International Business and Sustainability (MIBAS)

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Deadline: Feb 15, 2024
135 place StudyQA ranking:3371 Duration:2 years You need IELTS certificate

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The Master's programme is designed to provide specific skills and competences in international business administration and sustainability. MIBAS graduates are well prepared for demanding professional activities in multinational corporations and organisations as well as further academic activities.
The programme has an intended duration of two years (four semesters) and offers a wide-ranging set of courses and electives. During the first semester students learn the theoretical foundations of business administration and research methods. On this basis students attend advanced courses in the subjects "Sustainability Management & Socioeconomics", "International Management & Economics", and "Advanced Research Methods". The last semester is devoted to the Master's thesis in which students apply their knowledge and conduct their own research.
Part-time study is possible (seven semesters).

Educational organisation

First semester
Area I: Fundamentals of International Management
The Master's programme begins with covering area I "Fundamentals of International Management". This includes the basic courses in International Management and Sustainability, which are the focal points of this Master's programme.
Four elective modules with six ECTS each are to be covered in this area = 24 ECTS.

Area II: Research Methods
In addition to imparting management skills and corporate social responsibility (CSR), the first semester includes courses designed to equip students with basic methodological skills. Students must also take one required module from this area focusing on the fundamentals of empirical social research. This module aims to impart key methods used in the critical analysis of data from the very outset of the programme. The required module on the fundamentals of empirical social research is worth 6 ECTS.
A total of 30 ECTS should be obtained in the first semester.

Second and third semesters
Three thematic focal points are covered in the second and third semester. They are integrated in a professional field. Students have a certain freedom within the different areas to customise the Master's programme to their individual needs.

Area III: Sustainability Management & Socioeconomics
In the courses of Area III "Sustainability Management & Socioeconomics", students deal with the main problem areas in an ethically responsible management of international companies. In addition, it aims to raise awareness of the complex embedding of business in society and to make the environmental consequences of corporate actions transparent. The courses will help the development of skills to generate sustainable values for business and society. A particular focus is put on enabling the students to recognise and manage ethical dilemmas in the context of sustainable corporate management.

Three elective modules with six ECTS each are to be covered in this area = 18 ECTS.

Area IV: International Management & Economics
The courses in area IV "International Management & Economics" are intended to help students develop specific skills in the fields of international management and economics as well as equipping students with specific methods and instruments for managing international organisations. This area seeks to both impart knowledge about significant institutional frameworks and enable students to comprehend the complex interactions that take place in an increasingly global world economy.

Three elective modules with six ECTS are required in this area =18 ECTS

Area V: Advanced Research Methods
To provide students with the sufficient knowledge of methods with regard to the objective of the programme, further courses in "Advanced Research Methods" are offered in the second and third semesters. These courses are developed and offered in collaboration with other Master's courses. They particularly serve the ability to edit the final thesis successfully. The thesis is written in semester four.

One elective module with six ECTS is to be covered in this area = 6 ECTS.

Area VI: Electives
In addition to the five modules of the core curriculum, students have the option to choose further "Electives" out of area VI to meet their professional goals and personal inclinations. Due to the freedom of choice in area VI students can deepen own areas of interest and/or acquire specific professional qualifications/skills (e.g. a foreign language). The courses can be chosen from both the unselected courses in MIBAS or from other Master's programmes.

Three elective modules with six ECTS are to be covered in this area = 18 ECTS.

Fourth Semester
The Master's thesis is written in the fourth semester. In order to facilitate the thesis with sufficient time and intensive supervision, it accounts for 30 ECTS.
The processing time for the thesis is six months.

The course is successfully completed when all module examinations of relevant areas have been passed and the Master's thesis is finalised.

Study abroad unit(s)

Independent study abroad
Prospective students who are interested in spending a period of study abroad can find detailed information and contact details at the Department of International Affairs website:
Universität Hamburg participates in student exchange programmes with partner schools in the USA, Canada, Mexico, South Africa, Australia, South Korea, Taiwan, Russia, and many countries in central, eastern and south-eastern Europe. Scholarships are also available for student exchange programmes. See the database for international partner universities and individual exchange programmes:



Forms of assessment

Lectures, case studies, video conferences, group work and independent study
Examinations for each course:
  • written examinations
  • oral examinations
  • presentation plus academic paper
  • presentation plus oral examination
  • academic papers

Course objectives

The Master of Arts in International Business and Sustainability (MIBAS) is a two-year Master's programme conducted in English. It is designed to equip students with the extensive theoretical and practical knowledge necessary to master the challenges of sustainable and responsible management in business and society. The profound theoretical and methodological knowledge acquired in MIBAS prepares students for challenging positions in multinational companies and international organisations. It also opens the door to an academic career for outstanding students wishing to pursue doctoral studies.
On MIBAS, students from different cultural backgrounds come together to develop a common understanding of the complex interrelations of global business. The programme focuses specifically on the ethical, environmental, social and political implications for today's business world.

Language requirements

For further information on the programme's admission requirements, please see

Academic requirements

Applicants must have completed primary studies in one of the following fields of study: business administration, economics, social sciences, law, socioeconomics or other sciences (at a university or other third-level institution). Primary studies must be equivalent to 180 ECTS credits (at least six semesters).
In order to demonstrate sufficient expertise in business administration, applicants who did not specialise in this field must be able to provide proof of successfully completed examinations accounting for at least 12 ECTS altogether from at least four of the following areas: business administration at an undergraduate level, accounting, financing, investment, marketing, management, controlling, HR, organisation, information systems, production, taxation.
For further details please see:

All applicants applying with a degree from outside of Germany, regardless of citizenship, need to have their documents checked in a "preliminary documentation" procedure by uni-assist e. V. (University Application Service for International Students). Information about this procedure can be found on the website
It will take at least four weeks to process your documents.

Enrolment fees

There is a semester fee of 310 EUR per semester. This fee includes a semester ticket covering public transport in the Hamburg metropolitan area.

Costs of living

We recommend that single students budget at least 800 EUR per month to meet personal expenses (accommodation, living, health insurance, books).

Job opportunities

Students who enrol in a full-time programme will generally have only limited time for part-time jobs.
As a rule, students who hold an international student visa may work for up to 120 full days or 240 half days per year. Further information on work regulations for international students at Universität Hamburg can be found here:

Funding opportunities within the university

International full-time students may apply for merit scholarships or exam grants of Universität Hamburg. For more information, please use the provided link. We also recommend contacting our colleagues in the Department of International Affairs for further guidance.

Arrival support

Students and researchers can find information on how to get started in Hamburg on the website of the PIASTA programme at the Universität Hamburg Department of International Affairs ( and on the website of the Hamburg Welcome Center (
During the International Welcome Week organised by PIASTA, you will be able to get in touch with all the important institutions and contacts which are particularly useful for international students:

Services and support for international students

The Universität Hamburg CampusCenter is the first port of call for all current and prospective students and offers information, services and counselling. The PIASTA programme at the Universität Hamburg International Office offers support and advice for German and international students, as well as cultural events and workshops.
For more information, refer to: and


Accommodation is available through the "Studierendenwerk" (students' services) or on the private market. The "Studierendenwerk" provides rooms in halls of residence, most of which are single rooms with shared kitchens and showers/WCs. We strongly advise students and researchers to arrange accommodation prior to arriving in Hamburg, as demand for affordable accommodation is sometimes larger than supply.
Please see:
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