Possible Exemption


Who it's for


How to Apply

Institution score
(89 reviews)
Source: Springest
Lasting impact
Direct revenue
Innovative and topical
Global network
Ethical and responsible

Blended-learning MBA with a Focus on Managing Change and Delivering Results in Your Organisation

Over two years, you will immerse yourself in seven management majors in the fields of information, finance, strategy, marketing, operations, human resources, and international cooperation. You will work on developing your personal leadership skills using the Action Learning method, which is a common thread running through our MBA courses.

During this programme, you will gain a better understanding of yourself as a responsible leader. You will also enhance your ability to address complex organisational issues comprehensively and strategically, ultimately leading to successful solutions.

What does the International Action Learning MBA offer you?

After this part-time programme, you will become a responsible and successful leader who:

  • has a broader organisational perspective in business management
  • takes a more critical look at their own leadership role
  • gets to the root cause of a problem
  • makes well-informed decisions
  • knows how to engage stakeholders
  • has a positive impact on society
  • is driven by results
  • brings about changes with maximum impact

Why choose our Action Learning MBA?

  • Real, interactive online sessions instead of pre-recorded videos.
  • We provide full international support and feedback on all your assignments and projects.
  • The Online Action Learning MBA is multi-accredited.
  • Working on your own organisational issues.
  • Learn from industry experts.
  • Collaboration within small groups.
  • 100% online with a flexible timetable.

Learn to combine responsibility and success

Structure & Netherlands Conference Weeks

Learning is delivered through the interactive BSN student platform, engaging online group sessions, and a combination of reflective assessments and reading.
You’ll also have the exciting opportunity to take part in the MBA workshop and conference at the BSN main campus in the beautiful and historic town of Buren, in the Netherlands.


When enrolling, you are able to apply for a Major in either Water Management or Food Security, if you meet the requirements.  You may also opt to follow the general track or no major.

This International Action Learning MBA course consists of three phases:

  • Phase 1: The Skills Phase (2 months)
  • Phase 2: The Practice Phase (16 months)
  • Phase 3: The Graduation Phase (6 months)
Phase 1: The Skills Phase (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 Online Action Learning MBA.

The courses in this phase are:

  • Action Learning Fundamentals
  • Research Methodology


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 2: The Practice Phase (16 months)

Learning and working together on your own organisational issues

All lessons form the basis for properly executing your Action Learning Projects. You translate the theory from the lessons directly into your own complex organisational issues. You work intensively with a small group of fellow students, your subset. You will work intensively together with Action Learning coaching sessions under the supervision of an Action Learning coach. You learn to ask each other the right open and in-depth questions that are linked to everyone’s organisational issues. This way of learning ensures that you really learn to listen, look differently, evaluate critically and weigh up the alternatives. Together you will get to the root of the problem.

The second phase covers the following 7 core courses:

  • Human Resource Management
  • Marketing Management
  • Operations Management
  • Financial Management
  • Information Management
  • Strategic Management
  • International Management

Each core course consists of 3 online interactive classes for a total of 14 hours. The second phase also consists of the following modules:

  • Personal skills training
  • Research Methodology
  • Themed workshops (6-8)


Each core course will be tested with a theory test, and a written assignment/Q&A. Example questions you need to answer are:

  • Does my organisation make effective use of Social Media?
  • Is our strategy approach modern or outdated?
  • Is my organisation ready for digital transition, or not?

In this phase, you will be acquired to execute 4 Action Learning Projects (ALPs), including 1 Group International Management ALP. To help you with your ALPs and to learn from the other students we organise 12 online subset meetings. Each subset consists of 6-8 students and will be facilitated by an Action Learning Coach.

Phase 3: The Graduation Phase (6 months)

In this phase of the Action Learning MBA, you will dive into your Action Learning graduation project, the dissertation. You will solve a strategic issue for your own organisation, demonstrating how you connect all the business aspects and exhibit your personal strategic leadership. You will receive individual guidance and coaching throughout this phase. At the end, you will engage in self-reflection on your learning experiences and leadership skills.

In this third phase, you will work on:

  • Dissertation: working on a strategic Action Learning graduation project for your own organisation or potentially for another organisation
  • Research Methodology 2
  • Evaluation of Management Learning Experiences
Majors: Food Security or Water Management

When enrolling, you are able to apply for a Major in Food Security or Water Management providing 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 or Water Management;
  • 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), an additional four to six days of mandatory Masterclass attendance of the selected Major will be required
Possible Exemption


  • Mature and experienced applicants who do not hold a Bachelor’s degree, may also be considered. The guideline here is a minimum of 7 years demonstrable, appropriate and relevant postgraduate work experience.
  • 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 postgraduate level but are not necessarily (continuously) involved in management of people or a department. For instance; policy officers, accountants, consultants etc.  Based on a thorough verification 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.
  • Completion of specific BSN executive programmes may exempt students from Phase 1 of the MBA programme.

