International Marketing MSc

Different countries and cultures bring their own set of challenges in terms of marketing. So introducing a product or service needs sensitivity, understanding and respect. This MSc is open to graduates from all disciplines who are interested in a career in the lively world of international marketing. You will explore all the up-to-date thinking, theories, principles and practice of the discipline, and the programme counts towards 50% of the CIM Professional Diploma in Marketing.

Recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and accredited by the Chartered Institute of Marketing, this programme is run and supported by experienced academics and marketing practitioners. Globally renowned for their expertise, they will give you significant insights into key areas of international marketing, including brand marketing; advertising; e-marketing; and innovation and strategy.

This is a conversion programme for applicants without previous knowledge or experience in marketing, but who wish to particularly explore the theory, principles and practice of marketing in the context of a global market environment and the challenges of marketing across countries and cultures.

This programme is accredited by The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and count towards fifty percent of the CIM Professional Diploma in Marketing.

For recent graduates and practising managers already familiar with basic marketing concepts, please also see our Marketing Communications MSc and Strategic Marketing and Consulting MSc programmes.

Programme details

The 12 month masters degree programme begins at the end of September.  Initially you will spend time developing your understanding of core principles, theory and practice in marketing management, marketing research and marketing strategy and planning.  Case studies will explore the particular applications of concepts in an international marketing context.  You will also take a compulsory module exploring the principles, theory and practice of international marketing strategy, including approaches to international market selection, entry mode, and planning the marketing mix globally and/or locally. You will also study a compulsory module on Cross-Cultural Communication to help appreciate the challenges and strategies for effective communication when managing in an international context.

Beyond the core modules, the programme offers a wide choice of elective modules.  You will be able to specialise in the areas of marketing that you feel will best prepare you for your chosen career path.  We offer an exciting elective which explores the challenges of international marketing decisions in practice, using an innovative computer-based simulation in association with a USA-based company.

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Why study this course

We are a department of international researchers and teachers who pride ourselves on our wide reaching, rigorous and meaningful research. We have won a range of research grants from bodies such as ESRC and the British Academy as well as working closely with business organisations both regionally and nationally. We are actively involved with our discipline through our professional membership, editorships of leading journals and engagement with industry and the media.We also run four outstanding MSc Marketing programmes which attract students from more than thirty countries.

You will be taught by staff from one of the largest groups of Marketing faculty in the UK, including academics who are internationally recognised.

Our complement of academics and marketing practitioners offer extensive experience and expertise in areas such as brand marketing, advertising, services marketing, e-marketing, retailing, international marketing, consumer behaviour, business to business marketing, marketing ethics, innovation and strategy.


By the end of this 12-month programme, you will have acquired a high standard of knowledge in the principles, theoretical concepts and practice of international marketing. You will study core modules such as Marketing Management, Marketing Research, International Marketing Context, Cross-Cultural Communication, International Marketing Strategy in addition to a range of specialist electives. We will help you further develop a range of personal skills which will be of great value for an international marketing career - including skills in cross-cultural communication, managing research projects, presentations, critiquing literature, problem-solving and team work. You will also undertake a substantial research dissertation on an international marketing topic of your choice. 

The Research Dissertation

During the year you will undertake a major independent research dissertation, which must be related to an international marketing issue. Academic members of the Marketing Group will suggest topics consistent with their ongoing research, or you can choose a topic that is directly related to your chosen career path. 

Late September: MSc International Marketing Induction programme (one week) 
October - December:

Core Modules

Christmas Break

January (one week): Exams for Semester 1 subjects 
January – April:

Core Modules

Elective Modules*

Student can choose 2 or 3 from the following:**

Easter Break
May – June: Exams for Semester 2 subjects 
July – September: International Marketing Research Dissertation

*Please note that the range of electives available may change each year 
**Depending on whether you choose 10 or 20 credit modules

Fees and funding

£10,080 (UK/EU), £17,580 (overseas). Please check with the School for the latest fees information.

Learn more about fees and funding

Business School Scholarships may be available, see the postgraduate scholarships page for further details.

International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government. Find out more about International Scholarships.

For further information contact the School directly or

Entry requirements

At least an upper second-class degree or postgraduate diploma from a UK university or equivalent. 

We accept a range of qualifications from different countries – learn more about international entry requirements 

English language scores of 7.0 IELTS (no less than 6.5 in any band), 95 TOEFL (with no less than 22 in any band), or 67 (in all skills) Pearson Academic Test of English are required.

