Business Development (MSc)

Part-time postgraduate degree programme with a focus on business planning and innovation

Roland Magunia

Master's Programme Business Development at HSBA Hamburg School of Business Administration

Part-time Study

This part-time Master of Science, taught entirely in English, focuses on business planning and innovation in a digitalised and globalised world. Students will learn to apply advanced tools and processes, including collecting and analysing numerical data in large quantities, when developing new products and services. Knowledge in applied maths and stats is equally important in this context as are negotiation and project management skills. Students learn to run complex projects successfully, structure change processes and actively embrace and design digital thinking in companies.


Apply now for for 2022!

Master of Science
120 ECTS
Programme Start
1 October each year
Study duration:
2.5 years (30 months)

The academic head Prof. Dr. Johns explains the focus and the special features of the parte-time postgraduate degree programme in Business Development (MSc).

Key Features

  • Study trip to China or another international destination

  • Multiple case studies

  • Several real-life projects

  • Teaching methods include Design Thinking, Kanban, Agile and Scrum

  • Digital Toolbox @ HSBA: unique offering to teach HSBA's students digital tools and strategies

  • JOB & MASTER Service: JOB & MASTER is a free-of-charge placement service for applicants who wish to combine a challenging academic education at HSBA with valuable professional experience.

  • Mentoring Programme: Students are matched with experienced HSBA Alumni from the Hamburg business community, offering to be ideal sparring partners / role models.

  • Campus in the heart of Hamburg

Study Organisation and Programme Structure

To successfully complete the programme and be awarded the Master of Science degree, 120 ECTS must be collected. The credits are spread over ten modules in the first year and seven modules (Digital Toolbox / Master's elective) in the second study year. The programme concludes with the thesis. Teaching takes place on extended weekends and during a few full-time weeks per semester. On average, the weekly study workload amounts to 15 to 20 hours.

Programme Content Business Development (Master of Science) at HSBA

Study content of the 1st year
  • Innovation Management
    5 ECTS
    40 Contact hours

    Understanding how innovation leads to market success is key for business development and management. As such, the course will lay the foundations of innovation management by introducing models for understanding the diffusion process of innovation within society.


  • Entre-/Intrapreneurship
    5 ECTS
    40 Contact hours

    The entrepreneurial mind-set appears in different forms: Entrepreneurship, Intrapreneurship, Corporate Entrepreneurship, Corporate Venturing and Social Entrepreneurship. The perspective on entre-/intrapreneurship follows an approach cross-industry, cross-functionally and interdisciplinary, independently from organisational forms and sizes. A brief outlook on global perspectives on entrepreneurship in addition increases awareness about differences caused by cultural influences and different ecosystems (e.g. Silicon Valley, Germany, Silicon China etc.).


  • Data Analysis & Statistics
    5 ECTS
    40 Contact hours

    This module teaches students about distributions, tests, data architecture, SQL, big data approaches, significance and stochastic modelling.


  • Applied Economics
    5 ECTS
    40 Contact hours

    This module aims to introduce students into the data-driven and results-oriented quantitative modelling of econometrics. Widely spread models of Statistics and Econometrics are considered. The goal is to provide students with an understanding of the rational of quantitative models through applications as well as to apprehend the limitations of such modelling. Furthermore, the students should be able to develop their own applications by analysing a problem, making the necessary assumptions and synthesising knowledge gained into a meaningful result-oriented application.


  • Product Management
    5 ECTS
    40 Contact hours

    The definition of markets and the application of appropriate marketing to specific products is undergoing crucial changes. This module familiarises students with the potential of product management in today’s world. Insights will be gained from data management and applied to well-designed customer experiences.


  • Service and Product Design
    5 ECTS
    40 Contact hours

    Understanding the needs of users and pivot toward well-designed solutions through ideation, prototyping and testing is therefore the focus of this course. The application of design challenges and product/ service designs is implemented in student projects working in a design lab setting.


  • Project Management
    5 ECTS
    40 Contact hours

    Students will be familiarised with the latest methods and developments in project management. In the key part of this module students will learn to apply Design Thinking, Kanban, PPS, Scrum and other methods to project management. A particular focus will be on visualisation and a variety of supportive IT tools.


