On the MSc International Trade and Logistics course you will study the compulsory modules listed below and then complete a major independent project. We offer our students the opportunity to choose a project that best suits their career aspirations. As such, students can opt to take the Dissertation, or the Synoptic Research Project, or the Work Based Project module.
Please see the course structure chart.
Operations and Process Management: You will develop your understanding of an organisation's ability to deliver goods and services of the quality, quantity and cost that will satisfy customers' needs, whilst making efficient use of resources. The key principles introduced in this module can be applied to any business sector and function. You will explore the complex relationships between functional areas and the real world of business. Your studies will develop your understanding about how business operations can be most effectively managed. This includes issues of ethics, environmental sustainability, global business, complexity and uncertainty, and continuing professional development.
Slack N, Brandon-Jones A (2015), Operations and Process Management: Principles and practice for strategic impact, Pearson, 4th edition
Slack N, Brandon-Jones A, Johnston R (2016), Operations Management, Pearson, 8th edition
Business Strategy: Strategic management is the process by which managers formulate and implement strategies to generate high performance and to create sustained competitive advantage. In this module you will develop your understanding of how to deliver sustainable competitive advantage. You will learn about the fundamental ideas in Business Strategy, enabling you to critically evaluate the 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 and responsible and ethical management and leadership.
Johnson G., Whittington R., Angwin D., Regner P., Scholes K. (2017) Exploring Strategy. (11e) Pearson Education Limited, Harlow: Financial Times Prentice Hall.
Begg, D. & Ward, D. (2016) Economics for Business. (5e) McGraw-Hill
Finance and Accounting for Business: In this module you will develop your critical assessment of corporate financial information from the users' perspective. You will study both financial and management accounting covering three areas: Basics - Terminology, purposes, users, rules and regulations and business entities.
Financial accounting - key financial statements, published accounts and analysis and interpretation through ratios;
Management accounting - costing, budgeting & forecasting, budget management and pricing.
Gowthorpe, C. (2011) Business Accounting and Finance (3rd Edition), Cengage Learning, London.
Principles of International Business Economics: In this module you will learn about the key concepts and principles of economics. You will focus on topics that help you understand how businesses function internationally and how they interact with the external environment. You will examine the characteristics of international markets and the strategic pricing decisions that firms choose in different market structures.
Appleyard, D R & Field, A (2013), International Economics (8th ed.) McGraw-Hill
Krugman, P. & Obstfeld, M. (2014) International Economics (10th ed.) Addison-Wesley
International Trade and Globalisation: This module enables students to examine the nature of the impact of international trade in specific industries. The first half of the module is spent analysing the various roles of different stakeholders and actors. Students study a diversity ofwide range of international organisations including multi-national companies, SMEs, NGOs, Trade Unions, Workers Co-operatives and supra-national trading blocs such as the EU. Some have a strongly global commercial strategic and operational focus whilst others have a social humanitarian cause or political, social and economic global purpose. Many of these institutions interrelate with each other, influencing the conduct and the realities of global business operations. Within the module a recognitionwe will recognise of the geo-political, economic and social contexts in which these international organisations function will be considered as well as the operational challenges of operating within such organisations.
The second half of the module focuses upon key industrial sectors. Students have to examine the impact of globalisation in these industries and the growth of, and response to ethical trading policies. This will support their submitted assignment which will consist of a detailed report into one specific product or firm within these industries. This contributes to the development of ethical and responsible managers in line with the Business School’s commitment to PRIME.
Krugman, P. & Obstfeld, M. (2014) International Economics (10th ed.) Addison-Wesley
Hoekman, B. and Kosteck,i M. (2009) The Political Economy of the World Trading System:
The WTO and Beyond (3rd edition), Oxford, OUP
Project and Contract Management: In this module you will analyse the environments where projects take place, together with the influence of stakeholders. You will assess different approaches for managing projects and practice a range of techniques to plan, control and deliver projects successfully. You will learn about the commercial and contractual aspects relating to external suppliers and the application of project management concepts to supply chain based projects.
Meredith, J.R. and Mantel, S.J. (2012) Project Management ‘A Managerial Approach'. (8th Ed) Asia: Wiley.
Procurement and Supply Chain Management : Supply Chain Management (SCM) is ‘the management of upstream and downstream relationships with suppliers and customers to deliver superior value at less cost to the supply chain as a whole’ (Christopher, 2016). In a global business environment, how well organisations identify and manage supply networks and individual chains of supply, is a key enabler of successful international trade.
In this module you focus on the important commercial aspects of SCM, centred around how the procurement cycle operates in an international context. You explore the range of relationships between trading partners (i.e. purchasers and suppliers), as well as the techniques that are used to source products and services, select and appraise suppliers, and develop and manage supply contracts.
Lysons K & Farrington B (2016), Procurement and Supply Chain Management, 9th edition, Pearson
Mangan J & Lalwani C (2016), Global Logistics & Supply Chain Management, 3rd edition, Wiley
Physical Logistics and Distribution:
The topic of physical logistics is concerned with managing the activities along a supply chain, from procuring materials to delivering goods that satisfy customers. In today's global economy, both suppliers and customers can be spread all over the world. Customers are more demanding, wanting more for less and with greater added value. The new era of customer 'pull' has led to the concept of ‘total supply chain management'. This involves customised products and services, quick response deliveries, and state-of-the-art information systems.
