International Business

MSc

Are you ready to master the intricacies of global business and confidently navigate the ever-evolving international landscape?

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type
Full-time
Entry requirements
Duration

One year (April 2024 and September 2024 starts)

Start date

APRIL 2024 START

Course overview

Our MSc International Business programme will provide in-depth insights and understanding of the contemporary business landscape, tailored for both recent graduates and working professionals from local, national, and international backgrounds.

Throughout this degree, you will delve into cross-border operations, examine various business functions and their role in international commerce alongside exploring strategic management and economics in an international business context. You will gain versatile skills to pursue diverse career paths and excel in global management roles.

More than an academic course, this programme bridges your formal education with experiential learning. You will be supported by leading academics and practitioners who are experts in the fields of international business, ensuring your studies are contemporary and applicable.

Adil Delwar

“I always knew I wanted to create a start-up business and Aston University equipped me to become an entrepreneur. I have since founded PALM LIFE, which supplies biodegradable tableware made from naturally fallen leaves."

Adil Delwar
MSc International Business
Founder and CEO, PALM LIFE®️

Why International Business at Aston University?

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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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Experiential learning
Benefit from the Global Business Challenge - a student-led, coached, skills focused module in which teams work towards a business assessed by portfolio
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Inspiring lecturers
96% of students agreed that staff were enthusiastic about what they were teaching (Business and management programmes; PTES, 2023)
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Excellent prospects
Aston University was named runner-up in the University of the Year for Graduate Employment Award (Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide, 2024)
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Satisfied students
90% of students were satisfied overall with their course (Business and management programmes; PTES, 2023)
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Global top 100
Aston University was ranked among the top 100 universities worldwide (Masters in Management; QS World University Rankings, 2024)

Course description

MSc International Business

Our MSc International Business course aims to equip you with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills needed to thrive in a variety of roles and business functions globally.

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What we will provide
First-class teaching in the UK’s second-largest city, delivered by a diverse array of staff who will inspire and excite you. You will benefit from applied learning, research-informed teaching and constructive assessment. MSc International Business will give you the ability to think strategically and deliver successful international business strategies.

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What you will provide
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. It is important to engage in self-directed learning and take full advantage of the knowledge and resources available throughout your degree.

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What skills we teach
Through lectures, collaborative group discussions and applied learning, you will develop key skills sought after by employers, including teamwork, communication and leadership. You will develop critical analysis, strategic thinking and problem-solving abilities applicable across diverse situations. You will gain a knack for applying theory to real-world scenarios, deepening world understanding.

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Career prospects
As an Aston University International Business graduate, you will be equipped for a range of different career options. Graduates have been successful in finding employment in roles such as management consultant, research analyst and strategy consultant, working for companies like HSBC and KPMG.

How you will learn

Our International Business course at Aston University provides an immersive learning journey, leveraging the expertise of our academic staff, known for their research and consultancy. We capitalise on our robust connections with business, professional and public sector organisations to enhance your real-world understanding. The course is structured to boost your employability, focusing on lifelong learning and personal development skills.

Through practical teaching methods, including interactive lectures, group seminars, and workshops led by experienced academic staff, you will engage in lively discussions and explore diverse viewpoints. Traditional teaching is supported by our virtual learning environment, which hosts a range of electronic supporting materials.

In the Global Business Challenge module, you will deepen your understanding of global business via strategic management, team development, simulations, and intercultural teamwork. You'll also integrate with alumni and engage with industry experts and practitioners, enhancing your learning through diverse research methods and practical experiences.

At the start of your course, you will be allocated a personal tutor who can offer individual study advice and guidance. You will also benefit from access to the University Library's extensive collection of over 25,000 books and electronic journals.

What you will learn

Our programme blends specialised knowledge with practical skills, covering the fundamentals of international business. Exploring diverse theories and concepts, the course unpacks the dynamics of international trade, examines how companies structure their overseas operations and evaluates the influence of foreign direct investment on host countries.

In the taught stage, you will delve into advanced international business topics. You will analyse various international business strategies and compare business dynamics in developing economies to more economically developed countries. You will also explore factors influencing international business strategies, such as economic, management and policy issues, developing your ability to think strategically and deliver successful international business strategy.

