International Study Programmes

Master's Study Programme

Design- and Innovation Management

Degree: Master of Arts (M.A.)

The rapid development of digitalisation in every aspect of economy brings forth unprecedented production efficiency, attributing to dramatically increasing demands for new products with forefront design and ever-shorter product life cycles.

Under this trend, specialists with exclusive, interdisciplinary expertise in design and management are needed. Crucial in creating high value-added products and services for consumers, creativity and high-quality design and the resulted innovations are proven to be essential to corporate competitiveness and growth. High-qualified professionals with strong design competence and management skills are to fulfil the double function in companies and organisations to optimize innovation methods and processes while ensuring creative design quality for a sustainable growth.

The FOM Master’s study program “Design & Innovation Management” is developed to meet the market demand for specialized professionals capable of design and innovation management. The program contents, combing the reputable management expertise of FOM University of Applied Sciences and the strength of design and innovation, integrate sound methodological knowledge in the two subject areas as well as soft skills in view of personal development. Through practice-oriented modules, students are to acquire transfer competence to consolidate their practical competence in design and innovation management. A course of advanced business English rounds up the program with an international perspective.

International students from all over the world now also have the opportunity to participate in the Design- and Innovation Management Master’s programme by the FOM Hochschule. The program is offered as a fulltime hybrid model: a mixture of online courses (during the first year) and classes in presence on campus (during the second year).

The Master’s degree in Design- and Innovation Management will be completed with the academic degree Master of Arts (M.A.).

The hybrid model provides students with a high flexibility. Students have the opportunity to concentrate first on an intensive theoretical study for two semesters online from a place of their choice before expanding their theoretical as well as practical horizon with applied projects for another two semesters on campus in Essen, Germany.

Experience life in Germany and on our campus for the second year, deepen your academic skills and expertise in Design- and Innovation Management, improve your intercultural competencies and interact with other international students.

Information on Master's Programme "Design und Innovation Management"

Degree: Master of Arts (M.A.) 

Length: 4 Semester inclusive Thesis

ECTS: 120 Credit points

Place of Study: Online & FOM Hochschule Essen, Germany (hybrid)

Mode of Study: Fulltime

Course Language: English

AccreditationThe FOM - a non-profit-oriented University of Applied Sciences - and its academic degrees are state-recognized and all its study programmes are accredited. FOM Hochschule is Germany’s largest private university with over 20 years worth of teaching and research experience

University degree
* of 180 credit points** with at least 60 credit points in business administration AND design 


with a share of at least 60 credit points from subject-related modules (e.g. art)


for applicants fulfilling the requirement of only one or none of the mentioned two fields of study: completion of a bridge course in business and/or design.

In addition, sufficient English language skills must be provided. Proof of sufficient English language skills can be provided by successfully completing a recognized placement test according to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) for foreign languages at a language level of at least B2, e.g. by submitting a TOEIC test (min. 860) points, a TOEFL test (internet-based min. 83 points) or a Duolingo test (min. 105 points). This requirement may be waived in justified individual cases. Native speakers, graduates of an English taught study program, or applicants who can prove that they have lived in an English-speaking country for several years may be exempted from the test to prove sufficient knowledge of the English language.


* Degree as Magister or Bachelor or with Diplom or Staatsexamen. Degrees from accredited Bachelor's training courses at Berufsakademien are equivalent to Bachelor's degrees from higher education institutions.

** FOM awards credit points according to the standards of the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS). They measure the workload required of students in the study programme.


Agents advertise the programme locally. Interested students can either contact the agents or the FOM (International Office) with questions.

First Semester

Innovation Management (6 CP)

  • Innovation strategy
  • Innovation processes
  • Special features of services and business models
  • Innovation marketing
  • Methods / Instruments of idea generation and problem-solving
  • Challenges and success factors in innovation projects


Design Thinking (7 CP)

  • General introduction and basics: Design Thinking
  • (Be-)user requirements
  • Development of ideas and solutions
  • Development and testing of prototypes
  • Implementation of "Design Thinking" in the company


Research Methods (5 CP)

  • Examination Empirical Research at a Glance
  • Scientific theoretical basics
  • Research problem and topic
  • State of research and theoretical background
  • Research design
  • Operationalization
  • Sampling and data collection
  • Data processing and analysis
  • Presentation of results


Business Plan (6 CP)

  • Business plan
  • Product/Company Life Cycle
  • Growth phase
  • Maturity phase
  • Saturation phase
  • Approaches to business and management ethics


Advanced Business English (6 CP) 

  • Study skills
  • Business communication
  • Processing information in written and spoken business related material 
  • Writing skills for business and study purposes
  • Vocabulary
  • Grammar
  • Language skills development

Second Semester

Design Management (7 CP)

  • Design history
  • Media design
  • Production
  • Design usability
  • Design experience
  • Design transfer of brand values to any product & service portfolio


Information & Knowledge Management (5 CP)

  • Introduction
  • Theories and Models
  • Organization
  • Systems and Strategies
  • Implementation of knowledge management
  • Current developments in information and knowledge management


Leadership & Sustainability (6 CP)

  • Normative, strategic and operational management
  • Leadership theories
  • Leadership styles, techniques and instruments
  • Use of situation-appropriate moderation techniques
  • Strategic negotiation preparation
  • Roles of managers
  • Design of work situations
  • Personality and social skills
  • Diversity management and interculturality
  • Corporate governance
  • Leadership in an intercultural context
  • Ethics and sustainability
  • Ethics and economics
  • Implications for leadership and managers
  • Mission statement with sustainability
  • 3-Pillar model


