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English is the language of global business. If you want to improve your English language ability while building skills in management, leadership and communication, this BA (Hons) International Business Communication top-up degree is for you.
You'll discover how to communicate information, ideas and arguments in English – orally, virtually and in writing – so you can effectively communicate with business managers around the globe when you start your career. You'll also develop your analytical, problem-solving and decision-making skills and get experience working alongside people from many different cultures and backgrounds.
You can do this undergraduate degree in 1 or 2 years, depending on your level of previous study and your ability to write and speak English.
When you graduate, you'll be set for roles in areas such as international communications, foreign relations, marketing and PR, and finance.
This course is open to international, EU and UK students whose first language is not English. A key part of the course is improving your written and spoken business English.
- Improve your English in 3 ways:
- dedicated English language classes to improve your vocabulary and grammar
- business communications classes where you'll practise presentations, interviews and writing for business
- living and working with both UK and international students and experiencing life in a welcoming UK city
- Choose specialist business modules in areas like multicultural management, intercultural perspectives on communication and British culture
- Gain IT skills that complement your studies, making you more attractive to future employers
- Be fully supported by your tutors and our dedicated global team, and join a community with more than 5,000 international and EU students from 150 different countries
- Earn a full BA (Hons) degree in International Business Communication in just 1 or 2 years
BA (Hons) International Business Communication (Top-up) degree entry requirements
- Only those who have previously studied at higher education level should apply.
- Applicants for the 2 year course require relevant HE study leading to a Level 4 qualification, for example an appropriate HNC, or 120 credits from year 1 of an undergraduate degree (BA/BSc), in a relevant subject.
- Applicants for the 1 year course require relevant HE study leading to a Level 5 qualification, for example an appropriate HND, foundation degree or Advanced Diploma, or 240 credits from year 1 and year 2 of an undergraduate degree (BA/BSc), in a relevant subject.
You may need to have studied specific subjects – find full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept
English language requirements
- Only those whose first language is not English should apply.
- Applicants for the 2 year course require English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 5.5 with no component score below 5.5.
- Applicants for the 1 year course require English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.
We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.
If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.
We look at more than just your grades
While we consider your grades when making an offer, we also carefully look at your circumstances and other factors to assess your potential. These include whether you live and work in the region and your personal and family circumstances which we assess using established data.
I think the workshop course is very useful. I can communicate with my tutor directly, and I have learnt a lot in the class, especially how to search for the information and data I want.
Facilities and specialist equipment
Feel at home in our international community
Over 5,000 international students from over 150 countries study with us. You'll find clubs and societies for everything you can imagine.
In our welcoming and diverse city, you can enjoy a wide range of global cuisine and international food shops.
Careers and opportunities
Understanding English is just as essential for a career in international business as business knowledge itself, which is why this course combines the study of both.
You'll graduate with the English language skills and communication, management and leadership techniques you need to work in multiple industries and sectors all around the world.
What areas can you work in with an international business communication (top-up) degree?
With the skills you'll gain on this course, you could work in areas such as:
- international communications
- foreign relations
- marketing and PR
- public services
- retail and leisure
You could also go on to further study at postgraduate level or start your own business with help and support from the University.
Ongoing career support – up to 5 years after you graduate
Get experience while you study, with support to find part-time jobs, volunteering opportunities, and work experience.
Towards the end of your degree and for up to five years after graduation, you’ll receive one-to-one support from our Graduate Recruitment Consultancy to help you find your perfect role.
Ways to enrich your study
Entrepreneurs in Residence Programme (EiR)
We have over 20 experienced business entrepreneurs on our free EiR programme who can help you develop your business idea.
"I have a business idea, but I was not too sure about it. After this meeting, I felt so encouraged and positive about it! I felt so motivated to pursue my business venture. He gave me real life advice and helped me how to approach my ideas."
Rabab El Habchi Mahir meeting EiR Mark Smith
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.
