International Business MSc


Fact file

MSc International Business
Full time 12 Months
Entry requirements
2.1 (or international equivalent) in any discipline, excluding business and/or management
Other requirements
Personal statement and a list of modules being studied in the final year (for applicants who have not yet completed their undergraduate degree)
6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses are available
Start date
Jubilee Campus
Tuition fees
You can find fee information on our fees table.
Please note: Applications for this programme for 2018 entry will close on 4 May 2018.


Designed for graduates who want to make the transition into business, this course focuses on all aspects of international business.
Read full overview

You will study subjects in managerial economics; managing people and businesses; financial strategy and creative problem solving and will analyse the changing international business environment in real depth.

You will be able to tailor your course with a variety of modules enabling you to focus on your career aspirations. In addition, you will be provided with a rigorous grounding in research methods and will undertake a dissertation allowing you to utilise the knowledge and understanding you have gained and use this as a springboard to your career.

Unique to the Business School, this course takes advantage of the University's international operations and is also taught at the Business Schools in China and Malaysia. This provides you with the opportunity to spend the entire second semester completing core and optional modules at either campus while experiencing life in China or Malaysia.

You will be taught by staff with international reputations for excellence in research, particularly on emerging markets, and guest lecturers who are successful entrepreneurs and have international experience in doing business in challenging cultural environments. The combination of various approaches, such as lectures, case studies, group work and internships will greatly enhance your learning experience.

I'm from a small town in Sicily, so the idea of interacting with people across the globe and making the world my workplace has always thrilled me. This course was exactly the experience I was looking for. Exchange programmes are rare in masters courses, so this is definitely something exclusive, giving direct exposure to a different economic and social environment.

Vincenzo Grifo, MSc International Business

Adriana Gosuen, MSc International Business

Academic English preparation and support

If you require additional support to take your language skills to the required level, you may be able to attend a presessional course at the Centre for English Language Education, which is accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English in the UK. Students who successfully complete the presessional course to the required level can progress to postgraduate study without retaking IELTS or equivalent.

Specialist business and management courses are available and you could be eligible for a joint offer, which means you will only need to apply for your visa once. Students who enter via the CELE route are exempt from paying the school's £2,000 reservation fee. For more details, please contact us.

Key facts

  • This course includes the opportunity to spend a semester at the University's China or Malaysia campuses
  • Part of an elite group of EQUIS and AMBA accredited business schools
  • 6th in the UK for research power in the latest Research Excellence Framework, with teaching informed by the latest developments

Course details

Across the autumn and spring semesters, you will take 120 credits of taught modules. Each module typically consists of 10 two to three hour sessions.

You will complete a 60-credit 12-15,000-word dissertation over the summer, and will be allocated an appropriate dissertation supervisor who will oversee your progress.


You will be assessed through a combination of individual essays or group projects and written exams.



Semester one

Core modules

Business Economics

The module covers the following:

  • Markets
  • Firms and market power
  • Market structure and government policy
  • Government intervention
  • International trade
  • International capital and other factor flows
  • The macroeconomic policy
  • Balance of payments and foreign exchange
International Accounting

The module covers:

  • the roles of accounting in business and its link to global capital markets
  • international accounting harmonisation
  • comparative international accounting
  • financial statement analysis
  • managerial accounting for planning and control
  • discounted cash flow and valuation
International Business Environment

This module introduces you to the international business environment. The module develops an understanding of the global environment and covers:

  • globalisation of business
  • internationalisation theories
  • innovation
  • international institutions governing IB (flows of trade, investment, financial and human capital)
  • differences between countries (political, economic and cultural)

Semester two

Core modules

Essentials of International Marketing

The module will introduce the core marketing concepts and techniques prior to covering aspects of marketing that are explicitly international. The module provides an overview of the changing international business environment and its challenges for international firms. It critically reviews contemporary issues in international marketing and provides insights into the development of competitive strategies and international marketing management within the context of consumer goods, industrial goods and services. 

The module is designed to develop an appreciation of the special requirements for successfully conducting international marketing activities. The module aims to provide you with an in-depth understanding of current issues in international marketing theory and practice.

International Business Strategy

The module covers approaches to strategy for international businesses and cases and examples of international businesses.

Research Methods

Part I: Introduction Qualitative Analysis

This part of the module will be concerned with the collection and analysis of qualitative data.

Part II: Introduction Quantitative Analysis

  • Survey design and measurement
  • Introduction to statistics; hypothesis testing, t-tests, ANOVA, regression analysis and factor analysis

Optional modules

Globalisation, Business and Development

Private sectors actors are increasingly engaging in development, and are now considered development partners of governments, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and overseas development agents.

