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Intercultural Communication for Business and Professions (MA)

Course Description

This course offers you an opportunity to raise your cross-cultural awareness and enhance your intercultural communicative competence in international business settings, to reflect on your own culture and language use, and to develop the professional and business communication skills necessary to advance your career in the international business world.

It focuses on intercultural communication skills, including written, oral and interpersonal skills, and is specially designed for:

- Language and communication graduates who are looking to develop a career in international organisations or the business sector.
- Business graduates who would like to improve their professional and business communication skills to enhance their employability.
- Professionals working in fields such communication, public relations, human resources, management and business consulting who want to expand their global perspective and increase effectiveness.
- Intercultural trainers, coaches and consultants interested in enhancing their existing knowledge and experience.

The programme benefits from a combination of knowledge-based and skills-oriented training, world-class experts in intercultural communication, Birkbeck's flexible and student-friendly support, and London's position as an international multicultural and multilingual city.

Visit the Intercultural Communication for Business and Professions (MA) page on the Birkbeck, University of London website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Jane Zhang

4072.jpg Jane Zhang really enjoyed being a student in London at Birkbeck, particularly because of the capital’s multiculturalism. In London she was able to meet people from many different cultures – an unusual experience for her as she grew up in the picturesque small city of Guilin in southern China. The opportunities to share diverse experiences were also directly related to her full-time MA in Intercultural Communication for Business and Professions.

Jane chose Birkbeck because of its renowned professors and reputation for research excellence. Aged 24, she participated in an exchange programme between Birkbeck and the Beijing Institute of Technology. After finishing her studies at BIT, she spent one-year studying at Birkbeck. Her previous qualifications included an undergraduate degree in English Language and Literature from Minzu University of China. Jane said: ‘I received really good support from staff at Birkbeck before I even arrived. I found London really welcoming, and I was able to communicate with all types of people.’

Jane enjoyed exchanging ideas with her classmates during the evening classes at Birkbeck. She said: ‘The professors were excellent as they promoted discussion. I liked asking questions, and discussing topics with students from all over the world. We had different points of view, and it was good to discuss them. China is not nearly as multicultural as London. I am now going to put what I have learned into practice.’

As well as committing time to her studies, Jane enjoyed exploring London. She said: ‘There was always a lot to see in London, especially because of its heritage. I particularly liked the green squares in Bloomsbury near the main campus. The location is really important. As well as being a centre for business, London also has green spaces and wildlife.’

(Student Profile)

Michelle Cunnington

4082.jpg Michelle Cunnington has always enjoyed communications and studied French for her undergraduate degree. She wanted to further her career and thought that Birkbeck’s MA Intercultural Communication for Business and Professionals would link in well with her undergraduate study while also introducing her to new business skills.

Michelle says: 'I deal with different cultures every day in my job in the customer service team at Eurostar and I often see miscommunications between people of different cultures. I thought that it would be good for me to understand why that was happening.'

Michelle enrolled on the one year programme and was able to fit her shifts around classes, using the afternoons to study in the library when she had an early shift. She comments, 'It’s been more manageable than I had thought and the location in central London was perfect for me.'

Having studied marketing and business for the first time as part of the course, Michelle says that she sees many things at work in a different light, and has a much better understanding of why things have been done in a particular way. She says: 'I did a big project on communication with people from Asian cultures, who we often have to communicate with at work. It’s made me think differently about the way we interact with some of our clients and I’ve been able to explain to colleagues why certain approaches may work better with some people than others. I definitely think that the course has made me better at my job.'

Michelle continues, 'The tutors at Birkbeck were really excellent. Whenever you needed information from tutors or the administrators they were really quick to respond. I got on really well with the other students too, and have attended networking events with some of them. I’ve been particularly impressed by other students who are combining study with work and with raising children.'

Michelle would really like to one day open her own business offering intercultural training to businesses. She says: 'This course has really pushed me and helped me to develop my interest in other cultures into something that I can use to improve my career and which will open up new opportunities for me.'


School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy, Postgraduate Taught (PGT) Bursary - Single Award

Applications are invited for one 'Postgraduate Taught' Bursary worth £6,000, to be awarded to a candidate with an outstanding academic record who shows high potential for strong performance on one of the School's 'Postgraduate Taught' programmes.This competition is open to new Home/EU and International students who are applying for either a full-time or part-time MA/MSc place in the departments listed below; the competition is also open to students who are applying to the Department of Philosophy and the degree of M.Phil. Stud. Philosophy.This £6,000 award is in the form of a bursary (i.e., there is no 'fee waiver' but the bursary may be used towards payment of fees). If awarded to a part-time student, the bursary will be paid for two years of PGT study.Please note that in order to apply for funding you must also complete an application for a place at Birkbeck on an MA/MSc programme within the School of SSHP or the MPhil. Stud. in the Department of Philosophy, either before or at the same time as applying for funding.Prospective studentsCandidates will be expected to fulfil similar academic criteria to those demanded by external funding bodies. They will normally possess at least an upper second class honours degree or equivalent.

Value of Scholarship(s)



This competition is open to new Home/EU and International students who are applying for either a full-time or part-time MA/MSc place in the School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy; the competition is also open to students who are applying to the Department of Philosophy and the degree of M.Phil. Stud. Philosophy.This competition is open to new students only.

Application Procedure

Before you apply, you should contact the relevant department for advice.Once you have identified a relevant programme, you will need to:Apply online for the relevant MA/MSc or MPhil. Stud. (Dept. of Philosophy) degree in the normal wayDownload the SSHP Postgraduate Taught Bursary Application Form Word iconThe SSHP Studentship application form should be returned to Jane Halstead, Assistant School Manager, via the following email address:[email protected] STATE ‘PGT BURSARY’ AND DEPARTMENT APPLIED TO IN THE ‘SUBJECT’ LINE OF YOUR E-MAIL.Any queries relating to the PGT Bursary can also be sent to this email address.

Further Information



Postgraduate Support Scheme for final-year undergraduates (full-time) - 20+ Awards

We are pleased to announce that, for October 2015 entry, Birkbeck has a limited number of new £10,000 postgraduate scholarships. These scholarships are for students progressing from a full-time undergraduate degree to a part-time Master’s degree starting in 2015/16.

Value of Scholarship(s)



To be eligible for the scholarship you must be:Starting a 2-year part-time taught Master’s degree in 2015/16
Domiciled in the UK/EU
Progressing from an undergraduate course for which you were charged the higher tuition fee (applicable since 2012–13)
Studying at postgraduate Master’s level for the first time

Application Procedure

If you want to apply for this support, you must follow these steps:Submit an application for your intended course
Submit an application for the Postgraduate Support Scheme

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Usually at least a second-class BA honours or equivalent. Preferred subjects include languages, linguistics, communication, TESOL, translation studies or business management, although other subjects will be considered if you have relevant professional/personal experience. You will be asked to undertake a short admissions task of no more than 500 words, to support your application. If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

Course Fees

Part-time home/EU students: £ 3975 pa Full-time home/EU students: £ 7950 pa

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Recipient: Birkbeck, University of London

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