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International Marketing & Brand Management - Master's Programme

MSc in Business and Economics, major in Business Administration | 1 year | 60 credits

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The Master’s programme in International Marketing and Brand Management prepares you for a career in marketing, strategy, brand and product management, sales and marketing research in organisations varying from multinational corporations to small and medium sized enterprises and NGO’s.


This programme allows you to develop advanced-level academic expertise in international marketing and brand management. We provide you with the theory, concepts and skills to operate, build strong brands and successfully market products and services across a range of dynamic and competitive international environments. You will train your ability to analyse societal shifts, trends and their interplay with consumption and brands, and gain skills that are essential for companies to be able to develop new innovations that raise profits and ideally improve sustainability as well.

The programme features a wide range of electives and value-added features, including high-quality industry collaboration, skills-based teaching, research excellence, and real-life learning based on industry projects.

Our students are truly international with representations from all parts of the world, which further enhances the learning experience. The programme is one of Sweden’s most popular MSc degree programme.

The programme is designed to increase your ability to solve complex problems and strengthen your decision-making skills. Teaching methods include case studies, seminars, presentations, team work, problem-solving exercises, and hands-on real-life business projects. The teaching methods are designed to facilitate integration of the theoretical and practical aspects of the programme and to encourage interaction among students. All modules require a high level of student participation in class.

Specialisation tracks

The programme is organised into two different tracks. When applying for the programme, you also select which track you are specialising in, depending on your ambitions and interests.

In addition to the track unique courses you will be provided with the opportunity to tailor your degree via elective courses in for example, marketing intelligence, corporate reputation management, marketing and social media, and retail management. Throughout the programme you will get a significant run through of dissertation skills, covering all aspects of a successful submission of your master’s thesis.

This track aims at introducing, explaining and applying central theories in business administration, especially with an international focus and an emphasis on marketing and branding. The track mainly discusses different areas from a management perspective. An ambition is to provide students with an academic perspective as well as an understanding of how challenges are approached from a practitioner point of view based upon theoretical models and constructs.

The track starts by introducing basic models and theories within the central areas of the international marketing and brand management. That is followed by a mandatory course on multichannel marketing, retail and internationalisation. In parallel, students choose one of two electives; either a course on sustainability and marketing ethics, or a course on on-line marketing, brands and consumers. The spring semester starts with a mandatory general course in research methods. Students also elect one of two courses on research methodology (qualitative or quantitative) and one additional elective dependant on career interests and courses available. As a final part of the track, students will conduct their own research and demonstrate their ability to independently apply the different ideas and theories introduced by the different courses. This will result in a degree project of ten weeks.

This track provides students with breadth and depth in central areas of the subject matters of global consumer culture evolution, brands and innovation. To reach this overall objective, the theoretical concepts, models and tools will be related to real and complex problems in organizations in order to train the students in applying advanced theory to real-life business challenges in branding and innovation.

This track starts by introducing theories within the subject matter of the evolution of consumer culture and brands, followed by a course on models and tools for innovation. That is followed by a mandatory course on the value of brands in a consumption society. In parallel, students choose one of two electives; either a course on sustainability and marketing ethics, or a course on on-line marketing, brands and consumers. The spring semester starts with a mandatory general course in research methods. Students also elect one of two courses on research methodology (qualitative or quantitative) and one additional elective dependant on career interests and courses available. As a final part of the track, students will conduct their own research and demonstrate their ability to independently apply the different ideas and theories introduced by the different courses. This will result in a degree project of ten weeks.

Case studies and guest speakers

The teaching methods used focus on the critical analysis of the course content with the use of real case studies wherever possible.  International guest lecturers and speakers from business, government, NGOs and research regularly feature as part of the curriculum to further connect studies to the professional world.

International Master Class

Students with exceptional study results during the first semester at this programme, may compete for seats at the International Master Class programme. An International Master Class is a highly competitive opportunity to go on an exchange semester after finishing your Master’s studies at LUSEM.

International Master Class for LUSEM students


Master coordinator Business Administration
master [at] fek [dot] lu [dot] se

Programme documents

International Marketing & Brand Management - Master's Programme

The initial fifteen weeks of the programme are organised into two tracks. When applying to this programme, you must also select which track you want to follow, either a more management-oriented perspective or a perspective that puts an emphasis on consumer and cultural aspects. In addition, you will be able to choose courses that will give you the type of specialisation that you prefer within the broader area of international marketing and brand management.

This is a preliminary course list, and is intended as guidance only. The course list may be subject to change.

Autumn semester (September - October)

Strategies for Brands and International Markets (track 1)

This course focuses upon the various strategic aspects that are relevant for international marketing. It aims to provide the student with both a theoretical and a practical insight into the dynamics of the international marketing process.

The objective of the course is to make students familiar with the main areas, constructs and theoretical models within the broad subject of international marketing and strategy, and to provide them with a general understanding of the different challenges that companies operating on international markets have to manage.

The course also includes guest lecturers with practitioners that are intended to give the students an increased insight into how companies work with their international marketing strategy. The course includes individual assignments as well as a group assignment.

