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BUSINESS-TO-BUSINESS MARKETING AND

PURCHASING

Master's Degree Programme

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

Introduction

The value of the business exchanges on Business-to-Business (B2B) markets are larger than that of consumer markets, and the CM Business-to-Business Marketing and Purchasing education enables candidates to manage these business exchanges. This management task is not just about buying and selling products, services and knowledge. The B2B manager becomes responsible for managing and coordinating a more complex range of exchanges with customers and suppliers.

The CM B2B programme enables candidates to become boundary spanners. Boundary spanners manage these exchanges through relationships with customers and suppliers by building bridge across organizational boundaries, essentially linking their own company with a complex network of suppliers and customers on the surrounding B2B markets. The boundary spanner must establish and develop relationship with other boundary spanners representing various customers and suppliers, but at the same time also maintain a strategic perspective of how one buyer-supplier exchange is dependent on the surrounding network. Strategic decision-making is therefore an essential part of B2B management. Because such networks are global, the CM B2B programme also contains internationalization/globalization as an important element.

Some key responsibilities of the boundary spanner

Companies are facing an increasing level of complexity in their efforts of managing their position in global B2B markets, and a CM B2B candidate will find her-/himself right in the middle of managing these exciting challenges:

  1. Innovation: It is well known that much innovation originates in the interfaces between customers and suppliers on B2B markets. B2B managers must develop and facilitate initiatives that innovate processes, products and services in relationships with key customers and suppliers.
  2. Sustainability: Sustainability is becoming a key demand from stakeholders in the corporate network. Not just the company itself, but the interconnected network of suppliers and customers that the company operates in, must be sustainable, making this a key CM B2B topic.
  3. Risk management: COVID 19, climate changes and global shortages means that risk management has become an integral part of managing B2B exchanges.

In order to keep a state-of-the-art understanding of these and other B2B challenges, and incorporate them into the CM B2B lecturing, the education is handled by a specialized team of researchers with close interactions with corporations operating on B2B markets, and at the same time carrying out high quality scientific research into prominent B2B topics. A range of managers and executives from this corporate network will give guest lectures in the B2B courses, providing the newest insights into the managerial challenges that these companies are facing. The high relevance of the CM B2B programme can also be seen from the list of companies that present or former B2B graduates are employed in, including Lego, Vestas, Novo Nordisk, Liedl, Salling Group, Bestseller and Danfoss.

Admission Requirements

Bachelor's degrees with direct admission

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 requirements for the Master’s degree programmes in Economics and Business Administration (cand.merc.).

If you hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and Business Administration (HA) or variants hereof from Aarhus University or Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Business Administration, Bsc (HA) from one of the Danish universities, with a diploma older than 2000, your Bachelor’s degree will be assessed according to the specific admission requirements described under the section: “Students that hold a degree from another university”. 

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. The assessment will prioritize the sufficient content of the following subjects and ECTS-points:    

Subject

ECTS

Methods*

15 ECTS

Marketing

7,5 ECTS

Finance

7,5 ECTS

Accounting

7,5 ECTS

Organisation- and Leadership Theory

7,5 ECTS

Microeconomics

5 ECTS

Operations Management

5 ECTS

Additional ECTS points within the abovementioned areas

25 ECTS

Total ECTS within Economics and Business Administration

80 ECTS

*Please note, applicants must have at least 15 ECTS within methods including at least 10 ECTS within quantitative methods or statistics.

Admission to the MSc in Economics and Business Administration for applicants with a professional bachelor’s degree (professionsbachelor)

In order to meet the admission requirements for the MSc programmes in Economics and Business Administration, applicants with a specific professional bachelor’s degree must have completed specific elective courses as part of their qualifying exam. In this table the requirements for elective courses are laid out.

Language requirements

As 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 requirments.

Restricted admission from 2022

As from the intake 2022, the Master’s degree programmes in Economics and Business Administration (cand.merc.) only admits a limited number of students each year. Therefore, meeting the admission requirements does not in itself guarantee admission to the programme. 

Please note, for programmes with restricted admission special rules regarding supplementary Bachelor’s courses apply. Therefore, we no longer offer pre-assessments for the programme in Economics and Business Administration (cand.merc.).

Read more about supplementary Bachelor’s courses.

Selection criteria

If there are more qualified applicants than available seats, the Admissions Committee assesses each applicant based on the average mark (i.e. GPA) of the Bachelor’s degree at the time of application. Marks/grades obtained after the application deadline will not be included in the GPA. The Admissions Committee assesses each applicant’s marks based on the information provided by diplomas and transcripts.

Programme Structure

ACADEMIC REGULATIONS

Below is an outline of the courses:

 


The study programme consists of two semesters in the first year which cover the compulsory courses in the programme specialisation and two semesters in the last year which are reserved for the student's own specialisation.

In the first semester you follow the prerequisite courses that form the methodological and academic basis for the further study programme.

In the second semester you follow the specialisation courses of the programme.

In the third semester you can choose elective courses within your areas of interest. The courses can either be taken at Aarhus BSS during the semester, at the Summer University or at one of our more than 300 partner universities abroad. You can also participate in project-based internship programmes either in Denmark or abroad.

  The fourth semester is devoted to the final thesis. You may choose the topic of the thesis freely and so 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.    

Student Life

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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Career

Job opportunities for CM B2B graduates are exceptional, given that the most companies in the global business environment operate with at least some level of B2B activity. As a starting point, the B2B graduate is perfectly prepared for a job in the both the sales/marketing and purchasing functions, and some choose to alternate between the two during the course of their careers. These functions are heavily populated in many companies, and candidates have the opportunity to rise all the way from junior positions through middle management and into top management in their career. Typical early career positions are Category Manager, Supply Account Manager, Key Account Manager, Product Manager and Marketing Manager. There are also a high number of available specialized positions such as Supply Risk Specialist, Supply Market Analyst, Customer Portfolio Analyst, Customer Account Developer or Franchise/Joint Venture/Alliance manager. B2B candidates are also highly attractive to consultancies. B2B purchasing and sales/marketing consultant services are high in demand, and there are both general and specialized consultancies that offer jobs as B2B consultants. Since SMEs are typically very active on B2B markets, they also represent valuable job opportunities. In addition, many large companies have broad or even specialized B2B graduate programs that welcome B2B candidates.

We want to help our students find successful careers. Students can always contact our Career Services for advice and assistance with getting onto the Danish labour market. Check out our careers page to see the range of services we offer.

At VELUX, candidates with a strong understanding of business markets and the ability to handle ambiguity and complexity are in high demand. As we continue our development as a global matrix organisation, we look for talents with knowledge of individual disciplines such as purchasing and marketing. At the same time, market demands and technological developments make it increasingly important for our employees to know how to work together with other business functions and how to build strong partnerships with customers and suppliers. For us, a degree programme with this focus is highly relevant.

CONNIE C. STANIOK 
Senior Director Global HR Development, VELUX