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, Raum 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)
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 winter semester 2023/24 is €379.
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 winter semester 2023/24:
Semester code 20232 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.: 202322567890 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 offers a systematic approach to business intelligence and advanced data analytics. Various statistical methods and data mining techniques are introduced in theory and practice using case studies.
Special emphasis is placed on methods for processing relevant information and summarising analytical results in order to gain new insights relevant for the strategic objectives and decisional support of a company.
The area of business intelligence tools is complemented by selected topics on competitive analytics intended to help companies assess relevant factors and drivers of success vis-à-vis competitors, customers or markets.
The course focuses on the major issues and underlying concepts of modern corporate finance. Topics will be addressed from the perspective of large corporates with international activities, i.e. multinational enterprises. It examines in detail the core theories of corporate finance that can be used to develop and evaluate rules for financial decision-making. The implications of these concepts for operational management problems and for strategic boardroom decisions are also discussed.
Topics covered include the net present valuation and separation theorem (Hirshleifer, 1985), the equity valuation model (Gordon and Shapiro, 1956), the irrelevance of the debt-to-equity ratio (Modigliani and Miller, 1958), the irrelevance of dividend policy (Modigliani and Miller, 1961), the agency theory models (Jensen and Meckling, 1976), the capital asset pricing model (Sharpe, 1964; Lintner, 1965) and the efficient markets hypothesis (Fama, 1970). Additionally, portfolio allocation theory (Markowitz, 1952) and option pricing model (Black and Scholes, 1973) are touched upon.
The seminar prepares students to manage processes within organisations and in different cross-cultural business and management contexts and helps students develop a critical awareness of the complexity of managing culturally diverse organisations.
Drawing from advanced research on the impact of national and subcultures on organisations, it explores the effects of cultural diversity on central management processes on the one hand and aims to increase students' understanding and consciousness of their own practices, assumptions and beliefs with regard to organisational behaviour on the other.
Students develop transferable skills that will enhance their performance in cross-cultural working and international business environments and their ability to deal with people problems within organisations.
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.
This module provides a managerial approach to the legal and ethical issues that come along with the operation of international businesses.
Students acquire expertise on the regulatory environment for management decisions through case-based learning. The cases address issues relating to different areas of law, such as the EU single market, competition law, IP law and licensing, manager liability, investor relations/ad hoc reporting obligations, corporate governance, the handling and management of contracts and standard trade terms, data protection law, etc.
Students learn to understand markets and market institutions as regulatory constructs and become aware of the potential strategic relevance of policy decisions. They obtain a deeper understanding of essential legal institutions by applying selected methods used in the economic analysis of law.
The course covers topics related to international logistics, cross-business cooperation alongside the supply chain, and the creation of international supply chains.
It provides an understanding of the core physical and administrative processes in international logistics. Based on this understanding of the supply chain links, the course then analyses some of the main tasks in logistics management. Students also study topics related to the management of international supply chains. Using relevant case studies, they analyse the link between a company's supply chain strategy and its corporate strategy as a central element of existing logistics conceptions.
The module provides in-depth insights into the operation of the international monetary system – particularly the European monetary system – and its connections with companies' activities, particularly with respect to its financial conditions.
Students in the course acquire the ability to draw conclusions about the impact of monetary policy decisions on financial markets and the real economy.
The module considers more recent approaches to the macro-economic analysis of monetary policy decisions, thereby providing an integrated perspective on the interaction between monetary authorities, financial markets and international corporations.
The course provides an understanding of the development and current position of MNEs in the global economy and focuses on their distinctive features. It looks at the issues and underlying concepts of international business activity involving MNEs and host/home country institutions. The patterns and main determinants of MNE activity are analysed based on the revisited OLI paradigm (Dunning, 2008).
Further topics covered include an internal and external perspective on MNE activity, including the analysis of MNE internationalisation processes based on the value-added network approach (internal), as well as the impact of MNE activity on the following dimensions of the host/home country economy (external): economic growth, employment and human capital development, technological capacity and innovation potential, balance of payments and the structure of trade, market structure, spillovers and linkages. In addition, emerging market multinationals (EMMs) and their strategic choices are analysed in the context of appropriate case studies.
In the course, students learn how to use technology to implement efficient business processes and develop competitive products and services.
A major focus is the new product development business process, from the generation of new ideas to the launch of new products and services. The role of CAD and virtual prototyping technologies is discussed, as well as the application of lean and total quality management methods.
The objective of the strategic management course is to provide students with advanced knowledge of corporate-level strategies and the strategic process. As prospective managers in an international enterprise, students are given the opportunity to analyse business opportunities for international companies. They are thus introduced to an integrated theoretical and practice-oriented perspective on strategic analysis and strategic management – with a focus on corporate-level strategies and internationalisation.
The objective of the strategic marketing course is to provides students with advanced knowledge of the state of international marketing strategies based on business and corporate-level strategies. As prospective brand managers in an international enterprise, students are given the opportunity to strategically support the launch or relaunch of a national or an international brand. They are thus introduced to an integrated theoretical and practice-oriented perspective on international marketing strategies.
General examination and study regulations for the Bachelor's and Master's degree courses in the Department of Business, Faculty of Business and Social Sciences, Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (APSO-W), 22 November 2012
First amendment to the general examination and study regulations for the Bachelor's and Master's degree courses in the Department of Business, Faculty of Business and Social Sciences, Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (APSO-W), 28 August 2020 (in German only)
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.