• Status: Fully Approved
  • Start date: October 2015
  • Duration:

    2 years part-time or 1 year full-time

  • Attendance:

    2-3 evenings a week

    October to July part-time; October to September full-time.

  • Location:

    Central London

    Please note: this programme is not available online or via distance learning.

Programme overview

This course offers you an opportunity to raise your cross-cultural awareness and enhance your intercultural communicative competence in international business settings, to reflect on your own culture and language use, and to develop the professional and business communication skills necessary to proceed to careers in the international business world.

It focuses on intercultural communication skills, including written, oral and interpersonal skills, and is specially designed for language and communication graduates who are looking to develop a career in international organisations or the business sector, and business graduates who would like to improve their professional and business communication skills to enhance their employability.

The programme benefits from a combination of knowledge-based and skills-oriented training, world-class experts in intercultural communication, Birkbeck’s flexible and student-friendly support, and London’s position as an international multicultural and multilingual city.

Read a blog post by Professor Penelope Gardner-Chloros that considers what linguistics is.

How to apply

Application deadlines and interviews

We recommend you apply as early as possible. Later applications may also be considered, subject to availability of places.

Online application

Intercultural Communication for Business and Professions (MA) (Part-time)

Intercultural Communication for Business and Professions (MA) (Full-time)

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

  • Multidisciplinary programme bringing together applied linguistics, language studies, communication studies and business studies.
  • Seeks to bridge the gap between theory and practice and to encourage you to carry out action research on your personal and professional experience.
  • A unique advantage of studying this programme at Birkbeck is that students who are working professionals in London are taught side-by-side with others coming from across Europe and around the world. The MA Intercultural Communication for Business and Professions is an internationally recognised higher professional qualification, which helps degree holders improve their employment prospects.
  • Birkbeck's Applied Linguistics Society, an official University of London society, was formed to bring together students interested in applied linguistics and related fields (for example, multilingualism, intercultural communication, TESOL etc) in the London area.

Course structure

You take 2 core modules (worth 30 credits each) and 2 or 3 option modules (worth 30 credits each), and complete a 12,000-15,000-word dissertation (worth 60 credits) or a 4500-5000-word independent literature review (worth 30 credits).

Note: please check with the programme office for availability of the modules listed.

Core modules

Option modules

Dissertation/Independent Literature Review

Sample timetable

PDF document icon ALC PG Timetable 2015-16 (student).pdf — PDF document, 35 kB (36514 bytes)

Entry requirements

Normally at least a second-class BA honours or equivalent. Preferred subjects include languages, linguistics, communication, TESOL, translation studies or business management (other subjects considered if you have relevant professional/personal experience).

Work experience in an intercultural context is desirable, but not essential.

A short admissions task of no more than 500 words will be requested to support your application.

International entry requirements

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.


Part-time home/EU students: £ 3975 pa
Full-time home/EU students: £ 7600 pa
Part-time overseas students: £ 7225 pa
Full-time overseas students: £ 14200 pa

Payment and Fees Discounts

Flexible finance: pay your fees in monthly instalments at no extra cost. Enrol early to spread your costs and reduce your monthly payments.

Fees discounts: If you are a Birkbeck alumni or a member of a union that is recognised by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), you may apply for a 10% discount off your tuition fees.

Funding and Financial Support

Finishing your undergraduate degree this year? Current Birkbeck students are eligible for a £10,000 scholarship to fund a part-time Master’s degree starting in 2015-2016.

Part-time students who are experiencing financial need may apply for assistance from the Birkbeck Alumni Fund Postgraduate Opportunity Bursary.

Find out more about funding and financial support at postgraduate level.

Careers and employability

Graduates can pursue careers in education, management, local government, public relations, and business. Possible professions include management consultant, human resources officer, or operational researcher. This degree can also be useful in becoming a marketing executive or retail manager.

Find out more about these professions.

Find out more about the destinations of graduates in this subject.

We offer a comprehensive Careers and Employability Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.

Teaching and assessment


Lectures, seminars, workshops and student presentations.


Coursework; dissertation of 12,000-15,000 words or critical review of 4500-5000 words.

Our research

Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated ‘world-leading’ or internationally excellent.

Read about Birkbeck research that crosses disciplines and focuses on pressing questions within the social sciences and humanities.

Further study opportunities

If you are not yet ready for a Master's degree, then why not take our part-time, 1-year Graduate Certificate in Linguistic Studies to gain a stronger foundation in applied linguistics and communication?

Interested in further research? We offer an MPhil/PhD in Applied Linguistics and Integrated PhDs in Applied LinguisticsIntercultural CommunicationLanguage Teaching and TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).