International Business MSc - January 2021

Masters of International Business provides you with the highly sought-after global mindset, skills, and knowledge that are required for doing business in rapidly changing global context and prepares you to tackle the business challenges across the world confidently.

Aston University, Birmingham

Course type

Full-time

Course format

Duration

1 Year

UCAS code(s)

N/A

Start date

Overview
Why explore International Business at Aston University?

"I took advantage of Aston’s double degree course and spent a year in France. It helped me improve my international business skills alongside studying French, giving me a competitive advantage."

testimonial

“I always knew I wanted to create a start-up business, studying International Business at Aston is where I learnt about entrepreneurial strategies, marketing strategies and many skills that have equipped me to become an entrepreneur. I have since founded Pal Life LITD, which supplies biodegradable tableware made from naturally fallen leaves“.

Adil Delwar

Founder & CEO of Palm Life LTD

testimonial

“I always knew I wanted to create a start-up business, studying International Business at Aston is where I learnt about entrepreneurial strategies, marketing strategies and many skills that have equipped me to become an entrepreneur. I have since founded Pal Life LITD, which supplies biodegradable tableware made from naturally fallen leaves“.

Adil Delwar

Founder & CEO of Palm Life LTD

Course outline and modules

This stimulating course will equip you with a detailed knowledge and deep understanding of today’s global commercial environment. It will explore how business is conducted across borders, examine various business functions and their role in international commerce, whilst looking at strategic management and economics in an international business context.

You’ll also develop key transferable skills which, when combined with your well-rounded business education, will enable you to embark upon a variety of different career paths and help prepare you for management positions in global companies

How will my skills develop?

The programme begins by covering the fundamentals of international business. You’ll examine its evolution from rudimentary overseas trading to the integration of markets and increasing globalisation we see today. We discover the various theories and concepts related to international trade, examine how companies structure their overseas operations and look at foreign direct investment and how it impacts host countries.

In the second term, we explore more advanced topics in international business. You’ll analyse various international business strategies and appreciate how they’re determined and delivered. You’ll look at the implications of doing business within developing economies and how this compares to more economically developed countries. We also examine certain factors which may influence international business strategy, such as economic, management and policy issues.

The course will develop your ability to think strategically and deliver successful international business strategy. We look at theories, concepts and frameworks associated with competitive and corporate strategy. You’ll discover how analysis of the external environment and companies’ strengths and weaknesses can be used to guide strategic decision making. We use a series of case studies to develop practical skills in assessing strategic opportunities and potential threats.

We also study the economic environment which international businesses operate in. We cover the key theories of economics in an international business context and look at the impact economic shocks or events can have on companies and their overseas activities. You’ll learn how to assess the economic climate by using key economic indicators and tools.

You’ll also study The Aston Global Advantage module which focuses on professional development and employability, helping you to apply the key skills that you will gain throughout the year.

You’ll also have the opportunity to study abroad with one of our international partners, undertake an internship placement in the UK or overseas or get involved in a global business challenge simulation.

How will this course help my career?

You’ll have the chance to shape this course to your specific interests and career goals. With a wide-ranging choice of elective modules, you can examine international business from different perspectives and gain an advanced-level understanding of subject areas, such as finance, marketing, and entrepreneurship.

This will enable you to pursue roles in a variety of different business functions. You’ll also develop critical-thinking, cultural and economic awareness and general business acumen skills throughout the programme. These skills can be applied to a range of roles and will help you to gain a competitive advantage when applying for graduate roles.

You’ll be taught by leading academics, who are at the cutting-edge of research into international business, strategy and economics. The School is also made up of skilled and experienced practitioners, who’ve worked with leading international companies and have a unique insight into how international business works in real-life.

Our teaching staff use a mix of teaching methods to accommodate all learning styles. As well as providing you with theory, there’s a focus on applied-learning techniques and innovative teaching practices. This will give you a deeper understanding of the subject.

Our courses offer a range of opportunities to gain practical experience through things such as, consultancy projects and entrepreneurial opportunities.

