Applied Topics in Economics15
Principles of Macroeconomics15
Principles of Microeconomics15

Year 1 outcomes

On successful completion of the first year, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate understanding of key principles in economics.
  • Apply economic concepts and ideas to analyse a range of real-world issues.
  • Utilise basic statistics and mathematics techniques to solve simple economic problems.
  • Represent economic ideas graphically using appropriate techniques.
  • Demonstrate a foundation in a range of business disciplines.
  • Work effectively as an independent and self-managed learner to complete tasks by deadlines.

Year 2 modules

In your second year you will study the following core modules:

Module TitleCredits
Intermediate Microeconomics15
Intermediate Macroeconomics 15
Corporate Financial Management 30
Econometrics 115
International Business and Emerging Market Economies15
International Business Economics15

You will choose one of the following optional modules:*

Module TitleCredits
Econometrics 215
Business, Government and Society 15
Markets, Games and Strategy 15
Sports Economics and Finance 15
Business Management Simulation 15

*Availability of any optional modules will be subject to staff availability and a minimum number of students who express an interest in studying the optional modules.

Year 2 outcomes

On successful completion of the second year, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a knowledge of the fundamental principles of economics and international business.
  • Discuss the application of economic reasoning critically to the study of relevant problems and policies in economics.
  • Communicate economic and international business concepts, models and techniques in a clear and precise style.
  • Demonstrate detailed knowledge of business strategies and apply them in an international context.

Placement year modules

You will spend your third year on placement. You will be fully supported throughout the process by our award-winning Careers and Placements team.

Placement year

Module TitleCredits
Integrated Placement Year120

Placement year outcomes

On successful completion of the placement year, you will be able to:

  • Identify and analyse an issue or process relevant for the placement organisation using academic theory and/or techniques.
  • Recommend appropriate actions for the placement organisation.
  • Evaluate the use of academic theories and/or techniques in analysing issues, processes, and supporting recommendations.
  • Reflect upon and articulate your own learning, plan and implement strategies to build upon this learning.

Final year modules

In your final year you will study the following core modules:

Module TitleCredits
International Trade 15
Advanced Topics in International Business15
Strategic Management 15

You will choose at least one of the following optional modules:*

Module TitleCredits
Further Topics in Macroeconomics 15
Further Topics in Microeconomics15

You will choose four of the following optional modules (or three if you have chosen both of the above modules):* 

Module TitleCredits
Macroeconometrics (time series)15
Environmental Economics15
Competition Policy 15
Economics of Entrepreneurship 15
Fraud, Bribery and Corruption15
Derivatives 15
Financial Economics 15
International Finance 15
International Marketing 15
Sustainable Operations Management15
Behavioural Economics15
Ethics in a Crisis15

*Availability of any optional modules will be subject to staff availability and a minimum number of students who express an interest in studying the optional modules.

Final year outcomes

On successful completion of the final year, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a detailed knowledge of advanced concepts and theories in economics and international business.
  • Evaluate economic and international business theories.
  • Apply economic and international business reasoning to analyse policy and business decisions.
  • Develop a critical understanding of how organisations make effective strategic decisions to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage.

We regularly review our modules to provide the best possible teaching and learning experience, incorporating academic developments, student feedback and employer feedback.

There may be some change to some of the modules on this course for 2025/26 entry.

We’ll make sure to let you know of any changes to modules at the earliest opportunity by updating our course webpages. 
We’ll do our best to provide as much optional choice as we can, but timetabling constraints may mean it isn’t possible to take some module combinations. The structure of some courses means that the order of modules or the streams you choose may determine whether modules are core or optional. This means that your core modules or options may differ from what’s shown here.


Entry requirements

  • A Levels

    BBB (standard offer)
    BBC (with EPQ or Core Maths minimum grade B)
    BBC (contextual offer)

  • Contextual offers

    Aston Ready is our contextual offer scheme that could reduce your undergraduate offer by one or two grades. Assessed at the point of application, there are no additional forms to fill in.

