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About the programme 
Language: English  (See language requirements)  | Place of study: Aarhus  |  Commencement: August / September (no winter intake)


MSc in Economics and Business Administration - Innovation Management and Business Development educates agents for change, entrepreneurship and innovation. Graduates will master the complex process of innovation, starting at the identification of new ideas, product/service or opportunities that create future growth and value for new and existing businesses. You will be able to manage (design, finance and implement) innovative ideas and ventures in various settings as business developers, project managers or entrepreneurs based on the most recent knowledge about the innovational and entrepreneurial processes and their pitfalls.

Different courses will also train you in how to work creatively with problem solving, how to translate theory into practice and collaborate across diverse knowledge domains. The master's degree is taught in close contact with firms and with a combination of lectures, assignments and hands-on work with cases and projects. 

"At the MSc in Economics and Business Administration - Innovation Management and Business Development everything is built around 'hands on' work where we work with people from Research & Development departments to get a real life picture of how to develop new products. We have also had the opportunity to develop a product where we have been invited by a company to do further development at their facilities.

I would like to be part of a R&D team in a company with a lot of focus on innovation. Innovation management helps me to see the bigger picture and eventually I would like to manage the process of innovation."

Admission Requirements

Students that hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and Business Administration (HA) or variants hereof from Aarhus University can pursue direct admission to the MSc programmes in Economics and Business Administration after they complete their Bachelor’s degree programme.

If you hold a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Business Administration, Bsc (HA) from one of the Danish universities, you fulfill the specific admission requirement for the Master’s degree programmes in Economics and Business Administration (cand.merc.).

If you hold a Graduate Diploma in Business Administration (HD), you can also pursue admission to the MSc programmes in Economics and Business Administration. However, it is required that you complete supplementary courses corresponding to 20 ECTS. For information on which supplementary courses you should take please check the overview of supplementary courses for HD (available only in Danish).   

Students that hold a degree from another university

If you hold a degree from another university, your qualifications will be assessed once you have applied for admission. You can also have your qualifications pre-assessed by Aarhus University, Admission between 1 September and 1 December in order to find out if you meet the admission requirements. Please contact ma.admission@au.dk for further information about pre-assessments between 1 September and 31 October.  The assessment will prioritize the sufficient content of the following subjects and ECTS-points:

Quantitative and Qualitative Methods


Managerial Economics and Operations Management



7,5 ECTS

Finance and Accounting


Organisation- and Leadership Theory

7,5 ECTS



Additional ECTS points within the abovementioned areas


Total ECTS within Economics and Business Administration


Language requirements

Since English is the language of instruction in all subjects, all applicants are required to provide evidence of their English language proficiency.
Please see the page on language requirements.

Programme Structure


Below is an outline of the courses:


First semester

Management Research Method (10 ECTS)
This course focuses on the production of qualified and justified knowledge which meets the requirements of scientific quality criteria. This is a sine qua non issue for any candidate in business economics, who wishes to make decisions on an informed background. The course introduces a variety of research designs applicable when carrying out research in the area of organisation and management and related areas. In the first part of the course, focus will be on the philosophical issues pertaining to the creation of valid knowledge. In the second part of the course, focus will be on techniques in terms of data collection and analysis. These techniques include qualitative as well as quantitative approaches.

Readings in Innovation and Entrepreneurship (5 ECTS)
This course will train students in reading and understanding academic papers and case studies. Students will gain improved ability to read, question, and form conclusions from research-based literature and cases. Students will gain an overview of the central classic and contemporary literature in the field of innovation and entrepreneurship and the ability to critically evaluate and choose relevant literature in this field. The course is the foundation for understanding innovation and entrepreneurship research. As such, it serves to provide theoretical support for hands-on courses and students develop the skills to understand the more theoretically focused courses.

