• International Management and International Relations MSc.jpg

International Management and International Relations


Business School

On this unique master's degree you will develop your international management skills. You will do this alongside the study of international relations and the current economic, political and social situation. This will increase your understanding of the global environment in which the business, government and non-governmental organisation (NGO) sectors function.

This course is ideal if you are looking to work within a policy development role, to become a manager in the business, government or NGO sectors or are seeking to study further.

Come to a Postgraduate Open Day

Available start dates

September 2017 / September 2018

Teaching location

Headington Campus, Gipsy Lane / Wheatley Campus

Course length

  • Full time: 12 months
  • Part time: 2 years

UCAS Postgraduate code


For full application details, please see the 'How to apply / Entry requirements' section.

  • Employability: You will develop an understanding of decision making and business communications in different cultural environments around the world, providing a base from which to develop an internationally-focused career.You will also gain practical experience by working on a live international consultancy project for a commercial or not-for-profit organisation. You will have the opportunity to go on field trips to study organisations in other countries. The International Relations Department provides specialised training in the key theories and concepts of advanced International Relations, including the application of these to real world cases and issues. Their teaching covers the central foundations of the contemporary study of International Relations which has now grown beyond the traditional concern with inter-state relations.
  • Teaching and Learning: Oxford Brookes University Business School offers a great environment for studying International Management and International Relations. We have a track record of excellence in teaching, learning and research and you will be supported in your studies and beyond. Oxford Brookes University Business School received the top award from the Higher Education Funding Council for England to become a Centre of Excellence in Teaching and Learning
  • Experiences: On this course you can choose to participate in an international trip to Budapest, Hungary. Here you will meet successful industry professionals, visit companies, earn credits towards your degree and also take in some sightseeing.
  • Student support: As a student you will be assigned to an Academic Adviser who will provide both academic and personal support. Student Support Co-ordinators provide guidance for your course and university-wide administrative issues. They organise a range of events to help you adjust to postgraduate study and are able to help you get advice about any issues you may have during your studies.
  • Oxford Location: Oxford offers everything you could want as a student and more. As one of the world's great centres of learning, it is a bustling and stunning cosmopolitan city full of history and beautiful buildings. Located just over an hour from the hub of business life in London with easy access to international airports, you'll be at the heart of the UK's most successful economic region. Oxford will provide you with a host of learning and employment opportunities with a range of internships and graduate jobs available.
For more information about postgraduate study at the Business School, come to one of our Business School Open Days, or visit our web pages.

Compulsory modules

On the MSc International Management and International Relations course you will study the compulsory modules listed below, and then complete a consultancy project and a dissertation. 

Please see the course structure chart.

Research Methods: This module will prepare you to undertake effective research drawing upon a range of secondary and primary data sources in preparation for your coursework. You will be introduced to a range of tools required for research including methodological issues, data collection techniques and study skills. This module prepares you for completing high quality, systematic business and management research.

International Organisations: This examines a range of international organisations and their different purposes. Your studies will focus on multi-national companies, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), non-governmental organisations (NGOs), the European Union and other similar organisations such as the UN. These institutions influence and relate to the operations of global businesses. You will look at the political, economic and social environments in which international organisations function and the challenges they face. Leading business executives and subject experts are invited in to speak to you.

Leading and Managing: International Perspective: This will develop your international management and leadership skills, introducing you to key management issues which are illustrated by case studies. It will improve your cross-cultural awareness and enhance your effectiveness when working with an international organisation.

Global Political Economy (GPE) examines the emerging GPE from the vantage point of competing and evolving theoretical perspectives, resulting from theoretical debates and the progressive encounter with empirical developments. Different theories reveal different aspects and dimensions of the GPE, and will be used to present key historical developments and contemporary issues in the global political economic order.

Business Strategy: In this module you will be introduced to key ideas in business strategy and will develop an understanding and ability to evaluate key strategic decisions. You will consider the wider economic environment and explore why strategy is important. This will help you to understand how organisations make strategic decisions through the processes of analysis, choice, responsible and ethical management and leadership. You will examine how these decisions impact on the wider environment of the organisation and how strategy is implemented.

Production, Finance and Global Governance: In this module you will consider the implications of the structure of the world economy for life in developed capitalist and developing societies. You will become aware of the main issues and the implications of conflict and cooperation.

Corporate Social Responsibility: You will develop your understanding of approaches to solving problems when governing in the corporate sector. Your studies will consider current issues and consider the social implications of governance. You will also focus on the impact of globalisation on international management practices. You will be equipped with the knowledge to enhance management decisions involving ethical choices. Finally, you will consider your assumptions about the role of managers and organisations in a complex and challenging context through the exploration of contemporary issues in CSR.

Consultancy Project: You will gain practical international project experience by working in a cross-cultural team on a real problem for a client organisation. A series of workshops are held on consultancy and project management. You will develop problem solving and communication skills, and the ability to work in cross-cultural teams. Your team will work virtually and face-to-face with help from tutors.

