Undergraduate study - 2020 entry

Degree Programme Specification 2019/2020

MA Honours in International Business with Spanish

To give you an idea of what to expect from this programme, we publish the latest available information. This information is created when new programmes are established and is only updated periodically as programmes are formally reviewed. It is therefore only accurate on the date of last revision.
Awarding institution: The University of Edinburgh
Teaching institution: The University of Edinburgh
Programme accredited by:

Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) Full Accreditation European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS)

Final award: MA Honours
Programme title: International Business with Spanish
UCAS code: N1R4
Relevant QAA subject benchmarking group(s): Business and Management
Postholder with overall responsibility for QA: Dr Inger Seiferheld
Date of production/revision: August 2017

External summary

International Business encompasses the study of public, private and not-for-profit organisations, both small and large, their management practices and processes, and the changing external and increasingly global environment in which they operate.  The four-year MA Honours degree programme in International Business with Spanish designed to address the growing internationalisation and globalisation of business. To reflect that, students are required, through the third year exchange programme, to study abroad and experience at first hand different cultures and approaches and develop their understanding of the international environment. For students with Spanish, this will include studying Business in the foreign language.  The Business School currently has a number of exchange partners in Europe for those whose language of study is Spanish.

In the degree we reflect the dynamic climate of contemporary business and management, offering specialist courses in areas such as Business and Society: The Impact of Globalisation and Managing Across Borders and Cultures, drawing on disciplines which include psychology, law, economics and sociology.  A range of compulsory and optional courses examine topics in the context of businesses and of other types of organisation, including, charities, voluntary organisations and the public sector.  Students gain specific business knowledge, an understanding of the business world and develop a range of transferable, intellectual and study skills which are appropriate not only for those aspiring to a career in management but for those interested in the relationships between people, organisations and their environment who intend to pursue career opportunities within other types of organisation. 

The School has strong links to the world of practice through research, consultancy and teaching, which ensures that our programmes are attuned to needs of employers and prepare students for a wide range of career opportunities post graduation.

Educational aims of programme

The educational aim of the MA Honours in International Business with Spanish programme is to provide students with the opportunity to develop and demonstrate:

  • analytical and conceptual knowledge and knowledge of skills relevant to senior management in purposeful organisations. This knowledge includes that of the internal aspects, functions and processes of organisations, the economic, environmental, ethical, legal, political, sociological and technological context in which organisations exist and of the conceptual and analytical  tools valuable in their critical analysis;
  • a grounding in the key concepts across a range of specialist areas: business policy, marketing, finance, human resource management, industrial relations, management science and operations management and business economics;
  • the proficiency to practice integrated and multiple management skills, including computer literacy, independent action, communication, team-working and inter-personal interaction;
  • the knowledge and skills to address problems through flexible, adaptable, innovative and judgmental approaches;
  • general transferable intellectual and study skills which will equip graduates to make a valuable contribution both within their chosen career path and in the wider community and to encourage a positive attitude to continuing development and lifelong learning.

Programme outcomes: Knowledge and understanding

During the programme students will have been given opportunities to develop their knowledge in-depth of international business and one or more functional areas, including finance, strategy, organisational behaviour, marketing, management science and operations and quality management.  On completion of the programme, students will have acquired a good knowledge and understanding of:

  • the internal functions and processes of organisations which includes their purposes, how they are structured and their governance, how they are operated and managed and an appreciation of their diversity. The behaviour of individuals and of organisations as a whole and their inter-relationships with their external environments are also included.
  • the external environment in which organisations operate including economic factors, ethical factors, political factors, sociological factors and technological factors and their inter-relationships with the strategy, behaviour and management of organisations.
  • the processes, procedures and practices of the management of organisations, with a particular focus on key issues in international business,. This includes theories, models, tasks and roles of management and rational analysis and other processes of decision making within organisations and in relation to the external environment.

Programme outcomes: Graduate attributes - Skills and abilities in research and enquiry

International Business with Spanish graduates will be able to:

  • understand the principles, methods, standards, values and boundaries of the business discipline and have the capacity to question these.
  • assess critically existing understanding about a range of areas within the field of business and recognise the need to re-evaluate such knowledge and the limitations of their own knowledge.
  •  identify, define and analyse theoretical and applied business problems and identify or develop approaches using appropriate quantitative or qualitative techniques to explore and solve them.
  • search for, evaluate and use information to form the basis of effective knowledge assimilation and synthesis within a number of business areas, recognising limitations resulting from the chosen approach.
  • use practical and theoretical knowledge to both design and undertake a piece of original research and write this up as a dissertation.