In this module you will study the processes required to manage the flow of materials and products from suppliers to customers in order to achieve a competitive advantage. You will evaluate how effective logistics and procurement systems can become key business enablers. You will learn how the management of international supply chains should form a significant element of the strategy of any organisation operating on a global basis.
Chopra S & Meindl P (2015), Supply Chain Management – Strategy, Planning, & Operation, 6th edition, Pearson
Christopher M (2016), Logistics and Supply Chain Management, 5th edition, Pearson Financial Times Press
Developing Skills for Business Leadership: Successful leaders have different approaches to their work, sharing a range of diverse personality traits. They are central to a manager's effectiveness and are developed over time and with an awareness of the differing cultural contexts. A key purpose of this module is to encourage you to develop a strong sense of self-awareness of your own strengths and weaknesses as a manager and colleague. In addition, you will develop a range of definable skills which are pivotal to successful management practice. These include decision-making skills, team-working and interpersonal skills and others associated with developing personal effectiveness. You will develop your skills of reflection to explore the implications for professional practice. This module helps you develop the confidence to articulate your skills necessary for career development.
Watson, G., Reissner, S., (2014) Developing Skills for Business Leadership, (2nd ed.). CIPD.
Cottrell, S.M. (2003) Skills for Success: The Personal Development Planning Handbook, London: Palgrave Macmillan
Research Methods: This 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.
Saunders, M., Lewis, P. & Thornhill, A. (2015) Research Methods for Business Students (7th ed.). Harlow: Pearson.
Bryman, A. & Bell, E. (2015) Business Research Methods (4th ed.). Oxford University Press.
Capstone Module Choice
You will choose one of the following capstone modules that best suits your academic interests or professional development requirements.
Dissertation: This is an opportunity for you to carry out an in depth investigation into a topic of International Trade and Logistics 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, justified and supported by detailed reference to relevant theories and concepts from literature.
Fisher, C. (2010). Researching and writing a dissertation: a guidebook for business students. 3rd edition. Harlow: Prentice Hall.
Synoptic Research Project:In this module you are expected to integrate, apply and extend the knowledge and skills gained within the core modules of the field. It is conceptualised as a retrospective and integrative academic experience. This module will provide you with a structured opportunity to demonstrate and learn more about the complexity of business and management knowledge by emphasising your capability for synthesis, and applying and connecting the learning gained in core modules of the programme. The module includes the analysis of a substantial case study and an oral viva at the end of the programme.
Client Project: You have the opportunity to link theory to practice by analysing a real organisational issue. Having identified a project (with the approval of both the client company and the Module Leader) you investigate a particular issue, one that can be supported through the relevant literature and by conducting primary research with the client. This module is not an internship but can be taken in conjunction with an internship you have identified and are participating in. The ‘issue’ in question may be current management problem for the client organisation or related to future strategic choices. The Client Project provides you with a significant learning and personal development experience.
Saunders, M., Lewis, P. & Thornhill, A. (2016) Research Methods for Business Students (7th ed.). Harlow: Pearson.
As courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the list of modules you choose from may vary from that shown here.
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.
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.
Approach to assessment
methods may include reports, seminar papers, formal written examinations,
project work, visual and verbal presentations, workshops, simulations and
practical exercises. The majority of assessments are based on individual
assignments, but there is some assessed group work.
Oxford Brookes Business School has now moved to its new home at our Headington Campus. The university’s Headington Campus have undergone a £30m refurbishment to provide a new home for the Business School, which consists of a lecture theatre, teaching rooms, social learning space and a café. There is a new modern hall for teaching and special events like graduation.
This new home will help us to collaborate even more closely with university colleagues in other departments. It also provides a new Main Hall and a vibrant gateway into the Headington Campus. With these innovative spaces, students and staff can interact and collaborate in first-class facilities.
The Headington Campus is also home to the new John Henry Brookes Building, being 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. The John Henry Brookes Building brings together the library and essential support services that offer academic, careers and international student advice. Find out more about the John Henry Brookes Building.
The majority of our student halls are close to the Headington Campus.
We offer an optional International Business in Practice Study Trip module. The purpose of this study trip is to give postgraduate students a hands-on, intensive experience with the ideas and practices of global business. The programme will include presentations from local management executives and experts. Students will have direct interaction with management executives and practices through site visits to major corporations and agencies.
This study trip is voluntary and all costs associated with the trip will need to be funded by you. It is not linked to university assessments in any way. If you successfully complete this module you will have the following non-credit bearing module recorded on your transcript: P58335 International Business in Practice: Study Trip.
Whilst the destination and therefore precise costs vary from year to year, as an example, the programme fee of the study trip to Boston USA in July 2018 was £1380, which included 7 nights’ accommodation in the Boston area, insurance, the company visits, group transportation for all activities and some of the meals, but excluded for example International airfare, Visa application fee (if relevant), dinners and activities during your free time.
If you choose the study trip, you will be provided with additional details regarding the trip (which runs in July) by March, in order to inform decision making, ahead of the trip in July.
The course is delivered over two 12-week semesters. During your third semester you will be working on your Capstone Module.
On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published
on the website. For more information, please visit our
Changes to programmes