International Business and Politics

MSc ( 1 year Full-time / 2 years Part-time )


In recent years interest in the relationship between international business and (especially international) politics has increased. This programme sets out to explore concepts, approaches and methods from a truly inter-disciplinary perspective and offers a rich and stimulating basis for postgraduate study. The degree offers a framework for exploring the changing relationship between states and markets, international institutions of global political-economic governance, transnational companies, work, geo-politics, industrialisation and development.

The aims of the programme are for you to:

  • develop advanced and critical understandings of the politics of international business from various intellectual perspectives, from neo-liberal and mainstream business studies approaches, through to more critical approaches which engage with questions of power and resistance;
  • acquire an advanced theoretical grounding in the core aspects, and history and politics of, business and its growing internationalisation; 
  • expand the skills to conduct empirical analysis and enquiry, and to present this work in both verbal and written formats, which can be used in the wider professional world.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the programme you will be able to:

  • demonstrate a clear understanding of the relationship between politics and international business
  • describe how these processes have changed through recent history 
  • trace the histories of the relationship between the state, business and the growing internationalisation of both of these 
  • discuss the various interpretations of capitalism
  • explore in depth contemporary manifestations and examples of the politics of international business, with particular attention to state-market relations and North-South questions, and the geo-political implications of these issues 
  • develop the ability to work with a range of theoretical frameworks 
  • consolidate participatory and group working skills 
  • enhance a range of transferable skills notably critical reading, oral and written communication 
  • organise, initiate and lead group discussions 
  • undertake empirical analysis and research.

Why study your MSc in International Business and Politics at QMUL?

This programme benefits from the expertise of two reputed Schools at Queen Mary University of London:

The School of Politics and International Relations 

The School of Politics and International Relations is committed to developing, maintaining and supporting excellent and innovative teaching and research amongst its faculty, and to fostering independent learning and critical thinking among our students. We are placed 14th in the country for the percentage of our 3* and 4* research outputs (the best published research), meaning that you will be personally taught by academics who are leaders in their field.

The school has particular strengths in international security, conflict and war, the political economy of North-South relations, international political theory, Middle East politics, and the transition from the Cold War to the contemporary post-Cold War world. This programme is led by research active staff, who are responding to the very latest global events, so content is very timely.

The School of Business and Management 

The School of Business and Management has built a strong reputation for our distinctive approach, in particular our focus on the interdisciplinary nature of business and management.

We concentrate on developing your communication and presentation skills, as well as your ability to offer insightful analysis and creative thinking. We draw on a long history of human thought, working on the principle that a truly practical business education teaches you to think beyond textbooks, management fads, and memorised formulas for success.


You will have special access to the Innovation Pod, Think Pod, and the QUBE Mac Suite.  The Think Pod is an interactive collaboration space with presentation, recording and video conferencing facilities. The Innovation Pod provides workspaces for individual learning. The QUBE Mac Suite is a workspace for student entrepreneurs providing 27-inch iMac computers with state-of- the art media creation and editing software.

You will also have access to QMUL's comprehensive libraries, which include extensive online resources. You will also be able to use the main University of London Library at Senate House. The British Library can also be easily accessed as a research resource.

Both Schools run a lively range of extra-curricular seminars and groups at that you can attend to complement your studies, including events run by our various research centres.


The MSc in International Business and Politics is currently available for one year full-time study, or two years part-time study. There are six taught modules spread over two semesters, as well as a 12,000 word dissertation.

Please note that your pattern of study will vary depending on your module choices.

Compulsory Modules:

Optional modules include:

Two Business modules from the following options:

One Politics and IR module from the following options:

Please note that the availability of these modules, the range of elective modules the module organisers and the semester during which each module is run may vary from year to year. The School reserves the right to withdraw one or more of the elective modules if there is insufficient student interest. Detailed module information will be distributed at the start of your study.

