Master's Programme in International Design Business Management - M. Sc. Degree in Economics and Business Administration


Master of Science in Economics and Business Administration.
More information.


120 ECTS

Field of Study:

Business and Economics


2 years, full-time


An appropriate Bachelor´s degree or an equivalent qualification.

Language of Instruction:

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Organising school/s:

School of Business

Application period:

2017-12-15 - 2018-01-24

International Design Business Management (IDBM)

The Master's Programme in International Design Business Management helps you become a future creative professional in integrating design and technology with global business development.

The multi-disciplinary International Design Business Management (IDBM) programme produces drivers of change and innovation to lead initiatives and undertake new business ventures within global environments.

The programme embraces design more broadly as a method, mind-set and competitive advantage by focusing on product, service and business design, technology and innovation management.

Programme overview: multidisciplinary community and challenge based learning

The International Design Business Management (IDBM) programme is a joint teaching and research platform of all Aalto University schools.

One of the key components of the IDBM programme is the Industry Project, a challenge based assignment from a client organisation that you will undertake in small interdisciplinary teams during the first academic year.

In the programme, you will further have an opportunity to

  • discover and make full use of your own potential in interdisciplinary teams
  • acquire knowledge about current and future trends shaping organisations and societies
  • expand your competences achieved at the bachelor’s level by bringing in design and business perspectives to better recognise and understand how to create value for end-users
  • develop important interpersonal and communication skills through collaborative industry projects
  • gain insights to how design can be managed, as well as how its impact can be evaluated and analysed
  • learn from industry leaders how to create new ideas and execute them with design-driven strategies and processes
  • improve on vital project management skills to make you a more effective team player

Study programme

All master students from the three tracks (Arts, Technology, Business) will study the same compulsory IDBM Core courses during the first year of studies. At the core of the programme is the six-months long Industry Project where multi-disciplinary student teams work together on real-life challenges provided by industry partners.

Learning outcomes

Graduates of the IDBM programme will be able to drive innovation and lead initiatives to undertake new business ventures within global environments.

This includes the ability to:

  • Use design approach in product, service, and business development
  • Lead and collaborate in multi-cultural and interdisciplinary teams, connecting one's own disciplinary expertise to a wider business context
  • Drive change and development activities in organisations
  • Communicate ideas and concepts both verbally and visually at operative and strategic levels
  • Understand and utilise academic research in defining and approaching problems in systematic and systemic manner.

See further information on the course content on the programme website ( and Study guide (

Broad career prospects: from entrepreneurs to internal innovators

IDBM studies prepare you for a career in the creative industries and in businesses and other organisations that draw on creativity, design and technology as key components of their competitive positioning.

After graduation, our students embarking on a career in the private or public sector typically work in domains such as:

  • service design
  • business design
  • design and technology strategy
  • product and project management
  • development of product and service offering
  • academic or design research
  • innovation management, marketing
  • creative direction, export management
  • trend analysis and forecasting

These career opportunities exist both in large multinationals and in small start-ups, in a variety of fields. All kinds of organisations are starting to recognise the importance of design to retain their relevance and create better value. These businesses typically leverage design to create new products and services, often involving the latest technology and business venturing and entrepreneurship. These activities have been further supported by the vibrant start-up communities in Aalto University.



1. General admission requirements

The application must first fulfil the general eligibility requirements before it is sent to the Master's programme for academic evaluation. Read carefully the general admission requirements, information on admission groups, selection schedule, required application documents and application instructions on our website section admissions. See also language requirements.

In addition to the general eligibility requirements, each Master's programme has programme-specific evaluation criteria.

2. Programme-specific requirements

Required previous studies

To be considered for admission the applicant must have completed at least 24 ECTS covering the domains of business and administration or subjects that support those domains (for example Management, Quantitative Methods of Economics and Management Science, Accounting, Marketing, Economics, Business Law, Finance, Logistics, Business Communication, Entrepreneurship or other studies in Economics and Business Administration). Internships cannot be included in the credits. Please note that the programme does not evaluate previous studies of applicants in advance.

The applicants that fulfil the above requirement of previous studies are ranked according to the criteria below.

The admission group depends on the degree you are applying with. Only applicants with a lower university degree in “Economics and Business Administration” completed in a university in Finland apply in Admission Group 1. The name of the degree is kauppatieteiden kandidaatti, KTK in Finnish. All other applicants apply in Admission Group 2. More information on admission groups is on the admissions page.

1)    Academic excellence

Admission group 1: Weighted GPA of previous degree and overall evaluation of the study success. Applicants with a weighted GPA of previous degree lower than 3.50 are not eligible for admission.

Admission group 2: GMAT (or comparable GRE) test result. GMAT or GRE is obligatory in admission group 2 (minimum score 550 in GMAT or equivalent GRE score).

2)    Motivation statement (letter OR video)
Applicant must show his/her motivation for studying in the IDBM programme by providing a motivation statement. The statement can be either a motivation letter OR motivation video. The letter is written in English into the electronic application system and the maximum length of the letter is 4000 characters (including space characters). The video should be in English and max. 2 minutes long. The statement (letter or video) should answer at least the following questions:

  • Why am I applying for the Master's Programme in IDBM?
  • What am I expecting to learn or gain by participating in the IDBM Programme?
  • The contribution I will bring to fellow students and the continued success of the IDBM Programme?

3)    Professional Experience / CV

Comprehensive evaluation of professional experience takes into account work experience relevant to the IDBM programme as well as experience in scientific and artistic work, entrepreneurship and /or other relevant civic activity. Professional experience is evaluated based on the CV.

4)    Interview
Based on the evaluation of criteria 1-3, the best applicants are invited for an interview. The applicants’ practical skills and ability to communicate in English are evaluated and the applicants are required to give a short oral presentation in English on a subject given when invited to the interview. The applicants are asked a series of questions regarding their motivation, abilities, and attitudes. Interviews can be conducted by phone or Skype if necessary.

The final acceptance of applicants is made on the basis of the interviews. The applicant can be admitted only to one Master’s Programme in International Design Business Management.


Contact information


Coordination: Aalto University School of Business, Töölö Campus, Helsinki. Note that learning activities take place on all Aalto University campuses.

Further information:

  • For information on admissions and applying instructions, please read carefully the Admissions section on our website.
  • Information on the studies in the Master's Programme in IDBM (in the academic year 2017-2018) is available in the online Study Guide.


  • After reading all the instructions on our website, if you have general questions on admission and applying, you can contact admissions [at] aalto [dot] fi
  • For questions concerning studies or academic evaluation of the programme, please contact Programme Coordinator Anna-Mari Saari, anna-mari.saari [at] aalto [dot] fi.
    Please note that application documents or previous studies of applicants are not evaluated in advance.

Page content by: | Last updated: 20.12.2017.