International Business with Language BSc

Wherever in the world you hope your career takes you, there are enormous advantages in combining knowledge of modern business with the expressive power of a foreign language. This programme develops an understanding of business on a national and global scale, providing a firm foundation of skills and knowledge that will prepare you for a rewarding career in international business.

The four-year BSC International Business with Language programme combines modules from our successful BSc in Business Management with study of French, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese or Chinese. You don’t need to have prior knowledge in business studies, but you will need an A level in the relevant language if you choose French, German, Italian or Spanish as they are offered at Advanced level only. If you choose Japanese or Chinese then GCSE in a modern foreign language will suffice as they are offered at Beginners level only.

Please be reassured that the vote to leave the European Union does not mean there will be any immediate material change to the UK university sector’s participation in EU programmes such as Erasmus and study abroad programmes. Visit our EU Referendum information page for more information.

Jake Shirley

BSc International Business with Spanish

“"The experiences, people and places I came across definitely made me more prepared and ready for interviews and my professional career. The challenging range of modules which are offered throughout the degree really do help to find your strengths and make better decisions for your future, without even mentioning the skills developed by tackling different assessments and adapting to various teaching methods."”

This programme combines a broad-based business degree with the opportunity to develop a good working knowledge of a foreign language. Whether in Europe or further afield, there are enormous advantages in possessing this combination of skills. The languages available to study within this degree are French, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese and Chinese (Mandarin). You will spend one-third of your time studying your chosen language. French, German, Italian and Spanish are only available post-A Level and Japanese and Chinese (Mandarin) are only available as a beginner.

Students on our BSc International Business with Language degree enjoy above average contact hours with academic staff. 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.

Students in the Business School gardens

Your programme of study

In addition to the study of your language, your first year will lay a foundation for the study of business. It introduces the key areas of management, marketing, economics, finance, law, and analytical techniques and IT for business. The year complements, but does not duplicate, the content of the Business Studies A level.

In your second year you begin to 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. This ensures a breadth to your business and language education, whilst allowing a degree of specialisation in those areas in which you are particularly interested.

The third year is your year abroad and is essential for developing fluency in your language and is spent at a partner university. You study business in your chosen language and undertake project work for your degree. Exchanges in the EU are operated as part of the Erasmus programme and you will be eligible for a small EU grant. It may also be possible to undertake a work-based placement, and again if it is in the EU you will be eligible for an EU grant. Please note that your year abroad is conditional upon a good performance in the first and second year exams. Your year abroad is conditional upon you achieving the requisite grades and number of credits in your first and second year.

Why study this course

This four-year programme combines modules from our successful BSc in Business Management with the study of French, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese or Mandarin Chinese. You don’t need to have any prior knowledge in business studies but you will normally need an A2 level in your foreign language, although an AS of GCSE may sometimes be considered.

It is a broad-based degree that offers a combination of academic theory and practical teaching on topics of interest and relevance to employers in a wide range of business areas.

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.


Please note the modules listed below are for the 2019/20 academic year. 

First year

Core modules

  • Managing Financial Resources (20 credits)
  • Introduction to Marketing and Communications (IMAC) (20 credits)
  • Economics for Business (A) (20 credits) or Economics for Business (B)* (20 credits)
  • Organisations, Management and Entrepreneurship (20 credits)

*Depending on prior learning

Compulsory language modules


  • French Language Proficiency 1: Presenting, Debating, Journalistic Writing (for students not from our School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music) (20 credits)
  • Business French A & B (20 credits)


  • German Language Proficiency 1: Presenting, Debating, Essay Writing (non-LCAHM students) (20 credits)
  • German Translation in Practice 1 (Wirtschaftsdeutsch 1) (20 credits)


  • Italian Core I – Advanced: Icons of Italy (20 credits)
  • Italian Core II – Advanced: Icons of Italy (20 credits)


  • Japanese Language Beginners I (20 credits)
  • Japanese Language Beginners II (20 credits)


