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International Business


School - Salford Business School

Subject area - Business and Management

Start Date(s): September; January; June


MSc (one year full-time or two years part-time)
PgDip (eight months full-time or two years part-time)
PgCert (four months full-time, one year part-time)

Fees 2018-19:

2019-20 fees will be displayed shortly.

Part-time - £1,425 per 30 credit module

UK - £8,550

International - £14,400

In Brief:

  • This is a practical course with an international focus that offers the opportunity to gain a broad overview of the subject before specialising in your chosen area
  • Our strong industry links allow you to mix theory with practice, visiting companies and hearing from expert industry speakers both in the UK and overseas
  • Features a compulsory one-week residential European study visit which gives you an insight into the international business activities of organisations in a variety of sectors
  • Part-time study option
  • Work/industrial placement opportunity
  • International students can apply

Course Summary

This course is aimed at students with a background in business or business-related studies, who wish to further their knowledge of international business. Each module emphasises the global nature of business, so you can gain a greater appreciation of cultural, social, political, legal and sustainability factors affecting business.

This is reinforced through a one-week overseas residential study, embedded into the ‘International Business in Practice’ module, which will provide you with insights into aspects of the political, socio-cultural and economic environments of various industries in an international context. There is an additional charge of £1000 to contribute to the costs of this compulsory residential.

During your time with us, you’ll develop an integrated and critically-aware understanding of the international activities of business organisations, at both the strategic and operational level. This understanding is necessary if you want to effectively develop and execute international business strategy and operations.

You will also develop your personal skills for example in team-working; collecting and evaluating information; and developing and implementing strategies.

We touched on LEAN and process improvement as part of the course and I remember one of the assignments we were talking about the different business improvement methodologies and then as soon as I started with Siemens I realised quite quickly they were using all the same ones, I could refer to my notes and show that I knew what I was doing.  So my manager was quite impressed that I knew some of the stuff they were trying to teach me

Ryan Snape, MSc International Business

Course Details

The programme is block delivered and there are several entry points per year. Students will take the modules below in a sequence dependent on their start date.

The course is delivered in four blocks of intensive study periods. For each block, you study a single module for a 6-week period. Face-to-face teaching is delivered on campus for 6 hours each week. In addition, you will attend the taught element of the Industry Collaboration Project each Wednesday afternoon during the 6-week blocks.

Part time students study alternate modules (one module on, one module off) to complete their degree in two years.

During this period, you will also undertake independent study in your own time with online support through the University’s virtual learning environment, Blackboard.

For the final third of your studies, you will work on your Industry Collaboration Project, working with your own or another organisation on a live brief.

SEMESTER 1      

This module is designed to prepare students to undertake the role of a HR manager in an international context. To enable you to do this, you will examine the changing nature of organisations in a global context, and the debates around whether HR policy and practice is becoming truly global or whether        national        and cultural sensibilities prevent this. You will also be equipped with the skills needed to apply theoretical concepts relating to organisation design and development in practice.
Central to modern international business is the development and maintenance of relationships with key stakeholders such as customers and suppliers. This module will develop your awareness of culture in international marketing communications and business-to-business relationships. In addition to traditional        communications        such as advertising, you will also look at how social media can be used to engage with consumers from different cultural backgrounds. You will also learn how global supply chains across a range of organisations and sectors can be managed responsibly and sustainably.

SEMESTER 2      

In this era of globalisation it is essential for companies to understand the different international environments of the markets in which they may operate, and how these influence value-adding activities and decision-making. This module will develop your understanding of these different international        environments        in terms of the opportunities and threats that they present and show you how they can underpin a sustained competitive advantage in the international arena. The module concludes with an analysis of the different ways in which companies can enter their chosen country.
This module will allow you to understand the theory of cross-cultural interaction and different cultural identities and to see the ways in which these influence management practice in the areas of ethics, leadership, decision-making, communication and negotiation. The module includes a one-week overseas        residential        study period, during which you will visit a number of companies in different industry sectors and will have the opportunity to speak to practitioners about how they run their organisations and have internationalised their operations.


Industry Collaboration Project (ICP)

This module accounts for the final 60 credits of your degree and gives you the opportunity to examine an issue that is important to an organisation. The Industry Collaboration Project offers four different options: a Work Placement, a three month Internship, the applied Dissertation and, from September 2019, the Entrepreneurship path. You will be allocated a supervisor to mentor you through your chosen project and receive support wherever necessary from the Salford Business School Employability Team. For all options students are encouraged to address a real organisational issue, and to disseminate their work to a wider audience, meaning that you can create real impact through your Industry Collaboration Project.

