Campus & Student Life

Masters in International Business


International Business Master's Degree (M.A.) in Germany

Your International Business Master’s degree programmme

Globalization presents new challenges to international corporations. Potential employers expect leadership, team and integration skills, high motivation, multilingualism and excellent knowledge of economics. Precisely these abilities are imparted on you within the International Business Master’s programme at CBS International Business School, so that later on, you can make strategically meaningful and sustainable decisions in middle or senior management. All this in 4 semesters at one of Germany’s most prestigious business schools, with professors with many years of professional experience and lecturers with international backgrounds. Courses are held in English.

Acquire broad competencies with the International Business Master's Degree

International management is complex. You expand your knowledge and understanding of management processes, in which small deviations have a huge impact on companies. Business and international economics, strategic and value based management, business development, leadership and change management, accounting – the number of subject areas is great in order to provide you with a comprehensive overview. Particularly in globally operating companies, the large number of competitors makes the sustainable acquisition of customers much more important than for smaller companies. For this reason, the subject, Customer Relationship Management is immediately addressed in the first semester. In the second semester, the focus is on setting up and organizing companies. As for how sustainable management becomes a success factor, you will learn more about this in the subjects Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable Supply Chain Management. In the second and third semesters, you can set your own priorities by attending elective courses, which you choose based on your own prior knowledge or interests.

Start of Studies
Winter & Summer
Study Fee*
5.730 €
All facts in details + -
  • Language English
  • Type of Study Full-time
  • Degree Master of Arts
  • Internship Integrated**
  • Semester Abroad Integrated**
  • Start of Studies Summer Cologne
  • Start of Studies Winter Cologne

Study Course Plan

Some information about the study plan for the study programme Masters in International Business:

General business teaching units

Business Economics3 ECTS ? !
  • Analysis of demand, supply, and market equilibrium

  • Theory of consumer choice

  • Theory of the firm, production and cost analysis

  • Market structures: perfect competition, monopoly, monopolistic competition, oligopoly, contestable markets

  • Game theory

  • Pricing strategies

  • Factor markets, labor economics

  • Economics of information

  • Industrial organization

  • Limitations of markets and interventions by the government

  • Econometric techniques related to these topics

Empirical Research Methods3 ECTS ? !
  • Development of a research question

  • Primary vs. secondary data

  • Steps of research process

  • Research designs

  • Quantitative and qualitative data

  • Structured methods of data collection: questionnaire and structured interview

  • Un- and semi-structured methods: qualitative interview and focus group

  • Quantitative and qualitative content analysis

  • Ethical considerations of data collection

  • Sampling

  • Data analysis using statistical software programs (SPSS)

  • Univariate analysis, bivariate analysis (crosstab and correlation), multiple linear regression

  • Writing a research report – structural and other formal requirements

Strategic Analysis & Management3 ECTS ? !
  •  Strategy making process and strategic reasoning: cognitive process of strategy 
    creation through the prism of logic and intuition

  • Setting strategic purpose in the context of responsible stakeholder management

  • Advanced external environment analysis: markets, industries and competitive 
    landscapes in static and dynamic perspective in the domestic and international 

  • Diagnosing and managing strategic capability through national borders over time

  • Cultural and institutional context of strategic management: concepts, frameworks 
    and analytical tools

  • Generic and interactive business strategies, inside-out and outside-in perspective on 
    achieving and sustaining competitive advantage internationally

  • Network-level strategies

  • Corporate development and configuration: strategic options and portfolio matrices

  • Strategy formation

  • Strategic change and corporate restructuring

  • Strategic renewal

  • Strategy evaluation and strategic controls: tools and methods

  • Organizing for success

Innovation Management & Digital Transformation3 ECTS ? !
  • Diagnosing the change context: diffusion and dynamics of innovation 

  • Sources & types of innovation

  • Product/service, process & business model innovation

  • Individual and corporate creativity

  • Strategic innovation management & the innovation process incl. New Product Development (NPD)

  • Introduction to digitalization, digital age & digital divide

  • Digital drivers & disruptive forces

  • Technological drivers of digital transformation

  • Socio-technological change associated with the adoption of the mentioned drivers

