• Application deadline

    Application closed for academic year 2023/2024

    Application for the September 2024 intake will open 1 October. This is a capped programme. To find out more, please review the admission & application information below.

  • Starting date

    August 2023

  • Format

    Full-time | 12 months

  • Credits


  • Fee

    €2,314 (EEA) | €21,500 (non-EEA)

    Find more information below

  • Language


Are you ready to explore how every part of a company or not-for-profit organisation interacts and synergizes with each other – internally and externally? Do you want to learn how you can develop business and corporate strategies that are effective, successful and beneficial for all stakeholders?

  • 33% international students in programme
  • 90% of graduates employed within 3 months after graduation
  • Examples of your future job title: Business analyst, project manager, strategy consultant

What you will learn

This programme arms you with the concepts, methods and tools rooted in theory and empirical research, to frame, analyze and solve the strategic challenges of complex organisations. You’ll also pick up a lot of valuable knowledge and practical skills from strategy practitioners and interactions with corporate partners in which you investigate business and corporate strategies, and learn about strategic change and dynamics.

You’ll focus on subjects such as growth, innovation, global strategy, corporate strategy, mergers and acquisitions, ownership and governance in the core courses. And then you can choose exciting electives. These are evaluated and updated every year, for example:

Afterwards, you’ll be ready for a successful management career in profit and non-profit organisations anywhere in the world. Most alumni work as consultants or managers at large corporate or consultancy firms, in financial services, or in the food and beverage industry. You can see more details in the MSc employment report.

Sustainable strategies

Strategy consulting

Corporate restructuring

Innovation management

Programming fundamentals

Programme highlights

  • Connect with the real business world

    Through case studies, career events and study clubs

  • Start your career quickly

    After graduation, and earn the highest average salary of all RSM graduates

  • International by International peers

    About 50 per cent of the students are international, for example Norwegian, Brazilian, Indonesian, German or Mexican

  • Mentality

    MScSM students are really motivated and hard-working; everyone is ready to help each other

  • Leadership by Leading researchers

    RSM’s Department of Strategic Management is widely acclaimed as one of the leading strategy departments worldwide

More about the programme


The RSM MSc in Strategic Management programme is one academic year’s duration. Core courses are compulsory and will be offered during the autumn semester (22 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 (20 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.

Anna Nadolska

A teacher's story

  View all core courses below:


Strategic management is a discipline at the forefront of business research and practice. In this advanced course on strategic management, focus is particularly on what is perhaps the most pressing issue for practicing managers: how can I make my firm outperform its competitors? To formulate such value-creating strategies, managers must identify a suitable business model, formulate strategies, identify core capabilities, learn from their and others’ experiences, and develop new ways of outcompeting their rivals. Firms also must increasingly navigate more complex environments such as business ecosystems as well respond to rapid technological innovations, such as for example new digital technologies. Typically, managers must make such choices and formulate their strategies in conditions of uncertainty or ambiguity. To develop such a holistic view on business, students in this course will be exposed to the key aspects and challenges of putting in place a system that delivers and captures value under such conditions. 


The emphasis does not lay on identifying the “right” answer. Instead, the focus of this course is on creating a learning environment that stimulates students’ critical engagement with the study material. Teaching methods therefore include a combination of lectures, group assignments, and online quizzes. To develop their knowledge, skills, and attitudes, students will read articles from leading academic and managerial journal as well as analyze business cases. Students must prepare the assigned material prior to each class to be able to be able to contribute to the interactive classroom discussions as well as being able to complete the group assignments. To support students learning experience, the instructor will be available for questions during these assignments.  

Taught by Dr M. Baaij, Dr. P. Darnihamedani, Dr. E. Ubert.

In many industries the dynamics of competition are constantly changing as a result of technological innovations and new business models. While some companies manage to adapt to new developments, many previously successful companies fail to do so and lose their competitiveness. What differentiates these two groups of companies? This course focuses on how companies can successfully adapt their offerings and business models to the changing competitive landscape. We will first examine why once-great companies could not sustain their competitiveness despite their established positions in their industries. We will then focus on two important capabilities to strategically change a business: to adopt new business models by re-organizing existing competencies in innovative ways, and to locate and benefit from new knowledge outside the company to develop new competencies. We will then analyze how leaders can influence the success or failure of strategic change. This course allows students to acquire relevant knowledge about navigating an increasingly complex competitive landscape and to apply it through case discussions and group exercises. Throughout the course there will be a healthy mix of theory and its application in real-life cases. 