The programme also emphasises transferable skills like teamwork, leadership and communication, equipping you for a versatile career in international business.

In the dissertation phase, you will undertake a research project on an international business topic of your choice, showcasing your ability to conduct independent research with a clear consideration of ethics, theory and methods.

This course offers an Exchange Partnership Second Degree Pathway, meaning you can spend an additional year at one of our international partner institutions. If successful, you will graduate with two masters degrees.

Exchange Partnership Second Degree Pathway

Ben Muriuki Maina

Impact on people and finance

Ben chose to study MSc International Business at Aston University because of its reputation as a leading business school in the middle of a vibrant city.

Course objectives

  1. Provides a programme of study that meets the needs of local, national and international candidates, enabling you to learn by the exchange of experience as well as formal academic study.
  2. Meets the needs of recent graduates, and those already in employment, who wish to acquire specialist skills and knowledge in international business in order that they may embark on or progress successfully in their chosen careers.  
  3. Provides you with an excellent learning experience that draws on the research and consultancy of Aston University academic staff, utilising the University’s links with business, professional and public sector organisations. 
  4. Provides you with opportunities to enhance your employability by developing lifelong learning and personal development skills. 
  5. Develops you into a well-qualified graduate who is equipped for and aspires to senior positions. 
  6. Causes you to reflect upon and develop your own position in relation to corporate responsibility, sustainability and ethics. 
  7. Develops your understanding of the global business environment (including shifting competitive advantages) that influence business decisions and operations.

Modules

Modules and learning outcomes

Taught stage modules

In the taught stage you will study the following core modules:

Module TitleCredits
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.
15
Economics 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.
15
Strategic Business Sustainability
This 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.
15
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.
15
Global Business Challenge30
Ethics in Academic Practice
This module introduces the Academic Offence framework. By completing the resources, you will understand the key principles underpinning the submission of academic assignments.
0
English for Postgraduate Studies**
This module is compulsory for students with an IELTS 6.0 (or equivalent), and focuses on enhancing academic language skills essential for postgraduate success in English-speaking environments.
0
Total90

You will choose two of the following optional modules:* 

Module TitleCredits
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.
15
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.
15
Strategic Brand Management
Most branding modules focus on what brand perfection looks like. Most organisations do not want perfection they want to use their brand practically to support the delivery of the organisation’s objectives. This module focuses on the art of the practical not the art of the perfect.
15
CSR, Sustainable Development and Public Policy 
Topics of this module are complex, and this complexity makes this module unique. With growing awareness on issues such as modern slavery and climate change almost everyone has now heard of these topics and holds views and opinions. At the core these are applied topics with implications for individual businesses, societies and economies.
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.

**This module is compulsory for those students who enrol with IELTS 6.0 (or equivalent), as outlined in the offer letter.

Dissertation stage modules

In the dissertation stage you will study the following core module:

Module TitleCredits
Research Methods15
MSc International Business Research Project
You will 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.
45
Total60

Programme outcomes

On successful completion of both the taught and dissertation stage, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate understanding and application of core theories in international business.
  • Demonstrate critical analysis and evaluation towards international business theories.
  • Demonstrate the knowledge and skills required for assessing and developing international business strategies and operations.
  • Demonstrate the analytical knowledge and skills required to understand and assess both the strategy and international business environment.
  • Demonstrate critical reasoning and decision-making using international business theories.
  • Communicate effectively, in a manner appropriate to the setting, task and/or audience.
  • Work effectively as an independent self-managed/self-regulated learner and work effectively as part of a team.
  • Demonstrate the ability of undertaking independent international business research.

Entry requirements

One of the following:

  • 2:2 (lower second-class honours) degree or equivalent
  • Equivalent overseas degree recognised by Aston University (see international students tab below for more information)

You will also need to provide:

  • A professional reference
    • If you are a current student or recent graduate (within the last 2-3 years), we will ask for an academic reference
    • If you are currently employed and not a recent graduate, we will ask for a professional reference
  • An official academic transcript of your university grades to date
  • A completed application form.

