Postgraduate MSc

International Business

Salford Business School



With placement


One year

Next enrolment

September 2024


In a nutshell

International applicants: please check the international intakes page for the latest information and application dates.

This course has been designed to equip recent graduates who aspire to manage organisations across national borders with the knowledge and skills to confront the challenges of operating in a global, interconnected world that is increasingly digital - yet also increasingly characterised by risk, uncertainty and complex problems.

During your time with us, you will examine the forces that shape and influence international business decisions and activities whilst exploring emerging issues and trends in the fields of practice and research. You will learn of the challenges and opportunities managers face in core business functions within an international context and develop an appreciation of cultural intelligence as a core capability to interact and lead effectively across cultures. You will develop your digital awareness by exploring the growth of international digital business and will become critically appreciative of what it means for a business to demonstrate responsible leadership and citizenship in global, regional and local situations.

The course is highly industry-focused and culminates in either undertaking an international consultancy project on behalf of a client firm or a work-based internship or placement project. Whichever direction you take, you will put the knowledge that you have learned into practice.

Six good reasons to choose Salford Business School:

  1. Practical teaching, informed by our industry partners, so you develop the skills employers look for
  2. Real-world learning on live company projects
  3. Multiple start dates to fit with your life priorities
  4. Beautiful campus just minutes from Manchester city centre
  5. Excellent industry links with the dynamic Greater Manchester business community
  6. Focus on the digital, ethical and sustainability business challenges of the 21st century

To find out more, register for one of our Postgraduate Open Days or learn more about our master's courses in business, finance and law.

You will:

  • Examine the forces that shape and influence international business decisions and activities
  • Develop knowledge and understanding of the challenges and opportunities managers face in a global environment characterised by risk, uncertainty and complexity
  • Develop an appreciation of the importance of cultural intelligence for interacting and leading effectively across cultures
  • Have the opportunity to undertake a consultancy project, internship or placement
  • Have the opportunity to develop additional qualifications that enhance your employability such as Microsoft Digital Certificates and Carbon Literacy Certification

options available


students accepted

Course accreditations

This is for you if...


You aspire to manage across national borders and interact and lead effectively across cultures


You want to develop a global perspective of the connections between people, information, trade and capital around the world


You are passionate about confronting the challenges of operating in a global, interconnected world


You are looking for an industry-informed course that will enable you to develop the knowledge and skills sought by employers


You want real-world experience through a consultancy or work-based project


You want to enhance your digital awareness and develop personally and professionally.

Course details

All about the course

This course has 3 entry points per year: September, January and June. You will complete 180 credits in total – 120 credits of core modules followed by a final 60-credit pathway. You will start the course with the 30-credit International Business Foundations and Trends module, followed by six 15-credit modules that will be studied in varying sequences depending on your start date. Before the end of your first trimester, you will choose from one of three pathways for the final 60 credits of the course:

1) International Consultancy Project
2) Business Internship
3) Work Placement.

All core modules are six weeks long; 15-credit modules will run simultaneously in pairs over a six-week period, while the 30-credit foundational module will be delivered standalone over a six-week period. There are six hours of teaching per week on the 30-credit foundational module and four hours of teaching per week on the 15-credit modules. Throughout the course, you will also undertake substantial independent study.

Semester one

International Business Foundations and Trends

This module will provide you with the foundation for the remainder of the course. Within the wider context of globalisation you will learn about the reasons why firms engage in international business.  You will then consider how country and regional-level factors may influence international business decisions and activities. You will then be introduced to some of the key theories of international business and how these contrast with more recent ideas, before seeing how the context and theory of international business connect to emerging issues and trends in the fields of practice and research.

Cross-Cultural Leadership Skills

This module will focus on developing your cross-cultural leadership skills. You will begin by examining different approaches to describing and understanding cross-cultural similarities and differences between and within nations, organisations and associated varieties of capitalism. You will then develop a critical and practical understanding of cultural intelligence as a core capability to interact and lead effectively across cultures. You will then explore how cultural intelligence can be applied in key areas of cross-cultural leadership (communication, negotiation, motivation, leadership, team working).

International Marketing

This module will focus on key issues in international marketing - the interface between firms and their customers around the globe. You will be introduced to the topic through consideration of key international marketing concepts, models and theories. You will then examine cultural diversity and ethical issues and their implications for firms engaged in international marketing before going on to explore the various strategic decisions firms must make in order to successfully engage with different markets. The module will conclude by evaluating the use and impact of digital tools in international marketing.

