Plymouth Business School

MSc International Business

Duration 1 year (+ optional placement)
Course type Full-time, Part-time route available
Location Plymouth

In today's global economy, the ability to think and work across geographic and political boundaries is imperative to not only conduct business in an international context but also to survive in such a competitive, globalised environment. This MSc is designed to give you the essential skills for professional and practical development, covering topics such as competitive marketing strategy, global supply chain management, leadership and management and international business environment.

This programme is available with a January or September start. Placement only available with the September start.

International Business
Careers with this subject

Postgraduates in International Business have career opportunities in large multinational corporations and banks. Prospective recruiters include companies such as Vodafone and Lloyds Bank. Our postgraduates earn a starting salary that is significantly higher than that of undergraduates.

Careers service

The University of Plymouth has a dedicated careers service supporting you from the moment you start your degree, to three years after graduation.

Careers advice is embedded into your academic programme through workshops, events, placements, networks - working with the academic staff teaching on your course. We also offer materials, networks and resources online through our 24/7 portal, and a wide-range of activities, opportunities and support centrally in the Careers Service space within the Student Hub.

We are here to help you to explore, connect and succeed.

Discover our careers service

Key features

  • We are happy to welcome students from a broad range of undergraduate disciplines. We want to work with you if you are keen to place your discipline knowledge into an international business context or if you are a professional wanting to expand your experience and enter the world of multi-national enterprises.
  • This programme will be underpinned by a firm practical orientation.
  • Each module will reflect current practice and apply theories outlined to real world problems and scenarios.

  • The programme will have its own dedicated seminar series delivered by executives from local, national and international companies.

  • MSc International Business offers an optional placement for 36 weeks (for students starting in September). A placement gives you opportunity to take what you’ve learned in the classroom out into the wider world, build your network and gain valuable experience in a business environment.
  • This programme is available at MSc, PgDip and PgCert level.

  • No prior background in international business is required.

  • You have the option to start the course in September or January. 

Course details
  • Year 1

  • In a world that is rapidly globalising, future managers need to be competent in the latest international business models as well as in cross-cultural literacy. The MSc International Business programme provides you with the latest understanding of the world of international business in a rapidly globalising world. Focusing on both the theory and application of international business, you develop academic and employability skills. No prior background in international business is required. The modules in the first and second semesters equip you with the range of knowledge and skills that are needed to succeed in the dynamic and ever-changing world of international business. You will complete the programme by undertaking either a placement with a work-based learning project, or a more traditional research project.

    The design of our postgraduate programmes focuses on four taught modules and a capstone project. We believe that simplicity in programme design provides you with a better learning experience. The dynamic and challenging nature of contemporary business does not isolate concepts into small packages – and neither do our programmes. This approach links concepts together as they are in the real world, and enables you to focus in on what really matters.

    Core modules

    • STO7002: Current Issues in International Business
    • STO7001: Theories and Practices of International Business
    • STO7003: International Business Strategy for Competitive Advantage
    • PBS7000J: Capstone Project

    Elective modules (one to be chosen)

    • HRL7005: Leading, Developing and Managing People
    • MAR7002: International Trade and Data Management
    • MKT7001: Marketing and Strategy

  • Optional placement

  • You have the opportunity to undertake an optional placement over 36 weeks (students starting in September). As well as giving you industry-specific experience, undertaking a work placement year helps you develop key transferable skills that enhance your employability prospects on graduation.

    While it is your responsibility to find and secure a placement (deadline March), you will be helped and supported by the University. 

    International students who start their studies in the UK in 2020 or after could benefit from the new post-study work visa (PSW) for graduates. The visa will allow eligible students to work, or look for work, in any career or position of their choice, for two years after completing their studies. If you are an international student with questions about the placement year please contact Programme Leader Atul Mishra to discuss further

    If you opt for the 36-week placement, you will first complete STO7004 Master’s Placement Preparation before going on to complete STO7005 Master’s Placement Project in your second year.

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest programme structure and may be subject to change:

MSc International Business Prog Spec Sep22 FINAL 6959

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.
Entry requirements

Normal minimum entry requirements are a lower second (2:2) class honours degree or equivalent. Other qualifications and relevant experience will be considered on an individual basis.

A good honours degree, first or second class, or equivalent, in any discipline.

If English is not your mother tongue 6.5 IELTS with a minimum of 5.5 in any element in a secure English language test. English language requirements.

The University of Plymouth offers pre-sessional English language courses if you do not have this.

We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Fees, costs and funding

New Student 2022-2023 2023-2024
Home £10,200 £11,000
International £15,700 £17,500
Part time (Home) £550 £610
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances. More information about fees and funding.

Postgraduate scholarships for international students

We offer several scholarships for international students who wish to study postgraduate taught (PGT) degree programmes.

Find out about the postgraduate scholarships available to you as an international student

How to apply

When to apply

Most of our taught programmes begin in September. Applications can usually be made throughout the year, and are considered until programmes are full. 

