International Business MSc

Course overview

  • Course level
  • Course type
  • Duration
    1 year
  • Course options
    Internship / overseas study
  • School

Entry requirements

  • One of the following:
    A good UK honours degree (minimum lower second class) or equivalent overseas degree recognised by Aston University.
  • For International Students:
    An official academic transcript, with official English translation, of your university grades to date, students whose native language is not English also need to satisfy our English language requirements.
  • Full entry requirements
    See entry requirements below for full details
More information

Key Dates

Course summary

Our MSc International Business will equip you with the skills and know-how needed to secure highly coveted roles with leading international firms. 

This course will give you cultural awareness and problem solving skills. The wide range of elective modules will enable you to develop skills in a specific business function linked to international business or pursue related areas such as entrepreneurship and business sustainability. You’ll also gain transferable skills which are highly valued by employers.

The course concludes with a Business Project; a substantial piece of work designed to provide you with an opportunity to analyse a business problem and practically apply the knowledge and skills developed during the course.

You can choose to study this course as part of our double degree programme. 

Entry requirements

One of the following:

  • A good UK honours degree (minimum lower second class).

  • Equivalent overseas degree recognised by Aston University.

As well as:

  • Two professional references – at least one must be from an academic referee

  • An official academic transcript of your university grades to date

  • A completed application form.

For International Students:

  • An official academic transcript, with an official English translation, of your university grades to date.

  • Students whose native language is not English will also need to satisfy our English language requirements Pre-sessional English language programmes are available for good applicants whose English qualification falls just short of these requirements.

  • Postgraduate masters students enrolling with Aston Business School with a 5.5 in one of the four IELTS sections will be required to engage with English language tuition as part of our professional development programme, The Aston Global Advantage. There will be no extra cost to the student.

  • For students who do not meet our minimum academic and English language requirements for this course, we offer an alternative pathway to an Aston Master’s with Kaplan International College, London.
  • For more information about qualifications, view our Aston in your country webpage.

Applicants with extensive work experience:

We recognise the value of extensive professional experience. If you do not have the academic qualifications, but have extensive and relevant professional experience and a proven ability to succeed, we would welcome your application.

The information contained on this website details the typical entry requirements for this course for the most commonly offered qualifications. Applicants with alternative qualifications may wish to enquire with the relevant admissions teams prior to application whether or not their qualifications are deemed acceptable. For less commonly encountered qualifications this will be judged on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the academic admissions tutor.

Why choose us?

We’re recognised as a world-class university for teaching, research excellence and the employability of our graduates. The UK Government’s Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) presented us with its highest accolade – a Gold Award, for consistently outstanding outcomes. Whilst we’ve been ranked in the top 20 universities in the UK and top 50 in the world for international outlook.

We attract students from all over the world, which allows you to mix and work with people from diverse backgrounds. This will help you to develop your communication, teamwork and managerial skills in a multicultural environment. These competences are highly regarded by graduate employers and international firms.

Our reputation with employers is unparalleled. We boast exceptional levels of graduate employability thanks to our commitment to providing students with the skills and know-how needed for a variety of graduate roles. Our students have been successful in gaining employment with prestigious global companies, including IBM, Ernst & Young and Tesco. They go onto fulfil a wide range of roles, from jobs in international marketing to financial analyst positions. Recent graduates have also gone onto to set up their own businesses, work for policy makers and embark on careers in further education. So, whatever roles you decide to pursue, we can help you secure your dream career move!

Our courses offer a range of opportunities to gain practical experience through things such as, consultancy projects and entrepreneurial opportunities. Find out more here. 


Fees and scholarships

Fees 2020/21

UK/EU:          £ 10,550
International:  £20,350

Find out more about our scholarships here

Course outline

This stimulating course will equip you with a detailed knowledge and deep understanding of today’s global commercial environment. It will explore how business is conducted across borders, examine various business functions and their role in international commerce, whilst looking at strategic management and economics in an international business context. You’ll also develop key transferable skills which, when combined with your well-rounded business education, will enable you to embark upon a variety of different career paths and help prepare you for management positions in global companies.

