Postgraduate Taught

International Management and Leadership - MSc

Do you currently work in business and wish to enhance your knowledge and skills? Or, do you have a non-business degree and little or no previous business background, but wish to gain this? This MSc in International Management and Leaderships is the ideal course and will provide you will the skills to become a successful business leader in our fast-changing, global economy.

The contemporary business world faces a number of challenges at the moment including recruitment, export/import issues, commodities pricing, complex market conditions, data noise and productivity to name but a few. How does a modern leader research, analyse, extrapolate and synthesise data around these issues to manage, shape and lead modern businesses? This course addresses those questions and helps you to kick-start a successful career.

The course is available full-time and part-time to fit study more conveniently around your work commitments.

Why QMU?

  • Teaching and learning: Excellent teaching in smaller classes than many other universities, the Queen Margaret Business School prides itself on its student-centered, contemporary teaching and assessment practice. Our recent (2023), QSS results rated postgraduate teaching quality on International Management and Leadership at 97%. 
  • Flexible study options: We offer full-time, part-time and single module study options.
  • An accessible route to a new career: This course has been designed so that students do not have to have come from a business background to apply.
  • Learn and hone your practical business skills: With a variety of teaching, learning and assessment methods, this course is designed to enable you to make a full and valuable contribution when you start your first job after graduation.
  • Tailor your future: We offer a flexible bespoke pathway allowing you shape your learning to align with your future aspirations.
  • Opportunity to start your own business with support from QMU: If you opt to complete the Business Incubation Programme module, you will work with mentors, QMU’s Business Innovation Zone (BIZ) and our on-campus Business Gateway to develop a new start-up business or social enterprise of your own choice.
  • Industry input and relevance: Input from a wide range of businesses, public service providers, the third sector, and industry experts is central to this course. This ensures that as well as offering in-depth theoretical knowledge, you gain a wealth of contemporary industry insights and contacts. You will hear from guest lecturers, have opportunities to a range of organisations, and engage in a range of other networking opportunities with staff and industry experts. As you progress you will hear from guest lecturers, potentially visit a range of organisations, and engage in a range of other networking opportunities with staff and industry experts. In recent years we have engaged with: Diageo, New Lanark Heritage Centre and Hotel, Nairns, Waldorf Astoria and others. 
  • Professional accreditation and links: Designed in collaboration with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), the course includes some modules accredited by the CIMA. The Queen Margaret Business School is a member of the Chartered Association of Business Schools and the Chartered Management Institute. and a signatory member of The Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME).  
  • Prepares you to join a business world ever more focused on sustainability: The curriculum takes account of the societal impact of business, and of the responsibility of managers and leaders toward social justice and business and global sustainability.
  • Excellent location for business: Where better to learn international management and leadership than in a cosmopolitan capital city that’s a hub for international business?

International Management and Leadership (MSc): More information and what you will achieve

Within the course you will study the core tenets of management and leadership, finance, strategy, leadership, human management, marketing and gain insight into the contemporary global business world.

The course offers a range of research options including creating your own business, consulting for a real business on a high-level problem or undertaking your own specialised research via a master's dissertation. 

The MSc International Management and Leadership provides you with excellent academic underpinning and the potential for you to develop real-life, practical experience too which gives you an employability edge upon graduation. An interest in business, management and leadership is expected, however, the course is designed in such a way as to be accessible to anyone with little or no previous business background.

  • Learn key management principles and refine your critical insight, preparing you to become a successful business leader in our fast-changing, global economy.
  • Gain practical business experience and develop skills that will give you an employability edge.
  • Benefit from the optimum balance of theoretical and practical learning.
  • Learn how to take a business idea from first proposal to real-world profit.
  • Focus on best practice in international management and leadership, preparing you for a wide range of careers.
  • Study a range of modules covering all the core functions of management and leadership encompassing the commercial business, community, and voluntary/social enterprise sectors.
  • Work with real clients and professional mentors, which is a fantastic opportunity to put learning into practice and build skills that will last a lifetime.
  • Benefit from a choice of three ‘capstone’ modules (Business Consultancy, Business Incubation or Dissertation), each of which is designed to build your skills, knowledge, and employability.
  • Develop and nurture your confidence as well as your decision-making abilities.

How will I be taught?

Structure and exit awards

You can opt to study for the full MSc (180 credits), a PgDip (120 credits) or a PgCert (60 credits).

You can also register as an associate student to complete a single module for CPD. On completion of a single module, you may wish to complete further modules and progress your studies toward a named award. Contact Marc Robertson for further information on single module study.

Teaching, learning and assessment

Teaching comprises a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, case studies, field trips and projects. The 'capstone' module for the course is either a 'live' project for a client, the development of a business start-up proposal, or a master's level dissertation. Each of these options is intended to draw together elements of the taught course. The dissertation or project will be facilitated, monitored and assessed by tutors within QMU and, where appropriate, by staff within the organisation in which it is undertaken.

Assessment will take a variety of forms, including essays, reports, group and individual presentations.

Teaching hours and attendance

If you are studying full-time, teaching normally takes place over two or three days mid-week, comprising both classroom-based learning and industry learning. You will also be required to carry out independent learning to support your formal teaching. Your specific timetable will depend on whether you are studying full-time, part-time or an individual module. Learning time varies across modules. Timetables are normally available approximately one month before you commence your studies.