Taught by Dr K. Kavusan and Dr M. Baaij.

In today's world competitive advantages erode faster and faster. Globalization, technological development and industry convergence pressure organizations to put more emphasis on corporate strategy. Corporate strategy revolves around the 4 themes of boundaries, diversification, synergy, and innovation. Traditionally, corporate strategy involves the choice in which markets a company is active and managers decided mainly about diversification and resource allocation. These days corporate strategy also concerns leveraging resources across a company’s businesses to create both cost-reducing and value-enhancing synergies and to spur innovation. To get access to relevant resources they do not possess, firms increasingly look beyond their boundaries and seek to acquire and ally with organizations. Such corporate development decisions have become an essential activity of corporate strategy, making corporate development departments central units in many organizations.

The objective of this course is to help participants develop a conceptual and practical understanding of corporate strategy and the role of corporate development. After successfully completing the course, students will have to their availability a toolkit and skills that help them steer corporate strategy decisions. This includes tools to assess, transform and organize a corporate portfolio of businesses. It also includes tools to make a choice between acquisitions and alliances, and attention will be paid to the implications and managerial challenges alliances and acquisitions pose by addressing the levers of successfully creating value, selecting targets and partners, integrating acquisition targets and controlling alliances. Finally, in addition to accessing new resources through alliances and acquisitions, the shedding of resources through corporate divestments will be addressed. As part of the skills trajectory across the core courses, this course develops two important corporate skills: portfolio analysis and target valuation. Overall, the course develops state-of-the-art understanding of the risks and returns associated with corporate strategy and corporate development, and the managerial skills and capabilities needed to be successful.

Taught by Dr R. van Wijk.

Positioning: In contrast to business-level strategy, which is about the question how firms can secure a competitive advantage in a single product or service market, corporate strategy is about corporate advantage and the question how firms can secure advantages from different business activities being incorporated into a single business entity: a corporation. While the Corporate Growth and Development (BM03SM) course focuses mostly on the question how to optimally manage (potential) synergies between different business activities and resources by growing or acquiring/merging them into a single corporate entity, the Corporate Ownership and Governance course (BM04SM) will focus more on the question how to understand and manage the governance costs that result from managing (different) business activities, or business models within the boundaries of a single corporate entity. As such, this course confers the concepts, theoretical frameworks, empirical knowledge, as well as the analytical skills and critical attitudes that are required to evaluate the ownership and governance of firms, with the ultimate objective of learning how to develop the ownership and governance strategy for a firm as a critical component of its overall corporate strategy.

Substantial focus: Corporate governance is about ‘the rules of the game’ within which firms develop and exploit their resources and undertake business activities to create and appropriate value. These ‘rules of the game’ are shaped both at the country level (e.g. markets, laws, culture) and at the level of the firm (e.g. ownership, the board, alliances, etc.), at which level they are most flexible. At the firm level, these rules of the game include the ownership of the firm, its basic decision-making structures and practices, as well as the accountability structures and practices through which those who make and/or execute decisions can be held accountable by those bearing residual risk from those decisions. In publicly listed firms, for example, executives make the bulk of everyday decisions, while dispersed and therefore mostly uninvolved shareholders (as well as other stakeholders) bear the risks that result from them. This has traditionally made the question how dispersed, and uninvolved shareholders can secure maximal returns from the firm a central corporate governance challenge for publicly listed firms. A striking fact about economic reality, however, is that there do not just exist publicly listed firms, but many different forms of ownership, such as: partnerships, cooperatives, family firms, state-owned firms, and non-profit organizations, that each dominate specific industries, such as accounting, agriculture, defense, higher education, and healthcare, for example. These different forms of ownership face their own distinctive corporate governance challenges, and will therefore need to develop a set of equally distinctive set of corporate governance structures and practices to meet these challenges. As a result, there does not exist any single corporate governance model that is suitable for all firms.

