Business Management and International Relations

BA (Hons)

Clearing places are available on this course

UCAS code: N2L2

Start dates: September 2024 / September 2025

Full time: 3 years

Part time: up to 6 years

Location: Headington

Department(s): Oxford Brookes Business School, School of Law and Social Sciences

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Ever wondered what it takes to run a global business? Or wanted to be in a position where you can make a real change? Join us for this globally focused course where you’ll explore responsible leadership and the political context in which organisations are operating.

Business and international relations is a powerful combination. Blending these 2 disciplines means that you gain an understanding both of how business works and of the nature of the complex global society in which businesses exist.

You’ll develop insights into the role of international organisations, the workings of global trade processes and the implications of international political trends. Questions of social justice are central to this degree, giving you the opportunity to address some of the challenges facing society in general and business in particular.

Government, NGOs, multinational businesses… your skills will be sought after in a range of areas. With our focus on sustainability and ethical practice, you’ll also know what it takes to become a responsible leader and make real change.

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Why Oxford Brookes University?

  • Sustainability is part of who we are
    We signed up to the UN’s Principles for Responsible Management Education so you can be confident you will learn business the right way.
  • Experience businesses
    Across the course you will interact with different businesses and business leaders. You'll have the opportunity to go on work placement with the likes of BMW or IBM.
  • Present-day debate
    Oxford is at the centre of current political discourse, with activism on topics like colonialism and refugees.
  • Interdisciplinary perspectives
    This course draws on teaching and research expertise from both the Business School and the School of Law and Social Sciences.
  • Connected to industry
    We have links to over 1000 employers. Many take on our business students for placements year after year and offer other invaluable work experience opportunities.
  • Free language courses

    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.

Course details

Course structure

Each year of this course is designed to build on your knowledge. At the start of the course, you’ll look at business theory and frameworks while exploring key figures, structures and processes in world politics.

As you move throughout the course, we’ll help you understand how to apply your knowledge. This is key for your dissertation and whatever you decide to do next. You’ll also have the chance to explore your interests with optional modules in security and sustainable business.

Carrying out a dissertation is a good option if you want to get further insight into the dilemmas and issues that are experienced in the life of a business manager working in the global environment.

Unlike other universities, you don’t have to decide whether you want to do a placement before you apply. However, it’s a great opportunity to apply your skills and make connections.

Students studying in Clerici

Learning and teaching

We have a reputation for innovative development of course content and learning takes place through a variety of means and modes of delivery, including online, and in lectures, interactive seminars and workshops, debates, case studies, group-working, and problem-solving activities.


Students on this course will experience a rich variety of assessment forms designed both to evaluate and support student learning. We will usually assess you through coursework, but a few modules involve examinations. Individual coursework and small-group assignments include:

  • research projects
  • presentations
  • brief papers
  • project and business reports
  • critical essays
  • learning journals.

Study modules

Teaching for this course takes place Face to Face and you can expect around seven hours of contact time per week. In addition to this, you should also anticipate a workload of 1,200 hours per year. Teaching usually takes place Monday to Friday, between 9.00am and 6.00pm.

Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • Exploring International Business

    In this module, you’ll be actively engaged with the study of Business and Management, through exploring essential characteristics of organisations in a global context, while assessing the role of management within this. You’ll explore the functions of business and the impact of the external environment on business choices. You’ll also use a variety of media including simulation and published accounts of decisions being enacted by businesses and managers today. 

    This will equip you with the core concepts required to analyse and research business and management issues. You’ll also develop your academic and employability skills, such as critical thinking, evidenced based decision-making and collaboration.

  • Business in Society

    This module is designed to provide an introduction to the ideas of personal corporate responsibility, sustainability, diversity and criticality that will underpin your professional career. You’ll also practise argument construction and debate in order to use wider thinking. 

    Upon successful completion of this module, you’ll be able to critically analyse evidence, demonstrate critical awareness to the complexity of diverse global perspectives and construct an argument to an audience.

  • Work, Employment and Globalisation

    To give you an understanding of the complex and dynamic challenges of contemporary global labour markets, you’ll explore contemporary issues about work, employment and global labour markets throughout this module. And you’ll investigate the changing nature and organisation of work, inequalities at work, migration and labour mobility, identity at work, and the digital economy. These issues will be examined using a variety of institutional, organisational and individual theoretical perspectives. 

    From exploring post-industrial work and society within different institutional contexts, you’ll gain a key understanding of issues of diversity and inclusion at work, while gaining the intellectual skills required to critically research and review literature. 

