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Certificate in International Trade
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Broaden your awareness of global trade issues and get a clear understanding of the processes and practicalities of International Trade.

This introductory level qualification aims to help people get started in international trade; no formal qualifications are required for entry on this course. Designed to fit around a full-time career, with online study supported by contact with tutors, webinars, video sessions and podcasts.


Entry Requirements

No formal qualifications are required for this course.


The Certificate in International Trade consists of four modules:

A student will learn to distinguish between different types of channels of distribution applicable to different types of products and services; describe the financial objectives of business; identify the sources of finance for business; explain the basic concepts of financial accounts and the nature of costs and profit; explain the elements of the banking system, how it works globally and how money is transmitted; identify the origins of exchange risk and the basic methods of managing such risk.

Learning Outcomes

By the time you have finished this module you will be able to:

  • 1. Demonstrate an understanding of the different types of business structures which can operate in international markets
  • 2. Know various techniques which a business may employ to move into an overseas market
  • 3. Explain the importance of money and banking to international trade

    Assessment Criteria

  • 1.1 Identify various business structures which may be suitable for international trading
  • 1.2 Discuss various methods by which business growth can be measured
  • 1.3 Explain the role of banking for organisations involved in international trade

  • 2.1 Discuss a suitable segmentation of UK businesses to engage in international trade
  • 2.2 Explain why internationalisation can be an appropriate business option
  • 2.3 Identify the distribution channels available for international trade

  • 3.1 Define the role of banks in international trade
  • 3.2 Identify alternative sources of finance
  • 3.3 Explain the main features of managing financial risks in international trade
  • A student will learn to describe the basic elements of a business plan and the processes of implementation; explain the ‘marketing concept’; identify the main elements of the ‘marketing mix’; list the main sources of information both inside and outside companies; describe the methods available for collection of information; create, use and analyse information in the form of spreadsheets; explain the basic elements of business finance with particular relevance to cash flow; identify the legal issues within business operations; explain the main elements of contract law; explain the role and importance of INCOTERMS 2010; list the current INCOTERMS and the respective duties of the seller and buyer.

    Learning Outcomes

    By the time you have finished this module you will be able to:

  • 1. Demonstrate an understanding of the Marketing concept and its related strategies
  • 2. Know the legal aspects of international business operations
  • 3. Understand the role and importance of Incoterms

    Assessment Criteria

  • 1.1 Explain the importance of proper business planning
  • 1.2 Discuss elements of the marketing concept
  • 1.3 Identify developments and trends in international marketing

  • 2.1 Explain the essentials of contract law
  • 2.2 Identify how contracts can be discharged
  • 2.3 Discuss breaches of contract

  • 3.1 Explain the background and purposes of Incoterms
  • 3.2 Outline individual Incoterms 2010
  • 3.3 Identify the relationship between the mode of transport and Incoterms
  • Students will learn to distinguish between developed and developing countries; identify the major religions and languages and main centres of population; identify the main trading blocs in global trade; describe the origins, objectives and future developments of the European Union; analyse the structure of the UK Balance of Payments; list the UK’s main export markets; explain the basic structure and function of the Internet.

    Learning Outcomes

    By the time you have finished this module you will be able to:

  • 1. Understand the major regions of the world using a range of economic and cultural criteria
  • 2. Demonstrate comprehension of the development, policies, and role of the European Union in comparison with other world trading blocs
  • 3. Detail the structure of the UK Balance of Payments, and describe the UK's main export markets

    Assessment Criteria

  • 1.1 Discuss patterns within global trade by which to identify the development of various countries
  • 1.2 Identify the world's main centres of population, language and religion with factors which affect their development

  • 2.1 Explain the development of the world's major trading blocs
  • 2.2 Discuss the evolution of the European Union
  • 2.3 Identify trends in the future development of the European Union

  • 3.1 Explain the salient features of the UK balance of payments situation
  • 3.2 Offer some reasons for the UK balance of payments deficit
  • 3.3 Discuss trends in the UK's main export markets
  • List the main elements of the export order process from the original enquiry to payment collection; describe the roles of the main third parties involved in international trade i.e. carriers, forwarders, Customs, banks, insurers etc.; tabulate the main elements of an export quotation in the form of a pro-forma invoice; identify the cost elements in a DDP export price; list the main methods of international transport and the factors which affect their selection; explain the functions of Bills of Lading, Waybills and Certificates of Shipment; describe the requirements of HM Customs & Excise regarding export and import declarations; list the different types of export invoices used and the importance of description, origin and value to Customs authorities; explain the basic operations of cargo and credit insurance policies; list and explain the operation of the various methods of payment used in international trade.

    Learning Outcomes

    By the time you have finished this module you will be able to:

  • 1. Know the costs of the main methods of transporting goods internationally
  • 2. Understand the roles of the key documents required when transporting goods internationally
  • 3. Know the different payment methods in international trade
  • 4. Understand the operation of cargo and credit insurance policies

    Assessment Criteria

  • 1.1 Explain how transportation of goods operates by sea, air, road or rail
  • 1.2 Discuss the factors that impact on the costs of transporting goods internationally
  • 1.3 Outline the role of freight forwarders in the transportation of goods

  • 2.1 Explain how transport documents operate to facilitate international trade
  • 2.2 Outline how these documents impact upon the various payment systems

  • 3.1 Identify the advantages and disadvantages of current payment methods for both the importer and exporter
  • 3.2 Outline which method of payment should apply to a given situation in international trade

  • 4.1 Explain the features of cargo and credit insurance policies
  • 4.2 Outline why cargo and credit insurance are required when engaged in international trade
  • Study commitment

    We know that everyone studies in different ways so our programme allows time for you to research and read papers and articles as well as using the learning materials we supply online. We also provide you with a subject specific tutor for each module who will be able to guide you in your learning.

    As a rough guide you should expect to study for around 70 hours for each of the four modules. Because we understand that work and home life sometimes can cause distractions and disruption to your study, we allow you up to 4 years to complete the qualification however, the usual period of study is between 12-15 months.

    Total Qualification Time is registered as 281 Hours, but this is only a guideline as the completion time will vary from student to student - and don’t forget, if you’re already working in this area your manager or colleagues will be able to help too.


    You will be expected to submit a written piece of work following each module. Assessments usually comprise of two 1600 word reports linked to the practical application of international trade in the working environment. Students have 6 weeks to research and complete the assessment.


    Enrolment fee £975

    Student Registration (two years student membership) £236

    Assessment fees (per module, not required to be paid until assessments are taken) £95

    Alternatively, you can take specific modules individually priced at £300 per module, also subject to membership and assessment fees.


    All study is delivered through Supported Distance Learning, with access to tutor support via phone or email. Find out more here.

    Students of the Level 3 Certificate in International Trade are now eligible to apply for a TOTUM card, the new name for the NUS extra card. Bringing you over 200 UK student discounts, it also comes with 1-year FREE ISIC unlocking over 42,000 international discounts. Find out more





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    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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