Overarching aim: Given that is there exists no best single solution to questions of corporate ownership and governance, the overarching aim of this course is to develop a strategic understanding of corporate ownership and governance. In this view, the ultimate aim of corporate ownership and governance is to align the firm’s ownership, decision-making, and accountability structures and practices, on the one hand, with its strategy, core activities, key resources, and critical resource dependencies, on the other. In order to develop a strategic understanding of corporate governance, we will discuss various forms of ownership, such as publicly listed firms, (professional) partnerships, family firms, and new ventures, for example, in order to explore a variety of corporate governance structures and practices that can be implemented to meet these challenges. Because the ownership of the firm generally involves the most fundamental ‘governance choice’ to be made, we will begin by discussing the costs and benefits of different forms of ownership and the specific governance challenges that arise from them. We will also discuss the stakeholders of the firm, however, as well as the governance practices that firms can implement to secure stakeholders’ continued involvement in, or support for, the firm. Finally, we will explore how firms can secure their societal license to operate, because firms as institutions of private ordering, and only exist and function within an institutional context that partly comprised of public ordering (e.g. the state, the law, society, etc).

Taught by Prof. H. van OosterhoutDr M. Baaij & Dr A. Mulder

The research clinic constitutes the formal start of the thesis trajectory and is taught jointly for the MSc Strategic Management and MSc Strategic Entrepreneurship programs. The master thesis is a piece of empirical research in which you develop and examine a research question based on your interests. It is an independent project that represents a major part of your degree program. During the process, you have the opportunity to dig deep into your chosen topic and train your skills in academic writing, empirical methods, and project management. 

The objective of the research clinic is to help students become familiar with the process of academic research. It intends to set a solid foundation for the thesis trajectory and provides guidance for the formulation of relevant and feasible research questions, the positioning of this question within the academic debate, and the development of a conceptual model and preliminary research design. It also provides practical insights with respect to writing academic work, including: identifying relevant literature, writing style, referencing style, reading academic papers, organizing your notes, etc. 

The aim of ‘Your Future Career’ is to prepare RSM students at an early stage in their master's for their careers.

The online modules will help you make crucial steps towards the most suitable career step, whether an internship or a job.

To pass the course, you need to gain a minimum number of points within a few months. You can decide if you want to reflect on your interests and motivations, develop knowledge of the job market, receive peer feedback on application materials, learn to love networking, or attend an interactive alumni career panel or workshop.

See this page for more details.


This course is overseen and guided by Dr Maciej Szymanowski and Lisanne Keir


  View all electives below:

Only 5 percent of our decisions come from rational and deliberate thinking. This means that only a tiny fraction of our decisions are conscious and intentional. The rest of 95 percent of our decisions are based on mental shortcuts, emotions, cognitive biases, and intuition. Becoming aware of those biases and mental shortcuts, the way they work on us as humans, and mastering how they could be used and managed in different situations and walks of life will make the process of decision making strategic, and make the outcomes favorable. After all, we humans are predictably irrational. In this course we will delve into those aspects of irrationality in decision making and discuss how we could predict them and strategically manage them to make the outcomes of humans' decisions and decision making process favorable: for ourselves as individuals, for organizations, and for the society. 

Taught by Dr H. Fasaei.

The course is structured to include a review of strategic statement development and deconstruct these by utilizing both company prepared reports and external sources to analyze and describe operational performance within the different business units. In addition, it will explore structuring and implementation of different KPIs and related tools in assisting management to implement strategy across an organization. The course will explore the differences between divisional business strategies and how these can/should be operationalized, measured and linked between them.

Taught by Dr A. Brown.

The course will help students explore and better understand how politics and their environments both internally to the enterprise and externally affect strategy formulation with a specific focus on emerging economies

This module will allow the student to be able to analyze of the inter-related nature of the environment in which business organizations exist and the implications for the way they work.  An introduction to models of industry analysis. An introduction to the main theoretical planning models.  The use and application of financial information relevant to different groups of stakeholders.  The implications and influence of cultural and ethical issues for strategic planning.  The effective strategies for organizational competition and growth.

