International Business and Modern Languages Mandarin Chinese BSc

Understand business from an international perspective and develop leadership qualities for cross-cultural working. With this course you will gain a truly competitive edge by studying business with the world's most spoken language and gaining an in-depth understanding of the Chinese market.

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type

Full-time

Course format

Integrated placement year

Duration

4 years with integrated placement year / 3 years without placement year only available for international students.

UCAS code(s)

NR15

Start date

Overview
Explore International Business and Modern Languages Mandarin Chinese at Aston University

Gain a competitive edge in tomorrow's global market.

International Business and Modern Languages (IBML) Programme Director, Dr Caroline Gray, explains some of the benefits of studying this unique course.

Aston alumnus, Christopher Dottie MBE, shares his success story of studying International Business and Modern Languages (IBML) at Aston University.

Be part of a school that unites the study of languages, literature, history, culture, politics and sociology to help you tackle the complexity of tomorrow's world.

Here's for the ones who do things differently and carve out their own path

Best University Careers Service Award

Here to support you.

Aston University recognised as the 'Best University Careers/Employability Service' at the National Undergraduate Employability (NUE) Awards 2020.

International Business and Modern Languages BSc testimonial 1

“My course was a vital part in shaping my career. My placement year working in communications for the defence and aerospace industry in Paris provided many job opportunities and speaking French was a real asset and differentiator in interviews. To some, changing roles or navigating large international companies can seem quite daunting, but the diversity, exposure and life skills gained during my degree really gave me the confidence to make the right decisions for my career progression.”

Isabelle Heath
Marketing Associate for the UK and Australia at Newton Investment Management

 

Aston Business School triple accreditation icon
International Business and Modern Languages BSc testimonial 1

“My course was a vital part in shaping my career. My placement year working in communications for the defence and aerospace industry in Paris provided many job opportunities and speaking French was a real asset and differentiator in interviews. To some, changing roles or navigating large international companies can seem quite daunting, but the diversity, exposure and life skills gained during my degree really gave me the confidence to make the right decisions for my career progression.”

Isabelle Heath
Marketing Associate for the UK and Australia at Newton Investment Management

 

Aston Business School triple accreditation icon

Course outline and modules

This international business degree offers you the chance to also specialise in specific markets and learn the language(s) and intercultural communication skills needed to navigate our diverse world.

You don’t need any language qualifications to start this course as Mandarin Chinese is only offered from beginner level.

The unique structure of this degree sets it apart for students who want to study business and languages together. The two halves of your degree will be equally weighted but also directly related, as you will develop language skills and learn about international business and different business environments in tandem.

What you’ll learn

What makes this course stand out is the focus on foreign markets and business in language classes as opposed to traditional literature or cultural studies. This means you’ll learn about business and economics in the language(s) you choose to study, developing not only the linguistic skills needed to communicate effectively in a business context, but also the intercultural awareness needed to work and communicate effectively in the global market.

Business modules that are taught in English have been developed for you to gain a broad perspective on international business and management, covering topics such as social responsibility and ethical practice in professional contexts.

Our modules are designed to stay at the forefront of business. As well as relevant knowledge, you’ll develop essential social and cognitive skills, such as adaptability, problem solving, interpersonal communication and creativity, which are all key to your employability.

International real-world experience

You’ll also have the opportunity to undertake an integrated work and/or study placement abroad to enhance your employability.

Professional accreditations

This programme may lead to accreditation or exemptions from the following professional bodies based upon modules taken.

At present exemptions are available from:

  • Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)

Graduate may be able to claim a Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) 'standard award', which give credits towards CII professional qualifications in financial services and insurance. Graduate must apply directly to the CII.

Awards 

Every year the best Year 1, Year 2 and Final Year students are awarded the IBML Unilever Prize which represents up to £100

International students

Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students on many of our undergraduate programmes. Students from over 120 different countries chose 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.

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, and our close links with businesses, industries and professions make this possible.

Choosing to start your Aston journey with our foundation programme in business will help you develop specialist knowledge to ensure that you are fully prepared to study your chosen undergraduate course. During your foundation year, you’ll have excellent support from academics and group projects will give you the chance to meet new people, make new friends and build a network of peers who will share your university journey. We also have a Learning Development Centre that can provide additional support and offer pre-sessional English language programmes.

Post-study work visa

Aston University welcomed the creation of a new immigration route which will enable international students to remain in the UK for two years after they have completed their studies, in order to find work. The new post-study work visa will apply to international students starting undergraduate and postgraduate courses from 2020 at universities with a track record of compliance with immigration policy. Find out more about the post-study work visa.

