MA (Hons) International Business Management with Year Abroad

The course

UCAS code
4 years
Delivery type

Business Management at Edinburgh Business School was ranked 3rd in Scotland and top 10 in the UK in the Guardian University League Tables 2018.


Got questions about this programme?

Contact our enquiries team.


Heriot-Watt University has been ranked 1st in Scotland for Management in the National Student Survey 2021, measuring overall satisfaction with student experience on our MA (Hons) International Business Management degrees.

Business Management at the Edinburgh Business School was ranked third in Scotland and top 10 in the UK in the Guardian University League Tables 2018

This degree puts specialist business theory through a real-world filter and offers the chance of a truly international university experience. It develops the knowledge and interpersonal skills you will need to thrive in the positions, organisations and industries of the future.

On this degree, you will spend Year 3 studying abroad at a partner business school or university in the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Belgium, Poland, Sweden, Italy, or France. All partner universities teach their management courses in English and students follow a course similar to that of Level 3 of the MA (Hons) International Business Management.

You will develop important transferable skills such as: critical thinking, problem solving, communication and team working, as well as creativity, confidence and research abilities – skills that will help you succeed in your career and personal life.

We have two other Business Management Degrees - IBM with Specialist Pathways and IBM Accelerated which is a 3 year degree. 

The Edinburgh Business School approach

An industry-focus is built into every course on this degree to ensure that your studies reflect current thinking and practices of successful organisations and their leaders.

For example, the presentation series Edinburgh Business School Presents gives you the chance to attend regular guest lectures from CEOs and Directors of national and multinational organisations who share their vast experience across key areas of business.

The Professional Development Track

The Professional Development Track (PDT) is our suite of practice-focused courses that run through this degree and prepare you to add real value to your employer as soon as you graduate. On our PDT courses, you will learn how to analyse, report, present and consult in a professional way, and learn about the real-world contexts in which global business operates. 

These courses have been designed in response to the needs of practitioners and employers who told us what they are looking for in graduating students. By building-in the requirements of industry, the PDT allows graduates to hit the ground running with the attributes, skillsets and practical knowledge that future employers value.

Go Global

In addition to spending Year 3 Abroad, this degree allows you to take part in Heriot-Watt University’s unique Go Global project. This means our students can spend one semester, or up to two full academic years, studying at our campuses in Dubai and Malaysia. The chance to travel, study and gain experience in three different countries with different business cultures will help you stand out as a global citizen and give you an edge in the recruitment market following graduation.

Students who have taken part in inter-campus transfers have told us how it has helped build their confidence, broaden their horizons and given them new perspectives. Employers have also told us that students with such a rich range of learning, working and life experiences stand out as candidates.

Global College pathway for this degree

If you do not meet the entry requirements for this degree, have a look at Heriot-Watt Global College, where you can follow an accelerated pathway which will get you onto the second year of this degree.

Course content

Teaching is informed by the industry experience and research of our respected faculty who bring their subjects to life with a dynamic mix of lectures, tutorials, interactive workshops and case study-informed learning.

In Year 1 you will study a common suite of mandatory courses to provide you with a solid, universal understanding of the key principles and practices of modern business. Maintaining a consistent programme of study across all seven International Business Management pathways in Year 1 means it is easy for students to switch their specialism as they move into

Year 2 introduces functional areas of business and management such as marketing, operations management and human resource management.
Both Year 3, which is spent studying abroad, and Year 4, offer greater choice to allow you to tailor your degree to your career aspirations.

Year 1

Semester 1

  • Management in a Global Context
  • Introduction to Accounting and Finance
  • Introduction to Marketing
  • Academic Skills

Semester 2

  • The Economy 
  • Becoming a Professional
  • Discovering Business
  • Elective 

Year 2

Semester 1

  • Fundamentals of Marketing
  • Human Resource Management
  • Elective 

Semester 2

  • Operations Management
  • Enterprise: Concepts and Theories 
  • Business Skills for the Second Machine Age 
  • Elective 

Optional courses:

  • Consumer Behaviour 
  • Organisational Behaviour 
  • Intercultural Issues in Business and Management 
  • Quantitative Methods 1 

Year 3

Students spend third year studying at one of our exchange partners in the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Belgium, Poland, Spain, Germany, Italy, or France. It is now possible for students to go on exchange for one semester and study Semester 2 in Edinburgh. 

