The RSM MSc in Global Business & Sustainability programme is one academic year’s duration. 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).
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.
View all core courses below:
Our world is facing severe global social and environmental challenges. Human population is growing, while the resource base it relies on for wellbeing continues to decline. We have surpassed the ecological thresholds of some of the planetary boundaries that govern a safe space for humanity, while others are being encroached with short windows of opportunity for solutions. Basic needs of many of the world’s people remain unmet, while inequality has grown to the extent that the world’s richest 62 people are worth more than the poorest 50% of the world’s global population.
Sustainability has now long been a boardroom agenda, yet our ecological systems continue to degrade and many social issues remain unresolved. The reality check for business leadership is that nine billion people simply cannot live well in this world if companies do not start finding new solutions to co-create a safe operating space for humanity. In this course we consider how business leaders are taking this challenge seriously.
The goal of this course is to broaden participants’ understanding of sustainability, allowing for a holistic recognition of the interconnectivity of issues and their impacts on the future of business. Participants will learn the basics concepts of corporate sustainability and the meaning of ‘true corporate sustainability’ from a holistic and embedded perspective. The course engages with how and why companies form sustainability strategies and considers how an embedded perspective can be achieved through tools such as the planetary boundaries framework. Participants will be immersed in how strategies may be implemented through a range of the contemporary advancements in sustainability leadership such as sustainable business models, integrated reporting and the circular economy.
Students should attend and actively participate in the classes. Students are expected to engage in class discussions, ask questions of speakers, and demonstrate involvement with group exercises.
Taught by Dr S.P. Kennedy.
This Master course is primarily aimed at understanding the global strategic and corporate perspective of sustainability issues. The course focuses on the global issues that affect, and are affected, by business. While the first core course provided deeper insight in particular on worldwide (ecological) issues, this second core course considers the international business and international management side more directly – so in particular social and economic sustainability issues will also be taken into account. Global issues are portrayed as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They will take a more prominent role in this course. Moving abroad and managing across borders can be a very profitable exercise for firms. It, however, is also surrounded by considerable risks. This course focuses on the logic behind the strategies of multinational corporations (MNCs) in order to assess the strengths and weaknesses of particular strategies, and the management of international operations. How do, or can, MNCs manage across borders, and what determines their performance? What motives are relevant and how can intentions become realities? Beyond a focus on profitability, we consider broader performance implications in how MNCs either contain negative reputation effects that stem from their operations, or develop a positive image due to the way they handle the manifold issues appearing in front of them, from handling corrupt regimes and dealing with currency instability, to developing solutions for major issues like poverty, neglected diseases, catastrophes or hunger.
Taught by Prof. Dr R.J.M. van Tulder.
With the global population growing to 9.7 billion people, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development forecasts that if organizations do not drastically revise their way of doing business, humanity will be consuming the ecological resources of 2.3 earths in 2050. To avert the disaster that would ensue, organizations need to foster sustainable development by helping to meet the needs of the present generation without compromising the needs of future generations. This requires a focus not only on economic, but also on environmental and social performance.
Such a focus is not self-evident. Think of high-profile scandals such as the Enron, Worldcom, and Parmalat debacles, not to mention the global banking crisis. The economic, social, and environmental consequences of such drastic, moral transgressions may be so profound that they potentially nullify any sustainable development. Yet even for the many organizational members—CEOs and employees alike—that do embrace sustainability, dilemmas and challenges arise: When should environmental outcomes prevail over social outcomes? How much should we rely on technological solutions? How can we and our stakeholders bridge the gap between good intentions and good behavior? These issues show that sustainability and ethics go hand in hand, and that both present and future business leaders need to embody both.
This course offers a broad, psychological and philosophical perspective on sustainable, moral behaviour in business. How can such behaviour be encouraged in employees, in CEOs, in organizations as a whole, and in their stakeholders? Conversely, how can unsustainable, immoral behaviour be averted? Such questions will be discussed in the context of, among others, normative stakeholder theory, greenwashing, green consumerism, social dilemmas, environmental ethics, and moral development and sustainable values in individuals and organizations.
This course emphasizes linking theory, research and practice, and therefore so do the course assignments. As a first assignment, you and your research team will therefore either (a) carry out a quantitative, applied research project on a topic relevant to sustainability and ethics, or (b) conduct research using CSR-reporting from companies either to identify and provide solutions for moral challenges that these companies are facing or to evaluate the fairness of the criteria used by an NGO that ranks brands on sustainability (depending on whether collaboration with this NGO remains possible). Both assignments will allow you to further apply theory and literature on sustainability and ethics, as well as to subject your own ideas to (empirical) scrutiny, and to communicate your findings concisely, accurately, clearly and straightforwardly in a paper of 2500 words maximum. You and your team will also present your research to your fellow students, allowing you to further practice communicating your ideas.
The second assignment consists of an individual 1000-word essay where you will reflect on material from at least two different lectures. This gives you the opportunity to creatively process the course material. Perhaps you see previously unimagined potential in some of the theories discussed in the lectures, allowing you to propose brand new applications for sustainable development in business. Perhaps you see ways to improve existing theories and make them more relevant to practice. Or perhaps you are skeptical of certain theories, the link between theory and practice, or the value of the empirical research discussed in the lectures.
This course consists of six lectures, two consultation sessions, and one presentation session. Active participation during the lectures may count toward one’s final grade.
