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Course content

You explore how multinational enterprises operate and carry out comparative business analysis.

  • Work on the practical consultancy skills necessary to work efficiently in an international business environment
  • Gain a thorough understanding of business analysis and development
  • Learn the key skills for international business consulting, such as outlining international business problems, writing business reports and preparing for interviews-
  • The client-facing project with an external organisation allows you to apply your learning to a real business issue, giving you valuable work experience and generating excellent networking opportunities.
  • Projects are sourced from a range of small, medium and large businesses, across a wide range of sectors in Manchester and the UK's North West region.

Special features

The client-facing project is a unique element of this course that provides an excellent opportunity to test, improve and enhance the knowledge and skills learned in the classroom. It is a great chance to build your networks.

This consultancy project, lasting up to three months over the summer, involves you in either supporting a start-up company, finding growth opportunities for a medium-sized firm, or improving the effectiveness and efficiency of a function within a large, blue chip company.

Projects are sourced from a range of industries and sectors based in Manchester and the North West region. These can be SME's to large corporations. You'll also receive additional application and interview support from the School's Careers Service.

Coursework and assessment

Assessment varies depending on the modules chosen. It may include a combination of coursework, group project assessment, presentations, assignments, report, individual essay and examinations.

The summer project is offered if you do not have any unit marks below 40%, and not more than one unit mark between 40-49% in semester 1. If you don't meet these criteria you will be offered a project related to an external client, with no direct contact with them. For those working on group projects, a group report and an individual report will be produced (both 6,000 words).

Alternatively, you may undertake an academic dissertation of 12,000 words.

Course unit details

During the course you will be taking 180 credits in all. The eight taught modules during semester one and two total 120 credits and consists of both compulsory and optional taught units which can be viewed in the list below.  

The compulsory units are built around the problems of strategic management, the operation of multinational enterprises, comparative business analysis and the skills necessary to work efficiently in a international business environment. The optional courses allow you to specialise in particular aspects of strategic management and business analysis.

During the summer period, you will have the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills learnt during the first two semesters, enhance your skills while working with a major real life client and work as part of a team. The result of this project is presented as a research report/dissertation. This part of the course is closely related to the Manchester Method that enables you to experience experiential learning and helps you to become a reflective practitioner or manager.

Examples of recent projects include:

  • Exploring the strategic expansion of the volunteer tourism industry into the academic market
  • An in-depth analysis of the wholesale market and changing trends towards online shopping
  • Strategic positioning in relation to the offshore wind turbine market in northern Europe
  • Identification of venture capitalist acquisition targets in the UK software industry

Projects are sourced from a range of small, medium and large businesses, across a wide range of sectors in Manchester and the UK's North West region.

The project is offered if you gain a minimum of 50% in each first semester course unit. If not, you will be offered a project related to an external client, with no direct contact with the client. For those working on group projects, a group report and an individual report will be produced (both 6,000 words).

Alternatively, you may undertake an academic dissertation of 12,000 words. Your supervisor will help you to define the research and advise, guide and support you throughout.

Scholarships and bursaries

Contact us for further information on scholarships available .

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: 

Career opportunities

The course is aimed at graduates who are interested in pursuing a career in the area of business analysis and development, including business consulting, as well as candidates who seek a pathway to a research degree in the field of international management and comparative studies.

Graduates move into a wide range of careers, and recent recruiters include Accenture, BP, Ernst & Young, IBM, Tesco, Rolls Royce, Shell Petroleum, Standard Chartered Bank, Unilever and IBM.

More details on our Careers Service.

Latest information on visa changes and opportunities in the UK for international students.


Visit the Business Analysis and Strategic Management (MSc) page on the University of Manchester website for more details!

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