Programme outcomes: Graduate attributes - Skills and abilities in personal and intellectual autonomy

International Business with Spanish graduates will be:

  • independent learners who take responsibility for their own learning across a range of chosen areas of study, both within and outside business, and are committed to continuous reflection, self-evaluation and self-improvement.
  • open to new ideas, methods and ways of thinking about business issues.
  • able to make decisions on the basis of rigorous and independent thought, taking into account ethical and professional issues.
  • able to collaborate and debate effectively to test, modify and strengthen their own views.
  • curious intellectually and able to sustain intellectual interest, through individual and group work assignments, in particular during the research and writing process associated with the dissertation.
  • aware of, and able to select and effectively use appropriate business data, information sources and research methodologies to carry out research into business and management issues for projects, dissertations and presentations, either individually or as part of a team.
  • able to develop and work towards a personal vision and goals and being able to work independently towards these in a sustainable way.

Programme outcomes: Graduate attributes - Skills and abilities in communication

International Business with Spanish graduates will be able to:

  • apply written, oral and visual presentation skills in individual or group projects as well as through presentations linked to lecture courses both within and outside business.
  • communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, using a range of media which are widely used in business, in both English and Spanish.
  • make effective use of oral, written and visual means to critique, negotiate, create and communicate understanding during individual and group activities.
  • use communication as a tool for collaborating and relating to others in a range of settings, including lectures, workshops/tutorial and group project settings, listening to colleagues, constructing arguments, thinking on feet and convincing others.
  • further their own learning through effective use of the full range of communication approaches.
  • seek and value open feedback from academic and support staff, as well as peers, to inform genuine self-awareness.
  • use effective communication to articulate positively their skills identified through self-reflection.

Programme outcomes: Graduate attributes - Skills and abilities in personal effectiveness

International Business with Spanish graduates will be able to:

  • reflect upon themselves to recognise their personal strengths and the situations where they can best be applied.
  • identify opportunities to enhance their skills and knowledge in key areas and recognise how and where to gain experience to build personal capabilities.
  • identify, seek out or otherwise create and harness opportunities in a range of areas relevant to their studies within and outside business.
  • manage tasks and skills in time-management.
  • be confident to make decisions based upon their assimilated understandings and their personal and intellectual autonomy.
  • transfer their knowledge, learning, skills and abilities from one context to another, using their understanding of the issues relevant and appropriate to each situation.
  • work effectively with others, capitalising on their different thinking, contrasting experience and complementary skillswork with, manage, and lead others in ways which value difference and equality and which encourage their contribution to the organisation and the wider community.

Programme outcomes: Technical/practical skills

International Business with Spanish graduates will have developed skills to:

  • apply theoretical and conceptual knowledge to practical situations.
  • obtain and process information from a variety of sources.
  • take decisions in a range of challenging situations, informed by analysis of available information.
  • work with others in team-based settings to deliver a project to an outline brief.
  • plan and manage the use of resources, including time and people.
  • summarise large quantities of material to present it in report format for a management audience.
  • make effective use  of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for business applications.
  • communicate effectively using a range of oral and written methods.

Programme structure and features

The MA International Business with Spanish degree is an Honours degree taken over four years. It consists of two years of pre-Honours courses totalling 240 credits at SQCF level 8 and two years of Honours courses totalling 240 credits at SQCF level 10. The structure for each year is as follows:

