Business Administration (MSc)

Business firms today operate in a rapidly changing environment, characterized by globalized markets, flexible and dynamic labour, international competition and the need to constantly evaluate and shape the market conditions in which they operate. To successfully manage the businesses of today, professionals need to understand the impact that these changes have on all levels of management. The Business Administration programmes at VU Amsterdam offer a contemporary perspective on managing strategic issues, human resources, international challenges, change processes, financial matters, supply chain challenges, digital innovations, and consulting on such issues. In doing so, we train the future captains of business: knowledgeable, analytical, and responsible.

The Master's programme in Business Administration aims at students who have acquired knowledge at Bachelor level in the field of Business Administration or a related field, and offers them the opportunity to become a specialist in one of its areas. As the programme is an academic one, it provides the student with rigorous academic training and acquaints him with state-of-the-art theoretical background. At the same time, learning to solve complex practical problems is also a key part of this programme.


The Master’s in Business Administration contains eight specialization programmes: Digital Business and Innovation, Financial Management, Human Resource Management, International Management, Leadership and Change Management, Management Consulting, Strategy and Organization, and Transport and Supply Chain Management. Although these specialization programmes are all unique, they are part of the common Master’s programme MSc Business Administration. Thus, all specialization programmes are based on the same general programme structure, they all pay attention to both research and practical skills, and they all have a multidisciplinary focus. In addition, the HRM, IM, LCM, MC, and S&O specialization programmes have shared policies on courses, thesis, and internships, and also offer opportunities of taking each other’s courses. Students in any of these programmes may participate in the Honours Programme in Business Research (ABRI), on top of the regular programme, provided that they meet the requirements. Also, a Duisenberg Honours Programme in Financial Markets and Regulation of 84 EC exists, available to selected students.

Research Skills, Thesis, and Internship

The Master in Business Administration pays ample attention to the development of advanced knowledge and research skills. To this end, a core specialization courses are organized that have a cumulative knowledge base, and a course on Research in Business Administration is organized, in which attention is paid to academic skills, research methodology, and research types relevant to the specialization programme. This course runs parallel to the Master thesis and aims to support that process. The number of credits reserved for the Master thesis is 15. Students can also do a either a research or practical internship – under the umbrella of a capita selecta course – which can provide 6 ECs.

Multidisciplinary Focus

The BA programme has a multidisciplinary focus. Thus, students start by specializing in a particular business process and subsequently study this using knowledge from several disciplines. To give an example, students opting for the Management Consulting specialization programme will use knowledge from human resources, strategic management, and leadership insights to expand their knowledge base and skill set as future business consultants. As another example, students opting for the specialization Digital Business and Innovation might focus on information and knowledge processes in organizations and use knowledge from for instance technology (e.g., building and maintaining web services) and marketing science (e.g., online advertising).

The MSc Business Administration is a one year full-time programme, is taught in English, comprises 60 EC, and consists of several specialization programmes.

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