This course focuses on the sustainability grand challenges of our times. Sustainability grand challenges can refer to environmental or ecological problems as well as social problems. Examples include climate change, land degradation and natural disasters or global displacement, poverty and inequality. Grand challenges are global problems that require combined efforts and new innovative approaches to better understand, harness, and tackle them.
In this course, you will collaborate to analyze a sustainability grand challenge and formulate ‘solutions’ by engaging multiple partners and by thinking out-of-the-box. Specifically, you work together to create a novel and (commercially) viable solution to a real-world grand challenge. The main learning goal of this course is to understand and harness a grand challenge.
You will work individually as well as in teams and under significant time pressures to analyze the grand challenge and jointly formulate a credible and feasible ‘solution’. You will individually demonstrate your understanding of the grand challenge with an individual essay and by reviewing one of your peers, and jointly develop and assess a solution in a group report. You will present the solution in the group report to a multi-stakeholder jury at the end of the course. Your groups will need to apply your learning of structuring and delivery of a message in time-restricted and context-sensitive ‘pitching’ format for this presentation.
Taught by S. Fleuren and Dr C.M. Serres.
The course consists of 4 different parts.
Part 1: Interview strategy, your story, your aspirations
During the 1st lecture, we will develop the concept of strategy for a job interview and explore one of its key components: how to tell your introduction story. In the associated homework assignment, you will reflect on your motivations, strengths and personality traits to try & articulate a possible career direction - all of which should be the basis for the other part of the assignment: a first draft of your introduction story.
Part 2: Tell me about a time when...
In the 2nd lecture, we will explore how to recount in story-like manner your meaningful personal and professional experiences. In the associated 2nd and 3rd assignments you will develop a portfolio of powerful stories that you can share as you navigate through your job search and the recruitment process.
Part 3: Networking
In the 3rd lecture, we will explore various high impact tools to help you build your network by connect with unknown people eager to help. You will learn how to reach out and how to conduct impactful conversations with them so that you can get advice from them and learn about the market and opportunities. In the associated assignments you will develop a list of target organizations, conduct a networking conversation with a “mentor” and learn how to reach out to strangers to ask for help.
Part 4: Interview strategy (continued)
In the final lecture, we will complete our exploration of interview strategies. In particular, you will learn about the non-story aspects of job interviews. In the associated assignment you will develop an interview strategy for a potential interview with one of your target employers.
Taught by N. Constantinescu.
All electives are listed below:
With the Circular Economy elective, you are taking the next step in sustainability strategies.
Where most sustainability strategies today still focus on reducing a company’s negative footprint, in this course we will also look at making a pósitive footprint.
Academically, this can be referred to as ‘regenerative sustainable development’. For business it means: instead of adding a burden to doing business as usual, we’re implementing a positive agenda to company strategies, business partnerships and customer relationships.
An exiting and existing example is paint that cleans the air (produced by AkzoNobel), and during this course, we will look at several other examples in the market today and discuss concepts for the future. We will look into the business benefits ánd obstacles of implementing these alternative project and/or company strategies.
Would you prefer to make a great business out of contributing to society and the environment, rather than just postponing the damage a company has on the environment or people? Then you are welcome to step into the Triple Top Line paradigm; the core of our theories and practice.
You are happily invited to step forward with a daring proposal for your roadmap assignment, fiery debates in the lectures and bold ideas during the exercises.
Taught by D. den Held.
From coffee to cellphones, the production and exchange of goods and services has never been more interconnected and dynamic than it is today. The liberalization and deregulation of international trade and investment, alongside IT development, have greatly contributed to the globalization and consequent fragmentation of production and consumption processes throughout countries. The pressure on companies to take their social responsibility –beyond their primary suppliers - has increased. Companies are increasingly viewed as responsible for sustainability and resilience both within the organization as well as in its wider ecosystem of suppliers and customers. In this course we explore the history and drivers of global value chain development and the role of companies in this process.
Global value chains and value chain approaches are perceived to fulfil an essential role in realizing the SDGs. Value chain approaches, including governance, integration and upgrading, have become important instruments for various stakeholders throughout the globe to create win-win linkages among value chain participants to increase efficiency and scale, enhance value-chain performance, and promote market-based development. Entry into global value chains is perceived to allow small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to participate in and reap the fruits of the global economy. During the course we will learn to understand a global value chain approach and analyse the role of various actors alongside companies, including international organizations and governments, in global value chains.
Despite the promising role of global value chains in spurring (local) development, their positive impact is not uncontested. How the benefits of value chain participation are distributed depends to a large extent on the conditions under which different actors interact. Participation in global value chains may lead to erosion of labour welfare and breakdown in social cohesion. Global trade spurs transportation, pollution and waste generation, thereby contributing to environmental degradation. There is furthermore the risk of widening economic gaps between countries, while global value chain participation might increase an economy’s vulnerability to external shocks. And although value chain participation has the potential to spur local development, Bottom-of-the-Pyramid (BoP) inclusion is by no means guaranteed. During the course we therefore critically analyze global value chain approaches as ways forward to achieve sustainability and local development.
‘Global value chains and local development’ focuses on explaining the historical development and key characteristics of global value chains, mapping different types of value chains and what this means for lead companies as ‘agents of change’, and understanding value chain approaches including governance and upgrading. Furthermore, during the course we will critically analyze the impact for different players, including stimulating economic growth, improving industry competitiveness, and realizing local development.
