Intercultural Communication with International Business MA

Preparing you for a wide range of careers in the area of communication and intercultural consultancy in multinational and international business.

Why Surrey?

This programme combines the internationally recognised research and teaching strengths in the School of English and Languages with the expertise of the internationally renowned Surrey Business School, accredited by AACSB International – the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

We will prepare you for a wide range of careers in the areas of communication and intercultural consultancy in multinational and international business, particularly in the fields of intercultural training, human resource management and communication. We will also provide you with valuable preparation for a career in government overseas agencies and international diplomatic organisations, the voluntary sector, local government initiatives and business consultancies, as well as in the communication industries.

Programme overview

This programme is ideal for business professionals who want to enhance their existing profile with a postgraduate qualification; humanities graduates who want to gain business skills to apply for roles relating to their first degrees (for example to start careers in publishing or arts management); graduates from business disciplines who want to deepen their insight into business across linguistic and cultural boundaries; and graduates in English language, linguistics or translation studies who want to add business skills to their portfolio.

The programme provides linguistic studies, cultural studies and international business components as well as a module in Research Methods. You will take six compulsory modules and two optional modules which range across the three components, giving you the opportunity to specialise according to your personal interest in your dissertation. The programme includes numerous opportunities to apply and develop your skills through practical tasks.

Module Overview

Programme Structure

* Optional modules may be subject to change

C - Compulsory, O - Optional

Modules Credits MA
Organisational Behaviour 15 C
International Business Management 15 C
Interpersonal Communication 15 C
Intercultural Communication for Business Purposes 15 C
Teaching Intercultural Communication 15 C
Introduction to Research Methods: Answering Questions with Evidence 15 C
Global Diversity in Language and Communication * 15 O
Women and Representation in Marketing, Media and Cultural Contexts * 15 O
The Language of Advertising * 15 O
Professional Communication* 15 O
Globalisation: Theories, Discourses and Practices * 15 O
Organisations and Written Communication * 15 O
Dissertation 60 C

Compulsory Modules

Organisational Behaviour

This module explores individual, group and organisational behaviour. It integrates the study of forms, structures and processes of organisations with the human aspects of psychology at work. It provides an insight into the fundamentals on which organisations are built and provides a set of analytical systems for understanding behaviour at work and managerial processes.

International Business Management

This module includes integrating and applying the concepts of marketing, strategy, staff and financial management to the international workplace. It pays special attention to issues such as globalisation, foreign direct investment (FDI) theory and patterns, the role and importance of the multinational company (MNC), managing human resources within the MNC, and comparative studies of cultural and institutional influences on the management of MNCs.

Interpersonal Communication

This module considers conversational implicature, speech act theory, frames and footing, politeness, conversation analysis and conversational style.

Intercultural Communication for Business Purposes

This module aims to develop insights into the relationship between linguistic, cultural and psychological signals, and an increased awareness of communication as both a linear and circular mode of information transfer.

Introduction to Research Methods: Answering Questions with Evidence

This module provides an introduction to some of the principal tools of social research in preparation for the dissertation. Through the provision of hands-on experience in workshop exercises, you will be equipped with the tools to evaluate evidence that has been generated through various methods and techniques and to select appropriately from among these in planning your own research.

Teaching Intercultural Communication

This module provides a practical introduction to teaching intercultural communication in various settings and contexts. Starting from a discussion of the nature of intercultural competence, it will cover ways of assessing intercultural competence, needs analysis and tools / approaches to teaching, as well as providing an overview of the current market in intercultural teaching and training.

Optional Modules

Global Diversity in Language and Communication

This module investigates the ideological, social and historical moorings of communication that shape today’s globalised world.

Women and Representation in Media, Marketing and Cultural Contexts

The module will introduce you to the ways in which women are represented in a variety of texts, written, spoken and visual, in particular within the context of marketing and advertising and the media. You will develop the ability to analyse these representations. Topics include: gender stereotyping; consumerism; sexuality; other relations of difference (e.g. ethnicity; disability; sexual orientation); and cross cultural comparisons, among others).

Professional Communication

This module will provide you to the main issues concerning communication in both written and oral genres in professional settings as well as the theoretical and methodological approaches used to study such issues. This will equip them with the skills to reflect critically on professional communication events in a variety of contexts.

The Language of Advertising

This module will teach you how to apply concepts from linguistics, in particular pragmatics, and semiotics to the analysis of advertisements. It will examine how advertisement designers exploit linguistic and visual means in order to communicate messages and to persuade their recipients. It will consider advertisements in various media, including newspapers/journals, radio, TV and the internet, and will examine the effect of culture on the production and perception of advertisements.