This module introduces you to the global context of doing business, and the impact of business activities on development. It critically considers the changing roles of business, governments, international government agencies and NGOs, and how these actors interact to foster development.

The module adopts different disciplinary perspectives drawing from international development, political economy and comparative business systems perspectives to understand the process of globalisation and the influence of business on development concerns (for example, corruption, land and water, poverty). The module critically examines the business responses oriented towards development (for example, multi-stakeholder initiatives, inclusive business models, fair trade).

Risk and Society

The module will provide critical foundations in societal aspects of risk. You will develop conceptual and practical understanding of risk problems in context, including the emergence and development of risk concepts, the character and diversity of risk governance and regulatory regimes, and varieties of public risk management and communication practices across different sectors and public and institutional settings.

You will gain knowledge of social science and public management theories, concepts, techniques, and different critical approaches to explaining and addressing societal risk issues. 


If you want to specialise, the following pathways include pairs of modules which create depth and understanding in an important international business issue. If you decide to choose one of these pathways, along with a dissertation in the same area, you have the option for the pathway to appear on your final transcript and degree certificate.

Chinese and Business Society pathway

Contemporary Chinese Culture and Society

The module introduces you to key concepts in the understanding of contemporary Chinese culture and features of Chinese society, including:

  • continuity and change in the Chinese family
  • rural and urban society
  • Chinese youth and generational identity
  • ethnicity and religion in contemporary China
  • the arts and popular culture
Managing International Business in China

This module analyses the basic issues of managing international business in contemporary China, including entry mode selection, alliance management, negotiation with Chinese partners, cross-cultural human resource management, cross-cultural marketing, protection of intellectual property rights, corporate finance, and strategic management.

These issues are discussed in the light of the relevant theoretical frameworks and models of international business and management, with reference to current business and management practices of multinational companies operating in China. The context of China's general business environment and specific international business regimes are also examined.


Corporate Social Responsibility pathway

Business Ethics

This module examines businesses from an ethical perspective. In particular, it explores the existence of corporations in liberal democracies, and ethical concerns surrounding multinational corporations and globalisation. Further to this, the module examines human rights; environment ethics; consumerism; and corporations as political actors, and as sites of political action.

The main concepts and theories underpinning the business ethics field will be introduced, and you will have the opportunity to use these in understanding business related issues. Teaching will consist of a mixture of lectures, case studies, exercises, discussions, and multi-media. Considerable emphasis will be placed on student participation in class, with the aim of promoting ethical reflection on the many important issues that surround business-society relations.

Ultimately, the aim of the module is to enable you to recognise and reflect upon ethical problems with a view to enhancing your analytical and decision-making skills.

Managing for Sustainability

Sustainable companies are those that are managed in socially, economically, and ecologically responsible ways. Today's managers are expected to understand the impact of management decisions and practices on the environment and society.

This module considers how sustainability principles are applied in organisations, and how to manage for sustainability. Through use of multiple learning approaches, the module enables you to practically interact with real businesses to address some sustainability challenges faced by the organisation.

The module introduces the you to frameworks and theories use to critically assess sustainability, and to integrate sustainability into the business strategy.

The module enables you to develop an understanding of the practical dilemmas facing businesses as they seek to respond to multiple, and often, conflicting stakeholders expectations. You will be expected to critically reflect upon your practical experiences and capture these using a learning journal.


Entrepreneurship/Innovation pathway

Creative Problem Solving

This module will introduce you to the latest thinking in the areas of creativity, the creative process, knowledge management practices and the nature of entrepreneurship.

Having established the cricual link between creativity, entrepreneurship and economic development, the module proceeds with the latest thinking in the areas of creativity, entrepreneurship and economic development and modern knowledge management practices supported by case studies and examples of successful applications.

You will be introduced to a variety of creative problem solving techniques and learn how to apply these techniques in the context of the development, evaluation and application of ideas and concepts with commercial potential.

Innovation Management

The module covers the following: 

  • Introduction - What is innovation management?
  • Building an innovation organisation
  • Innovation and family firms
  • External guest speaker
  • Sources of innovation and networks
  • Innovation strategy and blue ocean strategy
  • Selecting the right idea
  • Implementing ideas
  • Capturing learning
  • Group presentations - appraisal of innovation
  • Management of an innovative firm - consider the challenges of managing innovative products, services, processes and business models that are to be delivered across different international contexts
Launching New Ventures

This module will introduce you to the more practical elements of innovation and enterprise activity across multiple contexts, including not just new venture creation but corporate and social entrepreneurship as well.

