Study options

Master's Programme in People Management and Organizational Development

The Master’s Programme in People Management and Organizational Development
provides students with expert knowledge and the analytical, communication and teamworking skills needed to help organizations to develop their operations successfully and sustainably. Upon graduation students work in expert and leadership roles in the fields of human resource management and organizational development. The programme further offers students a unique chance to complete a double degree programme with the University of Queensland (AU) or University of South Carolina (US). The programme is run in close collaboration with business, public organizations and NGOs. Thus, the programme offers students the latest knowledge in people management and organizational development in rapidly changing world of work and organizations.

We are looking for applicants with undergraduate degrees in the fields of business and economics, industrial engineering and management, law and social sciences with a keen interest in people management and organisational development.
Two Aalto University business students on campus in Otaniemi.


Master of Science (Economics and Business Administration)

Application period:

31.12.1799 – 31.12.1799

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 has closed

Objectives of studies

Aalto University is one of the leading universities in Europe in the area of management, ranking 8th in the 2021 Academic Ranking of World Universities. The objective of the Master’s Programme in People Management and Organizational Development is to educate responsible professionals and future leaders who can successfully manage human resources (HR) and develop business operations in a fast-changing world. The programme is characterized by a multidisciplinary approach, drawing on management and leadership theories, psychology, social psychology, communication studies, and sociology to understand people management and organisational development processes. The theoretical knowledge is combined with a strong practical orientation. The aim is to learn to create agile, effective and sustainable organizations through HR and organizational development practices.

The participants in the People Management and Organizational Development programme will develop

Expert knowledge and skills. Graduates have state-of-the-art knowledge of people management and organisational development practices, tools, theories and trends.

A strategic mindset. Graduates can strategically develop people management practices and operations of organizations to secure the overall success and survival of the organization.

Leadership potential. Graduates know how to motivate people and take responsibility of leading self, teams and projects as well as how to plan and contribute to larger organisational changes in an effective and ethical manner.

An analytical orientation. Graduates have a data-oriented attitude and can collect and analyse both quantitative and qualitative data as well us understand big data related analysis to produce evidence-based solutions to managing people and developing organizations.

Communicational skills. Graduates have good written and verbal communication skills and the ability to address and deal with complex communication challenges in changing organisational contexts.

Future orientation. Graduates are able to look ahead and identify developments in the field in order to design new people management and organisational development practices.

Languages of instruction

The Master’s Programme in Global Management is taught in English. Students from all cultural and language backgrounds are invited to study in this programme.

Structure of studies

Overall, the People Management and Organizational Development programme comprises a total of 120 ECTS credits. The two-year programme consists of:

  • Programme Studies (96 ECTS), including Master’s Thesis (30 ECTS)
  • Electives / minor studies / exchange (24 ECTS)

When people have the right environment and a chance to do what they truly enjoy the positive outcomes are significant.

Linh Tran, student

Content of the studies

In the first year of studies, students will develop a solid foundation through specialization courses related to people management and organizational development. The second year of the studies consists of electives / minor courses / exchange, and the master’s thesis project.

During their studies students critically examine how companies and other organisations are developed and led today. Students learn to re-think organisations, leadership and the future of work. Studies are built around challenge- and project-based learning and include real-life cases, guest lectures, consultancy-type projects for organisations, and internships. The programme is highly interactive and the participants learn to use both theory and practical tools to develop evidence-based solutions to organizational challenges. 

Courses cover important themes, such as:

  • Business and society
  • Global trends and challenges
  • Leadership
  • Management of organisations
  • Organisational behaviour and work psychology
  • Human Resource Management practices and tools
  • Strategy and people management in global organisations
  • Sustainability and ethics
  • Communication and project management
  • Organizational development and change management
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • People analytics

Core Courses

  • The Global Political Economy (6 ECTS)
  • Leading Yourself, Teams and Organizations (6 ECTS)
  • Managing Human and Organizational Performance (6 ECTS)
  • People Management Practices and Tools (6 ECTS)
  • Global Challenge: Strategic People Management (6 ECTS)
  • Organizational development (6 ECTS)
  • People and organizational analytics (6 ECTS)

Personal Study Plan (PSP)

The Personal Study Plan (PSP) is a practical tool to define a student’s own study path, compiling an optimal selection of courses that are aligned with the student's interests and programme requirements. The PSP is also a useful tool for students to keep track of their studies. It shows where students are with their studies and sets concrete milestones for them to follow.


The programme offers students possibilities to do an international exchange at leading business schools around the world. There’s also a possibility to do a double degree at the University of Queensland (AU) or the University of South Carolina (US). Note: doing the ‘Data Analytics’ minor while in University of South Carolina will grant you a two-year work visa to the United States. In the People Management and Organizational Development Programme students also have the opportunity to apply to the prestigious CEMS Masters in Management to be completed in parallel with their degree ( Students need to have at least 60 ECTS of studies in business and economics prior to enrolling in the CEMS programme.

Aalto University is international by nature, welcoming thousands of degree and exchange students from abroad every year. These students join the diverse Aalto community not only through studies but also via 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 welcome them at home in Finland.

Multidisciplinary opportunities

Aalto University is well-known for bridging disciplines of business, arts, technology, and science. The lively campus and freedom to choose elective courses across the University bring students from different fields under one roof. This spontaneous multidisciplinary environment sparks new ideas, generates enthusiasm, and creates lifelong friendships, powerful networks, and every so often, innovative startups.

Career opportunities

The strong demand for people management and organisational development experts with business studies background will only grow in the future. The programme prepares graduates for careers in people management (HR), organisational development, and consultancy in these fields. While the focus is on businesses, the programme also prepares students for careers in public organisations and NGOs. Possible career trajectories for students are:

  • Entry-level positions in
    • People Management (e.g., HR Specialist, HR Analyst, Recruitment Specialist)
    • Organisational development (e.g., Staff Development Specialist, Organisational Learning and Development Specialist)
    • Consulting (e.g., HR Consultant, Recruitment Consultant, Change Management Consultant).
  • In 10-15 years, senior positions in
    • People Management (e.g., HR Manager, Regional or Country HR Director)
    • Organisational development (e.g., Business Development Director or Project Manager)
    • Consulting (e.g., Senior Consultant or Partner)
    • General management.

Aalto University has well-established career services through which you can get employed in Finland and elsewhere. Aalto students tend to find fulfilling positions with ease after graduation. Aalto also has an active entrepreneurship community, which can serve as a springboard for founding your company.

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Post graduate opportunities

The Master’s programme in People Management and Organizational Development at Aalto is considered a great foundation for doctoral studies.

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 will be updated here in the beginning of autumn.


In case of programme-specific questions and inquiries, please contact [email protected].

If you have questions about admissions or application instructions, you can reach out to [email protected].


More information on Master's Degree Programmes

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