international business students
Mode of Study
Full-time, Full-time sandwich with work placement
3 years full-time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
Start Date
September 2019, September 2020

Apply through Clearing

To start this course in 2019 call us on +44 (0)23 9284 8090 or go to our Clearing section to chat with us online.

Entry requirements for this course may be more flexible during Clearing.

Our Clearing hotline is open 9.00am–5.00pm (Monday to Thursday) and 9.00am–4.00pm (Friday).


Global markets, a worldwide supply chain, an international talent pool – the business world crosses national boundaries and provides many opportunities to travel, and experience and understand different cultures.

On this professionally accredited BA (Hons) International Business degree course, you’ll learn to meet the challenges facing global business managers and customers. You’ll experience living, working and studying at 1 or 2 of our international partner institutions in locations such as America, Canada, Europe, the Far East and Australia. You'll also learn about global markets and form an international network of contacts, which will enhance your CV.

This course is a springboard to pursue a global career overseas or with an internationally focused UK organisation. Roles you could take on include commercial officer, corporate financial specialist, account director, project manager, data analyst and more.

This degree shares a common first year with several other business courses. This gives you the flexibility to transfer to another course if you develop an interest in a different subject area.

Accredited by

This course has EFMD Programme Accreditation System accredited by EPAS, recognising its quality in relation to internationalisation and corporate engagement.

EPAS accreditation is provided by the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD), a global non-profit membership driven organisation dedicated to developing management skills. For this course to be awarded this accreditation it has to go through an in-depth review of its design, delivery, programme outcomes and quality assurance.

This means the skills and knowledge that you pick up on this course will be in demand by employers, and ensure you're ready to jump straight into work in the global business community.

95% Graduates in work or further study (Unistats data on DLHE 2017)

91% Overall student satisfaction (NSS, 2018)

What you'll experience

On this degree course, you’ll:

  • Get experience of another culture by studying for a year at a partner university in the USA, Canada, Australia, Europe or the Far East
  • Tailor your degree by choosing modules that match your interests and career ambitions
  • Deal with topics that affect international business today, such as developing businesses across borders, dealing with business issues on an international basis, and cross-cultural management
  • Have the opportunity to do a paid year-long work placement abroad in year 3

Careers and opportunities

When you finish the course, our Careers and Employability service can help you find a job that puts your skills to work in the industry. You'll be particularly suited to work in multinational organisations.

What can you do with an International Business degree?

Previous students have gone on to work in:

  • business consultancy
  • international project management
  • international sales
  • financial risk analysis
  • regional management

What jobs can you do with an International Business degree?

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

Other graduates have continued their studies at postgraduate level or set up successful businesses with help and support from the University.

After you leave the University, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.

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

What you'll study on this BA (Hons) International Business degree

Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 modules worth 20 credits and 1 module worth 40 credits.


Core modules 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

There are no optional modules in this year.

You'll spend this year at a partner University, which you'll bid for in a ‘tender response’ style at the end of the first semester of Year 1. Once nominated, you'll select and agree a suitable portfolio of modules at the partner university to complete.

You can decide (at the partner institution's discretion) whether this year is taught and assessed in English or the language local to the area.

Locations of partner universities include:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • China
  • China
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Scandinavia
  • Spain
  • USA

On this course, you can do an optional work placement year between your 2nd and 3rd years to get valuable experience working in industry.

We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your situation and ambitions. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.

Core modules in this year include:

  • Strategic International Management
  • Global Business Sustainability and Responsibility

Options to choose from in this year currently include:

  • Business Consultancy Project
  • Business Improvement and Creativity
  • Business Intelligence
  • Business Forecasting and Data Analysis
  • Contemporary issues in Product and Service Development
  • Cross Cultural Awareness for Business
  • Human Resources for the Professional
  • Management Accounting for Strategic Analysis
  • Managing Equality and Diversity at Work
  • Money, Banking and Finance
  • Operations Strategy and the Supply Chain
  • Sales Management
  • Project Management for Enterprise

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Placement year

After your second year, you can do an optional work placement year in the UK or abroad to get valuable longer-term work experience in the industry. This will also help you stand out from other candidates when you apply for jobs after the course.

Previous students have completed work placements at:

GE Aviation
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)

We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your aspirations. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.

Emine's story
"It was a great opportunity for me to meet other people..."

Find out about the amazing opportunities Emine has taken advantage of as part of her studies, and what she plans to do next.

Work experience and career planning

To give you the best chance of securing a great job when you graduate our Careers and Employability service can help you find relevant work experience during your course.

We can help you identify placements, internships and voluntary opportunities that will complement your studies and build links with employers at home and abroad.

Learning support

As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.


Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • tutorials
  • workshops
  • practical sessions

Teaching staff profiles

These are some of the expert staff who'll teach you on this course.

Dr Alan Leonard, Deputy Course Leader

Alan has worked and studied across Europe as an economist, teaches International Economics, and is regularly involved in global recruitment and outreach activities.

His job is to help re-integrate students into the University when they return from studying abroad and work placements

Dr Alan Tait, Lecturer

Alan has a keen interest in all things strategic but, in particular, the practicalities involved in how strategy is made. He brings extensive experience and enthusiasm to his research, teaching, and his external engagement activities with organisations in the media, the electronics industry, health care and the public sector.

Dr Francisco Romera, Lecturer

Francisco lectures in Strategy, Enterprise and Innovation. Thanks to an International Erasmus Grant he completed his first degree in Colombia, and has also worked in the Confucius Institute at University of Valencia, and for Oxfam (international ONG).

Dr Sianne Gordon-Wilson, Course Leader

Sianne has worked in brand and innovation management internationally for Delacre in France; Iglo and AEG in Germany; Electrolux in Sweden; and Felix, Buxton Mineral Water, Maltesers and McVities in the UK.

Dr Georgiana Busoi

Georgiana provides support to international students coming to study at the University. Within her role, she draws on her own experience as a student who came to study in the UK from overseas.

She has extensive experience working around the world, and her current research focuses on the tourism industry, organisational behaviour and services marketing.


Ask me anything about BA (Hons) International Business
An 'ask me anything' session with BA (Hons) International Business Course Leader, Sianne Gordon-Wilson.

Watch this video for answers to questions such as 'How will a placement benefit me in terms of my future studies?' and 'Why would you recommend that someone comes to Portsmouth to study international business?'

How you'll spend your time

Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks and 2 assessment periods:

  • September to December – teaching block 1
  • January – assessment period 1
  • January to May – teaching block 2 (includes Easter break)
  • May to June – assessment period 2

Most teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.

There’s usually no teaching on Wednesday afternoons.

How you're assessed

You’ll be assessed through:

  • examinations
  • analysis of topical case studies
  • written reports and essays
  • presentations
  • practical projects, such as small websites or systems

The way you’re assessed may depend on the modules you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:

  • Year 1 students: 58% by written exams and 42% by coursework
  • Year 2 students: 17% by written exams, 8% by practical exams and 75% by coursework
  • Year 3 students: 17% by written exams and 83% by coursework

Entry requirements​

Entry requirements for this course may be more flexible during Clearing.

BA (Hons) International Business degree entry requirements

Qualifications or experience
  • 112-120 points to include a minimum of 3 A levels or equivalent.

See the other qualifications we accept

English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

Selection process
  • Applicants will be required to attend an interview.

Qualifications or experience
  • 112-120 points from 3 A levels or equivalent.

See the other qualifications we accept

English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

What skills and qualities do I need for this international business degree course?

As well as meeting the entry requirements, the skills and traits that will set you up for success on this course include flexibility, adaptability, resilience, open-mindedness and a global mindset.

How can I prepare for an international business degree?

To prepare for this international business degree, stay aware of what's happening in business globally. 

You could also think about and research what countries you'd like to live in or work with when you start your career.

​Course costs

Tuition fees (2019 start)

  • UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £13,900 per year (subject to annual increase)

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Additional costs

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

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

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.

In your second year, for your placement abroad, you’ll need to fund the costs of travel, transport and accommodation. The exact costs will depend on the destination. Depending on the location of your placement, there may be further costs for communication or specialist clothing.

You’ll be eligible for a discount if you spend your second year abroad at one of our exchange partners. In the 2016/17 academic year, this discount amounted to 90% of the year’s fees.

Common questions about this subject

Can't find the answer to your questions about this course or anything else about undergraduate life? Contact us

Common international business questions 

The term international business relates to the trade of goods, services and capital across 2 or more international countries and the communications that allow this to happen effectively.

Many businesses operate globally. Completing a degree in international business help you understand how businesses operate in different markets and gives you an understanding of different regions' consumers.

Working in international business gives you access to a broader employment market and diverse experiences that make you more employable.


How to apply

To start this course in 2019, call our Clearing hotline on +44 (0)23 9284 8090 or go to our Clearing section to chat with us online.

To start in 2020 you need to apply through UCAS. You can start your application now and submit it from 4 September 2019.

In the meantime, sign up to an Open Day to explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

If you’re new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

When you apply, you'll need:

  • the UCAS course code – N123
  • our institution code – P80

How to apply from outside the UK

If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply for this course through UCAS (see the 'How to apply' section above for details). You can also apply directly to us or you can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section. 

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.

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