Specialisation Tracks


In the Research Master in Business and Management, you choose one of five domains of management:

The section below describes the general curriculum of the two-year master programme. 

First Year (60 ECTS)

Foundations of Research in Management (9 ects)

In these courses the basic foundations of management, behavioural theories and economics are being discussed.

Research Methodology and Research Methods (21 ects)

The aim of these courses is to familiarise the doctoral students with research methodologies and applications in the domain of management research. Methodology makes explicit the scientific frame in which research is conducted; scientific rules which have to be adhered to in executing research. Three of the seven ERIM methodology courses are compulsory for all students, others depend on one’s specialization track, background and interests,

Seminars and Skills (10 ects)

A distinctive feature of the ERIM Research Master is that students are confronted with recent academic work in the field of management by participating in the ERIM research seminar series and workshops. This allows students to meet with international scholars and also to interact and discuss with ERIM researchers and PhD students. Seminars are scheduled throughout the year. Also, students receive training in skills that are particularly useful for setting up, writing, presenting and publishing academic work. Further, a number of other skill courses/workshops is offered every year, that are not obligatory.

Courses in the Domain of Specialisation (20 ects)

Students have to follow at least 20 ects of specialization courses in their field. Each track has its own list of compulsory courses. In some cases students can choose from a range of compulsory courses depending on one’s interests. There are also optional specialization courses that students may follow. To stress the nature of the research master and to familiarize ERIM students with setting up their own research, the specialization courses include a compulsory Research Clinic of 4 ects.

Second Year (60 ECTS)

Advanced Courses (30 ects)

In the second year students take up to 30 ECTS of advanced courses. These courses are taken from a large and diverse set of courses offered by the ERIM or can be taken from programmes of national and international research networks (e.g. LNMB, NOBEM, EIASM, EDEN), with approval of the Director of Doctoral Education. Two types of advanced courses are offered by ERIM: advanced specialisation courses and advanced methodology courses. Students choose at least 10 ECTS of both types (in total, at least 20 ECTS) and the remaining 10 ECTS can be taken from either type.

Thesis Proposal Writing (5 ects) and Research Master Thesis (25 ects)

The research master students conclude their two-year study with writing a scientific master thesis in the last half year of the programme. The thesis should introduce and describe the results of a personal and individual research project conducted by the student, and should be written following academic standards consistent with the relevant international literature in the field. The thesis, written in English, should provide a clear proof that the student is familiar with the current scientific literature on his or her topic, and is able to relate his/her manuscript to existing work. Furthermore, the relevance and appropriateness of the applied research methodology and methods should be convincingly explained. The setup and style of the research master’s thesis should satisfy the international academic standards in the field. Ideally, the thesis provides a first version of a manuscript that can be published in a refereed international journal. The thesis is supervised by one of the (senior) members of the ERIM faculty.

Students that wish to continue into a PhD programme should write a research proposal, which is evaluated separately from the master thesis. Students that do not wish to continue into a PhD programme, should include an additional section in their master thesis to discuss societal or managerial relevance and (policy) implications. It is possible to combine this element with an internship at a company, public organisation or institute of applied research.

For more information on the current curriculum please consult the ERIM Research Master Study Guide.