MSc in International Business and Politics

By understanding the international, political, economic and to some extent legal dynamics that shape the world we live in, you are able to critically analyse and understand political and business dynamics and how they influence each other.

About the programme

The MSc IBP addresses core business skills and considers business activities within a broader political and economic context. When you graduate you will therefore be equipped to take on the challenges faced by firms, policymakers and their advisers across the globe. Our graduates find employment in a broad range of occupations including management posts in the private and public sectors, business development, research, consultancy, project leadership and the mass media.   

The programme rests upon the development of specific skills in the four academic streams around which it is structured: business strategies, international political economy, economics and policymaking processes. The courses within these streams:

  1. analyze the decisions made by firms, the factors shaping those decisions, the market and non-market strategies they employ and the contemporary strategic challenges that they face
  2. consider the interactions between firms and governments, the prime forces that shape the character of the national and international economy
  3. analyze the decisions made by firms, the factors shaping those decisions, the different ideas, interests, and institutions that influence the making and implementation of public policy, the impact of the institutions and structures that mediate between markets and states, and the character of subsequent policy outcomes
  4. address issues at regional, national and global levels. It thus considers contemporary developments and processes in and across emerging markets and advanced economies as well as the role played by supra-national institutions such as the World Bank and the European Union
  5. assess the ways in which states and businesses respond to contemporary challenges such as sustainability, inequality, the increasing volatility of governance structures and market uncertainties

The four streams 
The first semester consists of four mandatory core courses addressing each of the four themes that define the programme. The second semester consists of two mandatory courses that brings together the different themes and applies them to specific business cases. This is then followed by more specialist ‘stream’ courses. During the first semester students pick one stream (each of which consists of two 7.5 ECTS courses) to pursue. 

  • Business Economics
    The core course considers international trade theory, foreign direct investment (FDI), and the operations of financial markets. The optional stream courses build upon BSc-level economics and offer a microeconomic study of firms and markets as well as advanced macroeconomics
  • Business Strategies
    The core course surveys the contemporary strategic challenges facing multinational enterprises whilst the optional stream courses use theoretical frameworks to examine issues related to people management as well as looking at innovation processes and the ways in which firms access, transfer and use globally dispersed knowledge.
  • International Political Economy (IPE)
    The courses build upon the study of IPE at undergraduate level by considering theoretical perspectives at an advanced level and applying them to empirical case studies. The optional stream courses policies focus on the policy responses of emerging and developing countries to international business as well as the politics of business standards, political risk, the politics of international finance, global growth strategies, or the management of international organizations.
  • Business and Public Policy
    The core course considers the making of public policy, the instruments that can be used to regulate different types of policy and introduces ways of analyzing policy processes as to devise recommendations for businesses and governments. It incorporates policymaking simulations, negotiation exercises and opportunities to explore ‘real world’ situations. The optional stream courses consider corruption in both developed and developing countries and the policy challenges that it poses as well as behavioural economics and the insights that it offers for processes of policy development

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.

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 electives 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
You can choose to replace some 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.

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. Therefore, the project report and work assignments during your internship have to be relevant to your study programme.

CEMS - Master in International Management programme
On MSc in International Business and Politics, 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 your 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

Have an interest in international economic and political issues
This programme requires an interest in international economic and political issues. You should be aware that the programme emphasises an analytical approach to political issues. It is not, in other words, about discussing political opinions and standpoints. It is about analysing and understanding political phenomena in relation to international business.

Keep up to date with current affairs
Since this programme deals with international politics and contemporary issues, among other things, it is recommended that you keep up to date with current affairs. This can be done by following the media, in particular media with strong international coverage such as Financial Times or the Economist.

From bachelor programme to MSc in International Business and Politics
The programme builds on the bachelor degree programme in International Business and Politics. This gives a strong foundation in both business studies, political science and international political economy. In contrast to the bachelor programme, the master will also cover central aspects of international law. Students who have taken the IBP-bachelor should be aware of this progression.

