MBA International Business (MBA)

MBA International Business (MBA)

The MBA International Business (Master of Business Administration) supports you on your journey to an international management career.


In contrast to a master degree (M.A., or M.Sc.), a MBA focusses on leadership and management competency to enable participants to take a general management positions.

The programme “MBA International Business” lead to the internationally renowned title “MBA (Master of Business Administration)”. The programme is delivered by Rheinische Fachhochschule Cologne (RFH) and the University of East London (UEL).

This high-quality MBA programme is offered as “dual degree” programme. I.e. successful students will be granted a certificate from RFH (based on ECTS standards) as well as a certificate from UEL according to the British System of Higher Education.
This course has been run very successfully in partnership with UEL for more than 20 years. It is currently undergoing internal reaccreditation. The RFH is system accredited.

UEL is a renown and officially recognized university in London (Docklands and Stratford). MBA programmes offered by the Royal Docks School of Business and Law (RDSBL) are delivered in different parts of the world and are recognised as highly qualified and business oriented education.
One of RFH’s as well as UEL’s focus is on part time programmes.
This MBA International Businessis a part time programme – a combination of theoretical and business oriented studies. This education is not designed and therefore cannot be completed as a long distance learning programme (on-site attendance is required).

To deepen students’ comprehension of the English language, all lessons are held in English.

At the end of studies, successful students will be awarded the internationally recognized and renowned title "Master of Business Administration” (MBA) by the UEL. This title MBA is eligible to be used as name affix.
Certificates will be handed out during an official ceremony in London in November each year.

Key Facts

  • Course of studies: MBA International Business
  • Advanced education master programme (part-time)
  • Officially recognised title “MBA”
  • Students are enrolled at RFH (Germany) as well as at UEL (Great Britain)
  • Forms of study: Studies take place in Cologne (Fri evenings/Sat) and block-wise in London (Mon-Fri); typically two times of a one week per calendar year
  • Start of studies:in March and September each year
  • Application-oriented
  • Certificate: MBA, title eligible to be used as name affix
  • Duration: 3 semesters of lectures and subsequently, 1 semester management dissertation (final thesis)
  • Tuition fees: EUR 579.00 per month over 24 months, (see schedule of fees add. ASTA-fees (obligatory students’ representational fees)
  • Experienced lecturers
  • Small study groups
  • Credit Points: Eligible for 90 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) / 180 Level M credit points
  • Eligibility for doctoral studies upon successful completion

Programme objectives

  • To facilitate the advanced study of organisations, their management and the changing external context in which they operate.
  • To develop knowledge and understanding of key areas of management.
  • To develop a career in business and management through the development of relevant skills at the appropriate level or to facilitate further research or study in the area.
  • To develop personal and interpersonal skills that is relevant to management and communicates the arising issues in written and oral form.
  • To facilitate the application of knowledge and understanding of business and management to complex issues through critical and analytical approaches to management theory, practice and research.
  • To enhance the ability to evaluate management techniques, tools and models in a variety of contexts.
  • To recognise the relationship between ideas and practices.
  • To equip students with the necessary knowledge and skills to achieve the appropriate level of post graduate award and continue their lifelong learning development.

Programme & Modules

Course of the programme

The overall duration duration of the programme is 24 months, comprising lectures in semester 1 to 3 and the management dissertation in semester 4.
In the first to third semester MBA students will participate in lectures held in Cologne (at the RFH), typically delivered on one evening per week and Saturdays while university is in session (16 weeks from mid-March to the beginning of July, and mid-September to the beginning of January).
Lectures delivered in London are blocked to one week per submodule.

The MBA International Business in cooperation with the University of East London provides comprehensive and contemporary knowledge and skills, based on the following modules:


Accounting and Finance for Managers and Managing Information Systems
In this module you will develop a critical appreciation of the financial tools of business management, in particular, the techniques of financial statement analysis and making financial decisions. You will be introduced to the factors affecting the financing mix of a firm and of the financial markets in which firms operate and develop insight into topical issues in the area. Further, you will be introduced to the limitation of financials and extent the view on non-financial reporting (ESG).
You will also explore Information Systems and the fundamental concepts of business computing that provide a framework to aid business processes and investigate how various types of systems impact on the effectiveness, responsiveness, and adaptability of organisations. Concepts of the company's system infrastructure are presented against the background of digitalization, big data and cloud computing and analyzed and evaluated with regard to the effectiveness and efficiency of company organizations.

Mental Wealth: Professional Fitness, Leadership & HRM
As a business professional managing organisation, you will find yourself working in changing, challenging and complex global environments. Therefore, the management has become increasingly focused on skills and self-development including key emotional, psychological, and social determinants of human performance are critical for successful professional practice. This module, as a ‘mental wealth’ initiative aims to develop a full range of skills, competences and experiences required for successful performance and practice in a range of potential careers. Your personal and professional development will be fueled by advancing your analytical, emotional, cultural, cognitive, and social intelligences through taught and workshop activity primarily based on online learning and reflective practices. The module will fuel your potential by introducing you to a wide range of approaches (including reflective skills, self-care, and empathetic alertness) and equip you with the confidence, competencies and courage to lead. This module provides the opportunity for you to demonstrate the ability to diagnose and investigate a complex business issue from a variety of perspectives, to locate the work within the body of contemporary knowledge, to learn from online learning platforms, to derive supportable conclusions and to make practical and actionable recommendations for change, improvement, or enhancement of current practice at individual, organisational and community level.

