Business Administration: Digital Business and Innovation

Meet the business challenges of the digital age

Digital technologies are changing businesses. But how do these technologies come about in the first place? What are their consequences for both people and organisations? And how are they disrupting entire industries?

The Master’s programme in Digital Business & Innovation aims to answer such questions by enabling students to form a bridge between business and technology. The curriculum links information systems with innovation management, covering everything from traditional enterprise resource planning systems to chatbots, artificial intelligence and social media. But more importantly, students learn how to innovate on products, services, processes and business models in a business context by using these new technologies.  Unsurprisingly, this combination is extremely attractive to companies currently undergoing a digital transformation process or advising others in this phase. If you’re ready to meet the business challenges of the digital age with academic skills as well as hands-on experience, join us!

AACSB

The Digital Business & Innovation Master’s programme is broken down into three thematic areas: information systems, innovation management and digital transformation. There are also core academic courses that will equip you with the research methodologies and critical thinking to succeed. The first half of the programme introduces you to the core topics, while the second half puts more emphasis on real-life projects.

To break it down:

  • You’ll take two mandatory academic courses:
    • Research Design and Methodology
    • Ethics in a Digital World
  • You’ll take four mandatory thematic courses:
    • Digital Business & Information Systems
    • Management of Digital Information
    • Working and Organising in a Digital Age
    • Digital Innovation Lab
  • You’ll also take at least three electives and write your Master’s thesis.

A few examples:

  • Digital Business & Information Systems – As a team, compete with your peers in a dragon’s den situation where business directors from Deloitte judge which team’s proposal wins.
  • Digital Innovation Lab – Get hands-on experience by building the technology to solve a real-life issue. Develop problem-solving skills and creative confidence by working as a team to create a working prototype of a game-based app.
  • Ethics in a Digital World – Delivery companies like Foodora and Deliveroo use new business models based on algorithms. But these digital technologies bring up ethical questions: are delivery drivers employees or self-employed? And what responsibility does the company have to them?

Want to know more? Check out the Study Guide!

Annual schedule 2019/2020

  • The programme offers a unique combination of information systems and innovation management – no other universities offer anything similar.
  • As so many organisations are in the process of digital transformation right now, what you’ll be learning is hyper-relevant in today’s job market.
  • The courses combine practical, hands-on experience with academic study to encourage critical thinking.
  • The teachers on the programme come from a wide range of different disciplines, including psychology, business administration, economics, communication science, information systems, engineering, sociology and anthropology. Many have experience working in business, too.
  • VU Amsterdam has a reputation for integrity, which means the programme also covers the ethical perspective on digital innovations.
  • You have an affinity for technology (and potentially some existing technical skills as well).
  • You’re curious about digital changes in the world, and enthusiastic about taking the many opportunities available within and around the programme.
  • You have an entrepreneurial, go-getting attitude, and enjoy collaborating with others on your ideas.
  • You have strong research skills.
  • Your interest goes beyond just getting a job – you’ll be entering an academic programme, not a vocational one.
  • You have a background in business administration, or you’ve taken business administration courses as part of your Bachelor’s programme if you have a different background (for example, in information systems, innovation management, design engineering or social sciences).

Does this sound like you? Then come along to one of our Open Days where you can find out more and try out the programme for yourself! If you’re keen to apply and meet the entry requirements (see below), then take a look at our application procedure and deadlines

What skills make you interesting to potential future employers?

Having completed the programme, you’ll be able to make a unique and much sought-after bridge between technological savvy and business contexts. You’ll also demonstrate creative problem-solving skills.

What kinds of jobs are available to you?

A Master’s in Digital Business & Innovation is the perfect preparation for roles including IT consultant or project manager, business analyst or innovation consultant, business developer or even start-up entrepreneur.

What have alumni of the programme gone on to do?

40% of programme graduates enter one of the large consulting firms – not least because of the strong ties of VU Amsterdam with Deloitte, KPMG and other consultancies. Many others go into big companies (including Shell and Heineken), banks or non-profits. And some work on a niche technology for a small start-up with big growth potential.

How does the programme help prepare students for the job market?

The Master’s thesis is an important preparation for exploring data from a research perspective. You can also use the findings from your thesis to develop practical advice to implement for the organisation you choose in the Digital Consultancy Project. Or you can take the Digital Entrepreneurship Project if you’re interested in working for a start-up.

