The course

Full-time, Part-time, Per course
Course type
Entry date
September, January


Entry dates

This study programme has two entry points, September and January. If you are interested in applying, and would like to start in January 2021, this option will be available to new applicants and existing offer holders from mid-July.


MSc International Marketing from the Edinburgh Business School at Heriot-Watt University provides essential marketing knowledge and an excellent platform from which to pursue a rewarding career in marketing.

Accredited by the industry-recognised Chartered Institute of Marketing, this Programme offers comprehensive learning across key areas of international marketing. This Masters degree will refine your existing awareness of marketing processes and prepare you for the challenges of today’s global marketing environment. 

This is a Specialist MSc

MSc International Marketing is a Specialist MSc programme led by academics at the Edinburgh Business School. As a Specialist MSc, this degree gives those who have worked in the field or studied a similar subject previously, the chance to expand, refine and enhance their knowledge. 

This 1-year Masters programme focuses almost entirely on the area of Marketing. It blends cutting-edge academic thinking with best practice from industry to give graduates and professionals the opportunity to advance with a highly employable skillset.

The Edinburgh Business School approach

This programme's core content will teach you how to develop strategy, grow new business, formulate brand communications, research complex business issues and satisfy consumer demands. The core courses include:

  • Contemporary Consumers - examines the motivations and perspectives of consumers in different international locations.
  • Strategic Marketing - identifies choices in marketing strategies for local and international brands, focusing on operating a global business.
  • Marketing Logistics - explains how to gain competitive advantage in the international market place by ensuring that the right products reach the right people at the right time.
  • Branding and Communications - considers the power of brands and helps you to master the key principles of brand management by learning how integrated marketing communications creates a valuable brand with strong, effective messaging.
  • Research Philosophy and Practice – provides training in a range of research skills that prepares you for the dissertation project and also provides the foundation for roles in market insight and business consultancy.

Programme flexibility and specialist courses

In addition to five core courses, this Programme offers a distinctive level of flexibility. You will have the opportunity to choose up to three specialist courses from a range of options including Digital Marketing, Consumer Psychology, Sustainability, and Tourism Management. This enables you to customise your studies to meet the needs of your future career ambitions. 

Over the summer months the master’s dissertation enables you to deepen your knowledge in a topic of your choosing by gathering and analysing data from companies or consumers within an international marketing setting which directly relates to your ambitions.

Previous students on our International Marketing Masters degree have conducted dissertations on topics including:

  • The impact of reviews and ratings on purchase amongst French and UK Airbnb customers
  • Perceptions of international marketers of the effectiveness of Twitter Chat for branding
  • Beats by Dr Dre - The Impact of Product Placement in Music Videos
  • Social Media in Heritage and Gastronomy in Burgos
  • International differences in online advertising trust: UK and China

​Management competencies and skills for the workplace

Through case-study learning, interaction with industry and industry-focused assessments our MSc International Marketing will enhance your skillset across key management competencies that are highly valued in the workplace. 

Group-based and individual coursework will challenge you to translate theory into commercial marketing solutions and demonstrate skills in time management, team leadership, information management and verbal, written and digital communications.

Our innovative approach to assessment ensures that you will develop skills that are critical to everyday practice for modern marketing professionals. This year’s MSc students gained experience in:

  • Producing a Vlog to communicate key messages in an authentic way
  • Developing a plan for an online business
  • Designing and filming a brand advertisement
  • Developing a product and branding strategy from concept to pitch.

The sought-after transferrable skills you gain through this programme will underpin your marketing expertise and position you as an attractive candidate for employers. Our recent graduates have gone on to launch international marketing careers working for prestigious brands, including:

  • AIG: Digital Marketing Executive
  • Brain Lab: Junior Marketing Manager for Europe
  • Capri Sun: Junior Brand Manager
  • Clinical Trial Company: Marketing Assistant
  • eDreams: International sales executive
  • GAP: Marketing Associate
  • Lorenz Snack-World Germany: Trainee Marketing Manager
  • Russell & Bromley: Online editor
  • Starcom: Brand Activation Senior Executive

Interact with business leaders

The Edinburgh Business School’s MSc International Marketing benefits from strong links with industry and each year we welcome leading marketing practitioners to share experiences and insights with our students through inspirational and informative guest lectures.

