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Master's Degree Programme

About the programme 
Language: English  (See language requirements)  | Place of study: Aarhus  |  Commencement: August / September (no winter intake)

Please note that, from 2024, the degree programme Innovation Mangement and Entrepreneruship will be called Innovation Mangement.


A Path to Future Leadership in Innovation

The MSc in Innovation Management is more than just a master's degree; it is the start of a journey towards leadership in innovation.

Position yourself at the intersection between innovation, technology, entrepreneurship, and modern business practices. This programme is designed for those who want to work with innovation in both established companies and new ventures.

  • Strategic Insight: Develop a comprehensive strategic outlook, understand the integral roles of technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship in today's business world.
  • Skills Development: From the conception of innovative ideas to their evolution into robust ventures, master the roles of business developer, innovation consultant, project manager or entrepreneur, all backed by evidence-based methodologies.
  • Current Trends: Engage with state-of-the-art knowledge on emerging technologies and sustainable business, ensuring your expertise remains relevant and forward-looking.

Future business opportunities

After finishing, you will be able to set clear strategic goals for innovation and identify future business opportunities. You will develop a nuanced understanding of market dynamics, with an emphasis on customer-centric approaches, analytical skills, and evidence-based decision making.

Problem-solving with Generative AI

Our courses focus on combining theoretical knowledge and practical problem-solving. You will gain insights from different theoretical fields, work in groups and solve real-world business problems. You will also learn about the new possibilities of using Generative AI for innovation, adding more value to your studies.

Combining theory and practice

If you wish to combine theory and practice while also driving innovation, the MSc in Innovation Management can lead you to a leadership position within innovation.


The MSc programme in Innovation Management will provide you with the competencies and skills to take up managerial positions in large companies and consulting firms, as well as start-ups. Once you graduate you will be able to:

  • plan and implement technology and innovation strategies
  • create and advance innovative processes
  • develop new business opportunities

In both large companies and in start-ups, graduates will act as champions for innovation and a culture of innovation, while bridging knowledge about emergent technologies and business opportunities.

MSc in Innovation Management Rasmus and Lisa talk about the competencies they have gained from the programme and how they use them in their current job. Morten explains why there is a need for graduates from this programme.

Admission Requirements

Legal right of admission

Applicants with a Bachelor's degree in Economics and Business Administration (HA) from Aarhus University have the right to be admitted to the Master's degree programme in Economics and Business Administration (cand.merc.) at Aarhus University on the condition that application is made for admission to the Master’s degree programme no later than three years after completion of the Bachelor’s degree programme. The legal right of admission requires receipt of the application by Aarhus University within the appropriate period of time.

Bachelor's degrees with direct admission

The following Bachelor’s degrees fulfill the admissions requirements for the Master’s degree programme in Economics and Business Administration at Aarhus University but are not automatically secured a spot at the programme:

  • Applicants with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with supplementary subject (erhvervsøkonomi med tilvalg) at study plan 2017 and onwards from Aarhus University.
  • Applicants with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Commercial Law (Erhvervsøkonomi-erhvervsret (HA jur.)) from Aarhus University.
  • Applicants with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Business Administration (HA - general business economics) from one of the Danish universities.*
  • Applicants a Bachelor´s degree in Economics and Business Administration (HA) from Aarhus University who no longer have legal right of admission.*

* With a diploma older than 2000, your Bachelor’s degree will be assessed according to the specific admission requirements described under the section: “Students that hold a degree from another university”. 

Students that hold a Bachelor's degree from another university

Other Bachelor´s degrees can provide admission to the Master’s degree programme. When you apply the university will access if your Bachelor´s degree corresponds in level, extent and content to a BSc in Economics and Business Administration/HA from Aarhus Universitet. The assessment will prioritize the sufficient content of the following subjects and ECTS-points:     






7,5 ECTS


7,5 ECTS


7,5 ECTS

Organisation- and Leadership Theory

7,5 ECTS



Operations Management


Additional ECTS points within the abovementioned areas


Total ECTS within Economics and Business Administration


*Please note, applicants must have at least 15 ECTS within methods including at least 10 ECTS within quantitative methods or statistics. However only 5 ECTS can be covered by Mathematics.

Admission to the MSc in Economics and Business Administration for applicants with a professional bachelor’s degree (professionsbachelor)

In order to meet the admission requirements for the MSc programmes in Economics and Business Administration, applicants with a specific professional bachelor’s degree must have completed specific elective courses as part of their qualifying exam. In this table the requirements for elective courses are laid out.

