International Design Business Management

The International Design Business Management (IDBM) is a joint master's programme between Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, School of Business, and School of Science. IDBM educates students with arts, business and engineering backgrounds as T-shaped professionals providing them with a strategic view into management of international design-intensive 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 design business framework.

Academically rigorous and practice-oriented IDBM programme prepares students to lead and collaborate in multi-disciplinary teams. The aim is to create enhanced abilities to recognize and acknowledge value in the tools, practices and mental models of other disciplines. During a six-month long real-life industry project students explore and develop innovative product, service and business concepts. Projects are coached by multi-disciplinary faculty and expert industry tutors.

The global approach of IDBM program prepares students to work in multi-cultural settings and collaborate across national and cultural boundaries. On the practical level, the global aspect refers to the continuous development of international networks through student selection, industry cooperation, research activities and study exchange. Additionally, students of IDBM master's programme are offered an opportunity to extend their studies to a double degree with ESADE Business School in Barcelona Spain.

 Learning objectives

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.

This includes the ability to:

  • use a design approach in product, service and business development
  • bring design thinking into business management and leadership
  • explore, create and implement creative and cross-cutting new business opportunities within complex, ambiguous problem settings and environments
  • lead development activities and change initiatives in organizations
  • connect one's own disciplinary expertise to a wider multi-disciplinary design business context
  • lead and collaborate in a multi-cultural multi-disciplinary team
  • communicate ideas and concepts both verbally and visually in and outside the team on both an operative and strategic level
  • understand and utilize academic research including defining and approaching problems in systematic and systemic manner


Programme director

Professor Niina Nurmi, Director of the IDBM Programme

Additional information

IDBM programme website


Degree requirements 120 ECTS

1. Programme studies 84 ECTS

Common IDBM Core studies 40 cr
JOIN-E7006 IDBM Challenge 5 cr I
MUO-E9009 Corporate Entrepreneurship and Design 5 cr II
TU-C2021 Operations Management 5 cr I-II
26E04350 Business Model Design 5 cr III
JOIN-E7005 IDBM Industry Project 15 cr II-V
26E04903 IDBM Capstone: Global Virtual Teamwork * 5 cr I-II
*The course is recomended to be completed during 2nd year of studies
Compulsory BIZ Identity studies 44 cr
26E99910 Master’s Thesis 30 cr I-V
26E99905 Master’s Thesis Seminar 6 cr I, IV
26E99903 Maturity Test 0 cr I-V
26E04902 IDBM Special Assignment 2 cr I-V
Choose 6 cr:   
26E03100 Driving Global Businesses 6 cr I
21E00030 Strategy Work 6 cr II
25E18000 Sustainable Entrepreneurship 6 cr IV
26E03400 People Management in Multinational Organizations 6 cr IV
21E11001 Dialogues on Corporate Responsibility in Global Economy 6 cr V
21E00035 Management and Strategy Book Club I 6 cr I-V


2. Minor studies 24 cr

Minor Studies are chosen from relevant business school disciplines, from other study modules at Aalto University or other available minor studies programmes, for instance, based on studies in a foreign university as an exchange student. Students must complete the minor studies module to complete the degree.

3. Electives 12 cr

Students are highly recommended to take ARTS and TECH skills courses as elective studies. The skills courses aim to widen students' perspective and T-profile by providing basic understanding, knowledge and skills from the fields of arts, design and technology.

Courses at ARTS
MUO-E8021 Participatory Methods and Facilitation Skills 5 cr I-II
DOM-E5089 Games Now! 3-5 cr I-V
MUO-E8017 Eco-auditing 2 cr III
MUO-E8020 Sustainable Product and Service Design, Theory 5 cr II
MUO-E8018 Sustainability Politics 5 cr I
MUO-E8012 Design for Government 10 cr IV-V
MUO-C0005 Design Theory and Methodology 3 cr I
MUO-C0110 What to Design? 5 cr II
Courses at TECH
TU-E4040 Opportunity Prototyping 3 cr  I
CS-C3120 Human-Computer Interaction 5 cr  I-II
CS-E4900 User-Centered Methods for Product and Service Design 5 cr I-II
CS-E5110 Management of a Technology Venture 5 cr


PHYS-C1380 Multi-disciplinary Energy Perspectives  5 cr  III-IV



Login Form