International Business

MSc, Postgraduate Diploma


This course will provide the students with an opportunity to learn and understand how business is conducted in the international arena, in particular focusing on the development of managerial skills necessary to survive and thrive in an interconnected world.  It provides a solid foundation for a highly successful career by developing problem-solving and critical thinking abilities within the context of trading across national boundaries.

The MSc International Business offers a choice of pathways, allowing students to specialise in marketing or human resourse management.  This flexible format allows students to select a specialisation to suit career aspirations.  This means you can graduate with your specialism in Human Resource Management or Marketing reflected on your degree certificate.

By the end of this course, students have a nuanced understanding of operating across economies, currencies and regulatory frameworks.  In addition, they are better equipped to engage with stakeholders from different cultures and work effectively in a team that is scattered in different geographic regions.

What is International Business?

International Business is the specialisation of core business subjects, adding theoretical and practical dimensions relevant to operating in an increasingly globalised economy. Foundation content, from accountancy and finance to strategic management, is explored in the context of international regulatory frameworks and business practices. Analytical and problem-solving skills are developed from multi-cultural and multi-national perspectives. Students are exposed to the challenges and opportunities that result from globalisation.

An MSc International Business from Stirling is designed to develop deep understanding of different approaches to managing businesses across national boundaries and create awareness of new trading blocs and the pressures they inflict on businesses and managers. Postgraduate education in International Business equips graduates to work in roles that require an understanding of how businesses are financed and taxed in different jurisdictions as well as other legislative issues that must be taken into account. A strong emphasis on ethical and environmental issues of relevance to commercial operators with international interests is a major strength of this course. 

The International Business with Human Resource Management pathway is ideally suited to individuals who wish to blend their interests in general business strategy with the management of people.

The International Business with Marketing pathway enables students to develop marketing expertise that will enable them to thrive in a global business context.

Key information

  • Degree type: MSc, Postgraduate Diploma
  • Study methods: Full-time
  • Duration: MSc: one year; Diploma: 9 months
  • Start date: September
  • Course Director: Ms Jenoah Joseph

Programme Administrator Management, Work & Organisation Division
Stirling Management School
University of Stirling
Stirling FK9 4LA
Scotland UK
+44 (0) 1786 467380

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Course objectives

The aim of the MSc International Business is to incorporate the new dimensions of international business competencies. It is an innovative, rigorous and challenging programme that will give you a comprehensive grounding in the theoretical and empirical knowledge of international business.

The International Business course is specifically designed to achieve the following:

  • An understanding of the relevance of international trade in today's business environment
  • An understanding of the challenges and opportunities that result from globalisation
  • A knowledge of the different approaches to managing businesses in the global environment
  • An awareness of the emergence of new trading blocs and the pressures they inflict on business and managers
  • An awareness of the ethical and environmental issues that have emerged as a result of globalisation and its impact on consumers

What makes us different?

Making the Most of Masters

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Making the Most of Masters

World-class library and teaching facilities

Studying for a degree means learning in different ways; managing your own time; conducting research; mastering new computer skills. We have the facilities and advice on hand to help you do all this - and do it well.

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Life at Stirling

Of the many reasons students come to Stirling, such as academic reputation and research standards, one factor is always cited: the outstanding beauty of the University's Stirling campus.

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Entry requirements

Academic requirements

A minimum of a second class Honours degree or equivalent.  Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life experience are encouraged to apply.

INTO University of Stirling offers a Graduate Diploma for those students who do not meet the required criteria for this course. If you successfully complete the Graduate Diploma in Business, Finance and Sport and meet the required progression grades, you will be guaranteed entry onto this Master's degree.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence of your proficiency such as a minimum IELTS score of 6.0 (5.5 in all bands).

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard. View our range of pre-sessional courses.

Structure and teaching

Structure and content

Preparing business leaders of the future

From day one on the MSc International Business course, our 'Flying Start Leadership Programme' will support you in planning for your future career and provide you with the skills to develop into a successful global business leader. This innovative programme ensures that you will graduate from Stirling with the confidence and cultural awareness to manage effectively in your chosen future career. To discover how we can help your career get off to a 'Flying Start', visit

Career focused and prepared for the future

Building upon the above, key aspects of your personal and professional development (PPD) are further explored throughout your studies to ensure that you will develop the self-awareness, critical thinking, leadersip skills and team-working competences that are vital to becoming an effective and resilient manager who has great confidence in their own ability to deliver in the workplace, and develop strategies for managing your own learning/study needs and make the successful transition into your chosen career.

