MSc International Business and Finance

Course overview

This multidisciplinary programme will provide students with an in-depth understanding of the interrelationships between areas of finance and the global economy as they play out in a rapidly evolving international environment.

This programme examines key issues from both a business and economic perspective, including how multinational corporations leverage financial markets when seeking to exploit international business opportunities, the management challenges presented, and the relevance of these to financial and capital markets.

Students will gain an understanding of the international business environment and its competitive and investment climate. Using frameworks and methodologies, students will also investigate the interaction between firm strategies, economic policies and the changing international environment.

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If you have any questions, please contact us by email at postgraduate@henley.ac.uk or by phone on +44 (0)118 378 7593.

How we teach you

A holistic approach

Effective leadership requires more than first-class business acumen. It also requires a degree of self-awareness and sensitivity. Henley is renowned for its well-researched, professional approach to this aspect of business education and all our postgraduate programmes examine this aspect of leadership - helping to create emotionally intelligent graduates who can be fully effective in their chosen careers.

How you will learn

Henley Business School enjoys a strong reputation for the practical application of business ideas and concepts, underpinned by academic excellence and the strength of our research. We offer high-quality technical skills training as well as a deep understanding of the importance of personal development for leaders, a thread that runs through all of our Masters programmes.

Our postgraduate masters programmes feature a mix of core and optional modules, allowing you to tailor your degree towards your individual personal development needs and career ambitions. You will complete up to 10 taught modules during your programme, totalling 180 credits. One module usually equates to 20 credits or 10 hours of work per week. Your week will include lectures, tutorials, workshops and personal study, with each accounting for 25% of your time on average. This stimulating mix of lectures and interactive tutorials provides you with the opportunity to discuss and explore the subject material in depth with your lecturers and fellow students. You will be introduced to the latest thinking and research findings and be able to challenge some of those that have created it. You will also explore real-world issues and tackle current business challenges, and interact with guest lectures and speakers from industry, giving you the opportunity to test, extend and refine your knowledge and skills.

How we assess you

You will learn and be assessed through a wide variety of teaching methods which vary depending on your chosen Masters programme. These include online materials and multimedia content, guest lectures, individual and group assignments, case studies, field visits, dealing room simulations, presentations, applied projects, consultancy work and examinations.

On average examinations form around 70% of the assessed work with the remaining 30% coming from coursework, including a written dissertation or project depending on your chosen programme. The exam period falls between April and June in the summer term, with students taking an average of 5 or 6 exams. Graduation normally takes place in December.

Ongoing support

While postgraduate students are self-motivated and determined individuals, study at this level can present additional pressures which we take seriously. Lecturers are available to discuss the content of each module and your personal tutor can meet with you regularly to discuss any additional issues. Full-time support staff are also available to help with any questions or issues that may arise during your time at Henley

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If you have any questions, please contact us by email at postgraduate@henley.ac.uk or by phone on +44 (0)118 378 7593.

How to apply

Apply for 2016 entry now

There are two different application processes: apply online and apply by post.

The quickest and easiest way to apply for Postgraduate study at Henley Business School, at the University of Reading is through the University’s online application service.

This allows you to complete your application information, attach electronic copies of your academic transcripts, certificates and other supporting information and also provides a facility for an email request to be sent to your referees enabling them to send your supporting references directly to us.

Apply online

Apply online now using the University of Reading's online application system.

Apply by post

If you are unable to apply online you can request a paper application form by telephoning +44(0) 118 378 5289 or writing to the Admissions Office, University of Reading, Miller Building, Whiteknights, Reading, RG6 6AB, UK.

When to apply

We operate a rolling admissions system and it is recommended that you apply early to secure your place. There is no specific deadline and applications will be considered until the programme is full. However, to allow time for us to process your application we recommend that you apply by the following dates for admission in October:

  • UK/EU applicants: by 1 August
  • International applicants: by 1 June

After you apply

You will receive a confirmation email when we receive your application form. Your application is then reviewed by a member of staff.  Successful applicants will receive a formal offer letter outlining any necessary entry cri­teria you will need to meet and you will be asked to confirm your acceptance of this offer.

A (non refundable) deposit of between £500 and £1,000 (depending on the programme you have applied for) is payable upon acceptance of an offer of a place. International applicants requiring a Certificate of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) for a visa will be sent the CAS details by email once all conditions of the offer have been met, and the relevant deposit has been paid.

