Postgraduate Taught

International Marketing - MSc

A celebrity influencer posting on Instagram… Finding and using the latest research to inform and justify decisions... The best way to promote a comedy show at the Edinburgh Fringe… The organisational structure of a multinational business… How to respond tactfully in a crisis... These may seem unrelated issues, but they all relate to skills in the armoury of a modern international marketing professional. Exactly how and why these skills are related – and why that is important – is just one part of the insight that you will gain on this employability-focused MSc International Marketing course.

Businesses with global ambition are actively looking for internationally minded marketing professionals. The course will appeal to those with a degree who are already working in marketing and are keen to deepen their understanding of marketing. The course is also suitable for those with a relevant undergraduate degree or professional experience who are looking to develop marketing and related skills.

This Digital Marketing Institute (DMI) accredited course will give your career an edge by teaching you valuable core marketing techniques and a broad range of business skills, which you can use in different contexts and countries.

The course is available full-time. A part-time route also allows you to fit study more conveniently around your work commitments.

Why QMU?

  • 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 in a way that do not have to have come from a marketing background to apply.
  • Tailor your future: We offer a flexible bespoke pathway allowing you shape your learning to align with your future aspirations.
  • Range of beneficial learning and teaching methods: You’ll engage in real-life marketing consultancy, enhancing your employability and benefit from a range of guest lecturers and field trips to organisations across Scotland. You will also engage in a range of other recommended networking opportunities with staff and industry experts.
  • Excellent teaching in smaller classes than many other universities, the Queen Margaret Business School prides itself on its student-centred, contemporary teaching and assessment practice.
  • Industry and Professional links: QMU and the Queen Margaret Business School maintain strong links with professional bodies associated with marketing, including the Marketing Society, who support our Student Marketing Society. We have good relationships with potential employers and providers of placement. The Queen Margaret Business School is a member of the Chartered Association of Business Schools (CABS). and a signatory member of The Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME). Our courses are designed with close collaboration with professional bodies including Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and Digital Marketing Institute. This means our qualifications are recognised by these bodies and upon successful completion of our courses, you can fast track your professional qualification should you wish you achieve one.  
  • DMI accreditation: This course is accredited by the Digital Marketing Institute (DMI). The DMI accreditation shows employers that your degree and learnt skills/knowledge are up to date with the latest findings in marketing and that you have received a high quality multi-disciplined degree (see 'DMI accreditation' tab for more information). You will have access to Digital Marketing Institute resources as well as the possibility of obtaining accreditation for some modules depending on your choices.
  • The QMU Business School: is a member of the Chartered Association of Business Schools.

Studying MSc International Marketing

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

  • You will gain the optimum balance of marketing theoretical and practical knowledge, and transferrable skills that are equally valued by large global corporations, small businesses and the public sector.
  • By encouraging you to become critically reflective, the course will develop your knowledge of the contemporary issues affecting marketing management, and equip you with the practical skills that are essential for developing a career in this field.
  • During the course, as well as learning a range of key marketing skills, you may choose to engage in real-life marketing consultancy agreed between you, a client and tutors at QMU. This ‘real world’ practical experience in a marketing context will further your learning and enable you to apply your theoretical knowledge in effective commercial action. This is also designed to build your confidence and your ability to reflect on both your past actions and future direction, as well as develop your networking skills.
  • 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 to a named award.  Contact Richard Bent for more 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  of 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, and website development.

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. Elective choices may mean that classes could be on different days from the core route. Learning time varies across modules. Timetables are normally available approximately one month before you commence your studies.

Class sizes

It is anticipated that the cohort size for this course will be approximately 30 students. However, a number of the modules for the degree will be shared with other courses, so class sizes will vary.

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.


  • International Marketing (20 credits): This is the introductory module and will aim to establish in students the level of their existing knowledge of marketing, through an international lens. The emphasis will be on the cultural variables of marketing, and time will be spent looking at environmental scanning, the assessment of international marketing opportunities, and the choice of marketing strategy that might be applied in different global contexts.
  • Digital Communications (20 credits): The evolution, diffusion, and adoption of digital technologies have fundamentally altered the way we live, work, relate to one another, and conduct business. These technological and societal changes are having a far-reaching impact on the communications, public relations and marketing disciplines, presenting huge challenges as well as opportunities to the industry. This module provides a sound theoretical and practical knowledge of digital communications based on a critical understanding of current and emerging technologies, digital strategies and social media platforms. The module examines a number of topics including: digital strategy; social media; search engine optimisation; online community building and management; stakeholders analysis; issues management; web analytics and big data; content marketing; web design; online customer journey; ethical and legal aspects of digital communications; and more. 
  • Markets, Innovation and the International Consumer (20 credits): This module will provide students with practical skills and knowledge to be able to evaluate consumers and markets in order to develop better marketing strategies and practices. Innovation will be critically explored as both a process and a product of embedding good practice into organisations, and contemporary examples of innovative products, services and organisations will be embedded in the teaching. Practical and transferable skills in information literacy and market research will be developed.
  • Marketing and Society (20 credits): This module will challenge students’ understanding and critical awareness of marketing and its impact on society. Students will be introduced to contemporary concerns and academic debates around sustainable, moral and ethical marketing practice. The module will help develop the student’s ability to be a reflective and critical marketing practitioner. Through its content, this module embodies QMU’s intention to pursue programmes that promote notions of social justice and good corporate citizenship.
  • Research Methods/elective module* (20 credits)
  • plus one elective choice (20 credits)* 

