International Business and Entrepreneurship

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Course overview
(MSc) Master of Science
International Business and Entrepreneurship
University of Essex
University of Essex
Essex Business School
Southend Campus
Full-time, part-time or by credit accumulation
Business and Management
MSC N12018

Professional accreditation


Admission criteria

A 1st, 2:1 or good 2:2 degree.

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) code

IELTS 6.5 overall with a minimum component score of 5.5

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

Additional Notes

The University uses academic selection criteria to determine an applicant’s ability to successfully complete a course at the University of Essex. Where appropriate, we may ask for specific information relating to previous modules studied or work experience.

Course qualifiers


Rules of assessment

Rules of assessment are the rules, principles and frameworks which the University uses to calculate your course progression and final results.

Additional notes

Please refer to the full time version of this course for information on Core and Compulsory modules.

External examiners

Dr Ping Zheng

External Examiners provide an independent overview of our courses, offering their expertise and help towards our continual improvement of course content, teaching, learning, and assessment. External Examiners are normally academics from other higher education institutions, but may be from the industry, business or the profession as appropriate for the course. They comment on how well courses align with national standards, and on how well the teaching, learning and assessment methods allow students to develop and demonstrate the relevant knowledge and skills needed to achieve their awards. External Examiners who are responsible for awards are key members of Boards of Examiners. These boards make decisions about student progression within their course and about whether students can receive their final award.

eNROL, the module enrolment system, is now open until Monday 27 January 2020 8:59AM, for students wishing to make changes to their module options.


Core You must take this module.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options You can choose which module to study.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Compulsory You must take this module.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Compulsory with Options You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Optional You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.

Year 1 - 2019/20

Exit Award Status
Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits PG Diploma PG Certificate
01 Options year 1 Compulsory with Options 0 Optional Optional

Year 2 - 2020/21

Exit Award Status
Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits PG Diploma PG Certificate
01 BE984-7-FY or BE958-7-FY Core with Options 60 Core
02 Options year 2 Compulsory with Options 0 Compulsory Compulsory

Exit awards

A module is given one of the following statuses: 'core' – meaning it must be taken and passed; 'compulsory' – meaning it must be taken; or 'optional' – meaning that students can choose the module from a designated list. The rules of assessment may allow for limited condonement of fails in 'compulsory' or 'optional' modules, but 'core' modules cannot be failed. The status of the module may be different in any exit awards which are available for the course. Exam Boards will consider students' eligibility for an exit award if they fail the main award or do not complete their studies.

Programme aims

The main aims and objectives of the programme are:

To help students understand and explain key concepts in international business and entrepreneurship with reference to different approaches to foreign market entry and expansion and the critical assessment of each approach in relation to the leadership and culture of the entrepreneurial organization as well as the culture abroad; -

To help students in developing critical analytical, problem-solving, creative and learning skills, and a critical awareness of the constituent elements of the study and practice of international business and entrepreneurship; -

To help students develop a critical awareness of the international business context and entrepreneurship within this context, the processes of internationalization, and the content of international business strategies, and provide them with the tools to apply this knowledge to prepare an international business plan; -

To equip students with a thorough understanding of the value of entrepreneurship research and appropriate skills in research techniques for effective problem solving, in-depth investigation of key issues and how these key issues apply in the international business context. -

To prepare students for careers as entrepreneurs, as owner-managers, policy makers in support services, and entrepreneurial management in different types of organisations with a specific interest in international business; -

To help students to manage their own learning and personal development in the future; and to enable them to become part of a learning, innovative and entrepreneurial community; -

To help students develop a theoretical understanding for and appreciation of why, how and where international business activities occur; -

To help students apply their knowledge of research to the writing of either a traditional dissertation or a comprehensive business plan, both of which will demand critical insights into the topic and the application of research methods.

Learning outcomes and learning, teaching and assessment methods

On successful completion of the programme a graduate should demonstrate knowledge and skills as follows:

A: Knowledge and understanding

A1: Ideas, theory and practice of new venture creation and entrepreneurship processes and their application in various organisational scenarios (key focus on small and medium sized enterprises)

A2: The value of entrepreneurship research and application in different private, public and community contexts

A3: In-depth and critical understanding of key issues in the international business environment including economic, political, legal, technological and socio-cultural factors

A4: Epistemological issues and in-depth and critical understanding of types and processes of internationalization; international business strategies;

A5: In-depth and critical understanding of the leadership of international business ventures, and management of cross-cultural issues arising in marketing, finance and human resource management.

A6: In-depth and critical understanding of the research process and the application of a range of research techniques.

A7: Development of critical theoretical appreciation of 'how', 'why' and 'where' international business activities occur, and the practical application of these activities into an international business plan or dissertation.

Learning methods

Learning/teaching methods/strategies Applies to (A) 1 - 5 inclusive

Directed pre-reading and writing tasks on different aspects of entrepreneurship; lectures; Discussions with tutors and supervisors on the values, principles and applications of entrepreneurship theory and practice.

