International Business with Communications BSc

Today’s business is increasingly global in scope. This programme combines in-depth learning with the chance to experience business in action within another culture. Ideal for students considering a career in international management but who don’t wish to study a language to degree level, you will develop the skills and knowledge you need to begin your career in business, wherever in the world it takes you.

  • The BSc International Business course will appeal to students who are considering a future career in international management. Today’s business is increasingly international in scope and there are obvious advantages in combining knowledge of modern business with the experience of another culture
  • 94% student satisfaction i.e. students satisfied with the overall quality of this course (NSS 2015)


Quick links: Why study this course | Modules | Fees and Funding |Entry RequirementsHow to apply

The programme is global in its outlook with specialist modules in business communications, from crisis communications to social networking for business. A series of workshops develop a range of communications skills for business, supporting theoretical study, with the overall programme producing graduates who’re skilled communicators.

If you are looking for an international career in business management and recognize the importance communication will have in your future role, then this programme is for you.

First year

This year lays the foundation for the study of business and management and public relations. You study the same programme as students on the BSc Business Management with Communications, including key message delivery and crisis communications, including key message delivery and crisis communications.

Second year

In your second year you will have some choice within the themed structure of the programme. The modules offered will change from time to time, as they are developed to reflect the ever-changing world of business. During the second year you also prepare for your study abroad.  If at the end of your second year you decide you do not want to take up the year abroad you can choose to transfer to the three year programme.

Third year

After two years at Birmingham Business School, you will spend your third year abroad at one of our partner institutions, all of which are highly regarded. This year enables you to improve your understanding of the cultural context of business management and communications in another country.

As the number of places at each institution varies from year to year, you’ll need to be flexible about where you go. The exact subjects you study will depend on where you go but are compatible with the Business Management and the Business Communications degrees. 

Please note that your year abroad is conditional upon a good performance in the first and second year exams, please see International Business with Language BSc for more information.

You can also arrange an exchange through the Universitas 21 programme (a list of partners is available on their site) or other partners in the wider University. For students who take a Universitas 21 place, there is the possibility of a University bursary. European exchanges are part of the EU’s Erasmus programme and you will be eligible for a small EU grant. 

Your year abroad is taught in English, although many students benefit from the opportunity to learn their host country’s language. It may also be possible to undertake a work-based placement, boosting your practical experience.

Fourth year

In the final year there is the opportunity to undertake a placement with a local media institution.

Why study this course

This four-year BSc programme is structured to reflect the changing world of business, ensuring maximum relevance to your future career and providing you with a firm foundation of critical and analytical skills and practical knowledge that potential employers will find extremely attractive.

  • The BSc International Business course will appeal to students who are considering a future career in international management. Today’s business is increasingly international in scope and there are obvious advantages in combining knowledge of modern business with the experience of another culture
  • 94% student satisfaction i.e. students satisfied with the overall quality of this course (NSS 2015)
  • Students on our International Business course enjoy above average contact hours with academic staff
  • Ranking position in Guardian League Tables: Business Management and IB 22/113 Guardian 2015
  • Complete University Guide Rankings 2015: ranked 13th/ 116 (from 17th in 2014 rankings)

Working with industry

Our strong links with industry mean that rigorous undergraduate academic study is combined with a real practical focus –and they also lead to excellent job opportunities for our students.

An international approach

We offer undergraduate modules on the international aspects of business – from international accounting through to understandingthe impacts of globalisation – and we currently have students from over35 countries on our undergraduate programmes. We also welcome students who want to come to Birmingham on the


First Year

Core modules

Students must also take one of the following, depending prior qualifications:

Second Year

Core modules

Optional modules

Students must choose a further 40 credits from the options below. Equal numbers of credits must be taken in each semester.

Third year

Students will choose to either study or work abroad.

Fourth Year

Core modules

Optional modules

Students must choose a further 80 credits from the options below. Equal numbers of credits must be taken in each semester.

The optional modules listed on the website for this programme may unfortunately occasionally be subject to change. As you will appreciate key members of staff may leave the University and this necessitates a review of the modules that are offered. Where the module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you make other choices.