The Work Placement gives you the chance to undertake a six month project with an organisation located regionally, nationally or internationally. By exploring a key issue impacting an organisation, you will apply the theoretical knowledge gained through your studies and develop and use appropriate problem-solving skills in a real-world environment. Your work placement will be assessed primarily through the production of a project proposal and an 8,500 – 10,000 word portfolio.
The Internship option of the Industry Collaboration Project aims to equip you with the relevant practical skills to critically identify and evaluate key issues impacting organisations and their environments either in the UK or overseas. Over a three month period, you will work alongside an organisation to identify and explore a real organisational issue. Through your project, you will apply your theoretical knowledge in the development of solutions to the identified issue, produce a project proposal and finally an 8,500 – 10,000 word portfolio.
An advanced-level research pathway based on a real-world business problem. You will create an initial research proposal then produce a 12,000 – 15,000 word dissertation for assessment.The Dissertation path gives you the opportunity to apply the theoretical and practical knowledge gained from the taught elements of the programme to a current organisational issue and deploy and effectively use appropriate problem-solving skills through critical self-reflection and methodical, systematic research.
Please note, this option is available from September 2019
Through this option, along with applying your theoretical knowledge from the taught elements of the programme, you will develop the transferable skills and qualities required for entrepreneurial behaviour and work on your own innovative business idea. You will reflect on business opportunities, challenges and strategies with the aim of establishing a new businesses, or incorporating entrepreneurial thinking into the management of an existing organisation. The three month Entrepreneurship path will be assessed through the development of an Initial Business Proposal and an 8,500 word Comprehensive Business Proposal accompanied by a 30 minute presentation.

Entry Requirements

Normally a minimum 2:2 honours degree or equivalent or successful completion of the Graduate Certificate.

A wide range of professional qualifications are also accepted either in partial or complete fulfilment of entry requirements.  

Where a student has gained a recognised Honours degree but does not meet the normal entry qualification requirement, they may still be considered for entry if they can demonstrate relevant work experience of a minimum two years duration post study and acceptable level of responsibility.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

We welcome applications from students who may not have formal/traditional entry criteria but who have relevant experience or the ability to pursue the course successfully.

The Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) process could help you to make your work and life experience count. The APL process can be used for entry onto courses or to give you exemptions from parts of your course.

Two forms of APL may be used for entry: the Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) or the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).

English Language Requirements

International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.5 (no element below 5.5) is proof of this.

If the English language qualification is slightly below this level candidates may be able to take one of the many English courses available in the University. For more information search for English on Course Finder.

Suitable For

This course is ideal if you wish to develop your knowledge and understanding of business in a rapidly changing international context.

Applicant profile

You should have a strong interest in international management. This course offers excellent scope for aspiring and existing managers who want to improve their career development opportunities and employability. If you want to progress into a senior position in the public, private or third sectors this course will offer you the chance to gain skills which are highly sought by employers across a wide variety of organisations.

Fees 2019-20

Fees for entry in 2019 will be displayed shortly.

Fees 2018-19

Type of StudyFee
Part-time£1,425 per 30 credit module
Full-time International£14,400

Additional costs

  • Overseas residential - you will pay an additional £1000 towards the cost of the compulsory residential overseas study visit.

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Scholarships and Bursaries

For more information please see our funding section


Face to face teaching is delivered on campus for two half days each week. In addition, you will attend the taught element of the Industry Collaboration Project each Wednesday afternoon during the 6 week blocks, with independent study completed in your own time through the University’s virtual learning environment, Blackboard.  Individual student timetables will be provided during induction week.

Teaching is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars and tutorials, using a wide range of learning activities.


Over the duration of your course a range of assessment techniques will be used. Types of assessment include; essays, assignments, exams, multiple choice tests, online tests, group reports, and portfolio work. The weighting between exams and coursework varies between modules and years.

Postgraduate Staff Profile

Dr Jonathan Swift

Jonathan is a Senior Lecturer in International Business & Marketing.  Having begun his career teaching foreign languages, he moved into cross-cultural training for multinationals such as ICI and Kellogs. He teaches in the areas of culture, business relationship development, consumer behaviour,  and advertising, and the role of foreign language competence.

