BA (Hons) International Business with Mandarin

Key information

Why choose this course?

  • You’ll be supported in your studies and preparing for your future
  • Study for an internationally recognised EFMD accredited degree
  • Improve your employability with a language

If you want a career in international business and love to travel, this degree is ideal. The degree has 2 routes you can take, a three year route and a four year route and provides you with a number of study plans.

On the three year route, you will need to spend a minimum of one semester in year 2 at a partner institution in Europe, North America, Latin America, Australia, Africa, Middle East or Asia. Ideally you will spend all of year two abroad on this route to really immerse yourself into a different culture. UK nationals who spend the year abroad pay a reduced tuition fee.

On the four year route, you will have the opportunity to spend one or two years studying, and working, in Europe, North America, Latin America, Australia, Africa, Middle East or Asia. Most of our courses offer the opportunity to study abroad for a year, but if this isn’t enough for you, don’t worry. Everyone on this course will study abroad in Year 3 (with no tuition fees to pay). However, as bonus you can also choose to spend Year 2 abroad (with reduced tuition fees for UK nationals). There’ll be opportunities for work placements too with an option to do a 12 month placement on the four year route if you have studied abroad in year 2. We have partnerships with over 100 universities and business schools around the world, so there’s lots of choice.  

This course reflects the growing need for managers of tomorrow to have the business and leadership skills, language competency and cultural awareness for success in today’s global business environment. 

We’re one of eleven UK business schools with an EFMD Accredited course and one of only 96 schools worldwide (October 2021). The European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) is an internationally recognised badge of programme quality, with its strong focus on internationalisation, ethics and sustainability. You’ll also be joining a university that is recognised for a high standard of teaching and support.

We are part of the Transatlantic Business School Alliance (TABSA) and through this you will also have the opportunity to gain a dual degree with one of our TABSA partners by spending tow years at the partner institute.

You’ll also be able to study a language alongside. We offer five languages: French, German, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish. You can start a new language or continue your study of a language. If you select to take a language through the whole of the degree, it will be reflected in your degree title. 

Find out more about studying a language with this course. 

What's the course about?

Study plan overview – Three-year programme

Year 1: University of Hertfordshire  

Year 2:  Study abroad in English (Europe, North America, Latin America, Africa, Asia or Australia). Minimum study abroad of one semester required and ideally you will be away for the whole year.

Year 3: University of Hertfordshire 

Study plan overview - Four-year programme

Year 1: University of Hertfordshire  

Year 2: University of Hertfordshire or Study abroad in English (Europe, North America, Latin America, Asia, Australia) for one or two semesters.

Year 3: Study abroad with the option of a work placement (Europe, North America, Latin America, Asia, Middle East, Africa, Australia) or a year-long placement if you have studied abroad in Year 2. The work placements can also be in the UK, in internationally facing roles and would need to be approved by the placements team. 

Year 4: University of Hertfordshire 

In your first year, you’ll start your studies at the University of Hertfordshire.  Your core modules will be Marketing, Economics, Accounting and Human Resources. You’ll learn regional consumer patterns that influence how companies decide to advertise and digitally communicate to their audience. Explore how politics and levels of infrastructure, such as transport, can affect global economic development. If you decide to, you can pick up a language during this year.   

In your second year, you can stay at the University of Hertfordshire or study at one of our partner universities in English taking similar subjects. In the four-year route you have a choice to study at a partner university, whilst in the three-year route you must study at a partner university for at least one semester. The programme team at Hertfordshire will support you in your choice of modules at the partner university. Alternatively, you may decide to pursue a dual degree and go to one of our TABSA partners in Spain, Germany, France or the USA for two years and complete with two degrees.

Here there’s a stronger international focus of the business disciplines. You’ll explore geographic influences on international relations in geopolitics and gain an international insight on global employment laws, performance and people management in HR and finance. You’ll also explore economics at an international level and get a better understanding of our own and the European market.   

You’ll start taking your learning into your own hands. You can choose to continue with your language if you want and you have a choice of optional modules. You can dip into Exploring Business Ethics, learn about project management or learn about Cross Cultural Management.

Students on the four-year route will all be abroad in your third year. You can shape your learning through study or practice too. This means you can study for one semester at one of our partner universities, then do a placement. Or you can spend the entire year studying abroad. This can be at one university, or you can experience two. Wherever you go, they’ll teach you in English. However, you can challenge your language skills and study some of your modules in their native language. The great part about this year is that you don’t pay tuition fees to us or the university that you go to.  You’ll be learning about different cultures. You’ll build your international networks and get the contacts you need, should you decide to start your career abroad. If you have studied abroad in your second year, you will be able to undertake a year-long placement in your third year.  