Marketing in a Digital Age and Operations Management
This module is designed to introduce you to contemporary principles and practices in marketing, in a customer focused and market-oriented organisation. Relationship marketing is the recent marketing approach that develops around the buying and consumption experience. As such the module aims to develop your in depth understanding of the strategic role of marketing in business, and its impact on the market and society in the digital age.
Operations management traditionally concerns the business logic and effective management of manufacturing, and of products, processes and services provision. This part of the module gives insight into contemporary perspectives of operations, that is, beyond production yond global manufacturing networks. We look at managing multilateral value chains (supply chains – SCM), ecosystems of suppliers, business networks, society in operations context, and public private partnerships. The contents prepare management students for careers in multinational corporations and advanced international manufacturing firms.

Corporate Social Responsibility and Business Strategy
Sustainability is the core challenge of our age. Climate change and social matters such as basic human rights, exploitation new(er) digital technologies such as artificial intelligence with potential of discrimination poses significant issues for organisations to comply with ever increasing set of regulations. In the first part of this module, different theories on the role ethics and business ethics are considered and their consequences in specific business cases of unethical behaviour looked at and put into an international scope. The four dimensions of sustainability (environmental, social, governance, and (economic) performance) and common frameworks (UN SDGs, UN Global Compact, OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises) and contemporary approaches for ethical AI are reflected towards a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
In this module will enable you to explore the process of creating, evaluating and developing strategy. You will be introduced to the challenges and practices associated with becoming strategic leaders and how organizations manage their operations. You will also be introduced to the tension between business interests and those of society and the environment and examine the extent to which business is expected to adopt the values associated with corporate social responsibility.

Business Simulation with People Development
The aim of this module is for you to develop, maintain and evaluate a successful organisation through advanced analysis and synthesis of data in a simulated ‘live’ context.
The module is designed to embed theoretical perspectives through participation in a business simulation over a number of financial years.

Management Dissertation (Master Thesis)
You will undertake an in-depth study relating to a topic of your choosing in consultation with and with the approval of their academic supervisor and Ethics Committee.
As MBA students who are experienced professionals and likely to be in employment whilst studying for your degree it is envisaged that you will probably choose a dissertation topic relevant to your organisation and carry out your research project with support from that organisation, e.g., regarding data collection access.
The expectation is that you will choose topics relevant to the international business orientation of the programme, but other topics will also be allowed in order to facilitate any specific career aspirations you might have. This could include a work-based project, business simulation, project management report, a contribution to a research project carried out at the university, or case study.
This module consolidates the learning from across the programme in an applied format so as to enable you to demonstrate in-depth understanding of theories, frameworks, models and concepts relevant to a specific business issue.
Your management dissertation is a major supervised research project: You conduct a literature review to identify a set of research questions, develop an appropriate research design, carry out original research e.g., an empirical study by collecting primary and secondary data, analyse the findings and derive conclusions and recommendations for further research and practice.
Thus, the module will help you develop an advanced mastery of analysis and synthesis of data in a business context. You will benefit from the module as well in case of your intention to advance on an academic career pathway, e.g. by aiming for a doctorate degree, PhD or DBA (Doctorate of Business Administration).

Admission requirements

For admission to the MBA International Business applicants are required to submit as follows:

  • Bachelor’s certificate or diploma in any academic discipline
      • with at least 210 CP according to the ECTS framework as well as a minimum GPA of 3.0 (in the German grading system)
      • individual assessment in case of a degree with at least 180 CP: up to 30 CP may be accredited due to relevant work experience
  • proof of adequate English language skills on level B2 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) verified by official language certificates such as TOEFL, TOEIC or IELTS
  • proof of at least 12 months of relevant work experience, usually obtained after the first academic degree

Information for foreign applicants:

  • German language skills are not a requirement, however they may facilitate administrative processes
  • prospective students from non-EU countries are responsible for obtaining valid visas for Germany as well as the study periods in the UK

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Career opportunities and salary prospects
More salary and better career prospects - these are often the reasons for studying for an MBA. How much you ultimately earn with an MBA depends on many factors and can not be seriously predicted.
But: an MBA degree is a generalist ability to take holistic responsibility and also to run businesses. Typically, these assumptions of responsibility are met by more attractive salary perspectives. Our many years of experience with the program MBA International Business shows us that our alummi have taken on much more far-reaching responsibilities after successfully completing their degree in business.

Can I take this master's degree with my Bachelor's degree?
Basically you have to have a pre-academic degree (eg Bachelor) with at least 180 CP. It does not matter in which academic discipline you have obtained this degree. The MBA is a generalist degree and does NOT require any specific business knowledge.