The progamme also enrolls many students with other bachelor level backgrounds. Therefore  not all students in the IBP master programme have similar levels of skills in business or politics. Some may be less prepared for either the business or the political aspects of the programme. If your bachelor degree has provided  you with a limited foundation in one of the two aspects, it is a good idea to try to make up for this before you enter the IBP programme.

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 study environment is very international with both students and faculty having diverse national backgrounds. Around 40% of the students have a non-Danish background.

If you wish to you can join the IBP Union. This student organisation has an academic section, guest lectures, case competitions, and exchange with students from other universities, dialogue meetings with alumni, a social section that organises parties and other entertaining events, and a sports section that has active female and male soccer teams. See more here:

Some students join different networks and communities according to personal interests.

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

Teaching and exams

Most of the professors teaching in this programme are non-Danish, and the teaching styles vary from course to course. There is generally a high level of student participation and interaction between students and professors. Exercises and tutorials are also part of the teaching. The high level of interaction helps students prepare for oral exams.

Read more about Teaching and working methods on Student life

The exam types in International Business and Politics are a mix of exam types offered at CBS.

Read more about Exams and exams types on Student life

Time consumption
You should know that it is demanding to study in a graduate programme, and both the curriculum and workload is  significantly higher than at bachelor level. 

If you are studying on a full-time graduate programme, you should expect spending approximately 37 hours on average on your studies each week. The workload will vary during the year.

The time leading up to assignment submissions and exams can be hectic, and you can easily work more than 40 hours a week in this period. Preparing for oral exams can be especially time consuming, because you have to be able to explain and discuss the covered concepts and theories and learn things by heart.

Read more about Time consumption on Student Life

Student job
Most programmes are quite flexible in terms of combining studies with a student job. Most students work a maximum of 15 hours a week in order to have sufficient time for their studies.

Studying in Denmark - for internationals
If this is your first time studying in Denmark, you may find teaching and exam formats, the grading scale and the academic calendar very different from what you are used to.

Read about everything you need to know as an international student studying at CBS on For internationals > Academic information  


What gets you the job?
In this programme you gain an international perspective and understanding of the practical problems that international organisations face within the areas of international business, politics and law.

You gain strong analytical competencies, based among other things on the ability to identify and analyse political, economic, and to some extent legal aspects of problems. The knowledge gained and the strong analytical proficiency is an important asset in future careers.

Career opportunities
The career opportunities are broad and graduates pursue careers within many different areas. With an MSc in International Business and Politics you can for example pursue a career within international businesses, consulting companies, interest organisations, NGO’s,  and public organisations such as ministries, the EU, or the UN system.  Some IBP graduates have also started their own companies.  

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

Competence profile for MSc IBP

Course Overview

1st semester 2nd semester 3rd semester 4th semester
Analysis of Industry and Competition (7.5 ECTS)

Advanced Quantitative Methods  (7.5 ECTS)

Electives / Internship / Exchange (30 ECTS)






Master's thesis (30 ECTS)






International Business: Market and Non-market Strategies (7.5 ECTS)

Advanced Mixed Methods (7.5 ECTS)


Applied International Political Economy (7.5 ECTS)

Choose 1 out of 4 streams 

Business Strategies


Business Economics


International Political Economy


Business and Public Policy

Applied Policy Analysis (7.5 ECTS)

You can find course descriptions in the study regulations for MSc in International Business and Politics

Stream courses

Business Economics
Course ECTS
Topics in Public Economics  7.5 ECTS
Advanced Macroeconomics  7.5 ECTS
Business Strategies
Course ECTS
Global Innovation Strategies 7.5 ECTS
Managing People in Multinational Corporations 7.5 ECTS

International Political Economy (IPE)

Course ECTS
Organising Global Markets   7.5 ECTS
Governing Risk in the World Economy  7.5 ECTS
Business and Public Policy
Course ECTS
Corruption: Causes, Consequences and Policies 
7.5 ECTS
Behavioural Economics and Public Policy 7.5 ECTS
The page was last edited by: Web editor - Student Communications // 05/16/2023