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International Business and Development (MSc)


Birkbeck, University of London Department of Management

Full time & Part time October, January MSc Full-time: 1 year; Part-time: 2 years

About the course

The pace of the globalisation of national economies has accelerated in recent years, and this has led to a more dynamic relationship between international business activities and economic and social development.

This programme is suitable for graduates who are, or seek to be, employed in relevant government departments, non-governmental organisations, international agencies or private companies involved in, or related to, international business and economic development. It also provides a foundation for those wishing to undertake doctoral research in international business and development.

Topics covered include international business and economic and social development, international business strategies in both developed and emerging markets, public sector management, sustainable

Read more about this course


Entry Requirements

Our standard postgraduate entry requirement for international students is a second-class honours degree (2:2 or above) from a UK university or an equivalent international qualification.

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 Content



Where is Birkbeck, University of London


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Student Profile(s)

Linjie Li

3981.jpg Linjie Li is enthusiastic about her decision to travel nearly 6,000 miles from her home in China to study at Birkbeck, University of London. She is enjoying her full-time one-year Master’s course and is already planning to continue her studies at Birkbeck at PhD level. Linjie loves London and likes exploring its culture and heritage, as well as eating traditional Chinese food in Chinatown.

Linjie first heard about Birkbeck because of an exciting international partnership between Birkbeck and her Chinese alma mater – the Southwestern University of Finance and Economics (SWUFE) in Chengdu, Sichuan Province. She graduated with a BA in International Trade from SWUFE in 2011 – the same year that Birkbeck and SWUFE established a collaboration, which includes staff exchanges and a dual degree taught at both SWUFE and Birkbeck.

While working as an administrator at SWUFE after her degree, Linjie met Birkbeck’s professors when they were visiting SWUFE. She was impressed by Birkbeck’s reputation, applied for an MSc in International Business and Development, and was accepted. She started her studies in London in October 2012. Linjie said: 'The most important reason I chose Birkbeck was because of its professional standing. The main reason to go abroad to study is to gain research capabilities, and I am certainly gaining the skills and knowledge I need at Birkbeck. I really want to be a PhD student, so it is a really big chance for me.'

Linjie also explained how the lecturers at Birkbeck have helped her adapt to the British education system. She said: 'At Birkbeck I am more encouraged to think critically. The staff at Birkbeck are really friendly and professional, and they answer all my questions. Birkbeck is such a unique university because the classmates have such work experience. There is a real opportunity to learn from busy Londoners as so many students are combining work and study.'

Linjie’s dissertation focuses on the impact of outward foreign direct investment upon domestic productivity in China. She is analysing data from Chinese firms working in various industries, including automotives, textiles and telecommunications, and is interviewing staff from their subsidiary companies in Britain as part of her research. Linjie has been so inspired by her studies at Birkbeck that she would like to pursue a career in academia. She said: 'I will go back to China and be a professor.'


Abeer Danish

4115.jpg Abeer decided to develop her management skills once she started her job at the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia:
'I came to work in the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in London in 2004. Working here taught me that many aspects in life require managerial skills in one way or another and this approach motivated me to develop my abilities in this area.

'The reputation of Birkbeck's management courses was a crucial factor in choosing the College, as well as the opportunity to gain an internationally recognised qualification from the University of London.

'It was interesting to be studying with such a diverse group of students, as they had lots of relevant, varied knowledge to share. My supervisor was also very supportive and helpful - I really enjoyed her company through my academic journey.

'Studying here has helped me develop my analytical skills, introducing me to a whole new world of knowledge. My dissertation was about female entrepreneurship in Saudi Arabia - I investigated the opportunities and challenges for businesswomen involved with small businesses in Jeddah.

'I really enjoyed studying the subject and I’m now in the process of having my dissertation published by a management journal. I definitely want to carry on my research and possibly go on to study for a PhD at Birkbeck.'


Faisal Islam

4121.jpg MSc International Business

'Education is very important in my family, and I have always striven to do well. I am very family-orientated, and I wanted to make them even more proud of me,' says Faisal.
'I was working on a BT graduate scheme and wanted to push myself further by studying for a Master's, and Birkbeck offered the flexibility that I needed.

'During my Master's I was accepted onto a senior management Fast Track Leadership Programme at BT, designed to develop future leaders of the business. I started this at the beginning of my second year, which meant I had a very intense and heavy workload, but I managed to juggle it all thanks to my family's support and the close friends I made on the course.

'This MSc definitely helped me get onto the leadership programme by showing my employer that I had a thirst for knowledge and was willing to challenge myself.

'Also, studying International Business is very important in the current economic climate, as it has given me a global perspective and background, which makes me stand out from the crowd. My family are delighted with my success and the future is looking bright.'


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