International Management (MBA)


Gain a prestigious MBA in International Management by distance learning

Designed to provide you with specialist knowledge of international business, the MBA in International Management has been developed by academics within the School of Management at Royal Holloway, University of London.

This globally recognised distance learning programme is designed to expand your global network, increase your earning power, and provide opportunities for mobility in your international career.

The flexibility of the course allows you to fit your studies around your home and work commitments while gaining a truly international perspective from the wide range of electives, developed to build a programme to meet your career objectives.

“I had already launched, but it was not until I did my MBA that I was able to develop the business strategy we needed to succeed in the competitive market space. We are now seeing triple digit growth year on year.” Avi Woolman, MBA International Management


AMBA logoThe MBA is accredited by AMBA, the Association of MBAs in the UK, putting it in an elite group of MBA providers. This important quality accreditation gives you the assurance that studying the programme will give you the opportunity to achieve a qualification that is recognised worldwide.

  You study Study period Fees (2015)
MBA 9 core modules and 4 elective modules; 2 week-long plenary sessions in London (maximum 1 per academic year); research module and dissertation. 2-5 years £13,815
Credit-bearing individual modules You may take up to four individual modules (with the exception of ‘Philosophy of management’, the research course, dissertation and plenary sessions). This is an ideal option if you wish to update your professional knowledge or sample the programme.  Maximum 2 years £798

How will I benefit?

This programme will help you to:

  • understand and apply the core subjects of management in an international context
  • acquire specific expertise in a range of subjects (electives) that will broaden the scope of your learning in international management
  • enhance your ability to think strategically and understand the essentials of business and organisations in order to manage change more effectively in the global business environment
  • develop the ability to undertake independent business analysis and to frame solutions to complex business problems
  • improve your skills of self-discipline, reflection, analysis, communication, and leadership.

How you study

You can study flexibly in ways that suit you. For each subject there are textbooks and study materials, available both online and in hard copy. You are able to access your tutor and liaise with other students online, and submit assignments. Other study support includes:

  • two week-long plenary sessions, either in the UK or Hong Kong, providing a valuable opportunity to network with academic staff, fellow students and industry professionals
  • we provide you with an assigned tutor, careers guidance and study skills support
  • essays and group work via online tutor-assisted seminars are assessed.

Career progression

An MBA is recognised as the benchmark professional qualification in management. This rigorous and career-oriented MBA programme tells your employer that you can think strategically and beyond your immediate role. This programme will help you gain a competitive edge and drive your career forward. Graduates have found employment in a wide range of disciplines and industries as well as the public sector. Recent graduates have joined prestigious organisations including HSBC, IBM, Chase De Vere, Vodafone, and Accenture.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

You may be able to apply for accreditation of prior learning - also known as 'credit transfer' or 'advanced standing' at other institutions - from up to 20% of the degree programme if you have covered a similar syllabus to the same breadth and depth as part of a previous qualification, which has been awarded within the past five years preceding your application for APL. Further information on accreditation of prior learning is given in the Programme Specification and Regulations.

Summary of key dates

Application deadline 31 January 1 September
Registration deadline 1 March 1 October
Programme starts May November
Examinations take place October May
Plenary sessions in London June/July



MBA structure and syllabus

MBA: 9 core modules, 4 electives, 2 week-long plenary sessions (maximum 1 per academic year), plus a research module and dissertation.


Nine core modules

International accounting and finance

This course gives a fundamental understanding of accounting and finance techniques and practices. It will also provide an awareness of the impact of contexts – different countries, industries, markets, and regulatory regimes - on the accounting and finance. It will enable students to focus on the analytical usefulness of accounting and finance data, but in a manner which emphasises the importance of a wider business understanding for such analysis and the limitations as well as the strengths of the data.

International business economics

This course introduces students to the economics of business enterprise through a strategic framework that incorporates both traditional and modern approaches to the firm. Combining real-world examples with economic methodology, it will explore decision-making within a competitive context and will enable students to demonstrate an understanding of economic analysis and reasoning relevant within a business context. Using the theory of the firm, the course will display an appreciation of the economic underpinnings of business strategy. It will also evaluate how various models of competitive analysis can be used to assess strategic behaviour. Students will learn how to formulate and respond to different competitive scenarios at the firm level and apply presentation and analytical skills to develop argument and evidence to support evaluation.