These aspects include:

  • exploring different approaches to self-reflection in order to become more aware of your motivations and behaviours, as well as appreciating how self-reflection can enhance your understanding of the theoretical and ethical concepts discussed during your course;
  • effective interaction with fellow students from global multi-cultural environments through a classroom discussions, role playing exercises, and assessed group presentations and reports;
  • the development and application of emotional intelligence and personal resilience - traits that are essential for managers who operate in today's complex business environment;
  • business presentation and public speaking skills which will be enhanced and assessed through regular individual and group presentations;
  • opportunities to engage with industry leaders from various business sectors through guest speakers;
  • a field trip to New Lanark - World Heritage Site which reinforces what is learnt in the classroom about employee ownership, responsible business and CSR;
  • specific careers-related workshops which include an analysis of your potential skills gap and associated career action planning, CV-writing, interview skills and global job search strategies.

By the end of this period, students will be fully prepared to embark upon the formal teaching course invigorated and committed to the journey ahead with newly developed skills.

The MSc in International Business is a one-year full-time course where you can choose to specialise in Marketing or Human Resource Management.

Two 15-week semesters of taught modules are followed by a supervised dissertation. Teaching includes lectures, workshops, study visits and practical case study exercises.  Assessment is carried out through a mixture of coursework and examinations.

Course Structure

All students must take the following core modules:

Semester 1

Semester 2

Depending on your pathway, you will choose two modules from the following electives in semester 2:

International Business

International Business with Human Resource Management

International Business with Marketing

One of the following compulsory modules:

And one of the following elective modules:

This is subject to availability.

Delivery and assessment

Teaching involves lectures, seminars, workshop-based sessions and presentations. You are assessed by a combination of coursework and examination, including written assignments and presentations. Successful completion of the taught element of the programme leads to the award of Diploma or allows you to continue for the award of MSc in International Business by completing a 15,000-word dissertation on a topic agreed with the Course Director. This must be submitted by the end of August.

Recommended reading

Suggested reading for Semester 1 Core modules

Multinational Enterprises in the 21st Century

  • Peng, M and Meyer, K. (2011) International Business, Southwestern Cengage Learning, ISBN 978-1-4080-1959-6

Managing Across Cultures

  • Adler, N.J. (1997), International Dimensions of Organizational Behaviour, 3rd ed., International Thomson Publishing, South-Western College: USA
  • Branine, M. (2011), Managing Across Cultures, Concepts, Policies and Practices.  Sage Publications.
  • Deresky, H. (2008), International Management: Managing across Borders and Cultures, 6th ed. Pearson Prentice Hall

Responsible Business in Global Economy

  • Blowfield M. and Murray A. (2011) Corporate Responsibility, (2nd Edition), Oxford University Press.

Modes of study

Full-time: MSc: one year; Diploma: nine months

Study method


Example timetable

The timetable below is a typical example, but your own timetable may be different.

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
1000-1100     Option Lecture   Seminar
1100-1200   Lecture   Seminar Seminar
1200-1300   Lecture   Seminar  
1300-1400 Seminar        
1400-1500   Lecture     Option Lecture
1500-1600   Lecture Option Seminar    
1600-1700   Lecture      

Why Stirling?



In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.

The reputation of our research at Stirling Management School was recognised in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), where the School was placed in the UK’s top 25 institutions for Business and Management, out of 101 business schools.  In Scotland, the School was ranked in the top five.  64% of our research outputs were classified as world-leading and internationally excellent in terms of their originality, significance and rigour and we were ranked 14th in the UK in terms of research impact with over 60% of our research impact judged to have outstanding reach and wide-ranging impact on the policies of public, private and governmental organisations.


Why study International Business at Stirling?

1.    Research ranking: International recognition

In the most recently published Research Assessment Exercise, most of the research (85%) produced by our academics was rated as being of international significance. This means students are mostly taught by lecturers who are global leaders in their fields.

2. Career-relevant course choices

The flexible modular course structure offers you the opportunity to focus on one of three disciplines within an international context. The core modules will ensure that you are exposed to essential theory necessary for a solid foundation in the discipline, while your selection of optional modules allows you to shape your MSc International Business to suit your unique career aspirations.

3. International business contacts

The course, and the University as a whole, attracts students from around the UK and the globe. This presents invaluable opportunities to build a network of international contacts for your future career.

4. Expertise in Corporate Social Responsibility

The MSc International Business emphasises ethical and environmental issues, which are increasingly important within the global business environment. You will qualify with evidence-based insights on major threats and opportunities for international businesses and, as a result, will be attractive to potential employers.

5.  International business specialisation

The option to choose from one of three pathways gives you the opportunity to differentiate yourself in the workplace. This makes you highly attractive to employers in the global market. Your dissertation will give you the opportunity to further deepen your knowledge in your specialism.

The MSc in International Business students visited the New Lanark Heritage Centre.  Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and managing sustainable business in the global arena were recurring themes taught in both 'Managing Across Cultures' and 'Responsible Business in a Global Economy'.  The visit was organised by the Programme Director to give the students an opportunity to see that CSR was not a recent phenomena and that Robert Owen (1771-1858) was already putting into practice measures that would lead to a better and fairer society.