Abdessamad Fathi

Graduate

Abdessamad_Fathi_

"The Master's of Digital business and Innovation has been very rewarding to follow. The topics discussed in class are future-oriented and ample opportunity is given to go out into the field and work with companies on projects, resulting in classes that are both engaging and refreshing. You also become part of this larger dynamic community of peers and teachers with different backgrounds and mindsets that help to enrich one another. This all will give you both the mindset and skill-set needed to bridge the technological and business world."

Mathieu Govaarts

Graduate

Mathieu_Govaarts_DBI

"Digital Business and Innovation offered me the possibility to focus on my own interests and enabled me to learn more about things I read about in the news; from developments in AI to the application of new technologies. Digital Business and Innovation combined the theoretical aspects with practice in every course, which provided me with insights into different potential employers. I learned what the impact of technology is on businesses and how they can deal with these developments on a strategic level. This has proven to be valuable in my work as a consultant where I see many businesses struggle with technological developments."

Meet DBI Students

Overview Business Administration: Digital Business and Innovation

LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION

English

DURATION

1 year

TUITION FEE

APPLICATION

1 April for international degree holders from non-EU/EEA countries (different deadlines may hold for other category students); 

1 June for Dutch degree holders and international degree holders from EU/EEA countries


START DATE

1 September

STUDY TYPE

Full-time

SPECIALIZATIONS

Specialization in Business Administration

FIELD OF INTEREST

Economics, Business and Law

Meet DBI Alumni

Professor H. Gerrits

BA_Information_HanGerrits

"The rapid emergence of the Internet and related technologies has led to a clear need for a scientific approach to applying these tools. Effectively managing information and knowledge is becoming one of the most important competencies for organisations in both the public and private sector. This Master’s specialisation provides students with a solid foundation for becoming a key player in this exciting and satisfying field."

Admission with a Dutch degree

We welcome and look for motivated and ambitious students who are actively developing themselves and are aware of their position and role in society. In order to be successful in this programme you will need a solid academic basis in, for instance, (International) Business Administration, Social Sciences, Economics, Computer Sciences, Industrial Design, or another discipline with a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 7.0 or higher (or an equivalent GPA score for international students). 

Admission requirements 
With a Bachelor's degree in (International) Business Administration, Economics or Econometrics and Operations Research from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam you are admissible provided you have a GPA of a 7.0 or higher and you successfully meet the requirements in this document

Beyond these formal requirements, we look for hard-working and motivated students, who are dedicated to understand the domain, have a critical attitude, and a drive to make a change. Extra-curricular experiences, ranging from business experience, entrepreneurial experiences to volunteering are appreciated. We stimulate a collaborative attitude and are proud of a rich diversity among students.

Application procedure

To enroll in the programme submit your enrolment application via Studielink. Please note: in Studielink you can apply for the Master in Business Administration and in VUnet you can select the specialization Digital Business & Innovation.

Step 1:
Apply for the programme MSc Business Administration via Studielink before 1 June. You can apply for the specialization in VUnet (see step 2)

Step 2:
Please complete your application in VUnet by answering additional questions, affirming  your choice for the specialization Digital Business & Innovation and uploading the following documents:

  • A transcript of your grades with your GPA
  • A motivation letter in which you explain why you want to pursue a Master’s programme Digital Business & Innovation) at VU Amsterdam
  • A recent resume

Your GPA has to be determined by taking the weighted average of all bachelor courses completed up to the moment of application. In case an additional degree has been pursued beyond the bachelor programme, the associated grades may be included in the calculation of the GPA, if that is beneficial for the GPA.

Please note: we can only process your application when your choice of specialization is clear and you uploaded all documents. 

More information regarding registration WO-bachelors, see the VU website (in Dutch).

Services for international (IBA) students / Residence permit:
If you are planning to continue your studies at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam after your IBA, please contact the Central Admission’s Support Team of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam for further information and specific questions about the offered services for international students like extending your residence permit. You will need to apply for extension of your residence permit if you continue your studies at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

We welcome and look for motivated and ambitious students who are actively developing themselves and are aware of their position and role in society. In order to be successful in this programme you will need a solid academic basis in, for instance, (International) Business Administration, Social Sciences, Economics, Computer Sciences, Industrial Design or another discipline with a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 7.0 or higher (or an equivalent GPA score for international students). 

Admission requirements 
The Digital Business & Innovation programme is open to students with a university Bachelor's degree that provides a thorough knowledge in Business Administration, and in particular Information Systems and Innovation Management. You need to have a GPA of 7.0 or higher and successfully completed courses and studied literature related to the core of this programme, consisting of (or equivalents of): 

At least 30 EC Business Administration courses, including at least 6 EC Information Systems, 6 EC Innovation Management, and 6 EC Research Methods (apart from statistics).