Accreditation and Industry Recognition

  • ATHEA | Association for Transnational Higher Education Accreditation

    Business School Netherlands (BSN) is a fully accredited member of the Association for Transnational Higher Education Accreditation (ATHEA), which affirms our commitment to excellence in higher education.

  • ACBSP | Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs

    Accreditation by ACBSP is based on an independent evaluation of an institution’s business programmes by professionals in the field of business education, which include faculty and academic administrators.

  • FIBAA | Foundation for International Business Administration Accreditation 

    FIBAA is a national and international accreditation institute recognised in all German-speaking countries.

  • NVAO | Nederlands-Vlaamse Accreditatie Organisatie

    NVAO accreditates programmes in the Netherlands and Flanders. BSN MBA programmes which are accredited by NVAO are the Executive MBA, and the Distance Learning MBA, with two variants: the Action Learning MBA and the International Action Learning MBA.

  • NRTO | Nederlandse Raad voor Training en Opleiding

    NRTO (formerly Paepon) The Platform of Designated / Recognised Private Educational Institutions in The Netherlands. One of its objectives is to maintain and raise the quality of private education. Business School Netherlands has signed the Code of Conduct of the Association NRTO and is committed to this.

  • CEO Magazine Global MBA Ranking

    The CEO Magazine Global MBA Rankings are conducted each year with applicants in mind and examine the nuts and bolts of an MBA: the learning environment, class sizes, tuition fees, faculty, delivery methods, international diversity, gender make-up and more. The objective is simple: to identify business schools which marry exceptional quality with great ROI.

Who it's for

Specially designed for ambitious leaders at various management levels

As an ambitious Action Learning MBA student, you have:

  • a Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) or higher.
  • a job title as a manager, management trainee, supervisor, business owner, or team leader.
  • a minimum of 2 years professional work experience.
  • approval from your organisation to do research and practical projects in the work environment.
  • internet and e-mail access.
  • Should English not be your mother tongue, we will require a TOEFL or IELTS language test.

And you want to:

  • take a step further in your career
  • exercise impactful leadership
  • strengthen your effectiveness
  • enhance your own distinctiveness
  • continuously personal development
  • progress from a specialist to a general manager
  • build a theoretical foundation
  • become a better conversationalist in the board or management team, gaining knowledge of new concepts and insights in management and organisation.

Full course fee:

  • EUR 27,500


We offer a 20 – 40 % scholarship for applicants from Africa, South America, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe and South East Asia.  Read more about our  SDG Scholarships or talk to our programme advisor if you have any questions.

The price includes the following:

  • Class days, books, study material (articles and abstracts)
  • Coaching, in small groups
  • Project and thesis supervision
How to Apply

Start your application

Have you found the perfect programme with us? Awesome! Start your application.

Step 1 (optional) : Schedule a personal consultation

During a personal consultation you will receive a detailed explanation of the programme and will have the opportunity to ask all your questions. In addition, our advisor will work with you to see whether this programme is in line with your work, ambitions and curriculum and whether you qualify for exemptions.

Step 2: Fill out the online application form

It’s important to fill out the application correctly and attach all the supporting documents requested.  As soon as we receive your application, you will be sent an email with instructions of your next steps.

Step 3: Permission from your employer

In addition to these admission requirements, it is important that you have the opportunity to carry out projects and research in your own and/or another organisation. You therefore need permission from your employer/client. If you do not have an organisation where you can carry out your projects, we have an (inter)national Alumni network, including the alumni association Tractus. Many of these alumni offer our students the opportunity to carry out projects with them. Do you want more information? Ask our study advisors.

Programme advice?

Graham Booysen
Buren, Online
CROHO register
Start date
7 February 2024
11 September 2024
Registration deadline
2 weeks in advance
€27.500,- (Tax-free)20 - 40 % Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) scholarships are available for applicants from Africa, South America, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe and South East Asia.
Duration of programme
24 months
2 days p/m
Coaching session
Number of participants
12 - 20


What others say about BSN

Business School Netherlands has been instrumental in shaping me into a proficient problem solver and pragmatic entrepreneur.

Fasili Masalu Boniphace

Business Adviser, Coaching Success & Consulting Ltd

I highly recommend this MBA for both personal and organisational growth, as it was a win-win for both myself and the company I worked for.

Gerard Mohamed

Managing Director at NanoTech Petroleum PTY Ltd

The knowledge gained on various business aspects has enriched my overall expertise and position as an HR Manager.

