Programme structureA view of the study programme
Your educational experience
The Hogeschool Rotterdam Business School is student-centred, contextual and ethically and socially responsible. Our programme is inclusive and the support our lecturers offer is based on your personal need and individual learning style. You will get the opportunity to follow your own learning route, by choosing one of four specialisations within the curriculum. Apart from those specialisations, we offer you more choices. Choices you can make based on your background, ambitions and talents. Choices that will help you achieve your goals during the programme.
The 3 learning lines
During your studies you will learn to understand all aspects of international business, while you have outstanding opportunities to specialise in the field of your interest later in the programme. Throughout the four years of the International Business programme these three learning lines are central: Business, Languages as well as Professional & Academic Skills.
Languages are a vital part of your study in our university. The reason is simple: as an international business professional and a global citizen you will have to speak the language and to understand the culture of other countries in order to meet your business objectives. By knowing and understanding an additional language, and more specifically the business dictionary and application of it, you will already have a competitive advantage over your colleagues. This will make you stand out when working for specific clusters of countries. At the Hogeschool Rotterdam Business School you can choose Dutch (only for non-Dutch students), French, German, Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia), Mandarin, Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese, Spanish or Russian. Unique in the Netherlands is that we offer Asian languages as a specialisation.
As an international business professional, you are expected to be able to communicate in English effectively, therefore business communication in English makes up an important part of the first year programme. Of course international students will be given the opportunity to learn Dutch.
Cultural differences heavily influence the way people do business. That’s why you will also learn to navigate the interesting cultural differences in the international work field.
Expanding your knowledge about international business should go hand in hand with developing your professional and academic skills. Only that combination will make you the complete business professional you desire to become. Sharpen your critical thinking, develop your intercultural competence and challenge yourself to innovate. Your personal growth will last a lifetime.
Semester & Blocks
Every year has two semesters. Each semester consists of clearly defined, practice-oriented blocks. Each block is focused on a single theme and includes a limited number of subjects. A coach is ready to personally assist you in areas such as study skills, career planning and personal development. Other important elements in the study programme are applied research and critical self-reflection. Especially during your last two years, you will have plenty of opportunities to structure your own personalised programme.
Develop a language
If you are passionate about learning a language alongside your study then our commerce track is ideally designed for you. Through the choice of Dutch, French, German, Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia), Mandarin, Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese, Spanish or Russian you will continue to study this language alongside your business studies.
In the third year you are required to go on an internship, due to you selecting our commerce track, you must go to a country which speaks the language you choose. The idea here is you emmerce yourself in the life and culture of this country, not only for a social side but also a working environment. Through your internship you will continue to develop the right business language in your chosen language.
You also have the wonderful opportunity of completing an exchange period abroad at one of our partner universities in the third or fourth year. This is once again another opportunity for you to explore another city or country, build your network and you may discover whether this might be a future home for you after you graduate.
Within this commerce track a lot of our students would like to follow an asian language as HRBS is a leader in this education within the Netherlands. If you would like to choose Mandarin, Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese or Bahasa Indonesian there are some VISA related requirements and restrictions when it comes to your internship and exchange but we will inform you more about this later on.
From the first year onwards the three learning lines take center stage; Business, Languages and Professional & Academic Skills. During this first year, you have the time to discover your specific interest by touching upon all the different subject areas of international business. This will prepare you for choosing a specialisation in the second year. In your assignments the learning lines of Business and Professional & Academic Skills will be integrated wherever possible. Finally, in your first and second year you can choose elective modules that offer you the opportunity to look beyond your own study programme.
A breakdown of the programme and themes you will experience are shown below on this page.
Year 2 (Specialisation Year)
As of year two of your studies, it is time to start defining what kind of international business professional you want to be. We offer the following specialisations which cover the fields of marketing, trade and sales, supply chain management, organisations and strategy:
Are you fascinated by the inner workings of a company and how to change them for the better? The specialisation, Organisation and Change will delve into the ins and outs of company management, from small to large organisations. You will learn how to critically think about the functionality of an organisation and look to implement change for the better. Throughout the programme you will look into Innovation, HR & General Management to teach you how to map the interest of an organisation and translate those into strategic goals and plans.
The introduction of companies such as Amazon and AliExpress has revolutionised how we look at time from production to consumption. These fascinating developments fall under our International Supply Chain Management specialisation. You will learn the ways of managing the flow of goods and services, from the raw material to the consumer goods you can find on the shelf in the supermarket. By looking at the best practices in transportation, urban distribution, warehousing and port management you will gain an insight into the workings of effective and efficient supply chain management.