Please note that TOEFL IBT will only be accepted for applicants who do not require a Tier 4 visa to study with us.

If you are currently studying at a Chinese university, please view our specific entry requirements including our list of acceptable universities for further study at Birmingham.

How to apply

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

During the year you will undertake a major independent research dissertation, which must be related to an international marketing issue. Some topics may be suggested and sponsored by commercial companies, which provides an opportunity to undertake research which will have a real impact on marketing decision making. Academic members of the Marketing Group will suggest topics consistent with their ongoing research, or you can choose a topic that is directly related to your chosen career path.

There are a host of potential topics for an international marketing dissertation.

Topics have included:

  • International marketing strategies for a new cosmetics brand
  • Comparative analysis of Nestle’s marketing strategies in Europe and Africa
  • Positioning strategies for car manufacturers in China
  • Launching and licensing new magazine concepts in Thailand
  • Standardisation vs adaptation in international advertising
  • The impact of country of origin on the marketability of Georgian wines
  • Evaluating franchising vs concessions for an international fashion brand

Our students benefit from advanced teaching technology. All fifteen lecture theatres and seminar rooms contain comprehensive audio-visual equipment and sound systems, as well as wireless connectivity and data projection. Three large PC clusters add to computing facilities already available to students across the campus. The main lecture theatre, seating 200, is often utilised outside term-time as a conference facility for local industry.

Assessment methods

Taught modules contribute towards two thirds of your final assessment. The dissertation contributes one third. The majority of modules are assessed using written examinations and coursework. Coursework can take a variety of forms, including reports, essays, group presentations and practical assignments. Some coursework is group based. Not all modules will involve examinations.

Recent graduates from our two conversion programmes (MSc Marketing and MSc International Marketing) have gone on to work in a wide range of careers in companies such as Microsoft, Ogilvy & Mather, American Express, Accenture, Whitbread, Beiersdorf, DaimlerChrysler, AstraZeneca, Tesco, AC Nielsen, Mazda Motors, Leo Burnett, Nissan, both in the UK and in their home country for returning international students

Strong industry links

We enjoy active and close links with industry and the financial community. Many of our programmes have input from organisations such as GE, Biersdorf and Accenture. Companies such as HSBC, BP, Unilever and Deloitte visit the School to run workshops and business games, ensuring that you have the opportunity to put the theory you have learned into practice.

Particular programmes also offer the ability to obtain first-hand experience in the form of either work placements abroad or UK based consultancy projects with companies such as Jaguar, Aston Villa Football Club and Cadbury.

Careers in Business

Careers in Business is a dedicated service for postgraduate Business School students. We’ll help you in all aspects of your career management, from planning your job-seeking strategies, applying for jobs, preparing for interviews and assessment centres and developing your essential employability skills. At the start of your programme you will receive an email from our team, giving details of how you can access Careers in Business Online. Please get in touch to find out how our Careers in Business team can support you.

Career development advice

Our consultants offer an individual advice service, which includes:

  • Career review and objective setting
  • Job-seeking strategies
  • CV review
  • Application advice
  • Interview and selection advice
  • Working in the UK
  • International work enquiries

Skills coaching

Employers aren’t just looking for great qualifications. They want to see high-quality personal skills too, such as team working, leadership, presentation and interpersonal skills. Our Skills Development Consultants offer individual appointments to help you shape and hone these qualities.

Keeping you up to date

Our Employer Liaison Team regularly undertakes initiatives to attract employment/ project opportunities into the Business School. You can find information about vacancies and other openings on Careers in Business Online and on Business School noticeboards, as well as through the Careers and Employability Centre vacancy database .

Careers events and workshops

This is your chance to find out about employment opportunities, develop your skills and network with industry professionals. Our range of career management, personal development and employer events are a great opportunity to discover what’s open to you upon graduation – just sign up to the events to take part.

Using the Careers and Employability Centre

Postgraduate students in the Business School are very welcome to use the services provided by the Careers and Employability Centre such as online vacancy listings, employer presentations and fairs and accessing online careers information. You can use the Careers in Business team for individual appointments, CV checking, mock interviews and other job search-related activities.

Professional accreditation


The suite of MSc Marketing programmes have been approved and accredited by The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and count towards fifty percent of the CIM Professional Diploma in Marketing.