Information Systems
•    Baltzan, P. (2015). Business Driven Technology (6th ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill.
•    or: Turban, E., King, D., Lee, J., Liang, T. & Turban, D. C. (2015), Electronic Commerce: A Managerial and Social Networks Perspective. 8th Ed. Springer Text.
•    or: Laudon, K. C & Laudon, J.P. (2015). Management Information Systems; Managing the Digital Firm. 14th Edition, Prentice Hall.

Innovation Management
•    Tidd & Bessant (2013). Managing innovation. Integrating Technological, Market and Organizational Change. John Wiley & Sons.
•    or: Trott (2011). Innovation management and new product development (5ed).
•    or: Hislop, D. (2013). Knowledge Management in Organizations, (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press.
•    or: Schilling, M. (2015). Strategic management of technological innovation. (5th Ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill.

Research Methods
•    Textbook such as: Saunders, M.N.K., Lewis, P. & A. Thornhill (2015). Research Methods for Business Students, 7th. Edition.
•    or: Coursera course such as: Qualitative Methods and/or Quantitative Methods

Other Business Administration courses might include (but not limited too):
•    Strategy
•    Organization Theory
•    Business Economics

Additional requirements
Beyond these formal requirements, we look for hard-working and motivated students, who are dedicated to understand the domain, have a critical attitude, and a drive to make a change. Extra-curricular experiences, ranging from business experience, entrepreneurial experiences to volunteering are appreciated. We stimulate a collaborative attitude and are proud of a rich diversity among students.

Generally admissible
Applicants with at least a Bachelor's degree from another accredited university are admissible if they have a specialization in Business Administration, witnessed by thorough knowledge of the standard literature described above (or its equivalent) and a GPA of 7.0 or higher.

If you do not meet the requirements with regard to courses completed, you might be admissible on the condition that you follow (an) additional course(s) to remedy deficiencies.

Application procedure
To enroll in the programme submit your enrolment application via Studielink. Please note: in Studielink you can apply for the Master in Business Administration and in VUnet you can select the specialization Digital Business & Innovation. 

Step 1:
Apply for the programme MSc Business Administration via Studielink. You can register for the specialization Digital Business & Innovation in VUnet (see step 2)

Step 2:
After applying for the programme in studielink you will receive a VUnet-ID and password. Please complete your application in VUnet by answering additional questions, affirming  your choice for the specialization Digital Business & Innovation and uploading the following documents:
•    An official transcript of your grades
•    A motivation letter in which you explain why you want to pursue a Master’s programme Digital Business & Innovation) at VU Amsterdam
•    A recent resume. 

Your GPA has to be determined by taking the weighted average of all bachelor courses completed up to the moment of application. In case an additional degree has been pursued beyond the bachelor programme, the associated grades may be included in the calculation of the GPA, if that is beneficial for the GPA.

Please note: we can only process your application when your choice of specialization is clear and you uploaded all documents. 
 
Step 3:
The admission committee will assess if you meet the admission criteria and will inform you about the decision via email.
For the full description of the registration procedure see the VU website (in Dutch).

You will gain direct admission after completing the premaster programme; this is a full-time programme with courses on at least three days per week.

Premaster programme
The premaster programme is a deficiency programme that provides the necessary knowledge and prepares you for this master's programme. It is a 30 EC program that takes place in the second semester, from February through July. These courses involve both content as well as academic skills and knowledge, and research methods.

Course details in the study guide

Admission requirements
The premaster programme has two admission requirements:

  1. You have an hbo degree
  2. You have a Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) combined score of at least 550 for the parts Verbal and Quantitative. Also note the following:
    • The score may not be older than 2 years, counted from the date you start with the premaster
    • The Integrated Reasoning and Analytical Writing Assessment score do not count for admission
    • You can use a Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) score for the parts Verbal and Quantitative to satisfy the GMAT score requirement. To convert your GRE score to its GMAT equivalent, use the GRE Comparison Tool!

GMAT and GRE
A GMAT score of at least 550 or an equivalent GRE score is a requirement to participate in the premaster programme. Please fill in the test that 'Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam' may receive your score. The official score will be sent by GMAT to VU. Please note that it may take up to 20 calendar days for the VU to receive your GMAT score, so plan GMAT on time.

The School of Business and Economics (SBE) offers a course in preparation for the GMAT, the GMAT preparation course. The preparation course starts each year in August. For more information, please visit the website of the GMAT preparation course.

Costs
Tuition fee 2018-2019: EUR 1030.00

Deadlines and application
The programme starts 1 February, and you must have completed your application before this date!