Information systems

This course examines key information systems (IS) issues faced by organisations in today’s global business environment. Starting with the use of information systems for attaining competitive advantage, the course will address organisational and managerial concerns in the development, implementation and effective management of information systems.

Particular emphasis will be placed on using a variety of case studies to make explicit the problems involved in the management of technological change in organisations as well as the impact of information systems on organisational culture and context.

Through the course students should be able to develop a critical understanding of the strategic issues in IS and ways in which organisations might strengthen their competitive position through the use of such systems. It will also address the concept of an IS strategy, the most common approaches to IS development, implementation and evaluation, the opportunities and challenges posed by outsourcing of IS as well as the critical success factors involved in developing and implementing electronic business strategies.

International human resource management
Leadership and organisations

This course will enable students to develop an advanced understanding of the processes of leadership - its scope and limitations - in different social and organizational contexts. It draws on the students’ own experiences as leaders and followers to enable them to understand a wide range of organizational phenomena, including motivation, teamwork, culture and change management.

The course will give an understanding of the relationship between leadership, management and administration; transactional and transforming leadership, leadership and the management of culture and meaning and dysfunctional forms of leadership. It will also explore organizational politics, business ethics, morality and sustainability as well as the management of diversity and difference.

Philosophy of management

This course provides the student with an understanding of how the philosophy of management underlies all other MBA/MSc courses taught on the programme. The course will be an introduction to the way in which a firm can develop its managerial thinking, mission and strategy. It will enable students to evaluate and analyse a firm’s management philosophy, to understand the impact this philosophy has on the organisation and operation of the business, and to understand how and why the thinking of some of the key Western philosophical thinkers are relevant to management.

International operations management

The course will introduce students to some of the main topics in the important field of operations management - the activities which produce the goods and/or deliver the services required by customers. These activities are at the core of any organisation and typically involve the management of the vast majority of its assets, employees and expenditure. The success of any organisation depends on its ability to manage its operations efficiently - to make best use of its resources, and effectively - to satisfy its customers. In today’s globalised economy, more and more organisations operate internationally, increasing the complexity and importance of operations management decision making. The consequences are felt not merely in operations but throughout the whole organisation. These decisions usually involve significant sums of money and affect the competitive position of the organisation for many years. This course will consider the strategic impact of these issues as the organisations engaged in international operations.

International marketing

This course aims to develop an advanced understanding of the managerial marketing vocabulary of concepts, maxims and normative models within an international context drawing on issues in differing domains of practice including the public sector.

The baseline for the course is the influential US normative tradition of applied marketing principles. Alongside this, the course encourages a critical engagement from students supported by reference to traditions of marketing scholarship which seek not to advance organisational effectiveness but to study the evolution, production and communication of marketing through itself.

Students successfully completing this course will understand the historical development of marketing from its roots in classical economics in the USA, to the normative tradition promoted by academic consultants such as Drucker, Levitt and Kotler.

Students would furthermore demonstrate an understanding of popular normative marketing concepts such as the Mix and STP through application in practical case scenarios, learn to appreciate the scope of marketing activity in diverse sector including the non-profit and develop an awareness of some of the work that critiques the practical and theoretical assumptions of the managerial marketing tradition and which explores the idea of marketing as an intellectual domain.

International strategy

This course provides the student with an understanding of how Corporate and Business Strategy fits into the organisation and running of a company or multi-company corporation. It will introduce students to the way in which a firm can achieve sustainable competitive advantage and develop the corporation internationally. It will enable students to evaluate the factors that need to be considered in analysing a firm’s external environment as well as the internal core competences of a firm. Students will learn how to formulate strategy for a firm and will understand the nature of corporate and international strategy.

PLUS four electives chosen from the following

International sustainability management

This course provides the student with an understanding of how Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) fits into a programme of Sustainable Development for an organisation. The aim is to introduce the student to the tensions and trade-offs involved in the adoption of CSR by a firm in a competitive economy. The students will also learn to understand the role of central, regional and local government in providing a facilitating framework for CSR and encouraging its adoption.

The students will also learn to understand the problems involved in implementing a CSR programme and the culture change necessary to achieve a successful CSR firm strategy for companies previously concerned only with shareholder value. It will enable students to evaluate the factors that need to be considered by politicians in encouraging the adoption of CSR, the factors that need to be considered by corporate strategists in developing a business and corporate strategy including CSR and to evaluate the economic and cultural factors involved in the adoption of CSR by firms. It identifies the implications for a firm in terms of risk and competitiveness of the adoption of a CSR agenda when other firms in its markets may not have done so and enables student to understand the implications of CSR for capital markets as well as the implications of implementing and embedding CSR in a corporation.

