International Business Development

Programme Overview

If you have a taste for the business side of the engineering industry this course could be for you.  The aim of the course is to give you an introduction to some of the skills required to grow a business internationally.  A business development manager has the key role of understanding the technical side of the business, growing the business over time and dealing on a face to face basis with clients.
The option is run in English and the subjects are taught in a mix of English and French.

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International students can follow this option, taught in English and French, via:

  • A double degree programme - Open to international students selected by our partner institutions. Selected students spend two years studying courses from the engineering programme at Centrale Nantes. This usually includes one year of the common-core engineering curriculum followed by one year of specialisation. Double degree students are typically accepted after successfully completing two or three years of higher education in their home institution.
  • The fast-track engineering programme: Open to students with a Bachelor's or equivalent degree in science. Our fast-track programme gives international students who are qualified to bachelor level the opportunity to gain the 'diplôme d'ingénieur' in just two years.
Course Content

Finance, Prospection and Sales

To understand the financial issues related to international business development. The course commences with a review of accounting basics and then examines the role of budgets particularly with respect to new projects. A portion of the course is devoted to project financing. This is followed by a look at the different ways of raising finance and the course concludes with a focus on the management of financial risk in the international market.

To understand the role of an international business development manager with regard to sales techniques, prospection and client relationships.

International Marketing

To understand and elaborate marketing strategies related to international business ventures.
The course covers the reasons behind the and criteria for developing an international activity, internal company audit and analysis, the different internationalisation methods and international product policy. Each element of the course is illustrated by a case study. The students work in a group to present an analysis of a company of their choice.

Company Law and Negotiation

Law: To be familiar with the basic legal concepts related to sales in an international context. To understand contractual compliance and resolution of disputes.
Negotiation: The aim of this course is to understand the phases of a negotiation process, the principle negotiation models and language related to negotiations. Various role plays are undertaken in class to practice these methods.

Business Development Project

To give students the opportunity to work in small groups and in collaboration with an industrial partner on business development projects related to technological products or services. Examples of previous projects:

  • Orange: The objective of the project was to undertake a market study of how companies use the internet to provide services to their clients, especially with SD-WAN (software defined wide area network).  Orange wanted to better understand businesses' needs for this type of service and have an objective overview of what their competition is offering in this sector.
  • Labbe Process Equipment: a medium sized engineering company specialising in the manufacturing of industrial equipment. The objective was to identify potential new international markets where Labbe could market a new product, a heat exchanger WEPLEX.  The study focused on North and Central Africa and Latin America.
  • Cyberwatch: Cyberwatch wants to expand its business into new markets in Europe but also further afield and asked the team to identify several countries where its services could be developed. 
  • XSun: a start up in the incubator at Centrale Nantes that has developed an autonomous drone. The group's objective was to identify countries around the world where forest fires are a great risk, study the rules and regulations of those countries regarding the use of drones and then to identify potential new clients that XSun could approach with their innovative technology.

Download syllabus

After the option

Sectors of activity and employment prospects:

International business development engineer, technical sales engineer, key account manager, export manager, business development manager.
Building sector, telecoms, energy, IT and engineering consultancy.

Student feedback

(in French with English subtitles)

Published on November 5, 2015 Updated on January 2, 2024