Get to know IBMA – Master’s Degree Programme in International Business Management

Master’s degree programme in international business management, better known as IBMA, was launched in Haaga-Helia in 2007. IBMA is a part-time master programme, meaning the students are working full time while studying and taking classes in the evenings. 


– We realized there is a need for this kind of a programme because quite many bachelor students were looking for further studies and Haaga-Helia didn’t have a master’s programme in English at that time, says principal lecturer Maria Jakubik, head of the IBMA programme.

The studies consists of 90 ECTS and the requirements include compulsory advanced professional studies (CAPS), elective advanced professional studies (EAPS) and free-choice studies. Master’s thesis is project oriented and implemented in collaboration with the student’s workplace. The aim for a student is to graduate in 1,5 years but practically it takes more than two years.

The average participant of the programme is a 34 year old Finnish female who is in a middle-managerian position with about ten years of work experience. Nevertheless, male students’ representation is increasing.

There’s also cultural diversity among the students who come from at least 16 different cultures, so the study environment is truly international.


The learning approach is practical

– It’s based on what the students want to know and on the area and industry they work for. I try to build the course so that they are able to gain knowledge that they want and that will help them with their thesis, tells senior lecturer Madeleine Vakkuri who’s teaching a popular IBMA specific class called Doing business in emerging markets.

The programme has grown to be quite popular even though there’s basically been word of mouth marketing only.

– Actually the programme has not been promoted anyway and still we have more than 120 applicants every year. The yearly intake has increased from 20 to 25 students. The level of the students is very good, says Jakubik who also reminds that one requirement is to have minimum three years of work experience after bachelor degree before one is able to apply for the programme.


Text and photo Elina Keckman

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