International Business Administration (MSc)

Overview

Gain a renowned International Business Administration Masters degree by distance learning

International businesses have a growing need for senior personnel with high quality management skills and specialist regional knowledge. As the regions of Asia and of Africa take roles as leading and emerging economies in the world, this MSc International Business Administration responds to this need. Students will study the interplay between global and local factors that influence management decisions in business.

If you have any further questions about the overall programme content and its suitability for you, please email the Programme Director.

Programme aims

The programme has aims to develop your skills in differentiating the influence of local and global factors on management in a chosen region, question existing assumptions about the regional business world, and it will also allow you to research your own organisation, whether as an academic researcher or consultant.

Programme summary

  You study Study period Cost (2016-17)
MSc 8 modules 2-5 years £10,080

Prestige

The programme has been developed by academics at the Centre for Financial and Management Studies (CeFiMS), a postgraduate research and teaching department within SOAS, University of London. Staff at CeFiMS have international reputations and are involved in researching their subjects at the very limits of current knowledge.

Career progression

These programmes provide a sound foundation for a senior position in modern corporations, banks, financial service companies, business consultancies and international organisations.

Comprehensive study materials and support

You will be given all of the learning materials that you need to complete each course. These will typically include:

  • The Study Guide, a core text specially written for the course. This takes the form of a looseleaf binder containing eight ‘course units’. The units are carefully structured to provide the main teaching of the course, defining and exploring the main concepts and issues, locating these within current debate and introducing and linking the further assigned readings.
  • Textbooks and collections of key journal articles and book extracts.
  • Online and multimedia tools. You will have access to the Online Learning Environment (OLE), which is a web-accessed learning environment. Via the OLE, you can communicate with your assigned academic tutor, administrators and other students on the course using discussion forums. The OLE also provides access to the course Study Guide and assignments, as well as a selection of electronic journals available on the University of London Online Library. In addition, some course material will also include video lectures on DVD, CDs of case studies, and econometric software.

Your time commitment

This will depend partly on choices you make, but most students take three years to complete the MSc. The study calendar consists of five sessions per year. Each session is devoted to a specific module and lasts eight weeks (with the exception of the first session which runs for 10 weeks). During each session you will need to allocate between 15-20 hours per week to complete the programme.

Summary of key dates

International Business Administration
CeFiMS event Study session 1 Study session 2 Study session 3 Study session 4 Study session 5
Application deadline 19 September 2016 05 December 2016 06 February 2017 10 April 2017 05 June 2017
Enrolment deadline 03 October 2016 19 December 2016 20 February 2017 24 April 2017 19 June 2017
Start date 14 November 2016 30 January 2017 03 April 2017 05 June 2017 31 July 2017
Examinations September/October 2017

 

Structure

Structure and Syllabus

MSc: 8 modules (2 core modules plus 6 electives)

Two core modules

International business strategy

You will look at the organisational forms that enable international businesses to seize new opportunities; how the strategic plans of multinational companies are implemented in their foreign subsidiaries and in joint ventures, and how the hazards of operating in unfamiliar territories are mitigated.

Managing the transnational corporation

You will study the Trans-National Corporation (TNC) as a distinct social, cultural and strategic entity. Topics covered include how TNCs resolve the tension between centralisation and decentralisation; the structural alternative available to TNCs and their effect on governance, innovation and performance; and the importance of culture in management.

International Business Modules

Banking strategy

The module examines bank strategy in the global economy. This module deals with the strategic (as opposed to operational) side of international banking, such issues as how banks are funded, how they acquire loan books, how they enter new markets and how they deal with international regulatory requirements.

Corporate finance

This course enables you to relate principles and practice to the financing decisions of enterprises in modern economies. The course analyses the decisions firms make about financing their investments in productive capital.