Advertising and promotional communication

This course will provide students with an advanced strategic perspective on contemporary marketing communication management within an international context. It will develop an integrated approach within a strategic and international marketing communication perspective, and offer a theoretically and practically robust basis for further postgraduate study/research and/or careers in marketing and advertising. The course will draw on the research-based expertise in the marketing group in advertising and promotional communication within the School of Management.

Cooperative strategy

Many companies today engage in co-operative strategies. A cooperative strategy is an attempt by a firm to realize its objectives through cooperation with other firms, in alliances, rather than competition with them. This course focuses on the benefits that can be gained through cooperation and how to manage the cooperation so as to realize them. It will examine how a cooperative strategy can offer significant advantages for companies that are lacking particular competencies or resources to secure these through links to others possessing complementary skills or assets; this course will also examine how cooperative strategy may also offer easier access to new markets, and opportunities for mutual synergy and learning.

International business analysis

This course analyses corporate management by examining two interconnected themes: (a) literature and debates, and (b) the macro and meso background. The first theme presents a form of business analysis that draws on three sources. First, it outlines relevant management/strategy literatures. Second, it introduces political economy debates, which help us to understand the changing structural context around firms and industry. Third, it demonstrates how market, financial and productive analysis can be used to develop empirically based stories about strategies and their outcomes. The second theme contains two features: first, economic/product market context; second, use of business analysis methods to allow case study work.

Corporate social responsibility

This course will provide students with more in-depth knowledge of CSR issues in the business world. The aim is to introduce the student to the tensions and trade-offs involved in the adoption of CSR by a firm in a competitive economy. Students will also learn to understand the role of central, regional and local government in providing a facilitating framework for CSR and encouraging its adoption. It will provide students with an understanding of the problems involved in implementing a CSR programme and the culture change necessary to achieve a successful CSR firm strategy for companies previously concerned only with shareholder value.

Management of Japanese multinationals

This course analyses the business strategies, organization and operations of leading Japanese multinational companies, by reviewing and comparing case-studies. The course will develop insight into the approaches and methods of leading Japanese executives, and the practical realities of multinational management. It will consider the influence of national and organizational cultures on the operations of multinationals, and analyze the organizational capabilities of Japanese multinationals in relation to their competitors. Student will be able to evaluate relevant literature and theory on the multinational enterprise and Japanese business with contemporary practice, and to utilize research skills in the investigation of individual Japanese multinationals. A key feature of this course is the opportunity to confer with leading business executives and officials, and extend the personal skills and experiences of students.

Multinational enterprise and the global economy

This course will provide an overview of the development and current position and role of Multinational Enterprises (MNEs) as key agents on the international economic stage. Attention is placed on the growth and development of MNEs, the emergence of a ‘global’ economy, trends in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and more strategic issues such as the foreign market entry decision, co-operative structures and strategies and ethical concerns. Therefore, the course attempts to interrogate the importance of MNEs as key agents of integration across the international economy. The course also addresses the implications of ‘globalisation’ for the organization and operation of multinational firms.

Investment management

The course will provide students with a comprehensive overview of portfolio management in theory and practice. It will develop an understanding of the pricing of bonds, equities and derivatives and their risk/return characteristics and evaluate the relative merits of active and passive management from both a domestic and international perspective. Recent changes in international fund management and their implications will also be examined. The main valuation models for bonds and equities will be critically analysed, and the problems of international investment strategy and the relative merits of different approaches will be examined in detail. The current state of financial markets will be analysed with a view to devising a relevant portfolio strategy.

Corporate finance

This course will provide an overview of corporate finance in both a domestic and an international setting. It will explain the valuation of real investments and their financing as well as the dividend decision. By developing an understanding of international capital markets, the course will identify the main trends in mergers and acquisition activity. Students will be able to apply the main principles of financial theory to contemporary commercial problems and understand the problems of investment appraisal and the relative merits of different approaches. This will enable them also to evaluate the consequences of a proposed takeover or merger, and to analyse the current state of financial markets.

