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MSc International Business and Strategy

Combines a global perspective of international business with up-to-date strategic thinking, pushing your career to the next level.

About The Course

To ensure long-term viability, firms require managers who are capable of dealing with the strategic implications of a complex, global business environment. The International Business & Strategy MSc will boost your career by pushing your strategic capabilities to the next level.

This highly demanding programme combines the global perspective of international business with the up-to-date strategic thinking required to develop and defend competitive advantage and implement effective organisational designs. The various modules discuss the drivers of globalisation, the process of internationalisation and how the global economic environment influences firms’ competitive responses. The philosophy behind the International Business & Strategy MSc is to educate future managers. We aim to develop your skills to effectively operate in complex, global businesses, professional service firms and organisations.

The programme also offers the opportunity for an international study abroad experience at one of our partner universities, where you can experience a new culture and academic environment, learn a new language, extend your professional and personal networks, and enhance employability in the global job market.  

Key Facts


12-month full-time course, starts in October


Designed for graduates with a degree in any business-related subject seeking careers in international business.

30-50

Average class size

Course Content

In the first term, you will study five core modules and a careers skills module.

  • Corporate Entrepreneurship

    Companies increasingly realize that a creating and sustaining a competitive edge requires them to think and act like entrepreneurs. Many companies therefore equip selected employees with the space and resources to become intrapreneurs. Other companies see the spawning of corporate spin-offs as an integral part of their strategy.

    This module is a theory-led and practice-oriented primer on corporate entrepreneurship.

    It provides you with knowledge useful for anyone aiming at working (or researching) in the field of corporate innovation and entrepreneurship or at pursuing an entrepreneurial career.

  • Firms in the Global Economy

    This module aims to develop a good understanding of the international business environment. This is undertaken with reference to a critical assessment of globalisation and a subsequent focus on international trade. Students are introduced to the principal theories of international trade and political economy so as to better understand the international environment in which firms operate. The emphasis is placed on understanding the strategies of firms in an ever more globalised world economy. The material will be presented mostly from an applied perspective (i.e. with facts) to bring the economic theoretical apparatus into real-life situations.

  • Business Skills and Analytics

    This core module aims to provide students with a good understanding of basic statistical techniques and concepts. Students will also be helped to develop a critical understanding of more advanced statistical techniques enabling them to undertake original statistical analysis, including regression and multiple regression analysis. On successful completion of this course, students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of important statistical approaches to business analytics. They will be able to use standard business analytics software to generate, analyse and visualize complex data. They will also learn transferrable skills in business analytics and be able to demonstrate that they can successfully work in teams.

  • International Business Strategy

    This module is concerned with the critical choices that organisations face in order to survive and gain sustainable competitive advantage in an international environment with rapid economic, regulatory and technological changes. To understand and critically evaluate these choices and their strategic dimension requires analysis of the environment in which multinational enterprises operate as well as the creation of know-how value at a business and corporate level.

  • Cross-National Management and Leadership

    To be a successful manager in a multi-cultural environment requires a broad range of culturally sensitive skills. This highly interactive core module addresses the managerial implications of cross-cultural and cross-national business by focusing on the individual- and group-level dynamics of international management.

  • Career Skills

    This module complements the academic content of the programme by helping students develop important career skills such as how to present themselves on the job market and business presentation skills. The ability to present complex data in a clear, concise and convincing way is an important skill for business graduates and in this module we offer students the opportunity to learn and practice presentation in a safe environment. On successful completion of this module students will have learnt to:

    • Use structured analytical thinking
    • Synthesise and analysis information in order to abstract meaning and knowledge
    • Communicate complex data
    • Work in groups

During your second term from January to March, you will take the following core modules, plus a choice of the optional modules on the next tab.

  • Strategy Summit

    This is an innovative capstone module for the MSc International Business & Strategy (IB&S) programme. The module comprises a set of lectures and workshops in Term 2 and culminates in a simulated full-day ‘Strategy Summit’ in Term 3. The lecture syllabus will deal with advanced topics in strategy practice and process in multi-business, multi-national firms, and builds on the core strategy and international business modules delivered in Terms 1 and 2.

    The Strategy Summit event simulates a corporate strategy process in a real-world multinational, multidivisional firm. The event creates an environment that calls on students to apply ideas developed in lectures and workshops and, importantly, to reflect on what they are doing in the process. Students work in teams, taking on the role of key actors in the process, e.g. top management team, middle managers, division or subsidiary managers, consultants, unions, regulators, shareholders, media actors, etc.