Where is the degree program accredited?
"The study program ""MBA International Business"" (MBA) is currently accredited by the FIBAA, the leading institution in the German-speaking area, from the WS 2018/19-end summer semester 2023 (
Likewise, the degree program is in the U.K. accredited by the internationally renowned Chartered Management Institute (CMI) ("

Why is the MBA International Business solely held in English?
Nowadays, English is the business language par excellence. Even many companies based in Germany have meanwhile chosen English as the business language - at least in written communication - to communicate efficiently with international customers, suppliers and investors. For many technical terms, English terminology has also clearly established itself in German language usage (eg SCM - Supply Chain Management). The MBA program enables students to communicate efficiently in English in the various business disciplines. In addition, the program "MBA International Business" is regularly completed by international students with non-German-speaking backgrounds. Knowledge of the German language is not a prerequisite for the degree program MBA International Business.

When does the programme start? In summer and winter semester?
We always offer the study program in the summer and winter semester.

Should I study an MBA or is an M.A. or M.Sc. enough?" offered by RFH?
"Should it be the Master of Business Administration (MBA) or is a classical master's degree (Master of Arts - M.A. or Master of Science - M.Sc.) enough? Master students to-be are often spoiled for choice. What is the difference between the programs, the degrees and the job prospects? In short, what is the right ""master""?
It has to be assessed: The classical Master (M.A., M.Sc.) is a consecutive courses. I.e. these programs are tailored to the previous studies. The Master's degree builds on this and is research-oriented. Typically, students of M.A. or M.Sc. degree program have no work experience, they want to specialize and later work as an expert in their field of expertise.
The Master of Business Administration (MBA) is different:
this is a more generalist education aimed at holistic competence building and aiming to take top-level leadership responsibilities. MBA students mostly want to acquire management skills in order to take on a leadership role later. In addition to theoretical and analytical knowledge - for example in marketing, operations, finance or human resources - leadership and negotiation techniques, as well as intercultural competences are taught in order to prepare the MBA graduates for the executive floor. The MBA practice is in the foreground: Anyone who holds an MBA would like to apply the acquired knowledge from their studies as quickly as possible in their daily work. The MBA therefore relies on teamwork and interactive forms of instruction, while master's programs with classical lectures and seminars are more scientifically oriented."

When are the lectures in Cologne and in London?
"Lectures take place for modules that are held by the RFH in Cologne, during the semester (mid-March to early July or mid-September - early January) on Saturdays (eg 8-14h or 8-16h), in some cases on Fridays in the evening (18-21h). It will take between 5-6 appointments to occupy a module.
For modules held by the UEL in London, the lectures are held one week each from Monday to Friday. They start on Mondays so that you could definitely fly in to London with an ""early bird"" flight, and take back the evening flight on Fridays. The dates are communicated in advance (typically the modules will be held in London in the following months: end of Jan / beginning of February, April, June / July, Aug, begin of Dec)."

Is there a mandatory attendance, what do I do if I am unable to attend an appointment (for example due to business trip)?
In principle, this study is designed to learn with and from each other. Accordingly, it is not a distance learning course, but the students should actually perceive no less than 75% of the appointments. Likewise, we know that often not everything is perfect and predictable in a professional context. We work in small groups and have always found suitable solutions.

Can I work alongside?
Yes, the MBA International Business degree program is designed so that it can be pursued with minimal restrictions through attendance events.

Is there a possibility of a semester abroad for me?
The "MBA International Business" already includes the stay abroad in London during the modules held there (up to four times a week each). Therefore, no further stay abroad is planned.

At which locations is teaching?
"In Cologne, we teach at Vogelsanger Strasse 295 (campus with parking facilities), and if so required at Schaevenstrasse 1 a / b.
In London, the events take place at the ""University Square Stratford"", the new campus within walking distance from the central railway station ""Stratford"" (near the Queen Elisabeth Olympic Centre)."

Can I do my doctorate afterwards?
With the MBA International Business, you earn 90 ECTS CP, which - depending on your previous studies - already qualify for a doctorate. We would be pleased to advise you during the course of your studies and show you options if you would like to follow this path.

Application requirements
Application requirements
For admission to the MBA International Business applicants are required to submit as follows:
• Bachelor’s certificate or diploma in any academic discipline
       with at least 210 CP according to the ECTS framework as well as a minimum GPA of 3.0 (in the German grading system)
       individual assessment in case of a degree with at least 180 CP: up to 30 CP may be accredited due to relevant work experience
• proof of adequate English language skills on level B2 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) verified by official language certificates such as TOEFL, TOEIC or IELTS
• proof of at least 12 months of relevant work experience, usually obtained after the first academic degree

Information for foreign applicants:
• German language skills are not a requirement, however they may facilitate administrative processes
• prospective students from non-EU countries are responsible for obtaining valid visas for Germany as well as the study periods in the UK


Head of the MBA programme in Cologne
Prof. Dr. Stefan Vieweg, CFA
consulting hours by arrangement
Student Advisory Service
Eva Schütteler, M.A.
Tel.: +49 (0) 221 20302-6323