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International Business Communication (Top-up) BA (Hons)

Improve your English while building skills in management, leadership and communication on this International Business Communication top-up degree.

Key information

UCAS code:


Typical offer:

Applicants for the 2 year course require relevant HE study leading to a Level 4 qualification. Applicants for the 1 year course require relevant HE study leading to a Level 5 qualification.

See full entry requirements
Study mode and duration
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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 one or two 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.

Course highlights

  • Improve your English in three 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 one or two years
  • Have the opportunity to learn a foreign language for free as part of your degree, choosing from Arabic, British Sign Language, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin or Spanish

Contact information


+44 (0) 23 9284 5566

Contact Admissions

Entry requirements

BA (Hons) International Business Communication (Top-up) degree entry requirements

Typical offers

  • 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.

See alternative English language qualifications

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.

Explore more about how we make your offer

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.

Yunfei Wu, BA Hons International Business Communication student

Facilities and specialist equipment

Students talking in language labs room at computers

Digital Language Laboratories

Perfect your listening and comprehension skills in a rich, multi-media language learning environment. Find out how to integrate and manipulate video, sound, text and internet sources in different languages.

Explore the laboratories

Student in a tutor meeting

Language Corner

Meet with a language tutor, get help with specific challenges and practise your skills with proficient speakers of your chosen language in this optional weekly drop-in session.

International students in a cafe

Global Café

You can meet students from all over the world at the Global Café on Wednesday afternoons. Learn about other's cultures and practise speaking in each other's languages while making new friends and getting to share your own culture.

marketing students talking in a crowd

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.

Explore student life in Portsmouth


Careers and opportunities

Not only is English the most spoken language in the world (Statista), people who have learned it as a second language now outnumber native English speakers (ThoughtCo).

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
  • finance
  • 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.

Female student at computer

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)

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

You'll gain strategies for effective writing and speaking in diverse professional settings, building skills for successful negotiations, teamwork, and cross-cultural communication. You'll learn how to write persuasive business reports, deliver engaging presentations and lead productive meetings.

By the end of the module, you'll have the ability to communicate your ideas clearly and influence your audiences - essential skills for today's global business environment.

Develop your reading, speaking, listening, and writing skills by analysing a variety of written and spoken texts and debating topics of interest. You'll learn how to communicate clearly in a variety of subjects and structures, and make informed choices depending on your audience.

By using skimming and scanning skills, you'll broaden your grammatical and lexical understanding of listening texts and build the critical thinking skills needed to progress.

Via engaging lectures, seminars and workshops, you'll explore key HRM concepts from recruitment and selection, to performance management and employment equality.

You'll also examine real-world case studies to reveal the importance of linking HR activities to a business's organisational outcomes.

Through group presentations and peer teaching with your fellow students, you'll build confidence using HRM terminology in order to communicate effectively as a HR professional or with others in this role.

Topics you’ll cover include communication theory, verbal and non-verbal communication, cross cultural communication, discourse and identity, motivation theory, organisational culture, technology and communication, and inclusivity in the workplace.

You’ll take part in lectures, seminars, workshops and presentations, allowing you the opportunity to both practise and apply the theory presented in the sessions.

You’ll also work in pairs and groups with your fellow students, providing peer feedback.

You'll learn about consumer behaviour and brand strategy, and spend time examining real-world marketing campaigns. You'll also think about how social, political and technological forces can affect the way businesses approach marketing their products and services.

Skills you'll develop include carrying out market research and learning how to use what you learn, crafting targeted messaging across different marketing channels, and presenting your ideas verbally and in writing.

Optional modules

You'll examine how the nature of identity and place is constructed in Britain today, using techniques like observation and fieldwork.

You'll analyse social behaviour and public spaces, drawing on ideas from literature, media and your own experiences. You'll build on your existing knowledge of British institutions and history, improving your skills in research, analysis and communication.

You'll master tools like PESTLE, Porter's 5 Forces and SWOT. These tools are used by business leaders to determine where their businesses are at present, where they want them to be in the future, and which key metrics and initiatives they should track to achieve their goals.

You'll also apply new concepts using practical case studies and role play with your fellow students, learning how to present your strategic recommendations confidently from a consultant's perspective.

When you've completed the module, you'll have the commercial awareness and cultural sensitivity you need to succeed in international business.

With a minimum 80-hour commitment, you’ll apply what you’ve learned so far on your degree to real-world professional settings within our community of local businesses, social enterprises, and third-sector organisations.

You’ll have support from interactive workshops, tutorials, and guest speaker events, encouraging you to set achievable professional goals and evolve your professional identity.

