• Application Deadline
  • 24 months
  • English
International Design Business Management at Aalto University develops expertise in global design business management through multidisciplinary collaboration and learning that cuts across the areas of business, design and technology. The programme emphasizes the importance of design as a key competitive factor, linked with state-of-the-art technology and business competence.


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 programme is taught completely in English. The first year of studies consists of a set of intensive compulsory study modules in all three schools and requires full time commitment. The second year of studies is more flexible to meet individual needs and interests.

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:

  • Introduction          
  • Design and Culture
  • Design research
  • Thesis seminar
  • Personal project / project
  • Personal project / seminar
  • Creative Teamwork
  • Design Business Management
  • IDBM Industry Project (Business)
  • Creative Leadership
  • Integrated Design Management
  • IDBM Industry Project (Design)
For more information, please visit programme website.

Detailed Programme Facts

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • 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.

    Book IELTS
  • Minimum required score (Grade C):


    The CAE test – or the Cambridge Advanced English – is an exam for applicants who wish to get a Certificate in Advanced English. To receive the Advanced certificate, test-takers must score between 142 and 210 on the Cambridge English: Advanced test. Read more about CAE.

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

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL – or Test OF English as a Foreign Language – offers a paper-based test (PBT). The final, overall PBT score ranges between 310 and 677, and is based on an average taken from the three test components (listening, structure, and reading). The writing part of this test is scored separately on a scale of 0-6. Read more about TOEFL (PBT).

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL – or Test Of English as a Foreign Language – offers an internet-based test (iBT). The final, overall iBT score ranges between 0 and 120, and includes a scaled average from the four components (reading, listening, speaking, and writing). Read more about TOEFL (iBT).

Academic Requirements

Admission procedure

Applicants must have a suitable Bachelor’s degree related to one of the disciplines included in the programme.

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.

Attention: The criteria mentioned here are for IDBM programme in Department of Design. Applicants holding the Bachelor's degree of Architecture can apply both through technology field and through design field depending on the applicant’s background studies and career ambitions.

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.
Tuition in bachelor's and master's programmes taught in English from August 2017 onwards are subjected to annual fees for non-EU/EEA citizens.

Living costs for Helsinki

910 - 1400 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.

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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.