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MBA student Jonna Virkkala

Master of Business Administration, International Business Management, Blended learning

Centria’s Master’s Degree Programme in International Business Management is the right pick for you, if want to develop your expertise and take the next step to advance in your career. A Master’s degree is an excellent way to increase your professional knowledge about business administration, especially in the field of international business.

Degree: Master of Business Administration, MBA

Study type: Blended learning

Duration: 90 credits

Campus: Talonpojankatu 2, Kokkola

Tuition fee for non-EU/EEA citizens: 10000 €

Places: 23

Application period opens: 13.03.2024 at 08:00

Application period closes: 26.04.2024 at 15:00

Studies start in autumn 2024

Teaching language: English

Programme description

The MBA studies are conducted in English and in a blended learning format. The online lectures take place usually on Saturdays twice a month. You are eligible to apply for this MBA programme if you have a higher education degree completed in one of the member countries of the European Union or the European Economic Area and you have at least two years of post-graduate work experience. 

During your studies, you will deepen your knowledge and get new perspectives on international business management. You will study human resource management and leadership, international marketing and brand management – to name a few subjects. The studies also include business ethics and sustainable development studies. You will dive deep into international business management from many aspects. The studies also include optional studies that you can choose based on your interests. An essential part of the degree is the Master’s thesis project. In addition, if you have previous business studies at the Master’s level, it is possible to apply for credit transfers and integrate that knowledge and skills into your MBA degree to speed up your studies. We do our best to offer high-quality education and flexible arrangements to guarantee good study progress. 

Our MBA students come from Finland and other European countries. Some assignments are done in groups, which is an excellent way to network with fellow MBA students. The subjects of the group activities are usually related to real business life. The study environment is international, and you will not just learn about international business, but you will also learn about different cultures and habits while practising your language and communication skills. 

We constantly develop the degree programme with companies and other cooperative partners. We aim to build the expertise of our students so that both the students and the working life can benefit from it. In the annual national survey, our graduating Master’s level students have ranked Centria as the best university of applied sciences in Finland for two years in a row now.

More information on the programme

The Master’s Degree in International Business Management is conducted in English. The scope of the studies is 90 ECTS. The duration of the studies is 1,5–3 years, depending on the student’s personal situation and graduation plan.

The studies are conducted in a blended learning format. Multimodal learning methods are used. Online lessons are typically offered approximately twice a month, usually on Saturdays. Furthermore, independent distance learning on the student’s own time is required. The learning process consists of online lectures, independent work, distance learning assignments and development projects.

The studies consist of core studies and profiling studies that are compulsory for all MBA students. You can also study optional courses, which you can choose based on your interests. The Master’s thesis is a large part of the degree, and you will get a chance to start planning it from an early stage of your studies. The thesis process is also supported by courses on research and development methods & tools, as well as RDI processes and expert communication.

You can find the curriculum here.

The study environment in Centria is very international, and this will give you many possibilities to practice and improve your language skills and learn about new cultures and habits. We also provide you with the opportunity to go on a Master’s level exchange to one of our partner universities abroad.

The thesis is a research and development project, and it is an essential part of the studies. The thesis project aims to develop your ability to find new research information and implement it in your thesis work. The thesis project helps you to gain the expertise that you need in challenging expert and managerial positions. The thesis project is a combination of theory and practice. The scope of the thesis is 30 ECTS. 

The MBA Programme in International Business Management provides a wide variety of potential thesis topics depending on your personal interests. Examples of thesis topics include, for example, development of management systems or leadership practices, organizational development, international business opportunity mapping, advanced market surveys and marketing research, internationalization plans for businesses, advanced business planning and business model development, development of e-business solutions, etc.  

You can find Master’s theses made by our students in

After you have completed the MBA programme, you have grown into a business management professional. You are capable of independent decision-making, working in management or demanding expert tasks in businesses. You have learnt tools and methods. You can operate in international business or as an independent entrepreneur in the global business environment. 

According to a study commissioned by the Professionals of Business and Technology (Tradenomiliitto TRAL), a higher education degree completed at a university of applied sciences has a positive impact on career development and salary. More than 80% of the respondents feel that the degree has significantly impacted their organisational status and the content of their work assignments. 

A Master’s degree from a university of applied sciences delivers the same qualifications to positions and vacancies in the public sector as a university Master’s degree. 

Student selection

For this specific direct application round, the following education gives applicants eligibility to apply for the Master’s programme:

  • a higher education degree completed in one of the universities in Finland
  • a higher education degree completed in one of the universities of applied sciences in Finland
  • a higher education degree completed in one of the EU/EEA-area countries

Furthermore, applicants are obliged to have at least two years of relevant work experience, gained after obtaining a higher education degree (applicants can accumulate work experience until the end of July 2024).

Applicants are also required to submit a proof of English language proficiency since the Master’s studies are conducted in English.

English language skills can be proved by the following documents:

1. English language test results:  

  • IELTS Academic*: a minimum total score of 6.0 (test sections: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking)
  • TOEFL Academic (iBT)*: a minimum total score of 60 (test sections: Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing)
  • PTE Academic*: a minimum total score of 55 (test sections: Speaking and Writing, Reading, and Listening)
  • Cambridge English Scale Score: a minimum total score of 169 (test sections: Reading and Use of English, Writing, Listening, and Speaking)

2. National Certificate of Language Proficiency (YKI) English: Grade 4 or higher on all the subtests (speaking, listening comprehension, writing, and reading comprehension)

3. Higher education degree completed in English in an EU/EEA country, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Switzerland, United Kingdom, or the United States  

4. Upper secondary degree completed in English in an EU/EEA country, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Switzerland, United Kingdom, or the United States  

5. One of the following grades in the Finnish Matriculation Examination, European Baccalaureate, International Baccalaureate or Reifeprüfung/DIA:

  • Finnish Matriculation Examination: English advanced syllabus with a minimum grade M
  • The whole International Baccalaureate degree completed in English
  • International Baccalaureate final examination: higher level English with a minimum grade 4
  • European Baccalaureate: at least grade 6.00 in L2-level English
  • Reifeprüfung/DIA completed diploma: at least grade 7 in advanced English

6. Certificate of higher education degree completed in Finland

* IELTS Academic UKVI, IELTS Online, PTE Academic Online and TOEFL iBT Home Edition are also accepted.

