The Master's Programme in International Design Business Management helps you become a future creative professional in integrating design and technology with global business development.

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, mindset 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.

Postgraduate study options

Eligibility for doctoral studies.

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 competencies 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 a 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

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.

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Last updated November 16, 2018
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Sep 2019
2 years
15,000 EUR
For non-EU/EEA citizens, €15000/year.
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The application period for studies starting in autumn 2019 runs from 3 December 2018 to 12 January 2019.
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Sep 2019

Application deadline
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The application period for studies starting in autumn 2019 runs from 3 December 2018 to 12 January 2019.
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