All partners offer management courses in English and students follow a course similar to that of Level 3 of the MA (Hons) Business Management.

Placements are allocated on a competitive basis.

Year 4

Semester 1

  • Management Dissertation 1 
  • Global Business Analysis 1: International Markets and Strategy 
  • Option
  • Option

Semester 2

  • Management Dissertation 2 
  • Global Business Analysis 2: Global Trends and Risks 
  • Option
  • Option

Optional courses: 

  • The Contemporary Workforce 
  • Diversity Management 
  • Digital Marketing 
  • Employment Relations 
  • International Entrepreneurship 
  • Leisure Marketing 
  • Changing Trends in Employment 
  • Managing Business Performance 
  • Retail Marketing 
  • Marketing Sustainability 
  • Marketing and Management of SME's 
  • Team Performance Dynamics 

Discover Uni course data

Discover Uni provides data on each university's degree courses across a range of measures including student satisfaction, graduate jobs and salaries.


Work and study

This is what our MA (Hons) International Business Management with Year Abroad students are doing 15 months after graduating:

  • 78% are working
  • 1% are studying
  • 9% are working and studying.


  • The average salary of students 15 months after graduating: £25000
  • The average UK salary of students 15 months after graduating from a similar course: £25000

Potential career paths

  • Finance Professionals
  • Business and public service associate professionals

Entry requirements

Year 1

Standard entry requirements

  • Highers AABB (over two sittings)
  • A-Levels BBC - ABB
  • Int. Baccalaureate 29 points
  • BTEC DDM (Business preferred)
  • HNC B in graded unit (Business preferred)
  • HND BB 

Minimum entry requirements*

  • Highers BBBC
  • A-Levels BBC - ABB

* Minimum: under our Fair Access Policy, we will relax our standard entry requirements for Scottish students depending on their circumstances. Our minimum requirements will apply if you:

  • live in an area within the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation lowest 20% (SIMD20), or
  • are care experienced.

We can also make exceptions for some Scottish students with grades above minimum but below standard. Read more about our Minimum and standard entry requirements

Year 2

  • A-level  ABB with at least one of the following preferred: Accounting, Business, Maths or Economics.
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (first teaching from September 2016)  DDD in relevant subject (Accountancy, Business, Economics, Finance preferred).
  • Advanced Higher  BB with AABB at Higher to include Maths
  • Int. Baccalaureate 34 points (with Higher Level Business at 5)
  • HNC A in graded unit (Business)
  • HND BB in graded units (Business)
  • BTEC DDD (Business-related subjects preferred)
  • Global College Successful completion of our Business with Accelerator Programme

We operate contextual admissions defined by our Fair Access Policy which may mean entry requirements are flexible. We accept a wide range of other qualifications from the UK, Europe and International countries. Please contact the Admissions Officer for the programme for further information on the entry requirements for these.


Tuition fees for 2024 entry
Status* Scotland England / Wales / N Ireland / Rep of Ireland International**
Fee Paid by SAAS £9,250 £19,744

* Your residency 'status' is usually defined as the country where you have been ordinarily resident for the three years before the start of your course. Find out more about tuition fees.

** 'International' includes applicants from European Union countries who do not hold Pre-Settled or Settled status in UK. (This does not include students from the Republic of Ireland - see above). Read more about the application process for EU nationals.

Additional costs

You may incur additional costs in the course of your studies at Heriot-Watt over and above tuition fees in an academic year. Depending on your programme of study, these may include: protective equipment, field trips, professional memberships, studio fees, required course texts or other study resources.

Scholarships and bursaries

Featured scholarships

Bursaries for students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales

In addition to government loans and grants towards the costs of fees and living costs, we are offering generous financial support to attract and support eligible undergraduate students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales:

  • Heriot-Watt University Bursary (up to £3,100 per year)
View details about the Heriot-Watt University Bursary

View our full range of undergraduate scholarships.