Service Engineering (6 CP)

  • (New) role of service in business models of manufacturing companies
  • Classification in value chain and in value networks
  • Influence of Industry 4.0, digitalization and Big Data
  • After Sales Service
  • Service engineering, innovation (service creation), customer integration, instruments and methods
  • Service quality and transition to service management: definition, design and evaluation


Strategy & Entrepreneurship (5 CP) 


  • Introduction to entrepreneurship
  • Product and business model development
  • Business start-up and financing
  • Company growth

Third Semester

Design Workshop (5 CP)

  • Project planning and organization
  • Understanding problem area
  • Capturing and understanding the stakeholders
  • Gaining knowledge in team
  • Idea development with adequate methods
  • Development of prototypes
  • Evaluation of results


International Property Rights (5 CP)

  • The most important international agreements with significance for patent law
  • EPO: European Patent Convention (EPC)
  • EU: upcoming innovations in patent law
  • EU: regulations on the enforcement of intellectual property rights
  • Main features of international patent contract law
  • Overview of patent strategies


Future & Trend Management (5 CP)

  • Innovation funnel
  • Operationalizing "design" in the context of future management:
  • Trend research (outside-in)
  • Future management (inside-out):
  • Assessment know-how, success factors, reflection


Brand & Communication Management (6 CP)

  • Corporate Management
  • Brand Management
  • International Brand
  • Development and design of communication campaigns
  • Communication Management
  • 7 Ps vs. 4 Ps.
  • Communication, media & brand sociology 
  • Integrated communication
  • Creative design of individual communication channels
  • Channel design


Digitalisation & Industy 4.0 (5 CP)

  • Digital and analog business models
  • Digital and analog business processes
  • Digitalization
  • Internet technology/-ies
  • Industry 4.0 in production
  • Industry 4.0 in services
  • From production and consumption to prosumption and produsage
  • Ethics, opportunities and risks
  • Application cases


Practical Simulation: Design Concept (5 CP)


  • Consolidation of the first 2 semesters by means of a practical case simulation
  • Application of learned methodological skills
  • Transfer of scientific contents into a simulated professional practice
  • Evaluation of the own teaching-learning process

Fourth Semester

Practical Simulation: Communication Concept (5 CP)

  • Consolidation of the first 3 semesters by means of a practical case simulation
  • Application of learned methodological skills
  • Transfer of scientific contents into a simulated professional practice
  • Evaluation of the own teaching-learning process


Master's Thesis and Colloquium (25 CP)

Registration fee1.580 Euro Participants who have already completed or are taking a course of study or a recognised continuing education programme at one of the institutes belonging to the BCW Group pay half the enrolment fee. 

Tuition fee
: 11.570 Euro 

Examination fee350 euro*

Total cost13.500 Euro including registration fee, tuition fee and examination fee

*The examination fee will be charged again if the student resubmits their thesis.

Students can pay the total amount in one installment (before the start of the programme) or in two installments. The first installment is to be paid before the start of the programme and includes, among others, tuition fess for the first two semesters, enrollment fees and examination fees (1st installment at 8.410 Euro). The second installment includes the tuition fees for the third and fourth semester and must be paid before the start of the 3rd semester (2nd installemt at 5.090 Euro). (Subject to change!)

Please download the application form at the bottom of this page. 

Step 1: Register your personal data and educational background in the application form.

Step 2: Please send the filled out and signed application form as well as the following documents as certified copies via email to

  • Authenticated copy of General university entrance qualification certificate
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Authenticated copy of Bachelor degree certificate (for details check the admission requirements) 
  • Authenticated copy of Transcript of records Bachelor’s degree
  • If applicable: Authenticated copy of Master degree and diploma
  • Proof of sufficient English language skills (at least B2 proficiency level – for details check the admission requirements)
  • Scan of passport


Please always enter your full name as it is mentioned in your passport. If you do not have a last name, please enter "-".

All documents must be in German or English. If your original document is written in another language, you must have your document translated by a certified translator. Please then send a certified copy of the original and the certified translation when applying.

Please send all documents as PDF and name the file as followed: Last name, first name_Study programme (e.g. Smith, Jane_Big Data and Business Analytics). 

Note: Where can I have my documents certified?

  • issuing institutions, e.g. schools, universities and language schools,
  • the Ministry of Education in your home country
  • the German embassies and consulates,
  • the cultural department of the embassy of the country from which the certificate originates,
  • the authorities and notaries who are authorised to carry out official certification in your home country.


Important: Translators are not allowed to certify documents in the original language.

Step 3: After receiving your conditional letter of admission you need to send the registration form as original and certified copies of the other documents via post. (Please do not send original degree certificates!)

Contact at FOM Hochschule

Lena Brülls
Lena Brülls
International Study Programmes & Academic Cooperation India
+49 201 81004-739
Lena Hamadi
Lena Hamadi
International Study Programmes & Academic Cooperation India
+49 201 81004-733

Studying in Essen, Germany

Lying in the centre of the Ruhr area in Western Germany, the town Essen has a lot to offer – from significant industrial cultural monuments to charming local recreation areas. Students can enjoy large cultural opportunities such as the famous Folkwang Museum or the Aalto Theatre, as well as countless opportunities for going out.

For example, you should not miss a visit to the Coal Mine Zollverein Industrial Complex. Today, the former coal mine is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, and with its adjacent park, it is one of the region’s tourist magnets. As the greenest city in the German federal state North Rhine-Westphalia and one of the European Green Capitals, Essen delights everyone who wants to enjoy nature after a lecture.

More informations

» Travel Guide Essen