Objectives and competences
The master's degree Business Research is intended to provide students with the training needed to become researchers in the main aspects of business administration and management. The master's degree engages in an in-depth exploration of the theoretical and empirical methods that are most significant for high-quality research in the business world today.
On completion of the master's degree, students will have the competencies and skills required to start independent work on their doctoral thesis, as the master's degree is part of their training process for the doctoral programme in Business.Alternatively, students who choose to enter the business world immediately will have the training needed to assume professional roles as consultants or in research departments.
As a guideline, candidates for the master's degree could hold qualifications in business (Business Management and Administration, Actuarial and Financial Sciences, and Market Research and Techniques) or bachelor's degrees in the branch of social and legal sciences: Business Management and Administration, Business Science, Political and Administration Sciences, Accounting and Finance, Business and Technology, Management and Marketing, Human Resource Management, Public Management and Administration, International Business and Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations, International Business Economics, and Statistics. Graduates with other qualifications in other branches of sciences may also be considered.
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MSc in Business Research | Lijue Lu
Objectives and competences
The master's degree in Business Research is intended to provide students with advanced training in the research skills, techniques and methodologies required to become researchers in the main aspects of business administration and management. The master's degree engages in an in-depth exploration of the theoretical and empirical methods that are most significant for high-quality research in the business world today; the understanding of new theories, essential paradigms and key trends; the search and selection of relevant qualitative and quantitative data; and to analyse and interpret these data to transform them in useful information. Furthermore, the aim is for students to gain a command of the design phases of business research activities, and acquire the ability to apply the most suitable qualitative methods in the highest level of research.
The objective of the master's degree is to prepare students for a doctoral thesis, studies or other quality research. Consequently, the master's degree could be considered a step prior to admission to a doctoral programme (that is, a training stage before preparation of a doctoral thesis) or the final stage of training that culminates with a master's degree qualification.
- Knowledge forming the basis of original thinking in the development or application of ideas, typically in a research context.
- Capacity to apply the acquired knowledge to problem-solving in new or relatively unknown environments within broader (or multidisciplinary) contexts related to the field of studies.
- Capacity to integrate knowledge and tackle the complexity of formulating judgements based on incomplete or limited information, taking due consideration of the social and ethical responsibilities involved in applying knowledge and making judgements.
- Capacity to communicate knowledge and conclusions and the grounds on which they have been reached to specialist and non-specialist audiences in a clear and unambiguous manner.
- Capacity for ongoing self-directed and independent learning.
- Ability to establish research questions or original hypotheses based on a relevant theoretical framework and then evaluate or verify them empirically.
- Capacity for effective public speaking.
- Ability to identify research topics of importance to the academic community in a wide range of business subjects, including aspects of organization, management and accounting, and address these topics from functional, process and management perspectives.
- Ability to understand relevant new theories, essential paradigms and trends currently emerging in publications on business research in order to tackle specific problems in this field of study.
- Ability to search for and select relevant qualitative and quantitative data, analyse and interpret data, and transform data into useful information to conduct research on business issues.
- Skills in the design stages involved in business research activities, including selecting a new topic of interest, proposing a specific problem within the topic area and selecting a theoretical approach to frame the problem.
- Mastery of the implementation stages of business research activities, including selecting the methodological approach appropriate to tackle the problem and framing the potential contributions of problem resolution within the context of current knowledge and debate.
- Ability to apply the most appropriate qualitative methodologies for high-quality research on how organizations function and implement these methods rigorously.
- Ability to apply the most appropriate quantitative methodologies for high-quality research on how organizations function and implement these methods rigorously.
Applicant profile and access requirements
Recommended applicant profile
The master's degree in Business Research is designed for students who wish to work in research in the field of business. In fact, on completion of the course, a large number of students apply to enter the doctoral programme in Business. The master's degree also provides a solid basis from which graduates can build a research career in the private sector.
In general terms, the qualifications held by master's degree candidates prior to the course could be in the area of business (Business Administration and Management, Financial and Actuarial Sciences, and Market Research and Techniques) or bachelor's degrees in branches of the social and legal sciences (Business Administration and Management, Business Sciences, Political and Administration Sciences, Accounting and Finance, Business and Technology, Commercial Management and Marketing, Human Resource Management, Public Management and Administration, International Business and Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations, International Business Economics, Economics and Statistics). Other qualifications in branches of sciences may also be considered.
For each applicant, the Selection Committee will assess whether additional training is required before the master's programme.
The master's degree in Business Research is not an MBA, as it is focused on research rather than professional skills.
Applicants are strongly recommended to have a good working knowledge of English and software tools and applications.
Access requirements and conditions
In accordance with Article 16 of Royal Decree 1393/29 October 2007, students must hold one of the following qualifications to access university master's degree courses:
- An official Spanish degree.
- A degree issued by a higher education institution within the European Higher Education Area framework that authorizes the holder to access university master's degree courses in the country of issue.
