MBA International Business (MBA)

MBA International Business (MBA)

Master of Business Administration (MBA), dual degree

The MBA International Business (Master of Business Administration) offered by the University of East London (UEL) and Rheinische Fachhochschule Koeln (RFH) 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 accredited by FIBAA and the internationally renowned Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and 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.

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
  • Degree: MBA, dual degree (Rheinische Fachhochschule Cologne according to ETCS and University of East London)
  • Forms of study: part-time in Cologne: Fri evenings (partially online) / Sat; in London: up to four times block (Mon-Fri)
  • Tuition fees: EUR 579 /month plus AStA fee
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree (210 CPs ECTS, 30 CPs ECTS from professional practice can be credited on a case-by-case basis; minimum grade 3.0), English proficiency level B2 (TOEFL, TOEIC, or IELTS 6.0 in all sections), 1 year of work experience,
  • either EU citizenship or employment subject to social insurance contributions during studies
  • Start: winter semester, summer semester
  • Duration: 4 semesters
  • Place of study: Cologne, London
  • Credit Points: 90 ECTS / 180 M-Level-Points
  • Language: English
  • Other: Part-time continuing education master's degree (also possible without employment); doctorate entitlement 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

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 module.

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
The aim of this module is to provide students with a critical appreciation of the financial tools of business management, in particular, the techniques of financial statement analysis and making financial decisions. In addition, it provides a critical evaluation of the factors affecting the financing mix of a firm and of the financial markets in which firms operate and gives insight into topical issues in the area.

Managing and Leading People
This module aims to introduce students to core theoretical perspectives in the field of people management and to the most influential contemporary research on HRM, effective leadership and positive organisational outcomes. Students will be encouraged to reflect critically on what approaches are the most effective as far as people management is concerned, leading to enhancement of managerial ability.

Operations, Networks and Partnerships
This module focuses on business logic and effective management of manufacturing, and of products, processes and services provision. This module gives insight into contemporary perspectives of operations, that is, beyond production and beyond global manufacturing networks. We look at managing multilateral value chains, ecosystems of suppliers, business networks, society in operations context, and public private partnerships.

Corporate Social Responsibility

This module considers the different theories on the role of the corporation in society. It analyses the international instruments which are relevant to and are a potential source of business’ social responsibilities. It also considers the issue of corporate accountability for the infringement of its human rights obligations and the related legislative and judicial remedies. It develops an understanding of the relationship between law-abiding and morally reflective behaviours in the corporate environment.

Marketing in the Digital Age

This module aims to develop an advanced understanding of the strategic role of marketing in contemporary business and an advanced appreciation of the importance of marketing in general - and digital marketing in particular - in facilitating business success and sustainability. Students will develop a critical understanding of contemporary marketing theory and practice and be able to apply this understanding to practical challenges in contemporary marketing in developing marketing strategies and tactics.

Professional Development
The module is designed to develop the personal and professional skills that enhance employability and career opportunities available to MBA International graduates. Apart from developing the skills directly relevant to employability and career development, such as interview skills and planning career progression, the module is also intended to work in conjunction with the other taught modules constituting the programme so as to enable the students to develop the skills and capabilities associated with the learning outcomes of particular modules and the whole programme. In particular, the module enhances learning by enabling students to develop and hone the skills necessary to apply subject-specific theory in practice.

Strategic Leadership
This module aims to enable students to develop a critical awareness of different approaches to business strategy and their respective assumptions about the nature of organizations and their leadership. It provides students with an advanced appreciation of the concept and practice of strategy and develops critical awareness of the range of forces that influence the formulation and implementation strategies. It provides students with the knowledge, analytical skills, and techniques necessary to evaluate and propose strategies as well as developing an awareness of the strategic role of the leader and a critical understanding of the associated challenges and opportunities.

Elective Modules
Students will be able to choose one (i.e. 15 M-credits, 7.5 ECTS-credits) out of elective modules offered. The elective modules on offer have an international business focus and so the students will be able to follow their specific international business interests. Elective modules will only run if subscribed to by at least 6 students. In case an elective module is undersubscribed and thus does not run, students will be able to take another elective module in its place. For this reason, students will be asked to indicate their order of preference for the elective modules rather than just choosing one option.