Knowledge management

This course will develop students’ knowledge and understanding of contemporary theories and practices of knowledge management (KM) by examining the theoretical understanding of knowledge management to real life situations and by integrating different dimensions of knowledge management arising from human resource management, information systems and strategic management. The course will explain the concept of `intellectual capital’ and how it is managed and exploited in organisations. The course will demonstrate a critical understanding of knowledge management policies and strategies in organisations that enhance effectiveness. Students will be able to apply a range of transferable skills including literature search, analytical skills, application of theory to real life situations, teamwork, motivation and interpersonal skills.

International business law

This course provides an understanding of the essential elements of international business law. It will focus on the main issues relating to Contract Law, Commercial Law, Business Regulation, Employment Law, Company Law, Commercial Arbitration Law (theory and practice) and Business Ethics (theory and practice). It is intended to give students a comprehensive and coherent appreciation of the main legal aspects of the subject as well as exploring ethical issues within the international business context. The course will give a grounding in the legal issues of international business, and provide an understanding of the national and international legal practice relating to international business law.

Global financial markets

Global financial markets is concerned with the nature of the capital securities which are traded on the international money and capital markets and with the operation of those markets themselves.

Over the last 20 years, there has been an explosion in the variety of securities and tradable assets, fuelled by deregulation and paralleled by an equally explosive growth in the technical and academic development of the discipline of finance. This development came about because of a number of important theoretical advances: the development of the theory of risk, the formal development of the concept of arbitrage and, of equal importance, the development of sophisticated information processing systems.

International entrepreneurship

This course will provide students with the intellectual and practical background to equip would-be entrepreneurs with the skills and knowledge to set up their own international companies successfully. Students will gain an understanding of the key differences between large companies and SMEs and learn to appreciate the role of start-up and entrepreneurial activity in the hi-tech and Bio-pharma sectors. It will also provide students with an understanding of the financing options available to start-up and developing companies.


Business research methods

How to write your dissertation

This is an innovative course designed as a step-by-step guide on how to write your dissertation. It is based on many years of experience of helping students to successfully complete a research project. Unlike all other courses in the MSc, there is no examination, but the course is assessed through the submission of a 12,000 word dissertation.

Course outline

Starting your dissertation: developing and choosing a research topic; routes to pursue a research issue; how soon should I write?; designing your research project – research purpose, research strategy; unit of analysis; time dimension; study setting. Progress of your report: typical route; road blocks to making progress on your project; when to stop writing; the 65 per cent rule; limits and objectives of the literature review; structuring your literature review; falsification theory and the structure of a literature review.

Theory building

How do we think?; scientific understanding and method; deduction and induction; lateral thinking; fuzzy thinking; theory building; variables; hypotheses; what are theories for?; do theories have to make sense?; simplification; structure of a theory chapter.


Components and structure of a methodology chapter; methodology diary; common methodological problems; qualitative versus quantitative research; qualitative data collection; six characteristics of qualitative data collection; methods for collecting qualitative data; methods for collecting quantitative data; complementarity of qualitative and quantitative research; sampling and survey design; advantages of sampling; representativeness and randomness; reliability and validity; populations and sampling frames; sampling designs.

Coping with data

Statistics are beautiful; the power of statistics; six common statistical fallacies; when is data information?; introduction to statistical techniques; data analysis; decision framework for data analysis; statistical tools for data analysis; use of SPSS.

Concluding chapters

Bringing data back to theory; how not to write a conclusion; common problems of style; basic rules of writing; the expectations of examiners.

Plenary sessions

There are two plenary sessions - Plenary 1 (Introduction) and Plenary 2 (Consultancy Group Work) which in total amount to 120 hours of face-to-face tuition including the compulsory group work.

Students who are taking the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma do not have to attend Plenary 1 (Introduction), but are strongly encouraged to do so.

Students taking the MSc or the MBA must attend at both plenary sessions. Whilst students may attend Plenary 1 (Introduction) at any point, students are strongly encouraged to attend Plenary 1 (Introduction) as early in their studies as possible.

You must be free and able to enter the host country (UK or Hong Kong) of your plenary sessions. Students attending the plenaries at Royal Holloway in Egham take each session in a different academic year.

Plenary 1 (Introduction)

Comprises an intensive week long programme of formal lecture and workshop-style sessions, informal networking and guest speaker presentations. The master class introductory sessions which are led by Royal Holloway, University of London School of Management staff are designed to give new students an introduction to the compulsory modules.

