Plymouth Business School

BA (Hons) International Trade and Operations Management

Equip yourself with essential skills to deliver goods and services to customers across the globe in an efficient and cost-effective way. Studying on this one year top-up course, you’ll develop your appreciation of the global marketplace and its impact on business decisions and operational culture. You’ll also gain in-depth knowledge and understanding of international trade and operations management, and build firm foundations to begin your future as a skilled operations manager.

You will also have the opportunity to progress onto a postgraduate programme in MSc International Logistics and Supply Chain Management or MSc Business and Management after successful completion of the top-up course. You will benefit from ten per cent off the masters fee, plus there is no need to repeat your IELTS test if you graduate with at least a 2:2 in your top-up.

Join us in September or January

This course offers you the option to start your studies in either September 2020 or January 2021.

Key features

  • Take part in one year of intensive study at one of the UK’s biggest universities starting in September.
  • Benefit from academic staff who have relevant industrial and academic experience.
  • Enhance your employability through a combination of academic analysis and the development of key skills.
  • Progress onto a postgraduate programme in MSc International Logistics and Supply Chain Management or MSc Business and Management after successful completion of the top-up course.
  • Benefit from ten per cent off the masters fee, plus there is no need to repeat your IELTS test if you graduate with at least a 2:2 in your top-up.

Course details

  • Course overview
  • You’ll develop your understanding of the current management issues through contemporary case studies, government legislation and philosophical and environmental debates. You’ll increase your knowledge of issues in the global supply chain involving logistics, customer service and transportation.

    What if my first language is not English?

    Students who attend the University of Plymouth two week English language summer school or no summer school take the module DEAS300 Academic Skills for International Final Year Direct Entry Students. Students who attend the longer University of Plymouth English language summer school take English for Specific Academic Purposes (ESAP). DEAS300 is designed to provide academic support for students transitioning into UK HE for overseas. English for Specific Academic Purposes provides English language and Academic Support for these students. Both DEAS300 and English for Specific Academic Purposes are zero credit weighted.

    Please note modules are 20 credits other than DEAS300 and EASP which carry no credits.

    September cohort

    Semester 1

    • DEAS300 Academic Skills for International Direct Entry Final Year Students or ESAP English for Specific Academic
    • MAR322 Research Skills for International Business or MAR330 Procurement Management Processes
    • STO300 Global Enterprise
    • MAR332 International Supply Chain Management

    Semester 2
    • STO301 Operations Management for Competitive Advantage
    • STO306 Current Issues in Management
    • ECN3013 International Trade and International Finance

    January cohort

    Semester 1 (Spring)

    • STO301 Operations Management for Competitive Advantage
    • STO306 Current Issues in Management
    • ECN3013 International Trade and International Finance
    • DEAS300 Academic Skills for International Direct Entry Final Year Students or ESAP English for Specific AcademicPurposes

    Semester 2 (Summer)

    • BUSM302 Strategic Management: Theory and Practice
    • MAR326 Ports and Intermodalism
    • MAR332 International Supply Chain Management

    Modules for January cohort only:

    • BUSM302 Strategic Management: Theory and Practice: The module provides context for students to understand contemporary issues in the field of entrepreneurship. It explores current trends and issues through the lens of ongoing research being undertaken within the field and requires students to actively participate within a developing research project.
    • MAR326 Ports and Intermodalism: The module considers national policies, governance and operations associated with port and intermodal activities set within the context of a globalised industry. It invites an understanding of ports and terminals and their development.
    Core modules
    • ECN3013 International Trade and International Finance

      This module explores the economic implications of globalisation by investigating current trends in international trade and international financial markets.

    • MAR332 International Supply Chain Management

      This module provides a comprehensive understanding of the principles and practices of international supply chain management and the complexities involved in planning, coordinating and operating various business processes in the management of international supply chains.

    • STO300 Global Enterprise

      A module providing advanced study of contemporary international business and theory.

    • STO301 Operations Management for Competitive Advantage

      This module brings a strategic and problem-focused view to operations management, concentrating on spheres key to operations based competitive advantage, both in goods and service based industries. Particular consideration is given to operations strategy, supply chain management, lean thinking, performance measurement, quality management, project management and topical developments.

    • STO306 Current Issues in Management

      This module exposes students to current debates within the field of business and management. The content will be fluid as it will draw on contemporary case studies, technological innovation, government legislation and philosophical, ethical or environmental debates.