Unit 1: Perspectives on Corporate Finance
Unit 2: Net Present Value and Capital Budgeting Decisions
Unit 3: Risk, Capital Market Equilibrium and Capital Budgeting Decisions
Unit 4: Efficiency of Capital Markets and Implications for Corporate Financing Decisions
Unit 5: Dividend Policy
Unit 6: Capital Structure I
Unit 7: Capital Structure II: Information Asymmetries and Agency Costs
Unit 8: Mergers

Corporate governance

This course is specially designed for the postgraduate study of such areas as management, finance, financial law, corporate law, economics and related subjects, and has been designed to increase the depth of your understanding of corporate government issues. The course places a strong emphasis on the relationship between theoretical concepts and real world issues, making a real contribution to your in-depth understanding of the relevant corporate governance issues and future career development.

Unit 1: Introduction to Corporate Governance
Unit 2: Theory of the Firm
Unit 3: Corporate Governance and the Role of Law
Unit 4: Corporate Governance around the World
Unit 5: Board Composition and Control
Unit 6: CEO Compensation
Unit 7: International Governance
Unit 8: Overview of Corporate Governance Codes

Finance in the global market

The main objective of the course is to enable you to understand some of the main characteristics of that globalised financial world. Because of the centrality of foreign exchange markets to international finance, we regard understanding foreign exchange markets as the core of that objective.

Unit 1: The International context of finance
Unit 2: The markets for foreign exchange
Unit 3: Exchange rates and prices
Unit 4: Exchange rates and interest rates
Unit 5: Managing foreign exchange exposure
Unit 6: International corporate financing and project finance
Unit 7: Capital structure and cost of capital in international financing
Unit 8: Corporate finance and currency crises

Financial reporting

This module focuses on international financial reporting with emphasis on recognition and measurement of assets and liabilities. The module looks at analysis of a range of contemporary accounting issues within theoretical frameworks such as agency theory and from the perspective of the conceptual framework used in setting accounting standards.

Introduction to valuation

This course introduces concepts and tools for valuing companies in a consistent manner. You should find it useful as a starting point and guide for analysing the performance of companies and industries of your interest.

The course should be useful for practitioners working in various market environments - from developed countries to emerging markets, from services to manufacturing industries, and from the viewpoints of managers to the desks of stock analysts.

The main part of this course takes a deterministic approach to valuing companies, in which the valuation assumes away most of the errors, randomness, and mis-measurement in the company’s financial information. While the course introduces several sensitivity and scenario analyses, you are reminded, where applicable, of the shortcomings of the basic models and the key limitations of the approaches taken. This course focuses on the baseline analysis so that you have an understanding of the tools and concepts necessary for pursuing further more advanced materials.

Management accounting

This module aims to provide an advanced overview of current developments in thought and practice of management accounting, strategy, and organisational control. Emphases are given to the economic and behavioural analysis of management accounting issues and to strategic and organisational aspects of control systems design.

Unit 1 The Context of Management Accounting
Unit 2 Pricing and Production-Volume Decisions
Unit 3 Production Decisions, the Value Chain and Production Capacity
Unit 4 Volume-Based Cost Systems
Unit 5 Activity-Based Cost Systems I
Unit 6 Activity-Based Cost Systems II
Unit 7 Capital Investment Decisions
Unit 8 Performance Measurement Systems and Strategic Budgeting

Management information in business

Information management is central to all businesses. Successful business relies on effective design and management of systems to capture and manage data. This module offers a strategic view of information systems, rather than the mechanics of hardware and software solutions.

Risk management: principles & applications

This module examines the techniques and the foundation of risk management in corporations. It covers the use of derivatives, portfolio allocation, the value of risk, and the management of credit risk and operations risk. The module includes cases and applications.

Regional Focus Modules

The economy of China

You will gain an extensive knowledge of a wide range of economic and social issues concerning the contemporary business environment in China. Topics include population, migration and labour; rural development; agriculture and food security; energy needs; the environment; living standards; and cross-strait trade relations with Taiwan. It will also examine China’s future growth trajectory.

