International Business

Study International Business and graduate with a university degree

MSc, Postgraduate Diploma

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International Business
  • Type Full-time
  • Start date September

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

This course will provide the students an opportunity to learn and understand how business is conducted in the international arena. The syllabus is designed to allow students to gain managerial skills to meet the challenges they will face in the global workplace. This is an international course with a professional approach that attracts applicants from a worldwide base.

The course structure is flexible and the choice of electives allows the students to obtain an MSc International Business degree with the recognised specialisms in brackets.

Variant degrees:

  • MSc in International Business (Marketing)
  • MSc in International Business (Finance)
  • MSc in International Business (Human Resource Management)
  • MSc in International Business (Information Systems Management)

Management is a key part of the University’s teaching and research portfolio. The University has developed an enviable reputation for delivering world-class business and management courses, and for undertaking internationally recognised research. The course provides an opportunity for students to learn and to understand the business opportunities of an increasingly interdependent yet diverse business world.

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

Entrance requirements

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.

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

The course consists of two 15-week semesters of taught modules and a three-month dissertation period. Successful completion of the taught element of the course leads to the award of Postgraduate Diploma and upon completing the dissertation the students will be awarded an MSc in International Business.

Preparing and supporting students through their postgraduate studies
September 2014 will see the introduction of an intensive and invigorating period of ‘learning to learn’ for Stirling Management School’s postgraduate students.  Activities, workshops and information sessions held during this period will help students better prepare for the year ahead in order to ensure that they make the most of their time at Stirling.  Students will be provided with an opportunity to develop the necessary skills required to ensure that they can interact and engage with others and fully explore the subjects and themes covered by their course.

Providing students with the very best start to their studies, these activities will support students to:

  • discover more about the exciting period of learning ahead;
  • develop an understanding of the course expectations;
  • get to know the teaching team and support staff;
  • learn more about a diverse range of approaches to learning;
  • understand what it takes to work as part of a successful team;
  • develop presentation skills and build confidence in public speaking;
  • learn about cultural and individual differences;
  • discover all that the University campus and the vibrant city of Stirling has to offer;
  • maximise their time studying at Stirling;
  • have fun and make new friends.

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.

Semester 1 core modules:

  • Introduction to International Business: aims to provide you with the means to understand and manage changes in the international business environment
  • Managing International Organisations: introduces to the theoretical knowledge and practical skills of managing international organisations in a global market economy, including the context of international business, and the range of strategic options open to companies
  • Responsible Business in Society: introduces students to a range of critical material on the role of business and the challenges facing the business world

Plus one elective from:

  • Consumer Behaviour (MKT module): Provides an overview of marketing and consumer buyer behaviour
  • Accountancy and Finance (FIN module): Examines published accounting information from a user’s perspective; the corporate finance section explores the major issues involved in making corporate investment and financial decision
  • People Management (HRM Module): Provides an understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of approaches to human resource management
  • Foundations of IT (ISM module): An introduction to Information Technology and covers the operation of computer system and networks

Semester 2 core modules:

  • Strategic Management: Examines the main underlying approaches to strategic management, from prescriptive approaches and techniques to those which draw on observation and experience of real management issues
  • Europe and Emerging Economies: Focuses on current business approaches and strategies within Europe, the Asian emerging markets, and provide a perspective on Africa
  • Management Research Methods: Covers research methods used in business and management to help students prepare for their dissertation

Plus one elective from the following:

  • International Marketing – (MKT)
  • Marketing Communication – (MKT)
  • Financial Statement Analysis – (FIN)
  • International Corporate Finance – (FIN)
  • Contemporary Issues in HRM – (HRM)
  • Operations Management – (ISM)

View full module descriptions

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 Programme Director. This must be submitted by the end of August.

Recommended reading

Suggested reading for Semester 1 Core modules

Introduction to International Business

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

Managing International Organisations

  • 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
  • Hodgetts, R. M. and Luthans, F. (2003), International Management: Culture, Strategy and Behaviour McGraw-Hill: New York
  • Mullins, L.J. (2007) Management and Organisational Behaviour, 8th ed.  Prentice Hall: London.

Responsible Business in Society

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

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 study International Business at Stirling?

Course Director

Ms Jenoah Joseph

RAE rating

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’.


