Do you want to know more about the MSc Global Business & Sustainability?
The video below will answer the most frequently asked questions about the programme.
In RSM’s MSc in Global Business & Sustainability programme is one academic year. The courses are designed to provide you with knowledge, skills and attitude for meaningful careers in a new paradigm of business. Core courses are compulsory and will be offered during the autumn semester (26 EC). Master electives (18 EC) are offered during the spring semester, of which one elective can be chosen from another MSc programme. During the year, students work on a master thesis project (16 EC).
The master is part of a globally leading department dedicated to researching the ethics, responsibility and sustainability of organisations nested within society – which is taught directly in the master.
- understand organisations embedded within sustainable socio-ecological systems
- learn tools and frameworks that enable applying knowledge to create sustainability solutions
- challenge the current status-quo and critically ask ‘is this the way things should work?’
- discover how the theory works in practice through with guest lectures, company visits and more so you can create your own new solutions in sustainable business practice.
Please note that core courses and electives are subject to change each academic year. While some electives are very popular and we can place most students in the elective(s) of their choice, there are no guaranteed places.
- Sustainability ethics and sustainable behaviour: reflect on how managers can make moral, sustainable decisions using theories such as normative stakeholder theory, deontology, and environmental ethics.
- Sustainability grand challenges: create new business solutions to tackle a real societal problem, and pitch it to a multi-stakeholder jury.
- Business sustainability and social-ecological systems
- Global business strategies
- Personal career narrative
Our elective portfolio is updated annually to reflect the fast-changing business sustainability landscape, and is closely connected with practice.
- Corporate social investment for positive change
- Managing NGOs
- Sustainable business models
- Cross-sector partnerships
- Social entrepreneurship
- Sustainable finance
- Movement for change
- Organisation-based research project
*Please note that certain electives may be very popular. Although we can place most students in the elective(s) of their choice, there are no guaranteed places.
For a detailed description of all of the courses including electives, please view the course catalogue (for reference only, catalogue continually updated throughout the year).
In the research methodology courses, you will:
- understand the basics of qualitative and quantitative research methods.
- learn skills to design and implement sound research projects in the area of sustainability management.
- learn how to make informed choices about the research methodology to be used for your MSc thesis.
- focus on research design and literature review in this course.
- find your research topic and formulate your research questions.
- explore methodological principles underlying both qualitative and quantitative methods; we will cover research strategies and designs, sampling, common types of data collection methods (interviewing, surveys, and experiments), data analysis, writing, and research ethics.
Research proposal and thesis track
You must pass your research proposal before you can start your master thesis track. The research proposal and thesis track officially starts from January onwards. You’ll have time until mid-March to hand in your research proposals to your coaches and co-readers, and if you receive a pass for it, then you can officially start writing your master thesis.
You can get a taste of working life – from large multinationals to fast-growing start-ups – by applying your new wealth of knowledge to a real company problem during your internship, which is optional in your programme. The RSM Career Centre will support you in finding a suitable position. Many students acquire their first job after graduation from the contacts they make during their internship.
Explore the world and broaden your study experiences by going on international study trips and exchanges at other top schools. RSM has an extensive partner school network of more than 100 business schools and universities worldwide, including top business schools such as ESADE in Barcelona and The Wharton School in the USA. An international exchange is an optional element after you’ve studied for your master for at least one year.
Understanding the social and environmental responsibilities of corporations is a huge benefit and high priority for many corporate recruiters. As an alumnus from RSM’s MSc in GBS, you will know the responsibilities and agenda of every general and strategic manager within for-profit and non-profit organisations.
Many graduates find positions within multinational firms and organisations, partially thanks to relationships they have developed with representatives from the world of business – as well as peers – during the programme’s corporate and other networking events.
Here’s where GBS alumni work:
- around 60% work in the private sector or founded their own company
- 25% work for governments
- 15% work for non-profit or non-governmental organisations (NGOs) or have founded their own NGO.
You could manage relationships with international governmental authorities, estimate risk profiles for country investments, be a policy maker, be a consultant in sustainability or ethical trading, audit responsible investments, and much more.
Here are some examples of positions held by our graduates:
- international manager
- portfolio manager in public utilities corporations (water, energy)
- product development manager
- investigative journalist
- controller/auditor in large multinational enterprises
- ethical investor
- CSR manager or ethics officer
- corporate communications manager
- policymaker for government or international organisations
- regulator, for example in food safety and security
- professional manager in non-profit organisations.
Non-EEA nationals who have earned a diploma from a higher education institute in the Netherlands can apply for a special residence permit called the orientation year after completing their studies. The 'Orientation Year for Graduates Seeking Employment' is a residence permit aimed at retaining foreign talent for the Dutch labour market. During this orientation year you are free to work without a work permit. Participants who find a job during this period can change their orientation year into a residence permit for Highly Skilled Migrants under more favourable terms.
