Discover how an international business degree can develop your ability to conduct business across the globe, opening you up to a range of roles where this knowledge can be put into practice

According to IMF (International Monetary Fund) data in 2024, China, Japan, India, Brazil and Canada all have economies ranked among the world's top ten (in second, fourth, fifth, ninth and tenth place respectively).

This reflects the fact that the majority of gross domestic product (GDP) is now generated outside of the USA and Europe. This trend is set to continue, with Mexico, South Korea and Australia not too far behind, taking up positions within the top 15.

International business programmes therefore give students an understanding of business management practices all over the world, and prepare them for graduate careers working abroad or in organisations engaged in conducting business on a global scale.

Why choose an international business career?

'I would argue that international business is absolutely central to the success of a company,' says Mehmet Chakkol, course director of MSc International Business at Warwick Business School (WBS), The University of Warwick.

He adds, 'The world is more connected than ever, so international trade and investment is not just the preserve of multinationals, as small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) also want to know how to trade abroad and need to know how to operate overseas if they are to grow.'

Read more about working for a small business.

In a nutshell, students need to develop a global perspective to be successful in business. Studying international business allows you to see how globalisation has brought about an increasing 'connectedness' of businesses, markets, people and information across countries.

What's more, the skills you develop on a course of this nature are highly sought after by employers - see 7 skills for a successful management career.

What do international business degrees involve?

When recruiting for business jobs, most employers expect candidates to be educated to degree level. A Bachelors degree in international business opens doors to opportunities in a range of areas and job sectors, including:

  • accountancy, banking and finance
  • energy and utilities
  • IT
  • logistics and supply chain
  • marketing.

If you're interested in studying international business, the BA International Business at the University of Westminster takes three years to complete and requires grades BBC at A-level.

The course offers you the opportunity to spend a year studying abroad, as well as the chance to study a foreign language alongside your degree through its Polylang (Modern Languages) programme.

You'll study a number of compulsory modules, including:

  • Communication for Global Business
  • Global Business Environment
  • International Business Practice
  • International Organisational Behaviour
  • International Economy
  • Strategic Perspectives.

There are other undergraduate course options to consider across the UK:

Discover what you can do with a degree in international business.

Should I do a Masters in international business?

Studying for a Masters degree in international business is becoming increasingly popular, with postgraduate courses available at a number of UK universities.

While not an essential requirement to secure a graduate job in the business world, a Masters in international business deepens your knowledge and understanding of global business markets, builds on your experience in the field and crucially expands your network and list of contacts - which can help you stand out from the competition.

If you opt to study the one-year MSc International Business at WBS, you'll cover core units such as:

  • Fundamentals of Economic Behaviour
  • International Business Strategy
  • Marketing in an International Environment
  • Work and Human Resources in a Global Context.

You'll need a 2:1 in any subject for entry. Tuition fees for UK students cost £27,300 in 2024/25.

'The course teaches students how companies design, implement and manage international strategies, as well as helps them to develop a critical awareness of the issues. Students learn about the links between strategy and performance and gain an understanding of the latest academic research,' says Mehmet.

'WBS also offers Business in Practice as an alternative route to a dissertation, which is a large-scale simulation project where more than 500 MSc students are put into groups and compete to achieve the best performance.'

You can also study an MSc in International Business at:

The MSc International Business Management is available at:

Search for postgraduate courses in international business.

What jobs are available for international business graduates?

'Courses of this nature give graduates a great entry point into the corporate world or the tools to set up their own venture,' adds Mehmet.

'Previous graduates from this course have become client analysts, project managers, risk advisory associates, marketing professionals, technology researchers and business development managers in multinational organisations such as Accenture, Airbus, Deloitte, EY, IBM and PwC.'

Explore how to become a project manager or find out what's required of a business development manager, supply chain manager or management consultant.

Other possible job titles for those involved with international business include:

An international business degree can also launch your career in exciting, global locations such as:

You could also decide to continue your studies with a PhD, before seeking a career in academia.

To stand out to employers, take advantage of all the opportunities your institution offers, from seeking out your careers service, to attending business events, volunteering as a student ambassador, and taking up opportunities for international experience.

Read more about where to find help at university and discover 5 ways to benefit from your institution's links.

Search business, consulting and management jobs.

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