  • Introduction to the digital organization & digital business models

  • Impact of digitalization on the value chain (Industry 4.0)

  • Digitalization-related innovation theories & technology management

  • Digitalization leadership & organisational transformation concepts

  • Change management & transformational leadership

  • Agility and VUCA world

  • SCRUM and Design Thinking

Programme specific teaching units

Customer Relationship Management3 ECTS ? !
  • Relationship marketing vs. Transactional marketing

  • Concept of the customer lifetime value

  • Market segmentation and the customer lifetime value

  • Marketing strategies in the field of CRM

  • Big data marketing and CRM

  • Multi-channel marketing and CRM

  • Efficiency and effectiveness of loyalty programs

Service & Brand Management3 ECTS ? !
  • Definition of services in comparison to manufactured goods

  • The importance of Service Environment

  • Challenges that must be identified and addressed by companies

  • Developing effective service marketing strategies

  • The Three-Stage Model of services

  • Applying the 4 Ps to services:

  • Service Product

  • Distribution

  • Pricing

  • Promotion

  • Balancing Demand against Productive Capacity

  • Managing People in Services Marketing and improving Service Quality

  • Importance of Customer Relationship Management in Services

  • Service processes

  • The Foundations of Identity-Based Brand Management

  • The Concept of Identity-Based Brand Management

  • Strategic Brand Management

  • Operational Brand Management

  • Identity-Based Brand Controlling

  • International Identity-Based Brand Management 

Strategic Human Resource Management & Leadership3 ECTS ? !
  • Theory of strategic HRM

  • Strategic HRM and business strategy

  • Strategic HRM and organisational performance

  • Strategic HRM in a complex and uncertain environment

  • Strategic HRM in MNEs vs. SMEs

  • Strategic Staffing

  • Strategic Training and Develop Management

  • Strategic Compensation and Rewards

  • Strategic HRM and Sustainability

  • Leadership Theories / Models and Leadership Traits

  • Leadership Styles

  • Cognitive, Behavioural, and Emotional Explanation for Human Motivation

  • Performance Management and Controlling

  • Leadership Tools

Corporate Development & Digital Transformation3 ECTS ? !
  • Organisations and Organisational Effectiveness

  • Organisational Theory

  • Basic Challenges of Organisational Planning and Development

  • Organisational Design

  • Management in Organisational and Ethical Culture

  • Organisational Life Cycle

  • Organisational Decision Making

  • Organisational Development and Change

  • Change Management in Mergers and Acquisitions

Interdisciplinary competencies

International Project Management2 ECTS ? !
  • Social competence: Communication, motivation, groups and team structures, leadership, conflict management

  • Methodological competence: Structural aspects, time management, cost management, human resource management, creativity and problem solving

  • Organisational competence: Quality management, documentation, risk management, project start and closure

Language & Communication Skills2 ECTS ? !

The “Scholarly Writing and Analysis” course is offered for German native speakers. German as a foreign language is offered as an obligatory course for Non-native German speakers.

General business teaching units

Corporate Social Responsibility3 ECTS ? !
  • Cornerstones of sustainable management

  • CSR as management approach

  • Practical approaches of organizational effectiveness

  • Tools for CSR implementation

  • CSR and financial performance

  • Life cycle assessment

Corporate Governance3 ECTS ? !
  • Historical developments around the world

  • Directors and board structures in different parts of the world

  • Family business governance

  • Role of institutional investors

  • Corporate governance in mergers and acquisitions

  • Socially responsible investments

  • Corporate governance in different regions

Value Based Management3 ECTS ? !
  • Value maximization and corporate objectives, shareholder value and stakeholder value approach

  • Financial measurement of corporate strategies and competitive advantage: the principles

  • Shortcomings of traditional profitability ratios for a value-based management

  • Economic Value Added, Cash Value Added

  • Identifying the drivers of value creation and investment decision-making

  • Management compensation and incentives for value creation

Sustainable Supply Chain Management3 ECTS ? !
  • Defining the state of a sustainable supply chain based on actual trends