Apply now

Visit our Master's Events.

Contact the Programme Director Prof. dr. Bart van den Hooff or Programme Coordinator Dr. Maura Soekijad (see www.kinresearch.nl).

Hooff, Prof. dr. Bart  

Information days and activities
contact@vu.nl
Admission questions
toelating.sbe@vu.nl
or on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 15:00h and 16:00h: Tel. 020 5985873
Tuition fees, Studielink, VUnet
Central Student Desk
Application
Studielink
Other questions
contact@vu.nl

Admission with an international degree

We welcome and look for motivated and ambitious students who are actively developing themselves and are aware of their position and role in society. In order to be successful in this programme you will need a solid academic basis in, for instance, (International) Business Administration, Social Sciences, Economics, Computer Sciences, Industrial Design or another discipline with a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 7.0 or higher (or an equivalent GPA score). 

Admission requirements
In order to gain admission to our Master’s programme, you need to have at least a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited research university including at least three full years of academic study amounting to a minimum of 180 EC or equivalent. We do not require a GRE or GMAT test score (but encourage you to submit if you have one). You need to have successfully completed courses and studied literature related to the core of this programme, consisting of (or equivalents of):

At least 30 EC in Business Administration courses, including at least 6 EC Information Systems, 6 EC Innovation Management, and 6 EC Research Methods (apart from statistics).

Information Systems courses
•    Baltzan, P. (2015). Business Driven Technology (6th ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill.
•    or: Turban, E., King, D., Lee, J., Liang, T. & Turban, D. C. (2015), Electronic Commerce: A Managerial and Social Networks Perspective. 8th Ed. Springer Text.
•    or: Laudon, K. C & Laudon, J.P. (2015). Management Information Systems; Managing the Digital Firm. 14th Edition, Prentice Hall.

Innovation Management courses
•    Tidd & Bessant (2013). Managing innovation. Integrating Technological, Market and Organizational Change. John Wiley & Sons.
•    or: Trott (2011). Innovation management and new product development (5ed).
•    or: Hislop, D. (2013). Knowledge Management in Organizations, (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press.
•    or: Schilling, M. (2015). Strategic management of technological innovation. (5th Ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill.

Research Methods courses
•    Textbook such as: Saunders, M.N.K., Lewis, P. & A. Thornhill (2015). Research Methods for Business Students, 7th. Edition.
•    or: Coursera course such as: Qualitative Methods and/or Quantitative Methods

Other Business Administration courses might include (but not limited too):
•    Strategy
•    Organization Theory
•    Business Economics

Additional requirements
Beyond these formal requirements, we look for hard-working and motivated students, who are dedicated to understand the domain, have a critical attitude, and a drive to make a change. Extra-curricular experiences, ranging from business experience, entrepreneurial experiences to volunteering are appreciated. We stimulate a collaborative attitude and are proud of a rich diversity among students.

English language proficiency
The admission board wants to stress the intensity of the programme: reading scientific articles and writing papers will be a key part, all in a very high pace. Your English language skills, both oral and written, are extremely important in this programme. As you will have to communicate frequently with your fellow students and you will be working with and for international companies.

VU Amsterdam requires all applicants to take an English test. You can already apply online without having the test results. We do advise you to plan a test date as soon as possible. Below you will find the minimum English test scores for the programme:  

IELTS (academic):
•    Minimum general score 6,5
•    Minimum score writing 6,0

TOEFL
•    Paper based test 580
•    Internet based test 92-93

Cambridge English
•    Cambridge Proficiency Exam A, B, C
•    Cambridge Advanced Exam A, B, C
The Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers the TOEFL ITP English-language proficiency test. The test is offered by the VU Taalloket . You can find more information and register for this test at www.taalloket.nl 

Please refer to the language requirement page for the general requirements regarding the English language test. 

Are you curious if you meet the admission requirements for the programme? Then you can fill out the online Student Self Check tool below to find out more about your chances to be admitted to the Master’s programme.
In the tool you will be asked some questions about your previous education and background. Based on your answers you will receive a personal preliminary advice on your eligibility for admission and the next steps you can take to continue your application.

Check your eligibility

Please note: no rights can be derived from the Self Check tool results. For a definite admission decision you will have to complete the official application procedure for this programme.

If you have read the admission requirements and feel you are eligible for admission, please take the following steps to submit your application. Note that the initial application procedure is fully online and that scans of your relevant documents are required. You can already apply online without having completed your Bachelor’s degree. After admission, you will have until 31 August to send a proof of graduation by postal mail.