  • Case Studies
    5 ECTS
    40 Contact hours

    This module uses illustrative case studies to emphasize learnings from previous modules and introduces concepts that will be treated in depth in later modules. Theoretical concepts of innovation will be in investigated upon their possible applicability in a real-life environment.


  • Scientific Methods & Competences
    5 ECTS
    40 Contact hours

    In this introductory module, students learn the soft skills that are necessary to succeed in the professional world. Therefore, topics such as Academic Writing, LaTeX, Persuasive Communication, and Persuasive Presentations are combined.


  • Digital Toolbox / Master's Elective
    5 ECTS
    64 Contact hours

    Students of all Master’s study programmes can choose one profile from the following six profiles:

    • Digital Strategy
    • Intrapreneur
    • Communication
    • Programming
    • Data Business
    • Business Process Transformation


    Please note that electives only run if the minimum number of participants has been reached.


Study content of the 2nd year
  • Digital Economics
    5 ECTS
    40 Contact hours

    The topic of this module is to identify the impact of digital technologies and innovations on firm behaviour, business models and market outcomes. Special emphasis will be put on networks and platforms. Finally, the module will discuss the benefits and possible pitfalls of digitisation for the economy and will furthermore address the topic of regulation and government intervention in digital markets.


  • Strategic Business Development
    5 ECTS
    40 Contact hours

    This module has the focus on different approaches of how to manage business development initiatives for sustainable success. On the one hand there is the understanding and shaping of organisations, on the other hand of understanding and developing people within any transformation as individual, as team and as collective.


  • International Finance
    5 ECTS
    40 Contact hours

    This course will enable participants to support the right financing decisions, communicate effectively with investors, optimise the financial result, and, more importantly, contribute to the strategic success of a company.


  • Sustainable Innovation Camp
    5 ECTS
    40 Contact hours

    This module introduces the topics sustainability and compliance. Both are cross-sectoral themes relevant to managers, employees and other stakeholders of any type of organisation. Fundamental theories and definitions of both topics will be introduced and potentials for business development and innovation as well as challenges and opportunities for investors and other actors in financial markets discussed.


  • Study Trip
    5 ECTS
    56 Contact hours

    Students can choose between four study trips (subject to change) and are themselves in charge of the planning, organisation and implementation of their excursion.

    • Silicon Valley (USA)
    • London (UK)
    • Brussels (Belgium)
    • Hamburg/Berlin (Germany)


  • Consulting Project I
    5 ECTS
    40 Contact hours

    In small groups, students are assigned a project for a partner company. The company provides the real-life context of a challenge. The groups act as consultants to the company and present a consistent solution for the challenge at the end of the semester to the company. The groups are assisted by professors in their analytical, strategic and preparatory work.


  • Consulting Project II
    5 ECTS
    40 Contact hours

    In small groups, students are assigned a project for a partner company. The company provides the real-life context of a particular challenge. The groups act as consultants to the company and present a consistent solution for the challenge at the end of the semester to the company. The groups are assisted by professors in their analytical, strategic and preparatory work.

    Alternatively, groups of students may also develop a start-up project without direct company association. These projects need to be presented in advance to a professor and proposed jointly to the head of the programme.


  • Research Seminar Business Development
    10 ECTS
    28 Contact hours

    This research seminar prepares students for their master thesis.


Study content of the 3rd year
  • Master's Thesis & Colloquium
    25 ECTS

    The Thesis concludes the postgraduate programmes at HSBA. Its results will be presented in the final Colloquium.


Business Development Course Content

The core modules focus on designing successful business models and innovation in a changing world. Students learn to organise a company strategically and financially, while dealing with challenges and change, deploying careful analysis at all times. In the Project modules students act as consultants, facing real-life problems and thereby applying theory in praxis.

