International Business - MSc
- Mode of study
- Full time, Part time
- Start date
- September 2021, January 2022
- Duration of Study
- 1 year / up to 20 months with entrepreneurship or placement pathway 2 years part-time / up to 24 to 36 months depending on pathway
- Subject Area
- Business and Management
- FEES (2021/22 academic year)
- UK - £9,750
- International - £18,000
On our MSc, whether to help you understand other cultures or how to negotiate different trade models and complex legalities, your learning is grounded in real-world practice. We’ll share case studies from our own research and take advantage of our excellent corporate links to organise study trips, guest speakers and ‘live’ projects to grow your experience.
- Keele is ranked 3rd in the UK for business by the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES 2019). 91.3% overall student satisfaction with Keele Business School (2019 Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey).
- Boost your employability by gaining an international perspective and a broader world view to solve commercial challenges.
- Taught by an international faculty who will share their latest research on topics as diverse as operation management systems in Toyota, entrepreneurship in Chinese SMEs, equality and diversity, and sustainable consumption.
- Our Grand Challenges lecture series invites speakers to provide fresh perspectives on the political, ethical and intellectual problems we face as a world today, while our Lunchtime Lectures centre on leadership in the context of complexity and inclusion.
- Our graduates work in a variety of roles, from junior analysts to senior lending officers and assistant managers, for large multinational corporations and SMEs, including China Central Television and Sportcal (Sports market intelligence).
Richard Staunton, MSc International Business
"The course introduced cross-cultural issues pertaining to working in modern business, which I found particularly fascinating" - read more about Richard Staunton, MSc International Business
About the course
Ongoing developments in IT, transport and communications have accelerated the pace of globalisation leading to increased interconnectedness of national economies and an integration of markets in the world’s economy. Employers, large and small, need managers who can see the big picture when it comes to spotting opportunities and solving business issues, who understand the impact of different cultures, markets and geographies.
Grounded in theory and practice, our MSc focuses on developing your understanding of business and management within a global context, offering a deep insight into areas such as strategic management, cultural management issues, ethical and environmental issues and international value chains.
Referring to real-life business examples and hearing direct from practitioners, you’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of the strategic and tactical challenges of operating internationally when confronted with, for example, mergers and acquisitions or foreign direct investment. We’ll also share our own research, for example, studying the role of Chinese trade union organisations on collective wage consultation and strikes, and the challenges of developing countries’ labour market, income and employment.
We’ll uncover some of the different and often fascinating trade practices that exist across continents and countries, such as the varying age restrictions on child labour, often influenced by historical, cultural and social background. You’ll also be exposed to the unique challenges of identifying, managing and training a global workforce with diverse staff of multiple nationalities and ethnicities, with the chance to take part in a practical mock interview scenario.
Your final project will give you the opportunity to directly transfer your learning to the workplace by researching a current topic, responding to a specific business issue or undertaking a ‘live’ work-based project. One student prepared a business plan for a Staffordshire-based SME which was seeking Chinese investment, investigating international business opportunities on its behalf and assessing challenges including local competition.
On graduation, you’ll be prepared for a career in leadership or management throughout the world. Past graduates pursuing a range of managerial and professional careers from management consultant and business analyst to marketing officer and foreign sales representative.
International business knowledge benefits employers in all types of jobs and industries – from sport and leisure, the arts and entertainment to social work, engineering and the natural sciences. We therefore welcome applicants from a wide range of undergraduate disciplines; past students have joined us having studied subjects as diverse as history, sociology, geography and law, as well as business.
What you’ll learn
Business today is global, which brings both opportunities and challenges that require managers and leaders who have an expansive awareness and understanding of operating businesses internationally. This exciting master’s course aims to equip you with the necessary knowledge, skills and techniques to be able to understand how organisations operate across borders at both a strategic and operational level.
The programme covers core international business subjects such as international business context, international strategic management, international human resources, global operations and supply and accounting.
Depending on availability, you can also choose to study a modern language as your optional module, from absolute beginners to advanced level in British Sign Language, Mandarin Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Spanish or Russian. Those for whom English is a second language may also choose Advanced Business English.
You will study a mixture of core and optional taught modules during semesters 1 and 2. After you have completed the taught modules of the course, you will undertake a large project in semester 3 to further develop your knowledge in a specific area of international business.
