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International Trade and Logistics


Oxford Brookes Business School

Accredited by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (UK)

In 2014 about a third of all the goods and services produced were traded internationally (WTO International Trade Statistics 2015). International trade is a powerful driver for growth and rising living standards, especially in the developing world, whilst representing a significant part of GDP in most developed countries.

On this programme you will learn how international trade and logistics affect our lives and world prosperity.

International trade is the exchange of capital, goods and services across international borders. Countries specialise in exporting those products and services which they can produce most efficiently and import those where they are less efficient.

Logistics is about managing the activities along a supply chain, from procuring materials to delivering finished goods that satisfy customer orders. Effective logistics and supply chain management are therefore the key enablers of international trade.

The MSc International Trade & Logistics (accredited by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport) links these two elements of business and provides an introduction to the management and operational knowledge necessary to trade successfully in international markets. The programme is designed for wide range of participants looking to take on senior roles in organisations which trade internationally.

Please come to our Postgraduate Open Day or Master's Online Information Session

Available start dates

September 2019 / September 2020

Teaching location

Headington Campus

Course length

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

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

  • Employability: You will develop the skills, knowledge and ability to work in an international environment. You learn current theory in business and management and we provide opportunities for you to develop skills valued by employers to enhance your employability. You will gain practical experience by working on a live international consultancy project for a commercial or not-for-profit organisation and have the opportunity to make field trips to study organisations in other countries. We emphasise developing your CV and interview skills through the support of our Careers Centre.
  • Ranking: We're ranked in the top 25% for business, management and marketing subjects in the Guardian University League Table 2019, giving recognition to quality of our teaching and learning experience.
  • Professional accreditation: The MSc International Trade and Logistics programme is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (UK). This accreditation is recognition from the independent professional body for individuals associated with logistics, supply chains and transport, of the sound theoretical and practical education we provide for our students on this programme. Our students become members of CILT which brings a number of opportunities, for example, using CILT’s online resources, taking part in professional activities organised by CILT and attending networking events.
  • Teaching and Learning: We have a track record of excellence in teaching, learning and research and you will be supported in your studies and beyond. The teaching team have a wealth of business and management experience and combine theory and industry knowledge into your learning, Industry cases are used throughout the programme both in-session and at assessment, especially as part of the dissertation. Guest speakers from public and private sector organisations present their perspectives on issues at module seminars or at exclusive events.
  • Student support: You will be assigned to an Academic Advisor 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, Oxford is a bustling city. 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 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.

Suggested reading:

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.

Suggested reading:

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.

Suggested reading:

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.

Suggested reading:

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.

Suggested reading:

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.

Suggested reading:

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.

Suggested reading:

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.

Suggested reading:

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.

Suggested reading:

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.

Suggested reading:

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.

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.

Approach to assessment

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.

Specialist facilities

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.

Field trips

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.

Attendance pattern

The course is delivered over two 12-week semesters.  During your third semester you will be working on your Capstone Module.

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: £8,490

Home/EU - part time fee: 2018/19: £5,100

International - full time: 2019/20: £14,880

Where part time fees are quoted this is for the first year only. Fees will increase by up to 4% each year.

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.

This course 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).

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

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

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

You will develop advanced level knowledge of organisations, their management and the environment in which they operate through:

  • Learning about contemporary international trace, logistics, supply chain management as well as business/management issues at both micro and macro levels;
  • undertaking an integrated, multi-disciplinary approach to business problem solving;
  • The majority of faculty members having relevant business experience and undertaking consultancy work in commercial and non-commercial organisations. Visiting guest speakers contribute to both modules and extra-curricular activities;
  • Various company visits are organised. In the past these visits have included the. ASDA distribution centre in Didcot and MINI Plant Oxford;
  • This programme is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT). This is significant in providing you with the support of a career partner for your professional life. You automatically become a member of the institute when you enrol on the course.

The CILT (UK) supports the development of its members' careers through:

  • Networking – offering events, connections and industry insights;
  • Access to knowledge – exclusive industry intelligence;
  • Career support – personal advice and information;
  • Professional Development – workshops, training courses and qualifications.

You will gain lifelong learning and personal development by:

  • Developing as an independent learner with the ability to diagnose, plan and implement personal learning objectives;
  • Exploring the world you inhabit, not just from the specific discipline of business. Increasingly other disciplines influence and impact upon business and management decision making;
  • Taking the Personal Development and Leadership module which helps you develop your skills of reflection;
  • Engaging with our alumni association, which provides a framework for you to stay in touch with your network well beyond the course.


This programme prepares you for a range of careers, including international trade management, supply chain management, international logistics and distribution operations, management consultancy and import/export manager.

Many Business School graduates realise significant career progression and go on to work in senior roles within the industry of their choice.

The majority of our graduates are in full time employment within 6 months of graduation from the programme, employed by companies such as Amazon, Santander Bank, Deloitte, PwC, major airlines, distribution centres, shipping companies or smaller foreign trade organisations.

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.

Research areas and clusters

Related to this subject there are two research clusters in the International Centre for Coaching and Mentoring Studies and the Centre for Diversity Policy Research and Practice.

Research clusters