Innovation Challenge (10 ECTS)
This course aims to give students experience working with real life innovation challenges formulated by participating companies and organisations. By completing this course, students will have obtained a thorough understanding of the central phases of the innovative process and their challenges. As students will work with real life development challenges presented by participating companies, the course will give them an understanding of the work, conditions and constraints of innovative projects. Since students will carry out the work in four-five member groups, they will also improve their cooperation skills. The course will move beyond theory and use it hands-on in the art of innovation, by tackling innovation challenges from start to finish and gain an in-depth understanding of the principles of the innovative process. Students will learn to empathise with customers, synthesise learning, and rapidly prototype and test new ideas through a series of hands-on exercises. 

Financing Innovation and Entrepreneurship (5 ECTS)
The aim of this course is to enable students to understand and perform the crucial tasks of planning and acquiring financing for innovative and entrepreneurial projects, products and/or services. Students are introduced to a wide range of financial tools often used in entrepreneurial and innovative projects, whether organised within an existing organisation or by way of establishing a new organisation/start-up. By completing this course, students should have obtained a thorough understanding of multiple ways of financing innovative and entrepreneurial projects and their underlying requirements. Students will work with concrete cases throughout the course. This way, the course will provide a hands-on understanding of specific trade-offs in using various financial means and strategies; from bootstrapping to crowdfunding, to different types of debt and equity. The trade-offs relate to availability, risks, costs, benefits and dependencies associated with financial alternatives.


Second Semester

Managing Innovation (10 ECTS)
This course will give students an understanding of the fundamentals of managing creativity and innovation at individual, team and firm level. Students will acquire knowledge about central concepts of innovation and of how to manage innovation in terms of organisational structures, competences, and processes of innovation. The course focuses on the organisational activities of innovation, how to organise them effectively, and how to overcome the challenges of collaboration, knowledge sharing, and complex problem solving. Emphasis is placed on learning, applying and adapting various frameworks designed to capture, understand, and explain the nature of innovation and its management. 

Business Development, Innovation and Strategy (10 ECTS)
This course will give students an understanding of business development, innovation and strategy from a technological and industrial perspective. The course focuses on identifying new business opportunities resulting in new firms (entrepreneurs) or innovations within established firms. Central concepts are organisations and networks, communities, university-industry collaborations, users as entrepreneurs, firm boundaries, and how organisations evolve and change over time. These concepts highlight how entrepreneurs and existing organisations source and internalise new ideas and knowledge from external partners, networks and ecosystems. This builds closely on the course ‘Managing Innovation’ and progressively continues to enhance students’ knowledge of how entrepreneurs and firms can organise in terms of innovation and business development. 

Appropriating Innovation – Managing Intellectual Property (5 ECTS)
The aim of this course is to provide students with the essential, minimum knowledge of patents, copyright, trademarks and trade secrecy to survive and prosper in business. What are patents, copyright and trademarks, and why do firms want them? Do you need to obtain a patent, trademark or copyright to succeed in business? What do you need to know if you enter a business where other firms own these legal rights? Does your business have abilities that you want to keep secret from rivals? If you protect your secrets in certain ways then ‘trade secrecy’ law allows you to act against thieves and spies. The value of many firms is protected by the valuable patents, copyright and trademarks that they own. Knowledge of how these rights are obtained, enforced and overturned allows you to assess your rivals’ weaknesses and provides you with possible strategies to enter their profitable businesses.  

Entrepreneurship Theory - Strategies of New Venture Creation and Growth (5 ECTS)
The objective of this course is to provide students with a broad understanding of the theories that make up the field of entrepreneurship research. In order to do so, the course introduces both the history of entrepreneurship research and the latest theory developments. The course will provide the students with an understanding of the role of entrepreneurship in the economy, the entrepreneur(ial team), and the entrepreneurial process in particular with regards to the role of opportunities, resources, networks and context. The course will be a mix of lectures, short problem-based cases, and in-class exercises and discussions. The format will enable students to identify relevant theoretical insights and apply them to actual entrepreneurial practices. Furthermore, the student will be able to reflect critically on the different theoretical perspectives presented in the course.