The course concludes with a Business Projector Dissertation, giving you the opportunity to analyse a business problem and practically apply the knowledge and skills developed during the course to outline your recommendations. This will also help to show prospective employers how you are able to impact their business.

This course offers an opportunity to study a second degree at one of our international partner institutions once you have completed your year at Aston. Find out more here.

Study abroad options
  • A wide, but alternative, range of study abroad options will be available for January starts.
  • If you are an international student, your visa will still be valid until the end of May the year following your entry date. 

Modules

Core modules

International Business

This module will give you the basic and fundamental knowledge of international business theories and concepts. It will cover selected topics from a wide spectrum of activities in the international business environment. It will also develop your skills in applying the theories into practice through experiential learning such as case study analysis and class discussions.

Advanced Topics in International Business

Strategic Management


This module starts with the purpose of strategy, including stakeholder and governance issues, and introduces tools and techniques for analysing external environments and internal capabilities. You will learn theories and frameworks/ models for assessing and evaluating organisations’ strategic options, which are then applied to analysing contemporary case studies and through engaging in a rich business strategy simulation that involves strategic decision-making.

Economic Environment of Business

This module focuses on key economic concepts and principles that are most useful for businesses and managers. Throughout we stress their application in an international context, drawing on their real-world significance, and the importance of communicating economic ideas in a clear and precise manner. In this way you will understand the significance of economics in a globalised world.

Ethics in Academic Practice

This module provides an introduction to the Academic Offence framework. By completing the resources you will understand the key principles underpinning the submission of academic assignments. These principles can then be applied to the rest of the modules studied at the university.

The Aston Global Advantage

The Aston Global Advantage is our professional development programme that runs throughout all MSc programmes at Aston Business School. Focusing on professional development and employability, this integrated module gives you the opportunity to identify, develop and apply the key transferable skills you will gain throughout the year.

Business Project or Dissertation

The Business Project/Dissertation is a chance for you to carry out an original piece of work applying material that you have learnt in the taught element of your degree. Specific requirements will be explained relating to different degree programmes but in summary you must demonstrate both theoretical and practical knowledge of your chosen area of specialism.

Optional modules

Choose four modules (subject to pre-requisites and restrictions on some combinations):

Intellectual Property Strategy and Management

This module will look at intellectual property, strategy and management. Exploring intellectual property rights relevant to an innovative business, which will allow you to practice your understanding of the strategy, strategic management and valuation in commercialising these valuable rights.

Business Finance

In this module you will learn the key principles and challenges of financial management decisions.Develop an understanding of the characteristics, influencing factors and the advantages and disadvantages of different forms of financing. You'll also apply mathematical techniques to support a range of business decisions, such as the valuation of shares and the evaluation of investment opportunities.

Accounting for Non-Financial Managers

This module will give you a good grasp of key finance and accounting concepts. You’ll be competent interpreting financial information, such as company accounts and you to be able to communicate effectively using the terminology of finance and accounting. It will also enable you to use accounting to make informed management decisions.

Strategic Business Sustainability

The module looks at how sustainable development as a process can lead to a certain level of sustainability within an organisational context. It places sustainability within the strategic orientation of an organisation and as such as it takes a view of sustainability both in the short-term as well as in the long-term.

International Marketing Management

This module evaluates how organisations operate in the global marketing environment. The module critically explores theories/concepts relating to the global marketing environment, international marketing activities and decisions. Implications for international marketing strategies and actions are also considered through a number of relevant case-studies and practical materials.

CSR, Sustainable Development and Public Policy

Topics of this module are complex and this complexity make this module unique. With growing awareness on issues such as modern slavery and climate change almost everyone has now heard of these topics and hold views and opinions. At the core these are applied topics with implications for individual businesses, societies and economies. Your learning can be very relevant.