The course will include but not be limited to explore Micro-politics, concepts on national, regional and local identifies. The impact of local networks and political capital, Multinationals versus local in contextualization and influencing laws and regulations. The impact of international politics and local enterprises: trade wars, climate change, regional alliances, trade zones, international agreements, WTO. The politics and strategy development of globalization vs localization in emerging nations.

Taught by Dr A. Brown.

  • Understanding why and how some companies survive technological changes, and others do not.Analyzing various organizational and management dimensions of technological transformation in businesses.
  • Acquiring and applying relevant concepts and tools related to the exploration, retention, and exploitation of new technologies to solve real company case problems associated with strategic challenges.
  • Evaluating the effects of different organizational design elements on companies’ technological transformations. 
  • Recommending strategies for start-ups and incumbents to take advantage of technological disruptions on the basis of relevant concepts and case studies.

Taught by Dr A. Distel.

The long prevailing assumptions of corporate market capitalism, (e.g., profit as the fundamental purpose of business (Friedman, 1970), opportunism as the key feature of managers’ behavior (Jensen & Meckling, 1976), and competition as the key process for reaching prosperity (Porter, 1998)) have recently come under serious questions. According to the Deloitte Human Capital Trends 2018 report, 77% of business and HR leaders around the world rate “citizenship and social impact” as important or critical to their strategy and identity as a corporation. The same report also noted that 86% of millennials believe the success of a business should not just be measured by financial performance. In general, people now are more concerned about climate change, social justice, inequality, corruption, terrorism, mass migration etc. Interestingly, though very powerful actors of capitalist society, businesses have long been able to ditch these issues in conducting their business operations, leaving them entirely to the hands of politicians and public sector actors. But not anymore! For their own survival businesses need to address these challenges.  But how do they do so? How do social entrepreneurs tackle grand social, political and environmental challenges? How do they create measurable social impact and business opportunity? This course is designed to seek answers to these questions and equip students with tools and strategies to create social impact around the world and be the force of positive change in the society. Throughout the course students will be given a tour to the Impact World and in the process, they will enrich their theoretical and practical knowledge on impact leadership and strategies.


At the end of the course students will have a very good understanding on: 1. How can businesses reach beyond profit in a capitalist system? 2. What type of leadership is necessary and what type of organizing is required for creating social impact? 3. How do the impact processes work, and how to measure and scale up social impact?


The Beyond Profits and Promise elective is shared between two lecturers from the Department of Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship. Both lecturers bring in their own personal angle on social impact and accordingly the students will be exposed to a diverse set of elements that constitute the ‘bigger picture’. Each week will feature a three-hour lecture that centers on a specific theme regarding strategies and organizing for social impact. To complement theoretical considerations, we allow students to gain practical insights into the realities of social impact creation through case studies and guest speakers.


In terms of preparation, students are required to read at least the required literature as stated in the course overview and prepare for the quizzes featured in each lecture. In terms of examination, beyond the quizzes, groups of students are required to write a Research Report on an impact project of their choice. Moreover, students will write individual reflections on the process of their impact project, as well as a short case study applying insights from the course.

Taught by Y. Wiessner and S.M. Musa.

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.

China is a never-before-seen economy in terms of growth speed in the past 30 years.  The take-off of the Chinese economy derives not only from the development-driven factors such as foreign investment and education that are commonly seen in the history of the growth of other powerful economies but also from some unique Chinese characteristics such as strata of the markets. As a result, China is increasingly attracting international managers’ attention due to its enormous market size and manufacturing capability. 

The Chinese phenomenon has attracted much attention of scholars in strategic management. However, in the mean while, it has been proven perplexing for many international managers to understand the Chinese business and strategic management practice based on their knowledge and experience built in the western environment. Because this market differs from the other economies in history, economy, and culture. This course will improve students’ understanding of the economic development history of an important Asian market, China, and help them comprehend the underlying logic of business and management in this market.

Taught by S. Liu.

