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The Master's Programme in Strategic Management focuses on the theory and practice of strategic business development, from strategic analysis to strategic choice and strategy implementation. The areas covered by the programme encompass project management, international strategic management, and managing business networks. In addition, the programme offers students a wide range of optional studies that will enable them to deepen their knowledge in other areas such as human resource and cross-cultural management.

The two-year programme provides skills and knowledge required at middle and upper management level in all kinds of businesses and organisations, large or small, public or private. Students graduating from the programme will have the skills necessary to understand the strategic position of organisations, how to take strategic choices, and how strategy can be turned into action to become a source of sustainable competitive advantage.

The programme offers students excellent opportunities to work in manufacturing and service companies, in the business consulting sector, or to pursue an academic career. The degree awarded by the programme is a Master of Science in Economics and Business Administration.

To be eligible for admission to the Master's Programme in Strategic Management you should already have completed your Bachelor's degree in an appropriate field such as business studies, marketing or management and organisation. The intake of the programme is 20 students, and the application period is January - February annually.

There are no entrance examinations for the international Master's programme in the University of Vaasa. Admission decisions are made on the basis of the required documents, evaluating each complete application individually and selecting those with the best qualifications. Master's degree students have no tuition fees. They are only required to pay the Student Union membership fee of approximately 128 euro per academic year.

Why study Strategic Management?

The Master’s programme in Strategic Management offers research-based education and practical applications in strategic business development. Graduates of the programme will possess the skills required at middle and upper management level in many businesses. You will study in a learning environment, which is:

  • International, which means entirely taught in English by teachers with international experience, and sharing the experience with classmates from around the world.
  • Challenging but rewarding, supported by novel teaching methods to ensure a high-quality, student-centred learning process.
  • A platform on which to stimulate and help you develop analytical and critical thinking, and an innovative, strategic mindset.

Our cooperation with companies is active, and business leaders are guest speakers in all our courses. Many of our students have been doing their Master's theses in cooperation with companies, not only facing challenging and interesting tasks but also approaching and solving real-life problems.

We are constantly developing our course syllabuses together with companies to better meet the current and future needs of business managers. This way, we also strive to ensure our students' employability. Some examples of career prospects which our programme offers are: managing director, business developer, business consultant, project manager, sales manager, business analyst, business controller, and entrepreneur.

After completing your studies in the programme, you will be awarded the degree of Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Economics and Business Administration. The programme also offers excellent opportunities to pursue an academic career, particularly in the fields of Marketing and Management.

Studies

The study programme comprises 120 ECTS credits leading to a master's degree in business studies. The programme can be completed in two years.

Structure of the programme

  • Compulsory Strategic Management Courses (28 ECTS)
  • Optional Strategic Management Courses (select at least 39 ECTS)
  • Master's Thesis Research (30 ECTS)
  • Methodological Studies (8 ECTS)
  • Language Studies (10 ECTS)
  • General Studies (5 ECTS)

