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Core programme

The core programme of Amsterdam MBA consists of four domains. Addressing key challenges for future leaders in business and society.

  • 1. Leadership

    How do you navigate a group, team or organization towards a common goal? In addition to managing people in a purposeful way, learn how to integrate different perspectives and translate them into well-balanced decisions.

  • 2. Strategy & Operations

    Learn about varied functional perspectives to better understand general management issues and their translation into promising business opportunities.

  • 3. Finance & Accounting

    Learn to master the quantitative economic side of a business and to augment managerial decision-making by financial information. Key topics: acquisition of financial resources, measurement and analysis of accounting information, attainment to economic goals and performance indicators.

  • 4. Contemporary Management Issues

    Corporate social responsibility, emerging economies and big data and business analytics. What challenges do you as a future leader have to face? What developments redefine our understanding of business?

Courses and electives

The core curriculum of the programme is divided into 6 blocks. On top of that, you can choose electives.

Block 1

  • Competitive Strategy

    The discipline of strategic management concerns questions about the interaction between organisations and their environments. Within the strategic management discipline, the field of competitive strategy is specifically concerned with understanding differences in the performance of competing organisations.

    Throughout this course, you will apply processes, theories and tools to cases and their own organisations. Sessions will be interactive and have room to bring in your own background and experience.

  • Digital Business

    Due to the increasing importance of digitisation, managers require a profound understanding of how digital technologies will impact their business and how they can create customer value by leveraging innovative solutions, such as the internet-of-things, 3D printing, big data and business analytics, autonomous robots or blockchain technologies.

    How can digital technologies be combined with individual user needs to achieve sustainable competitive advantage? We distinguish between different building blocks, i.e. emerging digital technologies, underlying economics, business opportunities/models, modes of value creation and practices/methods to better understand user needs.

  • Ethics, Responsibility & Sustainability

    Learn the basics of morality, ethics and ethical theory as well as going in-depth into themes of corporate responsibility and sustainability. This course is designed specifically to be academically challenging as well as practically relevant. It emphasises participation and dialogue and we aim to develop practical debating and presentation skills.

    The course is international in all respects, dealing with those sustainability aspects that have international relevance. You will compare differences in issues, perceptions, standards and policies between countries, and pay attention to international firms.

  • Financial Accounting

    Get introduced to financial accounting from an international perspective. No prior knowledge of financial accounting is required. We adopt a user rather than a preparer perspective, because as an MBA student you will most likely become users of financial statements rather than preparer. However, in order to become a user, you must understand how financial statements are prepared.

Block 2

  • Business Analytics

    Good decision-making requires, first and foremost, high quality information. For managers and other decision makers, it is therefore crucial to understand the quantitative and statistical methods, and their drawbacks, that are often used to generate the information with which they are provided.

    You learn about the statistical concepts and techniques that are most commonly used in the area of Management and Business Administration. The course emphasises the practical application of various statistical techniques.

  • Developments in International Business

    There are over 77,000 Multinational Enterprises (MNEs) worldwide and these MNEs together control 770,000 foreign subsidiaries, employ 62 million people and generate $4.5 trillion in value added each year. Multinationals are at the heart of the global economy, but are MNEs always successful? Far from it.

    In this course, special attention is paid to integrating academic literature (reader with journal articles) into discussions of ‘real-world’ issues. Conceptually, the course encompasses both the global business environment as well as firm-level strategic decisions related to strategies for market entry and multinational strategy and organisation.

  • Leading People Strategically

    People are central to the success of organisations, but they are also the most difficult asset to manage. Therefore, managers require a strong understanding of how to lead and manage individuals and groups in order to effectively solve organisational problems and maximise long term performance.

    During this course we will discuss theories and frameworks that help to explain how different forms of leading and managing people impact individual attitudes and behaviours, and team and organisational performance.

  • Valuation

    Focus on the foundations of finance, in particular, on capital budgeting and valuation. You learn about the fundamental concepts and most commonly used tools in capital budgeting and valuation. The topics covered include arbitrage, the law of one price, time-value of money, capital budgeting and company valuation, valuation of stocks, the relationship between risk and return, the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) and market efficiency. We also discuss the limitations of the NPV approach.

    This course is intended to provide you with both a lasting conceptual framework and, through the use of real-world data and business cases, a greater understanding of how real-life situations play out.

Block 3

  • International Study Trip to South Africa (Cape Town)

    Our international study trip to Cape Town, South Africa is a one-week trip which will allow you to explore questions such as: How does operating in an emerging market affect corporate strategies and business models? What is the role of innovation in emerging market business? What does shared value mean and what does it look like in this type of context? How can business lessons from an emerging market be of benefit to business in developed markets?
    You will discuss these and other questions with business school faculties, industry experts, executives and entrepreneurs - in class, at companies and in emerging market communities.

Block 4

  • Corporate Finance

    Learn about capital structure, mergers and acquisitions, pay-out policy, equity offerings, as well as behavioural corporate finance. This course offers a rich blend of lectures, readings, exercises and cases. For all relevant topics specific references to practices and trends in international and emerging markets will be highlighted through the use of cases and readings.