    Optional modules
    • DEAS300 Academic Skills for International Direct Entry Final Year Students

      This module focuses on the study skills required for the study of business in UK HE for international direct entry final year students, it provides generic skills for students who are new to UK HE, such as information literacy, criticality, different types of assessment, assignment briefs, preparation and planning, and marking rubrics.

    • MAR322 Research Skills for International Business

      This module introduces students to the research processes and sources of data used in international logistics and related fields. It develops skills in interpreting, evaluating and presenting information in this complex international environment.

    • MAR330 Procurement Management Processes

      This module explores the concept of strategy from theories of strategy to models of the strategic process, relating these models to strategy in the procurement function through the use of SCM relevant strategy analysis tools such as PESTLE, SWOT, Portfolio Analysis. As procurement is an important element of an institutions corporate strategy plans the relevance will be examined.

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

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

BA International Trade and Operations Management Programme Specification 3777

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Entry requirements

You will need to hold a foundation degree in business or a recognised equivalent which includes a module in operations.

IELTS of 6.0 or equivalent English qualification (with a minimum of 5.5 in listening, reading, speaking and writing).  

If you have an IELTS of 5.5 or 5.0 (with a minimum of 5.0 in listening, reading, speaking and writing), you may also be offered a place subject to satisfactory completion of an eight or twelve week English language summer school.

English language requirements

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

Please contact the Admissions Team for further information.

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 2020 2021
Home £9,250 £9,250
International £13,800 £14,200
Part time (Home) £770 £770
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. For more information about fees and funding please visit

Undergraduate scholarships for international students

To reward outstanding achievement the University of Plymouth offers scholarship schemes to help towards funding your studies.

Find out whether you are eligible and how you can apply

Additional costs

This course is delivered by the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business and more details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are listed on the following page: Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business additional costs.

How to apply

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

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

Dr Charles Thornton introduces the BA (Hons) International Trade and Operations Management course and what you can expect if you choose to study here at the Plymouth Business School, as part of the University of Plymouth.

Our courses are well respected in the industry and will equip you with the knowledge and the specialist skills to excel in this sector.

Career prospects in this sector are expected to expand as an increasing number of companies conduct global business. A maritime degree will equip you with the knowledge and the specialist skills to get ahead in this industry.

Our graduates are highly employable and working globally in a variety of roles:

  • @ Sourcing Specialist
  • ? Supply Chain Planner
  • @ Operations Executive
  • ? Logistics Manager
  • @ Business Development Manager
  • ? Train Crew Inspector
  • @ Senior Merchandiser
  • ? Sales Executive
  • @ Fuel Oil Bunker Operations

Our graduates

Milla Vehmaa, who graduates from Plymouth Business School this summer, says her course has given her a great starting point to pursue her career goals, and she’s gained some rewarding life experiences along the way.

Why did you decide to study at Plymouth?

The Ocean City Plymouth is similar to my hometown in Finland which is also by the seaside. I knew some friends in Plymouth beforehand who were already studying on a similar course at the University, so it was less intimidating to move all the way here.

What do you like about the University and your course?

The University encourages students to be active and get involved in a lot of extracurricular activities like clubs and societies, volunteering or the student union which teach essential interpersonal skills that help prepare students for the real world, not just their careers.

The University also provides a lot of support in terms of learning, budgeting, mental health, career and others. What I liked the most about my course was the amount of support available and the discussion during seminars. Lecturers would encourage self-learning and discussion as well as critical thinking of the topics/subjects.

Would you recommend your course to others?

Yes I would, as long as they feel this course will lead to their chosen career. As this course is in business, the modules are all interrelated and so an understanding of business will help the learning process in the others too.

What’s the student life like at Plymouth?

Student life is active but not overwhelming. There are plenty of opportunities to start new hobbies, take on` responsibility, volunteer, or keep fit, as long as you look for them. The nightlife is moderately busy, and in my opinion, just enough. My favourite memories include watching late-night TV with my housemates and discovering archery in my final year. My only regret is not finding it sooner.

What do you plan to do after you graduate?

I plan on staying in the UK if possible and entering the procurement field in the UK market. 

I'm a career-focused person so I feel ready to launch my career and work to my full potential. 

I am eager to get the professional CIPS qualification that is essential in my field and I may also return into the academic world for my Masters degree later.

What would be your dream job?

My dream job would be an important role in the procurement department of a company, but to get there, I would first need an entry-level position with career progression and scope for personal development.

The skills gained at the University of Plymouth have given me a great starting point and I have faith in the continued aid from the careers service to their alumni will support me at the beginning of my career.


  • Lecturer in Service Operations Management and Business Strategy (Education)
    Programme Lead