The acquisition process is a complex, uncertain and ambiguous process that requires thorough analysis, due diligence, preparation, and rational choice; but it is often fraught with shortcuts, biases, stereotypes and emotion. Left unchecked, these managerial challenges will undermine strategic decision-making, and cause puzzling deficiencies in the formulation and implementation of acquisitions. Being a successful manager, strategist, analyst or advisor therefore requires having realistic assumptions about human cognition, emotion, and social interaction. In this course, you learn to understand, and develop skills in identifying, analyzing, and dealing with the socio-psychological reality of consequential strategic processes. Ultimately, the goal of the course is to provide you with insight into how to become a smarter decision maker and implementer of consequential strategic events, such as mergers and acquisitions. The formulation and implementation of these events requires not just an understanding of how others are influenced by psychological qualities and constraints but also how you are yourself affected by these qualities and constraints. 

This course will focus on a managerial perspective of mergers & acquisitions. Yet, the knowledge and skills you gain from the course are also valuable in many other contexts and processes that you will encounter as a manager, entrepreneur or consultant. The M&A process as a complex, consequential strategic process provides a rich illustration of the manager’s challenges and success factors, and the psychological foundations of strategic management. 

Taught by Prof. Dr T.H. Reus

Increasingly, in today’s fast paced, converging world, sustained innovation is a necessity not only to thrive but also to survive. However, for most firms, the strategies and processes associated with innovation remain vague and are not strategically managed. As a result, most firms are unable to innovate successfully, and thus fail to create meaningful value for their customers.  

In this course, we will learn how firms could create and capture meaningful value for their customers. The aim of the course is to provide a set of concepts and theories as well as practical tools and processes that can be used by managers in their organizations to manage innovation more strategically. 

This course is taught by Dr H. Fasaei.  

Ever done hundreds of repetitive actions on rows in tables? Ever copied daily update information from websites every day? Ever wondered how computer programs work, or how online shops keep track of all items for sale and their stock? 

Then, this is the elective module for you! You will be learning the basic components of computer programs, write your own programs in Python, trace bugs and inspect variables in Jupyter Notebooks. 

“Why would I want to be able to write computer programs, or tiny helpers?”, you may ask. Customized computer programs tailored to specific business are used in many companies. Being able, as a manager, to communicate with in-house or hired computer programmers is an asset. 

Course taught by J. Engelberts, with the help of the software developers at RSM in IT Business innovation and IT Research Support

The shaping of today’s corporate governance landscape and the functioning of top management teams within it have become a major topic of discussion in the last decade. This interest has been intensified by recent corporate failures among both American and European companies. We have all heard of Enron, WorldCom and Ahold. This course reviews the problems that lay behind such management failures. It focuses on the behavior of the board of directors and of the top management team and on their role in the governance and strategic decision-making processes of large publicly-traded firms. It takes a closer look to actual governance practices of large corporations, their effects on corporate strategy and performance, and it analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of prevalent corporate governance mechanisms that are increasingly used world-wide.
The course will cover the most essential traditional topics related to strategic leadership and corporate governance as well as recent developments in the area.

Taught by I. Orlandi MSc & R. Blagoeva, MA

As the rate of innovation increases and competition intensifies at the global level, even the largest companies require knowledge, ideas and capabilities from beyond their boundaries to develop innovations. Alliances and acquisitions are therefore becoming increasingly important corporate development activities for many companies to tap into external knowledge sources. Large firms frequently acquire and ally with younger and smaller companies to combine their innovation potential with their own resources and expertise. Smaller firms, including start-ups, need these partnerships with larger firms to convert their innovative ideas into economic value. Realizing the potential benefits of alliances and acquisitions in generating innovations is however no simple task: it requires a careful evaluation of potential alliance partners and acquisition targets, as well as of different knowledge utilization strategies, in terms of their suitability for a company`s innovation-related goals. In this course, we will discuss the benefits of innovation-oriented alliances and acquisitions, challenges of managing them as well as the ways to overcome these challenges. The knowledge and analytical skills gained in this course will be particularly valuable for students seeking a career in high-technology industries, corporate strategy, and consulting.