In the third semester, you can choose elective courses within your areas of interest. The courses can be taken either at Aarhus BSS during the semester, at the AU Summer University or at one of our more than 200 partner universities abroad. You can also participate in internship programmes either in Denmark or abroad.

The fourth semester is devoted to the Master's thesis. You may freely choose the topic of the thesis and thereby get a chance to concentrate on and specialise in a specific field of interest. The thesis may be written in collaboration with another student or it may be the result of your individual effort. When the thesis has been submitted, it is defended before the academic advisor as well as an external examiner. 

Student Life

Student Life at Aarhus BSS from Aarhus Universitet on Vimeo.

Learning in an International Context

At Aarhus BSS, we conduct research at the highest academic level.

All researchers employed are engaged in research projects covering a wide range of different subjects and focusing on knowledge and skills considered essential for professional business activities in the global marketplace. All faculty have both research and teaching responsibilities, which means that our teaching is continually based on the latest research results.

Aarhus BSS is very internationally oriented. The broad scope of our research activities and educational programmes enable us to attract researchers, teachers, and students from all over the world, and this creates an international environment for research and learning in which academic views are exchanged, experiences are gathered and friendships are formed.

Aarhus University is a leading university in Denmark in building student exchange opportunities. The university encourages all students to spend time studying abroad. Every year, more than 700 students from Aarhus BSS go abroad to participate in exchange programmes around the world at our more than 300 partner universities. About the same number of students from all over the world come to participate in the exchange programme in Aarhus, and this contributes to a truly international learning atmosphere.

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Tasks as a Graduate


  • Analysis/evaluation
  • Administration, case-handling and secretariat functions
  • Communication and research communication
  • Marketing/advertising
  • Customer and citizen services
  • Management and organisation
  • Other

This data is derived from AU's 2013/2014 employment survey. This data should not be considered a completely accurate representation of the labour market and job functions for all graduates of the individual degree programmes. It exclusively represents the responses submitted to the survey in the years in question.


The MSc programme in Innovation Management and Business Development will provide you with the competences and skills to take up managerial positions in both producer companies and consulting firms and work specifically with

  • Planning and implementation of innovation strategies
  • Creation and advancement of innovative processes
  • Development of new businesses

In large companies, the candidates will be champions of innovation by bridging the gap between the R&D, production and sales activities, thereby supporting and shaping the innovation culture.

In small- and medium-sized companies, the candidates will act as entrepreneurs combining technological know-how with profound business understanding.

    From Studies to the First Job
    ”If you can find a student job while you are studying, there is a big chance you will be staying longer, or getting a full time job after graduation. Be patient and work hard.” (MSc in Economics and Business Administration - Innovation Management and Business Development) 

    Read more about what a number of our alumni work with in their first job after graduation.


    The research-based MSc study programme in Economics and Business Administration builds on the competencies and insights acquired in the BSc study programme in Economics and Business Administration.

    The study programme provides the graduate with specialist knowledge within the disciplines of the study programme, which that give the graduate high academic qualifications to develop solutions to issues pertaining to business administration in companies and organisations in the public and private sectors.

    The study programme also qualifies the graduate for further studies, including PhD studies.

    Through the study programme, the graduate has acquired knowledge that enables the graduate to

    • Understand and analyse how to manage innovation for the strategic development of organizations 
    • Manage the challenges and opportunities of innovative and entrepreneurial work
    • Master the complex processes of innovation that creates value for new and existing businesses 
    • Understand and consider knowledge pertaining to the various disciplines as well as identifying academic issues
    • Master the scientific methodologies and tools of the various disciplines as well as mastering general skills associated with employment within the areas studied
    • Assess and choose among the scientific methodologies and tools of the various disciplines as well as developing new analysis and solution models
    • Discuss professional and academic issues with both specialists and laymen
    • Manage work and development situations that are complex, unpredictable and require new solution models
    • Initiate and carry out, on an independent basis, monodisciplinary and interdisciplinary collaboration and take professional responsibility
    • Take responsibility, on an independent basis, for own professional development and specialisation