Higher Apprenticeship in International Trade: Information for Employees


Our International Trade Higher Apprenticeship provides employees with the skills and knowledge to successfully operate in international trade whilst still earning a full wage.

Delivered in collaboration with the Institute of Exports, this fully-funded, work-based qualification is a tailored programme for you and your organisation, providing a flexible alternative to traditional study. 

Through the programme, you will earn a FdSc foundation degree in International Trade, whilst applying learned theory directly to the workplace. Upon completion, you can progress to the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship, earning a BSc (Hons) in Professional Management Practice with a specialism in international trade.

Programme overview

  • Two-year foundation degree with the Institute of Exports (IoE), leading to a two-year Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship with the University of Plymouth.
  • Delivered online with the IoE, with regular tutor interaction, online webinars, student forums, and access to University of Plymouth resources.
  • Modules are designed to teach students how theory and practice influence each other, with real-life problem solving a key part of the learning experience.
  • Students have the opportunity to undertake learning specific to different disciplines in international trade, including transport and logistics, supply chains, compliance and trade finance.
  • Support from a personal workplace tutor and company mentor throughout the duration of the programme.

How to apply

The potential apprentice will be required to complete an Initial Needs Assessment (INA) with the support of their employer and the University to ensure the Apprenticeship programme is an appropriate solution to their skills development needs. On completion of the INA the University will assess the information provided and determine the next steps.

To request the Initial Needs Assessment please contact apprenticeships@plymouth.ac.uk

All applicants must be in full-time employment within an organisation engaged in international trade activities. Areas may include: logistics, exports, imports, supply chain, trade finance, customer service, trade compliance and customs.

Applicants must have GCSE (or equivalent) Maths/English at grade C, plus either of the following criteria

  • a minimum of 2x A levels in relevant subjects
  • BTEC National Diploma or QCF Qualification at Pass level in relevant subject
  • access to Higher Education at Level 3.

Recognition of prior experiential learning may be considered for candidates with more than three years’ work experience in international trade.

Key benefits

  • @ No course fees – costs are covered by the government and/or your employer.
  • @ Earn while you learn – remain employed and receive a full wage while studying.
  • @ Tailored to your needs – undertake specific modules relevant to your role and workplace.
  • @ High quality teaching – teaching is always current and integrates best practice as well as internationally renowned research. The tutors supporting the programme are experienced in international trade and have an academic background.
  • @ Support – guidance from experienced academic tutors as well as qualified staff for the duration of the programme.

Module details

Year one

  • Fundamentals of Degree Learning - an introduction to the requirements of degree based learning, introducing learners to academic practice and requirements around Harvard referencing, the ability to analyse and reflect and presenting assignments in an academic format. Study techniques and working on your own initiative are also studied.
  • International Marketing - an introduction to international marketing theories, research methodology and how businesses apply the marketing mix, in terms of price, product, promotion and place, when trading in international markets
  • The Business Environment of International Trade - enables students to apply economic theory to the economic and commercial realities faced by businesses trading internationally
  • The Legal Environment of International Trade - an introduction to the concept and application of key legal requirements that businesses have to address when trading internationally
  • Fulfilling Import and Export Orders - an insight into the fundamental requirements of processing export and import orders and the key stages from order enquiry, negotiating terms of sale, document preparation to shipment and receipt of goods
  • Transportation, Packaging and Insurance of Goods in Transit - an evaluation of the different modes of transport that apply in international trade and options for preferred transport modes, based on the nature of goods and services being transported, and the requirement to adhere to legislation.

Year two

  • Finance of International Trade - provides students with an understanding of the keys to profitability in their business, and the most appropriate sources of finance to maximise such profits. Students are also required to evaluate and attempt to reduce the various risks that are common to all international trade, including exchange risk and country and buyer credit risk
  • International Logistics and Purchasing - develops the student’s knowledge further to the point where the student can recommend a strategy for how businesses manage transport, warehousing, inventory and materials handling
  • International Marketing Strategy - addresses the development of international marketing strategies including export market selection, market entry, the marketing mix and some of the organisational aspects relating to international marketing
  • Management in International Trade - a study of strategies and structures used by businesses trading internationally at a local, regional and international level, including how management styles differ in overseas markets and applicable recruitment policies when establishing overseas business operations
  • Practical Global Trading - further develops the research and analysis skills of the students by identifying an area of international trade that requires investigation, with respect to the student’s business. Students are also required to present conclusions and recommendations to their area of international trade research.

Degree Apprenticeship: Chartered Manager

Upon completion of the FdSc in International Trade, employees can progress to the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship, earning a BSc (Hons) in Professional Management Practice whilst continuing to earn a wage.

The Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship has been designed with employers in collaboration with the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

Find out more.

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