Master of Science in Business Engineering (Operations Management)
A business engineer has a thorough knowledge of the discipline of business administration and technology, i.e. technological products and processes. In this respect, a business engineer may act as a mediator between technical and business economic positions to conduct data analysis, modelling and decision-making. You are trained to develop and implement business solutions starting from a model to a business process and to develop and implement solutions for business problems. You also models the real business situation in an (abstract) presentation, takes relevant decisions based on the model and translates these decisions into business processes.
The Master of Science in Business Engineering is a programme in business administration that focuses on (data-driven) management science, business processes and technology. These three disciplines are educated throughout the two-year master programme through theoretical lectures, practical case studies and business games as well as guest speakers and company projects. The master's programme teaches these disciplines both in a theoretical and a practice-oriented way.
Where the Bachelor of Science in Business Engineering mainly lays the (quantitative) foundation, the master programme studies different aspects of these subdisciplines in a more applied manner. The specific content of the study that links business analytics and business processes with technology helps to translate processes into business models and organisational structures into information systems. Business operations within a single company and between companies in a supply chain, that encompass processes and the logistical flow of products, services and/or information, are studied thoroughly by data analysis techniques, conceptual or mathematical modelling techniques and techniques of decision making. These tools support the efficient organisation of resources in companies towards its common goals and objectives.
Students can specialise and choose one of three main subjects: Data Analytics - Finance - Operations Management. The discipline of Operations Management is an area of management concerned with overseeing, designing, controlling the service or production process and redesigning business operations. It involves the responsibility of ensuring that business operations are efficient in terms of resource use, and effective in terms of meeting customer requirements. It is concerned with managing the process that converts inputs (raw materials, labor and energy) into outputs (goods and/or services). Important business concepts concerning Project Management, Total Quality Management, Production and Supply Chain Management will be highlighted from various angles and perspectives.
The admission requirements vary. Depending on your preliminary training, you are either able to enrol directly, or there are additional requirements.
The link between management science, business processes and technology returns throughout the master’s programme. In this perspective, attention is spent to the management of an organisation, its resources and its business processes by means of courses like Strategic Management, Human Resource Management, Business Process Management, etc.
The technology component in the course is further widened by the topics of Technology for the Circular Economy and System Dynamics and the link between these technology courses and business management is further treated in the courses in Financing High Tech Entrepreneurial Companies, Technology Entrepreneurship, Innovation Management and Enterprise Architecture.
Different management science principles are discussed and maintained throughout these courses including mathematical modelling, simulation, statistics and numerical algorithms to improve an organisation’s ability to enact rational and meaningful management decisions.
If you want to combine a master’s degree with a teacher’s degree, then there is the option of following an ‘Educatieve master’ instead of the above described master. The ‘Educatieve master’ however is a Dutch taught programme. More information can be found on www.ugent.be/educatievemaster.
It is possible to participate in a double degree programme with the Université de Liège or the University of Porto. In a double degree programme students receive a degree of both the home and the host university. More information can be found on https://www.ugent.be/eb/en/degree-students/double_degree_programmes.
With a degree in Business Engineering you can follow different career paths. With their strong foundation in business economics, their broad knowledge of new technologies and their strong focus on quantitative analytics in production, services, logistics, marketing and finance, business engineers understand better than anyone else how to improve the efficiency in the various parts of a company’s logistic chain.
Their job deals with managing production processes and services, with analytical and quantitative tasks to improve its overall efficiency. As a bridge builder between business economists and engineers, they are able to optimise the decision making process at various levels of the company, ranging from operational decisions on the work floor to strategic decisions at the top level of the company. As an economic agent, they are familiar with the company processes in order to perform cost price calculations, but as an engineer they also have a much wider overview on the company’s logistic processes and their potential for improvements. With their essential knowledge of the latest technologies and their strong background in business analytics, business engineers rely on the state-of-the-art ICT concepts to optimise the business processes. This essential skill is embedded in almost every course of Business Engineering curriculum and will be key to today’s modern international business strategy.
Some examples of jobs for graduates in Business Engineering: production manager, logistics director, production planning expert, business consultant, business analyst, process engineer, research & development manager and customer relationship manager.
At Ghent University, we strive to educate people who dare to think about the challenges of tomorrow. For that purpose, we provide education that is embedded in six strategic objectives: Think Broadly, Keep Researching, Cultivate Talent, Contribute, Extend Horizons, Opt for Quality.