On both the three-year and four-year programmes your final year will be at the University of Hertfordshire. Your core modules will be Contemporary Issues in Ethics, Business and Sustainability, International Strategic Leadership, Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Innovation. You’ll choose the other half of your programme from a wide variety of business modules offering a strong global focus, including in marketing, HR, finance, management systems and economics. You can also continue to study a language and can choose to do a dissertation You’re able to tailor your final year to match your own interests and career aspirations.    

Please keep in mind, due to COVID-19 restrictions, we will need to consider government guidelines regarding travel at the time you reach your second and third year.   

Study a language

At Hertfordshire Business School there are a lot of opportunities to study a modern language as part of your degree alongside another subject. Your chosen language will comprise 25% of your studies and will be listed on your degree certificate. This course will develop language and communication skills, and cultural insights into the countries of the language studied. The course will also develop many other transferrable skills to boost your employability prospects, such as time management and organisation; resilience; cultural understanding; working both independently and as part of a team.

Your main campus is de Havilland    

You’ll share this campus with students from business, law, sport, education, and humanities subjects. The student housing is close to our Sports Village which includes a gym, swimming pool and climbing wall. You can get breakfast, lunch, or dinner in our on-campus restaurant or bar (in the newly built Enterprise Hub) on days you don’t feel like cooking. You can also use the common room to play pool, video games or just to hang out with friends.  Our Learning Resources Centres are open 24/7, which means you can study whenever suits you best. Want to pop over to the other campus? You can take the free shuttle bus or walk there in just 15 minutes.  

What will I study?

You'll normally study four 15 credit modules in each semester and your contact time varies between modules. Usually, you’ll have two sessions per week for each module, a one-hour lecture following by a one-hour seminar/tutorial. Typically, a new topic or theory will be introduced in each lecture and will be followed up with class discussion and feedback in the subsequent seminar. In addition, as part of your study time, you will be collaborating with your peers on tasks and group assignments. Module leaders also offer weekly drop-in and feedback sessions, usually 2 x 1 hours per module as well as revision sessions. 

The University’s online learning environment means you can access all your course resources, literature and timetables from anywhere in the world. 

Usually, assessment is split between coursework and examinations. The style of coursework can vary from presentations to business reports or essays depending on the taught topics. 

Degree programmes are structured into levels, 4, 5 and 6.  These correspond to your first, second and fourth which is your final year. In addition, you will have access to a zero-credit module in the first year, which focusses on developing your academic skills. 

Check out our student blogs

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Student Blogs

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Alumni Stories

Heraldas Gaspariunas

Meet Heraldas Gaspariunas, an entrepreneur who is passionate about growing his biotech start-up and is committed to embracing new experiences and lifelong learning.

Read more stories BA (Hons)(SW/YAB) International Business
Current job roleCEO of biotech start-up ACellZ
Year of graduation2020
Course of studyBA (Hons) International Business
Heraldas Gaspariunas

Entrepreneurial ambition

International Business graduate Heraldas is co-founder and CEO of an early-stage biotech start-up, ACellZ. His company is based on research developed by University of Hertfordshire PhD students and is focused on chemical safety in the eye. He says, ‘My goal is to grow a successful start-up, where I can continue to learn and improve myself, both personally and professionally. I love working with people to find innovative solutions to problems. I look forward to one day becoming a mentor for others like me within this field.’

Heraldas has been very successful in securing large grants to grow his business, these include £50K from Innovation to Commercialisation of University Research (ICURe), and £300K from Innovate UK.

In 2021 Heraldas represented the University of Hertfordshire at the Santander X 2021 Entrepreneurship Awards, which is one of the UK's largest student and graduate business pitching competitions. Heraldas says, ‘The Santander X programme really helped my professional development. It was an amazing opportunity to support and learn from like-minded entrepreneurs. The weekly workshops allowed me to learn new skills and supported my growth as an entrepreneur, CEO, and a leader. During Santander X, I was also selected to participate in the 'Founders Up!' project, which documents my journey during and after the Santander X programme via podcasts for future entrepreneurs to see.’

A global student experience

Heraldas applied to the University of Hertfordshire to benefit from expert lecturers and the opportunity of studying abroad. He says, ‘The option of studying abroad for two years during my four-year degree was a huge selling point for me, and after visiting the Hertfordshire Business School facilities and meeting some of the lecturers, I knew Herts was the right place.’ ‘In every country I visited during my study abroad, I met so many amazing people and made long-lasting friendships. I explored new cultures and broadened my understanding of global business, which has had a positive impact on shaping my life aspirations. I studied in Australia for one year, six-months in Norway, and completed an internship with FlixBus in Germany for seven months. If I had to choose one memorable moment it would be jumping out of a plane and swimming with turtles in Australia.’

