Studying Marketing at Umeå University

The first year of my studies is almost over, one more year to go and I should be ready to start working. I wanted to share with you what it has been like to study marketing at Umeå University. Before coming here, I did my bachelor’s degree in international business at a university of applied sciences in Finland. Initially I chose to study international business after spending a year in the United States and when returning to Finland wanted to maintain my English skills. There weren’t many programs taught in English and I had no idea what I would want to do in the future, so I chose business, as the options what to focus on are broad, if you’re good with numbers, you might like finance or accounting, if you like working with people you can study human resource management, and so on.

My bachelor’s degree consisted of a variety of courses to give an overall perspective on business life and its different fields. So in case if I want to change my career at some point, I could do a second master’s degree for instance in accounting. I was interested in marketing already before I started studying and during my studies I took many elective courses in marketing. I like the fact that marketing is diverse and it is constantly changing. For instance, social media and the internet in general have changed the way people  buy and search for things and businesses have to adjust to this. I’ve also found it interesting to compare different cultures with each other, for instance, if you look at the TV commercials first in the United States and then here in Sweden, they are very different. I wanted to deepen my knowledge after my bachelor’s degree, so I applied here and was accepted!

As in many other master’s programmes in Sweden, we have the option to choose between one and two year programmes. I chose to study for full two years, since one year goes by fast and I wanted to take the advantage to spend two years abroad, learn the language and have the opportunity to really settle in for a while. My programme is fully taught in English, but we have the opportunity to study Swedish language as well. We were required to have 30 credits of marketing studies before applying to Umeå University, so everyone in the marketing master programme would have at least the basic knowledge of marketing.

The main difference between one and two year programmes is the number of elective courses. In the one-year program there is not much space to study anything except the compulsory courses and then writing a thesis. In the two-year programme we have more space to fill with elective courses and also have the opportunity to study abroad during our third semester if we want to. Umeå University has partner universities all over the world, so there are plenty of options to choose from, if you wish to go abroad from Sweden! We can also do an internship for two months, either in Sweden or abroad, instead of taking elective courses.

Umea university library

Umeå University library is located in the same building as the business school, a lot of group work takes place in here. 

My first semester consisted of four compulsory courses and gave a big picture on marketing and management. The courses were organized in a logical way, the first course was about strategy, followed by consumer behavior, market analysis and finally, marketing planning. Compared to the marketing courses I had studied during my bachelors’ degree, the approach was more theoretical, and we didn’t go as much into details. Also, the emphasis has been a lot on critical thinking, which is important as some might want to continue to PhD studies and do research.

I’ve been happy that I chose the programme I currently study in. All the courses we’ve had have included diverse methods of studying, usually a group assignment and an exam. Especially at the beginning, working in groups was a good way to get to know my classmates and see how people from different countries tend to work. As the world is getting more and more international it’s important to be able to work with people from different backgrounds. And as I mentioned at the beginning, marketing is constantly evolving, I’m sure I won’t be bored anywhere in the near future, as there will always be something new and interesting to learn after graduating!


Ps. Umeå University was recently ranked 1st in Europe for International Student Satisfaction, I’m proud of my school. 🙂

Leonilla avatar


  • Kuma • 30 Apr 2016 at 7.10 pm Reply

    Hej Leonilla! Thank you for your great posts, very enlightening. I have accepted admission to Umea this autumn and an International student. I understand orientation is from 23 rd August 2016. Please what would be your advice on the date to arrive in Sweden to settle in before orientation (a week or much less)?

    • Leonilla
      Leonilla • 30 Apr 2016 at 7.20 pm Reply

      Hej Kuma! Thanks. 🙂 I’m glad to hear you’ll be studying here next fall! The best time to settle in depends on you, I’d say a couple of days, or max a week is enough to get to know the city and some other students a little bit.

      • Kuma • 5 May 2016 at 9.57 pm Reply

        Thanks so much! Much appreciated.

  • Zeinab • 22 Apr 2016 at 1.25 pm Reply

    Hi Leonilla,

    Hope you are well and being successful more and more.
    Could you please give me some information about Swedish Institute Scholarships?
    Where can i find the list of institutes that have this offer for the students of Iran (Category 3)?
    And about the things like Ielts and abilities that i should have them, Could you please tell me about it?!