  • Professional Practice 1

    In this module you will start to develop the personal and professional skills and mindsets to help you transition into your studies and life at Oxford Brookes. Through this module you will join and help build a student community and together you will review and understand the key topics required for you all to become critical thinkers and to thrive as independent learners.
  • From Empires to States: The Origins of International Relations

    In this module, you’ll dive into International Relations and its key theories. You’ll explore how International Relations emerges from specific cultural and historic concerns. You’ll gain core analytical skills, as you interpret historical events such as the First World War, decolonisation and the ‘War on Terror’, and use them to explore pressing debates in International Relations.

    You’ll learn how International Relations has been shaped as a Western discipline, and how to challenge this by learning about aspects of international relations that have been erased or forgotten, such as colonialism and imperialism. You’ll learn to see International Relations as a rich array of competing stories about our world and what’s possible within it. 

  • Global Challenges in International Relations

    In this module, you’ll explore the leading issues of current world politics. You’ll investigate the key figures, structures and processes in world politics - like states, political economies and multinational societies.

     You’ll also analyse concepts such as:

    • anarchy
    • order
    • sovereignty
    • conflict and cooperation among states, and non-state figures.

    You’ll also investigate the chronic issues of world politics, including:

    • gender
    • migration
    • human rights
    • humanitarian intervention
    • energy resources and the environment
    • development, inequality and poverty.

     We’ll explore how different nations manage these issues and what this tells us about international governance.


  • Critical Skills: Politics and International Relations

    In this module, you’ll explore the art and science of Politics and International Relations. You’ll develop the critical research and study skills you need to succeed in your degree, as you explore how these two disciplines work. You’ll get to grips the scope of International Relations and Politics, and consider:

    • the issues they explore
    • the questions they seek to answer
    • their academic, educational and social value.
  • The Entrepreneur

    This module develops your entrepreneurial mindset and skills essential for success in the modern business world. You'll explore a full range of tools and techniques for innovation, creativity, and enterprise and learn to evaluate different components for success in diverse business landscapes. A multi-faceted approach to learning, combining classroom-based lectures with practical workshops, gives you the opportunity to apply behaviours, skills, and attributes associated with entrepreneurial success in a productive learning environment. This module also focuses on academic literacies, including critical thinking, analysis, and evaluation of contested knowledge.

    On successful completion of this module, you will have a strong foundation in the skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary to succeed in various business contexts

Year 2

Compulsory modules

  • Leading with Purpose: Lessons from the Nonprofit Sector

    The module covers various non-profit organisations such as charities and social enterprises, and emphasises the unique aspects of the third sector, which relies heavily on a volunteer workforce. By taking this module, you will gain valuable insights into the day-to-day operations of non-profits and learn how to address strategic issues that these organisations face. Additionally, the module will help you develop both conceptual and practical skills that are essential for non-profit placements, independent study modules, or dissertations.

    Overall, you will have a broad understanding of the third sector, its similarities and differences from the private and public sectors, and the opportunities and challenges that come with working in the non-profit sector. By acquiring this knowledge, you can pursue a career in non-profit organisations or become an informed citizen who can contribute to the sector in various ways.

  • Organisational Behaviour and Management

    This module focuses on contemporary debates in the field of organisational studies, enhancing your ability to understand and apply organisational behaviour concepts to real-world problems. The module covers core topics, and you will distinguish between individual, group and organisational levels to analyse complex organisational issues. You will also develop an awareness of diverse perspectives, cultures, and values. Additionally, the module facilitates learning in adaptive and collaborative environments, helping you develop independent and self-motivated learning strategies.
    After completing the module, you will be well-equipped with the skills and knowledge required to analyse evidence critically and stay up-to-date with the latest trends and developments in the field of organisational behaviour and management.

  • The Global Political Economy

    In this module, you’ll get to know the global economy. You’ll investigate how economics and politics shape world affairs in both trivial and profound ways. 

    In part 1, you’ll gain a strong knowledge of the history of the world economy. You’ll develop key analytical skills, as you explore competing explanations of how it functions. You’ll gain the tools you need to understand recent economic changes.

    In part 2, you’ll dig into key debates on how the global economy functions today, including: 

    • finance
    • global production
    • trade and international development
    • the relationship between the global economy and the environment. 
  • Researching Politics and Industrial Relations

    In this module, you’ll develop the practical research skills you need to design and carry out your first piece of social sciences research. You’ll start with the ‘big questions’ of ‘What exists?’ and ‘How can we know about what exists?’ From here, you’ll move on to consider the different research methods and their implications. You’ll take part in hands-on workshops and practical sessions, preparing you to conduct your research for your final-year dissertation.