Throughout the admissions process we will keep you updated with key information via email.   We also provide opportunities to interact with faculty and staff online.

You can find us on Facebook and keep up-to-date with news and events in the School or ask us a question. In addition, you can speak to a current student; our students and alumni are always happy to share their Henley experience.

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If you have any questions, please contact us by email at postgraduate@henley.ac.uk or by phone on +44 (0)118 378 7593.

Meet us

If you are unable to attend of the events listed below, please get in touch with our team.  We will be happy to speak to you by telephone, on Skype or through our Live Chat system (during UK office hours: 9 - 5 pm).

Our contact details are: postgraduate@henley.ac.uk or telephone: +44 (0) 118 378 7593.

Please see our full list of world fairs where you can meet a Henley representative. 

 

 

 

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Contact image

If you have any questions, please contact us by email at postgraduate@henley.ac.uk or by phone on +44 (0)118 378 7593.

Contact image

If you have any questions, please contact us by email at postgraduate@henley.ac.uk or by phone on +44 (0)118 378 7593.

Why Henley?

Duration: 12 months full-time

Starts: September

Assessment: Exams, applied project and individual and group assignments

Consistently maintain highest standards: Henley is in top 1% of business schools worldwide to hold accreditation from all three bodies in the UK, Europe and US

Excellent networking potential : 70,000 Henley alumni in 150 countries

High calibre students: always oversubscribed, 1,000 ambitious new Masters students join Henley each year

Award winning campus: beautiful, green, 134 hectares, with state of the art facilities

World-leading faculty: widely published, frequently asked for expert comment by media and to speak at events

Part of world top 1% ranked university: Reading has a global reputation for its learning experience and employability potential.

Course modules

Module descriptions are correct for modules taught in the academic year 2016/17. Optional module listings are indicative, and may be subject to change.

Module Name Credits

Modules

Compulsory Modules:

This module aims to introduce students to the core concepts and models underlying contemporary strategic management, their theoretical and empirical foundations, their limitations, the arguments surrounding them and their practical application to real issues facing real companies.  This module provides students with an understanding of the conceptual and analytical tools of strategic management and economics.

  • Theories, frameworks and introduction
  • Internal resources and competencies of firms
  • External environment in which firms operate
  • The process of internationalisation
  • Globalisation and regional integration
  • Collaborative behaviour and strategic alliances
  • Integration/responsiveness framework and strategy

 

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20 [10 ECTS credits]

 This module aims to help students get the most from the learning opportunities offered during their MSc course. It provides students with an understanding of what is required to perform well in essays, dissertations, projects, report writing and examinations at the University of Reading. It develops students’ awareness of the appropriate use of methodology, theory, data, literature reviews and original research for a Masters dissertation or project.
  • Essay and exam skills
  • Learning styles
  • Literature review
  • Selecting an appropriate methodology
  • Good research practice
  • Specific research methods
  • MSc dissertation and project

 

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0 [0 ECTS credits]

 This module aims to provide a basic set of frameworks, concepts and theories from international trade, international business, and economic geography to analyse international environments and their impact on multinational firms. It addresses questions of contemporary capitalism, discusses global value chains, and conveys in-depth understanding of various business environments, such as the European Union and the rise of emerging markets.
  • Globalisation and the new competitive realities
  • Institutions, policies and national/regional competitiveness
  • Technological shifts and national innovation systems
  • Global value chains and production networks
  • Geopolitical economy and ‘varieties of capitalism’
  • The business environments of the European Union, North America, Japan and emerging markets (e.g. China)

 

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20 [10 ECTS credits]

 This module aims to examine international business strategy and financial performance of the multinational enterprise (MNE). It will provide students with an understanding of what globalisation and regionalisation mean for today’s managers, the best way to extend their knowledge of how MNEs function, how to turn the messages from the academic literature into effective business strategies within an MNE and how to measure the financial performance of MNEs.
  • Conceptual foundation of international business strategy: seven concepts and one unifying framework
  • Implications of international business strategy for MNE performance; review of financial analysis; practical applications
  • The critical role of firm-specific advantages (FSAs)
  • The nature of home country specific advantages and the problem with host country specific advantages
  • Combining firm-specific advantages and location-specific advantages
  • Introduction to international financial management in MNEs
  • Dynamics of entry-mode strategies: foreign distributors, strategic alliance, mergers and acquisitions

 

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20 [10 ECTS credits]

20 [10 ECTS credits]

20 [10 ECTS credits]

20 [10 ECTS credits]

10 [5 ECTS credits]

Optional Modules:

In addition students must choose optional modules up to the value of 60 credits.  Students must choose at least 20 credits from section B and section C from the lists below and a further 20 credits from either section B or C.      

