SM9542 - International Digital Economy

What will I learn on this module?

This module aims to provide you with the knowledge and skills to understand how the emergence of the digital economy has created opportunities and challenges for international business. The module is delivered through lectures and seminars.

The module will cover the following issues:

• The scale and scope of electronic commerce
• Digital infrastructures
• Digitalisation and international business
• International institutions and the digital economy
• Transnational businesses and national governance structures
• International digital platforms

Through this module you will gain skills enabling you to analyse the growth and developing of the international digital economy. On completing the module, you will appreciate the scale, scope and dynamism of the international digital economy.

How will I learn on this module?

The lectures will provide you with a theoretical underpinning of the module content, supported by seminars.
The module has a supporting reading list that provides you with an opportunity to see how international business has been shaped by the emergence of the digital economy.
Your directed study will support the work you have undertaken in the face to face sessions. You will be expected to keep up to date with your seminar.
Independent learning time is set aside for learning activities, self-identified by you, to gain a deeper and broader knowledge of the subject. You may undertake further reading.
The continuous practical nature of the seminars means that tutor (formative) feedback will be received continuously. In-class evaluations and directed learning activity provide formative assessment.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Support will be provided to you by a member of academic staff leading the module and providing the lecture input. A team of academic staff are allocated seminars, which provides a closer, more personal academic support.

Your module is supported by an e-learning portal, which houses lecture materials, seminars, case studies and how-to multimedia and text files.

You will also receive a wide-ranging electronic reading list that comprises of various books, conference papers and journal articles relevant to the material covered by the module.
There are two components to the assessment for this module. The first is a group presentation that explores the impact of digitalisation on international business, while the second is an individual report that builds on this. The group presentation is worth 40% of the marks for this module, while the individual report is worth 60%.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

• Understanding the scale, scope and dynamism of the international digital economy
• Appreciate the challenges and opportunities for international business created by the digital economy
• Understand how international institutions shape the international digital economy

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

• The ability to analyse the growth and development of companies operating in the international digital economy
• Critical evaluation of the international digital economy drawing on multiple data sources

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

• Highlight the tensions that exist between global companies and national development strategies and priorities (data flows, privacy etc)
• Appreciation of how national cultures and development priorities shape the international digital economy.

How will I be assessed?

1. Group project – 40%

30-minute group presentation focusing on how digitalisation creates challenges and opportunities for international business. Feedback, verbal (when presented) and written (after the presentation) will be provided.

2. Individual report – 60%

2000-word (excluding references) individual report building on component 1. Written feedback will be provided.





Module abstract

Technological change has fundamentally changed how businesses operate internationally. Digitally facilitated global value chains have emerged, reshaping where and how companies engage in manufacturing. Digital platforms have also created unprecedented amounts of data, allowing tailored services and products to be delivered to consumers around the globe. But as this new international digital economy has created many benefits, it has thrown into question how it’s managed, not only in terms of the data created but also how this data is stored and analysed.

This module explores the challenges and opportunities this shift creates for companies, consumers and governments through a combination of lectures, seminars and student-led activities. You’ll be exposed to models and frameworks that can be applied to the international digital economy. Your new knowledge will help you appreciate its scale, scope and impact – in both developed and developing markets.

Course info

UCAS Code N180

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years Full Time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Newcastle Business School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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