Jonathan is currently Visiting Academic Fellow at the Universidad Tadeo Lozano, Bogotá, Colombia. He has worked closely with a variety of industrial clients - such as Reckitt and Coleman, Spode, Remploy, Caradon Twyfords, and Churchill Potteries - generally in the area of market research. He has supervised many research students, and directed overseas student research projects commissioned by companies such as Noell's Spices, Rock Oil, Adam's Children's Wear, McClaren Buggies, and Calzado Atlas (from Colombia). Widely published, he is a regular contributor to academic journals and has published a number of books: the two latest being: (1) Brexit KBO (2018) Cambridge Academic, Cambridge, and  (2) Understanding Business in the Global Economy: A Multi-Level Relationship Approach (2017) Palgrave MacMillan, London.

"What I like most about the area of international business is that it is sufficiently wide to allow someone to enroll without necessarily having an undergraduate business-related qualification - as I did. People can then go on to secure employment in most industry sectors and areas, but most are obviously focused on an international career. From my point of view, having lived and worked in a number of countries, I am certain that business leaders of the future will find it essential to have a knowledge of other cultures, and the ability to communicate in more than one language. That is possible in Salford. Tell us your story, and we'll tell you how we can help you achieve your dreams." Dr Jonathan Swift


In addition to a highly-regarded formal qualification, you’ll develop personal and organisational management skills that will significantly enhance your career prospects – particularly if you want to become a manager in a multinational company. Graduates often go on to build careers as managers, business consultants or entrepreneurs, operating on the international stage.

Alumni Profile

"I did my internship [at Siemens].  I was working specifically on the LEAN programme, co-ordinating improvement activities for all the different functions.  it was fortunate I ended up with the one I did because I really enjoyed it and while I was there I decided it was what I wanted to do full time.  Ever since I was doing it I’ve held a number of business improvement roles and it’s what I’m still doing now.   I’ve held four roles since I started. When I finished the internship I started full time doing pretty much what I’d been doing on the internship, specifically on the LEAN programme.  Now, I’m Head of Business Excellence at Siemens Building Technologies in London."

Ryan Snape, MSc International Business, graduated 2014

Read more of Ryan's story in his Made in Salford blog post.

Links with Industry

With strong links to industry, we teach the skills that employers need and, as a result, our graduates enjoy excellent international career prospects.

During the overseas study visit, part of the ‘International Business in Practice’ module, you will visit a range on businesses to learn about their management challenges and how they are addressing them.  In recent years, students have visited Cosantino and Rijk Zwann in Spain and Skoda and Bohemia Sekt in Prague.  

The Industry Collaboration Project, which forms the final third of your study, is designed to give you real-world experience so you can apply the theory you have learned.

Further Study

Find out more information about research opportunities here.

"I did a six-month work placement at HMG Paints Ltd.  The main aim and objective of the work placement was to help HMG conduct market research for a potential international business opportunity in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and provide them with insights on how to establish and build a successful business relationship there.  It was a perfect opportunity for me to provide analysis that will help HMG understand the macro environment and the cultural and linguistic requirements of doing business in KSA.  A placement offers an opportunity to explore what the ‘real business world’ is out there. Personally, I see it as a platform to implement what you have learnt in class and discover what the reality has to offer."

Hashim Abdusheikh, MSc International Business, 2018

Hashim's employer responded:

"Hashim is a perfect example of a great success story at HMG. His project involving research into overseas markets was something that we did not have the resource nor skill set to do ourselves but knew it represented a big opportunity. Hashim brought focus, enthusiasm, resourcefulness and an exceptional skill set to guide HMG towards the correct path. The experience for HMG represented everything good about internships and Hashim is considered a lifetime member of the HMG family!


Salford Business School is located at the heart of the University’s Peel campus in the newly refurbished Lady Hale Building, and the Chapman Building, offering state-of-the-art facilities for the Business School’s student learning community and just minutes from Manchester city centre. Chapman is a stylish modern space with six lecture theatres equipped with the very latest technology and large screen displays, a series of communal learning and breakout spaces, plus a Fairtrade café with panoramic views across the campus.

Lady Hale is the home to all dedicated business school student support including the school office, an employability hub, a base for the Business School society, and several open study spaces.

All University of Salford students also have access to the MediaCityUK campus including its study facilities.  MediaCityUK is home to major BBC and ITV departments and over 80 businesses across the creative and digital sectors.  It is recognised as one of the most innovative developments in Britain and is a vibrant place in which to live, work, socialise and study.

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