Section B:

This module aims to provide students with an introduction to the key theories of leadership and an understanding of their practical application in different organisational contexts.

Theoretical approaches will be supplemented by empirical evidence on leadership, leadership in practice and the links with organisational performance. While, real-world examples of organisational leadership will be explored through the use of case studies.

  • Leadership as a relational and process phenomenon
  • Contingency theories and situational approaches
  • Transformational and inspirational approaches to leadership
  • Energising leadership
  • Team leadership, shared leadership and followership
  • Impactful leadership concepts and how they fit with organisations and contemporary expectations of people in organisations
  • Applications of leadership concepts in real-world contexts
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20 [10 ECTS credits]

This module aims to foster a critical awareness of organisational design (OD) issues to enable informed decision-making in the workplace. The course will highlight contemporary thinking, which places greater emphasis on a more adaptive, emergent process of organising to suit complex changing circumstances within an international context. Theory and practice of contemporary organising are examined for their links with organisational performance.

  • The structural perspective: hierarchy and traditional design choices
  • The relational perspective: groups and teams
  • The relational perspective: networks and virtual organising
  • The information perspective: the role of information and ITC in OD
  • Designing across borders
  • Re-designing organisations: change and OD approaches
  • Re-designing and downsizing organisations
  • Designing the post-industrial organisation
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20 [10 ECTS credits]

 The aim of this module is to enable students to appraise and appreciate business practices in unfamiliar contexts, and to explain the differences between these and the contexts that they are familiar with. Moreover, students will learn how managers can address challenges of cross-cultural situations, such as transferring management practice, business negotiations, multicultural teams and expatriation.
  • Management in a national context
  • Institutional perspectives on business in economics and sociology
  • Communication across language boundaries
  • International labour issues
  • National and organisational cultures
  • Corporate governance systems
  • Management transfers

 

 

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20 [10 ECTS credits]

 This module aims to make students familiar with issues relating to the role of multinational enterprises (MNEs) in the process of industrialisation and economic development. This module provides a review of the theory and evidence relating to how foreign direct investment affects the economic structure and industrial development in host countries, taking special interest in developing countries, but also draws on the experience of the developed world.
  • Theories of foreign direct investment and economic development
  • The relationship between MNE activity and globalisation
  • Concepts relating to national systems of learning and innovation, the economics of innovation, institutions and the nature of absorptive capacity
  • The mechanisms through which spillovers and externalities from MNE activity affect domestic industrial development
  • Structural change and economic development
  • Industrial policy in a post-World Trade Organization world as it pertains to investment issues

 

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20 [10 ECTS credits]

This module aims to examine many of the key issues in management and entrepreneurship from an international comparative perspective. Students will consider how entrepreneurial firms operate in differing business cultures, dealing with issues such as corporate governance, management education and the increasingly entrepreneurial role of managers in modern business and how this has evolved.

  • The financial crisis and implications for global entrepreneurship
  • Comparative systems of corporate governance and implications for entrepreneurial firms
  • Comparative management education and implications for entrepreneurial firms
  • Comparative business cultures and global entrepreneurship
  • Individual case studies of the evolution of entrepreneurial strategy and patterns of innovation in the United States, Japan, China, Germany and the UK

 

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20 [10 ECTS credits]

This module gives an overview of the principles of human resource management (HRM) and the evolution of the HR function. It provides a grounding in the key constructs and principles in HRM so that these may examined from a comparative perspective in MMM079 or from a critical perspective in MMM048 (Managing People and Organisations). It considers approaches to HR strategy, as well as key HR processes.

  • Principles, definitions and origins of HRM; approaches to HRM strategy; the HR value proposition
  • Principles and practice of resourcing, recruitment and selection
  • Linking principles of motivation to HR practices
  • Principles and practice of managing performance
  • Principles and practice of reward management
  • Principles of development
  • Ethics, work–life balance and principles of welfare
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20 [10 ECTS credits]

This module aims to explore emerging markets, including the opportunities and challenges that arise in these regions. Beyond macroeconomic indicators, it provides information about the management of firms within this context. The module offers insights on regional differences and the impact of global institutions and governmental regulations, as well as providing an understanding of the opportunities and (managerial) challenges of operating in emerging markets.