Contextual offer criteria

BTEC Extended Diploma – DDD (standard offer)

BTEC Extended Diploma – DDM (contextual offer)

The University also accepts the BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate/BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma and BTEC Level 3 National Diploma/BTEC Level 3 Diploma for entry onto degree programmes, provided that they are studied in combination with other qualifications that are equivalent to three full A2 Levels.

31 points overall in the IB diploma with grades 5,5,5 in 3 higher level subjects.

You must also have Standard Level grade 5 in both Mathematics and English Language.

We accept the QAA-recognised Access Diploma which must consist of 45 credits at Level 3.

You must obtain a minimum of 30 distinction and the rest must be at merit or distinction.

Please note that we do not accept the English and Maths components within the Access qualification and you must meet the GCSE entry requirement.


The following T Levels are accepted qualifications for this course:

  • Design, Surveying and Planning for Construction - grade D
  • Digital Production, Design and Production - grade D
  • Education and Childcare - grade D
  • Onsite Construction - grade D
  • Building Services Engineering for Construction - grade D
  • Digital Business Services - grade D
  • Digital Support Services - grade D
  • Health - grade D
  • Healthcare Science - grade D
  • Science - grade D
  • Accounting - grade D
  • Finance - grade D
  • Management and administration - grade D
  • Design and development for engineering and manufacturing - grade D 
  • Maintenance, installation and repair for engineering and manufacturing - grade D
  • Legal Services - grade D 

5 GCSE grades A*/9 – C/4 to include:

  • GCSE Maths – grade B/5
  • GCSE English Language or English Literature – grade C/4
Year 1 entry: We may consider applicants for year 1 entry who are undertaking a first year degree elsewhere. You must meet the GCSEs and A Level (or equivalent) requirements as listed. In order to be considered you will need to submit a UCAS application as we do not accept direct applications and this must include an academic reference.
Year 2 entry: Please note that second year transfers are not part of the standard admissions process and is up to the discretion of the admissions team and tutor. Applications are only considered if there is space on that year of the programme. Typically, applicants for second year entry must meet the GCSEs and A Level (or equivalent) requirements as listed. Alongside this you must have successfully passed (or be expected to pass) your first year with 120 credits on an equivalent programme at another recognised university with very similar module content. The equivalency of the programme is reviewed by the Admissions Tutor and you will be required to provide an official copy of the programme specification of this. In order to be considered you will need to submit a UCAS application as we do not accept direct applications and this must include an academic reference.
Year 3 entry onwards: We will not be able to consider any application for Year 3 or final year. 

International students

Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students on many of our undergraduate programmes. Students from over 120 countries choose to study with us every year. Based in the centre of Birmingham, Aston is not only a great place to study, it’s also a great place to live.

Qualifications in your country

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification.

English language requirements

International students can enter at Year 2 of this course having completed an undergraduate year one programme at the required academic level with approved teaching partners ONCAMPUS Aston or NCUK.

Aston University provides a range of opportunities for international students to join our community and study on our campus. A key part of our strategy is our relationships with teaching partners, providing multiple pathways to Aston.

Aston’s professional work placements can improve your chance of securing a graduate job. Placements give you experience, confidence and opportunities and, as an Aston student, you’ll be better prepared for your future career. One of the great things about Aston is our focus on employability. Our close links with businesses, industries and professions make this possible.

Find out more about applying

Post-study work visa

Aston University welcomed the creation of a new Graduate Immigration Route which enables international students to remain in the UK for two years after you complete your studies to find work. This new post-study work visa applies to international students completing full-time undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Graduate Immigration Route

Fees and scholarships

Course fees

UK students

Annual tuition fees:£9,250
During placement year:£1,250

International students

Annual tuition fees:£18,250
During placement year:£2,500

Fees listed are for 2024 entry. For Sandwich courses the placement fee is £1250 for Home/UK students and £2,500 for International students. For Home students: Tuition fees for UK/Home students may change in line with government policy. When undertaking a placement year, a placement year fee applies. For International students: The International students fee is a fixed annual fee for the duration of the Programme, except whilst on placement when a placement year fee applies.

More information on fees

For Home students: Tuition fees for UK/Home students may change in line with government policy.

For International students: The International students fee is a fixed annual fee for the duration of the Programme, except whilst on placement when a placement year fee applies.