  • Discussion of various theoretical concepts (e.g. Stakeholder Theory, Slack Resource Theory) and their implications for sustainable supply chain management

  • Defining a “New Normal” of how to do business (e.g. circular economy, regenerative business models, carbon literacy training)

  • Sustainable Marketing (definition, Green Marketing Strategy Mix, Green Washing and Sustainable Consumer Buying Behaviour)

  • Sustainable Procurement (definition, Sustainable Procurement Process Model with a focus on sustainable supplier relationship management; new trends like circular procurement)

  • Sustainable Logistics

  • Sustainable Design

  • Carbon Emission / Human Rights in global supply chains

Programme specific teaching units

Strategic Digital & Social Media Marketing 3 ECTS ? !
  • Concepts: Online Marketing/ Digital Marketing

  • Digital marketing sub-disciplines and major activity areas

  • Performance measurement using Web analytics (e.g. Metrics and Tools)

  • Data-driven Advertising

  • Programmatic Advertising

  • Legal and ethical aspects of digital marketing (e.g., EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR))

  • Strategic planning and design of a social media marketing campaign


Experience Lab: Search Engine Marketing3 ECTS ? !
  • Introduction: definition

  • Search Engine Optimization / SEO

  • Keyword research

  • On-page SEO

  • Web analytics and SEO tools

  • Search Engine Advertising/ SEA

  • Campaign settings 

Business Project6 ECTS ? !

The overall objective of this course is to provide students with possibility of applying their business knowledge on concrete business situation, related to the field of their specialization.

By the end of the module students should be able to:

  • Define project goals for the “client”.

  • Work under the set timeframe and agreed project scope.

  • Cooperate in the international project teams.

  • Evaluate markets/ industries/ competitive landscapes.

  • Develop possible strategic directions for the “client” business.

  • Formulate recommendations.

Business Elective3 ECTS ? !

A business elective is a business or management-related elective course.By choosing Business Electives in the second and third semester you can personalize your degree course and extend your management knowledge.

International Law3 ECTS ? !
  • Foundations to Organization Theory

  • External & internal factors to change organizations

  • Organizational goals and instruments

  • Creating effective organizations

  • Organizational development & change

  • Alignment issues

  • Organizational controlling

  • Concluding a contract

  • Different types of contracts and their typical features

  • Performance and obligations

  • Solving problems (e.g. failure to perform, liabilities)

  • Safeguarding creditors’ rights

  • Forms of business organizations

Interdisciplinary competencies

Event Management (Ted Talk) Seminar2 ECTS ? !
  • Basics of event management

  • Objective of the event and different types of events

  • The event as a marketing and communication tool

  • Planning and preparation

  • Event execution

  • Tasks and role of the event manager

  • Choosing the right venue

  • Personnel selection

Programme specific teaching units

Digital Strategizing3 ECTS ? !
  • Fundamentals

  • Starting points for digital strategies (selection)

  • Challenges in introducing digital strategies – four fights

  • Identification of success factors for digital strategies (selection)

  • Agile strategy management

  • Social and ethical aspects of digital strategies

Business Models & Systems in a Digital Era3 ECTS ? !
  • In this course, students acquire skills to develop and evaluate digital business models and learn how selected business systems and applications can improve a company’s performance.

  • Students know the function, structure and types of business models and selected systems and can describe and explain how and to what extent business models change.

  • They understand the impact of digital technologies and business systems and the relevance of data for high performing business models.

  • They can explain the need to adapt existing business models or develop new ones in the face of the growing importance of digitalization in diverse industries.

  • Students are familiar with state-of-the-art business model frameworks and apply them to support digital business model development.

  • They develop their own digital business models, present their ideas in a pitch format and evaluate their results.

