Universitat de Barcelona

Business Research


The master's degree Business Research is intended to provide students with the training needed to become researchers in the main aspects of business administration and management. The master's degree engages in an in-depth exploration of the theoretical and empirical methods that are most significant for high-quality research in the business world today.
The master's degree Business Research is the initial training period for the doctoral program in Business. On completion of the master's degree, students will have the competences and skills required to start independent work on their doctoral thesis. Alternatively, students who choose to enter the business world immediately will have the training needed to assume professional roles as consultants or in research departments.

Learning objectives

The master's degree in Business Research is intended to provide students with advanced training in the research skills, techniques and methodologies required to become researchers in the main aspects of business administration and management. The master's degree engages in an in-depth exploration of the theoretical and empirical methods that are most significant for high-quality research in the business world today; the understanding of new theories, essential paradigms and key trends; the search and selection of relevant qualitative and quantitative data; and to analyse and interpret these data to transform them in useful information. Furthermore, the aim is for students to gain a command of the design phases of business research activities, and acquire the ability to apply the most suitable qualitative methods in the highest level of research.

The objective of the master's degree is to prepare students for a doctoral thesis, studies or other quality research. Consequently, the master's degree could be considered a step prior to admission to a doctoral programme (that is, a training stage before preparation of a doctoral thesis) or the final stage of training that culminates with a master's degree qualification.

Basic Information

Number of ECTS credits awarded:
Language(s) of instruction:
 Language of teaching: English (45%) and Spanish (55%)
Number of places available:
Approximate price:
 27,67 euros per credit (65,87 euros for students who are not EU or China nationals and do not currently reside in Spain). Fees for the academic year 2022-2023.
Faculty or school:
  Faculty of Economics and Business
Master's degree course homepage:
  Master's degree course homepage

Recommended applicant profile

The master's degree in Business Research is designed for students who wish to work in research in the field of business. In fact, on completion of the course, a large number of students apply to enter the doctoral programme in Business. The master's degree also provides a solid basis from which graduates can build a research career in the private sector.

In general terms, the qualifications held by master's degree candidates prior to the course could be in the area of business (Business Administration and Management, Financial and Actuarial Sciences, and Market Research and Techniques) or bachelor's degrees in branches of the social and legal sciences (Business Administration and Management, Business Sciences, Political and Administration Sciences, Accounting and Finance, Business and Technology, Commercial Management and Marketing, Human Resource Management, Public Management and Administration, International Business and Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations, International Business Economics, Economics and Statistics). Other qualifications in branches of sciences may also be considered.

For each applicant, the Selection Committee will assess whether additional training is required before the master's programme.

The master's degree in Business Research is not an MBA, as it is focused on research rather than professional skills.

Applicants are strongly recommended to have a good working knowledge of English and software tools and applications.

Admission requirements

In accordance with Article 16 of Royal Decree 1393/29 October 2007, students must hold one of the following qualifications to access university master's degree courses:
  • An official Spanish degree.
  • A degree issued by a higher education institution within the European Higher Education Area framework that authorizes the holder to access university master's degree courses in the country of issue.
  • A qualification from outside the framework of the European Higher Education Area. In this case, the qualification should be recognized as equivalent to an official Spanish degree. If it is not recognized, the University of Barcelona shall verify that it corresponds to a level of education that is equivalent to official Spanish degrees and that it authorizes the holder to access university master's degree courses in the country of issue. Admission shall not, in any case, imply that prior qualifications have been recognized as equivalent to a Spanish master's degree and does not confer recognition for any purposes other than that of admission to the master's degree course.

Specific requirements

Any candidate with an appropriate qualification for taking a university master's degree in Spain can apply, according to current legislation. Candidates who hold one of the qualifications indicated in the section "Recommended applicant profile" have priority.

Bridging courses
Given the nature of the master's degree, knowledge of four subjects in the UB bachelor's degree Business Administration and Management (ADE) is required. This may need to be gained in bridging courses:
  • Statistics II (6 credits).
  • Strategic Marketing (6 credits).
  • Corporate Finance (6 credits).
  • Operations Management (6 credits).

