BSc in Business Administration and Service Management

BSc SEM combines business economics and service sector studies and gives you an in-depth understanding of how to market, sell and organise a service in national as well as international markets.

About the programme

Services in a broad perspective
The service sector is the largest sector in most developed countries. In Denmark it contributes around 70 % of the national GDP. A service is an intangible offering; no physical product is exchanged between buyer and seller before purchase. Traditional examples could be services provided in shops, restaurants, hotels, tourism agencies, travelling, amusement parks or even in public institutions such as museums. Modern examples of services include subscriptions to streaming services, social media, mobile and communication services as well as business services.

Services are an integral part of what a company is and what it produces. For example, physical products often also have an additional service attached to them in the form of knowledge, time or attention. A simple example could be when you buy a new phone. You are paying for a physical product, but you also receive in-store pre-purchase service where the sales assistant provides you with information and answers the questions you might have. However, you also receive post-purchase service in the form of a warranty and 24/7 customer support.

A shift from products to services
While companies used to talk about the products they provided, they now emphasise on the service they provide to their customers – whether it be as part of a purchased physical product or as a standalone service. The wave of digitalization we are currently experiencing is probably the clearest example of the shift from products to services, affecting us all in our jobs or studies as well as in our personal lives. Service has become an essential part of product development and a means to compete with industry rivals. Today effective customer service is a vital element to survive and grow in a competitive market. If you do not cater to the expectations and needs of your customers, your competitors definitely will.

There is often also a trade-off between the quality of a physical product and the service provided with it. That is, although objectively the competitor might have a slightly better product, you can still attract the consumers by providing a better service and purchasing experience.

The general and the service-specific perspective
The BSc SEM gives you a broad understanding of business administration, how businesses develop and stay ahead of competition and how services add value across industries, both as stand-alone offerings and in relation to services and experiences. You will also get a broad understanding of the service sector as a whole while going more in-depth with one specific service sector through case studies and textbook examples.

The objective of this structure is to understand services as an integrated part of a company. As an example, imagine a company providing services of some sort, whether it be to businesses or to private consumers. The manager of such a company cannot simply develop and provide services without considering the external environment of the company. They need to understand the economic and competitive setting in which the company is embedded, how to organise and market the company and its services, what economic and strategic goals it seeks to achieve and how providing competitive services can help accomplish such goals.

Choice of concentration
When you apply for BSc SEM you choose between one of three concentrations:

  • Arts & Culture 
  • Service & Innovation
  • Tourism & Hospitality

You cannot change your specialisation after beginning the programme.

Hear students share insights about BSc SEM

Hear students at BSc SEM share some experiences and their thoughts about the programme.

What you should be interested in

To study BSc SEM successfully and be happy with the programme it would be useful to be interested in:

  • service industries and how companies develop, implement and manage many kinds of services.
  • not just one particular type of service but also how services are an integrated part of how companies develop and compete.
  • working with services from the viewpoint of many different topics within business administration ranging from customer satisfaction and quality control to business strategy and market development to finance and accounting.

Why students chose BSc SEM
Students at CBS come from all over the world, and all have different backgrounds. Hear students at BSc SEM share their background, and why they chose to apply for the programme.

Challenges and considerations

BSc SEM has some particular challenges that are important to think about before you choose the programme. How well do these challenges correspond to the sort of person you are, how you like to work and the things you are good at?

Choose the specialisation carefully
There are significant differences between the three specialisations on BSc SEM:

  • Arts & Culture 
  • Service & Innovation
  • Tourism & Hospitality

You cannot change your specialisation after beginning the programme. 

Working analytically and academically
Some students expect BSc SEM to be very practical and mostly focus on skills that are particular to specific service industries. It is true that you will gain an understanding of specific types of service companies – depending on your choice of specialisation. However, it is important to understand that BSc SEM is a university programme which will also introduce you to general theories within business administration and expect you to work analytically and academically. You need to be comfortable with this theoretical and analytical approach to studying.

Quarter structure
BSc SEM has a so-called “quarter structure” where you follow two courses for about six weeks before taking your exams in those two courses. Each year of study is divided into four such quarters. Some students enjoy this way of working as it allows them to focus on only two courses and two exams at a time. Others find it challenging because it means that you need to keep up your study discipline all the time and if you have just a couple of weeks where you are not very productive it can be challenging to catch up.

International study environment
The programme usually has a higher share of international students than the other CBS programmes taught in English. It is therefore useful if you see a very international study environment as exiting and an advantage.

Maths as a tool
In about half of the mandatory courses in BSc SEM you will use maths as a tool. You will not use maths that is complicated beyond the entry requirement for the programme, but you need to be comfortable having courses where you use maths and do calculations at a practical level.

Studying in English
If you are not used to studying in English or if you are not a native speaker, we recommend that you read more about what to consider before applying for an English-taught programme. 

See Studying in English on Student Life

Hear a student guidance councellor share some challenges and considerations you should be aware of before applying to BSc SEM.

The study environment
What is it like to study at BSc SEM?
Listen to students share their thoughts on what it was like to start studying, and learn more about why they enjoy CBS and Copenhagen both socially and academically. 

Career options and Master's programmes

Competencies after BSc SEM
The programme will give you:
  • a broad understanding of business administration
  • specific insight into service industries and the development of services in competitive markets
You can find more information about what you learn in the programme in the Competence profile for BSc SEM

Master's programmes after BSc SEM
The clear majority of students from BSc SEM continue to a two-years master’s programme for a total of five years of study. It is very much the master’s rather than the bachelor programme that determines which career paths that lay open to you.

Most BSc SEM graduates tend to end up in companies or organisations where they in some way work with services – but within many different fields of business administration. Read more about master’s programmes and career options.

Hear a student guidance counsellor give insights to how you can create your own profile as well as share thoughts on career options and master's programmes.

Entry requirements

English - language requirement A
English - specific entry requirement B with min. 6.0 grade average (Danish scale)
Mathematics B
Social Studies OR International Economics OR History of Ideas OR Contemporary History  B
Motivational essay Yes - see selection quotas

Read about entry requirements and how to apply at bachelor admission.

Admission statistics
Grade point average Arts & Culture: 8,7
Tourism & Hospitality: 7,9
Service & Innovation: 8,9                   
Number of enrolled students


Quota 1  / Quota 2 70% / 30%
Applicants (quota 2) 1023 (905)
Foreign students 79%
Gender distribution - men / women 45% / 55%
Average age 20,9 year

See Admission Statistics for all bachelor programmes.


The page was last edited by: Web editor - Student Communications // 11/08/2023