This course is offered to you by the Partnerships Resource Centre (PrC), a specialist research centre at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University. The PrC has the objective to connect science and practice. Linking theoretical knowledge to practical problems, experiences and phenomena is therefore one of the key principles of this course.
Taught by Dr M. Faling.
Nowadays, in many countries the power of government is fading. Governments have failed to solve social issues and have diminished in scope. In addition, we do not only look to government anymore to solve the social issues of our time, use ally. New parties are playing an increasingly decisive role in the political and social arenas: Non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
What is often forgotten as an important actor in society is the civil society sphere in which philanthropic nongovernmental and non-profit organizations are active. These organizations often focus on societal issues, such as the need for distributing medical care for those who have little access to it, to reduce poverty, reduce emissions, save the whales or advocate for human rights. Many of them are focused upon advocating governments and businesses to take their responsibilities. Others are collaborating with these organizations to gain additional resources. Just like business and governments, the context in which these NPOs and NGOs operate is very diverse (maybe even more diverse!). Just like for-profit organizations, many different types of NPOs and NGOs exist. Just like for-profit organizations, these organizations serve a mission and have their particular strategies. As such, just like for-profit organizations, these organizations need to be managed properly in order to achieve their goals. In this course, you will see however, that the way in which these organizations are managed, is completely different than in the for-profit or governmental sector.
During the elective, you will be provided with a theoretical and practical background of the management of philanthropic, non-profit and nongovernmental organizations. During a number of guest lectures, organizations will provide an insight into the management of their NPO or NGO. During these lectures, specific themes within management of philanthropic organizations are highlighted and investigated. Moreover, fieldtrips to NPOs/NGOs will be arranged for you to be able to take a look into what really happens at these organisations.
The research notes will prepare you for the lectures and assignments. The individual assignment will teach you to actively connect research and practice based up on pragmatic real-life issues of NPOs/NGOs. With your group, you will create your own (fictional) NPO/NGO based on a real-life issue of your choice.
Taught by A. Turkenburg, MSc.
The growing importance of sustainable business models
Corporate leaders from smaller as well as larger companies, as start-ups as well as big corporates, are nowadays searching for new and more innovative value propositions that can be linked to more future looking and crisis resilient business models. Partly the search is for rejuvenating existing business models, but increasingly the business models introduced are a response to a society that is considered non-sustainable. Enter: the search for sustainable business models. In the literature this tendency is also referred to as ‘shared value creation’, ‘social innovation’ or ‘business model innovation’. Many synonyms are introduced for this ambition. Most of them look at societal issues from a business model (micro level: how to organise it) as well as from a societal level (macro level: what positive consequences will we have from the wide-spread introduction of the business model).
Taught by Prof. Dr R. van Tulder.
Many practitioners and academics alike argue that complex societal challenges, including sustainable development, require collaborative processes between different sectors of society (state, market and civil society). Cross-sector partnerships are therefore an important part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda and even have their own goal: the 17th SDG is to ‘strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development’. Despite all the positive rhetoric on cross-sector partnerships, critical voices point to their limited success in addressing the systemic causes underlying the severe sustainability challenges of our times. In this course, participants are encouraged to critically analyze the concept of cross-sector partnerships, their role in sustainable development and their possible impact and frailties. As such, the course builds specifically on the core courses Sustainability Grand Challenges and Global Business Strategies, where collaboration for sustainability is introduced. This course, however, focuses on cross-sector partnerships not necessarily from a business perspective, but rather from a multi-actor perspective.
In the course, participants are stimulated to critically look at the drivers of cross-sector partnerships, explore different types of cross-sector partnerships and the process of navigating these, carefully assess the interlinkages between partnerships and sustainable development, and look at partnerships as new forms of governance and at related issues of legitimacy and democracy. An important element of this course is the link between theoretical concepts and their practical relevance and case studies therefore play an important role. This course is developed and taught by staff of the Partnerships Resource Centre (PrC), a specialist research center at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University. The PrC connects scientifically sound research and practitioner experience of cross-sector partnerships to aid sustainable and inclusive development.
Taught by Dr A.M. Schouten.
Climate change is one of today’s most pressing issues, receiving international attention from political leaders, corporations, the media, advocacy groups, and the general public. In the future, it is likely to become even more pressing as the effects of climate change intensify resource competition, natural disasters, disease vectors, water and food scarcity, and refugee migration.
According to Sir Nicholas Stern, former chief economist of the World Bank, the impact of climate change is likely to change the international business environment dramatically. However, the business relevance of climate change is insufficiently understood by future decision makers in international management and society.
We believe that tomorrow’s business leaders should be educated on the key elements of climate change – the science, the evolving policy, and role of business. They can become an essential part of the solution, but only if equipped with a sound understanding of the challenges at hand and the processes by which new policies are constructed.
The Climate Change Strategy course and its Model United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) form an innovative educational approach to closing this knowledge gap. Our goal is to broaden students' understanding of climate change, climate policy, and their impacts on the future of business.
The course modules deal with the core issues of climate change and include a wide range of effective didactic tools and exercises. Students are given a deeper understanding of the background and consequences of climate change for business, and of corporate responses to it. Special emphasis is laid on international and national regulatory frameworks, and on emerging resource challenges and market opportunities. Furthermore, the course will provide students with an opportunity to develop a broad set of personal skills such as negotiation, forming strategy, research, public speaking and debating.
