Businesses are increasingly conducted on a global scale therefore it's important to have an understanding of international business operations

China, Japan, India and Canada’s economies are among the world's top ten (second, third, fifth and tenth respectively), reflecting 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 Indonesia, Brazil, Russia and Mexico expected to join the top ten in the not too distant future.

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

Why choose international business?

'International business deals with multinational enterprises (MNEs), their governance, strategies and management, their relationship with governments and their role in globalisation and localisation of economic activity,' explains professor Chris Pitelis, head of the international business division at Leeds University Business School.

'International business studies the most important phenomena of today, which affect our daily lives. While many businesses are involved in some sort of international activity or presence, international business deals with the particular and complex issues related to global business enterprises. International business is the subject of choice for all those who care about making globalisation good by working in business, government, the community/NGOs or who choose to run their own businesses,' adds professor Pitelis.

In a nutshell, students need to develop a global perspective in order 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 that you develop on a course of this nature are highly sought after by employers. This demand translates into varied opportunities in a range of settings and job sectors.

What do courses involve?

The BSc International Business at the University of Leeds takes three years to complete and requires AAA at A-level for entry. Accredited by the Institute of Export & International Trade 'the course has been ranked top in the UK by the Financial Times for nine years running,' says professor Pitelis.

You'll study compulsory modules such as 'Principles of International Business', 'Global Entrepreneurship', 'Cross-Cultural Management' and 'Transnational Corporations in the World Economy'.

'Leeds offers one of the best international business courses in the world and benefits from the presence of some of the leading scholars in the subject, and research centres such as the world-famous Centre for International Business at the University of Leeds (CIBUL), founded by Professor Peter Buckley,' adds professor Pitelis.

Studying for a Masters in international business is becoming increasingly popular and courses are available at a vast number of universities across the UK.

If you opt to study the one-year MSc International Business MSc Queen Mary University of London you'll cover core topics such as 'The Global Economy', 'Multinationals and Global Business', 'International Macroeconomics and Finance' and 'Managerial Economics'. You'll need a 2:1 in any subject for entry, although degrees in accounting, mathematics, sciences, engineering, economics and finance are particularly relevant. Tuition fees for UK students cost £13,350 in the 2021/22 academic year and £25,950 for overseas students.

'The course provides students with the opportunity to engage with the issues experienced by internationally orientated organisations,' explains Dr Eun-Seok Kim, programme director of MSc International Business at Queen Mary University of London. 'Within this context, attention is paid to the comparative analyses of countries, institutions, cultures and the strategic decision-making of companies operating within this environment. The MSc consists of six compulsory modules, two elective modules, and 10,000-word dissertation.'

Search for postgraduate courses in international business and learn more about funding postgraduate study.

What jobs can I do with an international business degree?

An international business degree opens up a variety of careers and students can also use their knowledge to internationalise their own business or family business.

Possible job titles include:

An international business degree can also launch your career in exciting, global locations such as CanadaChinaFranceIndiaSingapore and the USA.

'The MSc can lead to a role in a variety of sectors, including supply chain management and management consulting,' says Dr Kim. 'Previous graduates from this course have become project management professionals, marketing professionals, and business development managers in organisations such as BEUMER group, EY, and IBM.'

You could also 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 careers services, to attending business events, volunteering as a student ambassador, and taking up opportunities for international experience.

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

Find out more

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