Applicants who have completed these subjects as part of the UB bachelor's degree in Business Administration and Management will not be required to take them again.
Other applicants' curriculum vitae will be evaluated by the Selection Committee to determine whether they have gained in previous training a level of knowledge that is equivalent to these subjects. If this is the case, they will not have to take any bridging courses.
If this is not the case, the Selection Committee shall determine which bridging courses each applicant must take to ensure that he/she has sufficient knowledge of basic statistical tools and fundamental concepts relating to functional business areas (production, finances and marketing).

Skills and competences

Basic competences
  • Knowledge forming the basis of original thinking in the development or application of ideas, typically in a research context.
  • Capacity to apply the acquired knowledge to problem-solving in new or relatively unknown environments within broader (or multidisciplinary) contexts related to the field of studies.
  • Capacity to integrate knowledge and tackle the complexity of formulating judgements based on incomplete or limited information, taking due consideration of the social and ethical responsibilities involved in applying knowledge and making judgements.
  • Capacity to communicate knowledge and conclusions and the grounds on which they have been reached to specialist and non-specialist audiences in a clear and unambiguous manner.
  • Capacity for ongoing self-directed and independent learning.

General Competences
  • Ability to establish research questions or original hypotheses based on a relevant theoretical framework and then evaluate or verify them empirically.
  • Capacity for effective public speaking.

Specific competences
  • Ability to identify research topics of importance to the academic community in a wide range of business subjects, including aspects of organization, management and accounting, and address these topics from functional, process and management perspectives.
  • Ability to understand relevant new theories, essential paradigms and trends currently emerging in publications on business research in order to tackle specific problems in this field of study.
  • Ability to search for and select relevant qualitative and quantitative data, analyse and interpret data, and transform data into useful information to conduct research on business issues.
  • Skills in the design stages involved in business research activities, including selecting a new topic of interest, proposing a specific problem within the topic area and selecting a theoretical approach to frame the problem.
  • Mastery of the implementation stages of business research activities, including selecting the methodological approach appropriate to tackle the problem and framing the potential contributions of problem resolution within the context of current knowledge and debate.
  • Ability to apply the most appropriate qualitative methodologies for high-quality research on how organizations function and implement these methods rigorously.
  • Ability to apply the most appropriate quantitative methodologies for high-quality research on how organizations function and implement these methods rigorously.

Pre-enrolment calendar

Complete the application form, which will allow the academic committee to evaluate your candidacy.

Academic Committee Resolutions:

  • First period: application received from November 2nd 2021 to January 17th 2022.
    Notifcation of decisions on January 31st 2022.
  • Second period: application received from January 18th to March 14th 2022.
    Notifcation of decisions on March 31st 2022.
  • Third period: application received from March 15th to May 16th 2022.
    Notifcation of decisions on May 31st 2022.
  • Fourth period: application received from May 17th to July 1st 2022.
    Notifcation of decisions on July 15th 2022.


If there are any vacancies, a new period will be opened.

  • Pre-enrolment fee: A pre-enrolment fee of 30,21 euros is charged. Students who apply to more than one master's degree must pay the fee for each pre-enrolment request. Pre-enrolment requests cannot be processed until this fee has been paid.Fees will only be refunded if the master's degree in question is suspended.
  • Reserved places: A maximum of 5% of the new places of the master's degree are reserved for students who meet the general and specific access requirements and accredit the recognition of a degree of disability equal to or greater than 33%.

Closed Pre-enrolment

Required documentation

  • Pre-enrolment application
  • Photocopy of degree certificate or equivalent qualification. In case of admission, foreign degrees that require so should be translated and authenticated through diplomatic channels before completing the enrolment.
  • Other specific documentation related to the selection criteria

Selection criteria

Applications from candidates who meet the master's degree admission requirements will be evaluated using the following criteria, which are listed in order of priority with the corresponding weighting:

  • Academic experience acquired by the candidate in previous studies: 30%.
  • A previous qualification in a field related to the master's degree content: 20%.
  • Curriculum vitae: 15%.
  • University of origin and its position in university rankings: 10%.
  • Statement of interest: 10%.
  • Certification of a good command of English at level B1 or equivalent (international students from non-Spanish speaking countries must also certify a high level of Spanish language): 10%.
  • Award of a grant or funding prior to the master's degree course: 5%.

If necessary, the Selection Committee could ask applicants for additional documents (such as letters of recommendation) or ask them to attend a personal interview.


Closed Enrolment