    The module provides students the opportunity to integrate their learning on the programme and to develop a variety of professional and personal capabilities. Assessment comprises: interim group report; group presentation/performance at the Summit; individual reflective essay.

  • International Corporate Strategy and Structure

    International Corporate Strategy and Structure complements the International Business Strategy core module. International Business Strategy exclusively focuses on ‘business-level strategy’ by providing the analytic scaffolding to conduct industry analysis, make appraisals of a firm's resources and capabilities and develop and assess strategic options for how a firm should be positioned in the market.

  • Cross Border Mergers and Acquisitions

    Cross border mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are an increasingly important force in shaping economies, restructuring industries and revitalizing organisations.Accounting for trillions of dollars in spend and affecting large numbers of employees, it is important to consider the motivations, processes and impacts of cross border M&A.

    Drawing upon International Business, Corporate Strategy, Business Analytics and Cross National Management modules, the main strategies for engaging in M&A, the practices involved in deal closure and the post acquisition integration process shall be examined across a variety of national contexts.

  • Career Skills

    This module complements the academic content of the programme by helping students develop important career skills such as how to present themselves on the job market and business presentation skills. The ability to present complex data in a clear, concise and convincing way is an important skill for business graduates and in this module we offer students the opportunity to learn and practice presentation in a safe environment. On successful completion of this module students will have learnt to:

    • Use structured analytical thinking
    • Synthesise and analysis information in order to abstract meaning and knowledge
    • Communicate complex data
    • Work in groups

During the second and third term you have a choice of modules. The optional modules may vary according to the availability of teaching staff and the demand for the modules.

  • International Money and Banking

    The first four sessions aim to establish an understanding of banks’ behaviour and balance sheets, including capital structure, lending decisions and attitudes to risk. These sessions also study the banks’ role in transmitting the monetary policy decisions of the central bank, i.e. the choice of official interest rates and ‘quantitative easing’. This enables a discussion of the effects of monetary and fiscal policy on the main macroeconomic variables. Session four looks at the origins of the financial crisis and the policy responses.

    Sessions five to seven cover developments in international banking regulation before and since the crisis. This includes the regulation of capital and liquidity under the Basel accords, the attempts to address the moral hazard and the ‘too-large-to fail’ problems, and the influence of regulation on the shadow banking industry.

    The final three sessions study banking and monetary policy in the international context, with a particular focus on problems in the Eurozone and the operation of the eurosystem of central banks.

    In this course, the treatment will generally be non-technical and will be based on developing an understanding of institutional practices and their implications.

  • International Money and Finance

    Beginning with the basic international parity relationships, this module examines the nature of business exposure to foreign exchange risk and the techniques available for hedging these risks. In addition to reviewing forward and futures contracts, several sessions are devoted to the theory and application of options contracts in the context of forex risk hedging.

  • Doing Business in China

    This module, which runs in the Summer term, offers students the opportunity to spend two weeks at the Guanghua School of Management, Peking University in Beijing. The module focuses on the recent evolution of the Chinese economy and culture as well as highlighting key management and leadership aspects specific to the Chinese context. You will study as part of an international group of postgraduate students from top universities across the globe.

  • Knowledge and Global Organisations

    In this module we explore how fundamental questions about 'knowledge' and 'management' apply to global organisations. With ‘being global’ now taken for granted in many organisations, and the largest organisations in the world such as GE and Wal-Mart having revenues greater than the GDP of many countries, it is crucial to understand why and how knowledge and learning are ‘managed’ in such contexts. The module begins by examining how the globalisation strategies of manufacturing organisations are built around knowledge-based rationales and mechanisms, before proceeding to examine the case of global service organisations, with particular attention paid to the way these organisations use their knowledge and power to shape the structures of the global economy.

  • Business Ethics and Society

    The objective of this course is to attempt to develop moral sensibility and practical reasoning in the context of managerial everyday action in organisations. The course will be concerned with morality in action, as it happens, rather than a removed reflection on codes and principles of ethics. The course will aim to show that ethics in action is diffused and difficult. Nevertheless, managers and employees have a responsibility to `work it out' for themselves. It is this `how to work it out' that the course will keep as its focus. The course will use a number of case studies as a basis to develop this moral sensibility so that managers will be able to act in a morally appropriate manner as part of their ongoing organisational action.