Plenary 2 (Consultancy Group Work)

The group work forms an important part of the MBA schedule and experience. It comprises one presentation assessed in two parts and one written group report. The presentations and report focus on relevant management issues, functions, and organisational outcomes. The group work draws on practical application of theory gained from the study of the core subjects on the MBA.

The module aims:

  • To assist students in understanding the linkages between the various core management functions:
    • Accounting and finance, Human resources management, Organizational behaviour, Strategy, Operations management, Information Systems, and Marketing.
  • To provide a forum in which to discuss the practical elements of leadership and group working.
  • To provide an environment in which distance learning students can experience the networking aspects so important in an MBA programme.

The project material is case study based, with each group being given a case study on which to base their presentations and report. The first part of the project focuses on literature review and problem identification, and the second part focuses on case study analysis and interpretation. In both portions of the project students are expected to gather further information from library and web sources, evaluate this information and use it to inform their approach to the case study assigned. There is also a strong emphasis on group dynamics.

Dissertation - International Management

The dissertation is an excellent opportunity to analyse a business or management issue in depth as an independent research project. The dissertation could be carried out in conjunction with a ‘blue chip’ business or you could use your experience and knowledge to study a topic of relevance to your own professional or national background. You will be assigned a supervisor who will be able to offer advice and suggestions about your chosen filed of inquiry, your methods and analysis. The supervisor will also provide support and encouragement to assist you in completing this challenging and final component of the MBA course.



Study materials

How you study

Distance learning is much more flexible than traditional face-to-face teaching. It allows you to study whenever and wherever is convenient to you, and to fit your studies in around professional or personal commitments. You can study wherever you live in the world - if you move country with your job, for example, you can still continue with your studies.

Studying by distance learning requires you to be highly motivated, disciplined, and able to master complex problems independently. Many students do find self-directed study to be challenging, but the outcome is incredibly rewarding.

Academic support

We provide personal, individual guidance in many areas:

  • Tutor-marked assignments Your assignments will be marked by tutors at Royal Holloway as part of each course assessment. This is an opportunity to receive invaluable feedback and to measure your progress throughout the course.
  • Dissertation You will be assigned an individual supervisor to help you when writing up your dissertation.
  • Regional study support You can either study independently at a pace that suits you, or enrol for additional classes at a local institution and benefit from the more formalised support this provides. Please note that the University of London does not have a formal relationship with these institutions and cannot guarantee or comment on the standards of their teaching or service to students.
  • Face-to-face plenary sessions enable you to hear from, and engage with, Royal Holloway academics. They allow you to immerse yourself in all core modules and your group presentation and project, as well as develop networks with colleagues on the course. The sessions are intensive, and include a range of master classes on all core modules, but our students have told us that they have benefited enormously from them. You will also be able to work in groups and practice leadership skills.

If attending at Royal Holloway: Plenary sessions take place once a year towards the end of June at Royal Holloway (UK). You are required to join two one-week sessions, each of which must be in a different calendar year so will involve two separate visits to Royal Holloway.

  • Plenary 1 (Introduction) consists of master classes for all core modules. We strongly recommend that you attend the first week of the plenary as early as possible in your studies.
  • Plenary 2 (Consultancy Group Project) consists of career and personal development sessions and includes two days of focusing on the consultancy/case study group project. You are required to have attempted the assessment (TMA and examination) for all nine MBA core modules prior to attending Plenary 2.

Accommodation arrangements for plenary sessions

You are required to arrange their own travel and accommodation when attending the plenary sessions at Royal Holloway in London or at HKU Space in Hong Kong. However, we will provide you with comprehensive information on how and where to book accommodation on campus (at Royal Holloway) or any other close-by (walking distance) accommodation in a B&B or guest house/hotel.

Study in Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, HKU SPACE and Royal Holloway collaborate to run this programme. Royal Holloway confers the degree; graduates of the programme can choose to attend their graduation ceremony in Hong Kong or London. Classes are usually held on Saturdays and Sundays (and occasionally on weekday evenings) and take place in Admiralty, Hong Kong. Students have access to HKU SPACE library facilities, an especially useful resource when writing the dissertation.

You receive the following tuition from HKU SPACE and Royal Holloway academics:

  • Core modules 14 hours of lectures by HKU SPACE academics, plus 10 hours of face-to-face master classes by Royal Holloway academics.
  • Elective modules 14 hours of lectures by HKU SPACE academics, plus 10 hours of master classes by Royal Holloway academics (face-to-face or via video-conferencing).
  • Research Method module Two 3-hour sessions will be offered in each of the two teaching terms, all by Royal Holloway academics.