  • Global changes and emerging markets
  • Macroeconomic indicators in emerging markets
  • Regions: Asia, Africa, Latin America
  • Governments and institutions in emerging markets
  • Multinational enterprises operating in emerging markets
  • Multinational enterprises from emerging markets operating globally
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20 [10 ECTS credits]

This module aims to provide a foundation in international corporate social responsibility. It draws on the key theories and literature regarding applied ethics and international firm responsibility as they relate to organisational and related management practices. It aims to develop the analytical and discussion skills required for understanding and decision-making, thus enabling international management to engage ethically and responsibly with shareholders and stakeholders.

  • International corporate social responsibility (CSR) – basic theory frameworks and critical current perspectives
  • CSR and globalisation
  • Responsibility and multinational enterprises (MNEs)
  • Normative and descriptive ethical theories – judging and acting ethically in international contexts                                 
  • Responsible corporate governance
  • Socially responsible investment (SRI)
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20 [10 ECTS credits]

This module aims to teach students about the impact of business culture on competition. It comprises an interdisciplinary approach, with perspectives from strategic management, human resource management, general social sciences and the humanities. It aims to introduce the business culture concepts at both macro and micro levels and gives students some first-hand experience in understanding the values of nations, industries and firms.

  • The culture and values of competition
  • Business culture and international expansion 
  • Research and competition among US technology clusters
  • Creativity and the growth of UK media
  • Guanxi and the growth of Chinese software firms
  • Start small and go slow in the Thai agribusiness
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20 [10 ECTS credits]

 This module aims to make students aware of current issues in international business, both from the perspective of the multinational enterprise and its managers, and the external environment. This module provides the students with an in-depth knowledge of contemporary issues in international business, while developing their critical- thinking, presentation, research and writing skills.
  • Research skills
  • Principles of project
  • Critical thinking
  • Presentation
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20 [10 ECTS credits]

This module provides students with an opportunity to gain cross-cultural insights and experience studying abroad at the University of Sydney Business School, Australia. As part of undertaking the module in Sydney, students will be offered a tour of participating companies and will be engaged in a group mini-consulting project with a real-world company. This module enables students to put into practice their knowledge of international business and management, and to develop the essential transferrable skills of critical thinking, identifying business problems, problem solving, researching, presenting and writing.

The 20-credit, Sydney-based module takes place over the summer term. It is offered to both IB and IBF students.

Note that only a small number of students will be selected through a competition process to join this exchange programme. Project supervision and assessment will be carried out by a faculty member from the University of Sydney Business School.

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20 [10 ECTS credits]

Section C:

20 [10 ECTS credits]

Aims: 
The aim of the research project is to allow students to define and execute a piece of research in finance on a topic of their choice, with direction from an academic supervisor and with assistance from a doctoral student support supervisor.

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20 [10 ECTS credits]

Aims: 

This module aims to provide students with an understanding of the origins of Financial Markets, and with a broader appreciation of the early development of products and innovations in Finance - which many assume are recent twentieth century inventions.

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10 [5 ECTS credits]

Aims: 

The main aims of the module are to identify the fundamental determinants of short- and long-term interest rates, learn how to monitor developments in interest rate markets and employ commonly used trading strategies. The course will be based around the work of a research department in an investment bank when formulating strategy for its proprietary trading desk and hedge fund customers. Each lecture will provide: (1) a concise outline of economic theory, (2) practical examples of events in markets from recent years, and (3) identification of trading strategies. Seminars will focus on market pricing conventions and worked examples.

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20 [10 ECTS credits]

Aims: 
In order to raise capital from financiers or secure funding via government grants it is always necessary to produce a robust financial plan. This plan will then be used as a yardstick by all parties to monitor the performance of the business. Typically a detailed twelve month plan is required in addition to a summary level five year plan. Typically these plans will include comprehensive sections on revenue forecasts, profit and loss, cash flows, balance sheet, capex, financing and a commentary with further detail to help explain the figures. The aim of the module is to introduce students to the practicalities of developing and utilising financial models with a view to achieving the overall strategic objectives of an organisation. Students will also gain a thorough understanding of the interaction between the separate statements within a financial model.

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10 [5 ECTS credits]

Aims: 
This module aims to provide students with a detailed knowledge of the Commodity Derivatives Markets. It examines the aspects of pricing and trading physical derivatives, with emphasis on the Energy and Shipping (Freight) sectors. The course is designed using real trading examples, stimulating students, who want to follow a Sales and Trading Career in Investment Banking, to approach derivatives pricing from first principles.