The programme begins by covering the fundamentals of international business. You’ll examine its evolution from rudimentary overseas trading to the integration of markets and increasing globalisation we see today. We discover the various theories and concepts related to international trade, examine how companies structure their overseas operations and look at foreign direct investment and how it impacts host countries.

In the second term, we explore more advanced topics in international business. You’ll analyse various international business strategies and appreciate how they’re determined and delivered. You’ll look at the implications of doing business within developing economies and how this compares to more economically developed countries. We also examine certain factors which may influence international business strategy, such as economic, management and policy issues.

The course will develop your ability to think strategically and deliver successful international business strategy. We look at theories, concepts and frameworks associated with competitive and corporate strategy. You’ll discover how analysis of the external environment and companies’ strengths and weaknesses can be used to guide strategic decision making. We use a series of case studies to develop practical skills in assessing strategic opportunities and potential threats.

We also study the economic environment which international businesses operate in. We cover the key theories of economics in an international business context and look at the impact economic shocks or events can have on companies and their overseas activities. You’ll learn how to assess the economic climate by using key economic indicators and tools.

You’ll have the chance to shape this course to your specific interests and career goals. With a wide-ranging choice of elective modules, you can examine international business from different perspectives and gain an advanced-level understanding of subject areas, such as finance, marketing, and entrepreneurship. This will enable you to pursue roles in a variety of different business functions. You’ll also develop critical-thinking, cultural and economic awareness and general business acumen skills throughout the programme. These skills can be applied to a range of roles and will help you to gain a competitive advantage when applying for graduate roles.

You’ll be taught by leading academics, who are at the cutting-edge of research into international business, strategy and economics. The School is also made up of skilled and experienced practitioners, who’ve worked with leading international companies and have a unique insight into how international business works in real-life. Our teaching staff use a mix of teaching methods to accommodate all learning styles. As well as providing you with theory, there’s a focus on applied-learning techniques and innovative teaching practices. This will give you a deeper understanding of the subject.

Subject guide and modules

Core modules

  • International Business
  • Advanced Topics in International Business
  • Strategic Management
  • Economic Environment of Business
  • The Aston Global Advantage
  • Ethics in Academic Practice
  • Business Project or Dissertation

Elective modules

Choose four modules (subject to pre-requisites and restrictions on some combinations):

  • Intellectual Property Strategy and Management
  • Business Finance
  • International Finance
  • Accounting for Non-Financial Managers
  • Strategic Business Sustainability
  • People and World Organisations
  • Marketing Management
  • International Marketing Management
  • Strategic Global Outsourcing and Offshoring
  • Operations Management
  • CSR, Sustainable Development and Public Policy
  • Entrepreneurial Strategies
  • International Business Strategy
  • Entrepreneurial and Innovation in Emerging Economies
Learning, teaching and assessment

We use a broad range of innovative teaching methods to accommodate all learning styles and help you get the most out of this course. 

Inspiring lectures will teach you key theories and concepts related to international business. There’s a variety of practical activities which allow you to apply your skills and test your understanding. This includes case studies, presentations, round table discussions, peer-to-peer learning and business simulations. We also draw on technology to help us to engage with students through gamification and video materials. You’ll also benefit from guest lectures from professionals with expertise in various areas of international business. They will share their experiences with you and help to enhance your understanding of key topics. This applied approach will help to improve your understanding and enhance your employability.

Our online learning platform will support you with your studies. It has all the digital resources you need when revising, including lecture slides, access e-books and online journals, as well as video recordings of teaching sessions.

We use a mix of assessment methods as part of this course. There are exams, coursework, group work, presentations and oral exams. Your lecturers will ensure you’re well-prepared for your assessments and offer support with any topics you have difficulty with.