  • Corporate Strategy

    What should be the strategy for complex, multi-unit organisations to create more value than the sum of its constituent parts? One of the occupational hazards of strategic management is superficiality on the one hand, and paralysis by analysis on the other. Hence, in this course, the emphasis is not on filling in frameworks and applying standard tools or recipes. Instead, you will be expected to challenge recipes, question the literature, and exhibit unconventional thinking regarding corporate strategy. You will enhance your problem-solving skills and strategic thinking abilities.

  • Marketing Strategy

    The business landscape is in a phase of transition. Companies like IKEA, Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson, Philips and Unilever are longstanding companies and brands, while new companies like Google, Airbnb, Lemonade.com and Uber are in the spotlights due to disruptive innovation.

    The purpose of this course is to help you identify, evaluate, and develop marketing strategies that create competitive advantages. Marketing strategies that fit the digital environment strengthen business strategy and grasp consumer behaviour.

Block 5

  • The Executive Process

    This practical, hands-on course discusses both relevant theories and real-life experiences of instructor and students. Focus is on personal knowledge and development in the context of the Executive Process, by simulating real life situations. This approach will provide you with a basis for being an effective CEO/ General Manager and to learn how to work with a CEO/General Manager.

  • Operations & Supply Chain Management

    Satisfying end-users (customers) is key to the existence of any organisation. This course is about management of ‘business processes’ (recurring activities), as well as creating and distributing the right products of the right quality at the right time at the right cost for the right customers. The course introduces the issues, frameworks and tools needed for managing operations and supply chains in a general business context.

Block 6

  • Capstone Simulation

    This group-based course requires you to design and implement a business strategy for a multinational enterprise (MNE) in the capacity of the MNE senior management team in the athletic footwear industry. The simulation is competitive with up to twelve companies seeking to gain a competitive advantage in a dynamic online competitive environment and thereby meet investor expectations for five key performance measures.

    A central aim of this course is to facilitate a critical reflection on the application of the knowledge gained during earlier courses of the MBA and the experience of working as part of a management team.


  • Analysing & Resolving Conflicts

    Learn about key topics in the analysis of conflict and review the range of practices, from negotiation to mediation and arbitration, that parties to disputes can draw on in the effort to resolve conflicts.

    This course blends lectures, readings, case exercises, and discussion to provide you with a theoretical foundation and to develop your skills in applying this foundation in case analysis and in the design of interventions.

  • Corporate Venturing

    More and more corporations need new growth opportunities as they seek ways to escape from the maturity or decline in their existing business lines. Venturing involves creating or acquiring new businesses and transitioning them to scale.
    Take the perspective of corporate venture leaders and explore the challenges of establishing and growing corporate start-ups. We will study what is necessary to solve the tensions of venturing and succeed in adding value through corporate synergies and complementary resources. By working on a corporate venturing assignment, you get first-hand experience of what it takes to be an effective corporate venture leader.

  • Innovation Management

    Innovation is a key concept helping businesses to achieve their strategic goals. You will be exposed to thinking out of the box, which in turn will allow you to recognise opportunities to invent and re-invent products, processes, marketing tools and approaches, designs and more.

    This course touches upon key aspects of strategic marketing by merging new theories with practical aspects and real world examples. Among other questions, the course aspires to answer: What are the conditions for successful innovation? What causes innovation to fail? What makes creative people creative? Why do so many great ideas get killed? and more.

  • M&A and Restructuring

    Mergers and acquisitions form an important part of the growth strategies of corporations. During this course, a wide range of topics within this theme are discussed, including rationales for M&A, the M&A process, valuation of targets, and payment methods in M&A. In addition, other forms of corporate restructuring are discussed. Cases will be used to discuss various topics in order to make sure that you gain experience in applying financial theory as well.

  • Organisational & Leadership Agility

    Explore the concept of agility, both at the organisational level as well as at that of the individual leader. Dive in real-life examples and cases to define the concept of agility, seek clarity on its merits, discuss the prerequisites of realising agility, and ultimately work to link organisational- and leadership agility to strategy outcomes.

    Besides more conventional, and potentially overly simplistic, concepts of agility in organisations, you will also learn about the formal and informal side of organisations, its actors and the means and control used to achieve desired outcomes.

  • Product Management

    This project-based course applies a learning-by-doing approach to a concrete business case. It is structured along the basic dimensions of a product management process, including opportunity identification, requirements specification, resources and priorities, and building, launching & improving. You will apply various tools to the business case and iteratively develop a product that is presented at the end of the course.

  • Scaling Up Businesses

    Only 1 in 10 start-ups still exist 15 years after they are founded. Once start-ups have figured out their business model, they face the next challenge of successfully scaling up their business. These scale-ups create nearly all the new jobs in our economy. Although the emphasis in this course is on how start-ups can become successful scale-ups, this course also provides valuable insights for start-up initiatives within larger corporate organisations.