MA (Hons) International Business Management

The course

UCAS code
4 years
Delivery type

This industry-focused degree puts specialist business theory through a real world filter to develop graduates who can add real value to organisations.


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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.

This degree, MA (Hons) International Business Management, puts specialist business theory through a real-world filter. It develops the specialist knowledge and interpersonal skills needed to thrive in the positions, organisations and industries of the future. 

The theory taught at Edinburgh Business School is informed by the industry experience and research expertise of our staff. They 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 their second year.

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

In addition to specialist business knowledge, you will develop important transferable skills, such as critical thinking, problem solving, communication and team working, as well as creativity, confidence and research abilities. These skills will help you succeed in your career and personal life.

Three-year options

We also have accelerated, three-year undergraduate degrees in International Business Management and Marketing which are a strong option for A-Level students.

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. Our courses are brought to life with case study-driven assignments, applied group projects and guest lectures from industry 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. Through the four 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 be immediately useful at work, with the attributes, skillsets and practical knowledge that future employers value.

Go Global – study in Dubai and Malaysia

Heriot-Watt University’s unique Go Global project is open to those studying undergraduate international business management degrees at the Edinburgh Business School. This means our students can spend one semester or up to two full academic years 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 wide range of learning, working and life experiences stand out as candidates.



This is one of our most flexible degree programmes. If you wish to specialise in one area of International Business Management we have the following degree pathways available:

Student profile

Antonia Voight

My years were shaped significantly by the international exposure of studying in Dubai, Paris and Edinburgh. I knew this was the place to come for an international education to prepare for a career anywhere in the world, and the highly committed lecturers made every class a joy through engaging and practical activities.

Antonia Voight, MA (Hons) International Business Management


With each degree specialism, Edinburgh Business School will provide you with the skills and expertise needed to thrive in the positions, organisations and industries of the future. Our degrees will expose you to the current thinking and practices of successful organisations and business leaders.


This degree specialism puts functional areas of business and management alongside advanced enterprise courses such as Business Venturing, Innovation Management and International Entrepreneurship. Our expert Strategy and Enterprise faculty call on their industry experience and research-led knowledge to bring these enterprise subjects to life. Find our more about our IBM: Enterprise specialism.

Human Resource Management

This degree specialism puts functional areas of business and management alongside advanced Human Resource Management courses such as Organisational Behaviour, Resourcing and Talent Management, Diversity Management and Employment Relations. Our expert Human Resource faculty call on their industry experience and research-led knowledge to bring these subjects to life. Find out more about our IBM: Human Resource Management specialism.


This degree specialism puts business and marketing theory through a real-world filter. Our expert Marketing faculty call on their industry experience and research-led knowledge to bring Marketing subjects to life with a dynamic mix of lectures, tutorials, interactive practical workshops and industry case study-informed learning. Find our more about our IBM: Marketing specialism.

Course content

Year 1

All Year 1 students at the School take the same subjects

Semester 1

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

Semester 2

  • Academic Skills
  • Becoming a Professional
  • Discovering Business

Year 2

Semester 1

  • Human Resource Management
  • Fundamentals of Marketing
  • Quantitive Methods
  • Elective (Year 2)

Semester 2

  • Operations Management
  • Enterprise: Concepts and Issues
  • Business Skills
  • Elective (Year 2)

Optional courses in Semester 2 include: Business Entities, Enterprise Concepts and Issues, Marketing Perspectives, Organisational Behaviour, Contemporary Economic Policy

Year 3

Semester 1

  • Global Strategic Marketing
  • Logistics and Supply Chain Management 
  • Option
  • Option

Optional courses in Semester 1 include: Consumer Behaviour, Employment Law, Resourcing and Talent Management., Project Management, Business Venturing, International Trade

Semester 2

  • Strategic Management
  • Critical Approaches to Management
  • Business Research Methods
  • Option

Optional courses in Semester 2 include: Innovation Management, Critical Approaches to Management, Marketing and Consumer Law, Marketing Communications, Economics in the European Union 

Year 4

Semester 1

  • Dissertation 1
  • International Business
  • Option
  • Option

Optional courses in Semester 1 include: Managing Business Performance, Employment Relations, International Law of HRM, Leisure Marketing, Retail Marketing, The Contemporary Workforce, Development Economics 1

Semester 2

  • Dissertation 2
  • Strategy Execution
  • Option
  • Option

Optional courses in Semester 2 include: Business Ethics, Social Enterprise, Marketing Sustainability, Changing Trends in Employment, International Business Law, Digital Marketing, Diversity Management, Marketing and Management in SMEs, Development Economics 2, International Company Law and Law of Corporate Governance


In highly skilled work

  • 75% of those are in highly skilled work 15 months after graduating.


  • The average salary of students 15 months after graduating: £23000
  • The average UK salary of students 15 months after graduating from a similar course: £24000


These are the most common jobs students go into 15 months after graduating:

  • Business and public service associate professionals
  • Managers, directors and senior officials
  • Information technology and telecommunications 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

  • Advanced Highers BB including one of Accounting, Business, Economics or Maths, plus AAAB at Higher
  • A-Levels ABB including one of Accountancy, Business, Economics or 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)

Year 3

  • HND AA in graded units (Business)

Additional information

English language requirements

  • If English is not your first language, you have to demonstrate that your English language ability is strong enough to succeed on your course. Please refer to our English language requirements.


Tuition fees for 2022 entry
Status* Scotland England / Wales / N Ireland / Rep of Ireland** International***
Fee Paid by SAAS £9,250 £16,000

* 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.

** 'Rest of the UK' (RUK) and Republic of Ireland students entering at Level 1 receive a fee waiver of one year's tuition fee. Normally this will be the final year, or a year during which students study abroad (either at a partnership institution, or at one of Heriot-Watt's overseas campuses).

*** '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 starting undergraduate degree courses in 2021

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 students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales:

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

View our full range of undergraduate scholarships.