Or, as an alternative to the Consultancy Project:

International Management in Practice: Study Trip: You can go to Budapest to experience a hands-on week, learning about the processes within international management. Students meet with leaders of global firms and international organisations, receive presentations from global academic experts, and tour facilities. Students who travel on the trip will be responsible for paying for all their travel and accommodation (at a discounted rate) and some meals.

Dissertation: The dissertation is an opportunity for you to carry out an in-depth investigation into a topic of Business Management which is of particular interest to you. It should have an appropriately clear focus and be an investigation based on primary and/or secondary data, allowing you to specialise in the area that you find the most interesting.

Optional modules

You choose one optional module, enabling you to pursue your own study interests. Presentations are made in Semester 1 so that you are well informed before nominating your preferred choice.

Dilemmas in International Ethics: You will study the main traditions and theories of international ethics, examining and thinking through important ethical dilemmas in world politics including, humanitarian intervention, global economic inequality, global environmental justice, nuclear proliferation and disarmament. You will look at the global responsibilities state and non-state stakeholders have and you will explore how ideas and values in world politics impact on our day-to-day lives.

Global Theory from Kant to Hardt and Negri: You will examine the ideas that inform the theories of Kant, Hegel and Negri. You will relate these global theories to contemporary ideas of globalisation. Applying the past to the present, you will review the distinctness of contemporary theory.

Gender in a Global Context: You will focus on how processes of global social change affect gender relations locally, nationally and internationally. You will examine the various ways social scientists have made sense of gender and gender inequalities, including current theory and research on men and masculinities. The changing relationships between states, markets and households will be a key theme of this module.

Global Governance, Civil Society and Social Movements: This module investigates global governing organisations and the dynamics of civil society. This includes the interaction between institutions and non-state organisations. You will study the current formation of global governance and the competing theories and approaches to analysing this issue. You will examine the accountability and legitimacy of the institutions and processes of global governance, and evaluate the potential for improvement. Finally, you will critically evaluate the role of civil society as an influence for democracy in global governance.

Global Politics and the Environment: In this module you will investigate the way in which the tensions brought about by the global environmental crisis have been addressed globally. You will look at institutional, conceptual, ideological, socio-cultural and political economic factors.

International Development: You will learn about both the theory and practice of the international politics of development. Since the end of the Cold War one of the key dynamics in world politics, namely the gap between rich and poor, has come into sharper focus. You will look at key theoretical debates and their relation to practice. Various issues in development which illustrate the debates will be considered. These include the developing world debt crisis, fair trade, development assistance, sustainable development and the resource curse thesis.

International Energy Politics: You will examine the complex relationship between energy and international politics. This includes the relationship between energy and regime type, conflict, foreign policy and security. You will focus on the international politics of oil and gas and associated themes.

International Security in the Global Era: You will examine security issues by investigating news media coverage of the 'international security environment'. You will explore changes in war, military culture and security as a practice and academic subject. You will be introduced to the major debates in the field in order to develop the ability to evaluate current events.

Violence and Post-War Reconstruction (PWR): You will investigate the rate of violence during post-war reconstruction, considering why violence continues despite ceasefires, how it affects peace processes and reconstruction, and the implications for its management. Initially, you will consider ideas of violence, peace and reconstruction. You will examine practices of security sector reform (SSR) and disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) as examples of how the need to manage violence is central to PWR. Examples will be taken from contemporary reconstruction processes, such as South Africa. You will analyse the causes, contexts and impact of violence during post-war reconstruction and consider recommendations for its management.

As we review our courses regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you choose from may vary from the list shown above.

Teaching and learning

Much of the teaching on the course takes the form of interactive workshops, but there are also lectures from staff and visiting speakers. Lectures, discussions, role-play exercises and seminars are linked with selected case studies and assessments to strengthen your practical analysis and decision-making skills. You will have the opportunity to develop your skills in working as part of a team through structured group assignments.

Teaching staff at the Business School are researchers and/or come from an industry background with an in-depth practical experience of business and management issues. Visiting speakers from business, industry, consultancies and research bodies provide further input.  Research is fundamental to the International Relations Department and you will be taught by a team of research-active scholars who are all specialists and publish in their areas of expertise.

Approach to assessment

Each module is assessed using a range of different methods including examinations, assignments, individual or group reports and group presentations. This range of assessments will help you to develop the analytical and presentational that employers within different organisations look for.

Specialist facilities

At Headington we have developed outstanding facilities. Our John Henry Brookes Building is the most significant project in the history of Oxford Brookes University. Set at the heart of our Headington campus, it has been designed for the future of higher education and has transformed the experiences of our students and the entire University community. Find out more about the John Henry Brookes Building.

A new fresh space on the Headington Campus is being created specifically for the Business School and our business students.The Clerici building is being refurbished to accommodate new teaching rooms, a lecture theatre, new social learning spaces, offices and a clear glazed new entrance.

At the current Wheatley campus our Business School Postgraduate Centre offers a state-of-the-art lecture theatre, well equipped seminar rooms and a postgraduate lounge and private study area.

The Wheatley Campus library provides specialist business resources including UK and overseas companies' annual reports, statistics on all aspects of business and management, postgraduate MA, MBA, MSc and PhD theses in marketing and marketing examination papers.