Whereas Entrepreneurship and Creativity focuses on idea generation and entrepreneurial theory, Launching New Ventures will prepare you to recognise opportunities, and to implement innovation and enterprising ideas. The ability to make informed and timely decisions will be an important aspect of this, and the module will use a start-up business simulation to encourage this.

Technology Entrepreneurship

The aim of this module is to offer you an appreciation of the entrepreneurial actions involved in the commercial exploitation of new science and technology inventions. This type of activity is increasingly recognised as vital for the commercialisation of technology from universities and research institutes into knowledge-driven organisations. Political and sociological debates about the significance of technology transfer from universities will also be considered. The importance of intellectual property and patenting as a key asset in technology entrepreneurship will feature strongly in the module.

You will gain practical experience by researching and devising entrepreneurial strategies for commercialising novel science and technology ideas. This will require working with real patents and patent searching to critically examine contextual (for example, between industrial sectors and countries) and strategic differences (for example, licensing deals, collaborations and new venture creation). Technology entrepreneurs, Science Incubator managers and related professional services (for example, IP lawyers, investors) will assist with the module at appropriate points.


OB/HRM pathway

Managing Organisations

You will be provided with concepts, theories and illustrations which will help you a become effective manager in a rapidly changing world. To enable this the following issues will be considered:

  • Organisational design: in particular the alignment of strategy, structure and environment
  • The management of organisational processes: organisational culture; organisational change; decision making; power, conflict and control; knowledge management
  • The relation between organisational design, management and organisational performance
Contemporary Developments in HRM/OB

The module examines core contemporary topics in OB/HRM to highlight theory and provide you with a business context within which to understand the topic.

Topics include:

  • challenges organisations face in creating and retaining knowledge
  • developing talent across all the major functions
  • managing multi-cultural teams at the domestic and international context
  • the impact of the global economy on employees
  • reconciling individual expectations and the exigencies of the business world
  • employment law

Tourism pathway

Tourism Marketing and Communications

This module covers the following: 

  • Defining tourism and marketing
  • Tourism and services marketing
  • Unique characteristics of tourism marketing
  • Tourism products and markets
  • Tourism demand and forecasting
  • Tourism marketing planning
  • The role of market research in tourism
  • Consumers and trends and theories in tourist behaviour
  • Quality management and services quality as marketable activities
  • Tourism destination marketing, managing destination image and managing the total visitor experience
  • The marketing mix for tourism services
Tourism and Sustainability

This module is concerned with providing an understanding of the theoretical and practical issues relating to environmental, economic and socio-cultural sustainability in tourism. A day long field trip may form part of this module. Topics covered include:

  • tourism and the environment
  • sustainability and biodiversity
  • impact of tourism on physical and cultural environments
  • eco-tourism and heritage
  • international case studies in environmental tourism


The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. This list is an example of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.



Funding information is available on the school website and can also be found on the Graduate School website.

Government loans for masters courses

The Government offers postgraduate student loans for students studying a taught or research masters course. Applicants must ordinarily live in England or the EU. Student loans are also available for students from Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

International and EU students

Masters scholarships are available for international students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study. You must already have an offer to study at Nottingham to apply. Please note closing dates to ensure your course application is submitted in good time.

Information and advice on funding your degree, living costs and working while you study is available on our website, as well as country-specific resources.



Career destinations for our postgraduates include accountants, finance and investment analysts, higher education teaching professionals, investment bankers, IT business analysts, management consultants, marketing professionals, public relations professionals and university researchers.

Postgraduate careers team

Taught students benefit from the support of our postgraduate careers team who will help you to explore your career options and develop your career management skills. Our weekly MSc Advanced Career Leaders Programme is complemented by individual careers consultations, networking events and access to a wide range of employer presentations, volunteering activities and work experience opportunities.

Through a combination of your academic studies and the careers support on offer, you will be in an excellent position to enhance your career prospects and move onto the next stage of your career.

Employability and average starting salary

82.1% of postgraduates from Nottingham University Business School who were available for employment secured work or further study within six months of graduation. £28,500 was the average starting salary, with the highest being £50,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates 2015/16. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Career and professional development

Whether you are looking to enhance your career prospects or develop your knowledge, a postgraduate degree from the University of Nottingham can help take you where you want to be.

Our award-winning Careers and Employability Service offers specialist support and guidance while you study and for life after you graduate. They will help you explore and plan your next career move, through regular events, employer-led skills sessions, placement opportunities and one-to-one discussions.

Explore it - Virtual Nottingham

This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

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