The 2021 edition of the course will be simultaneously offered at eight leading CEMS universities and culminates in a two-day UNFCCC simulation event at one of the business schools. Students will be using the 2015 Paris Agreement created at COP21 and be simulating the upcoming COP27. Negotiations will seek to enhance the current Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) of countries and work out details of how the new mechanisms and funds will function. The big challenge is how to improve the current commitments to be in line with the universally agreed target of limiting global temperature rise to ‘well-below 2 degrees’.
Students will negotiate on issues such as mitigation of greenhouse gases (new voluntary targets, financing and compliance), adaptation to climate change (financing, climate change refugees, technology transfer), and market mechanisms (sustainable development mechanism, REDD+, aviation and shipping).
Students should attend and actively participate in the classes. Students are expected to engage in class discussions, ask questions of speakers, and demonstrate involvement with group exercises.
Review the course guide for more details.
Taught by Dr S.P. Kennedy.
Social entrepreneurship is an emerging field of academic study and real-world practice. At its core, social entrepreneurship pertains the combination of market-based and nonprofit approaches to solve social issues, a feat social entrepreneurs achieve by combining the knowledge and skills used in traditional business with a passionate commitment to having a meaningful and sustainable social impact. By combining insights from the academic literature with real cases and scenarios, the course will introduce students to both theory and practice of social entrepreneurship.
Each week, the course will focus on one important aspect or theme of social entrepreneurship, through two types of lectures: a “theoretical” lecture and a “workshop”.
- “Theoretical” lectures will compose the first appointment of each one of the six weeks of the course. These lectures will take the form of traditional frontal lectures where the lecturer will cover the material related to the week’s topic.
- “Workshop” lectures will instead compose the second appointment of each week and will focus on interweaving the theoretical content covered in previous lectures with real case scenarios and practical exercises. Such lectures will be interactive in nature, with in-class exercises (both individual and in groups), case-studies, and contributions from guest practitioners.
The six weeks of the course will cover the following topics
- Week 1. Social Entrepreneurship: definition and characteristics
- Week 2. Social entrepreneurs and opportunities recognition
- Week 3. Hybrid business models for social enterprises
- Week 4. Scaling impact in social entrepreneurship
- Week 5. Evaluating social impact
- Week 6. Group projects final presentations
Taught by Dr P. Versari.
This course provides insight in the sustainability challenges and the link to finance. The main task of the financial system is to allocate funding to its most productive use. Traditional finance focuses on financial return and regards the financial sector as separate from the society of which it is part and the environment in which it is embedded. By contrast, sustainable finance considers financial, social, and environmental returns in combination and shows how finance can accelerate the transition to a low-carbon, inclusive economy.
The course reviews evidence that environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors matter and explains in detail how to incorporate these in company business models and strategies, equity investing, bond investing, and bank lending. The course examines the financial instruments and techniques that can be applied in the context of evolving climate policies (and other sustainability policies). The tools will be applied in a group assignment on the valuation of a company based on ESG factors.
Taught by Prof. D. Schoenmaker.
The statistics are very clear and pressing: if we want to reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we still have a funding gap of a $ 2.5 trillion annually. We therefore need to find other ways to invest in the SDGs and to scale the impact as merely financial resources will not suffice. An increasingly relevant player in this field are Corporate Social Investors (CSIs); e.g. corporate foundations, corporate social impact funds and corporate social accelerators.
Why? Because these CSIs operate in between the business and the ultimate beneficiary and are in the unique position to leverage corporate resources such as financial means, products, services, technology and the corporate network for the public good. As companies realize that by only pursuing commercial strategies, our wicked problems will not be resolved, an increasing number of companies are implementing non-commercial strategies to contribute to society.
Indeed, CSI’s are formalized in a separate legal structure to safeguard that they put social impact at the core of their activities rather than financial return. As such, CSIs are aimed at “transforming patterns of thought, behaviour, social relationships, institutions, and social structure to generate beneficial outcomes for individuals, communities, organisations, society, and/or the environment beyond the benefits for the instigators of such transformation” (Stephan et al., 2016, p. 1252; italics added).
The aim of this course is to introduce students to Corporate Social Investments where social impact is at the core of the activities, rather than the financial return. We will discuss why companies pursue this strategy and why they set up these organizational structures. What is the role of these CSIs in society? What are their strategies? What can they do that the company cannot? And, how are these Corporate Social Investors managed efficiently and effectively?
The course has six modules:
Module 1: Introduction and Corporate Social Investors in Europe
Module 2: Impact Only, Impact first or Finance First?
Module 3: Governance and management
Module 4: Non-financial support
Module 5: CSI and non-profit collaboration
Module 6: Contemporary modes of corporate social investments.
In each module, we will be joined by an expert from the field. Guest lecturers in 2021 will include representatives of Ikea Social Entrepreneurship, the Carlsberg Foundation, NN group, and Human Safety Net among others.
Taught by P. Hendriks, MSc.
Movement for Change: Social Movements and Collective Action in and around Organizations towards a Sustainable World
More information to be announced.
GBS students have the opportunity to do a practical research internship at an organization (minimum of 168 hours) and replacing an elective course. Any elective block may be selected.