- International Business Context
- International Strategic Management
- International Operations and Supply
- Introduction to Research (Part 1)
- Accounting for Decision Making
- Understanding Consumer Behaviour
- Marketing Management in the Digital Age
- Clean and Green: Technologies from Above the Earth
- System Design and Programming
- Choice of modern language from absolute beginners to advanced level (subject to availability)
(Mandarin Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Spanish or Russian, British Sign Language).
- Advanced Business English
- Introduction to Research (Part 2)
- Contemporary Challenges in Global Business
Option modules - group one
You will choose one of the following:
- International Financial Reporting
- Strategic Human Resource Management
- Strategy and Information Management
- International Human Resource Management
- Brands and Branding
Introduction to International Economic Law (Law module)
- Cloud Computing
- Web Technologies and Security
- Collaborative Application Development
- Case Studies in Sustainability
- Green IT
- Choice of modern language from post-beginners to advanced level (subject to availability) -Mandarin Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Spanish or Russian, British Sign Language.
- Advanced Business English
For those following the Dissertation route
- Research Methods
For those following the Consultancy, Entrepreneurship or Placement routes
- Creativity and Personal Development
After you have completed the taught modules, you will undertake a large project to further develop your knowledge in a specific area of management or to tackle a specific management issue within an organisation, all of which is designed to enhance your employability. You will choose one of the options below:
During June and September, you will spend eight to 12 weeks undertaking a management research project on behalf of an organisation (chosen by Keele Business School). You’ll put into practice what you’ve learned, developing and applying your skills to solve a business problem, issue or focus on a specific project. As part of the eventual assessment, you’ll present your findings to the host organisation, exactly as you would do within the workplace. One of our students worked with a premier League football club audit charitable donations made by all 92 clubs in the top four divisions of the English game, while another student helped a visual communications consultancy develop a proposition and quantify the value of its innovative approach to initial discovery and briefing meetings.
Please note that participation in the Consultancy Project is only available after a comprehensive selection process.
An excellent opportunity if you have an idea for a new business venture, this module will provide you with the time, space and expertise to develop it. For between eight weeks to 12 months, you’ll be given the option of a base within the University’s incubator and have access to workshops and guidance from a network of entrepreneurs and business advisers. During this time, you’ll complete a portfolio of evidence on your idea and present this to an external stakeholder. Places are limited, and you will be required to undertake an interview prior to acceptance on this module.
The Entrepreneurship pathway is available to UK and international students. Yet for international students, the availability of the Entrepreneurship pathway is subject due to the latest visa regulations.
In an increasingly competitive job market, employers are looking to recruit employees who have high-level knowledge, skills and workplace experience. With support from the Faculty Placement Officer, you will gain first-hand professional experience on a suitable, paid work placement for between eight weeks to 12 months. During your placement, you will be required to complete an extended project on behalf of the organisation. As part of the eventual assessment, you’ll present your findings to the host organisation, exactly as you would do within the workplace. Your placement can be based anywhere in the UK giving you the opportunity to work with local, national and international organisations.
Students who require a visa to study in the UK may be able to add in a work placement depending upon the programme. The ability to add a work placement is dependent upon the UK Immigration rules at the time of the request. It may be that for some programmes students will not have the option to request a placement period to be added to their programme before they arrive in the UK and would need to apply for a new visa. There is no guarantee that a placement will be provided and that students who have a visa are subject to a number of restrictions on the type of work, including placements they can undertake.
How the course is taught
Our teaching and learning strategy is wide-ranging and innovative, seeking to give you a rich learning environment that draws actively upon leading edge research, as well as current international business practice.
Team building, group work, research, presentations and projects will help you develop vital management skills, such as leadership, organisation, strategic thinking, decision-making, problem-solving, delegation, time management, communication, presenting and reporting. When considering human resources management, you’ll participate in practical workshops.
You’ll learn from a global faculty of leading researchers from countries as far afield as Africa and China, as well as external practitioners, gaining industry insights through guest lectures and field trips. Previous students visited Jaguar Land Rover’s Haywood factory and experienced its production line, and received a guest lecture on blockchain technology and supply chain management.
Teaching takes place over the first two semesters. There are no formal group classes during Semester 3, but you consult with supervisors and access the University’s learning and teaching facilities and support services.
- Semester 1 runs from the end of September to the end of January, with an assessment period in January.
- Semester 2 runs from the last week of January to the middle of June, with the assessment period in June.
- Semester 3 runs from June to the end of September.
