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. 

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.

Please note that applications to this programme from mainland China closed on Wednesday 21 November 2018. Any applications that have already been submitted for this course prior to the 21 November 2018 will continue to be processed.


We can confirm that EU students who are already studying at the University of Birmingham or who intend to start their studies in 2018 or 2019 will continue to be charged the UK fee rate applicable at the time (may be subject to annual increases for inflation) for the duration of their course. The Postgraduate Masters or Doctoral loan will also be available to eligible EU students for the duration of their course. Visit our EU Referendum information page for more information.

This is a programme for applicants without prior knowledge or experience in marketing. This programme is particularly suitable for those wishing to explore the theory, principles and practice of marketing in the context of a global market environment, including the challenges of marketing across countries and cultures.

The suite of MSc Marketing Programmes has been approved and accredited by The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and is recognised by the ESRC for research training.

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 content

The 12-month master’s 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 study a compulsory module on Cross-Cultural Communication, to help you appreciate the challenges in, and strategies for, effective communication when managing in international contexts.

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 exciting practice-based experiences and guest speakers, to highlight the challenges of international marketing decisions in real life. 

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This is a programme for applicants without prior knowledge or experience in marketing. This programme is particularly suitable for those wishing to explore the theory, principles and practice of marketing in the context of a global market environment, including the challenges of marketing across countries and cultures.

The suite of MSc Marketing programmes has been approved and accredited by The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and is recognised by the ESRC for research training.

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.

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 academics offer extensive experience and expertise in areas such as brand marketing, advertising, services marketing, retailing, international marketing, consumer behaviour, business to business marketing, innovation and strategy. This is complemented by input from marketing practitioners in the form of talks and guest lectures during various modules.

Modules

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 and International Marketing Strategy, in addition to a range of specialist electives. We will help you further develop a range of personal skills that will be of great value for an international marketing career. These include 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. 

Core Modules

Optional modules*

Choose 30 credits from the following:

* From 2019-20, all optional modules will be capped at 200 student per optional module. The aim of this measure is to ensure that modules are appropriately resourced and that students have the best possible experience with their programmes.


The optional modules listed on the website for this programme may occasionally be subject to change. As you will appreciate, changes can lead to changes in specialist areas and therefore the modules that are offered. Where a module is no longer available, we will inform you as soon as possible so that you make alternative choices.

Fees and funding

For programme fees and information on further costs please visit our Fees and Financing page.

Business School Scholarships may be available, find out more about our scholarships.

International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government;  find out more.

Postgraduate Loans for Masters students

If you're an English-resident, or EU student, you may be eligible for a loan to study a taught or research Masters in any subject. The government-backed student loan will provide up to £10,280 in 2017. 

Detailed criteria and information regarding the application can be found on our postgraduate funding page

  • Questions about funding? Use our Student Help knowledge base to find the answer.

Entry requirements

A good Honours degree (2:1 or higher) 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.

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.

24 month flexible route

This course is also offered in a 24-month format. Applicants with a 2.2 bachelor’s honours degree or overseas equivalent may be eligible for the 24-month version of this course. The first year of the 24-month course involves completing our Graduate Diploma in Business Administration (GDBA) programme, which will provide you with a broad foundation of knowledge in business disciplines.  On successful completion of this first year with a grade average of 60% or higher, you would be able to proceed directly onto the 12-month MSc International Marketing programme beginning in the following September.

How to apply

Monday 2 July 2018 is the application deadline for international students (Tier 4) who wish to study in the United Kingdom. We are not able to consider applications for 2018 made after this date. The deadline for Home/EU (non-Tier 4) students is Friday 21 September 2018. Applications will reopen for 2019 entry on Monday 1st October 2018.

Making your application

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

Birmingham Business School aims to deliver a world class, research-led, connected curriculum that facilitates enhanced student experience.Learning and Teaching are a partnership between lecturers who enable learning opportunities and students who engage in the learning process actively and independently. To achieve this, we use a wide range of resources and blended learning techniques. Teaching and learning activities take place in various venues across all days of the week.

At the beginning of each module, you will be given course materials, which will explain the aims and objectives of the module, an outline of content and indicative reading. To benefit fully from your participation in the programme, you will need to commit yourself fully to it. You will need to engage with the learning process by attending all lectures and seminars, reading all materials provided or recommended, taking notes and participating actively during the lectures. Discussion is encouraged in many subjects. After all, one of the main benefits of studying in an MSc Programme is sharing of experiences and ideas.

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.

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

The home of Birmingham Business School is University House, conveniently situated on the edge of the main campus opposite the main gate of the University. To the elegant old house of 1908, that houses staff rooms and social space, a new multi-million pound state of-the-art teaching and learning complex has been added giving a unique combination of historic elegance and cutting-edge facilities.

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.

Birmingham Business School’s brand new Postgraduate Teaching Centre opened its doors to students in autumn 2016. The building is called the Alan Walters Building after the noted economist of the same name. The high quality facilities provide a dedicated space for the Business School’s postgraduate students, and includes communal areas for studying and group work, which will look out over the Green Heart when completed in 2019.

A high-class learning environment

As a postgraduate student, you will have access to our award-winning £10 million postgraduate teaching space, the Alan Walters Building. This will provide you with access to facilities of the highest quality, including a state-of-the-art lecture theatre, dedicated computer clusters and seminar rooms as well as communal areas for studying and group work, which will look out over the University's ambitious Green Heart development, due to be completed in 2019.


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.

Learn more about the service that our Careers in Business team can provide.

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

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The suite of MSc Marketing programmes have been accredited by The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).