International Business Strategy

This module aims to broaden and deepen your knowledge of the key issues and activities involved in international business strategy. In addition, this module aims to develop skills related to interpreting and analysing complex real-world issues using theoretical perspectives, concepts and models. The emphasis will be on using theory to inform practice and addressing real-world complex problems.

Entrepreneurial and Innovation in Emerging Economies

This module focuses on entrepreneurial ventures and innovative activities of established businesses in emerging economies, and how they contribute to economic development and growth. We look at specific processes of new business creation and innovation in this context and examine case studies to help you to gain an applied understanding.​​​​​​​

Entry requirements

One of the following
  • A good UK honours degree (minimum lower second class).
  • Equivalent overseas degree recognised by Aston University.

As well as:

  • Two professional references – at least one must be from an academic referee.
  • An official academic transcript of your university grades to date.
  • A completed application form.
International
  • An official academic transcript, with an official English translation, of your university grades to date.
  • Students whose native language is not English will also need to satisfy our English language requirements. Pre-sessional English language programmes are available for good applicants whose English qualification falls just short of these requirements.
  • Postgraduate masters students enrolling to Aston Business School with a 5.5 in one of the four IELTS sections will be required to engage with English language tuition as part of our professional development programme, The Aston Global Advantage. There will be no extra cost to the student.
  • For students who do not meet our minimum academic and English language requirements for this course, we offer an alternative pathway to an Aston Master’s with Kaplan International College, London.
  • For more information about qualifications, view our Aston in your country webpage.
Applicants with work experience

We recognise the value of extensive professional experience. If you do not have the academic qualifications, but have extensive and relevant professional experience and a proven ability to succeed, we would welcome your application.

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.

 

Learning, teaching and assessment

We use a broad range of innovative teaching methods to accommodate all learning styles and help you get the most out of this course.

Inspiring lectures will teach you key theories and concepts related to international business. There’s a variety of practical activities which allow you to apply your skills and test your understanding. This includes case studies, presentations, round table discussions, peer-to-peer learning and business simulations. We also draw on technology to help us to engage with students through gamification and video materials. You’ll also benefit from guest lectures from professionals with expertise in various areas of international business. They will share their experiences with you and help to enhance your understanding of key topics. This applied approach will help to improve your understanding and enhance your employability.

Our online learning platform will support you with your studies. It has all the digital resources you need when revising, including lecture slides, access e-books and online journals, as well as video recordings of teaching sessions.

We use a mix of assessment methods as part of this course. There are exams, coursework, group work, presentations and oral exams. Your lecturers will ensure you’re well-prepared for your assessments and offer support with any topics you have difficulty with.

Classroom activities

Current affairs debates: There’s roundtable discussions and debates, where you and your fellow students are encouraged to debate current economic events. Recent topics have included: Is Brexit good or bad for business? Are Donald Trump’s trade policies the right course of action?Is the Chinese government’s approach to globalisation the best system?

Company analysis and presentation: Applying what you learnt in lectures is key to developing your understanding. That’s why we encourage students to evaluate real business case studies.Students will analyse the international business strategies of MNEs in developed and emerging markets and decide whether they have been successful or not. Using various tools and theories, students will also offer recommendations on how MNEs can expand and penetrate in new markets.

Brexit planning scenarios: We explore the strategic options for firms in theUK and EU relating to various post-Brexit scenarios. You’ll then use this insight to formulate strategies for MNEs from different sectors.

Culture questionnaires: Given the diversity of our students, this innovative activity enhances your cultural awareness and helps you to appreciate one of the biggest obstacles companies face when operating internationally. You’ll take a cultural questionnaire and then collaborate with students with different outlooks, considering the best strategies for avoiding cultural clash issues in the workplace.

Student experience and employability

Overseas opportunities

We benefit from an extensive network of partner institutions, including some of the highest ranked business schools in Europe, such as Kedge Business School in France. We also have partnerships with universities worldwide, from Australia, to China, and USA to Singapore.

Placements

We believe that a work placement taken as part of your masters programme can be hugely beneficial to your career prospects. It will enhance your CV and give you a competitive advantage when applying for graduate roles.