These guest lectures will give you the opportunity to interact with business experts and discuss practical solutions to real problems whilst receiving guidance about careers in international marketing.  Recent guest speakers have represented a range of multinational companies and leading advertising agencies, including:

  • Baxters Food Group - Cara Chambers, Director of Marketing
  • Clydesdale Bank – David Judic, Director of Innovation
  • EIGSI La Rochelle France - Philip Harvard, Head of Management
  • Findra, Cycling Clothing Brand - Alex Feechan, Founder
  • Skyscanner - Murat Ozkok-Ohr, Growth and Communications Manager
  • The Leith Agency - Caitlin MacKie, Strategic Planner
  • Yard Digital Agency - Geoff Kennedy, Account Director
  • Yellow Railroad International Destination Consultancy - Tom Buncle, Managing Director

International internship opportunity

Each year the International Marketing Programme provides one outstanding student with the amazing opportunity to participate in a four-week international internship based at the Toronto HQ and New York offices of Array Marketing, a leading in-store marketing company with operations in Canada, USA, UK, and China. 

Array Marketing has over 35 years of experience in the retail sector, producing innovative visual merchandising and point-of-purchase displays for leading brands such as L’Oréal, Urban Decay, MAC, Sephora, ULTA, Estee Lauder and Prada. 

If selected for this international internship you will gain experience across Array Marketing’s key operational areas including project management, technical development, merchandising, store fittings, and commercial operations. 

2016’s successful candidate was offered a permanent role with Array Marketing after presenting innovative business development ideas based on their dissertation research. 

Diverse learning experience: a wealth of business and cultural perspectives

Studying on this programme will allow you to work alongside highly-motivated students from all over the world who have chosen to progress their marketing knowledge at Heriot-Watt School of Social Sciences. This will allow you to develop first-hand experience of working in international teams and provide you with crucial insights into a diverse range of markets and consumer perspectives.

By sharing courses with students from other management disciplines you will also learn to work alongside those with different business perspectives. This provides you with true-to-life insights into the multi-functional nature of international marketing and business.

Our thriving calendar of social events and relaxed, campus-based location will also help you to balance your academic experiences with a rewarding social life, giving you lots of opportunities to develop an international network of friends and contacts from our friendly, global community.

Programme duration

Mode of Study MSc PG Diploma
Full-time 12 months 9 months
Part-time 24 months 21 months


The Chartered Institute of Marketing: Graduate Gateway

This Programme is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) indicating that our teaching and assessment meet the rigorous standards of the CIM in terms of content, scope and learning outcomes.

As a result of this accreditation, all graduates from International Marketing MSc gain exemption from two CIM modules: the Certificate Level Marketing module and the CIM Diploma Level Strategic Marketing module. This exemption is provided at no extra charge and reduces the cost of pursuing this prestigious professional qualification by up to £400.  Students are also given the opportunity to attend CIM networking events which take place on campus and in Edinburgh and Glasgow. 

Course content

Semester 1 (Sept - Dec) Semester 2 (Jan - April)
Contemporary Consumers Branding and Communications
Strategic Marketing Research Philosophy and Practice
Marketing Logistics  
Choose one from a range including:
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Global Heritage
Choose two from a range including:
  • Advances in Digital Marketing
  • Issues and Trends in Tourism
  • Project Management
  • Sustainable Marketing
  • Digital Marketing Analytics

The MSc dissertation is then undertaken between May - August.

Contemporary Consumers

Semester 1 (mandatory)

Critically evaluate the relevance of different perspectives in understanding 21st Century international consumers. Explore key managerial challenges faced in responding to consumers within international contexts.

Strategic Marketing

Semester 1 (mandatory)

Provides an understanding of theoretical and practical perspectives of international marketing management strategies, as well as examines how marketing strategies are resourced and how they create value for the business.

Marketing Logistics

Semester 1 (mandatory)

Provides an understanding on the supply chain management and logistics initiatives in global context and its relation with marketing management.

Branding and Communications

Semester 2 (mandatory)

Provides an understanding of the key principles of brand management from socio-cultural, psychological and anthropological perspectives, rather than relying on just the cognitive approach to branding. Identifies the rationale and obstacles toward adopting integrated marketing communications.

Research Philosophy and Practice

Semester 2 (mandatory)

Provides an understanding of the social science research process, as well as theory and approaches to research. Develops practical skills (i.e. quantitative and qualitative techniques) in data analysis to transform the raw data into information that guides marketing management valuations.

Meet the Core Course Leaders

Elaine Collinson B.A. (Hons), MPhil

Elaine Collinson is an Associate Professor of Marketing and the Course Leader for International Strategic Marketing. She has over 25 years’ experience teaching in the area of marketing and is the Director of Postgraduate Studies and Director of Corporate Executive Relationships in the School of Social Sciences. Throughout her academic career she has undertaken a number of International Research Projects and been published in international journals. Her research focuses on Marketing & Entrepreneurship, Marketing Management for Strategic Growth, and Academic & Industry Collaboration & the Impact on Learning. She has extensive expertise in enhancing the student experience with a focus on intercultural learning and internationalisation within the class room. She particularly enjoys working with international teams of academic colleagues across the globe to design and deliver a global experience for students.