The MSc in International Business students recently visited the New Lanark Heritage Centre. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and managing sustainable business in the global arena were recurring themes taught in both BSMP24 Managing International Business and SEDP02 Responsible Business in Society. The visit was organised by the Course 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 followed 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

As a Master’s degree student in International business, I had the chance to study in a dynamic and challenging environment while learning the practical aspect of operations in the international business arena. This program provided me with priceless and valuable insights in IB and offered flexible modules such as International Marketing and Information Technology. Moreover, having colleagues with various cultural backgrounds allowed me to prove my abilities to learn more about different various social and business cultures followed by critical analysis and effective communication. Finally, studying for a year in Stirling University had benefits on my academic and personal life levels, which has helped me to be successful in my career.

Samira Jamshidi - 2012

Completing and participating in the Msc in International Businesshas been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.  I was able to specialise, fine tune and develop theory and learning from my Undergraduate Degree in Business Studies whilst also developing strong, invaluable friendships.

Completion of my MSc has given me the necessary competitive edge for the tough world of graduate employment.  More and more employers are looking for differentiation of graduates and this Msc offers that.  By being able to specialise my degree with HRM meant I only graduated with three other classmates with the same degree, thus increasing my individualism and enhancing my employability.  Throughout my course I learnt new skills, new approaches to management and business and had the opportunity to participate in a real life business game, Strip Steel Business Challenge, which I have taken a wealth of experience from and can talk about in interviews.  I have also learnt how to adapt to, work with and create partnerships with other cultures, personalities and educational backgrounds, which will be invaluable to myself and any organisation that employs me.

My experience was further enhanced by the friendships I made during my Msc and the support provided by the department, which was invaluable.  They really are there for you and truly are interested in your achievement and development.

I would highly recommend the course to anyone considering it, don’t think twice.  Jump right in and enjoy every opportunity and experience it offers you.  

Fiona Millar - 2011

As a student in International business, I had the opportunity to study in a dynamic and challenging environment while learning the practical aspect of operations in the international business arena. This program provided me with invaluable insights and allowed me the flexibility to focus on my preferred modules such as Marketing and Human Resource management. The diverse cultural background of the students and rigorous subject matter allowed me to hone my abilities to think strategically, analyze critically and communicate effectively. In addition the students had chance to compete for the Al Tajir scholarship that was awarded based on academic excellence combined with an assignment. This was a very interesting and challenging project and I am grateful for the option to take part in it. Overall the year in Stirling was beneficial on both academic and personal levels and I believe it will help me to build successfully my future career.

Anna Kuzmanova - 2009

Our staff

Ms Jenoah Joseph
Course 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.

Career opportunities

Where are our graduates now?

Stirling’s MSc International Business alumni are currently working in countries across the globe, including France, Sweden, USA, Indonesia, China, Bangladesh, Italy and Taiwan to name but a few. Employers of our graduates span the private, public and voluntary sectors. These include: World Wildlife Fund, Lufthansa, Royal Bank of Scotland, Proctor & Gamble, Ernst & Young, Deutsche Bank, EBSCO Publishing and Accenture.

Positions secured in the last two years by recent graduates include:

  • Marketing Manager, Navitas Ltd. (UK)
  • Executive Remuneration Consultant, Hay Group (UK) 
  • Business Support Assistant, Cambridgeshire Council (UK) 
  • Project Assistant, Hyder Consulting (China) 

International Business students, who had graduated from Stirling between five to ten years ago, now hold the following positions:

  • Sales & Marketing Manager, ATP (Monaco) 
  • City Operation Manager, Royal Bank of Scotland (UK) 
  • Product Manager, Lufthansa Technik (Germany) 
  • Marketing & Corporate Fundraising Manager, WWF (Indonesia) 
  • International Financial Analyst, Univar (USA) 
  • E-Resources Manager, EBSCO Publishing (Taiwan) 

In terms of longer term career progression, students from the MSc International Business are now in positions such as:

  • Europe Deployment Manager, NCR 
  • Head of Travel Product & Affiliates, Kelkoo (UK) 
  • Channel & Distribution Manager, Network Associates (Turkey) 
  • Private Equity Risk Manager, Deutsche Bank (Germany)



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.

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