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.
Enhance your employability whilst gaining work experience with our Making the Most of Masters initiative.
Find out more
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
A minimum of a second class honours degree (2.1 preferred) 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 year one of 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.
Our range of pre-sessional courses.
Modes of study
Full-time: MSc: one year; Diploma: nine months
Course start date
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 http://stir.ac.uk/gi.
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.
All students must take the following core modules:
Depending on your pathway, you will choose two modules from the following electives in semester 2:
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.
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.
The timetable below is a typical example, but your own timetable may be different.
Why study International Business at Stirling?
Ms Jenoah Joseph
The reputation of our research staff was recognised in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), where 85 percent of our research activity was rated as being of ‘International Significance’.
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.
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. http://www.stir.ac.uk/management/viewpoints/
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.
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 http://stir.ac.uk/7b
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.
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.
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.
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