    • Leonilla
      Leonilla • 22 Apr 2016 at 1.45 pm Reply

      Hi Zeinab, more information about scholarships provided by SI can be found here: universities in Sweden also provide their own scholarships and more information on them can be found on their websites. The abilities you need depend on the programme you wish to study, so it’s really hard to give specific information here, but I hope this helps you to find the right information. 🙂

  • Dohee • 13 Apr 2016 at 1.42 pm Reply

    Hej Leonilla! Thanks to you I could get some information about Umea. I got admission for Master’s in Tourism this Autumn. I am really looking forward to studying there! By the way can I go abroad to do an internship during my master regardless of my field? And do many of Umea’s students live at a dorm? I am from South Korea and wonder what kind of accommodation I will get and how much it would cost. Tack sa mycket!!:)

    Ah also, is there any FB group that I can contact students coming to Umea this Autumn?

    • Leonilla
      Leonilla • 13 Apr 2016 at 4.54 pm Reply

      Hej Dohee, I’m happy to hear that you’ll be joining us in Umeå! 🙂

      I checked the syllabus of your programme, but it didn’t say anything about an internship possibility. You will find out about it latest when you start your programme, but if you want to know in advance, you can contact the coordinator of your programme and ask.

      Many students do live in dorms / corridor rooms, though it’s a bit different to South Korea (I studied in Seoul for 6 months). Here you won’t be sharing your room with another person and the rooms are bigger, usually around 20 square meters. The corridor rooms cost between 2500 and 3000 Swedish krona on average.

      There’s a Facebook group called “Erasmus Umeå 2015-2016” where you can find a lot of international students, you can join the group already if you want.

      • Dohee • 19 Apr 2016 at 12.17 pm Reply

        Hej Leonilla! This is Dohee again. Thank you very much for your information!
        I am glad to hear that you studied in my country for 6 months. I hope you spent great times here in Korea. Did u stay in Seoul by the way? I am coming from Seoul and can’t wait to going to Umea:)
        While I have been searching for some information, I’ve got to know that students can work during academic years. Are there many work(Part-time or any) opportunities for international students in Umea? If you have any information about it, can you let me know please? Tack sy mycket!! (Kamsahamnida in Korean:D)

        • Leonilla
          Leonilla • 19 Apr 2016 at 1.47 pm Reply

          안녕! Yes, I was in Seoul at Korea University, it was really, really nice. 🙂 I actually haven’t really looked into the job opportunities here, as I have wanted to focus on my studies. But I guess it depends a lot of your skills and what type of job you’re willing to accept. In general jobs are easier to find if you speak Swedish.

  • Jessica • 13 Apr 2016 at 9.14 am Reply

    Hi Leonilla, I have been admitted for master programme at Umea this autumn. so I am wondering about your average monthly expense when studying here. Is it really much more than minimum requirement of 7974 SEK?? I knew that living cost is pretty high so I want to make a budget plan properly.

    • Leonilla
      Leonilla • 13 Apr 2016 at 11.47 am Reply

      Hi Jessica! I’m glad to hear you’ll be studying at Umeå University. 🙂 I’d say I spend less than that, I haven’t calculated how much I spend exactly, but rent and groceries cost me around 6000 SEK / month. So unless I go out or shopping I can survive with that easily. But in case something happens, it’s good to have savings when abroad.

  • Adil wahid • 12 Apr 2016 at 11.28 am Reply

    recently I have complete my I.COM degree from Pakistan and how I can apply in BBA degree in swedan ? please send me a detail about study in swedan

    • Leonilla
      Leonilla • 12 Apr 2016 at 6.04 pm Reply

      Hi! You can find more information on programmes and application process at 🙂

  • sadia • 8 Apr 2016 at 9.48 am Reply

    i want admssion in marketing what should i do

  • rashidah jemie • 6 Apr 2016 at 5.01 pm Reply

    Your comment …I also want to study marketing but I lack financial assistance. do umea university have scholarships programs so that I also apply. thank you in advance

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