The elective modules are:
• Managing across Cultures (venue London)
• Corporate Governance and Globalisation (venue Cologne)
• Information Systems (venue Cologne)

Managing across Cultures
Together with related themes in core modules including Managing and Leading People, Strategic Leadership and Corporate Social Responsibility this elective module aims to develop an advanced understanding of culture in the contemporary business landscape and an advanced appreciation of cultural diversity and its implications for contemporary business practice. The module develops a critical awareness of cross-cultural issues pertaining to management, leadership and work in international contexts and multicultural environments and provides students with an advanced appreciation of the concept and practice of cross-cultural management and leadership.

Corporate Governance and Globalisation
The module Corporate Governance and Globalisation considers the effects on the business community and the wider society of the debate on corporate governance. It investigates the origins of modern corporations and examines the most relevant legal, economic, and sociological theories of corporation and the firm. The module investigates the issue of unethical corporate governance and its disastrous consequences for the entire society. The module builds on the content of core modules including in particular Corporate Social Responsibility and Strategic Leadership.

Information Systems (subject to validation)
In this module 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 organisations.

Management Dissertation (Master Thesis)
This module is designed to consolidate the learning from across the programme in an applied format so as to enable students to demonstrate in-depth understanding of theories, frameworks, models and concepts relevant to a specific business issue.

The Dissertation is a major supervised research project, whereby students conduct original research in an area of their choice under the guidance of an academic supervisor. Students conduct a literature review to identify a set of research questions, develop an appropriate research design, carry out the empirical study by collecting primary and secondary data, analyse the findings and derive conclusions and recommendations for further research and practice.

As MBA students are experienced professionals and most of them will be in employment whilst studying for their degree it is envisaged that many will choose a dissertation topic relevant to their organisation and carry out their research project with support from that organisation, e.g. with regard to data collection access. Typically, students will choose topics relevant to the international business orientation of the programme but other topics will also be allowed in order to facilitate the career aspirations of particular students.

Thus, the module will help students develop an advanced mastery of analysis and synthesis of data in a business context. Through supervised research they will demonstrate the ability to identify relevant business or organisational issues through a review of academic literature, collect and critically evaluate evidence in an academically rigorous manner, and present conclusions and recommendations. This being a major research project, it is envisaged that it will particularly benefit those students intending to transition onto an academic career pathway, e.g. by moving on to do a PhD or DBA (Doctorate of Business Administration).

Curriculum MBA International


Admission requirements

  • The MBA International Businessis offered to finalists in academic professions such as Engineering, Economy, Medicine, Chemistry, Biology and Law. We accept a wide range of qualifications from across the world. Diploma or bachelor certificate (grade 3.0 or better)
  • As lectures of this MBA programme are delivered in English, adequate language skills on requirements level IELTS 6.0 (with no component score less than 6.0) are to be verified. We accept other official language certificates like TOEFL, TOEIC, and similar on level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, CEFR.
  • German language skills are not required, although they may facilitate administrative processes.
  • A minimum of 12 months’ relevant work experience generally after first degree
  • An employment subject to social security contributions in Germany during studies or an EU citizenship is a pre-requisite for this MBA-programme.
  • Candidates will also be required to submit a personal statement of 500 words demonstrating their commitment to study for the MBA and explaining how the MBA will enhance their career.

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
"The degree program is accessible to applicants for all disciplines who fulfill the formal admission requirements for the Master's program at universities. Admission will be made without further admission testing if the following is demonstrated:
1) Diploma or bachelor certificate (grade 3.0 or better)
2) Adequate English language skills, required level:
IELTS 6.0 (with no component score less than 6.0),or
other certificates like TOEFL, TOEIC, etc. on CEFR B2 level
German language skills NO pre-requisite for this programme
3) A minimum of 12 months’ relevant work experience
4) Either an employment subject to social insurance contribution in Germany during studies OR an EU citizenship, alternatively.
5) Motivation statement (500 words): demonstrating commitment to study and explaining how the MBA will enhance career."

I would like to apply.
Please address all questions concerning the topic "application" to our competent Student Advisory Service.


Head of the MBA programme in Cologne
Prof. Dr. Stefan Vieweg, CFA
consulting hours by arrangement
Student Advisory Service
Marcus Fröhling, B.Sc.
Tel.: +49 (0) 221 20302-6328