Financials for Management and Marketing3 ECTS ? !
  • Formal rules and assumptions, national law, IFRS, US-GAAP

  • The system of financial statements and accounts

  • Accounting for services and merchandising

  • Inventory valuation

  • Receivables and Liabilities

  • Plant, natural and intangible assets

  • Ratio analysis

  • Presentation of financial statements and overview of investment accounting standards

  • Types of business combinations, joint ventures                                                      

  • Consolidation on date of acquisition, impairment

  • Consolidation subsequent to acquisition date

International Corporate Finance3 ECTS ? !
  • Overview of corporate finance(ing) and company structures

  • Present values

  • Future values

  • Introduction to valuing stocks

  • NPV and other investment criteria

  • Decision making with NPV and other criterial

  • Working capital management

  • Efficient Markets and Behavioural Finance

Venture Lab4 ECTS ? !
  • Discovering and evaluating entrepreneurial opportunities

  • Developing business ideas from opportunities (e.g. based on using Design Thinking, Personas and User Stories).

  • Feasibility analysis of business ideas

  • Transferring the idea into a Business Model

  • Business Model and its building blocks (value proposition, customers segments, channels, customer relationships, revenue model, key partners, key activities, key resources, cost structure)

  • Business Plan: Introduction, Sample Case and General Outline

  • Developing the details of the business plan

  • Finding sources of financing: Business angels; Private equity; Start up financing; Venture capital investors

  • Preparing a pitch deck for successfully presenting the new venture business plan

Integrative Case Studies3 ECTS ? !
  • Focused review of the curriculum content

  • Pre-assessment quiz/ content area assessment as benchmark for students’ status quo

  • Guide and Strategic Plan to Case Study Analysis

  • Writing a proper Case Study Analysis report

  • Developing proper answers to Case questions, applying the relevant theoretical knowledge and frameworks

  • In-depth Case Study Analysis with focus all subject areas of the curriculum

  • In-depth Case Study Analysis with special focus on Strategic Management

Business Simulation Game3 ECTS ? !

In a business simulation game participants have to manage their own virtual company which operates in the same market as other participant-operated competitors. This involves making typical management decisions in realistic environments. Beside the deepening and active examination of subject-specific knowledge the simulation games also include the team environment, where interaction, communication and prioritization are of paramount importance. Participants learn how to manage risk and uncertainty while time is limited and information constrained. Group-reflections help to take over different perspectives and to discuss pros and cons of content- as well as behavior-related actions.

Master Thesis Tutorial2 ECTS ? !

During the Master Thesis Tutorial you will learn the fundamentals for your Master thesis: Defining the topic as well as structuring the thesis and you will learn the theoretical knowledge for scientific working.

Elective area

Business Elective3 ECTS ? !

A business elective is a business or management-related elective course.By choosing Business Electives in the second and third semester you can personalize your degree course and extend your management knowledge.

Interdisciplinary Elective3 ECTS ? !

By choosing Interdisciplinary Electives in the second and third semester you can personalize your degree course and extend your management knowledge. An interdisciplinary elective is an elective from another discipline than your own specialization.

Interdisciplinary competencies

Assessment Center Bootcamp2 ECTS ? !
  • Consulting Industry: Sector Overview Company Profiles – Job Opportunities and Consulting Careers

  • Job profile: Characteristics of capabilities and skills needed as a consultant

  • Job application and interview training

  • Consulting (mini) case study training

  • Framework for processing case studies

  • Brain Teaser Training

  • Case Simulation (Individual and Group Cases)

Programme specific teaching units

Master Thesis18 ECTS ? !

During your 4th semester you are working on your Master thesis. You have 19 weeks to complete your thesis and the subject is freely selectable. A supervisor from CBS will support you and you can write the thesis in collaboration with a company as well. Or you can write your thesis in connection with a stay abroad.

Internship or Study Abroad10 ECTS ? !

You can choose between an internship (lasting at least eight weeks) or a semester abroad at one of our partner universities.

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Relevant topics from the start

Especially in globally operating companies, the sustainable acquisition of customers is of much greater importance than in smaller companies due to the large number of competitors. This is why Customer Relationship Management is already part of the curriculum in the first semester.

The second semester focusses on the structure and organisation of companies.
In the subjects Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable Supply Chain Management you will learn about sucess by sustainable management.

You will learn how to convince partners and managing directors in the Innovation Lab - Business Plan Writing and Pitiching in semester three, later implementing your skills into practice during the Capstone Simulation Game.

