Strategy and International Business MSc

A unique combination of strategy, management consulting and international business, our MSc Strategy and International Business course can kick-start your career.

This course will open for applications on October 15th 2022.

Aston University, Birmingham

Course type

Full-time

Course format

Duration

1 Year

UCAS code(s)

N/A

Start date

Overview
Why explore Strategy and International Business at Aston University?

Matthew Groom | MSc Strategy and International Business

See how Matthew Groom gained global advantage at Aston Business School. The Global Advantage programme enabled him to gain a placement in another country and to achieve a role at Salesforce in London.

Thais Richard | MSc Strategy and International Business

Find out more about Thais's time at Aston University and why she chose to study MSc Strategy and International Business. 

Why study a postgraduate degree at Aston University?

A postgraduate degree is a great way to improve your career prospects. As well as opening doors, it builds on your experience, develops your skills, and gives you a competitive edge in a crowded job market.

"Having the opportunity to choose a number of optional modules, really helped me to tailor my education to my specific interests."

business-testimonial

“I was impressed with the Business School’s close links to industry and local business as I knew this would present networking opportunities.”

Helen Williams

Marketing Executive at Reynaers Aluminium UK

business-testimonial

“I was impressed with the Business School’s close links to industry and local business as I knew this would present networking opportunities.”

Helen Williams

Marketing Executive at Reynaers Aluminium UK

Course outline and modules

This course will equip you with the skills to analyse companies’ strategic situations and develop practical strategic solutions for complex commercial problems. You’ll learn the vital role middle managers play in implementing strategy and how you can make strategy work in practice.

How will my skills develop?

This cutting-edge programme will give you a detailed understanding of strategy and its application in a wide variety of business settings, including consultancy. It will enable you to become strategically minded. You’ll learn to evaluate organisations’ positions within their competitive environments and then develop viable strategic options. By the end of this course, you’ll have a well-rounded business knowledge as well as the strategic skills to pursue a wide range of career options in strategy development, management consulting or a managerial role in a variety of business functions.

You’ll gain a detailed understanding of strategy by studying three modules focused on this fascinating area of business. The modules cover the fundamentals, advanced-level strategy and how strategy works in an international business context. In the first term, we’ll introduce you to 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.

In the second term, you’ll gain knowledge of advanced-level strategy and how this works in real-life business situations. We explore specialist topics, such as scenario planning, the art of strategic decision-making, mergers and acquisitions, the practice of management consultancy, and the key role middle managers play in making strategy happen. We use a series of case studies and business simulations to introduce you to strategic dilemmas across a range of industries. You’ll develop practical skills in assessing strategic opportunities and crafting viable strategic plans.

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?

What makes this course unique is the opportunity to study strategy development and implementation from a management consultancy perspective. You’ll also have the chance to work on a real-life strategy problem in a consultative capacity. You can help an organisation to address a strategic problem and in doing so gain valuable practical experience, which will enhance your CV and help you when applying for graduate roles.

There’s the chance to tailor the programme to your interests or future career plans. You’ll select four modules from a wide variety of business topics, including marketing, finance, consultancy and entrepreneurship. This allows you to enhance your understanding of several business functions and helps you to develop a broad range of transferable business skills.

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 project or 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. 

Modules

Core modules

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 in analysing contemporary case studies and through engaging in a rich business strategy simulation that involves strategic decision-making.
 

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.
 

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.
 

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.
 

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 transferrable 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

Note: 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.

Intellectual Property Strategy and 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

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.

Entry requirements

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 students
  • 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.
     
  • 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. 
     
  • For more information about qualifications, view our Aston in your country webpage.
     
  • For more information about completing a foundation year, visit our foundation year webpage.
Extensive 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

There’s a range of teaching methods used on the course. This will allow you to explore, test and apply strategy in a way that suits you and ensures you get the most out of your studies.

Lectures will teach you key strategic concepts and frameworks, providing you with a fundamental understanding of the topics. We welcome a series of guest speakers from industry throughout the course. These are either business leaders or specialists in strategic management. They will share their expertise and experiences, which will help to enhance your understanding of strategy in practise.

You’ll also have the chance to apply the techniques you’ve learnt through a variety of real-life case studies.

Through workshops and seminars, you’ll take part in class discussions and group work. This will enhance your communication, teamwork and management skills. These are key competences for your professional career.

We use a mix of assessment methods. There are exams, coursework, group work and presentations designed to test your understanding of key topics. Your lecturers will ensure you’re well-prepared for assignments and provide additional support you may need.

You’ll be taught by leading academics and practitioners who benefit from practical experience of strategy. It’s this mix of perspectives that our students find so valuable.

Classroom activities

Formula 1 case study

We take a detailed look at how rival teams have battled for Formula 1 supremacy. You’ll assessing the external environment for teams, analyse their strategic capabilities and identify the source of their competitive advantage, as they reached the top of the podium. Exciting, inspiring and fast-paced...and that’s just your studies.

Globalisation

We examine globalisation and its effects on various aspects of modern life; from governance to culture, equality to sustainability. We also explore the role multinational enterprises play in each of these categories, before debating the pros and cons of globalisation.

Simulations and Kahoot!

You will examine a range of case studies and engage in strategic business simulations in various modules. This will give you the chance to apply the frameworks and techniques you’ve learnt to real-life situations.