As part of this course you’ll have the opportunity to undertake a work placement. You can spend from one month to 12 months with a company of your choice, in the UK or overseas. You’ll apply what you’ve learnt on a daily basis and gain valuable professional experience.

Our students have been successful in gaining work placements in a wide variety of business sectors, both in the UK and internationally. They’ve spent time with companies such as, Salesforce, IBM, Jaguar Land Rover and a host of SMEs and start-up businesses, which provide great hands on experience and exposure.

You’ll also have the unique opportunity to support start-up businesses and a local SMEs with real-life business projects through our Aston Business Clinic. You can work to solve strategic problems for companies, making a real impact on these growing businesses whilst adding key achievements to your CV.

Our award-winning careers team will be on hand to help you find work placements and graduate positions. The team can also lend their expertise to assist you with your CV and interview technique.

Trips and visits

Our MSc International Business students have the chance to spend one week aboard on an educational field trip. You will visit one of our partner institutions and attend a series of guest lecturers. There’s also the opportunity to visit companies based overseas, gaining an insight into how they operate internationally and the strategic challenges they face. Recent destinations for this field trip have included France and Poland.

You’ll benefit from a series of guest lectures, where experienced professionals will share their experiences of international business with you. This helps to give you an applied understanding of the subject.

Graduate employers regularly visit campus throughout the year. You’ll be able to chat to companies about their graduate opportunities and get an insight into their selection process.

 

Fees and scholarships

UK/EU students (2020/21)

Annual tuition fees: £10,550

International students (2020/21)

Annual tuition fees: £20,350

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.

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

MSc International Business will prepare you for a wide range of professional and management careers in global organisations across business functions and sectors, including consultancy, strategy, banking, finance, marketing and HR. Some of our graduates have successfully used the knowledge and skills they acquired in this program to establish their own business and take it to a global scale.

Recent graduates

Our recent graduates have gone on to setup their own businesses as well as take on roles such as Management Consultant, Strategy Consultant, Recruitment Director, Management Trainee, General Manager, Investment Banker, Research Analyst, Marketing Manager and Sales Manager. Graduates went on to work for organisations around the world including:

  • HSBC
  • IBM
  • Unilever
  • Vodaphone
  • Hertz-Bosch
  • PwC
  • KPMG
  • Barclays
  • Tesco.

International students

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

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 to find work. The new post-study work visa will apply to international students starting undergraduate and postgraduate courses from 2020. Click here for more information on post-work visas.

Frequently asked questions

Why study International Business at Aston University?

You’ll develop a breadth of transferable skills, from cultural awareness through to problem-solving, within an international perspective across business functions.

Our world leading Aston Business School, with triple accreditation, prides itself on our teaching quality and research excellence as well as equipping students with practical skills that boost their employability once they graduate. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to bring your learning to life with hands-on opportunities to gain experience.

What kind of career will I develop with a masters in International Business?

This course will prepare you for a wide range of professional and management careers in global organisations across business functions and sectors, including consultancy, strategy, banking, finance, marketing, operations and HR.

Our graduates have gone on to work across a breadth of roles for international organisations including KPMG, Tesco, Unilever and PwC.

Why choose to study with Aston Business School?

Aston Business School is part of an elite group of business schools thanks to our triple accreditation from AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA. We can help to enhance your career prospects, boost your earning potential and set you on the path to a successful, and rewarding career.

Aston University is renowned for its excellence in teaching and research and the employability of our graduates. At Aston Business School we are committed to innovative approaches to teaching and education.We are dedicated to providing students with a competitive advantage in the jobs market by delivering the knowledge students need to pursue the many career tracks available to them with a background in international business. Teaching on the course is informed by our world-class scholars and provides you with a deep understanding and skills for conducting business on a global scale. At Aston University, we aim to prepare students for the real world challenges. There are plenty of opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience and apply their knowledge in real-life situations by engaging in live projects and internships.

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