The company-based project should seek to contribute to the knowledge of a practitioner, e.g. a manager or policy officer within an organization. Important aspect is that the practitioner should need the developed knowledge to act upon. The research should not be related to the thesis, UNLESS it qualifies as an additional data collection method. It must be clear that the CBRP is a separate project that cannot be used as an integral part of the thesis, is can only be used as input for a separate analysis for the thesis.
If a student opts for a Company-based Research Project one of the electives can be substituted which counts for 6 ECTS. This will give them the opportunity to work exclusively within the company for a period of 7 weeks. Research internships may be agreed for a longer period of time, but a minimum of 168 hours is expected and a maximum of 6 ECTS is credited. A list of available Company-Based Projects can be found through RSM Career Services or occasionally directly through the professors. Students are also welcomed to contact companies directly.
THIS ELECTIVE COUNTS AS A FREE ELECTIVE FOR GBS STUDENTS ONLY. In order to graduate you MUST complete at least two other GBS programme electives! Please do not select this elective if you have not signed a contract yet. You can use the switch weeks to change to this elective after you have signed.
In many countries and industries, sustainability accounting is now acknowledged as an essential process of business operation where companies develop measures for their environmental, social, and governance performances; ensure their reliability; report to stakeholders; and assist managers in making critical decisions for their companies and society. However, adopting and implementing such a complex managerial system has become more and more challenging as the demand from stakeholders for responsible business has grown substantially during the past decades as well. This course offers a comprehensive overview of managerial processes involved in sustainability accountability. Students will learn basic concepts, theories and practices and be given opportunities to apply their knowledge and critical thinking to evaluating sustainability reports and standards.
Taught by Dr J. Choi.
The Sustainable and Equitable Food Stategies (SEFS) course aims at applying a transdisciplinary approach to answer wicked problems in global food sector, with a blend of life sciences such as biology, chemistry, technology, and social sciences, such as communication, economy and management. The ultimate goal is to help students in discovering the origin, the taste and the nutritional value of our food supply, as well as understanding the interactions between the actors of "global food chain" (such as governments, international institutions, local market/producers, the big food corporations and supermarket chains) that shape our diets. Sustainability of the food production and consumption will be analyzed from United Nation’s Sustainability Goals, taking both environmental and social aspects into consideration.
The course draws on using a problem-oriented project-work approach by implementing action learning techniques, as well as social media engagement through personal food journals and business case assessments, with a particular focus on corporate social responsibility and responsible citizenship. Major themes include the nutritional, sustainable and equitable properties of food, transformations in food industry and global regulations, and the interactions between food processing, diets and health. Particular attention will be dedicated to DIY sustainability of food that will be tackled from different perspectives, such as healthy dietary patterns, environmental impact of food production (e.g. organic vs industrial food; processed/non processed food; animal based vs plant-based food) and societal drawbacks (food security and the fight against malnutrition). In order to realize this ambition, the course will collaborate with Erasmus Food Lab for cooking workshops and with Campus Garden for gardening workshops where all theoretical knowledge will be put into practice, together with students and sustainable food and agriculture practitioners.
Taught by Dr S. Mugnai.
This course will provide students with an understanding on the basics of qualitative and quantitative research methods, as well as the skills to design, conduct and analyze a research study. The overall aim of the course is to provide students with insights and skills to make informed choices regarding the research design to be used for their MSc thesis. The course is structured to coincide with work on the thesis.
In this course we provide an overview of methodological principles underlying both qualitative and quantitative methods. We will cover the following topics: reviewing the literature, formulating research questions, research strategies and designs, sampling, common types of data collection methods (interviewing, surveys, and experiments), data analysis, writing, and research ethics.
Note: In continuation of this course, students will do a second course (Research Methodology II) that consists of workshops that they can pick based on what methods they need for their thesis. These workshops will take place from February to May 2022.
Review the course guide for more details.
This course consists of a series of workshops on specific qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis methods, such as interviews, experiments, surveys, qualitative coding, and statistical hypothesis testing. In principle, all workshops are offered multiple times, so that students can follow them when at a time that matches with the progress in your thesis project. Students are expected to follow, and actively participate in, at least two of these workshops, depending on the methods they will be using in their thesis research.
Review the course guide for more details.
In order to start the Master Thesis Track, students need to pass their Research Proposal. From January onwards the Research Proposal and Thesis Track officially starts.
Students will have time until mid-March to hand in their Research Proposals to their coaches and co-readers, and only if they receive a pass for it, they can officially start writing their Master Thesis.
Note regarding taking courses if you are not an RSM master student: RSM does not offer the possibility for non-RSM students (master or otherwise) to take RSM MSc courses outside of official exchange partnerships or other inter-faculty agreements. If you are interested in learning more about corporate social responsibility, sustainability, or business ethics, please refer to our Open Programmes section.
For more information on all international opportunities offered at RSM, visit the website of our International Office.
Internship and jobs
More than 75 % of corporate recruiters have said the most important criteria in choosing graduates is whether or not they understand the social and environmental responsibilities of corporations. The MSc in GBS covers the responsibilities and agenda of every general and strategic manager within for-profit and non-profit organisations. As such, the programme prepares you for any position in which generalists are required. Our experience indicates that around 60% of our alumni got jobs in the private sector or founded their own company; 25% work for government; 15% for non-profit or non-governmental organisations (NGOs) or have founded their own NGO.
