Course overview

This MSc in Strategy and International Business is a perfect choice for those wanting to grasp a solid understanding of advanced-level strategy and how it can be applied to a wide variety of business settings. Throughout this degree, you will develop well-rounded business knowledge as well as become an expert in strategic thinking, decision making and problem solving. There is a strong emphasis on applying theory to practice to prepare you for your future career. For this reason, there is ample opportunity to analyse real-world case studies and partake in business simulations and challenges. 

You will be taught by leading academics and practitioners who are experts in this area – taking place at the triple-accredited Aston Business School. 

Matilde Dal Bosco - MSc Strategy and International Business graduate

"When I found Aston University's MSc Strategy and International Business programme, it felt like the perfect match. The quality of teaching is outstanding and I find constant inspiration from my instructors.

Matilde Dal Bosco
MSc Strategy and International Business

Why Strategy and 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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Gain the advantage
Get ahead of the competition with the Aston Global Advantage professional development module
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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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Global top 100
Aston University was ranked among the top 100 universities worldwide (Masters in Management; QS World University Rankings, 2024)

Course description

MSc Strategy and International Business

Our MSc Strategy and 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.

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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. You will be able to take advantage of our strong industry connections and avid placement opportunities. 

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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.

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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 master critical analysis, strategic thinking and problem solving and will be able to apply these in a wide variety of circumstances.

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Career prospects
As an MSc Strategy and International Business graduate from Aston Business School, you will be equipped for a range of career paths. Graduates have been successful in finding employment in roles such as Strategy officer, Business analyst and Business consultant, working for companies such as EasyJet and Heineken.

How you will learn

Our programme is designed to give you a dynamic learning experience, centred around enhancing the skills you require to establish a successful career path. We employ an innovative range of teaching methods from lectures, workshops, seminars and business simulations which allow you to explore, test and apply strategy in a way that suits you. Group discussions enable you to exchange ideas and gather different perspectives, whilst also perfecting your communication and team-work capabilities. 

Guest speakers from industry attend lectures to share their expertise, experiences and unique insights to enhance your understanding of strategy in practice and encourage you to apply your thinking to real-world situations. This is also achieved through strategically examining case studies such as the Formula 1 case study. Together, you will delve into how rival teams have battled for Formula 1 Supremacy. 

We often use games such as Kahoot to reinforce your learning in a fun and engaging way. Compete against your fellow students to get to the top of the leader board.

In the Aston Global Advantage module, you will enhance your employability and global citizenship through experiential learning and reflective practice. Dedicated employability support, skills-building workshops and diverse learning streams will prepare you for both academic and professional success.
 

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Gain the advantage

Our flagship professional development module provides a range of opportunities to apply your learning and increase your employability.

What you will learn

The essence of this programme is strategy. You will learn the fundamentals of the topic, delving into key theories, concepts and frameworks related to corporate and entrepreneurial strategy. You’ll learn how to analyse the external environment as well as companies’ internal capabilities and understand how these skills can be used to shape strategic decision making.

With a strong foundation in place, the second term will take your understanding to a more-refined level. You will gain knowledge of advanced-level strategy and with a strong emphasis on practical application, learn how to apply strategy in real-life business situations. You will explore scenario planning, the art of strategic decision-making, mergers and acquisitions and the practice of management consultancy. You will have the opportunity to explore niche topics such as marketing, finance, consultancy and entrepreneurship, tailoring the degree to suit your interests and career aspirations. 

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

Matthew Bloom

More confident, more successful

Matthew Groom explains how the Aston Global Advantage programme enabled him to gain a placement in another country and achieve a role at Salesforce in London.

Postgraduate courses

Learn business, do business

Our classroom goes beyond traditional lectures, focusing instead on real-life projects and hands-on experiences.

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 your needs, if a recent graduate or already in employment, and wish to acquire specialist skills and knowledge in Strategy and International Business in order that you may embark or progress successfully on your chosen career.  
  3. Provides you with an excellent learning experience that draws on the research and consultancy of Aston 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 aspire to senior positions. 
  6. Causes you to reflect upon and develop your own position in relation to corporate responsibility, sustainability and ethics. 
  7. Equips you with the analytical and cognitive skills and capabilities demanded by multinational companies. 
  8. Sensitises you to the nuances of working in multinational/multicultural environments. 
  9. Exposes you to the challenges of managing operations and people abroad. 

Modules

Modules and learning outcomes

Taught stage modules

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

Module TitleCredits
Strategy 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 in analysing contemporary case studies and through engaging in a rich business strategy simulation that involves strategic decision-making. 
15
Advanced Topics in Strategy  
This module will explore strategic management from different theoretical angles to build a deeper appreciation of how strategy work is accomplished in practice. Drawing on cutting edge research we examine strategy development pathways, market-led strategies, strategy innovation, corporate venturing alliances and much more. This module provides you with knowledge concepts and tools to deconstruct complex strategy problems and formulate evidence-based strategic responses.
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 your 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
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 transferrable skills you will gain throughout the year.
15
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. 
0
Total60

You will choose four of the following optional modules:*

Module TitleCredits
Management Consulting **
The scope of this module is to introduce you to the management consulting industry and its history, structures and practices. In the process you will acquire skills for a career in management consultancy and learn about the distinctive challenges of managing a management consultancy. 