Before you apply

Familiarise yourself with the information required to complete your application form. You will usually be required to supply:
  • evidence of qualifications (degree certificates or transcripts), with translations if not in English, to show that you meet, or expect to meet the entry requirements
  • evidence of English language proficiency, if English is not your first language
  • a personal statement of approximately 250-400 words about the reasons for your interest in the course and outlining the nature of previous and current related experience. You can write this into the online application form, or include it as a separate document
  • your curriculum vitae or résumé, including details of relevant professional/voluntary experience, professional registration/s and visa status for overseas workers
  • proof of sponsorship, if applicable.
If you require further information take a look at our application guidance.

Disability services

If you have a disability and would like further information about the support provided by University of Plymouth, please visit our Disability Services website. 

International students

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email

Submitting an application

Once you are happy that you have all of the information required you can apply using our online postgraduate application form (the blue 'Apply now' icon on this page).

What happens after I apply?

You will normally receive a decision on your application within four weeks of us receiving your application. You may be asked to provide additional information; two academic/professional references, confirming your suitability for the course; or to take part in an interview (which in the case of overseas students may be by telephone or video conference) and you will be sent a decision by letter or email.

We aim to make the application procedure as simple and efficient as possible. Our Admissions and Course Enquiries team is on hand to offer help and can put you in touch with the appropriate faculty if you wish to discuss any programme in detail.

If you would like any further information please contact the Admissions and Course Enquiries team:

Telephone: +44 (0)1752 585858

Admissions policy

More information and advice for applicants can be referenced by downloading our Student Admissions Policy Prospective students are advised to read the policy before making an application to the University.

Progression routes

International progression routes

The University of Plymouth International College (UPIC) offers foundation, first-year and pre-masters programmes that lead to University of Plymouth degrees. Courses are specially designed for EU and international students who are missing the grades for direct entry to the University, and include full duration visa sponsorship. You can start in January, May or September, benefitting from small class sizes, top-quality tuition and 24/7 student support.

Find out more at or contact our team at

Join us in September 2023

Due to an unprecedented volume of applications, we have temporarily closed applications for a January 2023 start. We continue to accept applications for September 2023 entry onwards.

International perspectives for international business

On the MSc International Business programme you will be taught by a team of academics who come from all over the world helping to bring the world of International Business to life. 

We also make sure that our teaching methods enable you to apply theory to practice through experiential learning methods such as case study analysis, live projects and business simulations.

This will help you translate your academic development more quickly into your working practices following graduation and share interesting examples of activities and projects to potential employers. 

Past students have secured positions within:

  • finance
  • banking
  • shipping 
  • and logistics.

<p>Shanghai skyline</p>

Gaining international insight

The MSc International Business programme enables our students to compare and contrast the practice of international strategic management in different business sectors, and within different cultural and economic contexts. 

  • The managerial implications of a changing global business environment, the opportunities and threats of emerging economies and the impact this is having on dominant business management paradigms, structures and strategies is a key focal point. 
  • International finance and developing an understanding of how foreign exchange markets, derivatives markets and international parity theories impact on international business activity is an equally valuable feature of this programme. There is also thorough treatment of managing currency risks with modern instruments of hedging.

Why complete a placement?

As well as giving you industry-specific experience, undertaking a work placement year helps you develop key transferable skills that enhance your employability prospects on graduation. Placements give you an appreciation of the business environment through hands-on experience and provide opportunities to build your network. 

  • Employers are more likely to favour graduates with work experience.
  • A placement will open the door to graduate opportunities. Employers regularly choose previous placement students for their graduate schemes.
  • Improve your degree results.
  • Get a taste of your chosen career.

<p>Colleagues in a meeting</p>

Current student insights

"The University staff has always been very kind and helpful to me and I feel that this is very vital for international students that are far away from home." – Kalliopi Vlachou

"The vibrant Students' Union, supportive business faculty, excellent library services and crucially, the diverse opportunities available to help students maximise their potential. All these aspects of the University inspire me to succeed." – Mariam Musa

Find out more about our current students' insights into studying on the programme at Plymouth

<p>Kalliopi Vlachou and Mariam Musa</p>

Meet our experts

  • Lecturer in Strategic Management (Education)
    Programme Lead, research interests include microfinance and microenterprise
  • Extensive research portfolio
  • Associate Professor in Business Management & Operations
    Chartered Engineer and Member of the Institution of Engineering
  • Associate Professor (Reader) in Economics
    Research interests include public and environmental economics
  • Lecturer in Marketing (Education)
    Extensive marketing industry experience with connections to local business
  • Lecturer in Human Resource Studies/Leadership
    Specialises in teaching human resource management

Plymouth Business School

  • ? Committed to social, economic and environmental responsibility
  • ? Supporting the internationally recognised focus on sustainability and social purpose of the University
  • ? Leading business ready graduates onto a successful career and happy life
  • ? Supporting graduates to make informed choices based on current economic and market trends
  • ? Building students resilience and confidence
  • ? Promoting practical skills development