The shared modules with students from MSc Finance include Project Management where concepts such as Design Thinking, Scrum or Agile are taught. Data Analysis & Statistics focusses on IT tools like MatLab, delving deep into maths and stats. Negotiation techniques and research methods are acquired in Scientific Methods & Competences, conveying methodological and analytical skills. Sustainable Innovation & Compliance, Digital Economics and Applied Econometrics highlight the need for embracing digitalisation and provide a combination of mathematically well-grounded method-building and wide-ranging applied work with data. Students gain an international perspective on business development in International Markets & Study Trip, a module which takes the cohort abroad (current destination: Shanghai).

Students from across all postgraduate courses learn together in Digital Toolbox / Elective* which is a unique offering on digital tools and strategies.

* Please note that electives only run if the minimum number of participants has been reached.

Selection of our Lecturers

Mike Fischer, HSBA

Mike Fischer
Leader of the english-speaking focus: International Business Administration and Trade

Modules: Service & Product Design; Entre-/Intrapreneurship

Application & Admission Requirements


Set the course for your career!

After you have submitted your written application to us, you will go through our selection process. The process ensures that students have the personal, social and professional prerequisites needed to complete the study programme successfully.

Tip for international applicants and prospective students: You can find detailed information here and in our International Student Guide.

Apply now!

Admission Requirements

For the MSc Business Development the following admission requirements apply:

  • A completed third-level degree in economics or business with 180 ECTS, including good knowledge in maths and stats. The degree should have been completed with a minimum German grade “good” (2.5) or equivalent
  • Ability to study in English (minimum level: B2 of the European Framework of Reference)
  • Letter of recommendation from a current or recent employer or an academic reference
  • Successfully completed HSBA selection process (online application, individual interview)


We are happy to help!

Juliane Michaelis
Juliane Michaelis
Manager Student Recruitment & Company Relations
+49 40 822160-932

JOB & MASTER Service

HSBA assists you in finding the ideal company for your part-time Masters' studies.

Learn more

Financing of the Study Course

The course fees are 22,500 Euro for the overall programme. HSBA alumni and staff at partner companies, JOB & MASTER candidates as well as applicants that apply before 31 May receive a 10% discount.
The course fees include the exam fees but please be aware that costs related to the study trip are not included. Usually the employer pays a part of the course fees.

Your Financing Options

Option 1: Financing with the Support of the Employer

JOB & MASTER is a free service for applicants who are looking for a matching partner company for their part-time master’s degree at HSBA in order to combine demanding academic and professional development. Renowned companies based in Hamburg are seeking Bachelor’s graduates with a focus on business administration, economics, and related fields, who can be hired as young professionals in the company parallel to their part-time MSc degree.

Please note that not all students are eligible, for participation requirements please take a look at the JOB & MASTER Service.

If the applicant is already in employment, it may be possible, depending on the company, for the employer to cover most of the tuition fees.

Option 2: Financing with the Chancen eG

Option 2: Financing with the Support of Chancen eG (for EU Students only)

With Income Share Agreements (ISA) tuition fees are financed in whole or in part* by CHANCEN eG. In return, starting from a fixed annual minimum income, the student will repay a fixed share of his income to the Chancen eG after completing his studies. The concept envisages that student repayments can be used to fund study places for future generations using the same model. On the website of Chancen eG you can find further information. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

*Partial financing is possible from a minimum funding limit of EUR 8,100.

Option 3: Financing from Own Funds

Of course, you can also finance your studies yourself. If you finance your studies from your own resources, tuition fees can usually be deducted from tax. Additionally, there are some more options to support you:

HSBA Scholarship: As part of the HSBA study funding programme, funding of 25 or 50% of tuition fees for the MSc Business Development is possible. We encourage especially incoming students to apply for these scholarships. Other funding programmes and scholarships remain unaffected. More information on the HSBA scholarship here.

Scholarships & Foundations: For further funding needs, HSBA students may qualify for other scholarships. A good place to look for the most appropriate scholarship is To find a suitable foundation, please check the platform When choosing a scholarship, always make sure that students of part-time Master's programmes are eligible to apply.

Student Loans: The following banks offer student loans on special terms:

Further information on the topic can be found on the websites and the CHE-Studienkredit-Test. Please be aware that these websites are only available in German.