  • Strategic Sourcing

    This module examines supply networks as extended operations that deliver products and services, and draws on concepts from operations management and from other disciplines. The emphasis is very much upon inter-organisational networks, rather than those between organisations and consumers.The central theme of the module is that e-business practices and technologies and supply network concepts and practices are inextricably linked: each facilitates the other.The module develops your ability to understand and critically evaluate the key principles of supply chain management, and helps you to appreciate and assess the important interrelationship between ICT and supply chain management practices and strategies. You will also develop skills in identifying and proposing solutions to specific network problems.

    Topics covered

    • Introduction to supply chain management: organisations, chains and networks
    • Processes, service and performance objectives
    • Characteristics of supply and demand
    • Capacity and inventory in supply networks
    • Capabilities in supply networks
    • Outsourcing and service providers
    • Interorganisational relationships
    • ICT and network embeddedness
    • ICT from the inside out – manufacturing resource planning (MRP), enterprise resource planning (ERP) and strategic enterprise management systems (SEMS)
    • ICT between organisations – e-procurement, customer relationship management
    • Emerging issues in supply chain management

From May to July you will work on your Masters dissertation, with support from your dissertation supervisor. You will submit it at the start of September, at the end of your Masters programme. You will also study additional modules to develop your skills in preparation for your future career.

  • Contemporary Research Methods in Management

    This module aims to provide a broad overview of qualitative and quantitative approaches as used in management research, together with an understanding of the different research paradigms operating within the research fields of business and management and the acquisition of transferrable research skills.

    This module prepares you for the independent research you will undertake for your final research project. It introduces you to a range of quantitative and qualitative research techniques, and focuses on both the philosophical and practical issues involved in conducting research.

  • Dissertation

    This module consists of two components: research methods and dissertation. The research methods taught component is designed to equip you with the additional research techniques and analytical tools necessary to undertake your Dissertation which may be company based. The Dissertation component consists of an extended piece of supervised independent research of around 15,000 words on a topic relating to some aspect of International Business & Strategy. You choose your topic in the Lent Term under the direction of the Programme Director and often after discussion with MSc faculty. The focus of the Dissertation is normally on issues raised in the core modules but may tackle areas of interest revealed in the optional modules that you wish to investigate in further depth. There is also the opportunity to undertake a company-based project.

  • Term 1

    In the first term, you will study five core modules and a careers skills module.

    • Corporate Entrepreneurship

      Companies increasingly realize that a creating and sustaining a competitive edge requires them to think and act like entrepreneurs. Many companies therefore equip selected employees with the space and resources to become intrapreneurs. Other companies see the spawning of corporate spin-offs as an integral part of their strategy.

      This module is a theory-led and practice-oriented primer on corporate entrepreneurship.

      It provides you with knowledge useful for anyone aiming at working (or researching) in the field of corporate innovation and entrepreneurship or at pursuing an entrepreneurial career.

    • Firms in the Global Economy

      This module aims to develop a good understanding of the international business environment. This is undertaken with reference to a critical assessment of globalisation and a subsequent focus on international trade. Students are introduced to the principal theories of international trade and political economy so as to better understand the international environment in which firms operate. The emphasis is placed on understanding the strategies of firms in an ever more globalised world economy. The material will be presented mostly from an applied perspective (i.e. with facts) to bring the economic theoretical apparatus into real-life situations.

    • Business Skills and Analytics

      This core module aims to provide students with a good understanding of basic statistical techniques and concepts. Students will also be helped to develop a critical understanding of more advanced statistical techniques enabling them to undertake original statistical analysis, including regression and multiple regression analysis. On successful completion of this course, students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of important statistical approaches to business analytics. They will be able to use standard business analytics software to generate, analyse and visualize complex data. They will also learn transferrable skills in business analytics and be able to demonstrate that they can successfully work in teams.

    • International Business Strategy

      This module is concerned with the critical choices that organisations face in order to survive and gain sustainable competitive advantage in an international environment with rapid economic, regulatory and technological changes. To understand and critically evaluate these choices and their strategic dimension requires analysis of the environment in which multinational enterprises operate as well as the creation of know-how value at a business and corporate level.

    • Cross-National Management and Leadership

      To be a successful manager in a multi-cultural environment requires a broad range of culturally sensitive skills. This highly interactive core module addresses the managerial implications of cross-cultural and cross-national business by focusing on the individual- and group-level dynamics of international management.

