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International Business and Intercultural Communication

MA / PGDip / PGCert

Department of English and Modern Languages

The MA International Business and Intercultural Communication is designed to enhance the academic and professional competence of graduates who aspire to work for a multinational company, business support organisation or international institution.

This course provides an intensive introduction to business studies together with the development of intercultural communication skills. It combines campus-based study with a work placement in the UK or abroad.


Available start dates

September 2019 / September 2020

Teaching location

Headington Campus

Course length

  • Full time: MA: 12 months, PGDip: 9 months
  • Part time: Option to be discussed

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

  • You will develop your career: your work placement and own research, alongsides the supporting academic programme, will significantly enhance your future career prospects.
  • An integrated work/research experience: the course includes  a work placement in the UK or abroad and an opportunity to do a substantial piece of research.
  • You will acquire vital transferable skills: in particular you will improve your research skills, report-writing, presentations, team work capabilities, and effective time management.
  • Be a student in Oxford: the city offers a stimulating intellectual and international community.
  • "This course bridges the gap between language skills and the business knowledge that employers are looking for. The information and support from tutors is invaluable from a business and academic perspective, and also in terms of job applications. During the internship element of the course, I gained valuable experience. This has enabled me to start working for a leading European communications agency following an internship with the European Commission: something I had never considered two years ago." Peter Hughes, course graduate now working as a Social Media Consultant.

You will spend the first semester studying on campus in Oxford. For the second semester you will complete a work placement in a multinational company or business and, via distance learning, complete a business research project or dissertation.

Semester 1 (on campus)

Intercultural Communication (compulsory)

  • An exploration of the diversity and complexity of culture, and how they affect communication (verbal and non-verbal) between cultures
  • An appreciation of the relationship between national and corporate culture
  • An exploration of ways of analysing cultural differences from various perspectives
  • A familiarisation with theories of intercultural communications.
Principles of International Business (compulsory)
  • An introduction to the principles and concepts of business and management, including the inter-relatedness of the functional areas of organisations, and strategic decision making in national and international contexts.
International Management (compulsory)
  • An introduction to the theory and concepts of international management
  • An introduction to the conceptual approaches employed by organisations in the decision making processes associated with undertaking business in international competitive environments.

EU Institutions and Policies (optional)

  • A study of the structure of the European Union - its objectives, policies and constraints
  • An exploration of  the economic environment in Europe and its impact on member states.

Globalisation in the 21st Century (optional)

  • The aim of this module is to explore the various forces currently driving globalization, including global, international, regional and national actors and ideologies. It encourages students to conduct independent research relating to one of the topics covered and analyse it adopting the form of an academic research essay. To maximise the opportunity for learning, students have to present the outcomes of their research.

Semester 2 (by distance learning while completing your work placement and/or research)

The Content of Business Research (compulsory)
  • A study of quantitative and qualitative research methodologies with the opportunity to practise a range of techniques, enabling students to become critical users of research findings as well as competent researchers
  • An exploration of the research methods required for extended self-managed projects of a cross-national nature.
Work placement and business research project (optional)
  • A 12-week period of work-shadowing experience in a company where the target language is the key to communication
  • Students currently in employment may apply to have this employment recognised as equivalent to the work placement
  • A study (10-12,000 words) related to the work placement.
A dissertation (optional)
  • An extended study (12 -15,000 words) of a topic related to business studies, European issues or cultural understanding.

The PGCert is awarded on successful completion of three modules (either Intercultural Communication or EU Institutions and Policies, plus Principles of International Business and International Management).
The PGDip is awarded on successful completion of five units (Intercultural Communication, Principles of International Business, The Content of Business Research, International Management and EU Institutions and Policies OR World Development Research Topics).
The MA is awarded on successful completion of five compulsory modules (as above) plus either a work placement and business research project, or a dissertation.

Please note: as courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the module lists you choose from may vary from the ones shown here.

Teaching and learning

The whole course is taught in English using case material from the English-speaking world, primarily the UK. Should you wish, you can also register for one undergraduate foreign language module credit offered at Brookes as part of your tuition fees. 

Learning methods include lectures, directed reading, workshops, seminars, and practical and project work.

Teaching is organised on a module-credit basis, each module involves approximately 200 hours of student effort, normally delivered over a 12-week period.

Approach to assessment

Each module is assessed separately, generally on the quality of a combination of written or oral presentation work. Assessment methods may include essays, seminar papers, formal written examinations, case study reports, and individual or group presentations.

