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Why study International Business?

UWS London student. He is working seriously with two other female students. They have dark hair, light/medium skin.

If you’re considering a career in business, it makes sense to study a degree in the subject – since you’ll need a rounded, in-depth understanding of how business works, from transactions through to human resource management. But if you’re expecting, or hoping that your career will lead you to employment in different countries around the globe, then studying business generally might not be enough to secure those positions. If you’re hoping to work in jobs around the globe, studying for a more specialist degree in international business could make much more sense – and in this post, we’ll find out more.

Why should I study an international business degree?

The demands of the world of business are high, and competition for jobs is fierce, wherever in the world you’re applying for roles and hoping to work. That means you need to have the best foundation possible, so that you’re prepared for the field you hope to work in. By studying for an undergraduate degree in international business, you’ll leave university with a deep comprehension of business theory, an ability to think critically about problems and an understanding of the challenges of global business.

Being prepared for your first job role isn’t the only reason to complete a degree though – there are a number of other benefits of studying for a degree in international business presents, so let’s take a look.

Accountancy isn’t just about numbers either – it is primarily about giving advice and working with people. You’ll be working with clients who are amazing at what they do, but they don’t have the resource or capacity to handle their own accounts. You need to be able to present things clearly, while maintaining a professional manner.

But let’s get to the most important reason to become an accountant – because you want to know how much you’ll be able to earn in return for your study! As a graduate entering the field, depending on where you are based, you’re likely to be able to earn up to £30,000, and during the training period, there is the potential to earn up to £60,000. 

Once you hold fully qualified chartered accountant status, the average national salary is £84,500, with hefty bonuses common in the industry. That’s a pretty comfortable amount to be rewarded with after the study it takes.

You’ll get a broad understanding of business

When you’re planning to enter the world of business, it goes without saying that you need to understand it! By graduating from an international business degree, you’ll have developed both general and specific business skills, as well as in-depth knowledge of topics such as:

  • Business in the 21st century
  • Global business
  • Marketing
  • Economics
  • Accounting
  • People management
  • Policy development
  • Strategic management
  • Creating a business
  • Consumer behaviour


These are just a few of the things you might study as part of your degree in international business. You’ll also have the chance to develop your leadership qualities during different projects, which will help you to prepare for a move into positions of management.

You’ll understand the diversity of business practices worldwide

Although it is said that the world is becoming ever smaller in the 21st century, there are still many differences in business practices across different countries (and even within the same companies) that you will need to be aware of and prepared for. If you end up working for an international corporation, processes may be standardised worldwide, whereas smaller businesses that operate in, or trade with different countries may have different procedures. Your degree in international business will help you to understand and think critically about the nuances and challenges that operating internationally may present, allowing you to get a head start on finding solutions.

You’ll experience different cultures

Doing business internationally doesn’t just come with the challenges of understanding the different business practices of the countries that the business trades, or operates in. There are other external factors that present challenges you’ll need to be aware of, such as human resources, the level of development and economy of the country, patterns of consumer spending and so on.

While this is often presents a huge challenge for businesses, on a personal level it can be an absolutely fantastic thing to be exposed to, especially if you’re living and working in those countries. Living in different countries allows you to immerse yourself in the culture of those countries, and to experience them on a much deeper level than you would have if you visited on a holiday, or even spent time there during a gap year.

If you’re working for a multinational corporation, it is worth mentioning that if you are sent to work overseas, often your travel and living costs will be part of the package – which means you’re getting that experience at no cost to you! This is, of course, a huge perk, and isn’t always the case – but where it is, it is definitely a perk that is worth having.

A degree in business is incredibly valuable, but with a degree in international business, you may be more likely to be accepted onto graduate schemes with businesses that operate globally.

You’ll be able to identify commercial challenges

Doing business internationally doesn’t just come with the challenges of understanding the different business practices of the countries that the business trades, or operates in. There are other external factors that present challenges you’ll need to be aware of, such as human resources, the level of development and economy of the country, patterns of consumer spending and so on.