Program requirements

EligibilityTo be considered for admission to the Master's Programme in Strategic Management, the applicant must fulfil the following criteria:Scope of the degree: A 3- or 4-year Bachelor degree at university or polytechnic levelPrior studies at Bachelor level or higher in the core areas of the programme:For the Programme in Strategic Management these areas are: international business, marketing, and management and organisation;Other areas if candidates can demonstrate a proper background in business studies;Applicant’s performance (i.e. GPA) in previous studies, including the thesis or ‘final report’ (i.e. the final assignment students must complete in circumstances where a thesis is not used).The overall grade (GPA) and the grade of the thesis for a Bachelor’s degree from a university should be at least ‘good’ 3/5 (ECTS grading), or equivalent in the systems not using the ECTS.The overall grade (GPA) and the grade of the thesis or ‘final report’ for a Bachelor’s degree from a polytechnic or university of applied sciences should be at least ‘very good’ 4/5 (ECTS grading).English language proficiency as instructed below.SelectionApplications that satisfy the above eligibility criteria will be put through a subsequent evaluation process that will determine which applicants are selected for admission to the programme. The criteria used in the selection process are listed below in order of importance:Applicant's overall performance in relevant prior studies (GPA) and specifically the thesis or 'final report'.Applicant's language proficiency.Applicant's amount of work experience in areas relevant to the programme.Applicant's amount of international experience (work and/or study).Applicant's motivation (Letter of Motivation).The selection process uses an objective system of points for the evaluation of candidates (in total 50 points). The weight of each of the criteria is the following:Applicant's overall performance in relevant prior studies (GPA) and specifically the thesis or 'final report' (20 points)Applicant's language proficiency (5 points)Applicant's amount of international experience (work and/or study) (5 points)Applicant's amount of work experience in areas relevant to the programme (5 points)Applicant's motivation (15 points)Application ProcessApplication Period: 1 January – 27 February 2015.Before submitting your documents to University Admissions Finland please consult the country-specific requirements that may concern you. Note that the requirements apply to the country where the degree has been obtained.All applicants (both Finnish and international) must apply for admission to the programme according to instructions available under Creating Your Application. After filling in and submitting the electronic form, applicants must print out the application form generated by the system, sign the form, and make sure that the certified copies of the required application documents are delivered to University Admissions Finland by the deadline of 27 February 2015 16:00 (GMT +2).To be enclosed in the application:Application form (generated by the electronic system)Passport photoDegree certificate(s)/certificate(s) of previous studiesTranscript of university records: The transcript should clearly state the courses you have taken and the grades you have achieved. Please also attach an explanation of the grading system used if it is not clearly stated in the transcript.CV: Please use the Europass CV formPhotocopy of passport's information page / official IDCertificate of language proficiency (please see the list below)Letter of Motivation.The letter of Motivation is used to assess the applicant's enthusiasm and commitment to studying Strategic Management at the University of Vaasa. The letter should be a maximum of two pages and should, at the very least, provide clear and compelling answers to the following questions:I) Why am I applying for admission to this programme at the University of Vaasa?II) What especially interests me in the programme?III) How do my previous study and/or work experiences support my application, i.e. why should I be admitted?IV) What issue in Strategic Management do I find relevant and interesting that would make an interesting topic for research?When applying for admission, the applicants are required to prove their English language proficiency with one of the below listed options. University of Vaasa does not apply a strict time limit to how recently the necessary verification of English language skills has been acquired. However, if the language skills verification is several years old it may have a negative effect on the admission decision.TOEFL test results with minimum score of 580 in paper-based test or 92 in iBT (University Admissions Finland’s TOEFL institution code is 3138)IELTS test results (academic band) with minimum overall band score of 6.5 (each section minimum 5.5)PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English, Academic band) results with minimum overall score of 62National Certificate of English Language Proficiency (arranged by Finnish National Board of Education before 2012) with minimum overall language proficiency level 5CPE test (Certificate of Proficiency in English) with pass grade A, B or C – ID number and secret code need to be provided on the copy of the certificateCAE test (Certificate in Advanced English) with pass grade A, B or C – ID number and secret code need to be provided on the copy of the certificateCertificate of secondary education completed in English language in an EU / EEA country, United States, Canada, Australia or New ZealandCertificate of English as the A1 language as part of an International Baccalaureate examination (minimum grade 2)Certificate of English as the A2 language as part of an International Baccalaureate examination (minimum grade 5)Certificate of English as the A language (literature/language and literature/language and performance) as part of an International Baccalaureate examination (minimum grade 2)Certificate of English as the A language with a minimum grade of Magna Cum Laude Approbatur as part of a Finnish Matriculation examinationCertificate of English as the LI language as a part of European Baccalaureate examination (minimum grade 4)Certificate of English as the LII language as a part of a European Baccalaureate examination (minimum grade 7)Bachelor's or Master's degree conducted in English language in an EU / EEA country, United States, Canada, Australia or New ZealandDoctoral degree conducted in English language in an EU/EEA country, United States, Canada, Australia or New ZealandBachelor's or Master's degree with English (language/literature/philology) as the major subjectEnglish language studies included in a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree conducted in FinlandStudies as exchange student at the University of VaasaPlease check the country-specific requirementsThe applicants may also enclose other certificates and documents supporting the application (e.g. relevant work certificates, letters of recommendation and certificates of other university level studies). The documents must be submitted in Finnish, Swedish or English. In case of successful admission, the original documents must be presented upon registration at the University. The application and the required documents must be submitted according to the instructions. The printed application and the required documents should be submitted to University Admissions Finland by 27 February 2015 at 16:00 (GMT+2) at the latest. Late or incomplete applications will not be processed. English Language Requirements IELTS band: 6.5 TOEFL paper-based test score : 580 TOEFL iBT® test: 92

Financial Support

The University of Vaasa does not offer scholarships for international students. Degree students are eligible for a Finnish state scholarship and a state-guaranteed bank loan only if they have lived in Finland for at least two years in some capacity other than that of a student and if their residence in Finland can be considered to be of a permanent nature. Those who have sufficient other income or who progress poorly in their studies are not eligible for support. As a rule, foreigners who have lived in Finland for less than two years are not eligible for financial support unless specific reasons make their residence in Finland permanent. More information may be obtained from the Academic Affairs Office at the University or at Kela office.

Some scholarship schemes for international students are offered by CIMO (Centre for International Mobility).

Please note that the University of Vaasa does not have scholarship programmes and cannot offer any financial aid for international students. The programmes are also full-time programmes and thus working is not an option when it comes to financing the studies in Finland.

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