Taught by Dr K. Kavusan

This course addresses a variety of political and social (i.e. non-market) boundaries, which, when considered along with market boundaries, help us understand why some firms thrive and others struggle. The non-market is a sometimes-neglected arena, which can severely limit or enable firms in doing business and influence their strategy. Eventually non-market boundaries can affect firm success, while they are particularly challenging to navigate since non-market actors differ in their motives, objectives and tactics relative to conventional market actors. Overall, the non-market opens up questions calling for strategic answers: How do firms incorporate interests of non-market actors, who are not (primarily) concerned about wealth maximization? How do firms draw the line between and manage their ‘duty’ to their constituents (i.e. non-market strategy) and their obligation to shareholders (i.e. market strategy)? What are the benefits and perils of corporate political and social engagement? Ultimately, is the management of non-market interests a means to an end, or an end in itself? In this elective, we will address these questions and discuss how firms are affected, and how they can themselves affect their non-market context. This will help us understand non-market strategy, why some firms thrive, while similar ones may struggle in the politically and socially colored market. 

Taught by Dr C. Witte.

As future leaders in the business world, you need to understand what makes people (consumers, investors, employees, and even yourself) tick. This course is intended to expose you to “behavioral” lens to understand why people make the decisions they do, and how to influence them for the better.  Armed with behavioral lens, we will look “rationally” at the ways people behave “irrationally.” In doing so, you will learn actionable insights on how to employ behavioral science to address social and business problems of our time.

Taught by Dr Z. Wu.

In daily and business life, you can find yourself in situations where you want to get something done, but you do not have much to offer as an exchange. For example, you want to initiate a project or business, but you are lacking cash, knowledge and resources. You may have an idea for a great new product, but your superiors are only supportive when it takes a limited investment and no excessive risks. Or you want to expand your network with some highly-regarded people, potential employers or difficult to approach customers for your own business, but those people may not find you very interesting. These situations are in a basic sense similar to all ‘ventures’ where success depends on your ability to mobilize other people and to reduce risks. Entrepreneurial bootstrapping is the pursuit of success (or getting things done) with limited resources and with the help of others (or free outside help). In general, bootstrapping refers to a self-starting and self-sustaining process that is supposed to proceed without external help or input. The origins of the term seemingly go back to the 19th century American in the phrase ‘to pull oneself over a fence by one’s bootstraps’[1], to mean carrying out an absurdly impossible task.[2]


Five subthemes of bootstrapping are distinguished and discussed. First, the basic principles of bootstrapping will be introduced: informal and creative resource acquisition, the use of networks, networking and influencing skills, entrepreneurial marketing (marketing on a shoestring) and entrepreneurial finance (do more with less). Second, in the so-called creative resource acquisition perspective, bootstrapping is an original strategy of obtaining resources without a big spending effort), for instance through a direct exchange of goods and/or services with others without money (barter trade) or by making creative use of the limited resources one has at its disposal (e,g. effectuation, frugal innovation and bricolage). Third, networking is at the heart of any bootstrapping effort. The lectures will cover networking theory, i.e. the purposes and potential effects of networking, and how networking partners can be a source of free information and advice, followed by paying attention to more specific networking skills on how to get in touch and build a relationship, and subsequently, how to influence other people and/or benefit from ‘relevant others’, such as friends, family members, mentors and coaches. Fourth, in discussing the topic of entrepreneurial marketing, an exploration is sought of the emerging phenomena of innovation by users, open-source projects, and crowdsourcing. User innovation basically implies that there are many users out there who develop their own products to use themselves – and they generally share their innovations for free! Open-source projects imply that a distributed community of users contributes to an overall project. Crowdsourcing, finally, is the act of outsourcing tasks to an undefined, large group of people or community through an open call, implying that you can mobilize people to work for you. Fifth, within the framework of entrepreneurial finance, bootstrapping refers to the different financial strategies entrepreneurs pursue to keep the venture under their control (not diluting all kinds of bootstrapping techniques involving cheap ownership and equity in the company), turning key fixed costs into variable costs, or by effectively managing cash flows and making process within the firm efficient. The entrepreneurial finance approach will be elaborated by considering money and crowdfunding.

