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MN30085: The internationalisation of business

[Page last updated: 23 October 2023]

Academic Year: 2023/24
Owning Department/School: School of Management
Credits: 6 [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 120
Level: Honours (FHEQ level 6)
Semester 1
Assessment Summary: CW 30%, EX 70%
Assessment Detail:
  • Group Assignment (CW 30% - Qualifying Mark: 35)
  • Examination (EX 70% - Qualifying Mark: 35)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Learning Outcomes: By the end of this unit, the student should:
* be able to identify and understand the relevance of economic theories of international trade and investment;
* have an awareness of the political-economic issues which surround international business activity;
* Understand the range of strategic alternatives for internationalisation and their contexts;
* Understand the range of organisational governance structures internationalised business might adopt;
* Be aware of how companies enter foreign markets, the pros and cons of these alternatives, and their appropriateness within different contexts.

Aims: This course will look at international business in terms of the trade and investment activities conducted by firms across national borders. It concentrates on the broader issues managers have to consider when operating in an international context.
The course is structured into two sections. The first part introduces why international business is important and focuses on the global trade and investment environment. It looks particularly at the main modes of internationalised business activity: trade and foreign direct investment (FDI). We look review the theoretical development that describes the motives for these activities and consider the impact of trade and FDI on national economies. The second part of the course covers broader corporate level considerations when deciding to operate beyond their domestic borders. We will look at how companies match their strategies and structures to the opportunities the international market presents them as well as the range of entry modes potentially available to them.

Skills: Intellectual skills: analytical skills, evaluation, presentation of a balanced argument with supporting evidence. (F, A)
Professional Practical skills:
Transferable/ Key skills: independent research, project writing, bibliography compiling, ability to appreciate multiple perspectives on issues. (F, A).

Content: The theories of international business, including those pertaining to trade, FDI and theories of the multinational enterprise. The risks of international operations - political and economic risk. The motivations for multinational operation. The strategic options for establishing a global network of subsidiaries. The different forms of multinational operation. Alternative modes of market entry.

Course availability:

MN30085 is Compulsory on the following courses:

Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies
  • UXXX-AYB05 : BSc(Hons) International Management and Modern Languages (French) with Year Abroad (Year 4)
  • UXXX-AYB04 : BSc(Hons) International Management and Modern Languages (German) with Year Abroad (Year 4)
  • UXXX-AYB06 : BSc(Hons) International Management and Modern Languages (Spanish) with Year Abroad (Year 4)


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2023/24 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2024/25 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2023/24.
  • Courses and units are subject to change in accordance with normal University procedures.
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