MSc Strategic Management Program Details

HEC Paris MSc Strategic Management program details

What is strategic management?

Strategic management is an essential component of company growth and survival and encompasses two main components:

  • Strategic analysis, i.e. identification of major trends and sources of opportunities:
    ‘External analysis’ consists of identifying the forces that constrain a firm –be it from the industry or from competition- and determining the paths of action in order to reach success;
    and ‘Internal analysis’ refers to identifying performance leverages within a firm by assessing the available resources and determining paths of performance.
  • Structure and organization, i.e. how a company is designed and manages projects. This includes central functions such as planning, management control and information systems. It also deals with employees’ commitment, corporate values and culture.

In short, Strategic management is the art of correctly positioning a firm in a turbulent environment in order to  map out a path of unique and unmatchable excellence. It requires a great command of analytical frameworks and a rigorous mind.

Program Structure

The HEC Paris MSc Strategic Management is an exciting intellectual challenge building upon the specific knowledge and experience that our academic team brings to the program, but also upon the students’ qualities. The program is very intense and demanding and is comprised of mandatory core courses, workshops with firms, a company project, but also elective courses, which allow them to tailor their curriculum according to their interests and career goals. 

Core Courses

The mandatory core courses provide students with the key knowledge and skills relating to strategic management. 

  • Core Methodologies for Strategy Consulting

This class introduces students to the core skills of strategy consulting, through the presentation of methodological concept and tools, and their illustration through case studies drawn from actual business projects.

  • Deciding Strategically on the Scope of the Firm

This course focuses on the strategic management and understanding of multi-product, multi-location and multi-business firms.

  • Financial Dimension of Strategic Decisions

This class offers a comprehensive overview of corporate finance transactions and specific situations, how to analyze them and how to handle them.

  • Strategic Analysis of Negotiation Games

This course develops students’ expertise in managing transactional and dispute resolution negotiations that occur in a variety of business (and personal) settings. It teaches students how to analyze, prepare for, and execute negotiations.

  • Thinking Strategically: Applied Game Theory for Business

The MSc Strategic Management also provides students with the following mandatory activities:

  • Professional workshops with firms
  • 3-day business simulation (GlobStrat)
  • Research and writing tools for thesis
  • Concrete advice on how to Integrate Consulting Firms and Master Case Cracking. This lecture, conducted by a professional expert, aims at bringing to the students an overview of the consulting recruitment process, and at giving them directions on how to prepare for it: pre-interview preparation steps, method to train for case cracking analysis and preparation for the interviews.

Elective Courses

Students can either choose 8 electives or 3 electives combined with the Company project.

  • Big Data & Business Analytics
  • Big Data and Strategy
  • Business Plan Workshop
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Designing and Managing Processes for Competitive Advantage
  • Digital Transformation, Media and Beyond
  • Energy Strategies
  • From Digital to Big Data
  • Innovative Business Models for Sustainability
  • Internet-Based Business Models
  • Issues in Offshoring Strategy
  • Managing Global Complexity
  • Managing Public-Private Partnerships: Strategic and Organizational Issues
  • Private Equity Strategies
  • Shaping Strategies
  • Reinventing a Consulting Firm Strategy
  • Strategic Aspects of Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Strategic Challenges in Creative Industries
  • Successful Strategy Mobilization
  • ...

Most of these electives are taught by firms and thus, heavily rely on pratical knowledge from cases and real-life experience.

Management Courses

HEC provides students with online and on-campus upgrading courses in the following fields (only for students with a non-business background):

  • Strategy
  • Finance / Accounting
  • Marketing.


Sponsored by a company, Certificates are a set of interdisciplinary courses corresponding to approximately 100 contact hours as well as business projects and other types of field work related to a given sector. Each student selected (in the 1st semester) for a certificate will be awarded an additional HEC certificate if he/she validates all the requirements of the course.

Study Trip

Students have the opportunity to go on study trip during the program with company visits and networking events.

Master's Thesis

Students must write a master thesis to graduate from the program. The objective of the master thesis is to explore how cutting-edge research is being implemented in the daily practice of strategy in a highly competitive environment. More than 100 topics are offered to students.