Jahaira Boasman

HR Manager, Social & Health Insurances

The Masterclass from Business School Netherlands has given me confidence and direction in terms of strategy, power and leadership.

Machteld Diks v/d Hoogenhoff

Machteld Diks v/d Hoogenhoff

Manager at Tax Collaboration Rivierenland

I chose BSN's MBA because it's not only theoretical but also directly applicable to the projects you undertake within your own organisation.

Marlou Mulders

Marlou Mulders

Commercial Director at Prins Petfoods

This MBA equipped me with problem-solving skills, comprehensive business knowledge, and the ability to apply it; all of which remains relevant after many years.

Renier Snyman

Group Human Resources Manager at Komati Fruit Group

The most significant advantage was the opportunity to work on real challenges presented by my employer.

Robert Koolen

Robert Koolen

Director of Sustainable Development at Heijmans.

The MBA lesson on Action Learning is an interactive session where you receive immediately applicable tools and guidance!

Vincent Schreijer

Vincent Schreijer

Manager Expertise & Logistics Roadside Assistance at ANWB
Action Learning MBA - alumnus

BSN develops great leaders who

are responsible
You look ahead and contribute solutions to today's challenges.
initiate change
You build trust among all stakeholders in the organisation, encourage collaboration and different views, and ensure structured teamwork.
make informed decisions
You understand the organisation and the urgency of change, and create value, bringing improvements that are realistic.
are results-driven
You go for real results with a focus on impact, working towards clear goals for the future and ensuring that they are actually achieved.

Our tutors have earned their stripes extensively in the field. In addition to their field experience, they also have a good understanding of business models and strategies, making them uniquely capable of bridging the gap between strategy and practice.

Mike Janssen

Operations Management

Bernie van Zijl

Information & International Management

Pierre Strydom

Marketing & International Management, Research Methodology

Through Action Learning, I am able to ask better questions that help me delve into the root causes of a problem and uncover the true issue at hand.

Arjan Epskamp
Environmental Manager at Rijkswaterstaat West-Netherlands North.
Action Learning MBA - Arjan Epskamp

Brochure request

Request your MBA brochure

Would you like to learn more about this programme? Please fill in your details and receive the brochure via email, completely free and with no obligation.

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


Frequently asked questions

We have listed frequently asked questions for you. Is your question not listed? Then get in touch.

What is the value of the International Action Learning MBA programme?

Our MBA programmes are Professional Master’s Degrees. A Professional Master’s focuses primarily on applied research. The MBA programmes at Business School Netherlands therefore deliver immediate returns for the student and their organisation, as theoretical knowledge is directly applied to their own practice. The Professional Master’s has learning outcomes and final results that correspond to level 9 of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF), which is the second-highest level within higher education in South Africa.

ROI at Business School Netherlands

At Business School Netherlands, every participant applies what they have learned directly in practice through the Action Learning method. This sets us apart from any other management educator in the world. Moreover, the impact/return on investment of this application is high to very high.

For organisations

Our MBA graduates claim that the study costs are easily recouped by the organisation. Some even speak of returns ranging from tens of thousands to millions or more. This is excellent for the employer and also for the participant who undergoes personal growth through their studies while contributing to the organisation’s return on investment. A true win-win situation.

For individuals

MBA alumni earn more, attain better positions, and believe that an MBA has been valuable to their professional success. We rank in the top business schools in the world when it comes to improved positions due to the programme and an increase in gross monthly salary before and after the programme.

What is the difference between the International Action Learning MBA and the Online Action Learning MBA?
International Action Learning MBA:
  • Learn through interactive BSN student platform, engaging online group sessions and a combination of reflective assessments and reading.
  • Full international support and feedback on all your assignments and projects.
  • Mandatory attendance of MBA workshops and conference at BSN’s main campus in the Netherlands. (Flights and visa costs not included in fees)
Online Action Learning MBA:
  • Learn through interactive BSN student platform, engaging online group sessions and a combination of reflective assessments and reading.
  • Full international support and feedback on all your assignments and projects.

In summary, the foundation of both MBA programmes is essentially the same. The MBA diploma is also the same for both MBA programmes.

How is the International Action Learning MBA programme delivered, and what resources are available for online learning?

The programme is delivered through an online, virtual-class environment, with face-to-face video calls and access to a 24/7 online student portal. Students have full support from academic tutors, plagiarism and spell-checking software, and access to Microsoft Office applications.

This programme also includes one mandatory trip to the Netherlands of about nine days when conferences will be taking place.

Do I have to relocate to the Netherlands when doing this course?

No, you do not have to relocate to the Netherlands while doing this course. You will only travel to the Netherlands for the mandatory workshops and conference that all take place during one visit of about nine days.

Back to top