Study options

Master's Programme in International Design Business Management - MSc in Technology (CHEM, ELEC, ENG, SCI)

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.
IDBM student explaining a concept to IDBM Impact 2018 event visitors


Master of Science (Technology)

Application period:

2.12.2019 – 3.1.2020

Language of instruction:



2 years, full-time


Relevant Bachelor's degree

Field of study:

Technology and Engineering


120 ECTS

Organising school:

School of Chemical Engineering

Tuition fees:

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

The application period has closed

Scholarships and Tuition Fees

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.

Post-graduate study options

IDBM graduates are eligible to apply for doctoral studies.

Study language

The language of instruction is English.

Structure of studies

IDBM programme comprises a total of 120 ECTS credits. The two-year programme consists of:

  •       IDBM major (40 ECTS cr)
  •       Engineering specialisation/minor studies (20-30 ECTS cr)
  •       Electives (20-30 ECTS cr)   
  •       Master’s thesis (30 ECTS cr)

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.

Content of the 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. In addition to the major studies, students are expected to complete specialisation studies in his/her own field. The amount of specialisation studies vary between IDBM study options. Further information: and

Areas for specialisation:

  • Automation and Electrical Engineering
  • Electronics and Nanotechnology
  • Communications Engineering
  • Engineering Physics
  • Mathematics
  • Operations Research
  • Computer Science (including Computer Science, Software and Service Engineering, Human Computer Interaction minors)
  • Chemical and Process Engineering; Chemistry; Biotechnology
  • Fibre and Polymer Engineering ; Biomass Refining
  • Materials science and engineering: Functional Materials, Sustainable Metals Processing
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Energy Technology
  • Geoengineering
  • Geoinformatics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Real Estate Economics
  • Surveying and Planning

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.

Admission requirements

General admission requirements

The general eligibility requirements are the same for all Master's programmes in the field of science and technology. Please see also the requirements concerning language skills.

Eligible applications are then sent to the academic evaluation described in more detail below.

Programme-specific admission requirements

To be considered for admission, the applicant must fulfil the minimum requirements for the studies leading to a M.Sc. degree in Technology. The minimum requirements include good academic performance and previous studies compatible with the degree studies.

The following are used as criteria for academic evaluation:

  • University or Higher Education Institution
  • Degree and relevance of studies
  • Academic study performance
  • Motivation and commitment to the Programme
  • Professional experience
  • Interview

The applicants are evaluated and ranked based on the criteria below based on the submitted application documents. The student selection process is competitive. Not all eligible applicants will be admitted and there is no minimum quota.

1. University or Higher Education Institution

The applicant’s background will be evaluated based on the international recognition and academic quality of the previous university and degree programme.

2. Degree and relevance of studies

Applicant should hold a B.Sc. or equivalent degree in a relevant field. The compatibility and relevance of previous studies is evaluated in relation to the desired engineering specialization area as stated in the letter of motivation.

To be considered for admission, the applicants should have completed a high quality Bachelor’s degree in engineering, technology or natural sciences. The previous studies of the applicants should be relevant for the specialization they are applying for.

    3. Academic study performance

    In addition to compatible previous studies, the applicants are expected to have very good previous study success (GPA and results in key courses).

    The cumulative grade point average is calculated from the bachelor’s degree (or the degree giving the eligibility). Applicant’s grades from other completed studies of which the applicant has provided the appropriate documents by the end of the application period will also be evaluated.

    4. Motivation and commitment to the Programme

    Applicant must show his/her motivation for studying in the IDBM programme by providing a motivation letter. 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 motivation letter should answer at least the following questions:

    • Why I am applying for admission to the IDBM Master's Studies Programme?
    • What I am expecting to learn or gain by participating in the IDBM Programme?
    • What specialisation area studies would I choose and why?
    • What can I contribute to fellow students and to the continued success of the IDBM Programme?

    5. Professional Experience

    Applicant’s professional experience is looked at broadly and is considered to include 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 will be evaluated based on the CV.

    6. Interview

    Based on the above evaluation criteria, the best applicants are invited for an interview. The maximum number of applicants invited to the interview is double the amount of the quota. 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 will be made based on the interviews. The student can be admitted only to one Master’s Degree Programme in International Design Business Management.

    Scholarships and Tuition fees

    The tuition fee is 15 000 euros per academic year for non-EU/EEA students.

    Prospective students subject to tuition fees are eligible to apply for Aalto University Scholarship.

    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.

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    The application period has closed

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