For the most up-to-date information please visit the following website.
What's next after your studies? The RSM Career Centre is your guide for an impactful career. Its expertise in the labour market, personal branding and connections with employers will prepare you for your business career. Get ready for some exciting job fairs, workshops, speed interviews and coaching. You may land your first internship or job before you even graduate!
You’re a member of the RSM community from Day 1. After you graduate, you’ll also be a member of the RSM alumni network. The countless benefits include networking events worldwide with local chapters, lifelong learning and professional development, mentoring opportunities and access to the latest business knowledge and research. Your study at RSM is the first step towards being part of this inspiring community that you’ll be part of forever.
Studying at RSM
Fees & scholarships
The 2024-2025 tuition fee for the MSc programmes is approximately €22,500 for non-EEA students. The Dutch government contributes towards this cost for students who hold a nationality from a country belonging to the European Economic Area(EEA). These students therefore only pay the statutory fee €2,530 in 2024-2025.
For EEA nationals who have already completed a master in the Netherlands (and obtained the diploma) the tuition fee for a 2nd master is approximately €13,200.
Please note that all these tuition fee tariffs are subject to change.
There are other costs associated with the Master programmes, for more information please review the “Other expenses” section below thoroughly.
The number of scholarships is limited and mainly merit based. If a scholarship covers only the tuition fees, be aware that you need to finance your own living expenses (rent, food and insurances) for the duration of your studies. RSM does not offer scholarships for the pre-master programme. We do however offer a maximum of 2 scholarships per academic year to RSM pre-master students enrolling in an MSc programme.
Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) offers multiple scholarships to prospective students from non-EEA countries who are not entitled to pay the EEA tuition fee, provided their grades are considered ‘excellent’. RSM also offers one scholarship, the Erasmus Trustfonds Scholarship, to students from EEA countries.
Besides scholarships awarded by RSM, there are also scholarships awarded by the Dutch government or other organisations that are available if you meet certain criteria such as nationality, age, etc We have listed some of them below but we encourage you to use resources such as Grantfinder or the Scholarship Portal to find additional scholarships.
- G&D Europe Scholarship
- NN Future Matters Scholarship
- Russia: The Global Education Programme
- Contact the Ministry for Higher Education in your home country to see whether there are scholarship options.
- We have virtual information session covering all you need to know about scholarships and financial aid. Watch it here.
After having filled in all of the necessary application information on the Online Application Form (OLAF) and uploaded the required documents, applicants with a degree obtained outside the Netherlands will be asked to pay a non-refundable €100 handling fee. This fee can be paid online via the Erasmus Payment System which uses either iDEAL (for those with a Dutch bank account) or PayPal (which can be linked to any bank account or credit card worldwide). It is important that applicants complete the payment process as indicated, otherwise the system cannot register the payment.
The additional expenses in addition to tuition and general living costs (see below) vary per programme and may include:
- Study materials such as books, readers and business cases
- Costs involved in kick-off meetings
- Costs related to travel, international excursions and compulsory exchange semesters or internships abroad
For a reasonable standard of living in the Netherlands, you should have an income of between €1,000-€1,600 per month depending on your lifestyle. Further information about the costs of living in the Netherlands and related subjects can be found on this website. Below is an example of monthly expenditures:
|Furnished accommodation, including gas and electricity||€ 500-900|
|Medical insurance||€ 50|
|Food||€ 200 - 300|
|Books, recreation, clothing||€ 200 - 300|
|Public Transportation||€ 50|
|Total||€ average 1000 - 1625|
|Other potential expenses:|
|Buying or renting a bike||€ 100 - 250 (for the full 3 years)|
|In private residence (not student housing) yearly municipal and water taxes||€ 100 - 300 (per year)|
Please ensure, prior to your arrival at RSM, that you have or will have sufficient funding available to finance your stay at RSM. Finding a part-time job, may be an option, but can not be guaranteed. You should therefore not rely on finding other ways to supplement your income during your studies. For additional information on obtaining a part-time job, visit the website of the Nuffic.
For EEA students there are no formal restrictions in finding work in the Netherlands, but students with a lack of Dutch language skills will find it difficult to secure employment. Non-EEA students are subject to labour regulations, which makes the likelihood of obtaining a work permit very small. We therefore ask students not to rely on this possibility. We do not encourage students to combine studies with the heavy workload from a part-time job.
Admission & application
Application for the September 2024 intake opened 1 October. This is a capped programme, which means that the maximum number of applications we accept is 400. The application form will remain open until 15 May or until the maximum number of applications has been submitted (whichever comes first).
Immigration & housing
Immigration & visas
Find out everything you need to know about entry visas & residence permits for non-EU or EEA students at RSM.
Finding housing in Rotterdam can be tricky. To help you in your search for housing, we have compiled some helpful resources