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International Business and Development (MSc)

Course Description

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 livelihoods and sustainable development, impact assessment, and resource and environmental management.

Based in the School of Business, Economics and Informatics, the Department of Management is an internationally recognised centre of excellence in teaching, research and consultancy in the broad field of management. Our academic staff are active researchers as well as enthusiastic teachers, and regularly publish cutting-edge articles in the world's leading journals.

We have particular research strengths in international business and strategy, the management of innovation and entrepreneurship, human resource management, corporate governance, sport management and marketing, as well as financial management and accounting.

We offer students of all ages and backgrounds a chance to study either part-time or full-time in our department and to gain an internationally recognised University of London qualification.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

Aims to develop your capability to critically assess international business strategies and development policy issues.
Taught by a team with an international reputation in their respective areas.
Our University of London degrees are respected nationally and internationally as a sign of excellence. You can choose to study either part-time or full-time. Classes are taught via a combination of lectures and seminars, some of which will be offered by guest lecturers and speakers. Because our students come from such a variety of backgrounds and range in age and experience, you will find your class discussions a stimulating arena in which to explore new ideas and topics. You will be able to attend revision sessions in the summer term before the examination period. You will receive expert research supervision in the preparation of your dissertation.
We engage in significant collaborative research and have excellent contacts with many public and private sector organisations, professional bodies and researchers at other academic institutions.
Our international business courses draw on the expertise of Birkbeck's International Business and Strategy Research Group, which is a leading centre in London for research, training and policy advice on foreign direct investment and knowledge diffusion, globalisation of innovative activities, comparative business systems and management, international human resource management and international business strategy. They combine specialist taught courses with general training in management, business organisation, strategy and research methods. In studying with Birkbeck, you can be confident that you are pursuing a qualification that is well respected by employers and academics.
You will have access to Moodle, our online learning resource where all information and materials relating to your programme of study and modules are available. You will also have access to the Birkbeck Library and e-Library where you can obtain books and journal articles that are required for your studies.

Visit the International Business and Development (MSc) page on the Birkbeck, University of London website for more details!

(Student Profile)

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.'

(Student Profile)

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.'

(Student Profile)

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.'


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

Normally at least a second-class honours degree in any subject area from a UK university or a non-UK equivalent; other qualifications will be considered. A professional or other qualification obtained by written examinations approved by the College. Relevant experience, supporting statements and references may be taken into consideration, especially in the case of non-standard applications. 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.

Last Updated

07 August 2017

Course Fees

Part-time home/EU students: £ 5225 pa Full-time home/EU students: £ 10450 pa

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