Differences between International Relations and International Business Programmes


Thursday, August 6, 2020

While international relations and international trade have much in common, they also have many differences. Continue reading for more information.




The main difference is in the knowledge each area requires. While International Trade requires knowledge in accounting, law, customs and taxation, in international relations the key knowledge is international treaties and the conditions of negotiation between countries.

Another major difference is in the subjects students will take in an online or school-based career.
While international Business focuses on disciplines such as: 

  • Trade Law.
  • Tax and Foreign Trade Law.
  • International Contract Practices.
  • Foreign Trade Law, Customs Law.

In a programme in International Relations you will see:

  • International Law.
  • Economic and Political Geography.
  • And the geopolitical contexts of Asia and the Pacific, Europe, the United States and Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East.


Where do professionals in these careers work?


  • International Relations professionals are in charge of making it possible that relationships between different countries and cultures go smoothly in a way that both or all parts of the relationship are benefited from the bond.

Their jobs include diplomat, NGO administrator, political analyst, intelligence specialist, translator, foreign lobbyist, immigration lawyer, military officer, or demographer. If IR graduates have enough experience, they could even be appointed ambassadors or even Secretary of State. 

  • On the other hand, International Business degrees lead to careers like an export officer, product manager, budget analyst, advertising manager, human capital consultant, logistician, global communications specialist, sales director, and controller. Climbing the corporate ladder to big titles like VP of Diversity & Inclusion or Chief Financial Officer might be the end goal.

If you’re considering pursuing an International Relations or an International Business programme in the UK, then let us help you find some of the best programmes for you.





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