The CEMS year

The CEMS year

The CEMS year is made up of core programme elements including CEMS courses, the Block Seminar, Business Project, Skill Seminars, and an international internship. You will spend one semester at NHH and one semester on exchange at a CEMS partner school.

  • Learning Objectives

    Learning Objectives

    There are five overarching learning objectives of CEM MIM, which reflect the vision of CEMS to “prepare responsible leaders contributing to a more open, sustainable and inclusive world”. These are:

    • Internationalism: Our graduates are knowledgeable international business practitioners, able to execute effective business decision making and change management in diverse contexts.
    • Business-embeddedness: Our graduates apply advanced management and leadership competencies developed through the systematic experience of and engagement with the corporate world.
    • Responsible citizenship: Our graduates champion a holistic vision of responsible business decision-making, leadership and citizenship, informed by ethical reasoning, personal integrity, and respect for social diversity.   
    • Reflective critical thinking: Our graduates are confident, agile and reflective decision-makers and problem-solvers, able to formulate and apply innovative solutions to complex business challenges.
    • Comprehensive Leadership:  Our graduates are fully aware of their personal responsibility and accountability and of the ethical and cultural frameworks in which leadership is exerted.
  • Study plan for CEMS MIM at NHH

    Study plan for CEMS MIM at NHH

    You can choose to complete your CEMS year in the first or second year of your master's programme at NHH. Students must take 45 CEMS ECTS of course work, a 15 ECTS Business Project and various seminars (accounting for 6 ECTS) to meet CEMS degree requirements, divided between home and exchange semesters. You can go on exchange in your first or second semester of the CEMS year.

    Please check the study plan to see the recommended progression for your Master/CEMS study.

    Study plan for CEMS MIM at NHH, year one or year two (PDF,140KB)

  • Block Seminar

    Block Seminar

    The CEMS MIM year starts with a week-long, intensive seminar. At NHH, the Block seminar normally takes place off campus, where you live and learn together with other CEMS students. This helps to build a strong community spirit among CEMS students right from the start of the programme. Topics are chosen from amongst the academic focus areas at NHH, and in line with the overarching learning objectives of CEMS. In recent years, the Block Seminar at NHH has focused on Design Thinking.

    The Block Seminar accounts for 3 ECTS. Because of the considerable organisational and financial burden of a Block Seminar, CEMS schools will request a financial contribution of between €100 - 300 from each participating student.

  • Courses


    You will take both mandatory and elective CEMS courses during your two CEMS study terms.

    The mandatory CEMS courses are exclusive for CEMS students and have been specially designed for the MIM programme, at the global level, in cooperation with other CEMS schools and representatives from corporate partners. During Term 1, you have to successfully complete a CEMS Global Strategy course. During Term 2, you have to successfully complete a CEMS Global Leadership course.

    In addition, there are a large number of elective courses, covering the major fields of specialisation offered at NHH.  You can find a complete list of CEMS courses on the course website.

    As a new requirement from the CEMS year 2021/22, it is compulsory for CEMS students to complete at least 5 ECTS in "hard skill" electives. "Hard skills" include courses in business analytics, financial analytics, data science, statistics and econometrics, and optimisation and process planning. The "hard skill" requirement can be fulfilled in your home or host university and must be part of the 45 ECTS coursework in your CEMS MIM. As of the academic year 2021/22, "hard skill" courses will be indicated in the course lists at and

    You can take up to 15 ECTS in elective CEMS courses outside of your CEMS MIM year, either in the year before your CEMS year or the year after, depending on which year you take your CEMS year. However, you must complete a minimum of 24 ECTS from the CEMS portfolio each semester of your CEMS year.

  • Business Project

    Business Project

    The CEMS Business Project enables you to apply your skills and knowledge to tackling large cases for real companies in a study setting. This key activity accounts for 15 ECTS of your studies during the second CEMS term. You will be allocated to projects based on your interests, company and CEMS requirements, and work closely with both home and incoming students during a 3-month period.

    The CEMS Business Project is supervised and evaluated by a corporate mentor and an academic mentor. CEMS corporate and social partners are the main contributors to cases. However, at NHH, you will also have the possibility to work with alumni start-ups, giving you the opportunity to develop business plans and strengthen your entrepreneurial skills.

    NHH supports Business Project partners to design cases which are valuable for the contributor, relevant to NHH’s course offering and which will strengthen your skillset and attractiveness to future employers.

    In recent years cases have involved:

    • market and competition analysis
    • change and process management
    • communication and brand management
    • business and strategy development
    • commercialisation of innovation
    • internationalizing a new venture

    Our students have worked with Business Project partners to optimize potential in areas such as technology, digitalisation, e-commerce, supply chain and sustainable business.

  • Skill seminar

    Skill seminar

    Skill seminars are an important part of the CEMS year, allowing you to learn from, apply your skills and knowledge, and network with external trainers from CEMS corporate and social partner companies and alumni start-ups.

    You must complete a total of 3 ECTS for your Skill Seminar component, comprising of 1 ECTS in mandatory skill seminars and 2 ECTS in elective  Skill Seminar credits to fulfil CEMS degree requirements (equivalent to 6 full-day skill seminars).

    The Global Citizenship Seminar held at the beginning of term 2, accounts for 1 ECTS and makes up your mandatory skill seminar participation. This will focus on business areas relevant to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Elective skill seminars, accounting for the remaining 2 ECTS for your skill seminar component, will be offered in both terms.

  • International Internship

    International Internship

    The mandatory CEMS international internship enables you to apply your academic and business knowledge during a period of professional work experience in an international environment. 

    • Internships should offer an intercultural experience in a country that is not your home school country. Exceptions can be given for international home school students who have completed their Bachelor degree abroad.
    • Internships must cover a consecutive period of at least 8 weeks full time in the same company. A relevant 8-week period of a full-time job can also be accepted.
    • Internships should allow students responsibility for a project or an area of responsibility/tasks.
    • Internships can take place at any time after you have completed your Bachelor degree, and up until one and a half years after your NHH graduation, but not during study terms.

    Please consult with the CEMS Corporate Relations Manager to ensure that your internship/planned work experience can be provisionally approved as your CEMS internship. 

    Once your internship is provisionally approved you will be able to register details of your internship in the CEMS online internship registration system. These details will be checked, and an evaluation form sent to your nominated supervisor through the system.

    You will receive final approval of the internship towards your CEMS degree once your supervisor completes an evaluation of your performance.

    If you plan to do your CEMS internship in a European country (not including Switzerland), then you can qualify to receive an Erasmus+ grant. Internships must be provisionally approved and funding applied for before the start of the internship. You can find more information on the Erasmus+ website.

    For support relating to CEMS internships and Erasmus funding, contact the CEMS Corporate Relations Manager.