To obtain the MSc, you will choose to progress with one of the following capstone options:

Business Consultancy in Practice: This option will provide the opportunity to design and deliver a live project for a client. You will critically evaluate the consultancy role and practice through a live consultancy project. You will research, develop and deliver the project in collaboration with a business/organisation. The module will be assessed, not on the success of the project, but on your planning, problem solving and reflection upon the consultancy cycle which will include a researched client consultancy report and personal development plan. While there may be the opportunity to work with staff to identify a partner business, the onus to find a real-world project will be on you. Recent project clients have included a major airline, global pharmaceutical company, whisky industry, top five bank, publishing house, European professional basketball team, food companies, charities, big three accounting and consulting organisations, global hotel brands, Irish environmental company,  online retailers, local authority, environmental energy agency, major oil and chemical producer and digital marketing agency.

International Marketing Master's Dissertation: The Masters’ Dissertation is the pinnacle of achievement in a Master’s programme. For the QMU MSc International Marketing degree, it is equivalent to three taught modules in terms of credits (60) and is expected to involve 600 hours of student effort. The Dissertation must reflect sufficient evidence of independent thought to justify the award at Master’s level. If a student has not previously taken Research Methods, they must also take an additional 20 Credit Research Methods in their second semester. The aims of the International Marketing dissertation are to enable you to: develop and apply the skills of research and enquiry to produce original work which contributes to the international marketing subject area; explore and apply relevant intellectual approaches and practical skills, including those acquired in the taught components, to the chosen topic; develop critically, strategically, and in depth, a topic or area of interest arising from the work done within the programme of study and in your area of academic or professional interest; develop further the research skills acquired both in the Research Methods module and the core modules, to demonstrate an ability to set the dissertation in its wider context, to sustain argument and to present conclusions; and present and be able to defend your rationale, approach or methodology, outcome(s) and conclusions. Those wishing to undertake a Project or plan a Start-up will take a 60 credit module that runs at various points from September to August. There will be no need to take Research Methods as a module, and so those choosing this route will need to take an additional option module.

Business Incubation Programme: If you have an entrepreneurial spirit and have always dreamed of starting your own business, then our Business Incubation Programme will best match your ambitions. Throughout your studies, this module will challenge you to critically evaluate a range of nascent, micro and family businesses. As you progress through the module, you will develop a new start-up business or social enterprise. Support will be offered to you from inception to investigation and planning a new start-up business. Should you wish to launch a start-up, you can also access support through QMU’s Business Innovation Zone, which is supported by our on-campus Business Gateway team.

NB The modules listed are correct at time of posting (October 2023) but this course is due for re-validation 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.

*The range of options could include subjects such as digital marketing, strategic management, leadership and other business related subjects. 

DMI accreditation

Who are DMI?

DMI is an internationally recognized network of over 250,000 members working in every major city across the globe.

QMU has chosen to partner with DMI in delivering this course as DMI accreditation is recognized by a Global Industry Advisory Council containing international organizations in Europe, North America and Asia. The DMI accreditation shows employers that your degree and learnt skills/knowledge are up to date with the latest findings in marketing and that you have received a high quality multi-disciplined degree.

What does accreditation mean for me as a student on this course?

1. Membership

With DMI accreditation, all students on this course will be given a membership account with the DMI. Students can login to the DMI website at their leisure and can access a wealth of information to assist with their studies, keep up-to-date, discover what is happening in digital marketing today – all of which is sure to help with your future employability.

As a member, you will be able to:

  • access to an extensive database of marketing research resources such as articles, videos, eBooks, toolkits, specialised courses and lessons;
  • view a back library of podcasts as well as view new biweekly podcasts from industry experts, which will help you sharpen your views and mindset;
  • view monthly webinars delivered by guest speakers including some of the leading experts in digital marketing;
  • access a glossary of industry terms which will ensure you understand what is meant by the terminology, acronyms and phrases used every day in the digital marketing industry and
  • access the DMI job’s board which will help you easily find current vacancies in the industry.

2. Qualification

As a student on the MSc International Marketing you will study the core module ‘Digital Communications’, which the DMI has specifically accredited. On completion of your degree, which requires that you successfully pass this module, you will obtain a CDMA (Certified Digital Marketing Associate) accreditation from the DMI.

Career opportunities

You will be qualified for a broad spectrum of marketing and management positions within a range of businesses and other organisations. Previous QMU graduates have gone on to work in marketing agencies, run their own business, work in a not-for-profit role and work in marketing and communications positions in industry in the UK, Europe and further afield.

International Marketing (MSc): Entry requirements and application information

Entry requirements

Honours degree or equivalent in an appropriate discipline OR relevant work experience in marketing or allied functions.

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 outcome.

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 204 start and end of October for January 2025 start.

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

Queen Margaret Business School - Hands on Experiential Learning

Become your best you: study at QMU

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

Join us at one of our Postgraduate Open Events

Find out about online and in-person opportunities to meet with us to find out more about our postgraduate courses and study at QMU. 

Postgraduate Open Events - More Info and Bookings