    • Career Skills

      This module complements the academic content of the programme by helping students develop important career skills such as how to present themselves on the job market and business presentation skills. The ability to present complex data in a clear, concise and convincing way is an important skill for business graduates and in this module we offer students the opportunity to learn and practice presentation in a safe environment. On successful completion of this module students will have learnt to:

      • Use structured analytical thinking
      • Synthesise and analysis information in order to abstract meaning and knowledge
      • Communicate complex data
      • Work in groups

  • Term 2

    During your second term from January to March, you will take the following core modules, plus a choice of the optional modules on the next tab.

    • Strategy Summit

      This is an innovative capstone module for the MSc International Business & Strategy (IB&S) programme. The module comprises a set of lectures and workshops in Term 2 and culminates in a simulated full-day ‘Strategy Summit’ in Term 3. The lecture syllabus will deal with advanced topics in strategy practice and process in multi-business, multi-national firms, and builds on the core strategy and international business modules delivered in Terms 1 and 2.

      The Strategy Summit event simulates a corporate strategy process in a real-world multinational, multidivisional firm. The event creates an environment that calls on students to apply ideas developed in lectures and workshops and, importantly, to reflect on what they are doing in the process. Students work in teams, taking on the role of key actors in the process, e.g. top management team, middle managers, division or subsidiary managers, consultants, unions, regulators, shareholders, media actors, etc.

      The module provides students the opportunity to integrate their learning on the programme and to develop a variety of professional and personal capabilities. Assessment comprises: interim group report; group presentation/performance at the Summit; individual reflective essay.

    • International Corporate Strategy and Structure

      International Corporate Strategy and Structure complements the International Business Strategy core module. International Business Strategy exclusively focuses on ‘business-level strategy’ by providing the analytic scaffolding to conduct industry analysis, make appraisals of a firm's resources and capabilities and develop and assess strategic options for how a firm should be positioned in the market.

    • Cross Border Mergers and Acquisitions

      Cross border mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are an increasingly important force in shaping economies, restructuring industries and revitalizing organisations.Accounting for trillions of dollars in spend and affecting large numbers of employees, it is important to consider the motivations, processes and impacts of cross border M&A.

      Drawing upon International Business, Corporate Strategy, Business Analytics and Cross National Management modules, the main strategies for engaging in M&A, the practices involved in deal closure and the post acquisition integration process shall be examined across a variety of national contexts.

    • Career Skills

      This module complements the academic content of the programme by helping students develop important career skills such as how to present themselves on the job market and business presentation skills. The ability to present complex data in a clear, concise and convincing way is an important skill for business graduates and in this module we offer students the opportunity to learn and practice presentation in a safe environment. On successful completion of this module students will have learnt to:

      • Use structured analytical thinking
      • Synthesise and analysis information in order to abstract meaning and knowledge
      • Communicate complex data
      • Work in groups

  • Options

    During the second and third term you have a choice of modules. The optional modules may vary according to the availability of teaching staff and the demand for the modules.

    • International Money and Banking

      The first four sessions aim to establish an understanding of banks’ behaviour and balance sheets, including capital structure, lending decisions and attitudes to risk. These sessions also study the banks’ role in transmitting the monetary policy decisions of the central bank, i.e. the choice of official interest rates and ‘quantitative easing’. This enables a discussion of the effects of monetary and fiscal policy on the main macroeconomic variables. Session four looks at the origins of the financial crisis and the policy responses.

      Sessions five to seven cover developments in international banking regulation before and since the crisis. This includes the regulation of capital and liquidity under the Basel accords, the attempts to address the moral hazard and the ‘too-large-to fail’ problems, and the influence of regulation on the shadow banking industry.

      The final three sessions study banking and monetary policy in the international context, with a particular focus on problems in the Eurozone and the operation of the eurosystem of central banks.

      In this course, the treatment will generally be non-technical and will be based on developing an understanding of institutional practices and their implications.

    • International Money and Finance

      Beginning with the basic international parity relationships, this module examines the nature of business exposure to foreign exchange risk and the techniques available for hedging these risks. In addition to reviewing forward and futures contracts, several sessions are devoted to the theory and application of options contracts in the context of forex risk hedging.

    • Doing Business in China

      This module, which runs in the Summer term, offers students the opportunity to spend two weeks at the Guanghua School of Management, Peking University in Beijing. The module focuses on the recent evolution of the Chinese economy and culture as well as highlighting key management and leadership aspects specific to the Chinese context. You will study as part of an international group of postgraduate students from top universities across the globe.

