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.

Presentation of Business and Development Studies

More and more European firms are extending their activities to emerging markets and developing countries, through trade, through direct investments, or through networks. The Business and Development Studies concentration 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. The concentration in Business and Development Studies 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 the business and development studies concentration 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.


Business and Development Studies is a two-year master’s programme that is divided into 4 semesters. The autumn semester runs from September through November with exams in December and January; and the spring semester from February through April with exams in May and June.

First and second semester consist of compulsory courses, third semester of elective courses and fourth semester finishes off the programme with the master thesis. During the third semester most students go abroad on internships at firms and organizations working with and in developing countries and emerging markets, or study at universities and business schools in such countries.

Additional options

You have the opportunity to go on exchange for one semester at one of CBS’ partner universities on your third semester.

You can choose to make an internship part of your degree (you can get up to  30 ECTS).The internship must have an international or intercultural scope. This can be fulfilled by the location of the organisation where the internship is conducted or by the nature of the job the intern does during the internship. 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.

Dedicated electives
A number of electives are specifically designed to complement the core courses of the concentration. 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)

When studying Business and Development Studies, you can apply to the CEMS MIM programme, which is a double degree in International Management. It provides you with both the CBS MSc degree and the CEMS in International Management.

Course overview

1. Semester 2. Semester 3. Semester 4. 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 course* (7,5 ECTS)
Responsible Value Chains ‐ A Path to Sustainable Development? (7,5 ECTS) Regional track course* (7,5 ECTS)

*Regional track courses

Regional track courses

Students must choose 1 of these courses.

  • New Frontiers or More of the Same: Understanding Innovation in Asian Emerging Economies
  • Leading and Managing in Latin America
  • Diversity and Corporate Social Responsibility Beyond Borders
  • The EU as a Global Actor
  • Africa, Global Value Chains and Development


Regional track courses with language

Students must do 1 of these courses according to their choice of area study.


  • Business and Social Responsibility in Francophone Countries (French)
  • Business in a Changing World: German Perspectives (German)
  • Business Strategies in Latin America and the Caribbean (Spanish)
  • Institutions and Business Strategy in the Chinese Context (Chinese and Japanese - taught in English)

You can find course descriptions in the programme regulations for Business and Development Studies.

The page was last edited by: Web editor - Student Communications // 03/09/2023