To beat the competition you will learn not only about sales, trade marketing and marketing strategy, but also about culture diversity within international companies. Languages are a big part of this specialisation, as they are a vital tool for you in international commerce. You will become experienced in dealing with social and cultural differences, which is needed for successful trade relations with business partners worldwide. You will learn how to develop and build up your network within the business world, how to develop an enterprising attitude and how to adapt quickly to changing circumstances. HRBS offers language courses in the most widely spoken European and Asian languages.
Are you interested in learning how products and services are marketed differently around the world? Fascinated by the way target audiences differ from place to place? Then our marketing specialisation is right up your street. You will learn how to create value for both the consumer and for society. Developing proper marketing strategies based on the target group and designing successful marketing communication programmes. Follow our mission and ‘exceed expectations’.
Years 3 & 4
In the third and fourth year of your studies you focus on growth and innovation. You will continue your education with at least one semester abroad. This could either be an internship at a company or an exchange programme at one of our partner universities around the world. You will conclude your studies with your final assessments and a graduation assignment in which you will solve a real business problem with the proper research skills.
You will put your training into practice during a six-month internship in an international company. This company could either be located in the Netherlands or abroad and could either be a large multi-national or a medium sized enterprise. By choosing to do your internship in another country you will learn the ropes from the international business professionals in the country of your choice.
The minor is a programme in which you focus on a theme relevant for your future career. This could for example be digital marketing, entrepreneurship, circular economy or one of the many other options. You will focus in-depth on one specific aspect of your profession or broaden your horizon through examining terrains bordering your own profession. In this way you can significantly improve your chances on the labour market after graduation.
In the International Business programme you can either choose to do your minor at Hogeschool Rotterdam or to spread your wings and take part in an exchange programme at one of our partner universities across the globe.
You conclude your studies with a graduation assignment for which you combine all your training and practical experience. By using your practical research skills and coming up with innovative solutions you will help a company of your choice solve a real-life management matter. It’s your chance to shine and show off your skills.
Your graduation assignment could for example be a marketing entry strategy for Brazil with a special focus on digital channels, a plan for the logistics of a start-up in China or improving sustainability management of a company in Germany.
Fast Track Programme
In addition to the regular 4-year bachelor programme we also offer a fast-track three-year version for students who have completed Dutch vwo, the International Baccalaureate or an equivalent. For more information read the admission requirements.
Every student is unique and has his own ideas about what he wants to achieve during his studies. We will support you by making you aware of your abilities, opportunities and challenges. Sometimes, during or even before the start of your study programme it becomes clear that you are struggling with a particular subject. It will be useful to brush up your knowledge in that area. As a student you will be assigned a coach (a lecturer) who will guide you and who will monitor your progress. It is also possible to ask for a peer coach, a senior student who trains younger year students.
Studying with a disability
If you have a disability and therefore require some extra facilities, we offer various options (information in Dutch).
- Introduction to Business
- Operations & Supply Chain Management
- Marketing & Sales
- Finance & Accounting
- Organisation & People
- Personal & Professional Development
- External Business Environment
- International Business Economics
- Research Methods
- International Business Communication
- Critical Thinking
- International Business Environment
- Ethical & Social Responsibility
- Personal & Professional
- Business Model Canvas
- Business Law
- Management of information as digital citizens
- Personal & professional development
After your graduationA world of possibilities
After your graduation
After completion of your studies, you will receive your Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree. You will also receive a diploma supplement with a DS-label. With this English document you can show the value of your degree abroad when you apply for further study or when you look for a job.
If you participate in the honours programme, you will also receive an honours degree.
Continue your studies
Many students start working after finishing their bachelor studies. However you may also choose to continue your studies at Master level. For example:
As an International Business graduate you are competent in intercultural leadership, critical thinking, and intercultural sensitivity. You will be able to execute international projects, while working in groups and conducting business research. You can adapt to the fast changing job market requirements.
As an IB professional in small and medium-sized companies you will often be the generalist with a wide range of duties, mostly in an international context. In larger, internationally operating companies or multinationals, you will generally have a more specialist role.
Our graduates work in various industries on a general management level, or in business areas such as (digital) marketing, sales, financial services or logistics management. Want to join them? Then come join us at the Hogeschool Rotterdam Business School!