• Application deadline

    15 May or earlier if programme reaches maximum capacity

    Application for the September 2024 intake opened 1 October. This is a capped programme and the number of applications allowed before application closes: 400.

  • Starting date

    August 2024

  • Format

    Full-time | 12 months

  • Credits

    60

  • Fee

    €2,530 (EEA) | €22,500 (non-EEA)

    Find more information below

  • Language

    English

Do you aim to make a career out of creating sustainability solutions to tackle societal grand challenges? Business is still not taking enough responsibility. It needs leaders to collaborate with NGOs and government to address challenges like climate change and poverty. Learn to lead the way for new interventions, innovation policies, and other methods to change the state of the system to make an impact.

In this master, you’ll investigate how you can successfully embed sustainability into the core of local and international business operations. You’ll be surrounded by like-minded students and educators – all inspiring each other to forge ahead, share knowledge and build on what you’re learning, together. We don’t have all the answers to solve the world’s wicked problems, but our strong minds, education and leadership can change the face of industries to make a positive impact on people, planet and profit.

  • 181 average number of students in cohort
  • 40% international students in programme
  • 71% of graduates employed within 3 months after graduation
  • Examples of industries where graduates work: sustainability, consulting, energy
  • Examples of graduates’ job titles: sustainability manager, ESG analyst, sustainability consultant

Programme highlights

  • Real business challenges in class and in-company

    Engage with organisations striving to develop innovative strategies and business models to address our global sustainability challenges. You’ll bring theory from top research into practice as you combine and research new knowledge and ideas to create your own solutions for ethics, responsibility and sustainability of organisations.

  • Core transferable skills

    Learn strong analytical and problem-solving skills – supported by interactive learning, dynamic in-class discussions, small seminar groups and electives with simulations and role-plays – and develop interpersonal skills so you can grow into a positive impact agent.

  • Top-ranked for sustainability

    Join the number 1 in this global CSR master ranking, consistently highest ranked since 2019. RSM and GBS are consistently top-rated for ground-breaking research and education in university rankings, including the Financial Times, the Shanghai ranking, and national student satisfaction surveys.

  • Strong network of positive change agents

    Immerse yourself in a community of passionate people seeking impactful careers for positive societal change. You’ll discover how CSR and ESG factors really work through our extensive alumni network of global changemakers including CEOs, governmental politicians, professors and social entrepreneurs – and this close-knit community can help you find projects and maybe even a job!

More about the programme

Curriculum

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.

Q&A with students

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.

You will:

  • 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.

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).

Can students from outside RSM take our electives?

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.

Learn more

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.

Career opportunities

MSc Global Business & Sustainability alumna

An alumna talks about RSM’s MSc in Global Business & Sustainability

MSc Global Business & Sustainability recruiter

A recruiter talks about RSM’s MSc in Global Business & Sustainability

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
  • entrepreneur
  • 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.

Curious to see what our alumni are doing?

Explore their LinkedIn profiles. You can filter per programme and graduation year.

Good to know

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

thumbnail for GBS promotion video with student

A student on the RSM MSc in Global Business & Sustainability programme

Talk to our current students!

Chat with our student ambassadors and ask any questions you have.

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. 

Scholarships

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.

Scholarship tips

  • 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.

For students from the Netherlands or the EU/EEA, it may be possible to apply for limited funding towards payment of your tuition fees. Find out whether you meet the nationality and age requirements and read more information about the application process here.

Other expenses

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

Approximately € 300 - 500 (per year), these costs differ per programme.

For a reasonable standard of living in the Netherlands, you should have an income of between €1,235-€1,735 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 €   500-1,000
Medical insurance €   50
Telephone/internet€   15-40
Food€   300
Books, recreation, clothing€   300
Public Transportation€   50
Total€  average 1235 - 1735
Other potential expenses: 
Buying or renting a bike€  100 - 250 (per year)
In private residence (not student housing) yearly municipal and water taxes€  100 - 300 (per year)
Study trip or other study related travel€  300 - 500 (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.

Housing

Finding housing in Rotterdam can be tricky. To help you in your search for housing, we have compiled some helpful resources

Hear from our current students

It can be difficult for organisations to do business without harming the environment or society at large. RSM stands for high-quality education which will challenge you from time to time, but you will also get rewarded for all your hard work. This master – which is not offered by many universities – gives you an advantage compared to other graduates because of the combination of knowledge and skills in business and sustainability. Future employers are really looking for people like this to help their company thrive and become resilient for the future.

Jaimy Adriaanse (MSc Global Business & Sustainability 2020)

Jaimy Adriaanse

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