The tuition fee for students studying via HKU SPACE - which includes textbooks, study materials and reader’s guide - is different and can be paid in four instalments. Please contact HKU SPACE for further information (details below).

Applying to study at HKU SPACE

HKU SPACE forwards applications for these programmes to our offices in London on your behalf. For further details, please contact:

Lydia Lam, Programme Manager
College of Business and Finance, HKU SPACE
The University of Hong Kong
34/F United Centre, 95 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2867 8318
Web: HKSPACE - College of Business and Finance

World Wide Learning Community (WWLC)

An integral part of the MBA programme, Royal Holloway's online World Wide Learning Community offers a variety of resources to support the learning experience. WWLC is located within the University of London student portal. It allows you to:

  • Access your study materials.
  • Take part in discussions with your tutor and other students.
  • Receive notices, seminar dates, project support and other programme-related information.
  • Ask questions regarding the administration of the programme.
  • Access the University of London Online Library and software downloads.

Your study resources 

Each pack of study materials is produced by academics who are not only experts in their specialist field, but also committed to meeting the specific needs of International Programmes students. Study materials for each module contain: Study guides; Case studies and accompanying readings; core textbook(s); past examination papers and Examiners' reports; Handbook.

You can buy study materials for new courses at any time of year by paying the appropriate course fee. We also provide all students with a student registration card. 

Sample study materials

You may download and view the following sample study materials:

Careers support

Royal Holloway's School of Management gives you access to 'Recruitment guides' (via Workmaze, an MBA Careers Service). These give you an insight into each listed company's recruitment scheme.



Fees given below refer to calendar year specified only and are subject to annual review. When you register you can either pay the total amount upfront or pay as you go (a one-off registration fee plus a fee for each module).


Registration fee (MBA)£ 2,520
Module fee (except Research module and Philosophy of management)£ 615
Philosophy of Management module£ 250
Plenary session fee*£ 790
Research module/project£ 2,085
Individual module£ 798
TOTAL MBA£ 13,815
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.


  • Fees are subject to annual review. The fees for 2015 given above are effective from 1 March 2014.
  • You must register and pay the fee for registration and any modules you wish to study in the coming year before 15 October to take the exam in the following May, and by 15 March to take the exam in October.
  • *This fee is for one session. You must attend two sessions to meet the degree requirement. The fee does not include the cost of travelling, accommodation and subsistence when attending the plenary sessions.
  • If you wish to transfer from the Postgraduate Certificate to the MBA, you must pay the remaining balance of the registration fee.
  • The University reserves the right to amend previously announced fees, if  necessary.

All fees must be paid in pounds sterling, which may be paid either by a credit card recognised by MasterCard International or by the Visa group OR by banker's draft, cheque or UK postal order, made payable to 'The University of London' and crossed 'a/c payee'.

How to pay

All University fees must be paid in pounds sterling (GBP). The University accepts:

  • Western Union - Quick Pay
  • Credit/debit card (Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, Electron, JCB)
  • Sterling banker's draft/cheque
  • International money/postal order

Further details are given in payment methods

Other costs

Besides the fees payable to the University, you should also budget for the fee charged by your local examination centre to cover its costs.



Examinations are offered twice a year, in May and October, in over 180 countries worldwide. You can sit them locally, whenever you're ready.

With the exception of your research course and dissertation, all core and elective courses are assessed by one unseen, three-hour written examination and a written assignment. The final mark for each course is based on both papers, with 80% of the mark based on your exam results and 20% on tutor-marked assignments.

The Plenary Group Work is a compulsory part of the MBA. This Group Work is assessed by two group presentations and one written group report.

Your dissertation consists of a 12,000-word report, excluding bibliographies, appendices and the project statement or summary.


Academic Requirements

To apply for the MBA you must have:

  • an undergraduate degree (e.g. bachelor) which is considered at least comparable to a UK second class honours degree*, in any subject, from an institution acceptable to the University, or
  • an undergraduate degree in any subject, from an institution acceptable to the University and a GMAT score of 550 or above, or 
  • an acceptable professional qualification and a GMAT score of 550 or above.

All other applications will be considered on an individual basis at the discretion of the University.

*If you have a degree from an institution that does not award honours you may still apply. In this case, a certified transcript of your results must be sent by the awarding institution directly to the Postgraduate Admissions Office.

To apply to register for stand-alone individual modules you should satisfy the above entrance requirements. However, if you do not hold such qualifications, the University may still consider your application but will require evidence of your ability to undertake advanced study (e.g. professional qualifications and/or work experience).

Work experience

You must have at least three years of post-graduation work experience undertaken prior to registration. 

If you would like to progress onto the MBA from the Postgraduate Certificate, you will need to have gained at least three years of post-graduation work experience prior to registering for the Postgraduate Certificate.

ACCA members

If you are a Fellow of the ACCA, and have a GMAT score of 550 or above, plus 3 years managerial work experience then you should be eligible for our MBA in International Management. You may be able to start your MBA at an alternative entry point if you do not meet all of these entry requirements.

Accreditation of Prior Learning

You may be able to obtain accreditation of prior learning (exemption) for one or two modules of your MBA if you have passed an equivalent qualification in the past five years. Such requests are considered on an individual basis.

Language Requirements

You will meet the English language requirement if you have passed, within the past three years:

  • (IELTS) International English Language Testing System when an overall score of at least 6.5 is achieved with a minimum of 6.0 in each sub-test
  • (TOEFL) iBT Test of English as a Foreign Language overall score of 92 or above with at least 22 in both Reading and Writing Skills sub-tests and at least 20 in both Speaking and Listening sub-tests provided that you took the examination before 29 May 2014.

Please note we are unable to accept (TOEFL) iBT Test of English as a Foreign Language results if you have taken the examination after the 29 May 2014.

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.

* Full mobile access is not available for all programmes.

Academic leaders

Royal Holloway

Royal Holloway is ranked among the top, research-led universities in the UK. It is an innovative and forward-looking institution, acknowledged worldwide for cutting-edge research and excellent teaching. Originally founded in 1886, Royal Holloway is today the third largest multidisciplinary College of the University of London.

The School of Management

The School of Management was founded in 1990 and has grown quickly to become Royal Holloway’s largest department. The School has 85 academic staff researching and teaching in a broad range of management subjects within international and national contexts.

Since 2005 the School has been accredited (and successfully reaccredited in 2010) by the Association of MBAs (AMBA) which is an indication and of its high standards in teaching, curriculum design and student interaction.

Academic leaders

A welcome from Justin O’Brien, MBA Director

Postgraduate study is an important personal investment. If you are not certain that you will stay in one place for the next two to five years, or need to keep working, or perhaps have other career or family commitments, then distance learning makes sense. The online learning MBA and MSc degrees are significantly more flexible than campus study both in their delivery and in the range of electives. You can complete the work in your own time from wherever you happen to be. There are no “live” lectures or workshops that you have to schedule. We know that the flexibility of our programmes is a big draw for many of our students and we design the study material so that it can be easily accessed no matter where in the world you are.

Each of the compulsory and elective modules takes six months to complete, and several (3-5 typically) can be done simultaneously. You can pick your own route through the mandatory core and choice of electives, allowing you to fill competency gaps as you need them or follow one of the recommended pathways. The MBA can be taken over a maximum of five years, although if you are very strongly motivated it can be finished in little more than two. Our MSc in International Business has been developed for students who would find it difficult to attend the face-to-face plenary sessions and who are in need of a more compact programme of studies. Both MSc programmes provide a firm foundation for postgraduate research and study and offer an excellent basis from which to further careers in management.

It is best to visit the beautiful Royal Holloway campus and meet fellow new students and staff as early as possible at the annual June introductory plenary session. This helps provide a virtual, global support group that is invaluable during the challenging study programme.

Please take a look around our webpages for further information about the programmes. If you have any questions we would be delighted to hear from you.

Justin O’Brien

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MBA International Management graduate Alessandra Theuma Profile on: Alessandra Theuma
"I thoroughly enjoyed the case studies which were presented and discussed, as these gave a proper insight into modern marketing strategies and practices".

Find out more about MBA life:
Read Programme Director Justin O'Brien's blog

University of London MBA: Course Overview

Justin O'Brien, Director of  Postgraduate Distance Learning Programmes at Royal Holloway, University of London, provides an introduction to the MBA in International Management.

MBA & MSc International Management Study Sessions

Royal Holloway, University of London, holds a week-long plenary session once a year for MBA/MSc International Management students. Watch this video for an overview.