  • Operations and Supply Chain Management

    Supply chain management is concerned with managing and controlling the activities along a chain of supply. From procuring materials to delivering finished goods that satisfy customer orders. 

    This module will help you study, in a global context, the processes necessary to strategically manage the flow of materials and products in order to achieve a competitive advantage. You’ll examine how effective logistics and purchasing systems can become key business enablers. Also you’ll look at how the management of international supply chains must form a significant element of the strategy of any organisation operating on a global basis. By the end of the module you’ll gain a deep understanding of the various threads in a supply chain and that an improved supply chain can be of a significant benefit for a whole business.

  • Placement Search and Preparation (only compulsory for sandwich mode)

    This module is designed to provide practical guidance and support in undertaking a placement search, preparing for the placement experience, and succeeding in the modern workplace. Throughout the module, you will develop critical self-awareness and personal literacy skills, enabling you to self-reflect on your own strengths and weaknesses and target your placement search effectively. Additionally, you will also explore methods of effective and targeted placement search, increasing your chances of securing a placement.
    In summary, this module is an essential component of your employability journey. By integrating with co-curricular activities, the module provides a holistic approach to employability, ensuring that you'll have a broad range of skills and experiences to draw upon in your future careers.

Optional modules

Environmentally Sustainable Business

The module discusses key environmental issues such as global warming, pollution, biodiversity loss and freshwater depletion and the role of business in causing as well as responding to such issues. The module includes macro (economic, policy, governance) as well as micro (organisational and individual) perspectives. You will be introduced to a variety of stakeholder perspectives and frameworks for evaluating business responses.

On successful completion of this module, you will be able to recognise and evaluate the extent of business impacts on the natural environment, explain the economic drivers behind the unsustainable business and consumer behaviour and use and interpret complex information using digital media.

International Markets and Competition

In this module, you’ll consider the different exchange rate regimes, both in theory and in practice. You’ll also explore theory of international trade, the costs and benefits of protectionism, national and international measures to encourage competition. You’ll also be able to understand how to prevent anti-competitive behaviour and their rationale, and study the international organisations that control and regulate free trade.

You’ll be able to analyse international data from a variety of sources, and explain international trade patterns including trading blocks and the role of MNCs and FDI. 

Business Analytics and Decision Making

This module concentrates on developing an understanding of the wider strategic and tactical aspects of analysing corporate performance. In teams, you’ll use a range of IT systems to develop a business intelligence system. And you’ll also explore the nature of decision making in business, from strategic to transaction based decision making, and the role of IT in supporting it. 

Upon completion of this module, you’ll develop the necessary skills to analyse both quantitative and qualitative data, while being adept for management decision making.You’ll also have the ability to evaluate appropriate frameworks used for developing business intelligence solutions.

Contemporary Security Studies

What is security? How can we achieve it? And who should provide it? In this module, you’ll dive into key debates on security, and its definitions. You’ll join policy makers, academics and civil servants as you discuss fundamental issues of security. You’ll explore the different ways we look at security, and the things it protects, for example:

  • The nation-state
  • The environment
  • The economy
  • A ‘way of life’

You’ll also look at the implications of security on peace and current global conflicts, as well as everyday violence and exclusion.

Borders and Solidarities in World Politics

How do we govern the world, when it’s no longer dominated by states and national governments? How do different types of migration shape the movement of people across the world? In this module, you’ll get to grips with a key part of international relations - borders and solidarities (groups with a common identity or interest). You’ll explore the various forms of borders and solidarities, including:

  • migrations across national boundaries 
  • regional organisations
  • trade agreements

And link them to key forces and events, such as: 

  • NGOs
  • corporations
  • colonisation
  • refugee movements
  • the migrant ‘crisis’.

You’ll gain valuable practical and professional knowledge, as you explore leading issues today, and how global governance or migration shapes our lives. 

Work-based Learning in Politics and International Relations

In this module, you’ll have the chance to carry out a work placement closely linked to your International Relations course. You’ll be supported by your module leader to find a placement that meets your needs, and which will support your learning. With a carefully chosen placement, you’ll build on the skills and knowledge you’ve already gained in Year 1, and you’ll also strengthen vital skills for the workplace, like time management, communication and team-working. 

Students have found placements in organisations like:

  • Asylum Welcome, working with asylum seekers in Oxford
  • Viva, an international children’s charity
  • Depaul, working with homeless people and immigrants in Paris.

During and after your placement, you’ll:

  • create a placement portfolio, recording what you’ve done and achieved
  • craft a CV showing your experience
  • give a presentation on your placement.