Two tour guides were provided by the Centre and the students were given a guided tour of all the attractions following by a lecture on the improvements introduced by Robert Owen.  The students thoroughly enjoyed the visit and the overseas students in particular were full of praise for both the Centre and the opportunity to see in practice what had been taught to them in the above modules.

Our students

At least 94% of our graduates are in work or further studies within six months of graduating.  Many of our alumni are now working in leading organisations across the world.

Here is  what some of our alumni have to say about their experiences at the University of Stirling Management School and life after graduation.

Our staff

Ms Jenoah Joseph
Programme Director for MSc in International Business

Jenoah is a Senior Teaching Fellow and Director of the MSc in International Business in Stirling Management School. She graduated from University of Malaya in 1984 with a BA (Hons) in English and French. She taught Business and Management modules at Systematic Business School before undertaking an MBA at Stirling in 1987. She then worked in the Business Finance sector in Kuala Lumpur where she was dealing with funding for SME’s for three years before returning to Stirling and joining the Department of Management and Organisation in 1990. Her primary teaching and research focus is directed towards Strategy and International Business.

Careers and employability

Career opportunities

Highly qualified individuals with a multi-faceted understanding of business opportunities and risks are in high demand among organisations with global operations. As the world is increasingly interconnected, even graduates who choose to remain at home will find that a broad business degree with an international flavour will set them apart from other employment-seekers.

Virtually every facet of most larger businesses is inextricably linked to the wider world. The proven ability to work in a multi-cultural team is an added advantage for individuals seeking careers at higher management levels in organisations with stakeholders in other countries.

The MSc International Business provides you with excellent preparation for a wide range of careers in the private, public and voluntary sectors. Our alumni are found in key roles across organisations. Employers have included the World Wildlife Fund, Lufthansa, RBS, Proctor & Gamble, Ernst & Young, EBSCO Publishing and Accenture.

The MSc International Business and Human Resource Management equips students for a range of roles, from designing and delivering effective training programmes to working as business consultants. It develops leaders who will spearhead sustainable and responsible management in the new business environment.

The MSc International Business and Marketing will make you attractive to employers seeking professionals with in-depth understanding of the global marketplace as well as specialist marketing skills. Our students are in demand among international businesses as well as organisations with global reach.

Giving you the edge

A key strength of Stirling Management School is our commitment to student and career support. The 'Flying Start Leadership Programme' is the launch pad to your career journey. Throughout your MSc International Business course, you will develop the self-awareness, critical thinking, leadership skills and team-working competences that are vital to becoming an effective and resilient manager who has great confidence in their own ability to deliver in the workplace.

We have a dedicated Career Development Centre, situated next to the Management School offering a wide range of services and support to students during your studies and after you graduate, including:

  • 1:1 meetings with Careers Advisors to explore future career options;
  • an extensive vacancy database of part-time and temporary jobs, volunteering opportunities, as well as permanent graduate positions;
  • opportunities to attend employer talks and workshops on a host of topics including interview techniques and CV/application writing;
  • access to graduate careers fairs with national and international graduate recruiters;
  • advice in global job search strategies, including effective use of social media.

For further information, visit


Throughout the course of their studies, students are introduced to a broad range of topical issues relating to managing SMEs and MNCs in the global arena. They will have a better understanding of the challenges of carrying out the duties of an International Manager taking into account cultural factors.

Students on the MSc in International Business course learn significant transferable skills valued in the global market, such as the ability to relfect upon contemporary management practice in an informed manner and manage a diverse workforce.

Their learning and development is further supported by encounters with guest-speakers with various industry expertise, as well as field trips (e.g. New Lanark) and the opportunity to take part in business simulations with fellow students across the Management School.

Online application process

Please choose a start date and study method from the drop-down list below, and click the Apply Now button below to begin the online application process. (Please make sure you have consulted the Postgraduate Study pages on the University website and the Online Application Guidance Notes before continuing).



2016/17 Overseas £13,950
2016/17 Home/EU £6,100
2015/16 Overseas £13,500
2015/16 Home/EU £6,000


You should expect to pay fees for every year you are in attendance and be aware fees are subject to revision and may increase annually. Students on programmes of study of more than one year should take this into account when applying.

Scholarships & funding

Stirling Management School Postgraduate Scholarships

Stirling Management School is committed to investing in academically talented students, enabling them to further their education with a reputable qualification from one of the many Postgraduate Degree Programmes on offer at the University of Stirling. There are various categories of funding available to support the cost of your studies at Stirling Management School.

Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan

This course is currently approved for PTFL (Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan) funding from SAAS. More information

The Al-Tajir Scholarship award of £1,500 (offered by a former student) is available to the MSc International Business students. It is based on academic merit and the top performing students from the semester are invited to participate in the scholarship in the Semester 2.

Information on possible sources of funding

Scholarship finder
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