BA (Hons)

International Business

Gain an understanding of business issues and develop skills and knowledge related to international business

N123UCAS code 3yrsfull time 1yrplacement option

Star Course Overview

Why take this course?

This course is the ideal choice for would-be international business high-flyers. The changing business world is becoming more global and is constantly looking for essential cross-cultural business awareness.

With a strong contemporary feel, you’ll learn to relate theoretical explanations of business to the practical issues facing today’s global business managers.

This course enables you to demonstrate significant real world working and international experience through its integration of a year abroad study placement and year working experience. 

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

  • Do a one-year placement working in a paid full-time role overseas
  • Take your studies abroad to one of our partner universities in Europe, the USA, Australia or Asia for a year
  • Deal with current real-life topics such as developing businesses across borders, dealing with business issues on an international basis, cross cultural management and a wide range of business options to complement the experiences gained
  • Work alongside an international cohort including visiting exchange students throughout your programme and engage in a range of extra-curricular events

What opportunities might it lead to?

The course has EPAS accreditation, which is a scheme operated by the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) a European network that promotes and enhances excellence in management development internationally. This means that you will benefit from studying a course which is recognised for its high quality student experiences of internationalisation and corporate engagement.

Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:

  • Business Consultancy 
  • International Project Management
  • International Sales
  • Financial Risk Analysis
  • Regional Management

My favourite aspect of the course was my time abroad at a US university. I strongly believe it gave me an advantage in securing my placement at IBM.

Joshua MacMillan, BA (Hons) International Business student 2015

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Key Facts

UCAS Course Code:
3 years full time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
The UCAS tariff for 2017 entry has changed. See how this affects your tariff score A LEVELS
112 points from 3 A levels or equivalent. See full entry requirements

We accept UCAS points from other qualifications. See full details and English Language qualifications

112 points from 3 A levels or equivalent. See full entry requirements

We accept UCAS points from other qualifications. See full details and English Language qualifications


UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
2017/18 entry: full time: £9,250 p/a*

International students
2017/18 entry: full time: £12,600 p/a**

*Tuition fee may be subject to annual increase.
**Tuition fee is subject to annual increase.

View tuition fee terms and conditions
View additional course costs

+44 (0)23 9284 5566
Portsmouth Business School
Programme specification
Accreditations & Endorsements


Business and Management

Find out what our students say about studying at Portsmouth, including:

  • Insight into different aspects of the business world
  • Lecturers who are experienced in their field and are passionate about sharing their knowledge
  • Excellent work placement opportunities and careers support

Browse all courses in Business and Management

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Light bulb Structure & Teaching

Year one

This common first year among some of our business courses provides you with a broad understanding of how business operates.

Core units in this year include:

  • Business Accounting
  • Business Innovation Development Project
  • Business Operations and Systems Management
  • Economics for Business
  • Managing People in Organisations
  • Marketing Principles and Practice
  • Quantitative Methods and Data Analysis
  • International Exchange Workshops

Year two

This will be spent at one of our partner Universities which the students will bid for in a ‘tender response’ style: Once nominated, the student will select and agree a suitable portfolio of units at the partner university to undertake and pass. At the students decision (and partner facilities) this may be taught and assessed in English or local Language.

  • Canada
  • Japan
  • Scandinavia
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • China
  • USA
  • And many more

Year three*

If you opt to do a work placement, you’ll return to your final year with great first-hand experience of an international business environment. You will consolidate your studies through a final batch of international business subjects as well as a unit on Strategic International Management. You will also complete an independent study project on a topic of particular interest to you.

Core units in this year include:

  • Contemporary International Business
  • Strategic International Management
  • Business Enterprise

Options you will choose from in this year include:

  • International Market Analysis and Strategy
  • Advertising and Publication Relations
  • Business Ethics
  • Business Intelligence
  • Business Research Project
  • Cross Cultural Awareness for Business
  • Managing Equality and Diversity at Work
  • Project Management for Enterprise
  • People Resourcing
  • Company Law for Business
  • Global Marketing
  • Professional Selling and Sales Management
  • Management and Information Systems
  • Scenario Planning for Business

*This course is also available as a 4-year sandwich (work placement)

Teaching and Assessment

Our teaching approach involves a varied structure of lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops and practical sessions. We aim to provide a stimulating environment that encourages use of IT teaching methods as well as participation in group discussions, presentations and projects, alongside individual study.

How are you assessed?

You will encounter a combination of assessment methods to suit differing learning styles. Here’s how we assess your work:

  • examinations
  • analysis of topical case studies
  • written reports and essays
  • presentations
  • practical artefacts such as small websites or systems
Mike Buchan

Tutor's view

Mike Buchan
Business and Management

The BA International Business offers students a great opportunity to explore develop skills and knowledge which is key to business on an international setting. This is coupled by the opportunity to undertake a study abroad year and work placement year which will allow the skills and knowledge to be backed up by demonstrable experience and networks which will provide a desirable and sought after CV at graduation.

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Monitor Facilities & Features

Placements Office

Take advantage of our Placements Office. Providing you with a huge portfolio of employers offering great business-related placement opportunities, the experienced team is always on hand to offer advice on everything from producing high quality applications through to preparation for a company assessment day.

Academic Skills Unit (ASK)

ASK will help you become a successful university student. Our workshops are designed to improve a number of essential academic skills from essay writing and understanding plagiarism to revision and exam techniques. This is a great way to enhance your academic performance and make a smooth transition into university study.


We have invested heavily in open access computer suites across campus. Great working spaces with high-spec PCs, Macs and printing facilities.

University Library

Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Most electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.

Budgeting for your studies

There are extra costs associated with studying, which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.

Recommended texts:
If you wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow from the University Library, the average price is £50-£60. You may be studying up to 6 units a year, each with a standard recommended text.

General costs:
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for costs of photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

Final year project:
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose to develop.

Other costs to consider

For the placement abroad, in your second year, you will need to fund the costs of travel, transport and accommodation. The exact costs will depend on the destination. Some extra expense is to be expected for communications and in some destinations (e.g. the Nordic regions) special clothing may be required and costs will depend according to type and amount chosen.

There are discounts offered to students electing to spend a second year abroad at one of our exchange partners and during 2015/16 this was a 90% discount on that year’s fees. If you are an Erasmus program participant there may also be opportunities to receive contribution towards extra costs of between 200 - 400 euros.

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Mortarboard Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

Where next?
Where next?

This course is an excellent starting point for a range of career choices particularly in multinational organisations, and your placement year will set you ahead of other recent graduates when you begin to build your career in the business sector.

Your practical skills and familiarity with a broader international setting will open up opportunities across the employment spectrum.

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

  • Commercial Officer GKN Westland
  • Corporate financial specialist for Accenture Ltd
  • Account director for UMD Media in Finland
  • Pilot for Astraits Ltd
  • Stock loss project manager for Excel Ltd

Work experience

Employment boosting opportunities
Employment boosting opportunities

Boost your degree with the opportunity to undertake a one-year placement working in a paid full-time role spent in industry either abroad or in an international business role in the UK. You will benefit from the contemporary business experience that employers demand, making you highly employable upon graduation.

With employers now seeking key business competencies and experience alongside a good degree, work experience is more vital than ever. Due to its very nature a placement year is the best and most involving type of work experience you can do during your time at university. As such, a placement will help ensure you are as employable as possible upon graduation.

Career planning

Career planning
Career planning
6.04 minutes

To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.

Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.

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Our next Open Day is Wednesday 5 July 2017

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