The Master of Science degree course in International Business provides a solid basis for a career in the global business world, enabling students to manage complex processes and structures in a constantly changing international environment.
Graduates are ideally prepared to rise to future management challenges. Some top performers may choose to go on to doctoral study.
The programme promotes a holistic and cross-functional approach and does not emphasise specific sectors or roles. Case-related analysis and integrated modelling are key foci of the course, as are methods, theories and technical skill sets that will enable graduates to master a variety of challenges in various sectors and open up opportunities for their ongoing personal development.
Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (HAW Hamburg) is a vibrant academic institution located at the heart of one of Germany’s most exciting cities. One of the largest universities in northern Germany, we offer degree courses in a wide range of fields, including engineering, computer sciences, fashion, design, and – of course – business and social sciences. We specialise in delivering real-world, hands-on higher education on a solid scientific basis. Our students and academic staff come from a broad spectrum of academic, professional, national and cultural backgrounds. Qualifying our students to take on responsible professional roles in business and society and continuously improving the academic education we deliver are at the heart of our mission.
This course is targeted primarily towards graduates with a Bachelor’s or equivalent degree in international business, management sciences or related subjects. You should have strong analytical, numerical and communication skills, and be interested in studying alongside a small group of equally qualified graduates from diverse cultural backgrounds, working closely with highly motivated academic staff with track records in research and business. We’re looking for applicants with an interest in all business-related fields who aim to widen their methodological and intellectual horizons in order to qualify for strategic roles in companies or organisations working internationally.
The Master of Science in International Business is a three-semester programme worth 90 CP in the ECTS system. You take five required modules in your first winter semester (September–February), a further five required modules in the summer semester (March–July), and undertake a research project in the following winter semester which you write up in your Master's thesis.
The curriculum will provide you with a solid understanding of the global marketplace and covers a broad range of interrelated fields. Alongside a core set of modules on business and management issues, you will gain an all-round picture of international business by taking modules on strategic, quantitative, technological, intercultural and legal matters, and leave us with the latest knowledge on modern management theories. You can find details about the modules in our Module Handbook.
The admission requirements are as follows:
- Bachelor's or equivalent degree in International Management or International Business or in a major field of studies in economic sciences with a strong international emphasis
- Bachelor's degree must be based on studies with a minimum of seven semesters and at least 210 credit points in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS)
- For graduates whose Bachelor's degree stems from a six semester programme (180 credit points): Provided that you satisfy all of the other entrance requirements and that the course is not yet filled to capacity you might be enrolled under the condition that you acquire 30 credit points (ECTS) within the first year of your Master's studies at HAW Hamburg. The student advisor for Master's studies (Studienfachberater_in) will decide which additional courses have to be taken.
- In order to qualify, applicants need to have successfully completed courses with a total of at least 60 credit points (ECTS) related to modules which treat economic questions with a strong international focus. Additionally, applicants have to have completed at least 50 per cent of ECTS credits on general economic topics (not sector-specific, not regional and not function oriented).
- Language requirement: Knowledge of English, level C1
- Accepted test scores (Level C1 of Common European Framework of Reference for Languages):
– TOEFL iBT (Test of English as a Foreign Language – Internet-Based Testing), minimum score: 95 or
– IELTS (International English Language Testing System – Academic Certificate), minimum band: 7.0 or
– Cambridge Certificate
-- CAE (Certificate in Advanced English) minimum score: C
-- CPE (Certificate of Proficiency in English) minimum score: C or
– TOEIC (Test of English in Internal Communication), minimum score for listening and reading 945, speaking 180, writing 180 or
– BEC (Business English Certificates), minimum score: BEC Higher or Linguaskill General, minimum score: 180 or
– PTE (Pearson Test of English) Academic, minimum score: 76
- School-leaving certificate with qualifying grade in English: German advanced entry qualification for universities of applied sciences (Fachhochschulreife) or German entry qualification for universities (Allgemeine Hochschulreife); good grade in English (minimum of 11 points for either type of certificate)
- Other means of meeting the language requirement: school-leaving certificate from a school in an English-speaking country, two years of successful university studies in an English-speaking country, two years of post-graduate professional experience in an English-speaking country
- Accepted test scores (Level C1 of Common European Framework of Reference for Languages):
Additional documents you may submit to enhance your application (optional):
- GMAT/ TM-WISO
- Proof of additional qualifications
If there are more applicants than there is intake capacity (20), applicants will be selected by way of scoring.
There are three point scores that will be used to compute a total point score:
Point score for academic grade of Bachelor degree
+ Point score for a voluntary TM-WISO or GMAT
= Total point score
The 20 applicants with the highest total point scores will be enrolled in the programme.
The point score for the academic grade of the Bachelor degree and the TM-WISO/GMAT can be found in the admissions policy.
The degree course admits students for the winter semester only. Application period: 1 May–15 June .
Applications for all Master's courses must be submitted online. The online application system is only activated during the application period. It is not possible to apply outside of the application periods. You do not need to submit hard copies of your application. You can find more information at Applying for a Master's degree course.
