MSc in Social Science - Strategic Design and Entrepreneurship

SDE is offered in collaboration with the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation. You will learn to balance and utilize knowledge of design thinking and processes in combination with tools for commercialization and management. This cross disciplinary insight will allow you to work generatively with designers from a managerial perspective as well as prepare you for design related business entrepreneurship.

About the programme

Joint master programme
SDE is a joint master programme between Copenhagen Business School (CBS) and the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts Schools of Architecture and Design (KADK). The philosophy behind the programme is to enable students of both institutions to learn about how management and design practices come together to benefit development, as well as enable designers and architects to start their own business.

The collaboration between CBS and KADK offers an attractive and engaging programme in Strategic Design and Entrepreneurship. Each institution contributes to the programme, including teaching, space, materials and exams. A main strength of the programme is the commitment of enrolled students to collaboration and active learning which involves presence at both the Academy and at CBS. 

Bridge between business and architechture
Creating value through architecture and design is a challenge that requires being organisational and business savvy as much as it requires talent, methods and skills. In this programme in design-based business development and entrepreneurship, students from KADK and CBS will learn and work together in groups on projects and challenges from the architecture and design field.

SDE focuses on the processes for strategic designing and managing entrepreneurship. We see entrepreneurship and innovation as fundamental aspects of creativity and as an integrated part of the whole that architecture and design forms.

SDE gives CBS students the ability to be the bridge between design aspects and the managerial aspects of the design field and being able to navigate in creative processes with innovation methods. KADK students with future careers as architects and designers will gain knowledge and methods in business strategy, project management and entrepreneurship.

Architecture and design firms can achieve sustained success only if their organisational structures, business models and strategic choices are showing an awareness on the market and are fit for competing on continuous design and novel products and services. Equally, architects and designers who understand what firms and organisations are made of find it easier to contribute on strategical and tactical level, and develop their practice.

Both students from CBS and KADK will gain knowledge on how design is changing business at the moment, how to work with design from a managerial perspective, as well as prepare the students to start their own design related business.

Strategic development, business plans, innovation tools and project management will be key topics, and the use of models, perspectives and theories to understand and apply design processes and methods in design-led business areas will be introduced.

Collaboration with external partners
In SDE we work in collaboration with external partners within architecture, design and business, as well as stakeholders such as BLOXHUB, making sure students will be dealing with real-life challenges and participants.

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 minors on Minors

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.

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

Entrepreneural activities
All CBS students have access to a specialized career services. In addition, the student incubator Copenhagen School of Entrepreneurship (CSE) provides an important networking opportunity for you as an SDE student. As an SDE student you can potentially take advantage of the financial, intellectual and institutional support of CSE for your own entrepreneurial activities.

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
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

The courses from CBS will be conducted using lecture and at times the Harvard “case method”, which involves a high-energy discussion, debate and interaction. Students are encouraged to bring their own views into discussions, to share learning with fellow students. The studio classes will take place in the Studio at CBS, a specialized training facility.

The courses from KADK will be held at the facilities at KADK on Holmen, Copenhagen and will be structured as an alternation between theoretical input, academic analysis, conceptual development and prototyping, co-creation and interaction with entrepreneurs and stakeholders from the architecture and design industry.

Some courses are studio-based, which stress design-oriented, hands-on making, inquiry, experimentation and demonstration. Students will work in small groups on taking a particular design problem, interest or question and addressing it. The courses will be conducted to encourage the students to involve in high-energy discussion, debate and interaction.

Several guests from different fields of architecture and design industry will hold master classes and participate with “real life challenges” during the semester. 

Read more about Teaching and working methods on Student life

Read 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  


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 Strategic Design and Entrepreneurship


Depending on whether you are a CBS Student or a KADK student, you will obtain the following degree:

  • CBS students: MSc in Social Science – Organisational Innovation and Entrepreneurship -  Strategic Design and Entrepreneurship
  • KADK students: cand.arch/Master of Arts in Architecture - Strategic Design and Entrepreneurship or cand.des./Master of Arts in Design - Strategic Design and Entrepreneurship


Course overview

1st semester 2nd semester 3rd semester   4th semester  
1st quarter 2nd quarter 3rd quarter 4th quarter

Electives / Internship / Exchange (30 ECTS)





Master's thesis
(30 ECTS)





Entrepreneurship Theory and Finance
(7,5 ECTS)

Research Methods 
(7,5 ECTS)*
Strategic Design, Law and Ethics 
(7,5 ECTS)
Management Accounting for Design and Innovation 
(7,5 ECTS)*
Collaborative Design Processes (15 ECTS) Strategic Design and Consulting (15 ECTS)

*Courses are only for students applying from CBS. KADK students will use this time to work on their projects. 

You can read more about the programme, academic content and exams in the the programme study regulations for Strategic Design and Entrepreneurship.

The page was last edited by: Web editor - Student Communications // 11/28/2023