We often use games to check and reinforce your understanding of taught material. One such is Kahoot! that lets you take part in a multiple-choice quiz from your own mobile, laptop or tablet device. You’ll compete against your fellow students to get to the top of the leader board. These are fantastic study tools that help you to learn in a fun and engaging way.

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.

Meet our Global Alumni Ambassador Graphic

Ask one of our International alumni about their time studying with us. They will be happy to share their thoughts on moving to Birmingham to study their course and answer any of your questions from their own experiences.

Find out more

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.

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.

This course gives you numerous opportunities to gain valuable work experience, which will enhance your CV and boost your employability.

You have the chance to go on a work placement with a firm of your choice, spending anywhere from one month to one year with the company. You will benefit from applying your knowledge day-to-day in a professional environment. Our students have been successful in gaining work placements in a wide variety of industries and business sectors, both in the UK and internationally. They’ve worked in various areas of business, fulfilling roles in Salesforce, First Bank of Nigeria and Capgemini.

With your dissertation, there’s also the option for you to work on a specific strategic problem with a firm. You’ll act as consultant, using the skills you’ve learnt during the course to come up with a solution to this issue.

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. 

Placement case studies

Find out about Jegan Davies-Jones's placement as a Product Manager at Vitabonna/The Innovation Factory Cooperative.

Find out about Ememobong Etim’s placement as a Business Strategist and Development Analyst with Vitabonna Development Limited.

Find out about Suzhen Ye’s placement as an Assistant Marketing Director with First Plus Education.

Find out about Chloe Chan’s, Health Tech Services Internship at Holland & Barrett.

Find out about Piyushi Pawan’s placement as a Regional Marketing Coordinator for India, Aston University.

Universities Business Challenge Global Masters

All Aston University Business postgraduate students have the opportunity to take part in the Universities Business Challenge (UBC) Global Masters. The UBC Global Masters is a team-based business simulation event that provides participants with the opportunity to act as a board of directors, who have taken responsibility for improving the performance of a company.

Trips and visits

Your module leaders will organise a series of networking opportunities and guest lectures for you. Consultants from leading consulting firms, senior executives and international business leaders will give you with an insight into the how strategy works within large firms, specific internationalisation strategies and challenges faced when implementing strategy.

There’s also a large number of graduate employers which visit campus throughout the year. You’ll have the chance to chat to companies about their graduate opportunities and get an insight into their selection process.

Fees and scholarships

UK students (2023/24): £11,850

International/EU students (2023/24): £22,750

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.

More information on fees

UK postgraduate loans

If you're thinking about studying a masters course with us, you may be eligible for a postgraduate loan to help with course fees and living costs. 

Find out more here.

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.

20 per cent postgraduate alumni scholarship

 

Cost shouldn't limit your career aspirations, which is why we are delighted to offer all Aston University graduates (including exchange students) a 20% loyalty scholarship in standard taught MA, MSc and Full-time MBA course fees.

This means that as an Aston University graduate applying to our MSc Strategy and International Business course, you could save...

£2,370

UK students
(Total saving equivalent to 20% of the annual tuition fee)

£4,550

International/EU students
(Total saving equivalent to 20% of the annual tuition fee)

As an Aston University graduate, you will automatically qualify. For more information visit our webpage.

Career prospects

This course 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.

Recent graduates

Our recent graduates have setup their own businesses as well as in to roles including:

  • Management Consultant
  • Social Innovation Consultant
  • Business Intelligence Consultant
  • Marketing Analyst
  • Business Analyst
  • Project Manager.

Companies our graduates have gone on to work at include:

  • Citibank
  • Easyjet
  • 3Mltd.

NUE

Aston University was recognised as the 'Best University Placement Service'.

The Careers and Placements team at Aston University won the 'Best University Placement Service' category at the National Undergraduate Employability (NUE) Awards 2022. This was achieved by launching Virtual Employability Festivals and recognising the power of peer-to-peer communication by pairing 500 students looking for placements with 500 students who had completed placements.

Here's what our students say

Helen Williams

Helen Williams

"I really enjoyed the practical aspects of the course, which simulated real work place scenarios such as pitching to clients and presenting a new business idea to mock investors. In both of these examples industry experts were on the panel as part of the assessment team and their feedback was incredibly valuable.

In the seminars I enjoyed looking at case studies and critically evaluating a company’s business strategy. I do believe the course has helped prepare me to become a future business leader and to be able to adapt to a continually changing environment."

Find out more

Melissa Borgotle headshot

Melissa Borgolte

"During my bachelor I worked for a student consulting company, so I decided early that I want to go into consultancy later. At Aston, I had the chance to focus on Strategy & International Business and write my master thesis as a consulting project, which was the main reason for me to choose Aston University.

I enjoyed that there were so many international students studying with me. Even until today I am friends with many of my fellow students, who live in various countries."

Find out more

Tajinder Kaur headshot

Tajinder Kaur

"I get to work with various clients and in numerous roles. I enjoy the variety in workload and working on projects where I can see the tangible benefits from having delivered a piece of work."

Find out more

Frequently Asked Questions

Why study Strategy and International Business at Aston University?

This course was ranked 1st in the UK, and 13th globally (Eduniversal Best Masters Ranking, 2019) and provides a unique combination of strategy, management consulting and international business.

The course will equip you with the skills to analyse companies' strategic situations and develop practical strategic solutions for complex commercial problems. You'll learn the vital role middle managers play in implementing strategy and how you can make strategy work in practice.

What kind of career will I develop with a masters in Strategy and 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 and PwC.

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 the 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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