Management in China

You will study recent and contemporary developments in Chinese management practices using a variety of case-based and theoretical approaches. You will focus particularly on policies for trade, foreign direct investment and technology transfer, and on the relationship between the PRC, Hong Kong and Taiwan. You will also look at how at international businesses manage their operations in China including the effects of changing policy priorities, business negotiations and joint ventures.

The economy of Sub-Saharan Africa

As part of this module you will study emerging developments in management practices across the Sub-Saharan region. The module combines general trends in trade and investment with specific studies of business management. It focuses on the the factors that create successful businesses in Africa, and the specific business conditions on the continent.

Management in Sub-Saharan Africa

As part of this module you will study emerging developments in management practices across the Sub-Saharan region. The module combines general trends in trade and investment with specific studies of business management. It focuses on the the factors that create successful businesses in Africa, and the specific business conditions on the continent.

Unit 1 The Special Characteristics of International Business in Africa

Unit 2 Choice of Entry Strategy

Unit 3 International Production and Sourcing

Unit 4 International Marketing

Unit 5 International Organisation

Unit 6 Financial Management

Unit 7 Risk Assessment, Mitigation and Management

Unit 8 Organisational Culture and Human Resource Management

Research

Research methods C353

This module concentrates on helping you develop a rigorous understanding of the key principles and practice of research that are needed to get a research project up and running.

Unit 1: The Nature of Research
Unit 2: Planning and Designing Research
Unit 3: Reviewing the Literature and Making Methodological Choices
Unit 4: Data
Unit 5A: Interviews, Focus Groups and Surveys
Unit 5B: Introduction to Data Analysis I
Unit 6A: Fieldwork and Observation
Unit 6B: Introduction to Data Analysis II
Unit 7: Validity and Reliability
Unit 8: Writing and Presenting Research

Dissertation C354 (prerequisite C353 Research methods)

The dissertation is a supervised piece of research on a topic that we will agree with you. The length will be 10,000 words. Before we can consider a proposal to submit a dissertation we will need to review your academic performance so far. Completing the Research Methods module is a prerequisite for undertaking the dissertation.

The dissertation does not run over a single session. Instead students enrol on the dissertation by the enrolment deadline for Session 2 (24 November 2014) and have until 1 October 2015 to complete their research, write up their results and submit their final thesis.

Study materials

How you study

Without leaving your job or home you can study, write and submit assignments, receive expert guidance from your CeFiMS tutor and advice from the student support team. In addition to printed study materials, the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) allows students to work with course materials, send queries to tutors and submit assignments via the Internet.

When you take a CeFiMS distance learning course you will be sent everything you need to complete your studies. A typical set of course learning materials would include:

  • The Study Guide, a core text specially written for the course. This takes the form of a looseleaf binder containing eight ‘course units’. The units are carefully structured to provide the main teaching of the course, defining and exploring the main concepts and issues, locating these within current debate and introducing and linking the further assigned readings.
  • Textbooks and collections of key journal articles and book extracts.
  • Online and multimedia tools. You will have access to the VLE, which is a web-accessed learning environment. Via the VLE, you can communicate with your assigned academic tutor, administrators and other students on the course using discussion forums. The VLE also provides access to the course Study Guide and assignments, as well as a selection of electronic journals available on the University of London Online Library. In addition, some courses materials will also include video lectures on DVD, CDs of case studies, and econometric software.

Virtual Learning Environment 

Created by CeFiMS to provide additional resources and support, the VLE allows students to:

  • access study materials that complement printed texts
  • submit assignments
  • communicate with tutors
  • contact support staff regarding administrative queries
  • access online resources provided by the University of London  Library including full-text journal databases of JSTOR and EBSCO.

Note: Students who are eligible to use the VLE are automatically contacted by CeFiMS staff and given information about how to access the system for their course.

Fees

Fees

Fees may be paid in one of two ways:

Either, pay the total fee on registration by making a single payment for all the module fees;
 
Or, if you prefer to spread out your payments, pay the fee for each module you want to take in the first year, and then in subsequent years pay the fee for each new module you take.
 
