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Foundation Degree in International Trade
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The Foundation Degree in International Trade, offered in collaboration with the University of Plymouth, is aimed at international trade professionals to provide the skills and knowledge to operate successfully in international trade. 

This online degree programme is ideal if you're looking for a flexible qualification that combines academic study with work-based learning – offering significant benefits to both employees and employers.

It is suitable for new employees entering into their first management position, as well as aspiring or existing managers already in employment. Management areas may include: Logistics, Exports, Export Sales, Imports, Supply Chain, Trade Finance, Customer Service, Trade Compliance and Customs.

There are three enrolments each year - January, May and September.

The Foundation Degree is also available through the apprenticeship levy as part of the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship - find out more here


Entry Requirements

All applicants must have GCSE (or equivalent) Maths and English at Grade C or above, or the new GCSE (2017) Grade 4.

In addition, entry will be considered based on either a minimum of 2 A Levels in a relevant subject area; BTEC National Diploma or QCF Qualification at Pass level (acceptable subjects: business, logistics, supply chain, international trade, economics); Passed a named Access to HE Level 3, including GCSE English and Maths at Level 3 or above; or if candidates have more than three years work experience in international trade. Candidates are interviewed before an offer is made.

Applicants who do not fit the above criteria will be treated sympathetically and dealt with on a case by case approach in which the main criterion will be the student’s potential to benefit from and ability to complete the course.

All applicants must be in full-time employment within an organisation engaged in international trade activities.


Year One modules:

Fundamentals of Degree Learning
This module provides an introduction to degree learning reviewing requirements on demonstrating knowledge, application and evaluation. Researching techniques are reviewed along with application of learning to the employee's company.

The Business Environment
The module provides a broad knowledge and understanding of the conditions under which international traders must operate their business and how business is affected by changes in the political, economic, social and technological environment both nationally and internationally. Requirements for trade compliance and export controls are a feature of the module.

The Legal Environment
The module also provides knowledge of the law relating to international trade with a focus on the law of contract, sale of goods, intellectual property and agency law.

International Marketing
This module introduces the marketing concept and the principles and practices of international marketing developing an understanding of the part culture plays in the sales process. Students learn to interpret the market environment, carry out appropriate research, analyse information accurately and devise appropriate marketing plans for the international environment.

International Physical Distribution
This module addresses the merits of the different modes of transport, including factors relating to the choice of transport, provides an understanding of the different Incoterms, and recommends the appropriate term for a company's international business. Students will also learn to manage the administration of a company's international trade, understanding a range of document and their functions and appreciate the need for correct application of export controls, packing and insurance of goods, as well as having an effective relationship with international service providers.

Year Two modules:

Finance of International Trade
The module provides an understanding of the keys to profitability in their business, and the most appropriate sources of finance to maximise such profits. Students are also 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 chose and operate the most appropriate methods of payment.

International Marketing Strategy
This module addresses the development of marketing strategies and plans including market selection, market entry, the marketing mix and some of the organisational aspects relating to international marketing.

International Logistics and Purchasing
This module will enable the student to:

  • define the role and importance of logistics in an international context
  • use that ability within a corporate structure to maximise the effectiveness of an organisation's compliance, marketing and distribution strategy
  • recommend the appropriate measures for the management of transport, warehousing, inventory and materials handling
  • advise and develop a strategy for the effective performance of the logistics process and systems
  • recommend the most cost-effective means of exporting and importing by the proper management and planning of Customs regulations and facilitations
  • evaluate the various global sources of products and materials
  • establish the procedures necessary to implement and control a global sourcing policy
  • Management in International Trade
    This module will enable the student to:

  • use appropriate techniques of corporate strategy and management in an international context
  • identify appropriate supply strategies and structures
  • set up effective structures for corporate management and trade compliance
  • explain the importance of international financial strategies and pricing policies
  • recommend suitable sources of trade finance in an international context
  • manage the risks related to multi-currency trading
  • suggest appropriate methods to establish effective business development
  • Practical Global Trading
    Drawing from the learning completed in previous modules, project work permits the student to choose an area of International Trade that best suits their individual and company requirements. with reference material and practical tutor support the student can move into a more specific area for their project.

    Study Commitment

    The study commitment is around 8 to 10 hours a week during learning periods, however a lot of the learning is work related and can be applied to the circumstances of your business ensuring it is meaningful to the learner and their employer and linked to learning 'on the job'

    There are three learning periods (trimesters) each year, with around a 3 week learning break between the 3 periods


    Each module is completed by means of a written assessment, usually of 3000 to 4000 words, requiring evaluation, analysis and reflection. The learner will be able to apply the learning to their business, and industry sector, making learning outputs more meaningful. Some assessment will be structured around projects, with project scope agreed with learner and employer.


    The fee is £5,500 per year.

    Funding Information: Plymouth University offers a range of financial support to help you during your studies. To find out more about tuition fees or to find advice about scholarships, bursaries and other funding opportunities go to:


    The Foundation Degree is also available through the apprenticeship levy as part of the Chartered Manager in International Trade Degree Apprenticeship - find out more here



    All study is delivered through Supported Distance Learning, comprising:

    • Specialist Tutor for every module of learning;
    • Online learning campus with written learning materials, presentations, podcasts and virtual lectures;
    • Online learning library;
    • Regular webinars with tutorials


    To register your interest in the Foundation Degree please call 01733 404400 or email

    book icon View our Qualifications brochure

    To discuss our qualifications:
    Call +44 (0)1733 404400



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    Why choose an Institute of Export & International Trade qualification?

    Our career-boosting qualifications equip students with the professional and academic skills to succeed in international business.

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