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

The Master's Programme in International Design Business Management (IDBM) helps you become a future creative professional in integrating design and technology with global business development through transdisciplinary teamwork and real-life challenges provided by our renowned industry partners. IDBM students tackle these complex challenges in multidisciplinary teams and develop holistic perspectives on the questions of tomorrow. The IDBM curriculum integrates business, design and technology to enable students to create new value and meaningful innovation.

Graduates of the program earn a master’s degree in business, design or technology, and gain extensive interdisciplinary teamwork experience that enables them to work in a wide variety of fields.
Aalto University IDBM master's programme students explaining a concept to a spectator


Master of Science (Economics and Business Administration)

Application period:

3.12.2018 - 11.1.2019

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)

Application period closed

Previous application period was closed on 11.1.2019
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Scholarships and Tuition Fees
School of Business Students
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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

Study objectives

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 problems and challenges that we face today are increasingly more complex, and this requires us to break out of our silos and work collaboratively with other disciplines to tackle these challenges holistically.

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.

The objectives of the programme are to enable students 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 technical perspectives to better recognize 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


Structure of studies

Admission to the IDBM programme is granted through six tracks in three different fields depending on the applicant's background and the targeted degree.

Students from all of the tracks will study the same compulsory IDBM major studies during the first academic year. At the core of the programme is the semester long Industry Project where multi-disciplinary student teams work together on real-life challenges provided by industry partners.

The master’s degree studies in International Design Business Management in the field of business consist of the following modules

  • Major studies 40 cr
  • Specialisation studies /minor 24 cr
  • Master’s thesis 36 cr
  • Elective studies 20 cr

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 Into student portal (

Study language

The Master’s programme in International Design Business Management is completed in English.  

    Postgraduate study options

    IDBM students are eligible to apply for postdoctoral studies.

    Admission 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.


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

    Content of studies

    The learning outcomes are achieved through compulsory and elective studies. The compulsory IDBM core studies are linked to an extensive joint industry project and related teamwork. The business, design and technology components of the programme ensure that the students gain the necessary business, design and technology perspectives. Parallel to these the IDBM industry project deepens participants’ understanding of the real-life processes of the participating firms in global design intensive businesses. Skills in project management and business planning are developed through the projects.


    For further details on the education content, see the study guide for the academic years 2018-2020.

      Admission to Master of Science in Economics and Business Administration (2 yrs)

      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.

      Career opportunities

      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 recognize 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. 

      Contact details


      After reading all the instructions on our website, if you have general questions on admission and applying, you can contact [email protected]

      For questions concerning studies or academic evaluation of the programme, please contact Programme Manager Anna-Mari Saari, [email protected].

      Please note that application documents or previous studies of applicants are not evaluated in advance.

      Get to know us

      School of Business Ekonominaukio 1 lower level Photo: Mikko Raskinen

      School of Business

      At the School of Business, we work for better business and a better society. We educate experts and leaders for the future and contribute to society through impactful research, long-term partnerships and societal engagement. We are one of the leading business schools in Europe. 

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      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.

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      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.


      This is Finland

      Finland’s excellent reputation in education, combined with a wide range of courses offered in English, makes Finland an attractive study destination for international students. Boasting the largest technology hub of the Nordic countries, Finland is a world leader in information technology, business, design and many other academically centred fields.

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      Application period closed

      Previous application period was closed on 11.1.2019
      Read more
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