English language requirements

For the April 2024 intake, international students will require a minimum of IELTS 6.0 (or equivalent). If you are enrolling with IELTS 6.0 (or equivalent), you must take and pass the English for Postgraduate Studies module to proceed through your programme.

Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students on many of our postgraduate 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 but also a great place to live.

Qualifications in your country

For details of equivalent qualifications in your country, use our area pages below:

English language requirements

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

English language requirements

How to apply

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

Pathway programmes

If you don’t meet our entry requirements, we have a range of pathway programmes offered by our partner, ONCAMPUS Aston, which you can complete to progress onto one of our degrees.

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.

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Speak to our Admissions Team

If you have any questions about the application process please get in touch with our postgraduate admissions team:

Email: pgadmissions@aston.ac.uk

Call: 0121 204 3200 (Please note this line is open Monday-Friday between 09:30-16:30)

Neha Prashar

Meet your programme director

Dr Neha Prashar
Programme Director, MSc International Business

If you have any questions about the course or modules you will be studying, you can get in touch via email and I will be happy to answer your queries.

Fees and scholarships

Course fees

UK students
(2023/24)

Annual tuition fees:£11,850

International students
(2023/24)

Annual tuition fees:£22,750

More information on fees

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 UK students.

Tuition fees for students 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. Any such increase shall always be in accordance with the law. 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.

Assessment

You will be assessed through a combination of written and oral examinations, class tests, individual and group coursework, projects, presentations and practical assessments.

Career prospects

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

  • Management consultant
  • Strategy consultant
  • Recruitment director
  • Management trainee
  • General manager
  • Investment banker
  • Research analyst
  • Marketing manager 
  • Sales manager 

Our graduates have gone on to work at companies such as HSBC, IBM, Unilever, Vodafone, Hertz-Bosch. PwC, KPMG, Barclays and Tesco. 

Vishnu Mohta

Industry professionals

“The extra specialisation has gone a long way in building my career. The MSc gave me a lot of learning and development opportunities which helped me to explore my options.”

Our graduates achieve amazing things all over the world – whether it’s setting up their own businesses, landing jobs with high profile organisations, or making real differences within their communities.

Hear from our graduates

Alumni

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 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 is the Global Business Challenge?

The Global Business Challenge is a module designed to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the global business environment. The module is structured around five key components:

  • strategic management
  • team development
  • a business simulation
  • intercultural teamwork
  • integration with alumni

Throughout the module, students will have the opportunity to interact with practitioners, alumni, industry experts, and policy makers who may be invited to give talks. The course draws upon the academic and practical experience of the module team in applying a wide range of management and business research methods. By the end of the course, students will have developed a deep understanding of the global business environment and the skills necessary to succeed in it.

Why should I study my postgraduate degree at Aston University?

There are lots of benefits of studying a postgraduate degree at Aston University.

Watch this video from MBA student, Monique, who talks about just a few of them:

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 will my timetable look like?

We understand how important it is to know your timetable in advance for planning around work, childcare, or other responsibilities. Here's some basic guidance on what to expect regarding your student timetable.

Full-time programmes
As a rough estimate, full-time postgraduate students in the College of Business and Social Sciences should expect to spend about 12-15 hours per week in lectures and on-campus seminars. This is in addition to independent study, and there may be additional guided learning activities during certain weeks. The exact distribution of these hours will vary depending on your course and module choices.
Part-time programmes
Part-time students will have fewer weekly on-campus hours compared to full-time students. This reduction is proportional to the number of modules you're enrolled in.
Timetable availability
Complete timetables are usually released shortly before the start of your programme. This timing is necessary to ensure that we accommodate all course requirements and that rooms are allocated based on the number of students likely to enrol on each programme. We aim to provide these timetables as early as possible, to assist you in your planning.

As your induction week approaches, you will be sent more information about your timetable via email, and you will be able to access your timetable by logging into MyAstonPortal. For any further queries or information regarding your timetable, you can reach out to your programme director or the Student Support team.

Online/distance learning programmes
The above information also applies to students enrolled in online/distance learning programmes. Please note that both full-time and part-time distance learning students are still required to attend scheduled synchronous learning sessions.

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