BSc in International Shipping and Trade

The BSc Shipping provides you with an understanding of the context and strategies of the global shipping industry and prepares you for efficiently planning and managing shipping operations.

About the programme

At the heart of globalisation
Shipping is at the very core of international trade. Millions of tons of cargo are shipped from one end of the globe to the other every day, You could even describe international shipping as “globalisation in its physical form”, linking production, people and companies all over the planet. Developing efficient, reliable and cost-effective solutions to moving goods from producers to buyers is increasingly a key component in assuring business success for international companies. Shipping is not only a very large but also a highly dynamic industry. Denmark is a leading shipping country, home to the world’s largest container shipping company and many other strong, global shipping companies.

Specialisation and industry focus
The BSc Shipping is different from all the other programmes at CBS in that it focuses directly on just one industry. Rather than a general understanding of business conditions and business economics, you will develop a specific understanding of how shipping companies operate, how they develop strategies and business networks and how to plan and manage in a global and dynamic industry.

The programme is for those who feel quite confident that the shipping industry is indeed where they want to have their careers – and who want an academic, industry-focused university degree as the foundation for that career.

International and practical experience
Through your three years in the programme, you will experience academic studies in the fields of business economics, shipping and trade combined with an international as well as intercultural understanding and practical industry experience.

Each year is structured very differently: you will study at CBS, study abroad, study together with students from other countries and cultures and also spend time as an intern in a shipping company. This unique structure will provide you with a varied and exciting study experience, but it will also be demanding and require a lot of hard work.

  • The first year will give you a broad understanding of international business economics and introduce you to the unique aspects of the shipping industry. You will study some of your courses together with students from our International Business programme.
  • The second year will give you a global perspective on shipping. It will focus on the economic, legal and operational dynamics of the industry. You will spend this year together with students from Singapore Management University, Nanyang Technical University, Singapore, Hong Kong Polytechnics and University of Piraeus, Greece. All students will spend the first half year in Copenhagen, and the second half in Singapore, Hong Kong or Greece.
  • The third year will deepen your academic and analytical skills within maritime economics and management and it will give you considerable practical shipping experience. During this year, you will combine your studies at CBS with an internship in a shipping company. This will give you hands-on experience with shipping operations and enable you to embark on a career in shipping.

Special option during BSc Shipping
On BSc Shipping, you can apply for GLOBAL - Global Supply Chain and Logistics Management. GLOBAL SCLM is a programme focusing on international business, global logistics and supply chain management. The accepted students will spend a semester each in Copenhagen and at two partner universities in China and in Canada.

Learn more about GLOBAL SCLM.

Please note that this option only is available to a very limited number of students.

Hear students share insights about BSc Shipping

Hear students at BSc Shipping share some experiences and their thoughts about the programme.

What you should be interested in

To study BSc Shipping successfully and be happy with the programme it would be useful to be interested in:

  • international trade and global markets
  • the shipping industry on both a strategic and operational level
  • shipping and trade from many different perspectives as the programme encompasses a wide range of topics within business administration and shipping
  • a general interest in politics, economics and the cultures of different countries and regions
Why students chose BSc Shipping
Students at CBS come from all over the world, and all have different backgrounds. Hear students at BSc Shipping share their background, and why they chose to apply for the programme.

Challenges and considerations

BSc shipping has some particular challenges that are important to think about before you choose the programme. How well do these challenges correspond to the sort of person you are, how you like to work and the things you are good at?

Working with people from different backgrounds
BSc Shipping students must be able to adapt and work well with people from very different backgrounds and cultures. During your second year you will study together with American and Singaporean students. During large parts of your third year you will be working together with experienced shipping professionals in an internship. It is therefore a very useful quality to enjoy diversity and be open to other people.

Working analytically and academically
Some students expect BSc Shipping to be very practical in its approach. However, it is important to understand that BSc Shipping is a university programme which will also introduce you to general theories within business administration and expect you to work analytically and academically. You need to be comfortable with this theoretical and analytical approach to studying.

BSc Shipping has a so-called “quarter structure” where you follow two courses for about six weeks before taking your exams in those two courses. Each year of study is divided into four such quarters. Some students enjoy this way of working as it allows them to focus on only two courses and two exams at a time. Others find it challenging because it means that you need to keep up your study discipline all the time and if you have just a couple of weeks where you are not very productive it can be challenging to catch up.

Maths as a tool
In close to half of the mandatory courses in BSc Shipping you will use maths as a tool. You will not use maths that is complicated beyond the entry requirement for the programme, but you need to be comfortable having courses where you use maths and do calculations at a practical level.

Studying in English
If you are not used to studying in English or if you are not a native speaker, we recommend that you read more about what to consider before applying for an English-taught programme. 

See Studying in English on Student Life

Hear a student guidance councellor share some challenges and considerations you should be aware of before applying to BSc Shipping

The study environment

What is it like to study at BSc Shipping?
Listen to students share their thoughts on the international environment at Shipping and the opportunities that comes with it.

Career options and Master's programmes

Competenceies after BSc Shipping
The programme will give you:

You can find more information about what you learn on the programme in the Competence profile for BSc Shipping.

Mater's programmes after BSc Shipping
The clear majority of students from Shipping continue to a two-years master’s programme for a total of five years of study. It is very much the master’s rather than the bachelor programme that determines which career paths that lay open to you. Read more about master’s programmes and career options.

Hear a student guidance counsellor give insights to how you can create your own profile as well as share thoughts on career options and master's programmes.

Entry requirements

English - language requirement A
English - specific entry requirement B with min. 6.0 grade average
(Danish scale)
Mathematics B
Social Studies OR International Economics
OR History of Ideas OR Contemporary History 
Motivational essay Yes - see Selection quotas

Read about entry requirements and how to apply at bachelor admission

Admission statistics
Grade point average 10.1                            
Number of enrolled students 67
Quota 1  / Quota 2 50% / 50%
Applicants (quota 2) 650 (567)
Foreign students 45%
Gender distribution - men / women 69% / 31%
Average age 21,6 year

See Admission Statistics for all bachelor programmes.


Sidst opdateret: Web editor - Student Communications // 18/04/2024