Fees are subject to annual review. The 2016-17 fees take effect from 1 August 2016.
2016-17
Fee per module£ 1,260
Total MSc£ 10,080
ConvertGBP x 1

Disclaimer: the currency conversion tool is provided to you for convenience only and does not constitute an endorsement or approval by the University of London; the exchange rates are provided dynamically via a third-party source, consequently, the University of London International Programmes is not responsible for their accuracy.

Other costs

In addition to the fees payable to the University, you should also budget for
  • the fee charged to your local examination centre to cover its costs; this fee will vary
  • customs duties/taxes where these are payable on educational materials, including educational USB stick/CDs. We recommend that you check the status of imported educational materials with your country’s customs authorities.

Funding

If you are a UK or EU national and you have lived in England for three years, you could be eligible to apply for a Postgraduate Loan.

Note 

Fees are subject to annual revision and typically may be increased by up to 5% per annum. For a full list fees that may be applicable, please see the fee schedule.
Assessment

Assessment

With the exception of the Dissertation, all modules are assessed by one three-hour unseen written examination and two assignments of 2,500 words each. The Dissertation (available as an option for MSc programmes only) is assessed by the submission of a written dissertation of not more than 10,000 words, excluding the bibliography and appendices.

The grade awarded on each individual module will be based on the mark obtained in the written examination and on the combined mark for the assignments. The examination mark and the combined mark of the assignments will be weighted on the scale 70:30. If you fail a written examination at the first sitting, you will be allowed one further attempt after which your registration will cease.

Exams, both overseas and in the UK, take place once a year in September/October. They are normally held in a student's country of residence, using the existing system of overseas examinations authorities which the University of London operates for all its External students. Exams for students in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland are normally held in London.

Requirements

Academic Requirements

In order to be considered for registration applicants must have:

Either
(a) a Bachelor's degree in social science discipline, or other appropriate discipline, from a UK university or other institution acceptable to the University, or an equivalent international qualification (qualifications in other subjects will be assessed on their merits)

Or
(b) previous education and experience without a UK Bachelor's degree, or international equivalent, which satisfies the University as a qualification on the same level as a UK Bachelor's degree approved under (a) for this purpose, and which has included suitable preliminary training.

Computer Requirements

You must have regular access to a computer (or mobile device*) with an internet connection to use the University of London International Programmes website and the Student Portal. These are where your programme’s study resources are located. Through the Student Portal you can register as a student, enter exams and use your programme’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). The VLE provides you with electronic learning materials, access to the University of London Online Library, networking opportunities, and other resources.

To get the most from your studies, your computer should have at least the following minimum specification: 

  • a web browser (the latest version of Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer). This must accept cookies and have JavaScript enabled
  • screen resolution of 1024 x 768 or greater
  • sufficient bandwidth to download documents of at least 2 MB

and the following applications installed:

  • a word processor that reads Microsoft Word format (.doc)
  • Adobe, or other pdf reader.

For some modules you will require a CD drive and DVD player.

* Full mobile access is not available for all programmes.

Language Requirements

For all of our modules you are required to have a high level of English language ability in reading and writing and in study skills.

If your first degree was not taught in English, you will need to provide evidence of language ability as tested by the British Council or another registered body. This is equivalent to a score of 7.0 overall in the IELTS test, or 7.0 in both reading and writing.

Academic leaders

Academic leadership - CeFiMS

Lead College

The Centre for Financial & Management Studies (CeFiMS) is a postgraduate research and teaching department at SOAS, University of London.

Our programmes give students a strong academic foundation to their professional skills. Other students study for a degree with us because of their love of learning and their desire to widen their understanding of the world. The programmes are available in a range of flexible options, so you can choose the speed, depth and even the location of your postgraduate study.

As one of our graduates, you will become part of an exclusive network of alumni based in leading private and public sector organisations throughout the world.

Academic staff

In total, more than eighty academics act as online tutors. In addition, there is a dedicated team of student advisers. For more information, please visit the CeFiMS website [external link].