Taught by Dr W. Hulsink

[1] Bootstraps are the tabs or handles at the top of tall boots, allowing one to use fingers or a hook to help pulling the boots on.

[2] An impossible action, almost similar to bootstrapping, can be found in the 19th century book The Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchausen by RE von Raspe, where the main character pulls himself (and his horse) out of a swamp by his hair (or more precisely, by his pigtail).

Negotiation is one of the most important skills that a manager should have in his or her professional life. In our curriculum, however, this important skill has been underemphasized. This course aims to help you be a better negotiator. I will provide you with negotiation tools to effectively persuade others. The specific topics of this course include seeing and expanding the pie, dealing with someone who has a very different perspective on the world, disagreeing respectfully and productively, etc..

Taught by Dr Z. Wu.

Law and legal issues are deeply integrated in most facets of business. Our course focuses on a set of core legal issues that managers commonly face—I developed this course in response to conversations with colleagues in the legal industry so the content is relevant and grounded in practice. In addition, to emphasize the RSM mission of being a force for change, we will be emphasizing the ethical areas where law is less clear and managers must navigate challenges and face uncertainty.

The ultimate goal of the course is for you to begin to develop an awareness of legal issues and to add legal insights to your business acumen. A deeper understanding of legal issues in business can create advantages among managers and firms, leading to value creation and protection (Bagely, 2008). We know that legally astute managers with the ability to use legal language and communicate with a basic understanding of law are more effective negotiators, have stronger contracts, and are even able to access more affordable financing. In addition, these managers are able to better manage alternatives to courts and legal conflict (Pinkham & Peng, 2017).

Taught by Dr B. Pinkham.


The challenges of qualitative research such as case studies are widely underestimated. While it is obvious that quantitative research cannot be conducted without mastering relevant statistical or mathematical techniques, many researchers engage in qualitative research without having the requisite knowledge and skills. This course seeks to endow prospective researchers with the insights needed to adequately perform one type of qualitative research: case studies.

It seems easy to collect and analyse cases, because information about business organisations is abundantly available and all students have a certain experience in interpreting and writing texts. However, a number of thorny issues render qualitative research a challenging task. First, how to know whether the focal research topic lends itself to the use of this type of research? Second, if qualitative research is indeed a suitable method, how to determine what data are most relevant and how to access those data? Third, once all data has been gathered, how to reduce the vast amount of data to manageable proportions and how to make sense of the data? Fourth, after the data analysis, how to report relevant findings in an insightful way? This course offers answers to these questions, which are of critical importance to anyone conducting qualitative research (such as case studies).

This course is taught by Dr F.H. Wijen & W. Liu, MSc.

In this course students will learn how to do empirical research. The course touches upon the fundamentals of research design and quantitative research, in addition to more advanced statistical tools. In addition to the lectures, a set of video tutorials provide deeper insights into the specifics of using statistical software and running various models therein. The course is attended jointly by students from two programmes: Strategic Entrepreneurship and Strategic Management.

This course is taught by Dr R.F.J. Haans & Dr M.E. Flowers

The master thesis is a piece of empirical research in which you develop and examine a research question based on your interests. It is an independent project that represents a major part of your degree program. During the process, you have the opportunity to dig deep into your chosen topic and train your skills in academic writing, empirical methods, and project management. 

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.

Learn more

Why this programme?


Honours programme


International exchange


Career training

The aim of the course ‘Your Future Career’ is to prepare RSM students at an early stage in their master's for their careers.

The online modules will help you make crucial steps towards the most suitable career step, whether an internship or a job.

To pass the course, you need to gain a minimum number of points within a few months. You can decide if you want to reflect on your interests and motivations, develop knowledge of the job market, receive peer feedback on application materials, learn to love networking, or attend an interactive alumni career panel or workshop.

See this page for more details.