How you'll be assessed
Assessment is varied and includes the use of essays, skills portfolios, reflective diaries, exams, workbooks, presentations, reports, and practical projects. Most modules combine several forms of assessment.
Where possible, assessment is designed to reflect skills and practices in the workplace, including team working, idea generation, meeting deadlines and so on, so you get a feel for the pressures of everyday working life. It will also include reflective assignment, which helps facilitate a positive learning experience and enhances your creative and reflective thinking skills.
Academic entry requirements
You will need at least a second class honours degree or overseas equivalent qualification in order to apply to study the programmes. If you have appropriate professional qualifications or relevant work experience you may also be considered.
English Language Entry Requirement for International Students
Anyone applying from a country where English is not the first language is required to take an official test of English language obtaining at least IELTS 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each subtest.
Some travel costs may be incurred if an external project or placement is undertaken; any such costs will be discussed with the student before the project is confirmed. It will be possible for the student to select an internal project and that would not incur any additional travel costs. There may be additional costs for textbooks, inter-library loans and potential overdue library fines.
Keele University is located on a beautiful campus and has all the facilities of a small town. Student accommodation, shops, restaurants and cafes are all within walking distance of the teaching buildings. This is a very cost effective way to live and to reduce your living costs.
Scholarships and Funding
We are committed to rewarding excellence and potential. Please visit our Scholarships and Bursaries webpage for more information.
KBS staff have extensive teaching, research and work experience in their fields. The School maintains a strong commitment to excellence and innovation in teaching and research. Our staff members have substantial teaching experience and are committed to continuing professional development as academic teachers. Many of our permanent lecturers have PhDs or other higher degrees or professional qualifications.
You will be taught by a range of leading experts in entrepreneurship, international business, operations and supply chain management, organization studies, human resource management, information management, and accounting, who will share their own professional experiences, which helps broaden your knowledge of the context of the global business environment. Their specialist expertise spans topics such as international business, HRM, entrepreneurship, critical management and international business.
- Dr Helen Milward
- Mrs Tracy Clewlow
- Dr Akrum Helfaya
- Dr Deborah Kerfoot
- Dr Carola Weissmeyer
- Dr Colin Rigby
- Dr Sunday Adebola
- Dr Xuebing Cao
- Ms Eiman El-Sayed
- Dr Thanamas Kungwal
The course is run from Keele Business School’s new home – the Denise Coates Foundation Building – a state-of-the-art facility complete with 220-seat lecture theatre, a ‘think lab’ study space, data laboratory, cafe and business lounge.
Home to our accounting, business management, economics, finance, HRM, international business, management and marketing programmes, our Business School is the first to be located on a Science Park. As well as new teaching spaces, our building is unique in that it is also home to the Smart Innovation Hub, a project part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), which includes space and support programmes for innovation-led businesses, providing opportunities for students and staff to work collaboratively with entrepreneurs and business owners, gaining invaluable networks and experience.
Our specialist Media Building, which is open 24/7, houses extensive digital media production facilities, including film and photography studios and digital post-production labs, with access to professional media production equipment and software.
If you choose to study business and management modules available, you’ll have access to the Bloomberg Suite with all its economic, financial and business real-time data, world news, analyses and reports from the world’s biggest financial organisations.
Based in the heart of England, Keele University is easily accessible by motorway and public transport. You’ll find everything’s on your doorstep, with the most important facilities gathered together at the centre of campus, which, at 600 acres, is one of the biggest in the UK.
Recognised for the highest quality teaching, the University was awarded Gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), while 97% of our research is classed as world-leading or of international importance (REF 2014). In the global top 20 for campus sustainability, environmental and corporate responsibility underpin the running of our own business and these themes are embedded into our teaching of future professionals and leaders.
Our MSc prepares you for a global, culturally diverse career, with opportunities spanning almost every sector and industry imaginable, either working abroad or for companies with an international client base or supply chain. It will equip you with the knowledge and skills to deal with international business issues such as international operations and supply, international strategy business environment analysis, and cross-culture management.
Graduates from this programme have gone on to a range of managerial and professional careers from management consultant and business analyst to marketing officer and foreign sales representative. Recent employers include large multinational corporations and SMEs in various sectors, including Hays, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Santander and Warburtons. On completion, you’ll be ideally placed to pursue further postgraduate studies at MPhil or PhD level.
- Business analyst
- Business development manager
- Management consultant
- Project manager
- Risk manager
- Sales executive
- Supply chain manager