Core modules

In terms of spoken communication, you’ll be introduced to the sounds of the Standard Southern British (SSB) accent and develop a repertoire of suitable language for taking part in discussions with students and staff in seminars.

When it comes to written communication, you’ll not only further develop your knowledge of vocabulary and sentence structure, but also learn how to integrate academic sources into your own writing effectively, appropriately, and responsibly.

You’ll explore a subject area of that sparks your curiosity and passion. With support from faculty mentors, you'll identify a unique, specialised research topic to dive deep into over an intensive self-directed study.

You’ll show you’re able to pose meaningful questions, bring together relevant scholarly perspectives, and present convincing evidence and analysis.

You’ll dive into the business world, gathering intel and ideas from experts through articles, videos and websites.

You’ll bring it all together in meetings, presenting your proposals and refining plans. Finally, you’ll make your case in a formal report, evaluating options and setting forth a recommendation to solve a simulated business problem.

With teamwork, communication skills and creativity, you’ll gain hands-on experience solving the types of challenges businesses face every day.

You’ll bring together new and existing knowledge in business and marketing to generate potential business ideas.

You’ll locate, access and critically engage with market information using digital technologies to collect data for research, demonstrate your understanding of business ethics and sustainability in various cultural contexts, and communicate clearly and effectively to a wide audience, such as banks and potential investors.

You’ll bring together the different aspects of the recruitment process and staff motivation in international business communication and business teams.

You’ll draw on different resources to develop the skills required for recruitment in an international context and for the motivation of teams and team members in achieving business objectives.

Optional modules

From theories and models to business cultures and current affairs, you'll analyse international trade trends, regulatory institutions, and the forces shaping competitive business environments.

Examining strategic responses to globalization, you'll develop critical perspectives on corporate responsibility and assess market dynamics across different regions, while crafting insightful solutions that benefits society and the economy.

When you graduate, you'll have the essential knowledge, analytical skills, and global mindset to succeed as a future business leader.

You'll learn how to think critically about the key concepts that link language, culture and communication, considering the benefits and limitations of these ideas.

You'll explore the different ways in which communication intersects with culture across themes such as identity, education, gender, and the media.

Alongside what you learn, you'll improve your skills in analysis, research and intercultural awareness.

Examine traditional cultural models and their limitations, and learn to apply advanced communication theories to real management contexts.

You'll develop the problem-solving skills needed to work with diverse teams and clients, and the intercultural understanding to manage effectively in any environment.

By the end of the module, you'll have the skills to bridge divides and connect people in the business world.

You’ll take part in interactive exercises and produce accurate, readable, usable translation of common cross-cultural business texts.

Specifically, you'll systematically analyse source text purpose, style and structure related to business life.

You’ll also professionally edit target texts for accuracy, readability and commercial viability.

With a minimum 80-hour commitment, you'll apply what you've learned so far on your degree to real-world professional settings within our community of local businesses, social enterprises, and third-sector organisations.

You'll have support from interactive workshops, tutorials, and guest speaker events, encouraging you to set achievable professional goals and evolve your professional identity.

Through interactive lectures and discussions, you'll explore the structures of power that shape Britain today, from the establishment to counter-cultures. You'll examine shifting identities, values and controversies to understand how and why British society is continuing to change, focusing on current issues in education, social services and more.

By the end of the module, you'll be able to explain key features of modern Britain, discuss cultural diversity, create presentations using the latest technologies, and critically reflect on module themes - giving you a well-rounded understanding of life in Britain today.

Using analytical frameworks, you'll adapt texts to suit different audiences, purposes and settings, and evaluate and produce examples of professional writing.

You’ll also apply your learning through a presentation.

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.

Alternative courses

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:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • workshops
  • tutorials

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:

Lin Zheng Portrait

Dr Lin Zheng

Principal Lecturer

School of Education, Languages and Linguistics

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

PhD Supervisor

Read more

How you're assessed

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

  • Year 1 students: 10% by exams, 85% by coursework and 5% by other means
  • Year 2 students: 5% by exams and 95% by coursework

Your coursework may include:

  • 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.

Term dates

The academic year runs from September to June. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.

See term dates

Supporting you

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
  • 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.

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.

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

03/12/2018 Welcome Ambassadors Shoot

Arrival support

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.

Explore the welfare support we offer

See an example orientation week

Course costs and funding

Tuition fees

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU students – £9,250 per year (including Transition Scholarship – may be subject to annual increase)
  • International (non-EU) students – £16,200 per year (subject to annual increase)

Funding your studies

Find out how to fund your studies, including the scholarships and bursaries you could get. You can also find more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

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.

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 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

Apply now through UCAS


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.