Programme content

The MSc in International Business is taught over three terms, with breaks at Christmas and Easter. The programme consists of up to 11 taught modules plus a dissertation: eight are compulsory, and for the remaining modules you can choose from a range of options, up to a maximum of three. Within the optional modules you will have the opportunity to specialise in law or economics or to follow a more general route.

Term 1: October to December

All students take five core modules:

International Business I (20 credits)

This double-credit core module provides an introduction to International Business and the international business environment. It comprises two streams that are run in parallel during the term (one session each per week): Globalisation and International Trade and Finance. 

Economics for Managers (10 credits)

The aim of this module is to make students aware of how the micro- and macro-economic environment can affect business behaviour. The module covers the following areas: the market system; the firm; competition between the few; monopoly and market power; market failure and government intervention; an overview of the macro-economy; the government and the macro-economy; money and the economy; inflation and unemployment; the international economy. 

Accounting and Financial Management (10 credits)

Designed to develop your skills in analysing and using financial information, and your understanding of management accounting, this module will give you an overview of accounting and finance techniques and increase your confidence in reading company accounts and understanding financial statements.

Quantitative Methods for Business (10 credits)

This core module provides a necessary introduction to basic statistical and quantitative methods for business analysis and applications. It is designed for students with some quantitative background and is intended to provide students with appropriate skills, techniques and applications to analyse a wide range of topics in international business in-depth, particularly in preparation for the Dissertation.

International Business Strategy (10 credits)

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. 

Term 2: January to March

All students take three core modules:

International Business II (20 credits)

This double-credit core module provides an introduction to the theory and practice of international business. It starts with a comprehensive introduction to economic and financial theories of international business and the multinational enterprise (MNE), exchange rate and treasury management. This is followed by an extensive examination of a wide range of applied topics and issues of policy relevance in international business.

A major element of the assessment for this module is the World Economic Forum, where groups of student represent the world’s leading economies and participate in a one-day real time negotiation simulation building upon material and issues covered in International Business I and II to tackle topics of current international importance. 

International Business Marketing (10 credits)

This core module enables you to develop an appreciation of the dynamics of the international marketplace and the complex and challenging forces shaping this environment. It uses the principles and frameworks underpinning international marketing to assess how key marketing and consumer behaviour theories, models and concepts apply in an increasingly globalised and internationally competitive marketplace. 

Cross-National Management and Leadership (10 credits)

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. 

Option choices

During the second and third term you have a choice of modules, each one of which carries a credit weighting. You must choose modules that give you a total of 30 credits. The optional modules may vary according to the availability of teaching staff and the demand for the modules.

Growth in Emerging Economies (10 credits)

This module evaluates the principal theories and determinants of economic growth, and reviews the relevance of growth and trade theories in the light of experience in newly industrialising economies in East Asia and also in China, India, Argentina and Brazil.

International Banking and Risk Management (15 credits)

This module must be taken jointly with International Money & Finance (see below). It examines the economics of financial intermediation and disintermediation, with some emphasis on the UK as a major international financial centre. Covering commercial and investment banking, the module examines practical issues of risk management by intermediaries as well as the potential risks involved in the more recent trend towards financial disintermediation. Regulatory issues are addressed, with attention paid to both ‘on’ and ‘off’ balance sheet positions.  

International Money and Finance (15 credits)

This module must be taken jointly with International Banking and Risk Management (see above). 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. 

International Business Law & Institutions (15 credits)

This double-credit module focuses on the international legal and institutional framework for the regulation of transnational business, and analyses the nature of legal and regulatory arrangements as they operate in the international business environment. 

International Environment Law (15 credits)

This module aims to study the development of international environmental concerns and the ‘greening’ of international law: international legal responses towards the preservation of the species and eco-systems; the conservation of energy and environmentally sustainable industrial process; international conventions and protocols in relation to the environment; the relationship of international law and European Union law concerning the environment and its future development.

Law of International Organisations & Institutions (15 credits)

The module seeks to familiarise you with the concept of the international organisation and its rights and obligations under international law. The module will also examine the structure of international organisations, in terms of their organs, and the systems developed by different institutions.

International Corporate Strategy and Structure (10 credits)

This module complements the International Business Programme’s core strategy module (International Business Strategy) and focuses exclusively on the structural and strategic questions of large, international groups and conglomerates.

Global Sourcing (10 credits)

The globalisation of operations and supply chains is prominent in almost every industry sector. Organisations are facing up to the huge challenge of learning to compete in this wider context and are internationalising in greater numbers, faster and in more ways than ever before. This module develops an understanding of the strategic role that sourcing decisions can play in supply chain management in order to gain sustainable competitive advantage in a global environment.

 

Term 3: May to September

Business Ethics & Society (10 credits)

The objective of this module is to attempt to develop moral sensibility and practical reasoning in the context of managerial everyday action in organisations. The module will be concerned with morality in action, as it happens, rather than a removed reflection on codes and principles of ethics.

Doing Business in China (10 credits) (Study Abroad)

This 10-credit optional 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.

Dissertation

Research Methods (10 credits)

This module provides the taught component of the Dissertation and is designed to equip you with the additional research techniques and analytical tools necessary to undertake your extended Summer research project. 

Dissertation (40 credits)

This 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. You choose your topic in the Lent Term under the direction of the MSc Director and often after discussion with MSc faculty. The focus of the Dissertation is normally on issues raised in the core International Business courses but may tackle areas of interest revealed in other core and/or optional modules that you wish to investigate in further depth.