International Design Business Management, M.A.

International Design Business Management, M.A.

  • Application Deadline
  • 24 months
The master’s programme in International Design Business Management (IDBM) is a joint teaching and research platform of all the Aalto University schools (School of Arts, Design and Architecture, School of Business, and schools of science and technology). 


The International Design Business Management International Design Business Management programme at Aalto University Aalto University is taught completely in English. The first year of studies consists of a set of intensive compulsory study modules in all three fields and requires full time commitment. The second year of studies is more flexible to meet individual needs and interests.

IDBM educates students with arts, business, science and engineering backgrounds as T-shaped professionals providing them with a strategic view into creative leadership and management of international design-centric businesses, operations, and product and service development. The objective is to gain knowledge in multiple disciplines and to learn to connect one’s own disciplinary expertise to a wider multi-disciplinary, inter-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary design business framework. The global approach of IDBM programme prepares students to work in multi-cultural settings and collaborate across national and cultural boundaries. Graduates of the IDBM programme will be able to manage and lead initiatives and other individuals in order to undertake new business ventures within global environments.

Education content

The learning outcomes are achieved through compulsory and elective studies. The compulsory IDBM core studies are linked to an extensive joint industry project and related teamwork. The business, design and technology components of the programme ensure that the students gain the necessary business, design and technology perspectives. Parallel to these the IDBM industry project deepens participants’ understanding of the real-life processes of the participating firms in global design intensive businesses. Skills in project management and business planning are developed through the projects.

Career opportunities

Studies in International Design Business Management prepare for a career in industries that use and manage design as a key component of their competitive strategy. This can involve large multinational corporations, as well as small start-ups operating in a variety of fields. These businesses typically engage design to create new products and services, often involving the latest technology and business venturing and entrepreneurship.

IDBM graduates hold a variety of design and development positions in industry. They often participate in doing and managing design, product, service and business development, consulting, intra- and entrepreneurial initiatives and research. The initial specialist positions have in many cases evolved into more managerial and leadership ones.

Programme Structure

Courses included:

  • IDBM Challenge 
  • Corporate Entrepreneurship and Design 
  • Operations Management 
  • Business Model Design 
  • IDBM Project 
  • IDBM Capstone: Global Virtual Teamwork 

          Detailed Programme Facts

          English Language Requirements

          You only need to take one of these language tests:

          • Minimum required score:


            The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120. Read more about TOEFL iBT ®.

            Schedule TOEFL®
          • Minimum required score:


            The TOEFL®PBT is administered in a paper format and measures your ability to use and understand English in a classroom setting at the college or university level. It accurately measures how well you can listen, read and write in English while performing academic tasks. Read more about TOEFL®PBT.

            Schedule TOEFL®
          • Minimum required score:


            The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

            Schedule IELTS
          • Minimum required score (Grade C):


            C1 Advanced is a Cambridge English Qualification. It reports on the Cambridge English Scale between 142 and 210. You will receive a separate score for each of the four skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking) and for Use of English. These five scores are averaged to give you an overall result for the exam. Universities and colleges may ask you to achieve a specific score, either overall or for a particular skill.

            Note: degree programmes and applications may require a more specific minimum score for admission.

          Academic Requirements

          Applicants must have a suitable Bachelor’s degree related to one of the disciplines included in the programme. An applicant can apply to the IDBM programme through more than one School. 

          Students are granted admission to the programme through a two-phase process. In the first phase, applicants are assessed based on (1) their personal motivation for joining the program, (2) their academic excellence as displayed in their past studies and portfolio and (3) their professional experience. In the second phase, the most suitable applicants from the first phase are invited for interview from which a smaller subset of applicants is offered a study place.

          Work Experience

          The professional experience of the applicants is looked at broadly and is considered to include work experience relevant to the IDBM programme as well as experience in artistic and scientific work, including entrepreneurship and other relevant civic activities.

          Tuition Fee

          • International Applies to you

            15000 EUR/year
            Tuition Fee
            Based on the original amount of 15000 EUR per year and a duration of 24 months.
          • EU/EEA Applies to you

            Tuition Fee
            Based on the original amount of 0 EUR per year and a duration of 24 months.
          We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

          Living costs for Helsinki

          • 975 - 1590 EUR/month
            Living Costs

          The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


          Prospective students subject to tuition fees are eligible to apply for Aalto University Scholarship.

          StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

          The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

          Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, StudyPortals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.