Professional Practice in International Trade FdA

Distance learning undergraduate (2 years)

Distance learning

January 2017, September 2017


The innovative course is the first of its kind, developed in partnership with the Institute of Export (IOE) to provide you with the professional and academic skills to succeed in international business.

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Full description

for Student satisfaction*

*NSS 2016


"There are thousands of vacancies for positions in international trade, ranging from jet-setting salespeople and compliance officers to risk planners and shipping managers.

"Our pioneering new Foundation Degree prepares graduates for such positions, addressing legal aspects of trading internationally and ways of mitigating risk, alongside market research, marketing in new cultures, logistics and compliance issues.

"It is the only qualification which enables students to harness prior applied learning, gained in employment, to underpin the formal recognition of their skills and knowledge."

Lesley Batchelor, Director General of the Institute of Export

Modules & assessment

Level 4 modules

  • Understanding Work-Based Learning and Your Work Sector
    Foundation degree students undertaking a work-based programme will need specific study skills to enable them to maximise their learning potential and take advantage of opportunities available both academically and in the workplace. This module is therefore intended to provide the academic and professional skills essential for successful HE study. It also is intended to be both preparatory and supportive, building a strong foundation for the development of academic and professional skills. This module is designed to develop analytical, technological, communication and learning skills. These will be developed in an appropriate vocational context by focusing on the key features of successful management in the relevant industry sector(s). This will include consideration of the types and characteristics of the organisations within the sector and the internal and external factors and constraints which influence their activities. Delivery of the module aims to meet the needs of a diverse student profile and will therefore adopt a flexible approach centred around the personal development planning (PDP) process. The module will be delivered through. The module will be delivered through face to face workshops, and weekly e-tivities via the Virtual Learning Environment. An online learning community will be encouraged through a café forum for social time, online discussions, use of wikis and the creation of a personal blog - this will also provide an integrated induction of the VLE for students. Action Learning Groups within the cohort will be identified to support one another to develop effective skills for work based learning, and they will work together in these smaller groups on online activities and discussions towards the learning outcomes and assessment. The assessment consists of two parts, firstly a presentation, which will be prepared and delivered in the workplace, using video it will be recorded and submitted for assessment. Secondly, the creation of a portfolio in which students tackle a number of tasks that support the development of their HE study skills. One of the main pieces in this portfolio will be a written business report that analyses the internal and external factors and constraints on your organisation.
  • Finance of International Trade
    This module will give you an understanding of the keys to profitability in business, and the most appropriate sources of finance to maximise such profits. You’re required to evaluate and attempt to reduce the various risks that are common to all international trade, including exchange risk and country and buyer credit risk and to choose and operate the most appropriate methods of payment. You may already have a background in a relevant area of study or professional practice. You’ll learn by a combination of individual tutorials, online and telephone support. The assessment method is by one report.
  • International Marketing
    On this module you will learn about marketing in an international context. Many firms now do business with international partners, hence the importance attached to international marketing. The module begins by assessing the impact of culture on international marketing, whilst examining a range of case examples and international market entry strategies. Overcoming cultural issues remains a key challenge, along with the ability to communicate effectively to perhaps a very different target audience. The ‘international focus’ goes beyond European companies to examine market development among rising brands, particularly those in India and China.
  • International Physical Distribution
    You will be introduced to the practicalities of distribution in international trade. It collects an array of topics - all connected by the ultimate requirement legally to transport goods to an overseas customer - and provides a themic relationship between them. In the marketplace, this relationship is based upon regulation by legislation and best practice. In the final analysis, the customer has absolute choice on many transportation matters, but it is necessary to be in a position to offer professional advice and a rationale for decisions taken in their best interest. This module approaches all these potential decisions from a logical and sequential view so that you build a sound knowledge of distribution practice together with the ability to critically question new variants from the conventional wisdom. You may already have a background in a relevant area of study or professional practice. Facilitation will be by an individual tutorials, online and telephone support. The assessment method is via a portfolio and one report.