Professor Michael Danson

Michael Danson is Professor of Enterprise Policy and Director of Doctoral Programmes and the Course Leader for on Research Philosophy and Practice.  He has extensive experience of conducting research and providing policy advice on economic development, urban and regional labour markets, European and national programmes. With over 250 publications and 15 books he is well established in his field and has advised governments, institutions, community organisations and civic society on his research expertise and knowledge. He is Treasurer of the Academy of Social Sciences and trustee of various academic bodies and social enterprises.

Dr Babak Taheri

Babak Taheri is an Associate Professor of Marketing and the Course Leader for Branding and Communications and Issues and Trends in Tourism. Babak is the Postgraduate Research Coordinator in Business Management Department and his research has a dual focus: ‘tourism marketing’ and ‘consumer research’. Throughout his career he has had over 70 academic publications and secured over £2.5m funding (including Horizon 2020 and KTP). Dr Taheri has previously worked as a Lecturer and Teaching Fellow at the Durham University and University of Strathclyde and enjoys using interactive and engaging learning experiences in his teaching.

Geraldine McKay

Geraldine McKay is an Associate Professor of Marketing and Course Leader for Contemporary Consumers. She is a Chartered Marketer and has taught marketing at several Universities in the UK and In New Zealand. She came to Heriot-Watt University in 2011 as Academic Head for Management Programmes. Her research interests include the University student experience, branding and communications, in particular the brand amongst employees. Geraldine Is currently undertaking research into transnational student identity and belonging as part of her PhD being undertaken at Lancaster University.

Dr Christine Rutherford

Christine Rutherford is an Associate Professor of Supply Chain Management in the Logistics Research Centre at Heriot-Watt University and Course Leader for Marketing Logistics. An ex-RAF Supply Officer, she started her academic career at Cranfield School of Management in 2002 before joining Heriot-Watt in 2010.  Her research, in the area of supply chain strategy and planning, is industry based and focused on solving practical supply chain problems, particularly in the area of demand planning at the interface between marketing, sales and operations.  She has worked with several blue chip companies helping them improve their supply chain planning processes through consultancy and bespoke training.

Meet the Programme Director

Dr Kathryn Waite

Kathryn Waite is an Assistant Professor of marketing, the Course Leader for Advances in Digital Marketing and Director of the International Marketing MSc Programmes.  She is a Charted Marketer.  After a career in marketing and events management as a mature student she gained an MBA followed by a PhD at Edinburgh University.  Her research focuses upon digital technology and she has published several journal articles examining issues of trust, engagement and empowerment.   She has secured grants funding of over £201,043 to research the impact of technology within financial services organisations.  She is on the editorial advisory boards of The Journal of Financial Services Marketing, Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing and The International Journal of Bank Marketing.  Her teaching style blends the informative with the humorous (students expect references to cat and Star Wars social media memes).  

Entry requirements

A good Honours degree (first or second class) or its non-UK equivalent in a relevant subject from a recognised British or overseas university.

English language requirements

If your first language is not English, or your first degree was not taught in English, we’ll need to see evidence of your English language ability.

The minimum English language requirement for entry to this programme is IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent) with no component lower than 6.0.

If you do not have IELTS 6.5, we offer a range of English language courses to help you meet the English language requirement for this programme prior to commencing your studies:

  • 14 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with minimum of 5.0 in all skills)
  • 10 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with minimum of 5.5 in reading & writing and minimum of 5.0 in speaking & listening)
  • 6 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with minimum 5.5 in all skills)


Tuition fees for entry
Status Full-time Part-time Per course
UK / EU £8680 £4340 £1085
Overseas £18800 £9400 £2350
Tuition fees for entry
Status Full-time Part-time Per course
UK £8856 £4428 £1107
Overseas £19176 £9588 £2397


  1. If you are unsure which residency status category you fall in to, you should complete a fee status enquiry form, which allows us to assess your fees.
  2. Fee per course (module). Refer to the Course Content to see how many courses comprise the full programme.
  3. Overseas includes applications from European Union countries who do not hold Pre-Settled or Settled status in the UK. Read more about the application process for EU nationals.

Scholarships and bursaries

We aim to encourage well-qualified, ambitious students to study with us and we offer a wide variety of scholarships and bursaries to achieve this. Over £6 million worth of opportunities are available in fee and stipend scholarships, and more than 400 students benefit from this support.

View our full range of postgraduate scholarships.