- A qualification from outside the framework of the European Higher Education Area. In this case, the qualification should be recognized as equivalent to an official Spanish degree. If it is not recognized, the University of Barcelona shall verify that it corresponds to a level of education that is equivalent to official Spanish degrees and that it authorizes the holder to access university master's degree courses in the country of issue. Admission shall not, in any case, imply that prior qualifications have been recognized as equivalent to a Spanish master's degree and does not confer recognition for any purposes other than that of admission to the master's degree course.
Any candidate with an appropriate qualification for taking a university master's degree in Spain can apply, according to current legislation. Candidates who hold one of the qualifications indicated in the section "Recommended applicant profile" have priority.
Given the nature of the master's degree, knowledge of four subjects in the UB bachelor's degree Business Administration and Management (ADE) is required. This may need to be gained in bridging courses:
- Statistics II (6 credits).
- Strategic Marketing (6 credits).
- Corporate Finance (6 credits).
- Operations Management (6 credits).
Applicants who have completed these subjects as part of the UB bachelor's degree in Business Administration and Management will not be required to take them again.
Other applicants' curriculum vitae will be evaluated by the Selection Committee to determine whether they have gained in previous training a level of knowledge that is equivalent to these subjects. If this is the case, they will not have to take any bridging courses.
If this is not the case, the Selection Committee shall determine which bridging courses each applicant must take to ensure that he/she has sufficient knowledge of basic statistical tools and fundamental concepts relating to functional business areas (production, finances and marketing).
Complete the application form, which will allow the academic committee to evaluate your candidacy.
Academic Committee Resolutions:
- First period: applications received from 18 January to 14 March 2023.
Notification of resolutions: 31 March 2023.
- Second period: applications received from 15 March to 16 May 2023.
Notification of resolutions: 31 May 2023.
- Third period: applications received from 17 May to 1 July 2023.
Notification of resolutions:15 July 2023.
- Pre-enrolment fee: A pre-enrolment fee of 30,21 euros is charged. Students who apply to more than one master's degree must pay the fee for each pre-enrolment request. Pre-enrolment requests cannot be processed until this fee has been paid.Fees will only be refunded if the master's degree in question is suspended.
- Reserved places: A maximum of 5% of the new places of the master's degree are reserved for students who meet the general and specific access requirements and accredit the recognition of a degree of disability equal to or greater than 33%.
- Pre-enrolment application
- Photocopy of degree certificate or equivalent qualification. In case of admission, foreign degrees that require so should be translated and authenticated through diplomatic channels before completing the enrolment.
- Other specific documentation related to the selection criteria
Applications from candidates who meet the master's degree admission requirements will be evaluated using the following criteria, which are listed in order of priority with the corresponding weighting:
- Academic experience acquired by the candidate in previous studies: 30%.
- A previous qualification in a field related to the master's degree content: 20%.
- Curriculum vitae: 15%.
- University of origin and its position in university rankings: 10%.
- Statement of interest: 10%.
- Certification of a good command of English at level B1 or equivalent (international students from non-Spanish speaking countries must also certify a high level of Spanish language): 10%.
- Award of a grant or funding prior to the master's degree course: 5%.
If necessary, the Selection Committee could ask applicants for additional documents (such as letters of recommendation) or ask them to attend a personal interview.
The body in charge of resolving applications is the master's degree Admissions Committee. This procedure is carried out in the period established in the pre-enrolment calendar. Once the Committee has met and the corresponding resolution has been reached, electronic confirmation is sent. The faculty's Master's and Doctoral Office will contact admitted students to inform them of the steps to take to complete enrolment.
As a general rule, at the UB you will be required to enrol online. Remember that you can lose your place if you do not enrol on the day you have been assigned
Subjects and course plans
Distribution of credits
List of subjects
Placements in a company or another type of organization are an integral part of university studies, providing first-hand experience of working methodologies in students' chosen professional fields. They offer invaluable practical experience for the transition into work after graduation.
Placements are supervised by tutors and subject to assessment. They are therefore included in the academic record. There is also an option to complete non-curricular placements of up to 750 hours, which can be extended to 900 hours. For both curricular and non-curricular placements, an educational cooperation agreement is signed between the UB and the company, institution or other organization at which the placement will be carried out.
What can you work on ?
Graduates of this master's degree will have the knowledge and skills required to prepare a doctoral thesis, and therefore can apply for admission to the doctoral programme in Business. This is one of the paths that is most frequently taken by graduates. In fact, the master's degree is designed to serve as a foundation on which a doctoral research project can be built, which, in turn, is the first step in the academic career.
However, this is not the only path taken by graduates. Some prefer to move into the job market as soon as they have completed the master's degree, while others wait until they have obtained a PhD. According to data provided by the Government of Catalonia, 95.4% of doctoral students in social sciences find work in less than three years. Therefore, holding a master's degree in Business Research and a doctoral degree in Business clearly helps to achieve a more favourable position in the job market.
Access to the labour market
Data from the university system in Catalonia