Level 5 modules

  • Managing Projects and Organisational Change
    This module develops the skills and knowledge needed to deliver a successful business project, making effective use of resources and managing change within organisations. The ability to manage projects effectively is widely regarded as a key aspect of management, and this module considers the nature of the project environment, the role adopted by the project manager and the relationships between projects and the objectives of the sponsoring organisation. The module will also examine change management projects within organisations, and in particular how project management and change management techniques can be combined in such way as to increase organisational effectiveness. Critical evaluation of the issues involved in change management processes allows informed choices to be made by managers when attempting to reconcile the needs of the organization with the demands of the environment in which the organisation operates.
  • International Marketing Strategy
    This module addresses the development of international marketing strategies and planning. The key elements of international marketing planning are explored. These include: market selection, market entry, marketing mix, marketing strategy and evaluation and control methods. A focus of the module is on strategic options and strategic direction. Students may have a background in a relevant area of study or professional practice. Facilitation will be by individual tutorials, online and telephone support. The assessment method is one case study.
  • International Logistics and Purchasing
    This module is designed to build on the knowledge of transportation mechanisms developed in the Advanced Certificate in International Trade, and to develop your knowledge to an extent whereby you are able to recommend the appropriate measures for the management of transport, warehousing, inventory and materials handling. There is an emphasis on the appropriate management of risk within the logistics context. You may have a background in a relevant area of study or professional practice. Facilitation will be by individual tutorials, online and telephone support. The assessment method is one report.
  • Management of International Trade
    This module addresses the development and use of appropriate techniques of corporate strategy and management in an international context. You are asked to reflect on various corporate management structures, and to analyse the implications of a variety of international financial strategies and pricing policies. You are asked to recommend initiatives to support business development. There is a requirement for you to analyse the importance of managing risk in multi-currency trading. You may already have a background in a relevant area of study or professional practice. Facilitation will be by individual tutorials, online and telephone support. The assessment method is by report and presentation.
  • Practical Global Trading
    This module gives you the opportunity to consolidate your work on the Advanced Certificate in International Trade, and on the Diploma in International Trade, and apply this to your workplace. This module will develop further your research skills, following on from International Marketing which gives an early grounding in primary research. The research skills in this module will be utilised in analysing a real work problem, in association with your employer or other organisation, and will be supported by tutors. You may have a background in a relevant area of study or professional practice. Facilitation will be by a combination of individual tutorials online and telephone support. The assessment method is a work based project


Want to hear some good news? You won’t have to sit ANY exams to pass the course!

Instead, all assessments you undertake are designed to utilise and develop skills and learning pertinent to international trade and management.

This is achieved through project work, presentations, course work assignments and case studies

Where you'll study

Your faculty

The Lord Ashcroft International Business School is one of the largest business schools in the East of England, with nearly 100 full-time teaching staff and approximately 6,000 students from more than 100 countries.

Our striking and award-winning business school building in Chelmsford, as well as new buildings in Cambridge, offer the most advanced learning technologies. We’re well-recognised for our centres of excellence by students, employers and professional bodies alike.

What makes us stand out is that our courses don't just give you sound academic knowledge – they’re at the cutting edge of current business practice and highly relevant to employers. This is owing to the close links we have with the business community and the partnerships we've developed with a wide variety of businesses and public service organisations. 

We're interested in people who are confident, ambitious and ready to take the challenge of making a difference in the world of business. If that's you, we'd love to hear from you.

Where can I study?

Distance learning
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Study at a time that suits you, using our Virtual Learning Environment.

More about distance learning

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students, 2015/16 (per year, for guidance only, based on studying at half the rate of a full-time student)


UK & EU students, Distance Learning, 2017/18 (per year)


How do I pay my fees?

Tuition fee loan

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Most English undergraduates take out a tuition fee loan with Student Finance England. The fees are then paid directly to us. The amount you repay each month is linked to your salary and repayments start in April after you graduate.

How to apply for a tuition fee loan

Paying upfront

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If you choose not to take out a loan you can pay your fees directly to us. There are two ways to do this: either pay in full, or through a three- or six-month instalment plan starting at registration.

How to pay your fees directly

International students

You must pay your fees up-front, in full or in instalments. You will also be asked for a deposit or sponsorship letter for undergraduate courses. Details will be in your offer letter.

Paying your fees
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Funding for UK & EU students

We offer most new undergraduate students funding to support their studies and university life. There’s also finance available for specific groups of students.

Grants and scholarships are available for:

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Funding for international students

We've a number of scholarships, as well as some fee discounts for early payment.

Entry requirements

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We usually require you to have an A-level or NVQ level 3, with Maths and English GCSEs at grade C or equivalent.

If you don’t meet these criteria but have relevant work experience, you are encouraged to apply and credit may be awarded for prior learning and experience.

Such applications will be considered on an individual basis.

We also require you to have a good standard of English (IELTS 5.5 or equivalent), evidenced, if necessary, by standard level qualifications.

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Important additional notes

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email for further information.

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Get more information

UK & EU applicants

01245 68 68 68

Enquire online

International applicants

+44 1245 68 68 68

Enquire online