What you'll study
Core modules currently include:
- Business Communication 2 – 20 credits
- General Language Grade 5 (English) – 20 credits
- Language of Human Resource Management – 20 credits
- Marketing and Communication – 20 credits
- Professional Communication in a Global Workplace – 20 credits
Optional modules in this year include:
- British Culture – 20 credits
- Corporate Analysis and Strategies in an International Environment - 20 credits
- Modern Foreign Language (Institution-wide Language Programme) – 20 credits
- Professional Experience L5 – 20 credits
Core modules in this year include:
- Business Communication 3 – 20 credits
- Business Planning - 20 credits
- General Language Grade 6 (English) – 20 credits
- Project - 20 credits
- Recruiting and Motivating Teams - 20 credits
Optional modules in this year include:
- Business and Markets in a Global Environment - 20 credits
- Intercultural Perspectives on Communication – 20 credits
- Managing Across Cultures – 20 credits
- Practical Translation (Chinese) - 20 credits
- Professional Experience L6 - 20 credits
- Understanding Britain Today – 20 credits
- Written Discourse in the Workplace - 20 credits
Changes to course content
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. If a module doesn't run, we'll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.
Not quite sure this course is right for you? Take a look at our other business communication courses to compare your options.
This BA (Hons) International Trade and Business Communication top-up degree is a good choice if you want to focus on English language skills and international trade without logistics and supply chain management. This degree is designed for non-native English speakers and combines international trade studies with English and business communication classes.
You can join this top-up BA (Hons) Business with Business Communication degree in either the 2nd or 3rd year, depending on your level of previous study and your ability to speak and write English. This degree is designed for non-native English speakers and combines the study of global business with classes to improve your business English and communication skills.
You can join this top-up BA (Hons) Finance and Business Communication degree in either the 2nd or 3rd year, depending on your level of previous study and your ability to speak and write English. This degree is designed for non-native English speakers and combines the study of global finance with classes to improve your business English and communication skills.
Teaching methods on this course include:
You can access all teaching resources on Moodle, our virtual learning environment, from anywhere with a web connection.
Teaching staff profiles
These are some of the expert staff who'll teach you on this course:
How you're assessed
You’ll be assessed through:
- individual and group presentations
- essays and written coursework
You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.
You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.
How you'll spend your time
One of the main differences between school or college and university is how much control you have over your learning.
We use a blended learning approach to teaching, which means you’ll take part in both face-to-face and online activities during your studies. As well as attending your timetabled classes you'll study independently in your free time, supported by staff and our virtual learning environment, Moodle.
A typical week
We recommend you spend at least 35 hours a week studying for your BA Hons International Business Communication top-up degree.
In your first year, you’ll be in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars and workshops for about 9 hours a week. The rest of the time you’ll do independent study such as research, reading, coursework and project work, alone or in a group with others from your course.
You'll probably do more independent study and have less scheduled teaching in year 2, but this depends on which modules you choose.
The amount of timetabled teaching you'll get on your degree might be less than what you're used to at school or college, but you'll also get support via video, phone and face-to-face from teaching and support staff to enhance your learning experience and help you succeed. You can build your personalised network of support from the following people and services:
Types of support
Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to independent study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.
As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next meeting.
You'll have help from a team of faculty learning development tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.
They can help with:
- Improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
- Delivering presentations (including observing and filming presentations)
- Understanding and using assignment feedback
- Managing your time and workload
- Revision and exam techniques
As well as support from faculty 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
- 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.
Our online Learning Well mini-course will help you plan for managing the challenges of learning and student life, so you can fulfil your potential and have a great student experience.
You can get personal, emotional and mental health support from our Student Wellbeing Service, in person and online. This includes 1–2–1 support as well as courses and workshops that help you better manage stress, anxiety or depression.
If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.
They'll help you to
- discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
- liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
- access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
- liaise with external services
Library staff are available in person or by email, phone, or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.
The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.
Whether you're travelling halfway around the world or just a few miles, starting university can be nerve-wracking. Our airport pickup service, international orientation week events, and amazing support teams will help you settle in.
Course costs and funding
- UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 a year (may be subject to annual increase)
- EU students – £9,250 a year (including Transition Scholarship – may be subject to annual increase)
- International (non-EU) students – £18,100 a year (subject to annual increase)
Funding your studies
Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.
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.
Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.
You’ll study up to 6 units a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each unit.
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.
Please only apply for this course if English is not your first language.
How to apply
To start this course in 2024, apply through UCAS. You'll need:
- the UCAS course code – N131
- our institution code – P80
If you'd prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.
You can also sign up to an Open Day to:
- Tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
- Speak with lecturers and chat with our students
- Get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join
If you're new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.
Applying from outside the UK
As an international student you'll apply using the same process as UK students, but you’ll need to consider a few extra things.
You can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.
Find out what additional information you need in our international students section.
If you don't meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.
Admissions terms and conditions
When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.