Plymouth Business School

MSc International Business

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.

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.

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.

Course details

  • Year 1
  • n 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 core modules consist of leadership, marketing, international finance and global supply chain management, thus preparing you for the elective modules in the next semester. The elective modules consist of international environmental economics, international and comparative human resource management and international marketing. This programme is based entirely on coursework. There is no requirement to write a dissertation at the end of the academic year.

    Core modules
    • ACF703 International Finance

      This module provides a wide perspective on international finance and how this relates to foreign exchange markets, derivatives markets and international parity theories. It also offers a thorough treatment of managing currency risks with modern instruments of hedging.

    • HRL710A Leadership and Management Essentials

      This module will provide learners with a rigorous framework of knowledge, skills and understanding concerning leadership and management that they will need whatever the degree of specialisation they later elect to follow.

    • HRL714SU International HRM

      The module will introduce students to International and Comparative HRM issues. After appraising the implications of globalisation for HRM and labour, students will learn how to compare HRM across countries with the aid of cultural and institutional theories. HRM issues of Multinational Companies will be addressed. Finally, the focus will shift to arguments for and against international regulation of labour standards.

    • MKT700A Marketing and Strategy

      The purpose of this module is to develop an understanding of the role of marketing and strategy in a range of contemporary organisations. It examines the major themes within the marketing arena and equips participants with the ability to evaluate and recommend appropriate actions to fulfil their objectives. Further to this, the module introduces key concepts and frameworks of strategy and develops students¿ abilities to apply appropriate analytical techniques used in strategic decision-making. The relationship between marketing and strategy and other business functions is explored. The module uses case studies to provide an integrative perspective on aspects of marketing and strategy within organisations.

    • MKT708SU International Marketing

      The module provides insights into the key theoretical principles and contemporary practice of international marketing. It delivers a comprehensive understanding of the environmental factors, marketing strategies and the marketing planning process associated with marketing in an international context.

    • STO700A International Business Environment

      This module provides a broad overview of the environment in which contemporary business organisations operate. It presents data sources and analytical approaches that can be applied to any specific sectors, industries and a range of locations through the world. Understanding the international business environment is a key aspect of organisational decision making and is critical to business success.

    • STO701 Knowledge Management and Decision Making

      Evidence has clearly shown that excellent business performance can only be achieved based on the right decisions underpinned by the effective management of knowledge. The ability to make good decisions is the mark of successful and promotable managers. This module introduces the major themes of integrated knowledge management and decision making (core concepts, processes, models), describing the key challenges of knowledge management and decision making under current business environment. It further develops an appreciation of knowledge management responses to decision requirements which need to meet the key challenges, and the important methods and technologies which can be used to support knowledge-based decision making. It will provide students with opportunities to develop key research, analytical and evaluation skills that would enhance decision makers¿ confidence in rational, evidence-based decision making to solve complex business decision problems.

    • STO702 Global Supply Chain Management

      One of the sweeping changes in the current global economy is global supply chain management (SCM). Effective management of global supply chains can take the advantages of not only global market but also global resources, to provide supply chains with formidable competitiveness. However, global SCM faces unprecedented challenges and can be more vulnerable because of their geographically long distance, high uncertainty and more sources of risks. This module will provide students with comprehensive knowledge in managing global supply chains, develop students, skills in analysing decisions related to global issues in SCM, and equip students with state-of-the-art technologies to move towards modern, professional and forward thinking supply chain specialists.

    • STO703 International Strategic Management

      This module focuses on the organisational structures and strategies appropriate to successful business management in a variety of different sectors and countries. It provides student with the opportunity to compare and contrast the practice of international strategic management in different business sectors, and within different cultural and economic contexts. The focus is on 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.

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 Programme Specification Oct19 5344

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

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

EU applicants should refer to our dedicated Brexit webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s plans to leave the European Union.

New Student 2019 2020
Home/EU £9,500 £8,800
International £14,400 £14,800
Part time (Home/EU) £500 £500
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.

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.

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

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.

In this short video Atul Mishra, Programme Manager, provides an insight into the MSc International Business programme at the University of Plymouth.

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.

Fieldtrip to Airbus, Filton, Bristol

We believe that getting out and visiting companies and/or facilities that are truly engaged in international business provides a valuable contribution to our students' development. Recent examples of field trips include a trip to Airbus a multi-billion-pound international business in Filton, Bristol. 

Annually Airbus spends around £4 billion with suppliers in the UK alone it employs over 4,000 people in the design and manufacturing areas, as well as in business support roles such as procurement, finance and customer service. There is also an aerospace business park that consolidates the site’s engineering, design, customer support and other employees into one highly efficient office block. Visiting the company and getting a grasp of the scale of its operation, the international context and the business challenges this presents was a really interesting experience for our students.


The Institute for Social, Policy and Enterprise Research (iSPER)

The Institute for Social, Policy and Enterprise Research (iSPER) is a leading research institute at the University of Plymouth and is home to a number of thematic areas relevant to the MSc International Business. Postgraduate students can take part in iSPER events and activities joining seminars from local and guest speakers from academic and business sectors. 

The two main groups which are of relevance to International Business students are:

  • MIC (Markets, Innovation and Competition) 
  • The ProSerV (Product and Service Value Chain Innovation through Advanced Technologies)      
Find out more about iSPER, their groups, their projects, publications and dynamic seminar and events series that you will be welcome to join.

Business and management with the University of Plymouth

The MSc International Business programme is part of a suite of business and management programmes offered by Plymouth Business School. These programmes cover marketing strategy, global supply chain management, leadership and the complex international business environment, with the opportunity to specialise in a specific subject area relevant to your current or future career.
This video provides an overview of the learning environment and what it is like to study postgraduate business and management with the University of Plymouth. Programmes in this suite include MSc Business and Management, MA Human Resource Management, MSc International Business, and MSc Operations and Supply Chain Management.

Postgraduate students

Postgraduate study in Plymouth Business School can help you realise your ambitions and develop your potential as a manager and leader of the future. Whether you come to us as a newly qualified graduate or after a successful track record in industry we provide high quality, professionally accredited postgraduate programmes, and PhD and professional doctorate supervision.

International community

Play your part in out thriving international community of 3,000 students from over 100 countries studying full and part time programmes at the University.

We'll help you at every step of your journey from applying to settling in, during and after your postgraduate studies.