The fourth semester: time to take the initiative

In the fourth semester, you work on your Master's thesis. You can choose whether you write your Master's thesis in cooperation with a company during an internship or during a semester abroad at one of our partner universities.

Leadership skills for international tasks

Leadership skills for international tasks As a future leader, you will not only be measured on achievements that can be expressed in figures. Leadership requires social and intercultural skills – these abilities are often the decisive factor when it comes to filling positions. This is why your studies prepare you for such challenges, including the relevant English skills plus another language course."

As a future leader, you will not only be measured on achievements that can be expressed in figures. Leadership requires social and intercultural skills – these abilities are often the decisive factor when it comes to filling positions. This is why your studies prepare you for such challenges, including the relevant English skills plus another language course.

At the heart of business

The aim of the degree programme is to prepare students as well as possible for entering the workforce and for their future careers. Therefore, the practical transfer of specialised knowledge in the Business Project, a Capstone Simulation Game and an optional internship semester at home or abroad are part of the study programme

Here, the CBS focuses on the student. In practical projects and experimental learning formats, such as the simulation games, you learn to develop your own feeling for management decisions. You understand issues relevant to business and will convince future employers with your gained experience.

Through various networking and recruiting events during your time at CBS, you will constantly become acquainted with well-known companies.With this support, you can focus entirely on your personal career goal. Your Master's degree in International Business will help you to effortlessly enter and advance in the business world.

What are the requirements for a master's degree in international business?

You have successfully completed the first degree in Business Administration (e.g. a Bachelor’s degree at CBS) and are completely fluent in English. Course contents are based on the knowledge acquired in previous studies.

This is what our students say

Philip Kollmann
Project Manager
Wayne´s Coffee

"Especially the soft skill courses have been of great help for my performance in job interviews. Through my work in the Finance and Business Club I have built up a broad network and acquired project management skills that have enabled me to score points with companies."

Katrin Rieger
Bereichsdirektorin Reisevertrieb Deutschland / Vice President Sales
HanseMerkur Krankenversicherung

"The practical learning in small groups prepared me optimally for today's project and team work. The CBS provided me with the decisive soft skills and current knowledge from the world of business."

Christopher Rosenbaum
Ernst & Young GmbH

"The Management Studies programme prepares you thoroughly for the tasks of a consultant. In particular, the development of presentation techniques as well as analytical thinking is of enormous importance in the everyday life of a consultant."

Oliver Kiderle
EMEA Regional Product Expert
Google Inc.

"The focus on internationality and practical skills have had a very positive influence on my development at Google. Especially the structured and very versatile project work, which is often found at a private school, was extremely helpful."

Kalle Kenkel
Commercial Excellence Manager
GE Healthcare

"My studies at CBS prepared me for a career in today's dynamic, global work environment. As one's origin and physical location become less and less decisive, it has become increasingly important to have a multinational network and adapt quickly to various cultures and environments."

Neil Jordaan
Global Digital Content Manager

"Many professors shared their professional business experience with us in class and were able to illustrate dry theory with practical examples. I also enjoyed the international atmosphere on campus."

Patrick Stein
Head of Human Resources
Boston Consulting Group

"The strongly practice-oriented studies and the international orientation of the CBS, as well as the lectures held in English, were an absolutely necessary basis for starting a career with a renowned, international company."

Learn more about us and our graduate programmes

You would like to inform yourself about our Bachelor and Master programs at home in peace? Request your information material now without obligation and free of charge, and we will be happy to send you our study information material by e-mail.

Follow us on Instagram & Facebook, get to know us at one of our Information Events, or Contact our student advisors to learn more about us.

Mirjam Zimmermann

Mirjam Zimmermann

Study advisory: Campus Mainz
Got any questions? We are happy to help!

Phone: +49 (0) 6131 88055 31
WhatsApp: Reach us on WhatsApp
Giulia Balzan

Giulia Balzan

Study advisory 
Got any questions? We are happy to help!

Phone: +49 (0) 221 931809 31
WhatsApp: Reach us on WhatsApp
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