Directed self-study, observation and reflection of practice; comparative case work in workshops and the classroom; consultation with library materials, projects with small and medium sized enterprises, public agencies, and entrepreneurial firms with a portfolio of international business activities; presentations of findings related to models, strategies and good practice; examination of critical topics.

Informal assessment will be made through group work and oral presentations.

Related feedback, coupled with peer group interaction, should enable students to explore and augment their understanding of the topics, and develop their presentation skills.

Applies to (A) 6 only Self-directed study with supervision.

Assessment methods

Assessment methods Learning outcomes (1) - (6) are formally assessed by course work assignments and written examinations.

Learning outcomes (2), (6) and (7) are assessed by the dissertation or comprehensive international business plan.

B: Intellectual and cognitive skills

B1: Identify, design, develop, create, codify, synthesise, and critically review/analyse theoretical and practical arguments on entrepreneurial opportunities, strategies, and tools for new ventures and public policy for new venture creation, in particular contexts and for different purposes.

B2: Identify, develop and critically review theories of international business

B3: Construction and use of appropriate methodologies and problem-centred/solution focused learning methods in the new venture and international business contexts

B4: Assimilation and acquisition of skills in preparation for developing a comprehensive international business plan or a dissertation.

B5: Carrying out independent research and formulating coherent and cogent arguments

Learning methods

Applies to (B) 1 - 4 inclusive Lectures; workshop exercises, preparation of individual and team-based assignments, presentations of assignments to academic and practitioner panels; peer group work; final examination.

Recommended directed reading, networking with external communities of practice, peer groups, practitioners; reference to public and private fora.

Development of learning logs from the beginning of the course.

Lectures and directed self-study for the identification of different research paradigms, techniques and methods used in traditional dissertation, and those which can be used to inform and support practical business planning scenarios.

Informal assessment will consist of group work and oral presentations.

Related feedback, coupled with peer group interaction, should enable students to explore and augment their understanding of the topics, and develop their presentation skills.

Applies to (B) 5 only Self-directed study with supervision.

Assessment methods

Learning outcomes (1) and (4) are formally assessed by course work assignments and written examinations.

The dissertation or comprehensive business plan provides a further opportunity to assess (3) and (5).

The presentation will conform to the University's policy on oral assessment. 20% of the marks for the dissertation/comprehensive business plan will be awarded for a presentation on the dissertation thesis/business plan.

This will be presented to the MSc group and the panel of external advisers.

The assessment of the traditional dissertation will encompass examination and evaluation of the student's knowledge of research philosophy and methods in exploring a specific topic.

The comprehensive business plan will seek to examine a similar range of research skills as they apply to the international expansion of a business proposition.

C: Practical skills

C1: Compare and contrast different theoretical and practical approaches to entrepreneurship and enterprise development in different types of organisations

C2: Understand and appreciate features of the international business context, and describe and critique these features in relation to the study of entrepreneurship

C3: Lay the detailed, analytical ground work for the development of an international business plan.

C4: Development of practical plans for independent research in the form of either a dissertation or comprehensive international business plan.

Learning methods

Applies to (C) 1- 3 inclusive Direct reading, lectures; review with practitioner advisory group; networking with peers; reference to public and private fora, the International Entrepreneurship Forum; on-line discussions; formation of teams linked to small and medium sized enterprises and other organisations; international visits and activities; workshops; discussions with tutors and supervisors; projects; maintenance of learning logs.

Routine classwork, management of self-learning, group work and interactions with experts will provide an informal means for assessment of the practical skills acquired by the students.

Applies to (C) 3 only Self-directed study with supervision

Assessment methods

Learning Outcomes (1) - (3) are formally assessed by course work assignments, written examinations, and the presentation of individual and group work.

Learning outcome (4) is assessed by the completion of a dissertation or a comprehensive international business plan.

D: Key skills

D1: Oral and written communication to different audiences in a coherent, cogent and effective manner.

D2: Use of information technologies including word processing, spreadsheets, databases, statistical and web-based packages to read, download, analyse and evaluate different types of data and information

D3: Use and manipulate different types of numerical data, solve operations and finance based problems, apply and interpret statistical and visual data, formulate and solve complex managerial problems.

D4: Use and application of analytical, morphological and other creative problem skills

D5: Understanding and appreciation of different communities of interest, good spoken and written communication skills, empathy and resolution of conflict.

D6: Work as project management, including time management, critical task prioritisation, meeting deadlines, evaluating self- learning.

Learning methods

Applies to (D) 1 - 6 inclusive Key projects on different aspects of entrepreneurship as per assignments; support and evaluation of supervisors and practitioner panel (including their feedback); links with the external platforms, such as OECD Trento Centre for Entrepreneurship, International Entrepreneurship Forum, i.10; maintenance of learning log.

Communication in the classroom, written assignments, group work, interactions with external and internal providers and experts, and use of information should provide for the means of assessing the range of key skills.

Assessment methods

Learning outcomes (1), (3) and (4) will be assessed by presentations of individual and group work.

A variety of written coursework assignments and written examinations will assess (2).


The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

Should you have any questions about programme specifications, please contact Course Records, Quality and Academic Development; email: