MSc in Business, Language and Culture - Business and Development Studies

You will learn to analyse the interaction between international business and economic development with a strong focus on developing countries and emerging markets. This will enable you to operate and manage activities in developing countries and emerging markets, taking into account the particular economic and cultural conditions. Furthermore you will work explicitly with your academic writing in English as well as your oral competencies in French, German or Spanish.

About the programme

More and more European firms are extending their activities to emerging markets and developing countries, through trade, through direct investments, or through networks. The BADS programme focuses on firm strategy, organisation and management in such countries.

Emerging markets and developing countries are characterised by huge development challenges, but also by rapid economic growth as well as profound industrial and institutional transformation. Operating in such contexts raise particular challenges and opportunities for firms and organisations. BADS seeks to understand these challenges and opportunities.

During your studies you will learn to understand the complex relationship between the business strategies of firms and the development strategies of governments. This will allow you to assess the role that companies and organisations play in economic development processes, and analyse the particular conditions of formulating, implementing and managing strategy in developing countries and emerging markets.

On this background you are able to plan, design, organise and manage investment projects and development interventions in developing countries and emerging markets.

You will also learn about market and private sector driven development, including aid interventions in support of local business development and poverty relief. And throughout the programme you will learn to consider the strategic and cross-cultural challenges when working in developing and emerging markets, as well as the ethical challenges and dilemmas you might meet in relation to such contexts.

The faculty teaching in BADS has long standing experience working with and in developing countries and is organised in the research centre Centre for Business and Development Studies.

Language and culture
You will explore and gain general knowledge within area studies while speaking your second foreign language (French, German or Spanish). You will learn about political, cultural and social issues in areas where your second language is spoken, as well as gaining knowledge on organisations, management and leadership practices in these regional contexts. This will prepare you to work in an international setting while taking different cultural and international values and practices into account.

Customise your programme

During the programme, you have various opportunities to create your own academic profile.

On the 3rd semester, you can choose to study courses of your specific interest. CBS offers a large number of electives within a wide range of topics. You can also choose to take electives at other Danish universities. The electives you choose have to be relevant for your programme.

A number of electives are specifically designed to complement the core courses of BADS. Among those are: Poverty, Sustainability and the Private Sector (CCBLV1601U) (autumn), Marketing in Emerging Markets: Seizing the market opportunities in the world’s main growth economies (CCBLV1703U) (autumn), Field study: Entrepreneurship and Private Sector Development in Uganda (CCDEV1135U) (spring)

See the current selection of CBS electives on Single courses and electives - Master

On the 3rd semester, you can also choose to study a so-called minor. A minor is a package of electives within a specific academic area. Typically, it consists of 3 courses. By taking a minor, you strengthen your competences within a specific area of interest, and you can use it to qualify for specific jobs or industries.

See the current selection of CBS minors on Minors - Master

Many students choose to go on exchange on their 3rd semester; usually at one of CBS’ more than 300 partner universities. When you go on exchange through CBS, you do not have to pay for the teaching at the foreign university (with a few exceptions), and you can bring your SU (student grant).

Find a list of all CBS partner universities here

Academic internship
In BADS, you can choose to replace some or all of your electives with a so-called academic internship. The academic internship consists of an internship period at a company, which is then completed with a project report. You can do the internship at a company in Denmark or abroad. The internship must have an international or intercultural scope, and the project report and work assignments have to be relevant to your study programme. When doing an internship you get the opportunity to relate theory to practice and reflect on the academic training you receive at CBS in a practical setting.

CEMS - Master in International Management programme
On BADS, you can apply for the CEMS - Master in International Management programme. CEMS MIM is a double degree programme, which gives you the opportunity to add a second degree in international management to you CBS degree. This means that you will get both the MSc degree and the CEMS in International Management degree.

CEMS is a 1-year programme, which you study in combination with your CBS degree in your 3rd and 4th semester. Part of it  takes place at one of the other CEMS universities abroad.

Learn more about CEMS / Master in International Management

Master's thesis
Your 2nd year is completed with a master's thesis. You choose the topic you want to write about, which allows you to focus on a specific topic of your interest. Typically, you write your master's thesis with a fellow student.

What to consider

Many students have an interest in Africa, Asia and Latin America when choosing this concentration, since developing countries and emerging markets are found in these regions. In general, the students are interested in the intersection between business and development, and many students value the focus on ethical and Corporate Social Responsibility aspects of business activity in emerging markets and developing countries as well as language and culture.

The courses in this concentration involve significant readings in general approximately 800-1200 pages of course curricula per course. This is a challenge to some students but can be overcome if you plan your studies carefully.