Field trips

International Business in Practice: Study Trip:

The second travel option on this course is to Boston, USA. Although this module provides you with no credit towards your degree, you will see directly how global leaders operate in an international environment, and you’ll get to see the beautiful city of Boston.

Field trips are optional and may incur a cost.

Tuition fees

Home/EU - full time fee: 2017/18: £8,160

Home/EU - part time fee: 2017/18: £5,000

International - full time: 2017/18: £14,300

Where part time fees are quoted the same fee will apply in year 2 of study.

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed in the 'This course in detail' window above.

Questions about fees?
Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088

Funding and scholarships

Entry requirements

A minimum of a second class honours degree (2:2) in any academic discipline, or equivalent overseas degree from a recognised institution or equivalent professional or other qualification.

Applicants who possess a diploma rather than a good degree may be eligible for entry provided they have compensatory work experience and can demonstrate career development.

The MSc in International Management and International Relations attracts students from a wide range of backgrounds and nationalities. Applications are welcome from those in work and seeking continuing professional development.

Entry will also be subject to two satisfactory references (one of these must be an academic reference).

Please also see the university's general entry requirements.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you will need to satisfy the university's English language requirements:

  • IELTS minimum 6.0 (with a minimum of 6.0 in reading and writing and 5.5 in listening and speaking).
  • If you have completed your undergraduate degree in the UK (at least one full year of study) you will automatically meet our English language requirements.

Please also see the university's standard English language requirements

English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the university's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

International applications

Preparation courses for International and EU students

We offer a range of courses to help you to meet the entry requirements for this course and also familiarise you with university life. You may also be able to apply for one student visa to cover both courses.

  • If you need to take a pre-master's course to help you to meet both the English language and academic entry requirements for your master's course, you can take our two year master’s course. This course combine the pre-master's diploma and your master's in one application. You can apply for one visa for the two years of study.
  • If you need to improve your English language, we have pre-sessional English language courses available to help you to meet the English language requirements of your chosen master’s.

If you are studying outside the UK, for more details about your specific country entry requirements, translated information, local contacts and programmes within your country, please have a look at our country pages.

How to apply

You apply for this course through UCAS Postgraduate.

Through UCAS Postgraduate, you should use the UKPASS portal to make your application, which will then be forwarded directly to our Admissions Office. You should send supporting documentation to us directly using the email addresses on the UKPASS application form.

Please contact Business School enquiries if you need help with your application or require any further information.

Conditions of acceptance

When you accept our offer, you agree to the conditions of acceptance. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

How this course helps you develop

  • You will develop core international management skills as well as gaining an in-depth understanding of the complex international relations environment and contemporary issues facing organisations and society.
  • You will be studying in Oxford which is a centre of intellectual debate, seminars and public lectures and access to the world-renowned Bodleian library.
  • You will have the opportunity to study from a range of elective choices with academics who are actively researching at the forefront of these subjects.
  • Your understanding and skills in cross-cultural management will be greatly enhanced as well as your management skills of leadership and business management.


Reflecting the uniqueness of the course, you will be well positioned to follow a career in international relations, policy development or a management career within international commercial, third sector, NGO organisations. The course helps you to develop expertise to launch into specialist careers in teaching, law and the media.

Free language courses for students - the Open Module

Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:

  • studying at a Brookes partner college
  • studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.

How Brookes supports postgraduate students

We take great pride in the personal, academic and career development support provided to our postgraduate students. Our student support co-ordinators ensure that whatever problem you may have it is addressed rapidly.

Our dedicated careers centre provides advice and workshops to help develop the key skills needed to develop your career and get the right job. The programme lead and all academic staff provide open office hours so that you can walk in without an appointment to discuss academic or personal concerns. A dedicated team of postgraduate programme administrators ensures efficient and effective support of students, delivered in a friendly and approachable manner.

Supporting your learning

From academic advisers and support co-ordinators to specialist subject librarians and other learning support staff, we want to ensure that you get the best out of your studies.

Personal support services

We want your time at Brookes to be as enjoyable and successful as possible. That's why we provide all the facilities you need to be relaxed, happy and healthy throughout your studies.

Research highlights

The Business School's growing international reputation for research has been confirmed with the publication of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 results.

The REF results show that 96% of this research is "internationally recognised", with 58% judged to be of "world leading" quality or "internationally excellent".

Research within the department of Business and Management brings together corporate strategy, competitive strategy, growth strategies, global business, international trade and foreign direct investment with subjects that focus on leadership, culture, motivation, practices, strategic human resource management and the management of the globalisation process.

Research areas and clusters

While you are studying at the Business School, you will be taught by research active academics who are experts in their field. Coming from very varied backgrounds, they bring a wealth of experience into their teaching, which will offer you new perspectives on business theories and help form your own research decisions.

Many tutors have industry experience or have carried out research in industry, which will help you to apply the theory that you have learnt to real life situations.

Research in this department is grouped around two clusters: Critical Management Studies, and Work and Organisations.