Fees and funding

Undergraduate Home/EU students

Fee Band Full-time Part-time
Undergraduate (registered during or after 2012-13 AY) £9,000 £4,500
Undergraduate (registered before 2012-13 AY) £3,465 £1,725

Overseas students entering in 2015-16

Fee Band (Undergraduate) Full-time
Band C (Classroom) £14,550
Birmingham Foundation Academy £13,500


At Birmingham we ensure that fears about finance do not constrain prospective students from considering university and that excellence is rewarded.

The University offers a range of additional financial support for students studying at Birmingham in the form of bursaries, grants and scholarships.

Entry requirements

Number of A levels required:
Typical offer:
Required subjects and grades:
GCSE Mathematics at grade B if not offered at AS or A2 level; GCSE English at grade B if not offered at AS or A2 level.
General Studies:
not accepted as one of three A2s, but a good performance may be taken into account if you fail to meet the conditions of the offer and have General Studies as a fourth A2

Additional information:

Other qualifications are considered – learn more about entry requirements

The year abroad is conditional upon an acceptable level of performance in your first-year examinations. If you do not achieve this, you will be transferred to the BSc Business Management with Communications.

International students:

International Baccalaureate Diploma: 32 points

International baccalaureate update: Please note that we have reviewed our policy on the IB Diploma for 2016 entry and our offers will now focus on performance in Higher Level subjects. For more information and details please read our 2016 IB Diploma requirements.

Standard English language requirements apply 

Learn more about international entry requirements

Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in the Birmingham Foundation Academy, a specially structured programme for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on the foundation academy web pages.

How to apply

Apply through the UCAS website using code NP19.

UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

View further advice on 'How to apply for undergraduate courses', including advice for UK, EU and overseas applicants.

Key Information Set (KIS)

Key Information Sets (KIS) are comparable sets of information about full- or part-time undergraduate courses and are designed to meet the information needs of prospective students.

All KIS information has been published on the Unistats website and can also be accessed via the small advert, or ‘widget’, below. On the Unistats website you are able to compare all the KIS data for each course with data for other courses.

The development of Key Information Sets (KIS) formed part of HEFCE’s work to enhance the information that is available about higher education. They give you access to reliable and comparable information in order to help you make informed decisions about what and where to study.

The KIS contains information which prospective students have identified as useful, such as student satisfaction, graduate outcomes, learning and teaching activities, assessment methods, tuition fees and student finance, accommodation and professional accreditation.

As a Birmingham student you are part of an academic elite and will learn from world-leading experts. At Birmingham we advocate an enquiry based learning approach, from the outset you will be encouraged to become an independent and self-motivated learner, qualities that are highly sought after by employers. We want you to be challenged and will encourage you to think for yourself.

How will I be taught?

During your time at the Business School you will experience teaching through a mixture of lectures and tutorials. Small-group tutorials/personal tutorials run alongside our lectures, addressing any individual problems you may have and allowing you to consolidate lecture material, as well as test your understanding through problem-solving exercises.

Self study is an essential part of the programme and requires self motivation and enthusiasm for your subject and allows you to pursue your own lines of enquiry and become an independent thinker.

Contact hours

As well as time with your lecturers and personal tutor, academic and professional services staff (like our dedicated Careers Network team) will be available to offer individual and group support throughout your time here at Birmingham.

Learning Settings

Your learning will take place in a range of different settings, from scheduled teaching in lectures and small group tutorials, to self-study and peer group learning (for example preparing and delivering presentations with your classmates).

You’ll find academic and professional staff involved in the delivery of your BSc International Business with Communications degree here at Birmingham located in University House. Set in landscaped gardens this multi-million pound home to Birmingham Business School is equipped with the latest facilities and technology to ensure your studies are inspired by their surroundings, with lectures and teaching taking place in a variety of versatile lecture theatres and breakout rooms.


To begin with you may find this way of working challenging, but rest assured that we’ll enable you to make this transition. You will have access to a comprehensive support system that will assist and encourage you, including personal tutors and welfare tutors who can help with both academic and welfare issues, and a formal transition review during your first year to check on your progress and offer you help for any particular areas where you need support.

Our Academic Skills Centre also offers you support with your learning. The centre is a place where you can develop your mathematical, academic writing and general academic skills. It is the centre’s aim to help you to become a more effective and independent learner through the use of a range of high-quality and appropriate learning support services. These range from drop-in sessions with support with mathematics and statistics based problems provided by experienced mathematicians, to workshops on a range of topics including note talking, reading, writing and presentation skills.