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Aims: 

The objective of the module is to introduce students to the concept of corporate governance, to explain how governance varies around the world and to explore the potential and actual relationships between corporate governance and performance.

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20 [10 ECTS credits]

20 [10 ECTS credits]

20 [10 ECTS credits]

20 [10 ECTS credits]

Apply online

Fees and funding

Home (UK/EU) Overseas (non EU) 
£21,900 £21,900
Please note that a non-refundable deposit is payable when confirming your acceptance of an offer of a place. This is part of your tuition fee and will be deducted from the total amount upon enrolment.

Alumni of the University of Reading who undertake their next level of study at Henley Business School will receive a tuition fee discount of £1000.

UK/European Union Postgraduate Loans

Loans of up to £10,000 are available to eligible students studying for postgraduate masters courses from the 2016-2017 Academic year. In general, students need to be domiciled in England.  EU students, and individuals falling within certain specified categories, may also be eligible.

You can apply for a loan through the UK Government website.  You can read more about the scheme on the Student Loans Company website or on these two UK Government sites: Introduction of loans for postgraduate students and Government response to the Consultation on Support for Postgraduate Study.

 

(UK applicants only)

Applicants who normally live in the UK (for a minimum of three years) can apply for a Professional and Career Development Loan to borrow between £300 and £10,000. This is a bank loan, with interest charged at a commercial fixed rate.

How to apply for a Career Development Loan

See Professional and Career Development Loans.


The University provides opportunities to students from a wide range of backgrounds, who have the desire and ability to succeed. There are a range of scholarships and bursaries on offer for postgraduate students. For further information see: Money matters, costs and budgets for postgraduate students.

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

A good first or second class UK honours degree, or overseas equivalent, will usually be required.  Applicants with relevant experience or professional qualifications will also be considered.

Prior knowledge or experience of your chosen subject area is not required. We welcome applications from recent university graduates from a wide range of disciplines.

See country and region-specific information and entry requirements for International applicants or please contact us with any questions.

Not quite at the required level of English language proficiency for your chosen programme?

Applicants to Henley Business School, whose first language is not English, will be required to attain the International English Language Test Scores (IELTS), or equivalent acceptable qualification accepted by the University, as defined below, to enter a programme.

However, for students who successfully complete one of the Pre-sessional English Language courses run by our International Study and Language Institute, a half-band credit will be applied to their English language condition. (For example - programmes requiring IELTS 7.0 will accept students with a result of 6.5 in the end of Pre-sessional English course assessment providing the student has completed the relevant English course with us).

Applications to the International Study and Language Institute

Henley Business School requires a minimum IELTS score of 7.0 (with no element below 6.0) to enter all programmes except Information Management. Information Management programmes require an IELTS score of 6.5 (with no element below 5.5).

Students completing the above mentioned pre-sessional courses would be allowed entry onto their chosen programme with an overall score of 6.5 for all programmes except Information Management, which will generally accept 6.0.

Equivalent English Language Qualifications will also be accepted. If you require specific advice on your qualification please contact our admissions office directly either by e-mail at pgadmissions@reading.ac.uk or by telephone on +44 118 378 5289.

UK visa requirements

If you are not a national of the European Union (EU), it is likely that you will need to obtain a UK visa to live and study in the UK before you travel. See the UK Border Agency website. Contact the University's International Office with any questions: intoff@reading.ac.uk.

Apply online

Careers and accreditations

Graduates of the MSc International Business and Finance follow a variety of career paths upon graduation. These include roles in finance or general management, working for a range of employers such as large corporations or multinational enterprises, financial institutions, banks, securities companies or government agencies.

Our graduates tell us that the programme gives them the key skills and knowledge required to build a career in finance in multinational enterprises, financial institutions or government agencies.

What our students say

Speak to a student

Our students and alumni are always keen to share their Henley experience, whether you are a prospective applicant or you've already applied for a place on a Masters programme at Henley Business School. For a unique insight into every aspect of life in the School and on campus, you can contact any of our students and alumni below, via email, Skype or social media.

When contacting one of our students for the first time, please introduce yourself and the Masters programme you have applied for before you outline any questions you might have.


Hugo Whiskard, UK
MSc International Business & Finance, 2016


Skype: Hugo.whiskard

Email: Email