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Companies and People: how they work, what roles they play

Business Administration

Management Consulting

The MSc programme in Business Administration has a multidisciplinary focus. Thus, you will start by specializing in a particular business process and study this using knowledge from several disciplines. As the programme is an academic one, it provides you with rigorous academic training and acquaints you with state-of-the-art theoretical background.

This is a one-year full-time programme. Upon successful completion of the course, you will have obtained specialist knowledge in the area of your specialization and you will receive an internationally recognized Master of Science degree (MSc) in Business Administration. You complete the programme by writing a Master’s thesis about your own research on a specific topic in the master’s specialization programme of Business Administration.

Each specialization pays ample attention to research skills. To this end, a Research in Business Administration workshop is organized, in which attention is paid to academic skills, research methodology, research types relevant to the specialization.

The start date of this programme is September 1st.

Please note: the specialisation Financial Management and the Duisenberg Honours Programme in Corporate Finance transferred to the Master in Finance.

Which specialisation do you choose?

Find out what the different possibilities are within the master's programme


What is the key to creating successful, sustainable careers? How can you ensure inclusivity and equality in recruitment and selection? How can organizations effectively manage their human capital, given major disruptions like digitalization and an ageing workforce? What’s the best way to find – and keep – the best possible people in the right jobs? How are contemporary HR challenges different, and how should you address them?

With your Master’s in Business Administration: Human Resource Management (HRM), you won’t just learn the answers to these and other key HRM concerns. You’ll also know how to put them into practice and develop a career of your own. The programme balances quantitative and qualitative research, hands-on experience and direct contact with major corporations to ensure you have the hard and soft skills you need to excel in the world of HRM. At VU Amsterdam, we focus on making sure you have all the tools and support you need to carve your own path to success. 

The HRM programme teaches you how to speak both the language of (strategic) HRM and that of the business, and shows you how to apply cutting edge scientific research to make employees thrive and companies more successful, better employers. More and more companies are beginning to realise how crucial recruitment, selection, retention, development and mobility are to business success. We’ll give you the tools to become an invaluable part of any company’s long-term business strategy. In addition to HRM courses, you’ll be able to take electives from other Business Administration specialization programmes. 


How can companies compete in a global environment? What is the best way to do business in an emerging market? What do international teams need in order to overcome challenges and work effectively? How do we prepare individuals and teams to excel in cross-border businesses?

The Business Administration: International Management Master’s programme will combine several teaching methodologies to answer these questions. The right blend of lectures that explore theoretical developments and hands-on experience with real-life cases ensures that you will not only learn the methods it takes to succeed, but also how to apply those methods in practical ways. You’ll be challenged to distinguish yourself among your like-minded colleagues, and will have the opportunity to address real-life, multinational business challenges. You’ll learn how the international context affects different aspects of business, and learn the practical skills necessary to address complex international business challenges. What’s more, you’ll learn what it takes to lead the international business world into the future. 

Your Master’s degree in International Management from VU Amsterdam combines a variety of teaching methodologies to ensure you emerge as a well-rounded manager with the skills and experience to lead. In addition to your course work, you will participate in workshops that give you hands-on experience with current international business challenges. Your selection from a wide range of electives will allow you to tailor your Master’s to your interest. 


How can you effectively lead a group of people to a common goal when they each have differing interests? How can you create a compelling call to action when addressing multiple stakeholders?

The Leadership & Change Management Master’s programme offers a unique proposition: it teaches you to lead a team through organisational change, to manage the change project, and to get buy-in from all involved. Leadership and change are a natural combination – no change management can be effective without good leadership, and only an effective leader can create positive change. Having completed the programme, you’ll come away with the organisational, political and rhetorical skills you need to be a successful future leader. Whether you want to find a role in consultancy, work internally for a large firm, or become an entrepreneur or project manager – this is the first step. 

The Leadership & Change Management programme will set you up as an academic professional, with knowledge of the theories of organisational change and leadership, as well as skills in implementing change and being an effective leader. In addition to courses that are unique to the Leadership & Change Management programme, you’ll also be able to take electives from the other Business Administration specialization programmes.


Want to find out if a career as a consultant is for you? In the Management Consulting Master’s programme, you’ll apply various different disciplines in a project-based environment to prepare you for the next step in your career as a consultant. You’ll also come away with the research, communication and presentation skills you need to become an effective consultant.

Prepare to work hard – just like you would at a consultancy firm. Because you’ll be looking at everything from change management and the development of business models to the ethics of management consulting and the acquisition of clients. You’ll be combining an academic mind-set (learning theories and thinking critically) with consulting in practice (gaining real-life experience with businesses in the field). In order to be a management consultant, you’ve got to do a lot of things – and do them well. And this programme is the place to start. 

The Management Consulting Master’s will teach you the theories of management consulting and organisational change, but also hone your skills in communicating your recommendations, developing business models and carrying out consulting projects. In addition to Management Consulting courses, you’ll be able to take electives from other Business Administration specialization programmes.


How do you formulate and implement a business strategy that keeps you competitive in a dynamic market? What does it take to strategically engage with other organisations – including competitors, consumers and NGOs? What are the components of a strategy that not only ensures financial success, but also sustainable and socially responsible business practises?

If you're curious about the answers to these questions, then you’re the right fit for the Strategy & Organisation Master’s programme. You’ll learn to manage strategic and organisational challenges and develop profound skills in analytics, reflexivity and critical thinking. You’ll gain the skills to act responsibly and with foresight in complex and dynamic environments. In short, you’ll learn what it takes to not only develop the strategies that succeed, but also how to bring them to life within complex organisations looking to you to solve their real-life challenges.

The Strategy & Organisation Master’s from VU Amsterdam will teach you how to develop and design competitive strategies and how to put them into practice. After two core courses, you can choose one of two study tracks. One related to rethinking relationships with competitors, the other related to stakeholder demand for improved Corporate Social Responsibility. 

Change your future with the Business Administration programme

Change your future with the Business Administration programme

On completing this Master’s programme, you are able to start in a wide range of different sectors. As a graduate from any specialization in Business Administration, the world of business services and the people who work for them, will hold no secrets from you. You can start work at any of the larger corporate companies and understand how business processes work. From roles in government policy making, consulting firms to joining the ever-changing world of start-ups: you have a variety of options to make your way in the business world.

Explore your future prospects