  • Spanish Language Project (20 credits)
  • Spanish Language 1B (BCom) (linked to 09 13786) (10 credits)
  • Spanish Language IA (BCom) (linked to 09 13787) (10 credits)

Chinese (Mandarin)

  • Mandarin Chinese Language beginners I (20 credits)
  • Mandarin Chinese Language beginners II (20 credits)

Second year

Core modules

  • Research Methods (20 credits)
  • Responsible Business: Theory and Practice (20 credits)

Optional modules

Choose 40 credits of optional modules from the following:

Accounting and Finance theme

  • Accounting, Management & Accountability (20 credits)
  • Managerial Finance (20 credits)

Communications theme

  • Public Relations and Reputation Management (20 credits)
  • Event Management and Destination Marketing (20 credits)

Marketing theme

  • Consumer Behaviour (20 credits)
  • Services and Retail Strategy (20 credits)

Business Economics theme

  • Business, the Economy and Government (20 credits)
  • Intermediate Business Economics and the Macroeconomy (20 credits)
  • Models of Business (20 credits

Organisations & Entrepreneurship theme

  • Managing in Business to Business Networks & Markets (20 credits)
  • Managing Operations and Projects (20 credits)
  • Human Resource Management (20 credits)
  • Organisational Behaviour (20 credits)

Strategy and International Business theme

  • Change Management (20 credits)
  • Contemporary Capitalism (20 credits)

Compulsory language modules


  • French Language Proficiency 2: Presenting, Debating, Researching (20 credits)
  • French Language Project A (10 credits)
  • French Language Project B (10 credits)


  • German Language Proficiency 2: Presenting, Debating, Translating (20 credits)
  • Wirtschaftdeutsch (20 credits)


  • Italian Core III – Advanced: Icons of Italy (20 credits)
  • Italian Core IV – Advanced: Icons of Italy (10 credits)
  • Plus a 10 credit module offered by the Department of Italian Studies


  • Japanese Language Intermediate I (20 credits)
  • Japanese Language Intermediate II (20 credits)


  • Spanish Language Project (20 credits)
  • Spanish Language II A/B (Commerce) (20 credits)

Chinese (Mandarin)

  • Mandarin Chinese Language Intermediate I (20 credits)
  • Mandarin Chinese Language Intermediate II (20 credits)

Third year

You will choose to either study or work abroad:

  • Year in Industry (120 credits)
  • Study Abroad Year (120 credits)

Final year

Core modules

You can choose to complete either Dissertation (40 credits) or Extended Essay (20 credits). You must also study at least 20 credits of language as directed by the language departments. Some language departments offer the opportunity to take a further 20 credits of language as part of the optional credits available.

Compulsory language modules


  • Core Language 3 A (LH) (20 credits)
  • Core Language 3 B (LH) (20 credits)
  • Optional – students studying French can choose to take the two linked modules below as part of their overall 120 credits: Dissertation Française (10 credits) 
    Interpreting (10 credits)


  • German: Core Language 4 A and B (20 credits)


  • Final Year Language A (10 credits)
  • Final Year Language B (10 credits)
  • Optional – students studying French can choose to take the two linked modules below as part of their overall 120 credits:
    Essay in Italian and Summary from English into Italian A (10 credits)
    Essay in Italian and Summary from English into Italian B (10 credits)


  • Japanese Language Advanced I (20 credits)
  • Tandem Learning Japanese and English (20 credits)
  • Japanese Language Advanced II (20 credits)


  • Spanish Language for Commerce IV A (10 credits)
  • Spanish Language for Commerce IV B (10 credits)
  • Optional – students can also choose a further 20 credits from the Department of Hispanic studies as part of their overall 120 credits:
    Spanish for Commerce Language Project IV (20 credits)

Chinese (Mandarin)

  • Mandarin Chinese Language Advanced I (20 credits)
  • Mandarin Chinese Language Advanced II (20 credits)
  • Optional – students can also choose a further 20 credits from the Department of Chinese Studies as part of their overall 120 credits

Optional modules

You must choose further optional modules from a minimum of three themes. Equal numbers of credits must be taken in each semester.

