International Business BSc

Today’s business is increasingly global in scope. The BSc International Business 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.

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. The four-year BSc International Business 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.


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Antje Schwarz

Final Year, MSc International Business

“I was fortunate enough to spend a year in Hong Kong, one of the most relevant business and finance centres in the world. A year studying at a top Asian university and the change to gain work experience in a local start-up has taught me a great deal about how much culture can impact business practice, introduced me to many impressive and influential characters, and has opened my eyes to the ever-increasing market opportunities beyond those in Europe.”


This International Business undergraduate degree programme will appeal to you if you are considering a future career in international management, but do not want to study a language to degree level. Our four-year programmes equip you with the expertise needed to understand business on both a national and a global scale. They are structured to reflect the changing world of commerce, providing you with a firm foundation for the world of work. Students on our International Business course enjoy above average contact hours with academic staff.

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Your programme of study

In the years you spend studying BSc International Business at Birmingham Business School, you will follow the core modules offered on the three-year BSc Business Management degree, but you will specialise in options that have an international focus. You will also be prepared for your year overseas.

Your second year allows you build your degree depending on your interests and career aspirations. 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.

You will spend your third year abroad at one of our partner institutions all of which are highly regarded. 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. Your placement year is conditional upon your achieving at least a solid 2:2 average and 100 credits in your first and second year summer exams. You can transfer to the three-year BSc Business Management if you decide not to spend your third year overseas.

Your final year of study continues to allow you to build your degree depending on your interests and career aspirations. We’re constantly updating the range of modules on offer to reflect the ever-changing world of business. This ensures that your degree remains sufficiently generalist to give you a wide choice of career options on graduation.

Your year abroad

Many of our students choose to study in countries where English is the spoken language, but some of our European partners also offer programmes in English. This gives you the chance to continue to study a language you have already taken at GCSE or AS level, or even to start a new language. You will have the opportunity to study at one of our highly regarded partner institutions across the world.

The number of places at each institution varies from year to year so you will need to be flexible about where you go, but remember there are many advantages of choosing to go to a country outside your comfort zone. 

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.

Modules

Please note the modules listed below are for the 2019/20 academic year.
You can view all modules for the 2018/19 academic year here.

First Year


Core modules

  • Managing Financial Resources (20 credits)
  • Introduction to Marketing and Communications (IMAC) (20 credits)
  • Economics for Business (A) or Economics for Business (B)* (20 credits)
  • Organisations, Management and Entrepreneurship (20 credits)
  • Personal, Professional and Academic Development (20 credits)
  • Widening Horizons Module (20 credits)

*Depending on prior learning

Second Year


Core modules

  • Research Methods (20 credits)
  • Responsible Business (20 credits)

Optional modules

Students must choose a further 80 credits of optional modules from a minimum of three themes. Equal numbers of credits must be taken in each semester:

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)

Third Year


  • International Study Year (120 credits) or International Work Year (120 credits)

Final Year


Core modules

Students must complete either a Dissertation (40 credits) or Extended Essay (20 credits).

Optional modules

Students must then choose a further 100 or 80 credits from a minimum of three themes:

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)
  • Professional Development Module (20 credits) 

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.

Scholarships

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:
3
Typical offer:
AAB
Required subjects and grades:
GCSE 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 is accepted with grades DDD, other BTEC subjects are considered on a case by case basis.

BTEC Diploma in Business accepted in combination with an acceptable A level.

BTEC Subsidiary Diploma in Business accepted in combination with two acceptable A levels.

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 N120.

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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

Accommodation

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.