Step 1: Prepare documents and apply online
Please prepare the following documents and arrange the payment of the non-refundable €100 application fee. You can find a more detailed explanation of each document on the application page. All documents should be provided in English, and preferably in .PDF format.

  • Copy of your valid passport or ID (only for EU citizens)
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Motivation letter
  • Transcript of records
  • A description of the relevant courses you have taken during your previous higher education, with the main literature used for those course. You can use this format.
  • Thesis (or another sample of academic writing). If your thesis was not written in English, please submit the original with an added summary of about 3 pages in English.

After having prepared the required documents, please follow the online application procedure. After you have completed the application, our international student advisors will contact you via e-mail. Please refer to the application page to see which application deadline applies to you.

Step 2: Await decision on admission
After submitting your complete application, the Admission Board will review all your documents to assess your eligibility. In general, we can inform students of the admission decision within 4 weeks. Around deadlines, this can take a bit linger, so we always recommend to apply as soon as possible. If you are admitted, you will receive your letter of conditional admission by email. After that, you can start planning your move to Amsterdam!

Step 3: Finalize your enrolment and move to Amsterdam!
Make sure to finalize your enrolment as a student before the start of the programme. Here on our website, you will find an explanation of all things to arrange after admission. When all enrolment requirements have been met you will be ready to start your programme at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam!

Further information about:

All international students are required to apply for the MSc programme of their choice first. If you do not meet the admission requirements directly, you could gain admission after completing the premaster programme.

The premaster programme is a deficiency programme that provides the necessary knowledge and skills to prepare you for this master's programme. It is a programme of 30 ECTS that is offered in the second semester, from February through July. Content details of the offered premasters can be found here.

Admission requirements for the premaster programme

  • You have a bachelor's degree from a non-Dutch university or from a non-Dutch university of applied science.
  • You have a Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) combined score of at least 550 for the parts Verbal and Quantitative. Also note the following: 
    • The score may not be older than two years, counted from 1 February
    • The Integrated Reasoning and Analytical Writing Assessment scores do not count for admission
    • You can use a Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) score for the parts Verbal and Quantitative to satisfy the GMAT score requirement. To convert your GRE score to its GMAT equivalent, use the GRE Comparison Tool
  • You can demonstrate sufficient English proficiency by meeting the requirements listed above

More information on the requirements, including GMAT preparations, can be found on the central premaster website.

Deadlines and application
The programme starts 1 February. Because of visa application deadlines, non-EU citizens must have completed their application before 1 November. EU citizens can complete their application until January 31st.

Note: When applying, you can find the premaster programme in Studielink after selecting "Type of study programme: Bachelor's or other non-master programmes".

Our international student ambassadors are happy to tell you all about their experiences with studying at VU and living in Amsterdam. Our student ambassadors come from all over the world and are currently attending various bachelor's and master's programmes.

Our student ambassadors are listed here.

Reach out to them and hear their stories about being a VU Amsterdam student!

International students can apply to several scholarships. For all VU scholarships, please see www.vu.nl/scholarships. Any available external grant or scholarship can be found through www.grantfinder.nl.

Visit our Master's Events

Central International Office
For detailed questions about the Master’s programmes or the application procedure, please contact one of your International Student Advisors at the International Office: masters.sbe@vu.nl

Leanne Schrijver
Leanne Schrijver
Tel +31 20 59 83032
Paul Steeman
Paul Steeman
Tel +31 20 59 88739
Amu Shrestha
Amu Shrestha
Tel +31 20 59 84296
Lotte de Winter
Lotte de Winter
Tel +31 20 59 89072


For general information about VU Amsterdam:
Please phone us at +31 (0)20 598 5000 (Monday – Friday, 09:00 to 17:00).
You may also e-mail us at study@vu.nl.

Roxane Fadel

Graduate

BA_information_RoxaneF

"There is a lot of student-teacher interaction in the Master’s in Digital Business and Innovation and the approach is far more personal than you might expect from a large university. I am very pleased that many of our teachers come from the business world. It means that we have the added advantage of utilising their existing networks. Thanks to the great balance between theory and practice, I will not only possess the academic knowledge I need as a graduate, but I will also be thoroughly prepared for the business world."

Geert Faber

Graduate

BA_Information_GeertFaber

"This Master’s focuses on recent scientific research and interesting business cases. The classes are a combination of individual and group assignments, class discussion and presentations by professionals in the field. The academic approach and the expertise of the lecturers provided me with in-depth knowledge of Digital Business and Innovation, while the small-scale approach and accessibility of the supervisors were a great support in finishing my Master’s."

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