Assessment and Module Summary

Most modules are assessed by written assignment and some by a combination of assignment and examination. Some programmes also include projects and group work. For the master’s stage, you will complete a 10,000 to 12,000-word dissertation on an approved subject of particular interest to you.

Contact Hours

A total of eight contact hours per week in each semester for a full-time student. Part-time students usually spread the programme evenly over two years. Each 15-credit module involves 150 hours of work (made up of two contact hours per week for 12 weeks, reading, completion of assessment tasks, and so on).

Career Prospects

This degree will prepare you for a career in the areas of communication and intercultural consultancy, particularly, though not exclusively, where the use of English is required. More specifically, the programme will appeal if you are seeking to work in multinational and international business, in particular in the fields of intercultural training, human resource management, and communication and marketing. It will provide valuable preparation for careers in government overseas agencies and international diplomatic organisations, the voluntary sector, local government community initiatives and business consultancies, as well as in the communication industries.

Many of our graduates go on to find employment in a wide range of international organisations and businesses; others choose to take research degrees in their subject.

Recent graduates of the MA Intercultural Communication with International Business have undertaken the following careers:

  • Intercultural consultant for a Polish subsidiary of a multinational business
  • HR manager
  • Capital investment consultant (Asia)
  • International relations manager – Greek National Bank
  • Programme assistant – United Nations

Research students have undertaken PhD research in the following areas:

  • Political communication
  • Communication theory
  • Cross-cultural and intercultural communication

Academic Support

As a student of the School of English and Languages, you will benefit from the expertise of a vibrant, multidisciplinary group of academics. You will also have access to a number of conferences, seminars and workshops hosted throughout the year. These events cover a range of topics to broaden your thinking in the fields of literature, language and linguistics, cultural studies and creative writing.

The business component of the programme will also allow you to benefit from the close affiliation with the Surrey Business School, a leading provider of internationally recognised postgraduate vocational management degrees. The School has strong links with industry and has established a number of high-profile partnerships with multinational organisations. You will be supported by a team of international staff with a wealth of global experience and specialist expertise. Surrey Business School modules are fully accredited by AACSB International.

English language support for all

Programmes available to all students include:

  • Oral Skills
  • Academic Listening
  • Contemporary British Society
  • Pronunciation
  • Critical Thinking
  • Legal English
  • Academic Reading and Note-Taking
  • Grammar Revision
  • Essay Writing
  • Essay Writing for Native English Speakers
  • Thesis / Dissertation Writing

Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

AACSB International offers a set of standards that are relevant and applicable to all business programmes globally and which support and encourage excellence in management education worldwide.

AACSB International accreditation represents the highest standard of achievement for business schools worldwide. Institutions that earn accreditation confirm their commitment to quality and continuous improvement through a rigorous and comprehensive peer review. AACSB International accreditation is the hallmark of excellence in management education worldwide.

AACSB International accreditation assures stakeholders that business schools:

  • Manage resources to achieve a vibrant and relevant mission
  • Advance business and management knowledge through faculty scholarship
  • Provide high-calibre teaching of quality and current curricula
  • Cultivate meaningful interaction between students and a qualified faculty
  • Produce graduates who have achieved specified learning goals

The University of Surrey achieved its accreditation in November 2005 after a rigorous application and assessment process, culminating in a visit from an accreditation panel.

Less than 15 per cent of the world’s business schools are accredited by the AACSB, so the Surrey Business School was especially proud to join the elite group of less than 100 business schools in Europe holding AACSB accreditation.

Related programmes

Postgraduate (Taught)

Related departments/schools

Related research areas

Programme leader

Dr Rosina Marquez Reiter

Find out more

General enquiries:

+44 (0)1483 681 681

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Programme facts

Type of programme:


Programme length:

  • Full-time: 12 months
  • Part-time: 24 months

Start date:

Sep 2016

Entry Requirements

Entry is open to applicants with a UK first or 2.1 honours degree or equivalent.

Relevant work experience can be taken into account where applicants have not reached the standard entry requirements.

View entry requirements by country

English language requirements

We offer intensive English language pre-sessional courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.


Study mode Start date UK/EU fees Overseas fees
Full-time Sep 2016 £6,000 £15,000
Part-time Sep 2016 £3,000 £7,500

Please note these fees are for the academic year 2016/2017 only. Annual fees will rise by four per cent (rounded up to the nearest £100) for each year of study.

A complete list of all fees for our Masters Programmes


Discounts for Surrey graduates

Thinking of continuing your education at Surrey? As an alumnus of Surrey you may be eligible for a ten per cent discount on our taught Masters programme fees. Learn more.

For more details

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Postgraduate Study Advice

Steps to Postgraduate Study is an official, independent guide for anyone considering a taught postgraduate course. The guide is produced by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, the Scottish Funding Council and the Department for Employment and Learning, Northern Ireland.

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Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

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