• Status: Fully Approved
  • Start date: October 2017
  • 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 advance your career 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.
  • Business graduates who would like to improve their professional and business communication skills to enhance their employability.
  • Professionals working in fields such communication, public relations, human resources, management and business consulting who want to expand their global perspective and increase effectiveness.
  • Intercultural trainers, coaches and consultants interested in enhancing their existing knowledge and experience.


    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.

    To find out more, read our programme handbook.

    How to apply

    You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application link below. Please note that online application will open in October 2016.

    Need help with your application? Watch videos featuring our academic experts giving advice on applying to Birkbeck and answering some of the most frequently asked questions.

    Birkbeck can give you all of the information and help you need to complete your application form, including our online personal statement tool, which will guide you through every step of writing your personal statement.

    Application deadlines and interviews

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

    Why study this course at Birkbeck?

      • The MA Intercultural Communication for Business and Professions is an internationally recognised higher professional qualification, which helps degree holders improve their employment prospects.
      • This multidisciplinary programme brings together communication studies, applied linguistics, language studies and business studies.
      • This course 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.
      • Birkbeck's convenient central London location and evening study make it ideal for working professionals.
      • 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.
      • Birkbeck's Centre for Multilingual and Multicultural Research hosts visiting scholars from all over the world and runs regular research seminars given by speakers from overseas and other UK institutions. The centre also supports postgraduate training in applied linguistics, bilingualism, intercultural communication and translation.

      Course structure

      You take the 30-credit core module Research Methods and Design and then you choose another 30-credit core module from either Language, Culture and Communication or Introduction to Intercultural Communication in Business Contexts. The latter module is suitable for students who are interested in communication rather than language.

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

      If you choose to write a dissertation, you choose 2 option modules and if you choose to write a literature review, you choose 3 option modules.

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

      To find out more, read our programme handbook.

      Core modules

      Option modules

      Dissertation/independent literature review

      Sample timetable

      PDF document icon ALC PG Timetable 2016-17.pdf — PDF document, 45 kB (46090 bytes)

      Entry requirements

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

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

      You will be asked to undertake a short admissions task of no more than 500 words, 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.

      If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

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

      Fees (2016/7)

      Part-time home/EU students: £ 3975 pa
      Full-time home/EU students: £ 7950 pa
      Part-time overseas students: £ 7225 pa
      Full-time overseas students: £ 14450 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

      The government's new postgraduate loan scheme allows you to borrow up to £10,000 to cover the cost of your tuition fees, living costs or other study expenses – and you don't have to start repaying until 2019.

      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 independent literature 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.

      In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), Modern Languages and Linguistics achieved 100% for a research environment conducive to producing research of the highest quality, while 73% of our research was recognised as 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).