Classroom activities

Current affairs debates: There’s roundtable discussions and debates, where you and your fellow students are encouraged to debate current economic events. Recent topics have included: Is Brexit good or bad for business? Is Donald Trump’s trade policies the right course of action?  Is the Chinese government’s approach to globalisation the best system?  

Company analysis and presentation:  Applying what you learnt in lectures is key to developing your understanding. That’s why we encourage students to evaluate real business case studies.  Students will analyse the international business strategies of MNEs in developed and emerging markets and decide whether they have been successful or not. Using various tools and theories, students will also offer recommendations on how MNEs can expand and penetrate in new markets.

Brexit planning scenarios:  We explore the strategic options for firms in the UK and EU relating to various post-Brexit scenarios. You’ll then use this insight to formulate strategies for MNEs from different sectors.

Culture questionnaires: Given the diversity of our students, this innovative activity enhances your cultural awareness and helps you to appreciate one of the biggest obstacles companies face when operating internationally. You’ll take a cultural questionnaire and then collaborate with students with different outlooks, considering the best strategies for avoiding cultural clash issues in the workplace.

The Aston Global Advantage

More than a Masters

The Aston Global Advantage is an integrated module which runs throughout your course. Focusing on professional development and employability, this module gives you the opportunity to identify, develop and apply the key skills you will gain throughout the year. You'll have the opportunity to:

  • Develop your academic skills
  • Build a portfolio of professional business skills
  • Study abroad with one of our international partners, undertake an internship placement in the UK or overseas or get involved in a global business challenge simulation.
Student experience and employability

Overseas opportunities

We benefit from an extensive network of partner institutions, including some of the highest ranked business schools in Europe, such as Kedge Business School in France. We also have partnerships with univesities worldwide, from Australia, to China, and USA to Singapore.


We believe that a work placement taken as part of your masters programme can be hugely beneficial to your career prospects. It will enhance your CV and give you a competitive advantage when applying for graduate roles.

As part of this course you’ll have the opportunity to undertake a work placement. You can spend from one month to 12 months with a company of your choice, in the UK or overseas. You’ll apply what you’ve learnt on a daily basis and gain valuable professional experience.

Our students have been successful in gaining work placements in a wide variety of business sectors, both in the UK and internationally. They’ve spent time with companies such as, Salesforce, IBM, Jaguar Land Rover and a host of SMEs and start-up businesses, which provide great hands on experience and exposure.

You’ll also have the unique opportunity to support start-up businesses and a local SMEs with real-life business projects through our Aston Business Clinic. You can work to solve strategic problems for companies, making a real impact on these growing businesses whilst adding key achievements to your CV.

Our award-winning careers team will be on hand to help you find work placements and graduate positions. The team can also lend their expertise to assist you with your CV and interview technique.

Trips and visits

Our MSc International Business students have the chance to spend one week aboard on an educational field trip. You will visit one of our partner institutions and attend a series of guest lecturers. There’s also the opportunity to visit companies based overseas, gaining an insight into how they operate internationally and the strategic challenges they face. Recently destinations for this field trip have included France and Poland.

You’ll benefit from a series of guest lectures, where experienced professionals will share their experiences of international business with you. This helps to give you an applied understanding of the subject.

Graduate employers regularly visit campus throughout the year. You’ll be able to chat to companies about their graduate opportunities and get an insight into their selection process.


Study or work in another country

The University has secured Erasmus+ mobility funding for students going on placement during the academic year 2019/20.  For students planning their placement in the academic year 2020/21, Erasmus+ mobility funding will be dependent on the Exit date and whether a Withdrawal deal is agreed. The University’s Brexit information page is regularly being updated and will have the latest information.

"I took advantage of Aston's double degree course and spent a year in France. It helped me improve my international business skills alongside studying French, giving me a competitive advantage."

Parisa Bhatararat

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