Finance and Strategic Management

Student life

Study environment

The concentration has an annual intake of 120 students and roughly half of these are international students. The international students are a mix of people from the Nordic countries, Europe and other parts of the world.

The students are usually very ambitious. At times this can create an atmosphere of competition, but mostly of cooperation, as the students have a strong passion for finance and are eager to use each other for discussing and understanding different aspects of it.  

FMS Students are traditionally good at being active both in and outside the classroom. Both when it comes to discussions in class, but also when it comes to making student events, for instance through the student and alumni association the FSM-Society.  This year students  arranged a study trip to New York to visit companies and financial institutions . They are also in charge of the introductory programme for new students, which make a good basis for getting to know everyone. Building good social relationships among your fellow students  is up to you, but students consider participation in the various activities important as it helps build a strong professional network for the future.

What to consider?

The financial and strategic courses give two very different perspectives on management and decision-making. This is a strength of the concentration, but can also be a challenge, as you have to master both the numerical and economic approach of finance, and the qualitative and more comparative approaches of strategy.

To be a good match for this concentration, you should have a strong interest in finance and strategy, and have both the desire and skill to work with the application of the financial models and theories combined with the complexity of strategic thinking. As far as the financial part of the concentration goes, you should be prepared to use your skills in statistics and math from the very beginning of the lectures. This makes it a good idea to be up to speed in these areas before you start.

The curriculum is fairly large and academic. The mix of theory and application requires that you should not only   apply theory and perform the necessary calculations, but that you should also be able to understand, discuss and explain the relevance of these financial and strategic theories in various contexts. As such, the concentration can be seen as consisting of roughly 40% theory comprehension and discussion, and 60% calculations and applications.


Classes are often lectures combined with exercises. For the lectures, the whole year of students  are together, but for the exercises the class is usually divided into two or three groups to make better room for questions and discussions. As with all lectures, student interaction is important, and the quality often depends on the attitude of the students and their willingness to participate. Fortunately, there is a good tradition for this in this concentration, and students are encouraged to keep it up as this greatly increases the learning output and overall satisfaction.


At CBS each course is concluded with an examination. This means that you will have examinations after each semester in December/January and May/June respectively.

The concentration uses a mix of exam types. There are written exams, 24-hour cases and essays. In the second semester there is also an extended  group project, where you go  in more depth with a relevant topic and problem.

Work,life,study balance

As the number of  lectures and exercises  is not that high, students find the concentration to be quite flexible for combining studies with a student job . However, the workload is still full time, so prioritising and managing your time will be essential to be able to cover the curriculum in time for exams.

Studying in English

Before studying a programme taught in English you might want to consider the following:

  • All literature, lectures, exams, projects and group work are in English
  • Academic English differs from the English used in everyday language – so it might be a challenge even if you are used to speaking English in other situations.
  • You may have to spend more time on reading and understanding the material in English
  • You may find it challenging to express yourself with the same ease as you would in your mother tongue.
  • Some will feel uncomfortable and shy when speaking English – especially when in a crowd or among native speakers.

Practice makes perfect
There is a big difference between reading and understanding texts and  expressing yourself in English both orally and in writing. This is a challenge for some students. Even if you are used to reading English texts on your bachelor programme, it is still a good idea to practice your English. Try to speak it on a regular basis, watch the news, movies and TV series in English. You should also read books and newspapers in English, as this will help you read faster and increase your vocabulary. A good command of English is essential for getting the maximum learning outcome of  your programme


Each year  of students have their own page on Facebook for academic and social events and information sharing. They  are also active on LinkedIn. The concentration also has its own student and alumni association – FSM-society (

In addition there are  a number of associations and organisations for students at CBS. Click here for more information

Important/relevant links:

For more information on the study environment and activities at CBS

The page was last edited by: Communications // 10/16/2012