International Supply Chain Management

On this module you will begin by examining key international supply chain concepts and practices and the contribution of international supply chains to an organisation’s competitive advantage. You will also develop an appreciation of the ethical challenges firms face in managing their international supply chains. You will examine and evaluate different international supply chain strategies such as outsourcing, offshoring and reshoring and the socio-economic and environmental impacts such strategies may have. Finally, you will appraise the challenges firms increasingly face in managing vulnerability within - and building resilience into - their international supply chains.

International Financial Management

You will begin by examining key dimensions of international financial management and their significance for companies. The tools that financial managers can use in order to achieve their international market targets will then be explored. Consideration will then be given to the different risks managers face in international financial markets and the methods and instruments that can be used to help mitigate these risks. The module will conclude by appraising ethical issues and dilemmas in international financial markets and the implications of these for companies.

International Business and the Digital Economy

You will begin by considering the impact of digitization on globalisation and the emergence and growth of international digital business, followed by an exploration of the potential implications of the emerging fourth industrial revolution, Industry 4.0, for international business. The role of digital technologies and platforms in creating innovative international business models will then be considered. The module will conclude by exploring the issues of risk mitigation and sustainability in the Global Digital Economy and how firms can strategically respond to the challenges and opportunities that may arise.

Globally Responsible Leadership and Citizenship

You will develop a critical awareness of what it means for a business to demonstrate responsible leadership and responsible corporate citizenship in global, regional and local situations. You will begin by developing an understanding of the increasing expectations placed on business to respond to a range of global challenges, as expressed through frameworks such as the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. You will then learn about the purpose-led organisation and how - through enabling the simultaneous enhancement of a firm’s competitiveness and improvement of societal, economic and environmental conditions – globally responsible leadership and citizenship may be achievable

Upon successful completion of the first 120 credits, you will progress onto the final 60 credits of the course. You can choose to study one of the three below pathways. 

International Business Placement

In order to prepare for this pathway, you will undertake the following 15-credit module in your second trimester:

  • Research Methods for Managers (15 credits; taught module): This is an applied module that focuses on practical research methodologies and techniques for conducting research and prepares you for the Business Internship pathway (or Business Dissertation, should you be unsuccessful in securing a Business Internship).

You will then undertake the following:

  • Work Placement (45 credits): A full-time placement of up to 12 months in a project management related role within a workplace (subject to availability and visa compliance).

Please note: Should you be unsuccessful in securing a work placement, you will instead be required to undertake a 45-credit business dissertation, where you will select a particular topic you are interested in for further in-depth study.

International Business Internship

In order to prepare for this pathway, you will undertake the following 15-credit module in your second trimester:

  • Research Methods for Managers (15 credits): This is an applied module that focuses on practical research methodologies and techniques for conducting research and prepares you for the business internship pathway.

 You will then undertake the following in your third trimester:

  • Business Internship (45 credits): A 3-month experiential opportunity within an organisation, focusing on real-world project management issues (subject to availability and visa compliance).

Please note: Should you be unsuccessful in securing an internship, you will instead be required to undertake a 45-credit business dissertation, where you will select a particular topic you are interested in for further in-depth study.

International Consultancy Project

You will begin this pathway by undertaking 2 15-credit modules:

  • Researching International Market Opportunities (15 credits): You will examine different aspects of the international market opportunity assessment process and the methodologies and tools managers can use to undertake the research required. Internal aspects that are specific to a company – such as the extent to which a company is ready to internationalise - will be considered. External aspects of the wider international market environment, – such as country and industry attractiveness, will also be explored. On completion of the module, you will be able to source, analyse and evaluate data to develop recommendations for international market expansion.
  • International Entry Strategies (15 credits): In addition to assessing international market opportunities, companies looking to expand overseas need to consider when to enter a chosen market, on what scale and in which way. You will begin by examining the dilemma of whether a company should standardise its offering for all international markets or adapt its offering according to the specifics of individual markets. You will then examine the issues of timing, scale and mode of entry into a chosen market and how these may vary according to the context of the company and its offering, the company’s competitive environment and the target market.

You will then undertake the following 30-credit final project:

  • International Consultancy Project (30 credits): This capstone module follows successful completion of the above 15-credit modules. You will first learn about the key skills required to act as an effective consultant. You will then a project on behalf of a client organisation, which will provide you with the opportunity to engage in a piece of independent consultancy research that enables you to consolidate and apply the knowledge and understanding you have gained throughout the course while developing market insights and strategic recommendations to be shared with the client organisation

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

What will I be doing?


