Department of Business Administration, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid: The Unorthodox Training Grounds of Business Innovators
Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Business plays a crucial role in the development and economy of any country. Businesses drive employment, production of goods and services, and lay the foundation for alliances between nations. To run businesses, we need people with the right acumen and skillsets who can drive the growth of industries, and hence, the economies.

Business administrators are proving to be more and more important by the day. Engineers innovate, creators generate ideas and give birth to new products, but the job of ensuring that this product is the best possible fit for the market requires people who understand how business processes and capturing markets work. And to train people who aspire to thrive in the ever-evolving business sphere, we need educational institutions that are committed to developing competent and knowledgeable business leaders whilst backing their studies with appropriate research and experience and understanding of current market dynamics. In a nutshell, we need institutions like the Department of Business Administration, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid.

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M, henceforth) is a public university, providing innovative teaching of the highest quality and focused primarily on research. It has been consistently ranked among the top institutions in Europe according to the several rankings: 35th worldwide and 16th in Europe, on QS Top 50 Under 50 2020 Ranking; and ranked third in economics and management, fields in which it appears among the Top 200 universities in the world according to the ‘Shanghai Ranking’ 2020.

Department of Business Administration, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (Business-UC3M) is the largest department of the university and consists of four areas of knowledge (accounting, finance, management, and marketing). It is a research-oriented department that aims to compete at the international level with the best business departments and business schools in Europe.

As a key reference, in the business school ranking of UT Dallas, only IESE and IE rank better than Business-UC3M in Spain, and Business-UC3M ranks between the position 20 and 35 for European institutions, depending on the year and the area.

The university’s faculty members have published in the leading journals in the four areas: The Accounting Review, Journal of Accounting and Economics, Journal of Finance, Review of Financial Studies, Journal of Financial Economics, Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Administrative Science Quarterly, Organization Science, Management Science, Strategic Management Journal, Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Research and Marketing Science.

Business-UC3M is committed to diversity. Around half of the faculty members are women, around one third are not Spanish, and around one third hold PhDs from international institutions (some as prestigious as MIT, Harvard, Berkeley, Stanford, or NYU).

Business-UC3M uses its excellence in research to excel as well in education (research-driven education), offering a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs covering all functional business areas: Accounting, Finance, Management and Marketing. Business-UC3M is the only public Spanish university AACSB, AMBA and ACCA accredited. Through excellence in research and education, the institute aims to contribute to society, educating thousands of undergraduate and graduate students. 

Mission Statement:

UC3M’s mission is to contribute to the improvement of society through teaching of the highest quality and cutting-edge research in line with stringent international standards. The university aspires to excel in all its activities, with the aim of becoming one of the top universities in Europe.

The Academic Rollout

UC3M-Business’ USP is research-premium education in all business domains at value prices, combined with social and cultural values that promote students’ integration into society. It is also the most international university in Spain. The business department is traditionally very strong in quantitative research domains, developing research in finance, quantitative marketing, management (innovation and research policies, CSR, human resource management, marketing management, operations, entrepreneurship, family firms), and accounting.

Additionally, the university also has a group of behavioural researchers publishing in the leading management and applied psychology journals. The department has grown internationally, balancing the development of all areas, and fostering cross-fertilization between its constituent areas. Most of the teaching (almost 80%) is in English, with degrees taught 100% in English, and others combining courses in Spanish and in English. The students are highly international, especially in graduate programmes. The faculty has also developed innovative teaching tools, such as virtual business games.

The Business-UC3M offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs covering all functional business areas: accounting, finance, management, and marketing. UC3M is widely recognized by society at large as the leading university in business administration in Spain. Three basic indicators show this:

UC3M is among the 50 best European universities in teaching excellence, according to the 2019 The Teaching ranking; Business-UC3M is #1 in the ranking in all the business degrees that they consider: business administration, finance and accounting, and the double degree in ‘law and business administration’. Its degrees have the highest entry marks in the country.

Business-UC3M is the only Spanish public university that is AACSB accredited, and the only accredited by AMBA. Its degree in Finance and Accounting was the first (and among the very few) degrees in the country to be accredited by an international accounting body (ACCA).

Training the Business Acumen

The business faculty have fruitfully exploited collaboration opportunities with professors from their polytechnic school, through the Big Data Institute. The university offers other avenues, such as the UC3M Science Park to nurture start-ups. In the last few years, 34 spin‐offs have been created, most of them by university students and teaching staff. The university has a strategic business start‐up program in its technology‐based business incubator.

From an educational point of view, the university also collaborates with technological areas. It has recently introduced a new bachelor’s degree, Bachelor’s in management and technology, to foster innovative technological management. The institute also offers a dual bachelor’s in business administration and IT.

Standing Apart

The students generally describe it as a lifetime event. Madrid is a vibrant cosmopolitan city in Western Europe with nice Mediterranean weather, and well-connected to all relevant cities in the country and in Europe. The institute has a massive turnout of international exchange students, allowing students to exchange ideas with multiple cultures, mostly from central, south, and North America, and Europe, offering unique networking opportunities. UC3M is also starting to attract students from Asia.

Our students enjoy the interaction with faculty members who are carrying out cutting edge research, and research-driven teaching/education,” said one of the senior faculty members of UC3M. “Quantitative tools are a stronghold of the business faculty, and the business department degrees and masters offer research-premium education in all business domains,” he added.

The EdTech Adaption

The faculty traditionally used online resources; they have a school providing professional education based on online systems, so they were naturally well equipped for the new context. As soon as the pandemic lockdowns started, all courses were moved to online systems and the teaching activity was quickly adapted to teach online in Spring 2020.

However, given the massive volume of online courses, the university acquired supplementary platforms (Blackboard Collaborate, Wooclap, Kaltura, and several digital blackboard applications), and invested in hardware resources to teach mixed online-offline classes (Smart Podium digital boards, and classroom video systems allowing remote students to connect with the classroom) for the course 2020-2021.

To Infinity and Beyond…

“We see ourselves as one of the top business schools in Europe, producing cutting-edge research and transferring our research to society,” concluded the proud faculty of Business-UC3M.

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