While this is often presents a huge challenge for businesses, on a personal level it can be an absolutely fantastic thing to be exposed to, especially if you’re living and working in those countries. Living in different countries allows you to immerse yourself in the culture of those countries, and to experience them on a much deeper level than you would have if you visited on a holiday, or even spent time there during a gap year.

If you’re working for a multinational corporation, it is worth mentioning that if you are sent to work overseas, often your travel and living costs will be part of the package – which means you’re getting that experience at no cost to you! This is, of course, a huge perk, and isn’t always the case – but where it is, it is definitely a perk that is worth having.

You’ll have an edge in the jobs market

Your contemporaries that are studying business degrees will be entering the jobs market at the same time as you. A degree in business is (of course) incredibly valuable, but with a degree in international business, you may be more likely to be accepted onto graduate schemes with businesses that operate globally, and that offers the potential to take you anywhere. If you accept employment outside of a graduate scheme, you’ll still be prepared to tackle the challenges that working in business entails.

You’ll be prepared for further study

During your studies in international business, you’ll be equipped with theequipped the academic skills you need for higher study. You’ll learn to think critically, to carry out effective research and to present information in an appropriate fashion, and you’ll learn how to write much longer pieces of work – all of which are essential skills for business, but also for higher academic study. Many graduates of international business go on to study further, whether they enter a master’s degree programme straight after their degree, (either in the same subject, or a more specialised subject) or they go into employment, gain experience and then apply for an MBA programme.

Why should you study an international business degree in the UK?

While we have already given you plenty of reasons to study international business, if your home country isn’t the UK and English isn’t your first language, then studying in the UK can give your CV or resume a huge boost over those of your peers. Whichever industry sub-sector, or country that you choose to work in, you’ll find that increasing your fluency in English by living here will give you an advantage and much more confidence – even if you have already studied to, and achieved English language qualifications to a high standard.

Depending on the restrictions that your visa may place, there may also be the opportunity to gain part-time employment, or unpaid work experience in the UK. This has the potential to show future employers your ability to adapt to new environments, but also to help you to learn new skills and to earn extra money while you are here. This extra money may allow you to deepen your experience of the UK, by being able to visit other towns and cities, or take day trips to tourist attractions that you might otherwise not have visited.

During the period that you are studying in the UK, you’ll make connections and friendships that may prove to be valuable to your career, both after graduation and in the longer-term – especially since your course mates will also be entering the workforce internationally. You’re likely to get to know students in different years of their study, and those on different courses too. Since it is easier than ever to keep in touch with your peers through social media, you’ll be able to continue to network with them and both find roles, recommendations for connections and potential employees as you all move towards management positions.

Finally, if you’re already thinking about studying in the UK as an international student, then you’ll be well aware that UK universities are renowned worldwide for the standard of education that they provide. If you have committed to getting your degree from a UK university (and making the significant financial commitment to doing so) then that can be enough to prove to potential employers that they should at least interview you. Once you have an interview, your education may give you the ability to negotiate a higher package to what is on offer.

What work will I do on an international business degree course?

As is the case with most degree programmes, you’ll attend a mixture of lectures and seminars, with some programmes may require you to complete a work experience placement or have a year abroad. 

You’ll be given different types of assignments that may include: 

  • Essays
  • Reports
  • Business simulations
  • Presentations
  • Case studies


You’ll also be expected to complete significant amounts of independent reading and research which may contribute towards your assignments, but also towards a portfolio, a dissertation project and your examinations. 

Graduates of international business are able to apply for a broad range of job opportunities, with some of the most popular roles including: Corporate finance, Marketing and Management.

How long does it take to complete a degree in international business?

Usually students who are studying an undergraduate degree in international business full time will study over three academic years, (two years and eight calendar months in total) but some universities may offer a more flexible timeline, and you may be able to count previous study as credit to be able to graduate quicker.

Students who wish to study on a part time basis may be able to do so (depending on the requirements of the institution) over a six year period.

What can I do after completing an international business degree?