Course code: BUSN20 | Download syllabus

Strategic Brand Management is a broad subject which touches upon many different scientific disciplines, for instance intellectual property right, strategy, marketing, organization, finance, semiotics, sociology and psychology. This gives excellent opportunities for scientific cross-fertilization. 

Brands are intangible assets, assets that provide benefits to business and society. This is the domain of Strategic Brand Management: how to create value with proper management.

Course code: BUSN21 | Download syllabus

International Consumer Trends, Brands and Innovation (track 2)

This is a course which takes the student on a challenging and intellectual journey through the modern history of consumption and production, into the present, and even into possible futures. The purpose of the course is to provide broad understanding of what has created the consumer trends we live by today and how what is happening today may form new trends tomorrow.

Necessary for this is a step away from mainstream business management literature, into relevant sociological, cultural and anthropological literature on historical changes and present phenomena in consumer culture. 

Course code: BUSO30 | Download syllabus

The course covers an area increasingly important to many companies, not least international and global companies namely the link between consumer studies and innovation. Being able to increase innovation on the market is of greatest importance to many companies, not least those working on consumer markets.

While internationalisation and decreasing loyalty drive margins down, there is a need to increase margins by being able to innovate. One important input into innovation processes is consumer studies and as the media situation is changing, consumer studies means more now than the traditional input via surveys etc.

New media and new methods have increased the number of ways to create and get access to relevant consumer input to drive the innovation process. The course intends to enhance students’ ability to create consumer input as well as to understand how this input can be turned into valuable innovation in terms of products, services, business models etc.

Course code: BUSO31 | Download syllabus

Autumn semester (November - January)

Strategies for Brands and International Markets (track 1)

The objective of the course is to introduce students to Retail management. The retail sector is the dynamic, multifaceted and highly competitive part of our economy from which some of the world’s leading firms originate, and it is also where production meets daily consumption. Today, the retail landscape is changing fast and the development of innovative business models create new conditions and challenges for the retail manager. The course aims at providing an overview and analysis of the development and current themes within the field of retail management, with particular focus on multichannel marketing and internationalization.

Course code: BUSP36 | Download syllabus

International Consumer Trends, Brands and Innovation (track 2)

Brands are today ascribed with great value. However they are valuable for different reasons and for different actors. For companies brands are considered as the most valuable asset, enabling them to compete successfully on global markets. For consumers brands simplify choice, they offer them identity value, social value, and the value of long-term relationships.  This course offers a multifaceted understanding of the value of brands and branding. The aim of the course is to provide the students with advanced knowledge of the value of brands, by treating brands and branding from various perspectives; including a brand management, a consumer, and a critical perspective.

Course code: BUSN33 | Download syllabus

All students choose one of the following two elective courses:

The objectives of this course are to promote theoretical perspectives as well as empirical knowledge about the challenges of corporate activities in the context of sustainability. The course encompasses managerial perspectives on the integration of business objectives with wider social and environmental well-being as a key function of contemporary management.

The Global business and sustainability management pathway aims to help students to become knowledgeable and socially and environmentally responsible business leaders. With learning drawn from many different disciplines, students will develop the skills to research issues and respond to opportunities in ways that balance business interests with wider social and resource implications. This pathway offers a forward-thinking learning experience which reveals the importance of sustainability to all sectors of global business.

The course outlines how social and environmental sustainability influences the firm. In doing so perspectives and models related to corporate social responsibility, stakeholder and shareholder theory, value creation and setting corporate objectives  and performance targets are utilized.

Course code: BUSP35 | Download syllabus

Today, almost all marketing related activities have a digital component. This advanced level course is targeted towards students who would like to specialize in digitalization of marketing. The course consists of six major parts.

  • The first part, think, is devoted to researching, planning and strategic preparation for digital marketing campaigns.
  • The second part, create, enables you to generate functional and appealing digital marketing contents.
  • In the third part, engage, you will focus on engaging potential and existing customers in order to drive traffic to the digital marketing contents.
  • The fourth part is labeled retain as the focus of the course shifts toward building and maintaining strong relationships with customers.
  • In the fifth part, optimize, you will learn how to track, analyze, and optimize the performance of digital marketing campaigns via data-driven insights.
  • The sixth and final part, build, emphasizes the process of building strong brands in the digital marketing environment.

Course code: BUSO38 | Download syllabus

Spring semester (January - March)

This is a course that aims to advance students’ philosophical, critical, and analytical understanding of fundamental concepts academic research leans upon, and ultimately be able to master this conceptual understanding in order to initiate their own research strategy and knowledge generation.

Among the most important concepts are the following included:

  • Theory
  • Theoretical Contribution
  • Problematisation
  • Positioning

Course code: BUSP37 | Download syllabus

All students choose one of the following method courses (elective course one):

Within marketing and management there is a long tradition of conducting qualitative fieldwork/research. The choice of research method should be based on careful consideration of the aim of the research project, the nature of the unit of analysis and empirical object, the epistemological basis of different methods, the type of empirical data available and accessible, and the desired outcomes of the project. Researchers thus face an array of methodological decisions, the answer to which will greatly impact the both the practical feasibility of the study and the validity, reliability, and generalizability of the findings.