This course is overseen and guided by Dr Maciej Szymanowski and Lisanne Keir




Career Opportunities

Strategic Management alumnus

An alumnus talks about RSM’s MSc in Strategic Management

RSM’s MSc in Strategic Management produces capable graduates who are regularly sought by recruiters for top companies. With solid foundation skills and the latest knowledge, our graduates can be found in a range careers, including:

  • Entrepreneurial start-ups;
  • Family-owned or self-launched businesses;
  • Governmental and regulatory agencies;
  • Management consultancies;
  • Multinational enterprises;
  • Non-profit organisations;
  • Private and public firms.

Positions include:

  • Account Manager
  • Alliance Manager
  • Business Analyst
  • Business Unit Manager
  • Customer Insights Advisor
  • Entrepreneur
  • General Manager
  • Innovation Manager
  • Junior/Senior Consultant
  • Planning Specialist
  • Project Manager
  • Research Analyst
  • Strategy Advisor
  • Venture Manager

Current positions of recent graduates include:

  • Dubel Jeroen – Senior Consultant, Nolan, Norton & Company
  • Miranda Berkhof – Junior Consultant, McKinsey 
  • Stephen Hough – Junior Consultant, Capgemini
  • Ulf Schreurs – Management Trainee, Sony Corporation

Our alumni have found employment with, among others:

  • Accenture
  • Ahold
  • Akzo Nobel
  • BCG
  • BP
  • Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs
  • Capgemini
  • General Electric
  • Getronics
  • Heineken
  • ING
  • KLM
  • KPN
  • McKinsey
  • Mexx
  • Organon
  • Philips
  • Rabobank
  • Reuters
  • Roland Bergers
  • Shell
  • Sony
  • Unilever

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.

Career progress

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.

View LinkedIn profiles of our graduates

You can read more about our graduates and their career progress from their 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.

Good to know

Career Centre

Alumni networks

MSc employment report

Vacancies for SM students

Studying at RSM

MSc Strategic Management student

A student's story

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.

Engaging environment

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.

What is your ‘I WILL’?

RSM’s I WILL movement allows you to define your goals, your ambition, your drive. It’s our forward-thinking community that asks you to say something about your future. Your I WILL statement becomes part of the spirit of RSM’s diverse community of students, researchers, staff, professors, alumni and others related to the school. Making a public commitment to your goal will allow you to achieve it faster and better. What is your goal?

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.

RSM Master Students

Talk to a student ambassador!

Learn more about student life

More information

SM 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 

The 2023-2024 tuition fee for the MSc programmes is approximately €21,500 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 of €2,314 in 2023/2024.

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 €12,600.

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 approximately €32,250 for non-EEA students and is approximately €3,471 for EEA students in 2023/2024.

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.

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.

Master Application Handling fee

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.

Additional programme related expenses

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

Living expenses

For a reasonable standard of living in the Netherlands, you should have an income of between €1,000-€1,600 per month depending on your lifestyle. Further information about the costs of living in the Netherlands and related subjects can be found on this website. Below is an example of monthly expenditures:

Furnished accommodation, including gas and electricity  €   500-900
Medical insurance  €   50
Telephone/internet €   15-25
Food €   200 - 300
Books, recreation, clothing €   200 - 300
Public Transportation €   50
Total €  average 1000 - 1625
Other potential expenses:  
Buying or renting a bike €  100 - 250 (for the full 3 years)
In private residence (not student housing) yearly municipal and water taxes €  100 - 300 (per year)

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.

Admission & Application

The application for MSc Strategic Management for the September 2023 start has closed, as the programme has reaced maximum capacity. Application for the September 2024 start, will open on the 1st of October, 2023


Immigration & visas

Find out everything you need to know about entry visas & residence permits for non-EU or EEA students at RSM.

Release date: October 2022



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

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

Is it right for me?

Virtually all aspects of this master have an international flavour:

The faculty members

Your classmates

The course content

Your career prospects upon graduation

If the thought of this – and the prospect of an international career in strategic management – excites you, then this programme is right for you!

Are you still in doubt?

Would you like extra information or support? We are here to help!

More to explore


Webinar hosted by the Academic Director

Other MSc programmes

Student talking with professor

Take a virtual tour across our campus

RSM campus

Will you lead or will you follow?

I Will