Modules

Year 1

Core modules:

  • Introductory Accounting for Business
  • Introduction to Organisational Behaviour
  • Introduction to Marketing Management
  • International Business Environment (English)
  • Introduction to China
  • Mandarin Chinese Language Skills I
  • Mandarin Chinese Characters I
Year 2

Core modules:

  • Principles in Business Analytics
  • Operations Management
  • International Business and Emerging Market Economies
  • International Business and Markets (Mandarin)
  • Mandarin Chinese Language Skills II
  • Mandarin Chinese Characters II

 

Optional modules:

  • Strategic Finance
  • Business Tax
  • Business, Government and Society
  • Fundamentals of Strategy
Year 3

Integrated placement year - find out more about the Aston placement year.

Students must undertake a 1 year work and/or study placement in a Mandarin Chinese-speaking country.

Final Year

Core modules:

  • Strategic Decision Making
  • Advanced Topics in International Business
  • Mandarin Chinese Language Skills III
  • Perspectives in International Business (Mandarin)
  • Mandarin Chinese Characters III

 

Optional modules:

  • International Finance
  • International Marketing
  • Sustainable Operations Management
  • Global Working
  • Business Ethics
  • Business Analytics and Data Mining

 

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.

Entry requirements

This course is only available at beginners (ab initio) level, therefore you do not require any previous knowledge of Mandarin Chinese.

Typical offers:

A Levels

BBB – standard offer

BBC (with EPQ or Core maths minimum grade B)

BCC (contextual offer)*

*For details on our Aston Ready contextual offer scheme, please see here. 

BTEC

BTEC Extended Diploma DDD – standard offer.

BTEC Extended Diploma DDM – (contextual offer)*

*For details on our Aston Ready contextual offer scheme, please see here. 

IB

31 points overall in the IB diploma with 5,5,5 at HL. 

Access to HE & other

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.

GCSE

5 GCSE grades A*/9 – C/4 to include:

  • GCSE Maths – grade C/4
  • GCSE English Language or English Literature – grade C/4

View our Admissions Policy. 

Whilst the grades listed here are our entry requirements, we understand that predicted grades are only an estimate. We will therefore consider applicants with predicted grades that fall below these entry requirements if the application is of a high standard (however, initial offers will not be lower than stated above).

Entry onto our Foundation Year maybe offered as an alternative to the degree course if lower entry grades are achieved.

*For details on our Aston Ready contextual offer scheme, please see here.

The information contained on this website details the typical entry requirements for this course for the most commonly offered qualifications. Applicants with alternative qualifications may wish to enquire with the relevant admissions teams prior to application whether or not their qualifications are deemed acceptable. For less commonly encountered qualifications this will be judged on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the academic admissions tutor.

International students

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification. Find out more about our English language requirements. For more information about qualifications view our Aston in your country webpage.

Learning, teaching and assessment

Our extensive employer links and focus on transferable practical experiences means you’ll get a blend of learning and teaching experiences that will equip you for your career.

As an international business and modern languages student at Aston, you will experience a range of teaching methods including lectures, seminars, tutorials, group working, case studies and both individual and group presentations.

Course structure

  • Students select 120 credits every year (usually 60 credits a semester), which represent approximately 12 hours a week of lectures, seminars and tutorials.
  • Half of the BSc IBML degree is taught in your chosen language(s), which means that our students are at a real advantage when it comes to gaining maximum benefit and experience from their year abroad.
  • Language classes are kept small throughout the length of the degree, in order to give every student the opportunity to become proficient.
  • Face-to-face teaching is enhanced by an electronic platform (Virtual Learning Environment), which is used to host a wide range of electronic supporting materials.
  • Our compulsory placement year abroad gives you invaluable, genuine, practical work experience that cannot be replicated in the lecture theatre. You can also choose to combine study and work abroad.

We pride ourselves on our teaching, which is recognised as Gold standard by the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) – the highest possible accolade, and the benchmark by which the UK government evaluates the quality of university teaching.

Assessment

We continually develop new and innovative ways to assess our students, including writing company reports, creating video CVs, presenting start-up projects and presenting a proposal for an application.

Personal development

Our business degrees are designed to also give you a range of transferable and practical skills to succeed within your chosen career. We make extensive use of group working and presentations to prepare you for the reality of working life. This experience will develop your teamworking and negotiating skills.

The integrated placement year gives you the genuine, practical work experience that is invaluable in developing an appreciation of issues such as office politics, which cannot be replicated in the lecture room.

Placement year

Our four year course with an integrated placement during the third year gives you the chance to put theory into practice, gain relevant work experience, and develop professional and transferable skills.  

We have a dedicated Employer Team within our Careers and Placements department who have links with local, national and international organisations and advertise vacancies to students through an online platform exclusively for Aston students and graduates.  

Work abroad

We only approve placements which give you an appropriate level of experience and will develop your business knowledge as well as your language skills. 

Our partners include: BNP Paris-Bas, Air France, Deloitte, Siemens, PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC), IBM, Deutsche Bank, Volkswagen, Bosch, Morgan Stanley, AEG, Goldman Sachs, Black & Decker, BMW, Thales, Amadeus.

Study abroad

The Business Schools with which we have exchange agreements are highly regarded within their own countries and you will follow a year of their own course alongside local students. View our partner universities.