Embracing opportunities at Herts

Heraldas has continued to receive support from Herts since embarking on his entrepreneurial journey. ‘I have benefited a lot from the support given to me by the University of Hertfordshire. My first graduate job was as a Business Associate through a Santander internship with a company called ImmuONE, which I applied for through the University’s Careers and Employment Service. Meeting talented researchers at ImmuONE kick-started the opportunity for me to establish my own company ACellZ.’   ‘It was also the Careers and Enterprise Team who put me forward for the Santander X awards and they supported me with preparations for my ICURe pitch. In July 2021, I joined the University’s Business Incubator to further learn from like-minded entrepreneurs.’

Advice for other graduates

‘A love for learning and personal development does not necessarily come from knowing what you want but believing it will benefit you in reaching your dreams someday. Getting to this point has required hard work, persistence, and a willingness to go outside my comfort zone'.

At the University of Hertfordshire, I’ve not only earned a degree but gained knowledge and skills to run a business, developed my professional and personal life, and received support and direction for my entrepreneurial journey.

Alumni headshot

Alumni Stories

Grace Tucker

Meet Grace Tucker whose career has taken her from China to Kent and now to Guernsey in a very short time

Read more stories Find out more about this course
Current job roleGraduate Analyst
Year of graduation2018
Course of studyBA(Hons) International Business with Study Abroad Year
Grace Tucker

Grace wanted to study a flexible business course with a language, and was able to do both at Herts.

'I studied BA (Hons) International Business with Mandarin and I was also able to do an extended study abroad and work placement. I did one year in Singapore, a summer studying in China at ESSCA, six months in Barcelona and six months working in Shanghai as a Business Developer, a truly global experience.

Studying with Herts also allowed me to do two years abroad which has really benefitted me on a personal level, becoming a more well-rounded individual. It also helped further my career as it has demonstrated I am adaptable and motivated.'

Memories made at Herts

When thinking about her favourite memories of her time at Herts, Grace says it’s difficult to narrow it down to a few.

'I have so many amazing memories. However, although I had some of the most fun in my life in first year living on campus with the most amazing friends I made, my favourite memory has to be being able to spend New Year’s in Sydney when I was studying in Singapore.

I had met up with other course mates from Herts and they let me stay with them at their study abroad campus. We all met up and spent midnight at the Royal Opera House followed by getting the train to Bondi beach where we all ran into the sea and made it onto Australian TV!'

Life after Herts

Upon graduating Grace lived for a short while in China focusing on her language skills and doing a Marketing Internship. She also taught English to save some money but returned home from China to spend 6 months as a full-time  carer for her father.

After this she was offered a job in the Guernsey Financial Services Commission where she now works as a Graduate Analyst in Financial Crime Division and feels very fortunate and happy for the opportunity.

Living on Guernsey amidst the coronavirus pandemic

Moving to the Channel Island of Guernsey has been quite an experience during the COVID-19 pandemic and very different to mainland UK. Grace says,

'I had three months of lockdown at my home in Kent with my mum, I spent a lot of time attending 1-1 Mandarin classes online and helped decorate her house whilst I waited to be able to get a flight to start my job in Guernsey. Flying in the middle of a pandemic was really interesting and I have never seen an airport so empty!

Guernsey’s lockdown measures were very strict. On arrival there were lots of rules, I had to remain indoors for two weeks, not even allowed outside for a walk unless it was in my private garden. The border agency made random visits to make sure you were staying in.

However, because of this my life wasn't greatly affected by Covid-19. There were only a handful of cases here which were all contained.  Life was very much completely normal... no masks, no hand sanitisers and everything operated as though Covid-19 never hit.

This was the case from May 2020 but changed recently due to a rise in cases on the island in January, which in turn has led to a second lockdown that we all hope will be over soon.'

The future

On her hopes for the future Grace is unequivocal in her reply, 'I am extremely grateful and lucky to be in this position despite missing my friends and family in the UK. I hope to remain in the Financial Crime Team with the GFCS and continue to work towards protecting Guernsey.'.

Studying with Herts also allowed me to do two years abroad which has really benefitted me on a personal level, becoming a more well-rounded individual. It also helped further my career as it has demonstrated I am adaptable and motivated.