When you have graduated from an undergraduate degree in international business, you have a huge range of options for what to do next. You might choose a postgraduate qualification like a master’s degree in the same subject, a different subject, or apply for an MBA without experience. If you don’t want to continue to study, you might enter employment, either applying for graduate schemes that will give you further training, or for a job that simply requires a degree. Taking a year out to travel, volunteer or work in an unrelated industry are always options too, and may provide you with other valuable experience that may enrich your resume.

Graduates of international business are able to apply for a broad range of job opportunities, with some of the most popular roles including:

  • Corporate finance
  • Marketing
  • Management
  • Consultancy
  • Accounting
  • Human resources


These aren’t the only types of roles that you can pursue with an international business degree, of course – there are thousands of jobs that your degree will have prepared you for. All businesses, whether they are international organisations or not, need employees with the ability to think critically, and to find solutions for problems in order to help them to increase their profits and scale up.

In the UK, international business degrees are taught in English, so students from overseas will need a strong grasp of the English language.

What are the entry requirements for an international business degree?

Each university has different requirements for their degree in international business, but you should have a good education at A level or equivalent. If you are a UK student, Yyou’ll be able to check entry requirements for each provider on the UCAS website, or and international students can checkon the course page for the university that you are considering.

Mature students without A level qualifications may apply based on industry experience and may be given a place on the course without completing prior study, but this will depend on individual circumstances. Contact the university you would like to study with to find out if you are eligible. You may be advised to study an access course before entering the degree programme to ensure your academic skills are suitably developed.

 

In the UK, international business degrees are taught in English, so students from overseas will need a strong grasp of the English language. Typically for entry you will need an IELTS score of 6.0 or above.

If you haven’t lived or worked in a country where English is the first language, you may be advised to study a pre-sessional English course

How much does an international business degree cost?

UK universities charge UK and EU students tuition fees of up to £9,250 per year for full time undergraduate courses. If you’re studying part time, or to a different timeline, you may be charged accordingly. International students pay different fees, and may be charged between £10,000 and £26,000.

In addition to tuition fees, you will need to budget for accommodation and food, as well as other living costs such as books and travel. Student accommodation in London is on average £4,914 for a 39 week contract and there will be utility bills, internet and mobile phone expenses to consider. You should also budget for social activities and gym membership, as well as dues for clubs or societies, if that is something you feel is essential.

How can I pay for an international business degree?

UK students can apply for tuition fee loans from the UK government, which are paid back when the student is earning over a certain threshold. If you are unable to finance your living costs, you can apply for a maintenance loan, with bigger loans available for students with certain circumstances. Find out more on the Student Finance

Where can I get more advice about studying for an international business degree?

You can get advice about whether an international business degree is right for you in a number of places.

  • If you’re still in full- time education, then you can contact the careers advisors in your school or college
  • You can contact your local careers service
  • Talk to current students and alumni on social media – LinkedIn and
  • Facebook groups are a great starting point
  • Attend open days for universities that you are considering studying with. There are both on-campus and virtual options
  • Careers events and business fairs will have representatives from universities, as well as employers who offer graduate schemes
  • Contact the university that you are hoping to attend and speak with advisors and the course team

How do I apply for a degree in international business?

In most cases, you’ll apply through UCAS, but some universities require applications to be made directly through their website. You’ll need proof of your qualifications (or your predicted grades) and a strong personal statement, discussing why you want to study at the university, as well as your intended career aims. If you’re applying from overseas, you’ll also need your proof of English language competency, and in your personal statement you should discuss why you want to study in the UK. 

It is a good idea to apply well ahead of the deadline to give yourself the best possible chance of being accepted, and to make arrangements for travel, visas and arranging accommodation. 

Final thoughts

If you’re planning a career in the world of business, you’ll need a solid business education behind you. Studying a degree in international business will give you exactly that, but with a more rounded, global outlook that means you can apply for jobs in absolutely any country in the world. By graduating in international business from a UK university, you’ll have all that, as well as the prestige of having studied in the UK – and employers will know that you are prepared for the challenges that they have for you. 

Find out more about the BA (Hons) International Business with a range of start dates here.

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