Questions related to qualitative research methods are therefore of pivotal importance not only for students and researchers but also to management and marketing practitioners. This relates to (i) the ability to conduct scholarly research and business/market research in an informed and robust way and (ii) the ability to assess and critically review others’ research, be it scientific studies or market research.

Against this backdrop, the aim of the course is to enhance the students’ knowledge and understanding of the most commonly used methods for collecting and analyzing qualitative data within marketing and management. Moreover, the ambition is to offer examples of how different types of data can be used for different kinds of analyses. More specifically, the course aims to offer the students the possibility to develop:

  1. A broad methodological repertoire and the ability to assess the appropriateness of different methods
  2. The ability to argue for and defend methodological choices
  3. A reflexive and nuanced approach to knowledge claims

Course code: BUSR31 | Download syllabus

The aim of the course is to enhance the students’ knowledge and understanding of the most commonly used methods for collecting and analyzing quantitative data within marketing research. More specifically, the course aims to offer the students the possibility to develop:

  • Foundations in data science concepts
  • A broad quantitative methodological repertoire
  • The ability to assess the appropriateness of different quantitative research design choices
  • The ability to argue for and defend quantitative methodological choices
  • A reflexive and nuanced approach to knowledge claims generated from quantitative research methods

Course code: BUSR37  | Download syllabus

All students choose one of the following method courses (elective course two):

In contemporary society consumption is regarded to be of great importance. From an economic point of view consumption is often considered as a key factor for prosperity where statistical patterns of peoples’ consumption often is used as an indicator of economic growth or decline. From a business- and marketing perspective consumption has for several years been considered a prerequisite for company operations and success. This has generated a profound need among marketers to not only understand consumption as a phenomenon but also to understand the behavior and practices of consumers.

This course aims at providing students with a holistic yet deep theoretical understanding of consumption, consumers, and contemporary consumer society. It contains not only the dominant perspective of consumer behavior, but also sociocultural, critical, and political perspectives that provide valuable theoretical insights of various forms of consumption practices, consumption phenomenon, and the role of consumption in contemporary society.

The different perspectives and their underlying assumptions and theoretical background are brought up, interrogated, compared and linked to each other in order to support the course’s aim. Typical questions that will be dealt with during the course are: 

How and why do people buy and consume things?

How do rationality, emotionality, and experience structure peoples’ consumption?

Why and how does consumption relate to identity and sociality?

How do status, recognition and social class connect to peoples’ consumption practices?

How may consumption become production?

What is the relationship between consumption and politics?

In what way has consumer society developed historically and what are the main characteristics of contemporary consumption society?

Course code: BUSN26 | Download syllabus

In order to study and understand the corporate brand management and reputation processes the following areas are covered:

  • The history of corporate branding and the key roles of modern branding (brands,logotypes and symbols) and the distinction between product brands and corporate brands
  • Corporate brand identity and alignment of its key elements
  • Corporate behaviour, corporate social responsibility and internal branding
  • The core of a corporate brand: Promise and core values
  • Corporate branding in different contexts: B2C, B2B, Service & Retailing, Public sector, Not-for-profits, Institutions, and Cities, regions and countries
  • Corporate brand strategy and structure: Roles and relations between brands (Mother brand, Mother and Daughter, Daughter and Mother, Daughter with Discrete Mother)
  • Corporate brand communication and reputation management
  • Corporate brand crisis management
  • Brand-oriented and market-oriented approaches

Course code: BUSN35 | Download syllabus

Course code: BUSN24 | Download syllabus

Spring semester (April - June)

The students work independently, in smaller groups with designing and conducting their own study and on presenting their study in the form of a final written master thesis. This includes to search for and to select relevant literature on the appropriate theoretical area as well as on research methodology, and to collect relevant empirical data through field studies and documentary research. The students are also expected to read and discuss the work of other students that attend the same course.

Course code: BUSN39 | Download syllabus

The workload is high, therefore being able to manage your time effectively is very important. The main emphasis on each course is largely on group-assignments, this is predominantly where students are able to get hands on experience, either divulging into an interesting research topic, or to tackle a company problem. In some courses, we had the ability to work with large international companies such as IKEA, and in others we worked with smaller, yet highly innovative companies. 

– Sarah Featherstone (UK)

The programme also invites different types of marketing practitioners to give guest lectures and share real-life cases, industrial trends, or career insights.

– Felicia Sandberg

Career opportunities

Graduates from this programme can seek positions in international firms within marketing, strategy, brand and product management, sales and marketing research. You will be able to help businesses gain insight by providing them with trend analysis, consumer and marketing research, business intelligence, scenario planning, strategy and innovation.

The School's close ties to the international business community and extensive network of corporate partners ensure practical relevance and gives your career a head start. Graduates have found employment at internationally leading businesses all over the world at, for example, SAS, L'Oreal and Ikea.

Programme requirements