Only the documents listed above will be accepted. No exceptions will be made.

There are no expiration dates, but the language test results must be verifiable from the online verification service of the organiser until 31 May 2024. The TOEFL test cannot be verified after two years. The IELTS test cannot be verified after three years. If the test scores can no longer be verified, the test is not valid. The applicant should make sure that the test results are not too old. If the applicant is unsure and the test results are more than 2 years old, it is advised to retake the test.

Point 1 above: When taking the language test, the applicant should choose the Centria UAS as the recipient of the results. The applicant must also attach a scanned/electric copy of the test result to the application for verification purposes and notify their unique identifier.

Point 2 above: If applying with the National Certificate of Language Proficiency (YKI), the unique identifier is not necessary. However, the applicant must attach a scanned/electric copy of the test result to the application for verification purposes.

Points 3‒4 above: The applicant must attach a certificate of their previous degrees. The applicant must also attach a document that shows the language of the degree and the country of studies.

Point 5 above: The applicant must attach a certificate of their grades.

Point 6 above: The applicant must attach a certificate of their previous degrees.

To demonstrate his/her eligibility, the applicant must include the following attachments to the application form:

  • Copy of original Bachelor’s or Master’s degree certificate
  • Authorized translation of the Bachelor’s or Master’s degree certificate if the originals are not issued in Finnish, Swedish or English. The translation must have the translator’s signature and stamp.
  • Copies of testimonials: testimonials of the work experience entered on the application form. The testimonials need to be in English, Swedish or Finnish. Only work experience that is documented by the employer’s testimonial with signing date can be accepted. The testimonials/work certificates should show starting and closing dates as well as a description of work tasks. If you have worked part-time, the work certificates should indicate the number of work hours per month. 150 work hours or 20 working days (the minimum length of one full working day is 7 hours) compares with one month of work experience. Work experience gained as an entrepreneur, in one’s own or family business, can be documented by a certificate from an unchallengeable third party, such as a bookkeeper.
  • A proof of English language proficiency

The deadline for submitting the documents is 3rd May 2024.

Students are selected on the basis of points received from the entrance examination. The entrance exam is in form of an online test. The instructions, detailed content and the schedule of the online entrance exam are going to be sent to applicants by email. When filling out the application form, applicants are advised to double-check if the given email address is functional. Functional email address is necessary in order to be able to contact applicants with essential guidelines.

The content of the entrance examination is based on given reading material and connected assignments. Applicants’ English language skills are going to be tested as well. A functional computer with a stable internet connection is required.

More information concerning the admission criteria can be found here.

Applicants will be informed about the next procedures via email which they submitted in their application. Instructions for the entrance exam will be sent to applicants via email on Monday 20 May 2024.

Online exam is scheduled for Monday 27 May 2024 between 2 – 4 pm Finnish time

The online entrance exam has two parts – an oral and a written one. In the oral part, applicants prepare a short video based on the material. In the written part applicants create an essay based on the reading material following given instructions. All necessary instructions, detailed content and the schedule of the online entrance exam are going to be sent to applicants via email. Applicants’ English language skills are going to be evaluated as well. Please notice that a functional computer with a stable internet connection is required.

The most frequently asked questions about applying to MBA programmes compiled into a video.

How to apply

Separate application period 13.3–26.4.2024

The application process takes place at when the application period starts. The application process is free of charge for all applicants. Applicants can be admitted if they meet eligibility requirements, submit a valid application, attach required documents, and successfully pass the entrance exam.

You can find Centria’s degree programmes on Studyinfo by using the keyword “Centria”, as well as limiting search results with the “application ongoing” button.

Applying during transfer application 1.-15.5.2024

It is possible to apply to Centria UAS during the transfer application period if a student wants to transfer from one field of study to another within Centria UAS or a student wants to transfer from another Finnish university of applied sciences to Centria.

Applying with open UAS studies 1.–30.4.2024 and 1.–31.10.2024

Students who have completed studies in the Open University of Applied Sciences (UAS) may use the open UAS pathway to apply for degree student status.

Applying with an incomplete degree 1.–30.4.2024 and 1.–31.10.2024

If you have studied in Centria UAS or in another university in Finland but you have not yet finished your degree, you can re-apply for the same or related degree programme to finish your degree.

Contact us

Do you have questions about studying in the degree programme, studying in Finland or the practicalities of the application process? Please don’t hesitate to contact us!

Centrians sitting on the amphi stairs

How to reach us

If you want to know more about studies in the programme, you can contact our Education Export team and they will get back to you.

If you have a question about the practical application process, you can contact our Admissions services.

Students sitting together in the amphi of Kokkola campus

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Student stories

  • – Jonna Virkkala, Student

    MBA studies have been fun. I see it as an investment for the future. Spending time now will gain you much more knowledge and capability to act as a manager or in leadership

International business management information, skills and competencies – all in the same interesting package combining theoretical and practical knowledge. We get excellent feedback from our graduates and working life. Come and join us. You know you want to.

Marko Ovaskainen, Head of Centria Master School

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