Language requirements

As English is the language of instruction in all subjects, all applicants are required to provide evidence of their English language proficiency.
Please see the page on language requirements.

Download appendix for your application

If you apply for admission with an international Bachelor's degree, you must fill in this appendix and upload it in the application portal. The appendix serves to help the Admission Board assess your Bachelor's degree in regard to the admission requirements. 

Download appendix

Restricted admission from 2022

As from the intake 2022, the Master’s degree programmes in Economics and Business Administration (cand.merc.) only admits a limited number of students each year. Therefore, meeting the admission requirements does not in itself guarantee admission to the programme. 

Please note, for programmes with restricted admission special rules regarding supplementary Bachelor’s courses apply. Therefore, we no longer offer pre-assessments for the programme in Economics and Business Administration (cand.merc.).

Read more about supplementary Bachelor’s courses.

Selection criteria

If there are more qualified applicants than available seats, the Admissions Committee assesses each applicant based on the average mark (i.e. GPA) of the Bachelor’s degree at the time of application. Marks/grades obtained after the application deadline will not be included in the GPA. The Admissions Committee assesses each applicant’s marks based on the information provided by diplomas and transcripts.

Programme structure


Below is an outline and description of the courses:

The degree programme consists of two semesters in the first year which cover the compulsory courses in the programme specialisation and two semesters in the last year which are reserved for the student's own specialisation.

In the first semester you follow the prerequisite courses that form the methodological and academic basis for the further study programme.

In the second semester you follow the specialisation courses of the programme.

In the third semester you can choose elective courses within your areas of interest. The courses can either be taken at Aarhus BSS during the semester, at the Summer University or at one of our more than 300 partner universities abroad. You can also participate in project-based internship programmes either in Denmark or abroad.

The fourth semester is devoted to the final thesis. You may choose the topic of the thesis freely and so get a chance to concentrate on and specialise in a specific field of interest. The thesis may be written in collaboration with another student or it may be the result of your individual effort.

Description of courses

Fundamental Ideas in Innovation and Entrepreneurship (5 ECTS) 
When: 1st semester (ends week 42)
Exam: Take home assignment (8 hours)
Course responsible: Lars Frederiksen

In this course, students learn to read, understand, and relate classic readings in innovation and entrepreneurship research. Thus, we improve the ability to work with more advanced academic texts. In parallel, students generate a foundational overview of the main arguments offered in this academic field. With this knowledge at hand, the students create the ability to position, critically assess, and not least choose relevant literature in this field when applied to their own argumentation and writing.

Topics include: The economics of innovation, who is the entrepreneur, what is the role of technology in driving innovation and entrepreneurship, how do managers support and handle the innovation process, and why do social networks matter for innovation?

Technology and Intellectual Property Strategy (5 ECTS)
When: 1st semester (starts week 44)
Exam: 3-hour written
Course responsible: A-Sung Hong

This course is designed to expose students to the foundational concepts and discussions surrounding technology and intellectual property strategy. The course will offer an introduction to a range of topics concerning how firms can make profits from technological innovation and manage intellectual property. It will introduce students to both the theoretical and the empirical findings regarding technology and intellectual property strategy.

Topics include: patents, trademark, secrecy, technology alliance, technological lead, artificial intelligence, market entry, and the role of management.

Design Thinking and Innovation (10 ECTS)
When: 1st semester
Exam: Take home assignment (group) + Oral exam (individual)
Course responsible: Helle Alsted Søndergaard

The course is designed to give students hands-on experience in working with the innovation process, using the principles of Design Thinking. Student groups will work on real life challenges formulated by companies and experience the ups and downs of the innovation process, enabling reflection on the challenges and opportunities of innovation work.

Topics include: Design Thinking, methods for identifying customer needs, value proposition design, ideation techniques, business models, prototype development and testing, as well as the use of generative AI in the innovation process.

Research Methods (10 ECTS)
When: 1st semester
Exam: Take home assignment (group) + Oral exam (individual)
Course responsible: Birthe Asmuss and Irene Pollach

The course provides students with advanced knowledge of research designs, data collection, and data analysis techniques commonly used in business research. As a foundation for generating novel insights, the course provides students with advanced scientific and practical skills in regard to research design, data collection, and data analysis.

