International Action Learning MBA

Take a closer look at what this programme offers.

The International MBA Programme, the work-study-travel MBA Solution by Business School Netherlands; a blended learning programme, combining virtual class (online) and residential conferences in the Netherlands or South Africa. Ideal for the business traveller considering a distance learning MBA, yet wishing to maintain regular student and faculty contact.


  • English Language
  • Action Learning Methodology
  • Part Time Study
  • International Student Body
  • Renowned International Faculty

Programme Structure

MBA PhasePhase IPhase IIPhase III 
Duration2 Months16 Months6 Months
Type of AssignmentOrganisational Analysis and Action Learning Literature ReviewAction Learning Projects and ExamsDissertation and EAMLInternal/External Examination and Graduation

Programme Overview:

Phase I: 2 months
Here we lay the theoretical foundation upon which your future study will be based; this creates a common conceptual framework for the whole set whilst you follow the International Action Learning MBA. You will write an Organisational Analysis of your company as well as an Action Learning Literature Review. This is based upon your current leadership skills and competencies, and you will be encouraged throughout the programme to consider areas for development.

Phase II: 16 months (7 Core Courses, 4 Action Learning Projects (ALPs), including 1 International Management ALP and 2 trips to the Netherlands.
The seven core courses offered in the second Phase of the programme are:

  • HRM       Human Resource Management
  • MM         Marketing Management
  • OM         Operations Management
  • FM          Financial Management
  • IM           Information Management
  • SM          Strategic Management
  • IntM        International Management

Phase III: 6 months

  • Research Methodology
  • Dissertation Support
  • Dissertation
  • Evaluation of Managerial Learning (EAML)

Study Load
12 to 15 hours per week.

When enrolling, you are able to apply for a Major, if you meet the entry requirements. In order to qualify for the Major endorsement on the MBA degree, the following conditions apply:

The student:

  • Attended the respective Masterclass, i.e. Food Security, Water Management, etc;
  • Passed the assignment ‘Personal Effectiveness Paper’ related to the respective Masterclass;
  • Incorporated the Major subject as the leading theme of ALP 1, 2, 3 as well as the Dissertation;
  • If applicable, is active in the respective field of business.

In addition to the 9-day conferences, depending on the Major selected (Food Security, Water Management or Project Management & Control), an additional four to six days of mandatory Masterclass attendance of the selected Major will be required.

Please read through the Education and Examination Regulations (EER/OER) International Action Learning MBA (PDF).


BSN is proud to be one of the Dutch institutions who offer the following OKP-qualified programmes:

  • The International Action Learning MBA with a Major in Food Security, which will be delivered in co-operation with RVJ Agribusiness Academy in the Netherlands. The Major starts-off by introducing the current food eco-system and the challenges it is facing because of the changing supply and demand dynamics.
  • The International Action Learning MBA with a Major in Water Management, which will be delivered in co-operation with Delft University of Technology (NL). This Major will provide you with a general introduction to the topic of water management. Furthermore, provision and management of portable drinking water and the management of water for generating food crops will be treated.

In order to qualify for the Major endorsement on the MBA scholarship degree, the following conditions for the student apply:

  • Must have attended the respective Masterclass, i.e. Food Security or Water Management;
  • Must have passed the assignment ‘Personal Effectiveness Paper’ related to the respective Major;
  • Must have incorporated the Major subject as the leading theme of ALP 1, 2, 3 as well as the Dissertation;
  • If applicable, is active in the respective field of business.

Please read through the Education and Examination Regulations (EER/OER) International Action Learning MBA (PDF).


Admission requirements International Action Learning MBA
1. The applicant:
a. holds (an equivalent of) a Bachelor’s degree or higher,
b. is a manager or management trainee,
c. has a minimum of 2 years appropriate and relevant post graduate work experience,
d. has approval from his/her organisation to do research and execute
practical assignments within their work environment,
e. has internet and e-mail access and
f. should the applicant’s mother tongue not be English he/she will require a TOEFL or IELTS language test. The minimum pass mark for
TOEFL is 550 (paper); 213 (computer) or 79/80 (internet based) and IELTS 6.0.