  • 1st year: compulsory courses in Global Challenges for Business (20 credits), The Business of Edinburgh (20 credits) and Spanish 1A or Spanish 1B (40 credits); the remaining 40 credits in Accountancy 1A (20 credits) and Accountancy 1B (20 credits) or Economics 1 (40 credits) or Economic Principles and Applications (40 credits) is recommended but students can take one or two other courses in other subject areas.
  • 2nd year: three compulsory courses in business, International Business: Globalisation and Trade 2A (20 credits), International Business and the Multinational Enterprise 2B (20 credits) and Business Research Methods I: Introduction to Data Analysis (20 credits); compulsory non-credit bearing course Career Development Planning; compulsory Spanish 2 (40 credits); one further course in Business (20 credits).
  • 3rd year: spent studying abroad at an approved overseas exchange partner institution in the country of the language being studied, credit load equivalent to 120 University of Edinburgh credits; all students must complete and pass an equivalent course to the third year compulsory course Strategic Management; a compulsory 0-credit course, Research in Management to support the dissertation process, completed using Learn-based materials.
  • 4th year: Management Honours Dissertation on a research topic of particular interest to the student (40 credits); four Business Honours courses (80 credits) from a choice of over 30 options. Students must choose a minimum of 60 credits in International Business: either an International Business oriented Dissertation (40 credits) plus one International Business designated course (20 credits) or three International Business designated courses (60 credits) from the courses available.

For full details of the degree programme and structure see the Degree Regulations and Programmes of Study http://www.drps.ed.ac.uk For details of the entry requirements see http://www.ed.ac.uk/studying/undergraduate/applications-admissions/entry-requirements

Progression requirements for entry into Honours (3rd year):

Students are normally required to pass all of their courses in the first two years (240 credits) and achieve a mark of 50% or above at the first attempt in two Business courses in second year (not including Business Research Methods I: Introduction to Data Analysis)  

For full details of the degree programme, structure, learning outcomes and assessment practices for each course see the Degree Regulations and Programmes of Study http://www.drps.ed.ac.uk. More detailed information on course content is provided in course handbooks which are distributed at the start of each course. In addition to the individual course handbooks, the School also publishes details of 2nd year courses and Honours to assist students in their course choices. A Dissertation handbook is also published each year.

Teaching and learning methods and strategies

Teaching and learning strategies employed within the Business School and in other Schools where students take courses outside the business area embrace of a variety of different methods appropriate to the programme aims. The graduate attributes listed above are met through a teaching and learning framework (detailed below) which is appropriate to the level and content of the course.

The third year of the degree programme is spent studying and approved range of courses at an overseas exchange partner institution, equivalent to a load of 120 University of Edinburgh credits. Teaching and learning approaches employed at partner institutions vary between institutions but include many of the approaches employed within the School, including lectures and tutorials.

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Lectures

Yes

Yes

Varies depending on exchange partner institution

Yes

Computer laboratories

Yes

Depends on choice of option courses

Workshops

Yes

Tutorials

Yes

Yes

Oral classes

Yes

Yes

Problem-based learning activities

Yes

Yes

Yes

Independent study

Yes

Yes

Yes

Peer group learning

Yes

Yes

Yes

Poster presentation

Yes

Group projects

Yes

Yes

Yes

One-to-one meetings with course lecturers/tutors/directors of studies

Yes

Yes

Yes

Independent research for the Honours dissertation research

Yes

Facilities within the School

  • Information technology and other computer-based sessions are delivered in the Business School’s IT Teaching Lab at 29 Buccleuch Place.  The lab is equipped with 60 networked PCs which provide access to an extensive range of software packages and applications to support learning through teaching and independent study.
  • Honours students have exclusive use of the UG Resource Centre which is located in a suite of rooms in 16 Buccleuch Place, opposite the main Business School building. The Centre houses two computer labs with a total of 20 work stations and printing facilities, group study space for six groups, and a group presentation room with full audio visual facilities.

Non-Teaching Weeks Semester 1: Mon 23rd October – Friday 27th October 2017. Semester 2: Mon 19th to Friday 23rd February 2018

#make your mark During the semester 1 non-teaching week, the Business School will be running #makeyourmark - https://www.business-school.ed.ac.uk/makeyourmark/. A non-curricula event, #make your mark is run by University of Edinburgh Business School as part of its mission is to develop responsible leaders. It is a team based social enterprise challenge (spread over 2.5 days – Tues 24th-Thurs 26th Oct 2017) which aims to inspire students to view business as part of the solution to addressing today’s global challenges.

Students will work in groups (with students from the Business School and beyond) and are challenged over 2.5 days to develop their social enterprise business ideas which help to tackle inequalities and transform local communities. With #makeyourmark, we aim to contribute to Scotland’s leading role in social enterprise, research and innovation and is supported by a wide variety of corporate and social enterprise partners. Find out more about #makeyourmark 2016/2017 from the students who participated - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SbcxhdwdeAM&feature=youtu.be

Festival of Creating Learning http://www.festivalofcreativelearning.ed.ac.uk

The University of Edinburgh’s Festival of Creative Learning will include a programme of events and activities running throughout the academic year, together with a week-long programme of events in February 2018 (Semester 2 - Week 6; 19 – 23 February 2018). During this week ‘normal’ teaching is suspended which provides space for staff and students to explore new learning activities outwith and complementary to the regular curriculum.

