international students at the University of Vaasa

Strategic Business Development

Master’s Programme in Strategic Business Development

Do you aim for a successful career in business development and strategy? Do you see yourself in developing prosperous businesses? If you have completed a Bachelor’s degree in management and organization, international business, marketing, or your degree includes a minimum of 35 ECTS business studies, your dream of obtaining a M.Sc. in Economics and Business Administration can be realized.

Developers of tomorrow's business

The master's programme in Strategic Business Development is your stepping-stone into a flourishing business career. The programme offers you in-depth knowledge and the work-life skills needed in analyzing and identifying smart strategic choices; envisioning and planning fruitful business opportunities; and implementing them towards successful, well-grounded solutions.

The master's programme in Strategic Business Development is taught by academics who are highly active in conducting academic research and collaborating with companies in their research projects. This ensures that the content of the programme is up to date. To warrant efficient and motivating delivery, our teaching approach is typically based on practice-oriented activities, in which the students need to apply the knowledge and theoretical insights. In addition to the interactive lectures and sessions, many of our courses include real-life and Harvard-style cases, simulations, projects, group works and presentations. Some courses also involve visiting presentations by managers from various industries.

Student at campus

Having previous studies in subjects like international business, marketing, management, and organisations will set you up for success. If you are not a business administration graduate, at least 20% of your previous degree must be in business studies, with a focus on marketing, management, or accounting and finance. Check out the detailed eligibility criteria for this programme in joint and rolling admission for further guidance.

Accreditations – ensuring quality education

The EFMD programme accreditation is the most thorough programme accreditation system for business and/or management degrees and courses, including face-to-face, blended and online provisions. It constitutes a benchmark for what is considered an internationally recognised and peer-reviewed programme. The EFMD programme accreditation covers all facets of programme provision: from its institutional, national and international environment, through its design, delivery, outcomes and impacts, to its quality assurance processes. EFMD Accreditation emphasises academic rigour, practical relevance, internationalisation, and ethics and sustainability.
The Master's Programme in Strategic Business Development is ranked 47th of the top 200 in the Eduniversal Masters Ranking 2016 in the area of General Management.

Read more about our accreditations, rankings and audits.

Teaching outcomes

Graduates of the programme are equipped to operate at middle and upper management-level positions in many businesses such as large multinational corporations, consulting, manufacturing firms, service businesses, and small entrepreneurial firms (e.g., in platform companies). Some examples of the career prospects that this programme offers are e.g., business developer, consultant, project manager, sales and key account manager, business analyst, business controller, and entrepreneur. 

By the end of the programme you will:
•    understand the role of strategic management as a part of managerial work
•    be capable of using strategic analysis and decision-making tools and frameworks
•    possess an ability to develop business models and strategies to develop existing businesses and to sense and seize new market opportunities
•    gain know-how to implement strategies effectively in a complex and changing business environment
•    become competent expert in project management, change management, organizational systems and process development, and network management 
•    understand roles of digitalization, sustainability and ethics in business development 
•    become comfortable in working in international environments
•    be able to work efficiently as a member of a team
•    be able to express yourself fluently in writing and in giving presentations   

The programme has well-established quality control procedures. The data obtained via independent survey conducted by The Finnish Business School Graduates indicate that ca. 90% of the recent graduates believe the delivery of the programme is well in-line with its objectives and that the gained competencies met their expectations. Moreover, the Strategic Business Development programme is awarded with EFMD Programme Accreditation. EFMD Accreditation is an international acknowledgment that approves the programme being among the top-quality business or management programme’s in the world.

For more detailed testimonials, please see ‘Student and Alumni Experiences’ below.

The intensive 2 year programme consists of 120 ECTS and leads to a degree of Master of Science in Economics and Business Administration. Master’s degree students are expected to complete courses worth approximately 30 ECTS credits each semester, as an active fulltime student. The programme cannot be completed as distance learning.



Students in the Master's Programme in Strategic Business Development can apply for a Double Degree programme and spend the second year of their studies at our partner institution and gain complementary degrees from two countries. A double degree programme is also a great opportunity to gain valued international experience. Our double-degree agreements are elaborated below.  

The double-degree agreement with the University of Pavia (Italy) includes two tracks to choose from: (1) Digital Management (e.g. courses on Big Data Analytics, Information Systems for Managers, and Coding and Database Management), and (2) Sustainability (e.g. courses on Performance Management of ESG Practices, Sustainability Reporting, Governance, and Ethics, and Digital Sustainability)

The double-degree agreement with the Kedge Business School (France) focuses on supply chain management and includes courses on e.g. Supply Chain Management and Procurement, Supply Chain Planning & Integration with SAP, and Supply Chain Simulation & Case Studies.

The double-degree agreement with the Umeå School of Business (Sweden) focuses on Business Development, Entrepreneurship, and Internationalization and includes courses on e.g. Entrepreneurship and Business Growth, Managing networks and internationalization, and Social and Environmental Entrepreneurship.

The quotas for these double-degrees varies between 3-5 students per year. Interested and want to apply? Please contact Anne Ahlqvist

Admissions criteria and instructions for how to apply

Want to learn more? Read our detailed guide on how to apply. Ready to apply? Go to the Studyinfo portal to submit your application.

Meet the teaching staff

University education is founded on scientific research. We maintain a continuous dialogue with businesses and society to ensure that we offer the most recent knowledge and insights, now and in the future. Get to know your teachers beforehand by reading more.

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KV-tiimi kuvattuna keväällä 2023

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