BSc in International Shipping and Trade

The BSc Shipping provides you with an understanding of the context and strategies of the global shipping industry and prepares you for efficiently planning and managing shipping operations.

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At the heart of globalisation
Shipping is at the very core of international trade. Millions of tons of cargo are shipped from one end of the globe to the other every day, You could even describe international shipping as “globalisation in its physical form”, linking production, people and companies all over the planet. Developing efficient, reliable and cost-effective solutions to moving goods from producers to buyers is increasingly a key component in assuring business success for international companies. Shipping is not only a very large but also a highly dynamic industry. Denmark is a leading shipping country, home to the world’s largest container shipping company and many other strong, global shipping companies.

Specialisation and industry focus
The BSc Shipping is different from all the other programmes at CBS in that it focuses directly on just one industry. Rather than a general understanding of business conditions and business economics, you will develop a specific understanding of how shipping companies operate, how they develop strategies and business networks and how to plan and manage in a global and dynamic industry.

The programme is for those who feel quite confident that the shipping industry is indeed where they want to have their careers – and who want an academic, industry-focused university degree as the foundation for that career.

International and practical experience
Through your three years in the programme, you will experience academic studies in the fields of business economics, shipping and trade combined with an international as well as intercultural understanding and practical industry experience.

Each year is structured very differently: you will study at CBS, study abroad, study together with students from other countries and cultures and also spend time as an intern in a shipping company. This unique structure will provide you with a varied and exciting study experience, but it will also be demanding and require a lot of hard work.

  • The first year will give you a broad understanding of international business economics and introduce you to the unique aspects of the shipping industry. You will study some of your courses together with students from our International Business programme.
  • The second year will give you a global perspective on shipping. It will focus on the economic, legal and operational dynamics of the industry. You will spend this year together with students from Singapore Management University and Texas A&M University at Galveston. All students will spend the first half year in Copenhagen, and the second half in Singapore or Texas.
  • The third year will deepen your academic and analytical skills within maritime economics and management and it will give you considerable practical shipping experience. During this year, you will combine your studies at CBS with an internship in a shipping company. This will give you hands-on experience with shipping operations and enable you to embark on a career in shipping.

Hear it from the students
On you can hear why Nicoline chose BSc Shipping and get her advise in regards to studying at CBS:

More information about BSc in International Shipping and Trade

Special options during BSc Shipping
An alternative to following the regular BSc Shipping is getting into the special option available to BSc Shipping and BSc IB students:

It is important to emphasize that this option only is available to a very limited number of students. Therefore, you should not choose BSc Shipping expecting a place in GLOBAL SCLM as most students who apply will not end up getting a place.

What you should be interested in if you choose BSc Shipping

Common interests among those students who study BSc Shipping successfully and are happy with the programme include:

  • international trade and global markets
  • the shipping industry on both a strategic and operational level
  • shipping and trade from many different perspectives as the programme encompasses a wide range of topics within business administration and shipping
  • a general interest in politics, economics and the cultures of different countries and regions

Challenges in BSc Shipping

Many of the challenges of studying at university are the same for all programmes. You can read more about these challenges at Daily life as a student

Each study programme also 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?

Working with people from different backgrounds
BSc Shipping students must be able to adapt and work well with people from very different backgrounds and cultures. During your second year you will study together with American and Singaporean students. During large parts of your third year you will be working together with experienced shipping professionals in an internship. It is therefore a very useful quality to enjoy diversity and be open to other people.

Working analytically and academically
Some students expect BSc Shipping to be very practical in its approach. However, it is important to understand that BSc Shipping 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.

BSc Shipping 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.

Maths as a tool
In close to half of the mandatory courses in BSc Shipping 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.

What shipping will give you

You can find more information about what you learn on the programme in the Competence profile for BSc Shipping

Master’s programme and career options
The clear majority of students from Shipping 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.

Read more about master’s programmes and career options


Grade point average – 2021


Number of places – 2021


Quota 1 / Quota 2 – 2021

50% / 50%

Motivational essay

Yes - see Quota 1 and 2





History or social studies


Read about entry requirements and how to apply at bachelor admission


The page was last edited by: Student Affairs // 08/03/2021