Ece Piber, HSBA

"I can sincerely say that HSBA offers a very lively, comfortable and fun environment to study. After my Erasmus semester in HSBA nearly three years ago, I knew I had to return to fully benefit from the innovative study structures, incredibly qualified and successful professors, warm, helpful staff and the international environment at HSBA. What I enjoy most is the entrepreneurial context of our courses. It helps us reach an entrepreneurial, growth-mindset that can easily be applied on an intrapreneurial level too."

Ece Irmak Piber
MSc Business Development (Class of 2021)
Lukas Bilowitzki, HSBA

"The MSc Business Development at HSBA combine the foundations of business administration with the tools of modern entrepreneurship. Focusing on the innovative and digital business world of the 21st century, the degree programmes provide students with the opportunities and skills to master the challenges of the future."

Lukas Bilowitzki
MSc Business Development (Class of 2021)
Louisa Konrad, HSBA

"The study group is very diverse and international, so we all benefit from our different individual experiences. Teamwork is great and we can rely on each other even in difficult situations such as exam times."

Louisa Konrad
MSc Business Development (Class of 2022)
Jannik Pokar, HSBA

"Business Development in the digital age plays a fundamental role in the existence and evolution of our modern society and it has increased in importance. I am convinced the MSc in Business Development is the perfect programme to push every business career to the next level."

Jannik Pokar
MSc Business Development (Class of 2022)
Fernanda Suarez, HSBA

"Being part of the MSc Business Development programme at HSBA has been a great opportunity for me to develop my hard and soft skills. The programme has enabled me to implement innovative and digital tools to my current work and I am looking forward to apply them into the design of my own business model at a time when the advance of digitalisation is unmistakable."

Fernanda Suarez Jaimes
MSc Business Development (Class of 2022)

Partner Companies

Deloitte GmbH Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft
Performance Media Deutschland GmbH
Joybräu GmbH
KPMG AG Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft
Nordic Solar GmbH
Pawlik Consultants GmbH
FFG Finanzcheck Finanzportale GmbH
Brightpoint Fund Services GmbH
Philips GmbH
heyconnect GmbH
ZELOS Management Consultants
Barclaycard Barclays Bank PLC
Jungheinrich AG
Vestas Deutschland GmbH
reeeliance IM GmbH
GHD GesundHeits GmbH Deutschland
2 do digital GmbH
Wein & Vinos GmbH
Hellmann Worldwide Logistik GmbH & Co. KG
Fitfox GmbH
Air Hamburg Luftverkehrsgesellschaft mbh

Become a partner company in the part-time master degree programmes!

Are you looking for talented and qualified young people as employees?

Learn how to hire a part-time master student


Is it possible to study the courses part-time or full-time?

The study programmes are part-time, so you study while working. Depending on the Master's programme, courses are held on individual weekdays or extended weekends and in individual full-time weeks in Hamburg.

What exactly is a first degree in economics?

A degree in economics is, for example, a bachelor's degree in business administration, economics, (international) management, business administration or similar. You are eligible for admission if at least 50 percent of the ECTS of your degree program consists of business administration and methods modules. Business studies and methods modules are, for example:

  • Business Administration
  • Human Resources
  • Operations Management
  • Cost-Performance Analysis
  • Economics (Micro, Macro)
  • Financial Accounting
  • Business Law
  • Business English
  • Mathematics
  • Statistics
  • Corporate Taxation
  • Marketing Management
  • Investing and Financing
  • Strategic Management
  • Projekt Management
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Operations Research
  • Controlling
  • Business Informatics

Particularly important is previous knowledge in the following areas:

  • Economics (Micro, Macro)
  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Human Resources

If you are unsure if you can be admitted please send us your transcript of records and module descriptions for review.

When do the courses in the part-time Master's programs take place?

In the Master's programme Business Development (MSc), the courses take place on extended weekends and in individual full-time weeks at the HSBA in Hamburg. In the Master's programme Digital Transformation & Sustainability (MSc), the courses take place on two attendance days and in two full-time weeks at the HSBA in Hamburg. 

Questions?Juliane Michaelis
Juliane Michaelis

Juliane Michaelis

Manager Student Recruitment & Company Relations
+49 40 822160-932

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