15

Business Finance*
This module teaches you the key principles and challenges of financial management decisions. You will 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

International Finance*
In this module you’ll explore the role of international financial markets, the financial problems faced by firms when undertaking international trade and investments and the financial strategies used by multinational firms to alleviate financial and political risks. We use theory and practical examples to give you an understanding of these financial issues facing firms and investors when firms operate internationally. 
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
Marketing Management
In this module you will gain a comprehensive understanding and critical evaluation of marketing management practices, underpinned by relevant theories and conceptual frameworks. These frameworks are applied to contemporary issues and organisational strategies within national and international contexts and culminating with the creation and the proposal of a professional marketing plan.
15
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. 
15
Entrepreneurial Strategies  
“Entrepreneurship is the ongoing practice of creating opportunities taking smart action learning and iterating and using a portfolio of skills to navigate an ever changing world” (Neck 2018). 
15
Management of Innovation 
This module introduces you to key concepts and models of innovation management and guides you through their critical evaluation. Using recent real-world cases the module develops your ability to analyse innovation management of business organisations in practice and to formulate and communicate innovation-based strategies for both short-and long-term successes.
15
Intellectual Property Strategy & Management 
This module will look at intellectual property strategy and management exploring intellectual property rights relevant to an innovative business and will allow you to practice your understanding of the strategy, strategic management and valuation in commercialising these valuable rights.
15
International Business ***
The 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

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. 

* Students selecting International Finance must take Business Finance as a prerequisite.
**Management Consulting is compulsory for students who are undertaking a consultancy / client based dissertation.
*** Students who have not engaged in business-related studies in their prior degrees are required to take International Business as one of their Term 1 optional modules

 

Dissertation stage modules

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

Module TitleCredits
Research Methods 15
MSc Strategy and 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:

  • Show understanding and application of core theories in Strategy and International Business.
  • Demonstrate critical analysis and evaluation towards strategy and international business theories.
  • Obtain the knowledge and skills required for assessing and developing international business strategies and operations.
  • Have the analytical knowledge and skills required to understand and assess both the strategy and international business environment.
  • Demonstrate critical reasoning and decision-making using strategy and international business theories.
  • Communicate effectively, in a manner appropriate to the setting, task and / or audience.
  • Work effectively as independent self-managed / self-regulated learners. To work effectively as part of a team.
  • Undertake independent strategy and 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)

Subject specific requirements

The degree should be within a business-related field, for example:

  • Business Management 
  • Economics
  • Entrepreneurship 
  • Accounting

Applicants with non-business degrees and/or relevant work experience can be reviewed by the programme director.

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.

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)

Andrew Salmon

Meet your programme director

Andrew Salmon 
Programme Director, MSc Strategy and 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
(2024/25)

Annual tuition fees:£12,000

International students
(2024/25)

Annual tuition fees:£23,500

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 examinations, coursework and practical assessments. These are designed to test your understanding of key topics and develop the transferable skills you need for success. 

Career prospects

This MSc in Strategy and International Business will prepare you for a wide range of professional and management careers in global organisations. These opportunities exist across business functions and sectors including consultancy and business services, investment banking, manufacturing and technology. Our graduates have been successful in finding employment in a variety of roles such as: 

  • Management Consultant 
  • Business consultant
  • Social innovation consultant
  • Strategy officer 
  • Business Intelligence consultant
  • Marketing analyst 
  • Business analyst 
  • Project manager 
  • Brand strategist
  • Business developer

Our graduates have gone on to work for companies such as Citibank, Qatar Airways, Easyjet, Heineken and Columbus UK.

Matilde Dal Bosco - MSc Strategy and International Business graduate

Stepping out her comfort zone

Whilst studying on the course, Matilde dal Bosco became events manager for ESN Aston which allowed her to step out of her comfort zone and expand her network. 

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 MSc Strategy and International Business at Aston University?

You’ll grasp a solid understanding of advanced-level strategy and how it can be applied to a wide variety of business settings. Throughout this degree, you will develop well-rounded business knowledge as well as become an expert in strategic thinking, decision making and problem solving. There is a strong emphasis on applying theory to practice to prepare you for your future career. For this reason, there is ample opportunity to analyse real-world case studies and partake in business simulations and challenges. 

You will be taught by leading academics and practitioners who are experts in this area – taking place at the triple-accredited Aston Business School. 

What is the ‘Aston Global Advantage’?

Embedded in all our masters degrees, this assessed, year-long credit-bearing module aims to develop professional and personal transferrable skills relevant to any workplace and create a bridge between the degree and the world of work.

The Aston Global Advantage

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.

MyAstonPortal

What can I get involved in at Aston Business School?

At Aston Business School, you will dive into a dynamic blend of innovative learning and hands-on experiences. With our acclaimed triple-crown accreditation, we offer you academic excellence and a track record of producing successful graduates.

Located in Birmingham, the UK's vibrant second city, Aston Business School provides you with a culturally rich environment and superb connectivity. You will benefit from real-world business engagements, international study opportunities and entrepreneur support programmes like BSEEN and Pitchfest.

You can also engage in practical consultancy at the Aston Business Clinic and collaborate with global peers in events such as the Maastricht Case Competition or the Universities Business Challenge. Our partnership with The Prince’s Trust, alongside a range of student clubs including TEDx and Enactus further enriches your learning experience.

Discover more

Say Hello to students at Aston University

Hello, what would you like to ask us?

Hello! We are a team of current Aston University students from various parts of the world, studying a wide range of postgraduate subjects.

Feel free to ask us anything about studying at Aston University.

Chat to our students

 

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