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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)


Become an agent of change, innovation or entrepreneurship

The MSc in Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship prepares you for a career in innovation, business development and entrepreneurial ventures – either in established companies or in start-ups. You are taught to adopt a strategic mindset and identify how technology, innovation and entrepreneurship can support the growth and survival of businesses.

You will acquire competences necessary to drive, manage and scale innovative ideas and ventures in dynamic settings, for instance in the role of business developer, project manager or intrapreneur/entrepreneur. We will pay specific attention to emerging digital technologies, sustainability and other current trends.

Upon graduation, you will be qualified to manage and facilitate innovation processes, from discovery and ideation to proof of concept, prototyping and commercialisation. You will be able to set strategic targets and assess relevant technology, intellectual property and financing opportunities. Furthermore, you will have learned to collect customer insights, understand customer needs and business challenges, and to carry out early-stage experiments for market validation and commercial potential. You will also have been trained in presentation skills.

The courses on this Master’s degree programme will develop your analytical skillset and enable you to work creatively with problem solving as well as to translate theory into practice and to collaborate across disciplines in diverse knowledge domains.

The degree programme has been prepared in close collaboration with partners from business and industry and consists of a combination of lectures, assignments, teamwork and hands-on work with real projects and cases.

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

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 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.

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 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

Classic Readings in Innovation and Entrepreneurship (5 ECTS) 
When: 1st semester (ends week 42)
Exam: Take home assignment (12 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. The students in parallel generate an overview of the main arguments offered in this academic field. With this knowledge the students create the ability to position, critically assess and not least choose relevant literature in this field when applied in 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 innovation, and why do social networks matter for innovation?

Appropriating Innovation, Managing Intellectual Property (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 innovation appropriation. 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 innovation appropriation.

Topics include: patents, trademark, secrecy, technology licensing, technological lead, alliance, market entry, the role of management, and corporate governance.

Innovation Challenge: Hands-on Project (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 them to reflect on the challenges and opportunities of innovation work.

Topics include: The Design Thinking process, methods for identifying customer needs, creativity constraints, value proposition, ideation techniques, prototype development and testing, business models.

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 knowledge of the designs, data collection, and data analysis techniques commonly used and applicable in management research. The course will equip participants with the advanced methodological knowledge, understanding and skills required for successful completion of the MSc. programme. Importantly, the course provides students with practical skills for research design, data collection and analysis 

Topics include:
Research design, research questions, role of theory in research designs, quantitative and qualitative research, mixed methods designs, survey design
s, interview designs and digital methods.

Entrepreneurship for Social Change (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 Sustainable Development Goals, as specified by the United Nations. 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: System thinking, entrepreneurial team building, entrepreneurial resourcing, entrepreneurial opportunities and the Sustainable Development Goals, 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: Oana Vuculescu

This course explores business development through the lens of innovation and innovation strategy. Students will learn concepts, ideas and frameworks for a broad portfolio of tools to be used in the early phases of strategic decision-making, in the context of innovation.

Topics include: emerging trends such as digitalization and artificial intelligence, how to manage and understand these new trends via open innovation, networks, ecosystems and platforms.

Managing Innovation (10 ECTS)
When: 2nd semester
Exam: 5-hour written exam
Course responsible: Pernille Smith

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

Topics include: idea management, managing interdisciplinary innovation teams, leadership, process models, open innovation, knowledge sharing, agile innovation, challenges of large mature organizations

Questions about the study line? 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 and Entrepreneurship will provide you with the competences and skills to take up managerial positions in producer companies and consulting firms, as well as start-ups and work specifically with

  • Planning and implementation of innovation strategies
  • Creation and advancement of innovative processes
  • Development of new businesses

In large companies, the candidates will be champions of innovation by bridging the gap between the R&D, production and sales activities, thereby supporting and shaping the innovation culture.

In small- and medium-sized companies, the candidates will act as entrepreneurs combining technological know-how with profound business understanding.

From Studies to the First Job
”If you can find a student job while you are studying, there is a big chance you will be staying longer, or getting a full time job after graduation. Be patient and work hard.” (MSc in Economics and Business Administration - Innovation Management and Business Development) 

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.


The research-based MSc study programme in Economics and Business Administration builds on the competencies and insights acquired in the BSc study programme in Economics and Business Administration.

The study programme provides the graduate with specialist knowledge within the disciplines of the study programme, which that give the graduate high academic qualifications to develop solutions to issues pertaining to business administration in companies and organisations in the public and private sectors.

The study programme also qualifies the graduate for further studies, including PhD studies.

Through the study programme, the graduate has acquired knowledge that enables the graduate to

  • Understand and analyse how to manage innovation for the strategic development of organizations 
  • Manage the challenges and opportunities of innovative and entrepreneurial work
  • Master the complex processes of innovation that creates value for new and existing businesses 
  • Understand and consider knowledge pertaining to the various disciplines as well as identifying academic issues
  • Master the scientific methodologies and tools of the various disciplines as well as mastering general skills associated with employment within the areas studied
  • Assess and choose among the scientific methodologies and tools of the various disciplines as well as developing new analysis and solution models
  • Discuss professional and academic issues with both specialists and laymen
  • Manage work and development situations that are complex, unpredictable and require new solution models
  • Initiate and carry out, on an independent basis, monodisciplinary and interdisciplinary collaboration and take professional responsibility
  • Take responsibility, on an independent basis, for own professional development and specialisation