2. In additional to 1a.: Mature and experienced applicants who do not hold such a degree, may also be considered. The guideline here is a minimum of 7 years demonstrable, appropriate and relevant postgraduate work experience.

3. In additional to 1b: Applicants who are not in a formal management position but to whose professional development the learning programme will significantly contribute, may also be considered. This would apply to professionals who operate at post graduate level but are not necessarily (continuously) involved in management of people or a department. (For instance; policy offi cers, accountants, consultants etc.).

4. Based on a thorough verifi cation of submitted documents in respect to the above and, if deemed necessary, a personal interview, BSN will determine the applicant’s aptitude to participate in an Action Learning MBA programme.


Start dates
11 February 2019
9 September 2019

EUR 27,500

Full- and partial scholarships available.


Frequently Asked Questions on the Business School Netherlands programmes

Does Business School Netherlands arrange the student’s visa?
No. The student needs to make an application at the relevant embassy. Business School Netherlands will supply the necessary supporting documents, such as an invitation letter and hotel booking.

Do students receive student counselling from Business School Netherlands?

Online support from tutors and other students are available for all students.

Do students need a residence permit?
No. This programme is a distance learning programme which requires students to attend two nine day workshops in The Netherlands only.

What content is presented in the Business School Netherlands International Action Learning MBA (IALMBA) programme?
This is a work-study-travel MBA. The student will have to complete an Organisational Analysis, Personal Development Plan, Action Learning Literature Review, Action Learning Projects, Exams and a Dissertation.
The content covered in the programme consists of Strategic Management; Marketing Management; Operations Management; Human Resources Management; Financial Management; Information Management and International Management.

What is Business School Netherlands language of instruction on the IALMBA programme? What do you need if English is not your native language?
The IALMBA language of instruction is English. For non-English speakers a TOEFL or IELTS language test is required. The minimum pass mark for TOEFL is 550 (paper); 213 (computer) or 80 (internet) and IELTS 6.0. Exemptions can be considered should your mother tongue be English and you have successfully completed your degree in English.

What certificate/degree is awarded by Business School Netherlands?
An MBA degree will be awarded to the student at graduation on successful completion of the IALMBA programme.
What are the IALMBA entrance requirements?
• Be in a management or management trainee position
• Be a holder of a B Degree or equivalent
• Have internet and email access
• For non-native English speakers, the student must have an English proficiency certificate

How do I make an application to Business School Netherlands?
Request an application form from Business School Netherlands on
Once the applicant has signed and completed the application form it will need to be returned with the following supporting documents:

  • Copies of highest certified qualifications
  • Recommendation letter
  • English proficiency certificate
  • CV
  • Business Card

Is there an application fee?
No. There is no application fee for the IALMBA programme.

Is the Business School Netherlands programme accredited?
Yes. The IALMBA programme is a variant of the distance learning MBA (CROHO registration number 70053).
Quality Validation

CEDEO. Centre for Documentation and Evaluation of External Business Courses: a quality validation organisation undertaking quality checks at Business School Netherlands clients.

Are Business School Netherlands scholarships available?
Yes. Scholarships are available via either OKP (100% scholarship) or The BSN partial scholarship.
– Orange Knowledge Programme (OKP) Nuffic.
The IALMBA has been officially approved by Nuffic for inclusion within the OKP. This fund is available to applicants from provisionally 52 countries. (Provisional country list is available at: ) Further information is available through Nuffic or from Business School Netherlands.

Request a Brochure

Word of advice from Laurie: ‘The programme is demanding, daunting and incredibly challenging… but you can do it!’.

Laurie Meiring

Student, International Action Learning MBA

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