Study options

Master's Programme in International Design Business Management - MSc in Economics and Business Administration

IDBM is a pioneering and renowned study programme that truly embodies the vision of Aalto by integrating design and technology with global business development. Through transdisciplinary teamwork and real-life business challenges provided by our prominent industry partners, the programme prepares students as the next generation of creative professionals. IDBM is uniquely positioned as the only programme offered in all six schools of Aalto, allowing programme graduates to earn a Master’s degree in either business, design or technology.
Aalto University IDBM master's programme students explaining a concept to a spectator


Master of Science (Economics and Business Administration)

Application period:

1.12.2022 – 2.1.2023

Language of instruction:



2 years, full-time


Relevant Bachelor's degree

Field of study:

Business and Economics


120 ECTS

Organising school:

School of Business

Tuition fees:

For non-EU/EEA citizens, €15000/y (Master’s studies)

The application period will open 1.12.2022 09:00 (UTC+2)

Applying to master’s programmes

Objectives of studies

We do not work in silos, so why should we study in one? IDBM students tackle complex, real-life challenges in multidisciplinary teams and develop holistic perspectives of tomorrow’s challenges. The programme embraces design more broadly as a method, mindset and competitive advantage. It does so by focusing on product, service and business design, technology and innovation management. IDBM graduates have:

  • The ability to work in and lead diverse teams. Graduates have discovered and unlocked their potential in multidisciplinary teams. They have developed important interpersonal and communications skills through collaborative industry projects. Become an effective team player by improving vital project management skills. 
  • A forward-looking view of the world. Graduates possess knowledge about current and future trends shaping organisations and societies.
  • Not only business sense but design and tech-savviness. Graduates have expanded their competence achieved in business by bringing in design and technical perspectives to gain a more holistic view on how to create value for end-users. 
  • Competence to manage, develop and lead design-driven strategies. Graduates have gained insight into how design is managed and how can its impact be evaluated and analysed. They have learnt from industry leaders how to create new ideas and execute them with design-driven strategies and processes.

Upon graduation from the IDBM programme, graduates are ready to take on significant roles in teams working in the intersection of design, business and technology. They are able to drive innovation and lead initiatives to undertake new business ventures in global environments.

Postgraduate study options

IDBM graduates are eligible to apply for doctoral studies.

Study language

The language of instruction is English.

Structure of studies

IDBM is organised by the School of Business and comprises a total of 120 ECTS credits. The two-year programme consists of:

  • IDBM Major (40 ECTS)
  • Minor studies (24 ECTS)
  • Electives (20 ECTS)
  • Master’s thesis (30 ECTS)
  • Thesis seminar (6 ETCS)

The first year of the IDBM programme consists of IDBM Major compulsory modules and a six-month-long industry project. During the second year, students can complement their studies by completing an exchange semester, minor studies or choose additional courses depending on their interest and track requirements.

In addition, students of the IDBM Master's programme completing the degree in Master of Science in Economics and Business Administration at Aalto School of Business are offered the opportunity to extend their studies with a double degree at ESADE Business School in Barcelona, Spain.

At the beginning of their studies, students define their Personal Study Plans (PSP) together with an academic advisor. The primary purpose of PSP is to ensure that the studies support the student’s interests and are completed in a logical order.

Personal Study Plan (PSP)

Personal Study Plan (PSP) is a practical tool to define a student’s own study path, i.e. compiling an optimal selection of courses, aligned with the student's interests and programme requirements. PSP is also a useful tool for keeping up with studies. At best, it shows the stage at which students are with their studies and sets concrete milestones for them to follow.

Content of studies

As an IDBM student you complete courses together with an international, tight and diverse community of students. Compulsory IDBM core studies are linked to an extensive industry project and related teamwork, which enables students to learn how to utilize and apply different knowledge, tools and methods in practice. Moreover, the IDBM industry project deepens the understanding of students about real-life processes of the participating firms in global design-intensive businesses. Skills in project management and business planning are developed through the projects.

Examples of the wide course selection include:

  • Business Model Design (5 ECTS)
  • Corporate Entrepreneurship and Design (5 ECTS)
  • IDBM Industry Project (15 ECTS)
  • Networked Partnering and Product Innovation (5 ECTS)

See all courses

The opportunities in the digital design & innovation space have all come through the lovely people I met during my studies in IDBM.