    • Knowledge and Global Organisations

      In this module we explore how fundamental questions about 'knowledge' and 'management' apply to global organisations. With ‘being global’ now taken for granted in many organisations, and the largest organisations in the world such as GE and Wal-Mart having revenues greater than the GDP of many countries, it is crucial to understand why and how knowledge and learning are ‘managed’ in such contexts. The module begins by examining how the globalisation strategies of manufacturing organisations are built around knowledge-based rationales and mechanisms, before proceeding to examine the case of global service organisations, with particular attention paid to the way these organisations use their knowledge and power to shape the structures of the global economy.

    • Business Ethics and Society

      The objective of this course is to attempt to develop moral sensibility and practical reasoning in the context of managerial everyday action in organisations. The course will be concerned with morality in action, as it happens, rather than a removed reflection on codes and principles of ethics. The course will aim to show that ethics in action is diffused and difficult. Nevertheless, managers and employees have a responsibility to `work it out' for themselves. It is this `how to work it out' that the course will keep as its focus. The course will use a number of case studies as a basis to develop this moral sensibility so that managers will be able to act in a morally appropriate manner as part of their ongoing organisational action.

    • Strategic Sourcing

      This module examines supply networks as extended operations that deliver products and services, and draws on concepts from operations management and from other disciplines. The emphasis is very much upon inter-organisational networks, rather than those between organisations and consumers.The central theme of the module is that e-business practices and technologies and supply network concepts and practices are inextricably linked: each facilitates the other.The module develops your ability to understand and critically evaluate the key principles of supply chain management, and helps you to appreciate and assess the important interrelationship between ICT and supply chain management practices and strategies. You will also develop skills in identifying and proposing solutions to specific network problems.

      Topics covered

      • Introduction to supply chain management: organisations, chains and networks
      • Processes, service and performance objectives
      • Characteristics of supply and demand
      • Capacity and inventory in supply networks
      • Capabilities in supply networks
      • Outsourcing and service providers
      • Interorganisational relationships
      • ICT and network embeddedness
      • ICT from the inside out – manufacturing resource planning (MRP), enterprise resource planning (ERP) and strategic enterprise management systems (SEMS)
      • ICT between organisations – e-procurement, customer relationship management
      • Emerging issues in supply chain management

  • Term 3

    From May to July you will work on your Masters dissertation, with support from your dissertation supervisor. You will submit it at the start of September, at the end of your Masters programme. You will also study additional modules to develop your skills in preparation for your future career.

    • Contemporary Research Methods in Management

      This module aims to provide a broad overview of qualitative and quantitative approaches as used in management research, together with an understanding of the different research paradigms operating within the research fields of business and management and the acquisition of transferrable research skills.

      This module prepares you for the independent research you will undertake for your final research project. It introduces you to a range of quantitative and qualitative research techniques, and focuses on both the philosophical and practical issues involved in conducting research.

    • Dissertation

      This module consists of two components: research methods and dissertation. The research methods taught component is designed to equip you with the additional research techniques and analytical tools necessary to undertake your Dissertation which may be company based. The Dissertation component consists of an extended piece of supervised independent research of around 15,000 words on a topic relating to some aspect of International Business & Strategy. You choose your topic in the Lent Term under the direction of the Programme Director and often after discussion with MSc faculty. The focus of the Dissertation is normally on issues raised in the core modules but may tackle areas of interest revealed in the optional modules that you wish to investigate in further depth. There is also the opportunity to undertake a company-based project.

Assessment Methods

The International Business & Strategy degree is made up of a total of 180 credits. The Research Methods and Dissertation module represents the largest single component, and is worth 60 credits. Most modules use more than one type of assessment including formal exams (normally January and March/April), individual coursework essays and assignments, group-based reports and case study analysis.

Scholarships

Our programme-specific scholarship for 2019 entry include the Academic Excellence, UK-EU and International scholarships aimed at high-achieving students with a strong academic or personal profile. We'll automatically consider you for these scholarships when you apply and if you are shortlisted we'll be in touch with the next steps, so it's best to apply as soon as possible. We also offer other scholarships - visit our Apply for Masters page to find out more.

Apply for Masters

Careers

The Careers Team at LUMS helps you shape your career plans and supports your job-hunting process in a variety of ways, including personalised one-to-one support and interactive workshops on areas such as career strategies, writing CVs and applications, interview skills, psychometric testing, what to expect at assessment centres, and online networking strategies.

Learn more

Student Profiles