Topics include advanced qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods research designs; formulation of sound research questions; advanced methods for qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis, including digitally aided methods.

Sustainable Entrepreneurship (10 ECTS)
When: 2nd semester
Exam: Take home assignment (group) + Oral exam (individual)
Course responsible: Franziska Günzel-Jensen

The aim of the course is to enable students to think and act entrepreneurially. Students will be trained in using a number of entrepreneurial methods to create value within the context of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. Students will work in teams on their own entrepreneurial project enabling them to reflect upon entrepreneurial work processes, their own role in entrepreneurial groups as well as entrepreneurship as a potential career.

Topics include: entrepreneurial team building, entrepreneurial resourcing, entrepreneurial opportunities and the Sustainable Development Goals, systems thinking, prototype development and testing, entrepreneurial finance, impact measurement.

Strategic Management of Technological Innovation (10 ECTS)
When: 2nd semester
Exam: Take home assignment (group) + Oral exam (individual)
Course responsible: Susan Hilbolling

This course delves into strategy development around technological innovation. Students will learn the key concepts and frameworks related to the strategic management of innovation, and how to apply them to real-world situations. Given the continuously evolving and swiftly advancing landscape of digital technologies, this course places a particular emphasis on comprehending these new digital technologies, their characteristics, and the consequences they bear, encompassing both opportunities and challenges, for innovation strategy and new business development. 

Topics include: technological and industry evolution, business model innovation, emerging trends such as digitalization and artificial intelligence and their implications for strategizing, ecosystem and platform strategy.

Organizing for Innovation (10 ECTS)
When: 2nd semester
Exam: 5-hour written exam
Course responsible: Pernille Smith and Michela Beretta

The course focuses on the organizing aspects of innovation: how to organise effectively for innovation and how to overcome challenges of ideation and implementation, for example innovation project management, inter-disciplinary collaboration, and knowledge sharing.

Topics include: idea management, managing interdisciplinary teams, process models, open innovation, knowledge sharing, and agile innovation.

Questions about the programme? Contact line coordinator Helle Alsted Søndergaard, hals@mgmt.au.dk.

Student Life

Learning in an International Context

At Aarhus BSS, we conduct research at the highest academic level.

All researchers employed are engaged in research projects covering a wide range of different subjects and focusing on knowledge and skills considered essential for professional business activities in the global marketplace. All faculty have both research and teaching responsibilities, which means that our teaching is continually based on the latest research results.

Aarhus BSS is very internationally oriented. The broad scope of our research activities and educational programmes enable us to attract researchers, teachers, and students from all over the world, and this creates an international environment for research and learning in which academic views are exchanged, experiences are gathered and friendships are formed.

Aarhus University is a leading university in Denmark in building student exchange opportunities. The university encourages all students to spend time studying abroad. Every year, more than 700 students from Aarhus BSS go abroad to participate in exchange programmes around the world at our more than 300 partner universities. About the same number of students from all over the world come to participate in the exchange programme in Aarhus, and this contributes to a truly international learning atmosphere.

Follow the student life at Aarhus University

-experienced, photographed and filmed by the students themselves.

With thousands of pictures #AUInternational, #AarhusUni gives insight into the everyday life as a student at AU; the parties, procrastination, exams and all the other ways you’ll spend your time at university

The photos belong to the users, shared with #AUInternational and #AarhusUni.


Tasks as a Graduate

The chart shows the five most common types of work for graduates 1-2 years after finishing their degree. The data is derived from a survey made by Epinion for the Ministry of Higher Education and Science and Aarhus University in 2020.

  • Analysis/evaluation
  • Administration, case-handling and secretariat functions
  • Communication and research communication
  • Marketing/advertising
  • Customer and citizen services
  • Management and organisation
  • Other


The MSc programme in Innovation Management will provide you with the competencies and skills to take up managerial positions in large companies and consulting firms, as well as start-ups. Once you graduate you will be able to:

  • plan and implement technology and innovation strategies
  • create and advance innovative processes
  • develop new business opportunities

In both large companies and in start-ups, graduates will act as champions for innovation and a culture of innovation, while bridging knowledge about emergent technologies and business opportunities.

We want to help our students find successful careers. Students can always contact our Career Services for advice and assistance with getting onto the Danish labour market. Check out our careers page to see the range of services we offer.

MSc in Innovation Management Former students talk about their experiences and their reasons for choosing this MSc programme. Video: iCon Media Solutions