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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


Ekonomie magister


3.12.2018 - 11.1.2019




2 år, heltidsstudier


Lämplig lägre högskoleexamen


Det ekonomiska utbildningsområdet


120 studiepoäng




€15000/år (magister studier) för studeranden från länder utanför EU/EES

Application period closed

Previous application period was closed on 11.1.2019
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School of Business Students
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Chat with our students! We will open a Facebook chat for applicants to the masters programmes (26.11 - 13.1). Ask about studies, student life or what it´s like to live in Finland. You can also direct your question to the programme director.

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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 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.

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 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. 

Content of studies

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

Structure of studies

All master students from the three tracks (Arts, Business, Science and Engineering) 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.

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.

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

See further information on the course content on the programme website ( and Into student portal (

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.


Study language

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

Haku kauppatieteiden maisterin tutkintoon johtaviin koulutuksiin (2 v)

Postgraduate study options

Eligibility for doctoral studies.

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.

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

The photo shows students at the new School of Business / Photo: Roope Kiviranta

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. 

Aalto-yliopisto Oppismiskeskus / Tuomas Uusheimo

Otnäs är den finländska arkitekturens pärla

I centrum av Otnäs står campuset från 1950-talet skapat enligt Alvar Aaltos detaljplan och smyckat med flera byggnader designade av Aalto själv samt av andra kända finländska arkitekter, till exempel Reima och Raili Pietilä och Heikki och 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.

Application period closed

Previous application period was closed on 11.1.2019
Läs mer