Some parts of business can’t be handed over to artificial intelligence (AI) and automation. Strategic management is complex. This programme brings together theories and analytical techniques with the newest knowledge from research and insider perspectives for your future role as top manager or strategy consultant. You’ll focus on three key managerial activities: strategic analysis, strategy formulation and strategy implementation.

You’ll develop a deep understanding of strategic issues at company, industry and societal level as you formulate strategic options and make decisions under challenging conditions of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. As you develop your interpersonal and cross-cultural communication and collaboration competencies, you’ll gain a competitive advantage in the international job market. 

  • 40% international students in programme 
  • 90% of graduates employed within 3 months after graduation 
  • Examples of your future job title: strategy consultant, project manager, business analyst 

This programme is offered by Erasmus University Rotterdam. For more information about the legal structure of Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, visit this page.

Programme highlights

  • Solid foundation in strategy science

    Learn valuable scientific knowledge and competencies in the curriculum and research projects. Our professors research the latest developments in the field of strategic management, and share their knowledge with you in class. 

  • Deep connection with business

    Keep close ties to strategic management practitioners, and connect with a global network of alumni who love to help new generations of students. Leading corporations give you real-world assignments, guest lectures, case workshops, and join panels.

  • Highly relevant topics

    Explore the main contemporary strategic challenges: digitisation and artificial intelligence (AI), environmental, social, and governance issues (ESG), plus geopolitical developments that affect corporations and markets. The programme is continuously updated with the latest insights.

  • Competency-based education

    Become future-ready! Knowledge can quickly become obsolete – and can be increasingly automated. Here, you’ll focus on strategic management competencies that cannot be automated, like creative and critical strategic thinking, leading, collaborating, and communicating.  

More about the programme


Do you want to know more about the MSc Strategic Management programme?

The video below will answer the most frequently asked questions about the programme.

Q&A video with students


The MSc in Strategic Management is a 12-month programme. In the autumn semester, you'll delve into core courses (22 EC), followed by master electives (18 EC) in the spring. You also have the option to choose an elective from another MSc programme. Over the course of the year, you'll work on your master thesis project (20 EC).

MSc programmes are often associated with a research group, guided by accomplished researchers making meaningful contributions in their respective fields. For a closer look at the exciting research initiatives by our academic faculty, we encourage you to explore the department of Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship under which the MSc in Strategic Management falls.

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.

  • Competitive strategy: a solid foundation in strategic management starts with your first core course in which you take the perspective of the leader of a business unit and ask: ‘how can I make my firm outperform its competitors?
  • Corporate strategy: in your second course, you will adopt the role of a corporate board responsible for a portfolio of business units to which you apply corporate strategy.
  • RSM strategy case project: apply analytical methods and techniques from leading strategy consultants to solve a current strategic issue for a corporate partner – this runs throughout the autumn semester parallel to the strategy courses. 
  • Your future career: you will work on a short course from the RSM Career Centre to put you in the driver's seat for your career. You will get support to identify and prepare for your first career step after graduation.
  • Research clinic: prepare for your thesis trajectory in which you’ll dig deep into your chosen topic and train your skills in academic writing, empirical methods and project management.

You can tailor your learning experience by selecting three electives* from an extensive portfolio that is evaluated and updated every year so you can choose how you prepare for your future career. You’ll also focus on your research and thesis at the same time. 

Examples of elective courses: 

  • Strategic management consulting 
  • A managerial perspective on M&As 
  • Strategic leadership and corporate governance 
  • Programming fundamentals using Python 
  • Scaling up and strategies for high growth 
  • Strategic decision-making 
  • Managing innovation strategically 
  • Applied machine learning for strategy consulting and entrepreneurship 
  • Creating societal impact through business

*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?

Choose between quantitative or qualitative research methods courses to develop your analytical competencies and prepare for your thesis project on strategic management and strategic entrepreneurship. This is your opportunity to design and conduct a scientific study of a strategic issue, guided by a professor.

Qualitative research, for example using case studies, is challenging and you will need specific skills for this – just as you need skills in statistics and mathematics for doing quantitative research. This course will give you those skills. 

It might look easy to collect and analyse cases from the abundant information about organisations and everyone has at least some experience in interpreting and writing texts. But there are tricky issues in qualitative research – do you know if your focal research topic is suitable for this type of research? How do you determine what data are most relevant? How do you access those data? And then when you have gathered all your data, how can you reduce it so you can make sense of it? We’ll show you how to report relevant findings in an insightful way during this course. 

This course is taught by Dr Frank Wijen & Wenjie Liu, MSc.

Learning how to do empirical research for research design and quantitative research, and using advanced statistical tools through lectures plus video tutorials for more about the specifics of running models through statistical software. Students from MSc Strategic Entrepreneurship join you in this course.

This course is taught by Dr Richard Haans.

This is a piece of empirical research to develop and examine a research question based on your own interests. You will work independently on this project, and it represents a major part of your degree programme. You can dig deep into your chosen topic at the same time as improving your skills in academic writing, empirical methods, and project management.

Learn more

An extracurricular course for about 25 selected students to work on a high-stakes strategy consulting assignment for a real client. Students in this project receive intensive coaching from partners and consultants from a top strategy consulting firm.

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

Strategic Management alumnus

An alumnus talks about RSM’s MSc in Strategic Management

Graduates from the MSc in Strategic Management are regularly sought by recruiters for top companies. With their solid foundation skills and the latest knowledge, they follow a range of careers, including entrepreneurial start-ups, governmental and regulatory agencies, management consultancies, multinational enterprises, non-profit organisations, and private and public firms. You’ll find a list of our graduates’ job titles and companies in the Employment factsheet

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.

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

MSc Strategic Management student

A student on the RSM MSc in Strategic Management 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. 


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.

IM/CEMS is a program that - if you are still eligible - entitles you to a maximum of 1 year's use of your DUO entitlements. Students who have received a basic grant and possibly a supplementary grant from DUO in the first year of IM/CEMS and meet the following additional conditions may be eligible for an additional half year (6 months) of financial support, which is equal to the grant received in the last month during the program. Please contact the student counselors for more information.

Conditions Financial Support Fund
Students eligible for financial support due to extended master programmes are those who: 
a) are enrolled full-time in a public funded Erasmus University Rotterdam degree programme, which is extended on the base of article 7.4, paragraph 8 of the Dutch Higher Education and Research Act; 
b) are enrolled as first enrollment (hoofdinschrijving) in the study programme as referred to under a, for which the student pays statutory tuition fee; 
c) for this program, is or was entitled to study finance (prestatiebeurs hoger onderwijs) as referred to in the Wet Studiefinanciering 2000, and during the period corresponding to the study load that exceeds 60 ECs, and is no longer eligible for student finance in the form of an additional grant.

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

This maximum for the 2024 intake was reached on 24 November and this application is currently CLOSED. The application for the 2025 intake will open on 1 October. This is a capped programme, which means that the maximum number of applications we accept is 525. 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

Hear from our current students

RSM’s lecturers have academic and business experience, and they encourage students to express their opinions all the time. Interacting with these smart students also helps me to develop knowledge, and soft skills such as time management, teamwork and critical thinking. I improve my business mindset and strategic thinking every day.

Hang Li (MSc Strategic Management, 2020)

Hang Li

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