Positions held by some of our graduates:
- Corporate communications manager; manager of external relations
- International manager: managing relationships with international governmental authorities, estimating risk profiles for country investments, entry strategies, lobbying strategies and tax regimes
- Portfolio manager in public utilities corporations (water, energy)
- Product development: design and testing of new trademarks
- Entrepreneur: a number of graduates have set up their own business and/or NGO
- Journalist: investigative journalist at a number of international and national journals
- Controller/auditor in large multinational enterprise such as Akzo, DSM, or Shell checking for correct implementation of codes and governance principles
- Ethical investor: jobs at the largest institutional investors like PGGM or Robeco that are looking at ‘responsible investment’
- CSR manager or ethics officer
- Consultant in a variety of areas: privatisation, public-private partnerships, development co-operation, ethical trading, forensic accounting and integrity.
- Policymaker for local and national ministries; Economic Affairs, Foreign Affairs; Port of Rotterdam, provincial authorities; international organisations (Unctad, European Union, World Bank).
- Regulator: Researching in support of a variety of regulatory bodies in financial markets, telecommunication, competition policy, food safety and security.
- Professional manager in non-profit organisations such as Greenpeace, Amnesty International, labour organisations, Oxfam, Fair Trade organisations and the Red Cross.
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 website of the Nuffic.
Many students 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. Students applying for jobs in their home countries are equipped with knowledge and skills to take with them.
Find the Employment Factsheet for your MSc programme here.
You can read more about our graduates and their career progress from their public LinkedIn profiles.
Tip: you can see more of our graduates’ profile information if you are not signed in to your LinkedIn account. Sign out of LinkedIn, then click the links.
Matthijs van Huijgevoort
Philine van Overbeeke
Richa van Zoelen
MSc employment report
Studying at RSM
The RSM Experience
Education for life
Studying at RSM will be a life-changing experience. Your master degree will prepare you for a fulfilling professional life as a capable, self-assured individual. It will make you valuable to business and attractive to employers because it teaches you skills that make the most of your innovative mind. You will be challenged in and outside of the classroom, and you will gain an education based on the latest developments in business. Your master degree from RSM will include RSM’s promise of life-long learning, and membership of the more than 40,000-strong alumni network that is present in more than 110 countries which hosts activities and events all over the world.
Open intellectual culture
Your education at RSM is valuable. You will learn from academics who produce the highest quality research and the most innovative management thinking. In the classroom, sharing and questioning opinions is encouraged – yours and those of your fellow students, as well as the professors’. Many of RSM’s faculty members are young and passionate professors and researchers with outstanding academic credentials. Their work is published in top international management journals.
Professors’ doors are always open for students who have questions, projects or ideas. Depending on the study programme, students have different opportunities to tailor their programme. This can, for example, take the form of a minors course, an internship, an exchange at one of over 160 partner schools worldwide, elective choices, the participation in a consulting project with a company or public sector organisation, or a thesis project in their specific area of interest. RSM’s strong links with local and international businesses and organisations offer opportunities for practical projects and real-life collaborations.
Rotterdam, a future-oriented city
Living and studying in Rotterdam has never been better. Rotterdam is home to one of the largest and busiest ports in the world and many multinational companies have their headquarters here. The city is famous for its stunning modern architecture, such as the Centraal Station or its covered food market, the Markthal. At the same time, the city authorities are forward-thinking in improving its liveability. There’s no shortage of restaurants, museums and theatres, yet Rotterdam is still an extremely student-friendly city with plenty of affordable student housing, and a bustling nightlife that includes events organised by students associations.
Find out more about life in the city of Rotterdam.
GBS Master Study Club
Explore the campus
Life in the city
Coming from abroad
Fees & Scholarships
The combination of affordable tuition fees and living costs together with quality education and an excellent global reputation make a Masters degree at RSM a clever investment.
Tuition fees 2022-2023
The 2022-2023 tuition fee for the MSc programmes is approximately €20,700 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 of €2,209 in 2022-2023.
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 €12,000.
The MSc International Management - CEMS (18 months) is a longer programme, for which the tuition fee will have to be paid for the duration of the programme. The expected tuition fee for the 18-month MSc International Management - CEMS programme is €31,050 for non-EEA students and €3,314 for EEA students.
Please note that all these tuition fee tariffs are subject to change.
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 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 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 approximately €1,000 per month or €12,000 per year (excluding the tuition fee). Here is an example of monthly expenditure:
- Furnished Accommodation, including gas and electricity €525
- Medical insurance €50
- Telephone €25
- Food €200
- Books, recreation, clothing, public transport, etc. €200
Total costs per month €1,000
Study and work - part-time jobs
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.
The application for all programmes starting September 2022 are closed. The application for September 2023 will open 1 October.
Programme deadline 15 May or earlier if the programme reaches maximum capacity. This is a capped programme, which means that the maximum number of applications we accept is 495. The application form will remain open until 15 May or until the maximum number of applications has been submitted (whichever comes first).
Important immigration information for NON EU/EEA Full-time BScIBA and MSc students
Depending on your nationality, you might need an Entry Visa and / or Residence Permit for the Netherlands, issued by the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND). Students can only apply for an Entry Visa and / or Residence Permit through the RSM/ Erasmus University. Only with a valid Entry Visa and / or Residence Permit you are allowed to study at RSM/ Erasmus University.