Ghent University continuously focuses on quality assurance and quality culture. The Ghent University's quality assurance system offers information on each study programme’s unique selling points, and on its strengths and weaknesses with regard to quality assurance.
Ghent University's Education Objectives
Unique Selling Points
A business engineer specializes in planning, designing and managing the flow of goods, services and information within and between companies. Business engineers use their unique knowledge and skills to analyze, integrate and optimize these flows. In doing so, they bridge the gap between the business side of a company which focuses on effectiveness, efficiency and economic viability, and the technology, production, research and development-oriented business functions with a focus on quality, productivity and sustainable innovation.
- Multiperspectivism: our programme strongly reflects the interdisciplinary character of the field. Business engineers need a sound understanding of the value chain, including the possibilities and limitations of the technological products and processes that underpin it. They must also be able to read the business economic context in which the value chain problem is situated. To meet these requirements, our study programme offers a unique combination of (business) economic, academic-technological and domain-specific components, supplemented by a general education and ample focus on innovation and entrepreneurship. The English name Business Engineering is a good reflection of this: “engineering the business”.
- Talent development: with our study programme , we not only strive to impart knowledge to the students, but also to teach them how to apply that knowledge in other contexts. The Bachelor’s curriculum offers students to use scientific-academic techniques (e.g. mathematics, statistics, computer science) to solve problems in managing product and information flows within and between organizations. The Master’s curriculum offers opportunities to develop new techniques to solve these problems in an academically sound manner. Students either do so independently, or in a team.
- Knowledge creation: knowledge is the bedrock of creativity. We use the education concept ‘creative knowledge development’ as our starting point. The methodological learning pathway in our curriculum supports the construction of knowledge by teaching students how to analyze relevant research and business problems. Business engineers are critical of their own knowledge. They consider the unknown as a challenge rather than a threat. A business engineer’s technical-technological knowledge is only a beginning, from which point they must be able to delve into specific subdisciplines. A final aspect is communication: communication leads to knowledge development. With a sound business economics foundation, a broad knowledge of new technologies and a strong focus on production, services and logistics, business engineers build bridges between different disciplines in corporate life.
- Curriculum: the Business Engineering programme combines domain-specific training consisting of three essential core trajectories: 1) operational research and data science, 2) operational management, and 3) policy informatics with a broad general education in applied economics, a polyvalent technological-academic education in basic sciences and engineering disciplines, and a general social education in various support and related sciences (including communication skills, foreign language skills and team collaboration skills).
- Preparation: our study programme introduces students of the first joint Bachelor’s degree in Economics, Business Economics and Business Engineering to the different core tracks of business engineering. This supports students in making a well-founded choice at the start of the second Bachelor’s year.
- Vision: our study programme clearly positions itself against other programmes of (applied) economics in the Flemish higher education landscape and meets the international standards of the business engineering domain. We have a detailed and strongly focused vision, which is known to students and clearly present throughout the entire curriculum.
- Room for international experience: our curriculum leaves room for mobility windows, making an international study experience possible. One in three of our students graduate with a study experience abroad.
- Room for practical experience and assessment in a real business context: in the later years of our study programme, the acquisition of intellectual competencies takes central stage. We achieve this by means of authentic assessment through simulations and games, cases, research projects, work placements and the Master’s dissertation. These different assessment methods bring students into contact with a specific issue from a professional or research context.
- Student and alumni satisfaction: in general student and alumni satisfaction with our study programme is very high. Alumni indicate that they find a job in a wide variety of sectors and positions.
- Sustainability and social engagement: our study programme is committed to embedding these themes (even) more clearly and visibly in the study programme.
- Feedback: we aim to further improve the provision of (interim) feedback, feedup and feedforward.
- Internationalization@Home: we are committed to a formal and informal integration of intercultural and international elements into curricular activities for all students.
This study programme is accredited by the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (Dutch: NVAO). Accreditation was extended following the positive outcome of the institutional review in 2022. Programme quality was validated by a quality review (peer-learning visit) in 2019. A screening of the Education Monitor by Ghent University’s Education Quality Board is planned in the years 2021-2024.
This information was last updated on 01/02/2023.
In case of questions or suggestions with regard to the publicly available information, please contact the study programme.