Accounting and Finance theme

  • Accounting, Decision-Making & Governance (20 credits)
  • Entrepreneurial Finance (20 credits)

Communications theme

  • Strategic Global Communications (20 credits)

Marketing theme

  • Contemporary Issues in Marketing (20 credits)
  • Marketing Society and Sustainability (20 credits)

Business Economics theme

  • Economics of Labour Markets (20 credits)
  • Advanced Business Economics (20 credits)
  • Britain and the EU (20 credits)
  • Globalisation, Innovation and Competitiveness (20 credits)

Organisations & Entrepreneurship theme

  • Organisation Studies: Past, Present and Future (20 credits)
  • Small Business and Entrepreneurship (20 credits)
  • Fundamentals of Leadership (20 credits)
  • Crisis Management (20 credits)

Strategy and International Business theme

  • International Human Resource Management (20 credits)
  • International Employment Relations (20 credits)
  • Business Strategies in Developing Countries (20 credits)

Modules for students starting in 2018/19

Year 1
View a full list of your module options.

Year 2
View a full list of your module options.

Year 3
Choose one of the following:

Year 4
View a full list of your module options.

Please note: The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2019. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.

Fees and funding

Home/EU students

Undergraduate Home/EU student fees 2019-20
Fee Band Full-time
Undergraduate £9,250

Overseas students entering in 2019-20

Overseas students entering in 2019-20
Fee Band (Undergraduate) Full-time
Band 2 £19,200

Visit our tuition fees page for more information.


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.

Learn more about our scholarships and awards. 

Entry requirements

Number of A levels required:
Typical offer:
Required subjects and grades:
A Level in chosen language for Higher routes, grade B in GCSE foreign language for beginners route. Mathematics and English at grade 6/B.
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:

BTEC Extended Diploma in Business accepted when combined with a relevant language qualification - contact us for further guidance.

BTEC Diploma in Business accepted when combined with an A level and a relevant language qualification - contact us for further guidance.

BTEC Subsidiary Diploma in Business accepted when combined with 2 A Levels and a relevant language qualification - contact us for further guidance.

International students:

International Baccalaureate Diploma: 6,6,5 at Higher Level with a minimum of 32 points overall.

Standard English language requirements apply 

Learn more about international entry requirements

Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in one of our foundation pathways, which offer specially structured programmes for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on Birmingham International Academy web pages.

How to apply

Apply through the UCAS website using code N1R9.

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.

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 you'll learn

The main way you’ll learn is by attending lectures, but in some modules these are supplemented with classes which allows you to meet with a tutor in small groups to further your understanding of the material covered in lectures. You’ll also have the opportunity to work in groups and make presentations – both skills that are highly valued by employers.

The timetable for lectures and classes covers around 22 hours a week, allowing time for you to do your own reading and learning.


Contact hours

Undergraduate students can expect around 15 contact hours per week, depending on year of study and optional module choices made. The remainder of the working week consists of self-guided study based on degree programme content and requirements of specific modules.

How you'll be assessed

Your progress is assessed through coursework and exams. Coursework takes a variety of forms, including reports, essays, group presentations, class essays and computer assignments. Exams are held in May/June. You must achieve satisfactory results to proceed to the next year. Your final degree is based on marks gained in the second and third years and credits which you build up throughout the whole programme.

Your personal tutor

From the moment you begin your studies, you’ll be allocated a personal tutor who is a member of the academic staff. He or she will take an interest in your general wellbeing and academic progress, meeting you on a regular basis either individually or in a small group throughout the year.


Professional Development Module

This is an optional 20-credit final-year module which includes a work placement and aims to bridge the gap between your academic studies and your future professional life. It is an excellent opportunity to learn in a professional setting related to your interests and/or degree programme, supporting your professional and personal skills development, and consolidating your learning through reflection on your placement experiences. 