Needless to say that RSM/ Erasmus University is not the institution that determines the requirements. The IND is the official governmental body that sets the rules and procedures.
Full-time BScIBA and MSc students who accepted their offer and hold a passport from an EU/EEA country do not need to apply for an Entry Visa and / or Residence Permit.
Full-time BScIBA and MSc students who accepted their conditional or unconditional offer and have a nationality and hold a passport of one of the following countries: Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, South Korea, USA or Vatican State.
Full-time BScIBA and MSc students who accepted their conditional or unconditional offer, have a nationality and hold a passport of one of the countries mentioned in Group III and IV. This procedure also applies to students with a Surinamese nationality.
Note for Chinese students
Obtain a Nuffic Certificate : All Chinese students (with the exception of students from Hong Kong, Taiwan and students with a British Overseas Nationality) must register with EP-Nuffic for a ‘Nuffic Certificate’ before their immigration application can be started. The certificate is a document providing an assessment of your English language proficiency and of the authenticity of your educational degrees and diplomas. For more information, see the Nuffic website
Validity Entry Visa
An Entry Visa is valid for 90 days (counted from the day that you pick up your Entry Visa).
Validity Residence Permit
A Residence Permit is valid for the duration of your study plus three extra months. This means that you do not have to apply for an extension after one year.
I already have a Residence Permit for another EU/EEA Country
NON-EU/EEA students holding a (permanent or temporary) valid Residence Permit (e.g. for study purposes) for another EU/EEA Country no longer need to apply for an Entry Visa for the Netherlands. For these students, the procedure for a Residence Permit application applies. A copy of the EU/EEA-Residence Permit must be uploaded in your application. The Residence Permit must be valid at the time of the application, and still be valid when the student collects his/her Residence Permit in the Netherlands.
I already have a Residence Permit for the Netherlands
NON-EU/EEA students holding already a Residence Permit for the Netherlands (e.g. for study purposes, stay with partner or family, employment), need to apply for Switching Institutions, Change of Purpose or an Extension of your Residence Permit. Requests can be sent after being completely registered (onwards September 1st) to EUR International Office: firstname.lastname@example.org or 3 months prior to the expiration of your permit.
The Financial Requirements (determined by the IND)
Before your immigration application is sent to the IND, you are required to prove that you have sufficient financial means to cover your study (only for the first year of your study)
- the Tuition Fee (BSc IBA €9,600.-, MSc €18,700.-;
- the Immigration Fee (€ 192.-)
- the Costs of Living for 12 months (€11,400.-: €950.- for every month of your stay in the Netherlands)
Note: it is not possible to pay your tuition fee in instalments
Contact details for the immigration application
Your main point of contact for the immigration application at RSM/ Erasmus University is Ms. Joyce Maliepaard.
Once you have a conditional or unconditional offer you receive the ‘Immigration application process’ (from mid March on). The guidelines explains the procedure to successfully process your application. After having received the information you will be registered in student registration system ‘Osiris Zaak’ (‘Osiris Zaak’ opens in April).
After your registration in 'Osiris Zaak' your main point of contact is EUR Internatinonal Office (email@example.com). The immigration documents and invoice for the payment of the fees will be sent to you in 5 working days.
Deadline for MSc students
The deadline for uploading your immigration application documents and your proof of payment in 'Osiris Zaak' is: JUNE 15th. If this deadline is not feasible for you, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline for BScIBA students
The deadline for uploading your immigration application documents and your proof of payment in 'Osiris Zaak' is: JUNE 15th. If this deadline is not feasible for you, please send an email to email@example.com
Release date: March 2021
Housing information for full-time RSM students coming to Rotterdam
Although a complete and useful overview of housing information for International Students can be found on the housing pages of the Erasmus University, the information below especially applies to RSM’s first year BScIBA and MSc students coming from abroad. Arranging your stay
As in many major European cities, the demand for reasonably priced housing in Rotterdam is very high. Therefore, make it your number one priority and start searching immediately after being conditionally or unconditionally admitted to our BScIBA or one of the MSc programmes. As campus housing is limited, you may have to look for a room on the private market or seek other alternatives.
The ‘Short Stay Accommodations’ of RSM is run by the housing corporation SSH Student Housing (SSH), specialized in letting furnished accommodation.
For our first year BScIBA and MSc students coming from abroad, we reserve a range of furnished accommodations. Students can only apply for ‘Short Stay Accommodations’ for the first 12 months of their study (it is not possible to rent a room for less than 12 months). After 12 months you have to find accommodation by yourself. The SSH Accommodation is not available for partners or family of the student.
Important: This message applies to all the students who have registered for the SSH housing for the 2022 academic year!
Please note that RSM has only 130 rooms to be divided among BSc and MSc students. A fair distribution will be made under the students. As SSH housing is limited, not every registration can be approved. Please be patient and waiting any approval. To increase your chances we strongly advice you to look for more housing possibilities here.