As part of the Business and Development Studies concentration, you study courses in area studies. These area study courses are taught in your second foreign language and deal with business, cultures and societies in regions in which the language is spoken. It means that you will read and discuss fairly complex academic texts in your second foreign language.

Studying in English
If you do not have bachelor’s degree taught in English, we recommend that you read more about what to consider before applying for an English taught programme. 

See Studying in English on Student Life

Study environment

The concentration in Business and Development Studies belongs to one of the most international Master of Science programmes at CBS, the Business, Language and Culture programme. Students come from many different countries and many students have different academic bachelor backgrounds. Around 40-50% of the students are from other countries around the world.

The students are generally very open-minded and explorative, and they socialize with students from the other MSc concentration in Business, Language and Culture. The environment is very multicultural, given the many different nationalities of students studying this concentration. Academically, there is a supportive environment among the students, and the intercultural environment offers great exposure to other ways of doing things, especially during group work.

Student life at CBS
Studying at CBS is much more than just preparing for and going to classes.

At CBS, there are more than 23,000 students with different backgrounds and nationalities. Teamwork is an essential part of studying at CBS both in classes and in extracurricular activities. 

With more than 100 student organisations, you also have plenty of opportunities to engage and connect with students across programmes and classes. 

Learn more about the vibrant student life at CBS, the student organisations, and the international environment on Student life

For internationals
If you are an international student, we have gathered a lot of information about what it is like to be an international student at CBS and how you can prepare for life in Denmark.

Read more on For internationals 

Studying at CBS is more than just preparing for classes. Learn about the student life at CBS, the countless student organisations you can join, and the international environment.

Read more about Student life

Teaching and exams

The teaching in Business and Development Studies has a strong focus on mixing theoretical learning and practice. The first semester introduces you to  mainly  theoretical material, while the second semester introduces you to how to put theory into practice. As an example, this is done by writing business projects and cases, presenting different cases in class and having representatives from multinational companies to act as guest lecturers.

Read more about Teaching and working methods on Student life

The exam types in Business and Development Studies are a mix of the exam types offered at CBS in general. This includes everything from written to oral exams.

Read more about Exams and exams types on Student life


What gets you the job?
The international focus of the concentration and the introduction into theoretical areas combined with actual real life cases exposes you to different companies and institutions. You are also introduced to working across cultures as part of your studies, which prepares you for work in an international environment. You will have the tools and methodologies for working with investments, projects and interventions in developing countries and emerging markets.

As a graduate in Business and Development Studies you understand business in an intercultural and international context. You have knowledge of how business and development can be united, and of the different market and country specific dynamics you can meet when doing business abroad. You know about the different challenges of doing business abroad and in developing and emerging markets in particular.

Career opportunities
With a degree in Business and Development Studies you can work within different fields.

Examples of jobs held by graduates of this concentration:

  • Employee at the UN and other international organisations
  • Project manager in developing country subsidiaries of international firms
  • Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Marketing function related to emerging markets
  • Project manager in NGO working with developing countries
  • Civil servant in foreign affairs ministries
  • Consultant in development oriented consultancies

Competence profile 
In the competence profile you can read more about the purpose of the programme and the competencies you achieve in the programme:


Course overview

1st semester 2nd semester 3rd semester 4th semester
Business Strategy in Developing Countries and Emerging Markets (7,5 ECTS) Entrepreneurship for Development (7,5 ECTS)

Electives / Internship / Exchange (30 ECTS)








Master's thesis (30 ECTS)








Governance and Development (7,5 ECTS)


Managing Foreign Direct Investment in Developing Countries and Emerging Markets (7,5 ECTS)


International Business and Economic Development (7,5 ECTS) Regional track courses* (7,5 ECTS)
Responsible Value Chains ‐ A Path to Sustainable Development? (7,5 ECTS) Regional track courses with language* (7,5 ECTS)

You can read more about the programme, academic content and exams in the programme regulations for Business and Development Studies.

Track courses

Regional track courses with language

The courses are taught in French, Spanish, German for students studying these languages, and in English for students with Chinese and Japanese.

Depending on your choice of language, you will study one of the following courses:

Course Language of choice ECTS
Business and Social Responsibility in Francophone Countries French 7,5 ECTS
Business Strategies in Latin America and the Caribbean Spanish 7,5 ECTS
Business in a Changing World: German Perspectives German 7,5 ECTS
Institutions and Business Strategy in the Chinese Context Chinese and Japanese 7,5 ECTS


The page was last edited by: Web editor - Student Communications // 08/30/2023