Juho Kinnunen, Senior Business Designer, Futurice

International opportunities

Study with an ambitious and diverse group of students from around the world. Complete an intense industry project for a global organisation in multidisciplinary teams and participate in trips to destinations related to the challenges presented in the project. Additionally, students of the IDBM Master's programme at Aalto School of Business have a unique opportunity to extend their studies by completing a double degree at ESADE Business School in Barcelona, Spain.

Aalto University is international by nature, welcoming thousands of degree and exchange students from abroad each year. These students join the diverse Aalto community not only through studies, but also multiple free time events, activities and celebrations around the campus. Programme administrators, active student tutors and student support services work rigorously to help international students integrate into the Nordic culture and feel at home in Finland.

Multidisciplinary opportunities

IDBM is a truly multidisciplinary programme that embodies the vision of Aalto: a community of bold thinkers, where science and art meet technology and business. You have the entirely unique opportunity to study and work together with ambitious students from the schools of ARTS, Business, Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Science.  

Aalto University is well-known for bridging disciplines of business, arts, technology and science. The lively campus and freedom of choosing elective courses across the University bring students from different fields under one roof. This spontaneous multidisciplinary environment sparks new ideas, gathers enthusiasts around them and gives birth to friendships, networks, and every so often, startups.

Career opportunities

IDBM prepares you for a career in creative industries and in organisations that draw on creativity, design and technology as key components of their competitive positioning. These career opportunities exist both in large multinationals and in startups, in a variety of fields as organisations are starting to recognise the importance of design in retaining their relevance and creating better value. In positions ranging from service design to design and strategy, IDBM graduates leverage design to create new products and services, often involving the latest technology.

Aalto University has well-established career services which help you get employed in Finland and abroad. Aalto students tend to find good positions with ease upon their graduation. There is also a very active entrepreneurship community at Aalto, which can help as a springboard for founding a company. Finally, if an academic career is of interest, the Master’s programme in International Design Business Management is a great foundation for doctoral studies and post-doc positions.

Scholarships and Tuition fees

The tuition fee is €15 000 per academic year for non-EU/EEA citizens.
Prospective students subject to tuition fees are eligible to apply for Aalto University Scholarship.

Chat with Aalto students

Are you wondering what it is like to study at Aalto University? Or what student life is like at Aalto’s vibrant Otaniemi Campus or at the Mikkeli Unit? Come chat with our students about all things Aalto!

Chat with our students!
Aalto students walking at campus during summer

Admission dates

The admissions to Master's programmes at Aalto University in the field of Business and Economics are organised once a year. The application period for studies starting in autumn 2022 is from 1 December 2021 to 3 January 2022.

Here are the most important dates to remember:

  • 1 December 2021 – Application period begins and online application system opens
  • 3 January 2022 – Application period ends and the online application system closes
  • 29 March 2022 – Admission results are published at the earliest
  • 20 April 2022 – Deadline for accepting the offered study place

Programme-specific Admission Requirements

In addition to these programme-specific admission requirements, applicants must also fulfill the general admission requirements.


Admission group 1

Bachelor’s degree from a university in Finland

Phase 1

Phase 2

Admission group 2

Bachelor’s degree from a university of applied science in Finland or from a higher education institution abroad

Phase 1

Phase 2

Contact information

In case of programme-specific questions and inquiries, please contact IDBM Programme Manager Anna-Mari Saari, [email protected].

If you have open questions about the admissions and applying instructions, you can reach out to [email protected].

You can read more about the programme on the programme’s website.


Get to know us

Ekonominaukio 1 staircase to 1st floor. Photo by Unto Rautio.

School of Business

At the School of Business we strive for better business and better society. We excel in education and research with a multidisciplinary approach and in collaboration with our partners.

Aalto-yliopisto Oppismiskeskus / Tuomas Uusheimo

Otaniemi, a crown jewel of Finnish architecture

A parkland-style campus established in the 1950s forms the core of Otaniemi. The overall vision of the campus was that of Alvar Aalto, and its individual buildings were designed by Aalto and other celebrated Finnish architects such as Reima and Raili Pietilä and Heikki and Kaija Sirén.

IDBM student wearing AR glasses

IDBM Alumni Stories

See what the IDBM alumni have to say about the programme, and how the master's studies helped them along their career paths.

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Get to know Finland and Aalto

Finland’s excellent reputation in education, combined with a wide range of courses offered in English, makes Finland and Aalto University an attractive study destination for international students.

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The application period will open 1.12.2022 09:00 (UTC+2)

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