Studying Business Abroad in English

Will my degree be recognised?

This is not usually a problem for business degrees. If you study business in the European Union then your degree will be recognised. If you study at a good university elsewhere, your degree will also be recognised. With more UK universities having partnerships with international universities, it is now possible to take a business course overseas and get a degree awarded by a UK institution. For example, upon successfully completing the Business and Accounting or International Business Management programmes at Prague College, students will receive a BA (Hons) degree from Teesside University.

The true verdict of whether your degree is recognised will come when employers identify the skills and knowledge that you have learned to apply once you enter the workplace or whether your degree enables you to set up in business yourself.

As there are so many good universities around the world offering business degrees taught in English, there is absolutely no reason why you should end up studying at a substandard one if you research thoroughly before you apply. By our own recent estimate, one third of all degrees taught in English in Europe are in business and associated subjects such as marketing, finance and control.

We don't rate international university league tables as a good guide to the quality of their undergraduate teaching. With business schools this is even truer. There are many private and public business schools that offer excellent, practical education and work experience but will never trouble the top end of the league tables.

It is perhaps best to look at the style of education that is on offer: some business degrees are more practical in their focus and place a strong emphasis on work-related learning and internships, others are more theoretical and perhaps more academically rigorous as a result. This is the fundamental difference between business degrees at research univeresities and universities of applied science in The Netherlands. For a detailed analysis of business undergraduate programmes at Dutch universities, please visit this website. Which approach suits you best is probably the most important question to consider when choosing a university.

Many universities offer courses which make direct reference to various regions of the world. For example, Amsterdam University of Applied Science offers the "Asian, Latin America or Europe" specialisation within their International Business programme, where you can add up to two additional foreign languages to your degree. The World Business Bachelor (WBB) programme jointly offered by Universita Bocconi, University of Southern California and Hong Kong University of Technology is another good example of the internationalisation trend among business schools. WBB students spend four years in three continents and speak fluent English, Italian and Mandarin at the end of the course.

Does it make sense to study business abroad?

You could almost say that it makes no sense to study business without going abroad at some point in your education.

Studying international business is a great way to prepare for working in other countries later in life. Many businesses these days are multinational by their very nature and are therefore keen to recruit students who have an understanding and appreciation of international issues. One of the most common ways for any business to grow is to export its products and services and knowledge of this area could stand you in good stead in the job market.

It is quite common for international business degrees to include compulsory language modules. However, for most degrees taught entirely in English it is not necessary to have prior knowledge of a foreign language. Even if you don’t consider yourself a gifted linguist we are confident that you would be able to fulfil any language learning requirement.

What grades do I need to get in?

This really depends on the university you choose. You will usually find that offers from equivalent universities abroad will be lower than you would be asked for from a UK university.

Some universities will have their own methods of assessment that may be of more importance than A’ level grades in their application decision-making process. In some cases you may be required to travel to attend an interview. However, this is unusual at this moment in time.

In some countries maths A' level or AS level will be required at more academic universities. Where this is the case, it will be impossible to apply without the required qualification. Even where there may be a maths test that you could take instead, in our experience these are usually tougher than maths A' level.

What else should I bear in mind?

For the reasons mentioned above, British universities have started to offer a number of business degrees that incorporate international experience. These might be viable alternatives to taking your full degree abroad.

Where should I look for business degrees abroad?

You will find business degrees taught in English in most countries of Europe and also farther afield. It is highly likely that you will find a range of suitable universities in any country you are interested in going to. Some of these universities will be private and therefore will usually charge higher fees than public universities. However, the fees involved may still be lower than studying at an English university.

Check out our course database to search for business courses outside the UK.

Some thoughts from business students at overseas universities...

Chris Blount-Powell

Archie Buse

Etain Dobson

John Martin

Lewis Millican

Similar courses

About A Star Future

A Star Future provides information and guidance to British students looking to pursue their undergraduate studies abroad.

Through our presentations in schools and our websites we aim to ensure that British-educated students are well informed about their choices.