This course’s teaching and learning strategies are based on the following principles:

  • Global thinking
  • Ethical, responsible and sustainable practice
  • Professional competence
  • Fostering the next generation of leaders by integrating people, values and the digital in order to meet the challenges and opportunities of a sustainable future

We use a wide range of approaches to teaching to help you learn. Typically a module will include a mixture of activities: generally based around interactive lectures, dealing with a number of specific topics.

Lectures will introduce and explain key concepts and learning points and will be interactive in encouraging you to ask questions, engage in discussion and offer examples from your own personal and professional experiences.

Seminars and workshops will provide you with the opportunity to apply and reflect upon the knowledge gained in lectures to a range of scenarios, enabling you to develop your critical thinking and problem solving and to receive tutor feedback. Seminars may also include the use of simulations and skills development courses that have micro-certification where available.


The types of assessment used on the course may vary according to each module but you can expect to undertake a combination of the following during the course:

  • Individual written reports
  • Individual simulation modelling reports
  • Portfolios
  • Project report


Taking the leap from undergraduate study? Returning after a study break? Joining us as an international student? Whatever your circumstance, we’re committed to supporting you throughout your studies. Find out more about our support for postgraduate students.

Why Choose Salford Business School?

Situated at the heart of Greater Manchester's £5 billion-pound business, finance and digital sector, Salford Business School stands as a dynamic hub for the development and exchange of knowledge. We combine cutting-edge learning with strong industry connections, preparing you to lead change in the fast-paced world of business and management. 

Our expert-led and industry-informed programmes provide highly practical teaching enriched with real-world learning opportunities. Most of our programmes offer various work placements locally, nationally, and internationally, allowing you to practice and develop your learning. 
Throughout your journey, we will equip you for a fulfilling life and professional career, fostering curiosity, adaptability, and confidence to tackle 21st-century challenges. 

Business: Science or art?
Our postgraduate degree award is a Masters of Science (MSc), reflecting our commitment to data-driven, evidence-based business decisions, even in innovative and creative endeavours. 

At the beating heart of it all

You will study at our green Peel Park campus, just a short five-minute journey from central Manchester with close transport links, and our state-of-the-art campus at MediaCity is just a short bus ride away. 

Our dedicated student hub on the sixth floor of the Maxwell Building provides areas for collaborative and independent study and break-out spaces. Additionally, here you can find our in-school progression and careers teams to support your journey. 

Getting here
Our campuses are easily accessible, with Salford Crescent train station at the centre of our Peel Park campus. Whether travelling to us by bus, rail, bike, car, or plane, our campus is easily reached from all over Greater Manchester, Lancashire, and beyond. For international students, Manchester Airport is a short ride away and offers regular flights from London and many international airports. 

Dedicated support

Starting or continuing to study at university is a big decision, and we are committed to supporting you throughout your time with us. 

Our in-school Student Progression Assistants address programme and workload matters, whilst the Careers and Employability team, along with in-school advisors, offers personalised career support. The Library provides diverse learning support beyond your course, and for non-course matters, our university-wide support service, askUS, assist with topics from financial management to wellbeing. 

If entrepreneurship appeals to you, Launch @Salford, our start-up incubator, offers expert insight and support. Additionally, our Business School's Postgraduate Mentoring Scheme connects new master's students with existing ones, providing valuable guidance during your transition. 

These integrated support methods aim to help you seamlessly transition into your postgraduate course and ensure success during your time with us. 

A global community

Salford Business School is home to a diverse global student-staff community. Our teaching team consists of active researchers, academics, and industry experts who offer the latest in theory, research, and industry expertise. 

Furthermore, our diverse student community brings together individuals from various backgrounds and experiences, providing you with a well-rounded perspective, knowledge, and friendships that will shape you into a future leader and global citizen. This equips you to thrive in life and your career, instilling curiosity, adaptability, and confidence to confront the digital, ethical, and sustainability challenges of the 21st century. 

Programme Leader

Dr Adrian Monaghan

Dr Adrian Monaghan joined Salford Business School in 2010 and is a Senior Lecturer and the Programme Leader for MSc International Business. He was awarded a BA Honours in French, followed by an MSc in Business Studies. He combined the knowledge and skills he developed from these qualifications to work as a strategic buyer for a French multinational firm. He then returned to university to do a PhD in socio-technical transitions for sustainability, during which he also enjoyed translating French academic works for publication in English. While completing his PhD Adrian worked as a Research Fellow at the University of Manchester and subsequently became a lecturer at Brunel University where he was also Manager of the Economic and Social Research Council’s Sustainable Technologies Programme.