It is not possible to correspond about the result, neither by email nor by telephone
Available SSH housing/accommodation for BScIBA & MSc students
The SSH has four dorms you can choose from: one on-campus (Hatta Building) and three off-campus, only 15 minutes walking from the university (D'Blaauwe Molen, Overhoningen and Erasmus International House). All rooms/apartments are fully fitted and furnished (not self-contained) and located at Struisenburgdwarsstraat in the district of Kralingen, This district offers everything that a student needs: the Erasmus University, little shops and typical student pubs are around the corner. The centre of Rotterdam and the Kralingse Bos are just a stone’s throw away. In most cases you have communal cooking facilities and sanitary fitting. Accommodations can not be visited in advance, but descriptions of the different buildings are available on the SSH website. Please not that rental prices are re-indexed every year.
When am I eligible to register for a room at the SSH ?
You can register for a room once you have been conditionally or unconditionally admitted to the first year BScIBA programme or one of the MSc programmes.
When and how can I register for a room at the SSH?
- Tuesday 12 April 2022 at 12 PM: Start registration
- Tuesday 21 April 2022 at 12 PM: Start booking
IMPORTANT NOTE: The SSH start the registration for all Bachelor students (Erasmus University students) on April 12th, while the BScIBA students get the outcome onwards April 15th. This means that RSM start approving your registration at the earliest on Thursday 21 April. The date of registration for the MSc students has been changed:
Go to SHH* and fill in:
Your educational institution: Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)
Type of Resident: EUR Full Year Student (15 August 2022 - 31 July 2023)
When and how can I reserve a room at the SSH?
You can reserve a room and only see all the available rooms once your registration has been approved by the RSM. The approval proces for BScIBA students takes place onwards 19 April and for the MSc students on 12 May.
For BSc students: select and reserve a room
Log in to My SSH to reserve a room within 7 days*:
* If you have not selected a room within 7 days, your application will be set automatically to “not approved”. After this period you can no longer reserve accommodation via SSH (to give other students also a fair chance to apply for accommodation).
SSH will handle the whole process – from making a room reservation to payments. For more information about the Terms and Conditions, the Rental Guide and the FAQ’s, please visit the site www.sshxl.nl/en. Any questions can be addressed to: Rotterdam@sshxl.nl
Xior Building is a student building right next to the campus of the RSM/ Erasmus University. This 8th floor building upholds 280 studio apartments with all private bathroom and kitchen facilities.
Registration & Reservation opens on:
- Wednesday 11 May 2022 at 12.00 PM
Fixed rental period: 19 August 2022 – 7 August 2022
RSM is not in charge for the rental of these rooms and is only for students coming from abroad. Your registration will be checked by the Real Estate Services Department of the Erasmus University. All your questions can be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org
The RSM/Erasmus University has a partnership with the companies SSH, XIOR, The Cohesion Cobana, Roomplaza and the Student Hotel. Additional information on the below mentioned housing providers, and many more, are listed on the Erasmus University Housing pages.
International Student Housing Rooms (ISHR)
Is a private initiative to manage shared living properties in The Netherlands. It was founded by former students of Erasmus University Rotterdam, who now work in the financial industry. ISHR is not an intermediary. It is a landlord-owned operating platform, developed based on lessons learned from a decade of interactions between international students and Dutch private landlords.The EUR has agreed on a partnership with ISHR and we have reserved around 40 flat share rooms exclusively for our first year International Bachelor or Master students.
Registration starts on:
Monday 2 May 2022 at 12 PM. Fixed rental period: 10 August 2022 - 31 July 2023
The Cohesion Cobana
Located in Katendrecht, Rotterdam. Katendrecht is a vibrant part of Rotterdam with a central location. The FIZZ Cobana has a variety of Friends apartments. This unique concept is a great way to share living space of your apartment, but still have all the privacy you want with your own bedroom. As a student of the Erasmus you will have a possibility to live with other Erasmus students in a Friends apartment. It’s a perfect blend of privacy and sociability, whenever you want it. The Erasmus University has reserved for its International students 40 rooms.
How to register? Please find here all the information.
Offers students the possibility to rent a flat with a group of like-minded people. They have 80 rooms for BSc and MSc students. You can apply as an existing group or use your find-a-flat mate tool to form your own. RoomPlaza has a safe booking process with a 100% guarantee of avoiding scams by fake accommodation providers. How to register? Please find here all the information.
The Student Hotel
A hotel located in Kralingen Rotterdam which offers fully furnished rooms with a private bathroom, shared or private kitchen, WiFi, flat screen TV. Included in the price is a bike, use of the gym, study rooms, lounges and game rooms, 24-hour reception, laundry room and a restaurant/bar
How to book a room? Please find here all the information.
Updated: 2 May 2022
Hostels in Rotterdam
Boat Hotel – a short stay apartment on a historical ship in the centre of Rotterdam.
King Kong Hostel - a very cool hostel that blends industrial design with 21st century contemporary art. It has a superb location in the beginning of Witte de Wittestraat which is in the heart of Rotterdam’s social scene and all the city’s best bars and restaurants are on your doorstep.
Hostel ROOM Rotterdam – located in Rotterdam’s historic Scheepvaartkwartier, near a beautiful little harbour. There are lots of good places for wining and dining in the area and close to the city’s main park.
Hostel Stayokay – this hostel is located in the city centre of Rotterdam in the striking cube houses. Next to Metro station “Blaak”.
As tenancy agreements are often only provided in Dutch (huurovereenkomst), we recommend you to view the additional information on this topic provided on the Erasmus University website. There you can also find information on Dutch housing terms, and other information on how to arrange your stay and other useful tips, for example on how not to get scammed.