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Intercultural Communication for Business and Professions (MA)

Birkbeck, University of London Department of Applied Linguistics & Communication

Full time & Part time October MA 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time

About the course

Our MA Intercultural Communication for Business and Professions 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

Read more about this course

Entry Requirements

A second-class honours degree or above, or overseas equivalent, in a relevant subject, such as languages, linguistics, communication, TESOL, translation studies or business management; other subjects will be considered if you have relevant professional/personal experience.

An admissions task of up to 500 words may be requested.

You must provide two references, including an academic reference.

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 sub-test.

Course Content

Where is Birkbeck, University of London


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Student Profile(s)

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.’

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.'

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