Assessment methods and strategies

Courses can be assessed by a diverse range of methods and often take the form of formative work which provides the student with on-going feedback as well as summative assessment. The most common methods of assessment are identified in the table below.  A very small number of courses are assessed using only a single, written examination or coursework assignment: most courses employ two or more different forms of assessment, and a growing number combine both individual and group-based activities to develop both subject-specific knowledge and subject-specific and transferable skills.

The third year of the degree programme is spent studying and approved range of courses at an overseas exchange partner institution, equivalent to a load of 120 University of Edinburgh credits. Assessment approaches employed at partner institutions vary between institutions but include many of the approaches employed within the School such as examinations, and coursework essays and projects.

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Written Examinations (seen and unseen)

Yes

Yes

Varies depending on exchange partner institution

Yes

Essays

Yes

Yes

Yes

Group/individual project

Yes

Yes

Yes

In-class Tests

Depends on choice of elective course

On-line class test

Depends on choice of elective course

Depends on choice of elective course

Poster presentations

Yes

Oral presentations

Yes

Yes

Oral tests

Yes

Yes

Written business plan

Depends on choice of elective course

Dissertation

Yes

The classification of the Honours degree is based on performance in both of the Honours years (3rd and 4th year), unless the third year is spent on exchange studying at an overseas partner university. For MA International Business students, the degree classification is based on performance in the final Honours 4th year only.

Career opportunities

A key aim of our degrees is to combine academic knowledge with transferable skills and competencies in order to enhance employability.  International Business with Spanish graduates are highly valued by employers across the world and the employment record of graduates of the School is evidence that graduates from our programmes are highly sought after by a wide range of employers.  Our graduates secure employment in a diverse range of fields, the most popular being accountancy, management, consulting, finance, marketing and human resources.

During the second year of the programme all students take the Career Development Planning course which encourages early thinking about possible career paths ensuring there is ample time to reflect on how best to develop appropriate knowledge, skills and experience to maximise the likelihood of securing employment in the chosen field. 

Other items

  • All students on the programme are allocated a Personal Tutor, whose role is to provide advice and guidance on academic and personal matters.
  • All students have e-mail, which facilitates easy communication with academic and administrative staff.  Generous office-hour provision allows easy personal contact with teaching staff outside formal classes. We encourage all our students to regularly check their University of Edinburgh email address.
  • Opportunities are available to study abroad in the 3rd year on a Business School exchange or University exchange at a partner university Business School; the Business School currently has around 50 exchange partners in Europe, North America, Australasia and Asia
  • 1st year students participate in an induction programme in Welcome Week for general orientation and introduction to study skills and learning resources. All students are invited to a School induction event at the beginning of the academic year.
  • Peer-Assisted Learning scheme (PALs): 1st year students are encouraged to take advantage of the School’s BizPAL scheme, which consists of student leaders (usually senior students) who are trained to support and facilitate study sessions for those in earlier years. The BizPALs leaders plan a number of peer-facilitated activities to develop autonomous and enquiry-based learning and encourage students to maximise their academic potential.
  • Library, IT, computing and study-skills information packs, backed up by extensive advice and guidance on-line and in general.
  • All students are provided with e-learning and course materials via Learn.
  • In addition to the School’ss IT Teaching Lab there are extensive library and related IT and data resources in the nearby University Library.  Additional computing resources are available in extensive open access labs run by the University Computing Service, located in the Central Area as well as at the Pollock Halls of Residence.
  • • University support services include the Advice Place (run by the Students’ Association), the Student Counselling Service, Chaplaincy Centre, the Student Disability Service, Accommodation Services, Edinburgh Global and the Student Employment Service.
  • Active student societies including: the Business Society BizSoc; AIESEC (an international business society); the Student Industrial Society; the Trading and Investment Club (EUTIC) and the Entrepreneurship Club.
  • • Careers advice is provided by the University Careers Service; the School runs a compulsory course Career Development Planning in 2nd year of the programme.