Virtual and enquiry based learning

Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) is an excellent tool for supporting our academic courses, allowing you to share thoughts on assignments with other students via the discussion group facilities, and even submit your work electronically.

Enquiry Based Learning (EBL) is a group activity which requires you to work in a team, with a variety of assessment methods; in either a group or individually, by written reports and sometimes as a presentation. Based on techniques used in research-led organisations like the University of Birmingham, EBL gives you a research-orientated approach to a problem and helps you to gain essential skills that are highly valued by employers.

Assessment methods

Studying at degree-level is likely to be very different from your previous experience of learning and teaching. You will be expected to think, discuss and engage critically with the subject and find things out for yourself. We will enable you to make this transition to a new style of learning, and the way that you are assessed during your studies will help you develop the essential skills you need to make a success of your time at Birmingham.

You’ll be assessed in a variety of ways, and these may be different with each module that you take. You will be assessed through coursework which may take the form of essays, group and individual presentations and formal exams.

During your first year you will undergo a formal ‘transition’ review to see how you are getting on and if there are particular areas where you need support. This is in addition to the personal tutor who is based in your school or department and can help with any academic issues you encounter.

At the beginning of each module, you’ll be given information on how and when you’ll be assessed for that particular programme of study. You’ll receive feedback on each assessment within four weeks, so that you can learn from and build on what you have done. You’ll be given feedback on any exams that you take; if you should fail an exam we will ensure that particularly detailed feedback is made available to enable you to learn for the future.

Our business degrees are highly regarded by employers and our graduates are very successful in the job market. Employers tell us that they value PR and communications skills highly, and organisations such as the BBC have recruited our graduates. In addition, internal communications specialists are increasingly sought after by human resource departments.

Our students find employment in areas as diverse as retail management, financial services, accountancy, motor manufacturing, management consultancy and pharmaceuticals; some become self employed and gone on to set up their own businesses after graduation.

Work experience

Work experience provides an ideal opportunity to gain invaluable skills and knowledge that will help further your career plans. With generous support from Alumni, undergraduate students (excluding those in their final year) can apply for funding to cover their incurred costs whilst they are working:

  • Global Challenge Bursary (apply for one of our sourced opportunities) - up to £9000 available
  • Gateway Bursary - up to £2000 available
  • International Bursary - up to £800 available
  • UK professional Bursary - up to £800 available
  • Research Experience Bursary - up to £500 available

This funding can help you pay for accommodation costs, travel expenses and living costs.

Your Birmingham degree

Your Birmingham degree is evidence of your ability to succeed in a demanding academic environment. Employers target Birmingham students for their drive, diversity, communication and problem-solving skills, their team-working abilities and cultural awareness, and our graduate employment statistics have continued to climb at a rate well above national trends. If you make the most of the wide range of services you will be able to develop your career from the moment you arrive.

Careers Network

Preparation for your career should be one of the first things you think about as you start university. Whether you have a clear idea of where your future aspirations lie or want to consider the broad range of opportunities available once you have a Birmingham degree, our Careers Network can help you achieve your goal.

Our unique careers guidance service is tailored to your academic subject area, offering a specialised team (in each of the five academic colleges) who can give you expert advice. Our team source exclusive work experience opportunities to help you stand out amongst the competition, with mentoring, global internships and placements available to you. Once you have a career in your sights, one-to-one support with CV’s and job applications will help give you the edge. In addition, our employer-endorsed award-winning Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme designed to improve your career prospects.

We also offer voluntary work which complements your studies by helping you gain practical experiences in occupational settings while contributing back to society. This can bring new skills that will be useful throughout your future and can make a positive impact on your learning whilst at university. Volunteering enables you to develop skills such as communication, interpersonal skills, teamwork, self-confidence and self-discipline all of which can be transferred into your studies.

Visit the University of Birmingham Careers pages for further information on how we are 'Investing in your future'.

Professional accreditation

Depending on the options you choose, you may be able to gain partial exemption from the examinations of professional bodies such as CIM, CIMA and ACCA. This will depend on the options chosen in your second and final years.