Dilemmas of Governing

How much did world leaders rely on history to make decisions? In this module, you’ll get to grips with governing strategy - from the 20th Century to the present day. You’ll choose either the British or Soviet states, and analyse how their leaders managed crises and issues. You’ll also explore the relationship between politics and economics, and apply key approaches to the problems of governing.

Year 3 (compulsory for sandwich mode)

Compulsory modules


  • Placement

    On this placement you will be able to access a 40-52 week work-based learning / placement opportunity to help develop your employability and enterprise skills. You will gain first-hand knowledge and experience of making applications to and working in a placement role. You will set your own work-based targets and reflect upon your progress in the role you have on your placement. Halfway through your placement you will make a presentation to your line manager and placement tutor which summarises your gained knowledge on your placement and the tasks you have/ will complete in your placement role.
  • Full Year International Study Abroad

    This is your opportunity to study Business topics abroad in order to experience a different national, educational and business culture and to build on your knowledge, understanding, skills and competencies you’ve gained so far. You will undertake an international study exchange at a university outside the UK, arranged with the University’s exchanges office. This international study exchange lasts for one academic year and is taken after your second year of studies (Level 5).

  • Short Placement

    This 24-week placement is your opportunity to develop your employability and enterprise skills. In the UK or Europe you will gain first-hand knowledge and experience of making applications to and working in a placement role. You will set your work based targets and reflect upon your success in your placement role. At the end of the placement, you will make a presentation to your line manager and placement tutor which summarises the knowledge and skills you have developed on your placement
  • Work-based Learning

    This module is also a 24-week work-based learning opportunity for you to develop your employability and enterprise skills. As on the other modules you will have the opportunity to obtain first-hand knowledge and experience of making applications to and working in a placement role. This could include employment, volunteer work experience or undertaking a consultancy type project. 

    You will agree a brief before your work-based role begins,set work based targets and reflect upon your success in your placement role. At the end of the placement, you will make a presentation to your line manager and placement tutor which summarises the knowledge and skills you have developed on your placement.

Year 4 (or year 3 if no placement)

Compulsory modules

  • Critical Management

    This module is designed to provide you with a range of benefits to support your development as a successful corporate leader. Through the exploration of contemporary business themes and analysis of current cases, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of the external drivers that shape organisational strategy, behaviour, and management. This understanding will enable you to recommend effective policies and strategies that align with stakeholder interests and wider societal responsibilities. Additionally, this module focuses on both national and international levels, which will help provide a global perspective on business themes and their impact on strategy.

    By developing cognitive skills such as critical thinking, analysis, creative problem solving, and decision making, you will be better equipped to navigate complex business environments with confidence.

  • Business Governance and Human Rights

    It is becoming increasingly accepted for businesses to be socially responsible. In light of this, our module provides you with the opportunity to understand current corporate structures and governance regimes, which are being used to hold businesses accountable for their activities. With a particular emphasis on human rights, you’ll explore issues such as human trafficking, child labour, discrimination, environmental degredation and abuses within global supply chains.

    You’ll be equipped to evaluate the ways in which businesses are meeting their social responsibilities internationally, the capacities for businesses to have possible impacts, and strategies for development and change.

Optional modules

Dissertation in International Relations

This module comprises an extended study of a topic, selected with appropriate supervision and guidance from any suitable area from International Relations. You will engage in research and employ methodologies which require a thorough understanding of the process of research as well as use of material that is at the forefront of the discipline selected.

Business Ethics

This module is designed to address our changing world that is facing social and environmental challenges. You’ll develop the capacity to make ethically defensible decisions as members of business organisations and of society in general. You’ll analyse and evaluate the ethical propositions of others. And you’ll evaluate the ethics of different systemic models of production, distribution and exchange.Upon completing this module you will be able to evaluate and apply ethical reasoning to local and global business dilemmas and economic systems, and you’ll be able to evaluate the significance of a range of western and non-western ethical perspectives. 

Global Development, Justice and Sustainability

How can we respond to and solve global injustice and the ecological crisis without a world government? How can we resolve issues in international politics which are beyond the limit of individual countries? A global unified approach is critical for success. 

In this module, you’ll gain knowledge of the theory and practice of global development, justice and sustainability. And build your analytical skills.  You'll take a combined approach of looking at global development and the ecological crisis. You'll examine competing and contrasting perspectives that feature across these global issues. Helping you gain understanding in their global justice implications. Also you'll look at international policy responses and global governance initiatives. 