The placement must be of at least 40 hours’ duration and can be taken during the summer vacation or in the Autumn Term. Your placement could take place at a wide variety of organisations, such as a summer internship with a major employer or an unpaid voluntary project at a charity. You will have access to support from our dedicated Placements Team, to help you to identify the most appropriate opportunity for you.

Resources and facilities

The Business School has a number of PC clusters with wireless connectivity and data projection. We also use a virtual learning environment to support our teaching, which can be accessed from any internet-connected computer and is used to provide electronic copies of lecture materials, links to online resources, multiple choice quizzes and discussion areas. It’s also used for a range of administrative tasks such as online submission of assignments and the provision of programme news.

The University Library houses over 2.5 million volumes and boasts extensive data retrieval services. The Library offers a range of valuable services to help you during your degree programme, including library-training sessions, subject guides and database skills. You’ll also have access to e-Library, a vast online collection of text books that can be accessed free of charge from other libraries.

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 it is important that you have a smooth transition into University. You will be able to talk to your tutors about this and discuss 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.

We feel proud and privileged that our students have chosen to put their fledgling careers in the hands of Birmingham Business School. So we want to make sure you achieve your full potential throughout your studies and gain the best career opportunities to fulfil your ambitions. We pride ourselves on our graduates high levels of employability and will help you to plan, manage and achieve your career goals, giving you the competitive edge when it’s time to start job hunting.


Our business degrees are highly regarded by employers and our graduates are very successful in the job market. There is no single type of business that our students go in to.

The nature of our degrees is such that you’ll be prepared for and capable of adapting to a diverse range of jobs, such as advertising, banking, law, accounting, marketing, management consulting, telecommunications, personnel and distribution. Many employers visit the Business School to run seminars for our students. In fact, companies such as Procter & Gamble, BP, Deloitte and L’Oreal see these sessions as an opportunity to look for suitable candidates for their summer internship programmes and graduate training schemes. 

Careers Network

The University offers advice through our award-winning Careers Network. They have specialists who can advise you on what the possibilities are on graduating. Joining one of the Department’s student societies is also a good way of finding out about future careers. Local firms often sponsor events for our students (such as business games, seminars on interview techniques and how to write a CV, and, of course, more social events) so that they can get to know you and vice versa. This is a further indication of the attractiveness of our students to prospective employers. 

Visit the Careers Network website for more details


Work experience

The BSc Business Management degree enables you to undertake unique work experience opportunities to enhance your employability and rise above the competition. 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.

Exclusive to Birmingham - the Capgemini Challenge

Global consultancy firm Capgemini works exclusively with Birmingham Business School every year to create and deliver a second-to-none consultancy training experience that you won’t find at any other UK university. All our undergraduates have the opportunity to apply to take part in the unique Capgemini Community Challenge in your first or second year. This takes place over one week at Capgemini’s world-renowned client-solutions facilities, with students carrying out tangible solutions-based consultancy projects for actual third-sector clients. Participation will enhance your CV, professional development and work experience. It’s also an amazing opportunity to make a real difference to the charitable organisation you’re assigned to help.

Learn more about the challenge here

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.

Birmingham has transformed into one of Europe's most exciting cities. It is more than somewhere to study; it is somewhere to build a successful future.

Clubs and societies

The Guild has over 200 Societies, community volunteering groups and associations for you to join; they cover every topic and activity that you can think of - there really is something for everyone.

Shape your academic experience

Choose to study here and you will have a Student Representative, who works with the University and Students' Union on issues that directly affect students. You could even become one yourself. Not only would you be making a difference to the academic student experience, but you would also be developing transferable skills for the future. Find out more on the Guild of Students website


Coming to Birmingham might be your first time living away from home. Our student accommodation will allow you to enjoy your new-found independence in safe, welcoming and sociable surroundings.

The City of Birmingham

One of Europe's most exciting destinations, Birmingham is brimming with life and culture, making it a wonderful place to live, study and work.

Our students fall in love with the city - around 40% of our graduates choose to make Birmingham their home.