Work placement

Support is available to students throughout the work placement module, if they choose to take it. 

From the moment that the students offer has been confirmed, the course leader provides support to any application for work-experience, sponsorship or graduate schemes.The Faculty's Partnership and Placement Office also provides support throughout the placement application process with contracts and funding such as Erasmus and Santander. 

While on placement, the students will continue to be in contact with the module leader of the online module to be completed during that period, and with the supervisor for their MA projects. 

The Oxford Brookes Careers office is also available to help with job searching, offer one-to-one consultations about career related issues, to help students prepare for interviews, and invites students to meet with employers as well as to develop employability skills.

You will be responsible for your own travel, accommodation, and other related costs whilst on work placement. 

Programme changes

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 page.

Tuition fees

Home/EU - full time fee: 2019/20: £7,130 (Masters) £6,420 (Diploma) £3,565 (Certificate) 2020/21: £7,500 (Masters) £6,500 (Diploma) £3,750 (Certificate)

Home/EU - part time fee: 2019/20: £3,640 2020/21: £3,750

International - full time: 2019/20: £13,730 2020/21: £14,200

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 good first degree
  • Applicants for the MA may be asked to include a recent piece of academic work (approx. 1000 words in English).
  • A final decision about a candidate's suitability is normally based on interview, or by alternative arrangement.

Applicants are welcomed from a variety of academic disciplines, as well as those in work and seeking continuing professional development. Admission is normally open to those with a good undergraduate honours degree (or equivalent) or other professional qualification relevant to one of the key areas of study, or an appropriate linguistic background. 

Applications will also be considered from those who seek to formalise their prior experiential learning or qualifications and who have appropriate language competence.

Applications should be received no later than 1 August, though it is advisable to apply much earlier than this, in particular if you are intending to apply for a scholarship award, or are an international student.

English language requirements

  • Students with a first language other than English are required to give evidence of a good degree as well as minimum IELTS score 6.5, with 6.0 in reading and writing and 5.5 in listening and speaking, or equivalent.

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

International students who are offered a place on the MA course will be asked to provide a deposit of £1,000 to secure their place. Full terms and conditions will be provided to applicants with their offer letter.

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.

  • Take our Pre-Master's course to help you to meet both the English language and academic entry requirements for your master's course.
  • 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

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

How this course helps you develop

The MA course regularly receives excellent feedback from external examiners, employers, students and professional bodies. 

We have built a reputation for excellence in learning, teaching and research, with graduates realising significant career progression and achieving high status in the industry of their choice.


The course opens up a wide range of opportunities for careers in the media, publishing, public relations, marketing, intergovernmental organisations and non-governmental organisations. It is also a good base for further postgraduate study.

To find out about the experiences of our students on work placements, browse our MA in International Business and Intercultural Communication student profiles.

How Brookes supports postgraduate students

Our student support coordinators can give advice on the course, finance, accommodation or personal issues which may be affecting your study and will also regularly update you with information on visiting speakers, careers advice and course announcements. They  can also help with seeking sources of funding such as:

  • Erasmus funding if undertaking a European work-placement
  • grants such as the Santander mobility grant.

They can also help you to access other support services in the University, such as ‘Upgrade’, which offers confidential advice on study skills, and English language support through Oxford Brookes International.

We want to ensure that you get the best out of your studies,and students also benefit from academic advisers and specialist subject librarians and other learning support staff.

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.

Research highlights

Dr Irene Hill's current research interests are in Politics and the Business Environment in France and in a European context.

Nigel Bryant specialises in the application of psychology to human resource management.

Mark Hull is a strategic consultant with industrial line management experience (ex-CEO of a manufacturing company), public policy advice, macro-economic advice, and 13 years experience with PricewaterhouseCoopers of global network utilities (water, wastewater, electricity, gas and rail). His specialities are business strategy in practice, corporate strategy, water economics, network grid economics, long run economic growth rates, effect of general purpose technologies on frontier economic growth rates.

Juany Murphy is a leader in the field of international development and volunteering, She is the co-director and founding member of Otra Cosa Network (INGO set up in 2009).

Richard Searle-Barnes' current research interests are in sustainable business and international economics in both commercial and Not for Profit organisations.

Research areas and clusters

  • European Integration
  • European Politics
  • Globalisation
  • Consultancy projects
  • Ethics and Fair Trade
  • Business Strategy.