Violence, Militarism and Terrorism

How does violence occur in different societies? How do people’s ideas of violence affect their cultures? In this module, you’ll look at how states manage violence such as terrorism. You’ll also consider how social norms and military values of violence shape our lives. You can choose to specialise in terrorism or counter-terrorism, or critical militarism studies.

Ethics, Power, World Politics

What can world leaders do, and what should they do? How much power should countries give each other? And how should states and individuals behave towards each other? In this module, you’ll get to grips with the key questions in world politics. You’ll explore:

  • how we determine rights and duties
  • how we both enable and restrict dominance
  • how issues of race, gender and class interact

in relation to world politics. You’ll choose one of three topics that focus on international ethics and power - human rights, migration and immigration, or racism and colonialism.

Violence and the Politics of Peace and Identity

From terrorism to mass protests, how do we make sense of violence and resistance? In this module, you’ll explore the tensions between local and global communities in building peace. You’ll investigate how identity markers such as gender, race, nationality and ethnicity relate to violence and resistance. You can choose to focus on violence, resistance and identity politics, or violent conflict and peacebuilding.

Social Enterprise and Social Innovation

The module covers a multi-disciplinary approach to contemporary issues in entrepreneurship allowing you to develop a well-rounded skill set. Throughout the module, you will learn from experts in the field and gain practical insights into entrepreneurship. You will have the opportunity to engage in practical learning, including research and working within a community of like-minded individuals, enhancing your personal and professional growth. Moreover, emphasis is placed on interaction within a research community, providing you with valuable teamwork and communication skills.

Overall, this module offers you a unique learning experience that combines academic rigour with practical insights, giving you a competitive edge in the job market while developing essential research and self-development skills.

Leading and Managing Change

After completing this module, you will have an understanding of the nature of change and key theories, frameworks, principles and practices relevant for the management and leadership of change. You'll be able to evaluate critically the actions taken by those leading change. You will be better prepared to lead and manage change in your own managerial careers and have an increased awareness of your own potential for ongoing personal development in leading and managing change.

Responsible Leadership

The module aims to develop critical thinking in evaluating the application of change management theory and normative practices to challenges taking place in organisations and wider society. The literature used in the module draws on a breadth of sources including the mainstream and contemporary literature on change management. It aims to increase personal reflexivity and self-awareness. 

After completing this module, you will have an understanding of the nature of change and key theories, frameworks, principles and practices relevant for the management and leadership of change. You'll be able to evaluate critically the actions taken by those leading change. You will be better prepared to lead and manage change in your own managerial careers and have an increased awareness of your own potential for ongoing personal development in leading and managing change.

Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from those shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.


By the end of the course, you’ll be ready for a range of positions across multinational businesses and the public sector, including national and local government, trade unions, and NGOs.

Our international relations graduates secure a range of rewarding roles at places such as:
  • The Civil Service Fast Stream Programme
  • Oxford University Press
  • Hestia (charity supporting those who experience domestic abuse)
  • The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women.
You could also apply for graduate training schemes in international companies such as Aldi, AC Nielsen, IBM, Virgin Mobile, Intel, Yell, O2 and Dell.

Student profiles

Entry requirements

Wherever possible we make our conditional offers using the UCAS Tariff. The combination of A-level grades listed here would be just one way of achieving the UCAS Tariff points for this course.

Standard offer

UCAS Tariff Points: 112

A Level: BBC

IB Points: 30


Contextual offer

UCAS Tariff Points: 88

A Level: CCD

IB Points: 27


Further offer details

Applications are also welcomed for consideration from applicants with European qualifications, international qualifications or recognised foundation courses. For advice on eligibility please contact Admissions:

If you don’t achieve the required tariff points you can apply to join a foundation course, like Foundation in Business or an international foundation course to help to reach the required level for entry onto this degree.

International qualifications and equivalences

Tuition fees

Please see the fees note
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time

Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2024 / 25
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time

2025 / 26
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 534400

Please note, tuition fees for Home students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Oxford Brookes University intends to maintain its fees for new and returning Home students at the maximum permitted level.

Tuition fees for International students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students. 

The following factors will be taken into account by the University when it is setting the annual fees: inflationary measures such as the retail price indices, projected increases in University costs, changes in the level of funding received from Government sources, admissions statistics and access considerations including the availability of student support. 

How and when to pay

Tuition fee instalments for the semester are due by the Monday of week 1 of each semester. Students are not liable for full fees for that semester if they leave before week 4. If the leaving date is after week 4, full fees for the semester are payable.

  • For information on payment methods please see our Make a Payment page.
  • For information about refunds please visit our Refund policy page

Additional costs

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course are detailed below.

Information from Discover Uni

Full-time study

Part-time study

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.