Alternatively, you can contact master-application( (at) )haw-hamburg (dot) de
Applications and admissions:
HAW Master's Degree Course Admissions Office
Stiftstrasse 69, 20099 Hamburg (Berliner Tor Campus)
Tel.: + 49.40.428 75-9898
master-application (at) haw-hamburg (dot) de
The Information Point is open at the following times:
Monday–Thursday: 10:00 am–1:00 pm
In-person office hours:
Thursday: 2:00 pm–4:00 pm
Telephone office hours:
Monday and Tuesday: 9:00 am–10:00 am
Contact person for applicants with disabilities or chronic health conditions:
Meike Butenob/Dieter Röh
Stiftstraße 69, Haus 3, room 37
Tel. +49.40.428 75-7220
inklusion (at) haw-hamburg (dot) de
Specifically subject-related queries
Prof. Dr. Stephan Boll
Berliner Tor 5, room 09.20, 20099 Hamburg
Tel.: + 49.40.428 75-6987
At a glance
No. of semesters
Language of instruction
Winter semester 2023/24: 1 September 2023–31 March 2024
Lecture period: 9 October 2023–17 February 2024 (including the three-week examination period)
Christmas holidays: 25 December 2023–5 January 2024
Summer semester 2024: 1 April 2024–30 September 2024
Lecture period: 2 April 2024–27 July 2024 (including the three-week examination period)
Winter semester 2024/25: 1 October 2024–31 March 2025
Lecture period: 7 October 2024–15 February 2025 (including the three-week examination period)
Christmas holidays: 21 December 2024–5 January 2025
Summer semester 2025: 1 April 2025–30 September 2025
Lecture period: 7 April 2025–2 August 2025 (including the three-week examination period)
Winter semester 2025/26: 1 October 2025–31 March 2026
Lecture period: 6 October 2025–14 February 2026 (including the three-week examination period)
Christmas holidays: 20 December 2025–4 January 2026
Summer semester 2026: 1 April 2026–30 September 2026
Lecture period: 6 April 2026–1 August 2026 (including the three-week examination period)
Winter semester 2026/27: 1 October 2026–31 March 2027
Lecture period: 5 October 2026–13 February 2027 (including the three-week examination period)
Christmas holidays: 21 December 2025–3 January 2027
Summer semester 2027: 1 April 2027–30 September 2027
Lecture period: 5 April 2027–31 July 2027 (including the three-week examination period)
To re-register for the new semester, please pay the semester contribution by bank transfer within the re-registration period. Please do not pay before the start of the re-registration period as the final amount will not be determined before this period begins.
The semester contribution for summer semester 2024 is €331.
Please also transfer the amount even if you are blocked from re-registering. The block can only be lifted if you have paid the semester contribution.
New re-registration deadlines as of summer semester 2024
Winter semester: 1 July –15 September
Summer semester: 1 January –15 March
The semester contribution must be in the HAW Hamburg account by the last day of the re-registration period at the latest!
Important: Late re-registration can result in involuntary deregistration from the university. Subsequent re-registration is only possible within the appeals period. Regardless of whether or not deregistration takes place, an additional administrative fee of €15 will be charged for late re-registration.
If you are financially unable to pay the semester contribution, you may contact the Students' Union (AStA). In warranted cases it can provide you with a loan.
Bank account information
Recipient: HAW Hamburg
Bank: Deutsche Bundesbank
Purpose for summer semester 2024:
Semester code 20241 and your student ID number (please do not leave a space in between!) last name, first name (please leave a space between the student ID number and your name!), e.g.: 202412567890 Mustermann, Max
Exam information and registration deadlines
You can find information about the exams, as well as about the registration and deregistration deadlines, in the examination schedule and in myHAW.
Please be sure to register (or deregister) for your exams on time via myHAW. Registration requests will not be accepted after the deadline. If you write an exam that you are not registered for, it will not be considered as completed.
The course focuses on the major issues and underlying concepts of modern and traditional corporate finance. Topics will be addressed from the perspective of large corporates with international activities, i.e., multinational enterprises. The core theories of corporate finance that can be used to develop and evaluate rules for financial decision-making will be studied in detail. The implications of these concepts for operational management problems and for strategic boardroom decisions will be discussed. Furthermore, the theoretical foundations, agents, and instruments as well as the organisation and structure of financial markets are addressed.
This module provides a managerial approach to legal and ethical issues that come along with the operation of international businesses. The students gain expertise of the regulatory environment for management decisions by means of case-based learning. The cases address issues relating to selected areas of law such as the regulation of sustainability/ESG, EU single market, competition law, IP-law and li-censing, manager liability, investor relations/ad-hoc reporting obligations, corporate governance, the handling and management of contracts and standard trade terms, data protection law, etc. The students learn to apprehend markets and market institutions as regulatory constructs and become aware of the potential strategic relevance of policy decisions. The participants obtain a deeper understanding of essential legal institutions by deploying selected methods used by economic analysis of law.
