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What makes the International Business (IBW) programme special?

What does the IBW programme cover?

International - Digital & Workplace-oriented - Sustainable & Individual

The IBW degree programme is top-ranked (top-10 placement in the CHE University Ranking 2020) and demanding. You face this challenge in a friendly atmosphere, treated as an individual, not as an anonymous (matriculation) number. Small groups and close contact between students and lecturers are important to us.

You will study in 3 languages, often together with international students and lecturers. In addition, you will spend 2-3 semesters abroad at one of over 80 partner universities, where you can even earn a double degree. In addition, you can hold a bilingual degree in your hands after graduation.

We prepare you for the fact that tomorrow's decision-makers must look beyond their own company with an awareness of their responsibility for the environment (e.g. climate change) and society (e.g. working conditions). Fundamental questions about the sustainability of economic activity and ethical issues in business decisions play an important role in your studies.

IBW prepares you for the increasing digitalisation of business and society with its own "Digital Business Management" specialisation. Knowledge of digital business models, the analysis of large amounts of digital data, and methods of digital marketing will become indispensable building blocks for your successful professional career.

Typical topics covered

Our students look at numerous exciting and highly practical issues in business, some of which are shown below. These will give you a first impression of the variety and complexity of decisions to be made in a company:

  • How do companies choose their location?
  • How do companies position their products on the market and convince customers to buy them?
  • Do companies have a responsibility to the environment and society beyond the mere pursuit of profit?
  • To what extent does advancing climate change affect almost all areas of business?
  • Are companies also responsible for the employees of their independent suppliers in remote countries?
  • How does a market actually function as a place where supply and demand meet, and what happens when the market mechanism "fails"?
  • How does digitalisation change products, processes and consumer behaviour?
  • What are the characteristics of successful digital business models?
  • What influence do international trade agreements have on global value chains?
  • How do companies find the right employees and how can they motivate them?
  • How can an intercultural team collaborate effectively?
Details of programme

The IBW programme comprises 7 semesters. Of these, you will study for the first 4 semesters in Schwenningen. After that, you will spend 2 semesters abroad. In the 7th semester you will write your thesis and will only be back at HFU for a few days. This gives you the greatest possible flexibility to write your thesis in a company or even abroad in the 7th semester.

Any international career in management also needs a strong basis of business subjects such as marketing, human resources (HR), finance, accounting and project management. Related subjects such as Economics, Quantitative Methods and Intercultural Management give you the flexibility you need for your future career.

In IBW, starting in the 3rd semester, you will specialise in one of 5 different areas:

(1) International Marketing
(2) International HR & Organization
(3) International Finance, Accounting & Tax
(4) Digital Business Management and
(5) Behavioural Business Management

So-called "soft skills" are rightly regarded as key qualifications for a successful professional career. Through various teaching formats, you will develop a high degree of intercultural sensitivity, the ability to work in international teams, presentation techniques and effective project management methods.

The detailed programme structure is shown in the table below.

How is the IBW programme structured?

IBW programme structure

Content of IBW programme (I20219)