Part Time Students

As a part-time student, you will start with the core SPIR module ‘Approaches to Political Economy’ in Semester A of your first year. In Semester B you will take 30 credits from the SBM options. In the second year you will take "World Economy and Development" and either ‘Organisational Behaviour’ or 'Strategic Management' in Semester A, 30 credits from SPIR in Semester B, and the 60 credit dissertation in Semester C. 

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper-second class honours degree in Politics or a related discipline. Students should also have IELTS 7.

International applicants:

Students from outside of the UK help form a global community here at Queen Mary. For detailed country specific entry requirements please visit the International section of our website. If your first language is not English, you must provide evidence of your English language proficiency. Read more details on our English language entry requirements.

If you do not meet language or scholarly requirements it might be possible for you to undertake foundation or pre-sessional programmes that will prepare you for the masters programme. For more information, please contact the Admissions Office.

Learning and teaching

Learning and Teaching:

As a student at Queen Mary, you will play an active part in your acquisition of skills and knowledge. Teaching is by a mixture of formal lectures and small group seminars. The seminars are designed to generate informed discussion around set topics, and may involve student presentations, group exercise and role-play as well as open discussion. We take pride in the close and friendly working relationship we have with our students. You are assigned an Academic Adviser who will guide you in both academic and pastoral matters throughout your time at Queen Mary.

Independent Study:

For every hour spent in formal study you will be expected to complete further  hours of independent study. Your individual study time could be spent preparing for, or following up on formal study sessions; reading; producing written work; completing projects; and revising for examinations.

The direction of your individual study will be guided by the formal study sessions you attend, along with your reading lists and assignments. However, we expect you to demonstrate an active role in your own learning by reading widely and expanding your own knowledge, understanding and critical ability.

Independent study will foster in you the ability to identify your own learning needs and determine which areas you need to focus on to become proficient in your subject area. This is an important transferable skill and will help to prepare you for the transition to working life.


Teaching for all modules includes a combination of lectures, seminars and interaction with the Virtual Learning Environment. A wide range of assessment techniques are used, including coursework examinations and a dissertation. Coursework may take the form of an individual and/or group assignment, individual and/or group presentations or invigilated tests. Examinations take place in May or early June. Students must achieve an overall pass in the taught element in order to progress to their dissertation which must also be passed for a degree to be awarded.


You will also be assessed on a supervised 12,000-word dissertation.



Tuition fees for Home and EU students

2019/20 Academic Year

Full time £9,150
Part time £4,575

Tuition fees for International students

2019/20 Academic Year

Full time £16,550
Part time £8,275

Part time fees are charged per annum over two years for a two year programme and per annum over three years for a three year programme. A percentage increase may be applied to the fees in years two and three.

This increase is defined each year and published on the intranet and in the Tuition Fee Regulations. A 3% increase was applied to the unregulated university fees in 2019/20. Further information can be viewed on our University Fees webpage, including details about annual increases.


There are a number of sources of funding available for Masters students.

These include a significant package of competitive Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) bursaries and scholarships in a range of subject areas, as well as external sources of funding.

Queen Mary bursaries and scholarships

We offer a range of bursaries and scholarships for Masters students including competitive scholarships, bursaries and awards, some of which are for applicants studying specific subjects.

Find out more about QMUL bursaries and scholarships.

Alternative sources of funding

Home/EU students can apply for a range of other funding, such as Professional and Career Development Loans, and Employer Sponsorship, depending on their circumstances and the specific programme of study.

Overseas students may be eligible to apply for a range of external scholarships and we also provide information about relevant funding providers in your home country on our country web pages.

Download our Postgraduate Funding Guide for detailed information about postgraduate funding options for Home/EU students.

Read more about alternative sources of funding for Home/EU students and for Overseas students.

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 5079

Other financial help on offer at Queen Mary

We offer one to one specialist support on all financial and welfare issues through our Advice and Counselling Service, which you can access as soon as you have applied for a place at Queen Mary.

Our Advice and Counselling Service also has lots of Student Advice Guides on all aspects of finance including:

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 8717



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