The course focuses on the underlying concepts of international management and organisational theory. Topics are addressed from the perspective of small and medium-sized enterprises, and family businesses with international activities. Fundamental theories, and selected emerging concepts on internationalisation strategies, as well as industrial, and organisational (re)design, are studied in detail. Relevant implications for strategic and operational management decisions are discussed. Selected real life business cases are analysed and/or developed.
International Strategic Management
As potential strategists in an international Corporation students detect strategic business opportunities, create a related customer-centric value proposition based on an external and internal environmental analysis.
International Strategic Marketing
As potential marketing manager in an international enterprise or entrepreneur students develop an international brand strategy as well as creative and innovative marketing solution according to the business strategy and its value proposition. Students evaluate and calculate the market and target group potential.
The course offers a systematic approach to business intelligence and management reporting systems. BI terms, concepts, and architectures are presented.
Key words are e.g., SQL&NoSQL Databases, OLAP (OnLine Analytical Processing), OLTP (OnLine Transactional processing), In memory, Data Warehousing (Top-Down Approach), ETL (Extraction, Transformation, Loading), Data Lake (Bottom-up Approach), ELT (Extraction, Loading, Transformation), Data Ingestion, reporting, dashboards, Management Information Systems (MIS), Decision Support Information Systems (DSS), Executive Information Systems (EIS).
Current subjects concerning Big Data Ecosystem, Storage and analysis at internet scale (e.g., Apache Hadoop) and Business Analytics are also to be discussed. Methods are introduced from an application-oriented perspective in order to show how to design a BI application.
The course offers a systematic approach to the theory and practical application of advanced statistical methods and data mining techniques to quantitative data collected through different research processes. Current subjects regarding digitalisation, data science, machine learning and big data are enlarging the methodological focus. Key concepts, methods and challenges for carrying out quantitative empirical research projects incorporating the application of advanced statistical analytics are discussed: constituent topics along the research process are e.g. sources of business relevant data, primary and secondary data collection, data understanding and processing, complex data analytics and modelling, communication of analytical proceedings and outcomes to academic and business audiences, platform based reporting of analytical results.
Various advanced statistical methods are introduced and consecutively deepened in theory and practical application using case studies supported by data sets stemming from real business problems. Analytical computations, modelling and programming are performed with state-of-the-art statistical software.
Special emphasis is put on ways of processing relevant information in the context of complex statistical data analysis as well as on summarizing and visualizing analytical results in order to gain new insights relevant for strategic objectives and decision support of a company. Actual developments in data visualization and information design are also addressed
In the “Strategic lab” students take over the role of managers in an international enterprise or entrepreneurs. Students set up an own strategic business model process and thereby develop the managerial and entrepreneurial skills.
The course enables students to develop financial models that support management decisions. The theoretical framework is based on the principles of modern managerial and financial accounting. The focus is on financial analysis, integrated planning of financial forecasts, and valuation. The technical aspects of spreadsheet modelling are also addressed. The course looks at corporates and projects in the form of foreign direct investments, with greenfield and brownfield projects also touched upon. It discusses modelling options and underlying theoretical concepts, examining their impact on model outcome.
Topics addressed include discounted cash flow models in the form of the weighted average cost of capital approach, the flow to equity approach and the income approach as well as valuations based on economic value added and cash flow value added. The course is designed to enable students to develop an individual approach to economic problems while strengthening their technical skill sets.
The course covers fundamental aspects of money, prices, interest rates, foreign exchange markets and the impact of monetary policies. Moreover, issues related to the economics of monetary union are analysed. Also, causes and consequences of recent developments on foreign exchange and capital markets and an outlook on future developments are addressed. Contemporary model-based approaches for the analysis of monetary flows and their impact are studied. Implications of the model outcomes for strategic decision-making in international companies are analysed.
The course focuses on the underlying concepts of international business theory on multinational enterprises, and their evolving position in the global economy. The core theoretical frameworks on multinational enterprises, the interplay between home and host country institutions, as well as regional and global interdependencies are studied in detail. Relevant implications for strategic and operational management decisions are discussed. Furthermore, the theoretical foundations, and selected approaches assessing economic impact of corporate activity on home and host country locations are addressed.
The thesis project enables students to demonstrate that they can resolve independently a research problem that is linked to their field of studies and has a sufficient complexity. Research, documentation, and presentation must be based upon the formal research and citation rules of the department.
Documents and forms (in German only)
Application to interrupt and withdraw from an exam pursuant to section 24 of the general examination and study regulations (APSO-W) for health-related reasons
Application to extend the deadline for a written exercise for health-related reasons
Sick note (Krankmeldung) for an exam
Application to complete a Bachelor's or Master's thesis
Application to extend the submission deadline
Declaration of consent for online publication
The usual time allocated to complete a Master's thesis following receipt of the application is 26 weeks.
You can find detailed information in the general examination and study regulations for the Department of Business.