Professional Experience

The professional experience requirement is satisfied when the student completes a professional experience of at least 4 months in fields related to their coursework at HEC Paris. It is, however, important to stress that this professional experience may not be an internship per se.

Our policy at HEC Paris is that the best type of internship is a full-time job! We strongly encourage our students to look for permanent hiring as soon as the academic year starts.

Learn Languages at HEC Paris

As an international business school, HEC Paris welcomes students from all over the world. Almost one hundred nationalities live on the campus. It's a fantastic opportunity to discover other cultures and to share exceptional moments, and it's important that students can communicate as much as they wish.

HEC Paris Learning Center of Languages aims at helping students to learn or strengthen any language they would like, providing a wide range of I.T. and print resources.

Students do not need to speak French to enroll in the program as all core courses and most electives are offered in English. However, some knowledge of French can be useful to enjoy the full HEC experience, become professionally bicultural and optimize networking with French students and alumni. This is why HEC Paris offers optional French language classes.

Prior to their studies, students may also register for a two week French language course (TEF certificate – all levels) in August. This is an exceptional opportunity to learn French before joining the Campus (extra fees are applicable).

Fieldwork as a core element of the learning experience

Students in MSc Strategic Management are immersed in real-life business world all the way through the curriculum thanks to specific teaching skills and initiatives.


The program’s off to a great start with this 3-day business simulation in which teams of 5 participants are in charge of managing virtual companies that compete in international markets. Teams have to make multiple strategic decisions in different areas, e.g. product portfolio, pricing, advertising, marketing, international expansion, and innovation.


Students also benefit from close ties with professionals not only from the consulting industry but from the industry and service sector. 

Leading consulting firms actively participate in workshops throughout the year, both on campus and in their local offices. Consultants present their activities and methodologies as well as supervising case study sessions, for a complete immersion in real-life business.Additionally, many leaders from the industrial and service sector are involved in the curriculum, sharing their experience in policy matters. This allows students to interact with CEOs, Business Unit Managers, and Directors of Strategy of large companies.
Examples of companies participating in these workshops (non-exhaustive list):

  • Accenture
  • Bain & Company
  • EY
  • IBM
  • JP Morgan
  • Mazars
  • McKinsey & Company
  • Monitor Deloitte
  • Oliver Wyman
  • PwC (and Strategy&)
  • Roland Berger
  • Urgo Group
  • ...

Company project

In parallel of the electives, the students have the possibility to complete a 10-week part-time Company Project. Starting in January, this project is proposed by a company facing a real-life, concrete strategic issue. In many cases, the project is an opportunity to deal with demanding clients. Supervised by a professor, the student groups complete their study and deliver their results and recommendations to the firm’s top management.

The students who choose to achieve the company project have to choose 3 elective courses in addition (8 otherwise).

Academic Team

Message from the Directors

Today’s business environment experiences constant and rapid change. Globalization, financial crises, the development of digital business models and emerging markets are causing drastic uncertainty among well established organizations. Firms need to be efficient in their response, embracing technological change and undertaking strategic action such as mergers, acquisitions and alliances.
These challenges signify a growing demand for strategic skills:

  • Multinational firms must refine their strategies, and continuously change their day-to-day practices.
  • Strategic Consultancy firms must constantly demonstrate the added value they provide to their clients.
  • Investment banks and corporate venture capital must shape new alliances, mergers and acquisitions.

As a result, the market today requires the highest standard of technical training; the HEC MSc Strategic Management meets this demand. Taught entirely in English, the program lasts 10 months and is actively supported by top international consulting firms, leading companies and investment banks which energetically take part in its curriculum through business cases and numerous real-life company projects.
Participants from all around the world will benefit from the program’s international exposure, the involvement of corporate partners and the reputation of HEC Paris as a leading business school in Europe.
We look forward to welcoming you on campus.

Laurence Lehmann-Ortega, Academic Director of the HEC Paris' MSc in Strategic Management

Carina Ferreira, Executive Director, MSc Strategic Management, HEC Paris

Laurence Lehmann-Ortega, Academic Director


Carina Ferreira, Executive Director

Program Faculty

Around 50% of courses are taught by academic professors and researchers from HEC Paris and other universities and around 50% taught by professionals holding key positions in the private or public sector: