The International Business Environment

The details
Essex Business School
Southend Campus
Undergraduate: Level 5
Thursday 05 October 2023
Friday 15 December 2023
13 June 2023


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BSC N120 International Business and Entrepreneurship,
BSC N121 International Business and Entrepreneurship (Including Year Abroad),
BSC N123 International Business and Entrepreneurship (Including Placement Year),
BSC N124 International Business and Entrepreneurship (Including Foundation Year),
BSC N124CO International Business and Entrepreneurship (Including Foundation Year),
BSC N355 International Business and Finance,
BSC N356 International Business and Finance (Including Placement Year),
BSC N357 International Business and Finance (Including Year Abroad),
BSC N358 International Business and Finance (Including Foundation Year),
BSC N358CO International Business and Finance (Including Foundation Year)

Module description

This module is designed to provide students with an in-depth understanding of the external context within which international businesses operate and the opportunities and challenges it poses to entrepreneurial firms, large and small.

Module aims

The aim of this module is:

  • To provide students with an in-depth understanding of the key concepts and issues surrounding the context for international business, with a specific focus on the political/legal, economic, financial, and socio-cultural environment.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be expected to be able to:

  1. Define and apply correctly key concepts and issues relating to the international business environment.

  2. Apply different theories and instruments of international trade.

  3. Understand how governments, international organizations, tariffs and non-tariff trade barriers influence international trade.

  4. Identify national differences in economic, cultural systems, and ethical values and to understand how these differences affect business activity.

  5. Demonstrate appropriate skills in research techniques for effective problem solving, in-depth investigation of key issues, and effective use of relevant learning materials.

Module information

This module begins by examining the rationale for studying international business, discussing current developments in the global economy as well as the range of external environmental forces that impact businesses.

Several lectures are dedicated to discussing the external challenges facing international firms, particularly of economic, financial, political/legal, technological, and cultural nature. The module then introduces students to key international trade theories and practices, government intervention policies, and regional economic integration.

This module is part of the Q-Step pathway. Q-Step is an award which you can gain simply by enrolling on specific modules and will signal to employers your capability in quantitative research. Learn more about the Q-Step pathway and enhance your degree now.

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered via:

  • One 2-hour lecture per week.
  • A combination of lectures, seminars, guest speaker, discussion of case studies and journal articles, class exercises, group work, signposting to additional resources.

The lectures will be developed around the key concepts as mentioned in the indicative module content and will use a range of live examples and cases from business practice to demonstrate the application of theoretical concepts.

Seminars in the form of class exercises will be built into the lectures to develop critical analytical and problem-solving skills. Seminars will use a range of activities, such as discussion of case studies from the core text, topical business news items and will involve students working in pairs or groups or individually to discuss, reflect on problems and answer questions, present their ideas and thoughts to the class for discussion. Seminars will take place during class time at the lecturer's discretion - i.e. some classes will warrant a full two-hour lecture.


The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course.
The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students.
Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Individual Essay     100% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Svetlana Warhurst, email:
Dr Svetlana Warhurst



External examiner

Dr Vikrant Shirodkar
University of Sussex
Senior Lecturer In International Business
Available via Moodle
Of 18 hours, 18 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.


Further information
Essex Business School

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