During the programme

In the Creative Business study programme you acquire up-to-date knowledge and skills in creative thinking, human-centred design, relevant technologies, and business savviness, and develop into cultural savvy global professionals. Marketing and Media are important business domains. You will develop skills to come up with innovative solutions for creative industries, media, and global organisations that embrace creative innovation. You can also start your own business.

Unlock your potential with Creative Business

You learn how to be successful in Advertising, Media & Entertainment, Design, Music, Publishing, Gaming, Fashion and IT and many other sectors. We unlock your commercial potential through creative thinking and collaboration. You learn how to study effectively by working in groups on assignments drawn from real industry practice, supervised by a lecturer. Interacting with your fellow students, tutors and people from the field, you also improve your professional and social skills.

Content of the Creative Business programme

Creative Business prepares you for the creative industry, but also for all the other industries that embrace creative innovation - such as Health, Education, Government and Business Services.

Important topics in the study programme are marketing, cultural diversity, consumer behaviour, creativity, humanity, technology, business models, branding, culture, media, entrepreneurship, professional identity, multiple electives (such as Artificial Intelligence, Circular innovation and Growth hacking), various research approaches and a graduation project.

In your first year, you explore the foundations of international creative business together with your fellow students. You focus on marketing, professional onboarding, research skills and innovations in the creative business field. Important approaches such as agile working and design thinking are introduced, you learn the basics of collaboration and get acquainted with project work.

  • Block A & B: Innovations of Creative Business, Creative Lab, Collaborative Studio, Effective Communications, Professional Onboarding
  • Block C & D: Marketing Playground, Challenging Human Biases, Research Design, Media Culture, Professional Onboarding

In the first year, you need to obtain a minimum of 50 ECTS credits to continue your studies with us. All first-year courses are 5 ECTS credits each.

Courses year 1

In the second year, you learn to think and work like a creative professional. You'll get many reality checks in the form of real projects, guest lectures, and introductions to the professional field. This year, you get a taste of what it means to work like a creative problem-solver and pioneer. You choose the elective courses that are most interesting and relevant to you, thus constructing your ideal learning path.

  • Block A & B: Future Scenario, World of Work, Electives (see below)
  • Block C & D: Transcreation Narratives, Data-Driven Prototyping, Electives (see below)
Courses year 2

In year 2 you can choose four out of the following courses:

  • Exploring Cultural Differences;
  • Participatory Cultures;
  • Branding Fundamentals;
  • Managing Creatives;
  • Interactive Experiences;
  • Framing the Media;
  • Content Marketing;
  • Influencing Your Audiences.
Electives year 2

In the third year you can start the work placement or your Profiling Space in the semester of your choice. We strongly encourage students to spend a part of this year in a non-native environment, to develop your global mindset and intercultural skills. One semester is devoted to your minor. You may study at one of our 70+ foreign partner universities or any Dutch university, or choose to stay in Utrecht.

Whatever you choose to do, this year, you experience new cultures and truly learn what it's like to work in international creative business.

Examples of work placement assignments

  • Implement a social media plan for a global game studio
  • Map the customer experience and propose improvements for an international magazine
  • Produce state-of-the-art videos for a virtual reality company
  • Develop creative brand strategies to attract tourists to Amsterdam

In your final year, in the first semester, you will follow a number of  interdisciplinary courses which require co-design, creative problem-solving and business innovation at a high level. The second semester is dedicated to your graduation project, for which you conduct independent research into an issue of your choosing. Many of our graduation projects are triggered by genuine research requests from (international) businesses. Critical thinking and interpretation are truly important this year.

Examples of graduation projects

  • Improve a content strategy for a fashion and lifestyle brand to increase interaction with Instagram users.
  • Analyse the marketing strategy for a children’s programme for a global entertainment and media enterprise.
  • Develop a digital marketing plan for an international food company.

The Creative Business teachers

Curious about the teachers of this programme? They come from all over the world. Why don’t you get to know about some of their projects and experience before you start?


Hours a week
    Study in figures

    Want to know more about this programme?

    Are you keen to follow an expanded and more intensive version of the standard programme, or accumulate Honours Stars during your regular studies? Our Honours Programme could be for you! If you collect five stars in total, you graduate with honours.

    LinkUP is a dedicated team organising a wide range of social activities for their fellow CB students: trips abroad, arts and music festivals, educational events and regular parties, as well as the introduction camp.

    From day one, you are allocated a personal study career coach (SCC), who supports you during your time with us. Your SCC helps you with all study-related issues, from time management to study methods and career planning, your professional profile and personal brand.

    You will have about 15 hours of lesson time per week, and will spend about 25 hours on group work and individual study. Our teaching methods vary depending on the module, but the focus is always on student participation. You build up your own professional experience through workshops, incubators, assignments for companies, games, e-learning and labs. We think reflection, self-evaluation and critical thinking are as important as hands-on skills.

    Courses conclude with exams, tests, assignments, essays, portfolios, pitches and/or presentations. Exams may also be broken down into partial exams (or partial tests). Exams are mostly held at the end of each term and are posted on the examination timetable.

    During this programme you work in learning teams: small groups of students who learn together to build their knowledge and skills collectively and individually. A CB learning team consists of five to seven students, guided by a coach or lecturer.

    In the third year you can start the work placement or your Profiling Space in the semester of your choice. We strongly encourage students to spend a part of this year in a non-native environment, to develop your global mindset and intercultural skills. 

    Please note: in previous years students were required to spend either their work placement or Profiling Space in a non-native environment. This is no longer a requirement and instead has become a recommendation.

    Why study Creative Business at HU?

    • Innovative curriculum preparing you for the workplace of the future

      Creative Business contributes to virtually all industries that embrace creative innovation next to the Creative Industries, so your skills will be in high demand.

    • International network

      You learn in an international environment from top-quality researchers and experienced lecturers. International exchange programmes/internships are included in the programme.

    • The city of Utrecht

      Beautiful Utrecht is a university city with plenty of young people and excellent facilities for student life.

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