Class sizes

There are normally around 20-30 students. Sometimes, you may have lectures with additional students on other courses who are studying the same modules.

Teaching staff

You can read more about the teaching staff on this course at the bottom of this page. Please note that teaching staff is subject to change.


  • Critical Issues in International Management (20 credits):This module aims to enable students to reach a well-grounded understanding of the theory and practice of international management and relate it to events taking place at a global and national level, while developing critical awareness of major contemporary developments. 
  • Accounting for Managers (20 credits): This module develops critical understanding of essential management accounting and finance topics within a business environment, to develop high-level understanding of the importance of managing customer value parameters (cost, quality, and time) through management accounting practices for value creation. This module is CIMA accredited. 
  • International Marketing (20 credits): The enables students to investigate, analyse and evaluate the role and scope of marketing activities within an international perspective and context; and investigate, critically analyse and assess a focused international marketing opportunity.
  • Strategic Human Resource Management (20 credits): This module enables students to explain and critique the core theories of strategic human resource management (SHRM), to develop a critical awareness and understanding of the employment relationship and reflect critically on the realities of contemporary human resource management and to develop analytical and professional skills which can be applied to leading change and managing work and people in their workplace.
  • Strategy and Leadership (20 credits): in this fast-paced module, students will critically evaluate the concepts, frameworks and techniques of strategic management and leadership decision-making. Furthermore, students will synthesise competitive conditions, appraise corporate capabilities and consider strategies that lead businesses towards a sustainable and competitive advantage within contemporary industry.
  • Plus one elective module OR Research Methods* (20 credits): The Research Methods module aims to provide students with a deep understanding of the way that research is designed, conducted, and communicated and to use this to develop a viable proposal for future research.

*Students need to complete Research Methods as a core module unless they have an equivalent on their student transcript. In such circumstances, students will be offered an optional module from a prescribed list.

If studying for an MSc, you will also complete a Capstone module (60 credits). This takes the form of either a 12,000-word Dissertation, a Business Consultancy in Practice project, or a Business Incubation Programme.

  • Business Consultancy in Practice (60 credits): This is a hands-on practical project where you will work with a business on a live project, determine the project parameters, manage the project, and deliver a consultancy report recommending actions the company can implement. The module aims to develop excellent project and client management skills alongside high-level writing skills that include excellent reflective abilities.
  • The Business Incubation Programme (60 credits):The aim of this module is to critically evaluate a range of nascent, micro and family businesses and to develop, through inception, investigation and planning, a new start-up business or social enterprise of your own design. You will work with mentors, QMU’s Business Innovation Zone (BIZ) and the on-campus Business Gateway to take your business from idea to reality
  • Dissertation (60 credits): To enable students to develop, plan and critically evaluate a piece of research in the relevant degree subject related area, written up in the form of a dissertation. This offers the opportunity to conduct a substantial academic research project around a research topic of your choice.

Elective module options:

In addition to the core modules, students are required to take one further module from a range of options within the School of Arts, Social Science and Management

NB The modules listed are correct at time of posting (October 2023) but this course is due for revalidation in 2023/24 and it is likely that this will result in some changes to the course. . The updated course will be launched in time for the September 2024 intake and updates will be posted here when available.


Career opportunities

Previous graduates have entered into positions such as Brand Ambassador (White and Mackay, Glasgow), Growth Executive (Skyscanner, Edinburgh), Supply Chain Analyst (Tesco, London), ICT/Project Graduate Scheme (Kerry Foods, Ireland), Growth Strategy Manager (Ripplematch Recruitment, New York), Event Production Management (Tapaus Group, Helsinki), Wealth Analyst (Barclays, London), Training Relationship Manager (King Abdullah Fund for Development, Jordan).

International Management and Leadership (MSc): Entry requirements and application information

Entry requirements

Honours degree or equivalent in an appropriate discipline, or relevant work experience at managerial level.

International: You will be required to provide evidence of English language competence at no less than IELTS 6.5 with no individual component score less than 6.0.

Accreditation of prior learning: You may be granted exemption from studying a module or modules up to a maximum of 60 credit points, provided you can demonstrate successful achievement of all the learning outcomes.

Other information

Fees for this course are calibrated to incorporate all transport and activities on field trips as well as practical classes. See Fees and Charges page.

Disability/health conditions

If you have a disability, long-term physical or mental health condition, or learning disability, it should not stand in the way of your studying at QMU. However, if you are not sure whether your disability might be a barrier in your studies or in relation to the professional standards, please contact the disability service who will be able to have a conversation with you about reasonable adjustments and supports available to you.

Applying for this course

For more information on applying, or to apply for this course, please follow the links in the 'Start your application' box at the top right of this page.

Application deadline

Home: End of August for September 2024 start and end of December for January 2025 start.

International: End of June for September 2024 start and end of October for January 2025 start.

Please note applications may close sooner should the course become full.

Terms and Conditions

The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2024/25 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Postgraduate).

More information and QMU contacts

Contact Contact Marc Robertson(Programme Leader) or contact Admissions 

We would be delighted to arrange a visit to the University when we can tell you even more about the courses and facilities.

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Course Overview

On campus at QMU
1 year full-time OR 2-7 years part-time (or 18 months full-time with a January start)
Start Date
September 2024
Start Date
January 2025
School of Arts, Social Sciences and Management
Subject Area
Fees & Funding
SCQF Level

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