You may also select to divide your year between a Business School and a six-month placement.

Find out more about the Aston placement year, and view the careers and placements page.

Programme Director(s)

Dr Caroline Gray

Fees and scholarships

UK students (2021/22)

Annual tuition fees: £9,250

During placement year: £1,250

International/EU students (2021/22)

Annual tuition fees: £15,950

During placement year: £2,500

The United Kingdom government has confirmed that European Union (EU), other European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals commencing academic courses in England from August 2021 will no longer be charged the same tuition rates as home students. Further information can be found here.

Tuition fees are reviewed annually and may increase in subsequent years in line with inflation linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) to take account of the University’s increased costs of delivering the Programme. When undertaking a placement year a placement year fee applies.

More information on fees

Scholarships

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. Find out more about our scholarships here.

Career prospects

Our international business and modern languages graduates are in high demand from a wide range of organisations that are in need of business expertise, cultural awareness and linguistic proficiency operating in international markets and to multinational companies.

Recent graduates

Our graduates are now working in roles such as:

  • Finance Analyst
  • Mergers and Acquisitions Advisor
  • Graduate Programme – Markets Division
  • Operations Manager
  • Graduate Scheme
  • Auditor
  • Tax Analyst
  • Associate Recruitment Consultant
  • Corporate Communications Graduate
  • Marketing and Business Development Intern
  • Assurance Associate
  • Training Asset Fund Manager.

 

Graduates have gone on to work at organisations such as Ford Motor Company (Germany), Nestle (Switzerland), Accenture, Deutsche Bank, DHL, IBM, KPMG Luxembourg, Deloitte, Hays, HCL Technologies and PwC.

Our alumni go on to do amazing things, learn about some of our alumni and their stories.
International Business and Modern Languages at Aston University testimonial image

Littorio Luongo, Strategic Programmes Coordinator at Babcock International Group

“I believe I secured my current job role due to my level of French which I gained through my course. It was quite an intensive course, which pushed me to increase my fluency in French. I also found that being taught about the French business environment put me in good stead for when I worked in Paris and prepared me to better understand the French culture, after being exposed to it during my placement year.”


sam and ellie wilson, IBML alumni

Sam Wilson and Ellie Wilson (BSc IBML, 2014) Founders of Virtalent

Read their story 


miriam IBML alumnus

Miriam Oglesby, BSc IBML German and Spanish

IBM Germany, Senior Digital Strategist

Read Miriam's story

Frequently asked questions

Why study international business and modern languages at Aston University?

The way we structure our business and languages programme at Aston will really help you stand out to organisations wanting proficient language skills and a depth of understanding of cultural issues from an international business perspective.

You will study international business modules in your chosen language(s) as well as in English, enabling you to develop a deep and culturally relevant understanding, as well as a strong global business perspective.

Is a placement useful for international business and modern languages?

Whether you want to work in a strategic management position overseas or for an organisation in the UK with a global outlook, your integrated placement year will help demonstrate to employers that you are able to transfer your knowledge to a real-world environment. It will help you apply your linguistics in a business setting, as well as develop a breadth of other commercial skills.

A placement also helps you to understand the type of career you may want to establish once you graduate. It provides opportunity for you to put the learning from lectures into practice, and develop skills that you can’t replicate by studying alone.

What kind of jobs does a degree in International Business and Modern Languages lead to?

You will gain an understanding of strategic international business alongside proficient language skills in an international business context – highly sought after for any organisation with a global outlook, international presence or culturally sensitive remit.

Our graduates are now working in roles such as Finance Analyst, Mergers and Acquisitions Advisor, Graduate Programme – Markets Division, Operations Manager, Graduate Scheme, Auditor, Tax Analyst, Associate Recruitment Consultant, Corporate Communications Graduate, Marketing and Business Development Intern, Assurance Associate and Training Asset Fund Manager. Organisations include Ford Motor Company (Germany), Nestle (Switzerland), Accenture, Deutsche Bank, DHL, IBM, KPMG Luxembourg, Deloitte, Hays, HCL Technologies and PwC.

Why Aston Business School?

Aston Business School is part of the top 1 per cent of business schools globally to have triple accreditation from AACSB, AMBA and EQUIS. We are also recognised for the quality of our teaching. The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) rates us Gold and we are ranked first in the UK for Value Added by Guardian University Guide 2020, comparing our students’ entry grades with their final degree result. All of this demonstrates our commitment to your learning experience and the skills you develop and demonstrate as part of your course.

What is the double degree at Aston Business School?

You can deepen your learning and stand out from other graduates whilst gaining a fantastic learning experience overseas. The double degree 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 here.

Why should international students choose Aston University?

Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students on many of our undergraduate programmes. Students from over 120 different countries chose 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.

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.

Choosing to start your Aston journey with our foundation programme in business will help you develop specialist knowledge to ensure that you are fully prepared to study your chosen undergraduate course.

Chat with current students

 
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