Adrian has substantial experience in designing and leadiing postgraduate programmes and his teaching interests cut across international business, strategy and the creation of value for business, society and the natural environment. His industry and global interests are equally diverse, ranging from the British funeral sector to the sustainable development of the urban and rural economies of Thailand.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

There is no typical career path for a student who successfully completes this course. Instead, graduates' careers can take many different directions, spanning multinational firms, start-up and family businesses, governmental organisations and departments, and higher education institutions.

Examples of private sector roles that graduates have gone onto include: Marketing Director (Molson Coors); Business Development Manager (Shell); Head of Business Strategy, Excellence and Quality (Siemens); Head of Commercial Delivery (

Other graduates have gone on to enjoy public sector roles including Trade Policy Officer (British Embassy) and Civil Servant (Mongolian Ministry of Mining & Heavy Industry) while other graduates have remained within the university sector, developing academic careers in various higher education institutions around the globe such as China, Vietnam and the UK


A taste of what you could become

A Global Business Manager

An Operations Manager

An International HR Manager

A Business Consultant

A charity fundraiser

And more...

Career Links

This course has been designed in consultation with a range of partners spanning a number of different sectors, from multinational firms to international growth specialists to public-private partnership initiatives that grow international connectivity.

The course works with a number of organisations engaged in different aspects of international business, with guest speakers sharing their insights and experiences and client firms developing opportunities for consultancy projects and, with support from the Salford Business School Employability Hub, work-based internships and placements.

"The vibrant community, campus facilities and wide selection of courses attracted my attention to the University of Salford, and I was really excited with my decision to enrol there to invest in my personal development and growth. I enjoyed all the lectures and assignments! The modules were very interesting and the topics were very close to issues happening in the current economic climate. All my lecturers were very knowledgeable and interactive; they engaged us in active discussion on current affairs and debates. I also enjoyed dialogues with like-minded course mates from different backgrounds and cultural perspectives. The research for the assignments really helped me with critical analysis, which allowed me to review and examine the assignments with openness and to develop my opinions and thoughts on the topics. The guidance and undivided attention from all of my lecturers also helped me through this process of broadening the way I looked at certain topics and discussion. I’m currently working as a Business Development Manager in a global energy and petrochemical company. The course has helped shape my thinking and has further enhanced my critical analysis skill set; this is important as I am able to apply this thought process in strategic analysis at work." - Jace Lee Yee Wen. Business Development Manager 

Jace Lee portrait

What you need to know


As well as being aspiring managers who want to expand their knowledge and skills and enhance their career prospects, applicants should have a strong interest in international issues and trends. Applicants should be keen to develop a global perspective that will enable them to appreciate how people, information, trade and capital are connected and flow across national borders and around the world. Applicants must be prepared to undertake substantial independent learning and be committed to their personal and professional development.


International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0 (with no element below 5.5) is proof of this. If you need to improve your written and spoken English, you might be interested in our English language courses.

Find out about dedicated support for international applicants.

Standard entry requirements

Undergraduate degree

Normally a minimum 2:2 honours degree or equivalent. A wide range of professional qualifications are also accepted, either in partial or complete fulfilment of entry requirements.

International students

We accept qualifications from all around the world. Find your country to see a full list of entry requirements.

Alternative entry requirements

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).

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home 2024/25 £8,550.00per year
Full-time international 2024/25 £16,560.00per year
Full-time home 2025/26 £8,550.00per year
Full-time international 2025/26 £16,560.00per year

Additional costs

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits. For more information please see our funding section

International applicants 

If you are applying from overseas and are accepted onto the programme with placement, there will be additional costs associated with visa extensions. These include:

  1. Extending your student visa fee (visit for more information). Please note, this is in addition to your original student visa fee.
  2. Tier 4 biometrics enrolment fee.
  3. Immigration Health Surcharge 12 month fee (visit for more information).

Visit Immigration and Visa FAQ and read the section on extending your Tier 4 visa for further information.

International scholarships

If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our international scholarships.

Apply now

All set? Let's apply

All students will register onto the MSc International Business programme.  If you choose to follow the Industry Placement option and are accepted on to this, your registration will be transferred to the MSc International Business with Industry Placement programme.

Still have some questions? Register for one of our Open Days or contact us:

By email:
By phone: +44 (0)161 295 4545

Enrolment dates

September 2024

January 2025

September 2025