Global Trade Management (M.A.)



General Information

The Master's degree program Global Trade Management (formerly International Business Administration and Foreign Trade (M.A.)) is a business administration degree program with a focus on international and especially foreign trade related aspects. The Master of Arts program gives students a broad and integrated knowledge of business and foreign trade relations. In addition, they get a sound scientific understanding in the field of business administration and foreign trade.

Graduates are optimally prepared through their studies, the internship abroad and the preparation of a thesis for a successful career in small and medium-sized enterprises as well as in international companies, associations and organizations.

Content and organization

The Global Trade Management (M.A.) programme offers maximum flexibility in terms of how the programme can be structured. Students can opt for the standard version, or alternatively, they may prefer to choose the cooperative programme, with the opportunity to switch even after the start of the programme. There is also the possibility of splitting the programme into

  • 3 semesters with 90 credit points or
  • 4 semesters with 120 credit points,

depending on the admission requirements* or whether an optional semester in industry is incorporated.

The programme can be split into 4 (3) semesters:

1 ǀ Semester 1:        The core elements of global trade
2 ǀ Semester 2:        Specialisation with compulsory elective modules
3 ǀ Semester 3:        Placement semester (optional)
4 ǀ Semester 4 (3) :  Master's Thesis, preferably in a company

1 ǀ The first semester is used to teach the core elements of global trade.

The first semester focuses on the key components of global trade, with the modules of Strategies of Internationalisation, Foreign Trade Operations and International Economics giving students the opportunity to further develop their expertise based on the Bachelor's degree for a career in international companies.

Students develop a comprehensive understanding of the interplay between micro and macroeconomic corporate environments and strategic courses of action. Through the Foreign Trade Operations module, students are put in a position to successfully shape strategic and operational decisions in terms of foreign trade as well.

The Business Psychology and Leadership Competence modules deal with the managerial skills required to take on a future position in leadership. It teaches students the skills needed to successfully combine their theoretical management know-how with actual practice.

The Fundamentals of Empirical Research and Advanced Topics of Empirical Research modules provide students with a deeper understanding of research methods.

2 | The core elements of the degree program are surrounded by a subject-specific matched group of compulsory elective modules. On the one hand, these represent a modern foreign trade and business management focus. On the other hand, they reflect the relevant activities of the value added process of an international company. Depending on the desired qualification objective, the student can enrol in five of the compulsory elective courses offered. This kind of specialization appears to be meaningful and necessary especially in terms of career field related aspects since the more qualified graduates are thus awarded a clear qualification profile.

The compulsory elective modules include:

  • Foreign Trade Consulting
  • Advanced Int. Controlling
  • Advanced Corporate Finance
  • Global Careers, Employee Motivation & Organization Design
  • Strategic Marketing & Relationship Marketing
  • International Supply Chain Management
  • International Entrepreneurship
  • E-Commerce
  • Intellectual Property Rights

The compulsory elective modules, without exception, all have an international focus and, thanks to their small group sizes, permit very practice-oriented teaching. Project work, workshops or excursions to internationally operating companies and/or organizations increasingly take place.

3 | The third semester is designed as an optional placement semester*, an opportunity which enhances both language and intercultural skills and fosters personal development. It comprises a continuous period of at least 20 weeks and is to be completed in a company abroad. The goal is to apply this fundamental business administration knowledge in practice and translate these in terms of a professional qualification.

4 | The last semester is used to write the Master's Thesis. This should preferably be written in a company. This allows students to apply the expertise and skills acquired during their studies within a prescribed period of time (5 months), to apply this in practice and translate this in terms of a professional qualification. The IBA professors will gladly assist students finding a suitable position.


* See Downloads "Admission Requirements GTM"