At Aston University we are committed to supporting the most talented and hardworking students to achieve their potential by providing a range of scholarships to help lower tuition and living costs.

Explore our scholarships 


Assessment is provided through a mix of coursework and examinations. Through case studies, real-world examples and challenges, you’ll explore international business and economics in an applied context and your placement year gives you an opportunity to develop your employability skills. In addition, you will also be assessed on your portfolio that will be produced as part of your placement experience. You will reflect on your experience and evidence your analysis of a situation identified within the placement organisation which draws on learning from your previous studies. 

Career prospects

Our BSc (Hons) International Business and Economics programme will prepare you for a range of careers across the public, private and third sectors. Our graduates are among the highest paid in the country, according to the 2023 Longitudinal Education Outcomes (LEO). This data shows that five years after graduation, employed Aston University graduates have the 15th highest median salary among all UK Higher Education Institutions, with a median salary of £36,100.

The transferable skills that our business and economics programmes provide mean that our graduates are successful in finding employment in a wide range of roles such as:

•    International Procurement Trainee
•    Chief Operating Officer
•    Data Analyst
•    Business Consultant
•    Foreign Exchange Money Market Dealer
•    Trade Fund Analyst
•    Policy Advisor
•    Management Consultant
•    Deal Assurance Manager
Our graduates have gone on to work at organisations such as TikTok, Lidl UK, HSBC, Barclays, KPMG, HMRC, GSK, the Royal Bank of Scotland, PwC, General Electric, Mazars, EY, the Cabinet Office, The House of Commons, and the Office For National Statistics.

Victoria Rogers Economics and Politics graduate

Mt graduate role at Microsoft UK

Victoria Rogers' passion for economics led her to Aston University, where she was supported to achieve her ambitions.

Aston Business School graduates achieve some amazing things - whether it's setting up their own businesses, landing competitive graduate schemes, or making real differences within their communities.

Hear from our graduates


Be part of our community

Once you have joined us at Aston University, you’ll always be part of our community, even beyond graduation.

Frequently asked questions

Why study international business and economics?

You will learn about the theories, models and methods in economics, brought to life and contextualised from an international perspective. This means you will develop your understanding and experience, such as your placement year, establishing relevant, transferable skills to help you launch your career.

How will a placement year benefit me?

Whether you choose to study abroad or do a work placement, Aston University’s links with employers and universities around the world mean you will have a wide range of options to boost your employability and explore the world of work.

Our work placements give you the opportunity to apply what you have learnt on your course while gaining valuable professional and paid experience. It can enhance your graduate employment prospects and help you to make more informed career decisions. Around one in five of our placement students are offered graduate jobs by their placement employer.

Find out more

Is Birmingham a good place to study?

Our campus is based in the centre of Birmingham, the youngest major city in Europe and a great place to live, work and study.

  • Great music and entertainment with a vibrant nightlife. Bars, clubs, pubs, live music, festivals, concerts. Whatever your tastes, there's something here for everyone.
  • Fantastic food. Birmingham's diverse community means you can try anything from the famous Balti triangle, the Chinese Quarter, high street chains, halal and vegan food, and Michelin-star dining.
  • World-class shopping. The Bullring and Grand Central is a shopper's paradise. From the world's biggest Primark to luxury brands at the Mailbox.
  • Arts and culture. Museums, galleries, theatres, concerts and Birmingham's art collection is as wide as it is impressive - not to be missed.
  • Green, open spaces. One of the greenest cities in Europe, Birmingham has hundreds of publicly accessible parks and green spaces across the city.
  • Sporting action. Birmingham has some of the most exciting venues for watching or participating in sport in the UK.

Discover Birmingham

What is the Exchange Partnership Second Degree Pathway at Aston Business School?

You can deepen your learning and stand out from other graduates whilst gaining a fantastic learning experience overseas. The Exchange Partnership Second Degree Pathway is similar to an exchange programme. During your placement year, you’ll follow a curriculum that sets you on track for our partner institution’s degree award. This means, if successful, you will graduate with two undergraduate degrees. Find out more.


Register your interest