Digital Business Practices (IB minor)

Start moment(s)
20 weeks
Contact hours
15-18 per week

  • Intro
  • Programme
  • Admission requirements
  • How to apply
  • Accommodation
  • Insurance
  • Visa and/or residence permit
  • Financial matters
  • Recognition
  • Contact

Expand your career opportunities with "Digital Business Practices" at Fontys

Most contemporary business degrees teach students about digital business practices to some degree. However these teachings are usually interspersed in the curricula or make up parts of certain mainstream business course. The Digital Business Practices minor offers students the chance to focus on specific digital trends in society and business which impact business practices and offer exciting opportunities for exploitation upon graduation. The courses of the minor focus on understanding  and profiting from the end-to-end digital transformations/disruptions that society and enterprises face today. Further you will gain deeper theoretical knowledge and application skills related to digital analytics. To help build your commercial skills, we also teach you to specify, design, implement, and use practical digital marketing & sales automation tooling.

The minor is taught by a mixed group of faculty who have both industrial and academic experience. Learnings are enhanced by extra-curricular activities outside of traditional classroom learning, such as field trips.

Target Audience & Entry Level

The program is intended for students who have successfully completed their first two years in a bachelor program. Basic undergraduate course(s) in marketing/management and numerical methods (such as finance or statistics) must have been part of their prior studies. Students should have a command of English equal to the level of IELTS 6.0 as a minimum.  Also some of the classes will require homework to be carried out on the student’s own laptop computer. 

Program Format

This semester program consists of 5 modules and an extensive field trip. Three of the core modules start the minor, introducing students to some of the main digital theories and methods used commonly by current businesses.  Between weeks 4 - 9 of the minor, students will take a 2 -3 day trip to an exhibition and industrial demonstration centers(along with faculty) to gain firsthand experience and knowledge about digital trends and innovations in the business world today.  In the latter part of the semester, students pick one of the two electives offered to them.  In addition, all students are required to complete a “Capstone” research or applied project and report on it at the end of the semester.  The focus and learning outcomes of each course are described here below.

1. The Digital Enterprise and Society (6 ECTS)

  • PART 1 – DIGITAL SOCIETY / OUTSIDE IN: Impact on society of key external digital trends with special attention to a specific business sector, including: • Broader perspective of the impact of IT and new media on society and consumers/citizens (Digital Citizens);
  • Developments, implications and issues of Internet of Things (IoT), AI, BlockChain, Attention Economy, VR/AR, Quantified Self and legal aspects, challenges and good practices of Big Data and Privacy;
  • Impact of technological change on employment and the employee (knowledge worker), artificial intelligence (AI) and learning (Race Against the Machine);
  • Part 2 – DIGITAL CHANGE STRATEGY / INSIDE OUT: Key organizational shifts resulting from these external digital trends and the change management issues that arise in implementing any digital transformation initiative within a specific company in the selected business sector in Part 1, including: • Governance / Information Management – how to oversee the necessary changes
  • Project management – how to carry out, and supervise, and measure digital changes in your company
  • Customer Journeys – how to translate digital changes to your products
  • Change models – what kinds changes are needed to implement different kinds of digital processes – especially changing people;
  • Technology changes – what kinds of ITC systems, processes, automation, and people are needed to succeed. Focus on cloud solutions and new ways of IT service delivery.

2. Digital Analytics (7 ECTS)

  • Learn advanced features and functions of Excel, including writing formulas;
  • Explore and Excel data model, its content and structure using Power Pivot and Power Query add-ins;
  • Student are able to identify a data driven business (or social) problem and craft the right questions to ask about it;
  • Design and implement a structured data analysis plan;
  • Gain working knowledge of Tableau data visualization and analysis software;
  • Understand the advantages and disadvantages between Excel and Tableau;
  • Tell data driven stories by presenting effective slide presentations and digital story boards.

3. Online Marketing & Sales Automation (6 ECTS)

  • Intensive 2 week introduction (review) of the basics of digital marketing and sales processes
  • Evolution of sales and marketing and how the internet continues to change customer buying journeys
  • Online and offline customer buying journeys, personas, and content marketing
  • Online strategies; developing your digital marketing plan
  • Measuring digital marketing success with key performance indicators
  • How to source and buy marketing automation tools and software
  • Measuring campaign metrics using neuropsychology (eye tracking), and statistical analysis

4. Field Trip & Capstone Project Proposal ( 2 ECTS)

Sometime between weeks 4 and 9 of the minor, the class will embark on a 2-3 day field trip to an exhibition and industrial demonstration centers(along with faculty) to gain firsthand experience and knowledge about digital trends and innovations in the business world today.  Students will be asked to prepare an itinerary for the exhibition.  Students will visit at least 20 companies during the exhibition.  The goal is to learn firsthand about how the companies use some of the theory and practices introduced thus far in the academic classes of the minor.  Further, students will be expected to use the trips as motivation and perhaps as a means of finding a research project/topic for their Capstone requirement.  During the trips, Lecturers will also be accompanying students and interacting with students during the trip. 

5. Capstone Project - Digital Business Practices (5 ECTS)

In this module students conduct a research project on a topic related to one (or more) of the other modules.  Students can work alone or with one other student.  During the first 8 weeks of the semester, students write a research proposal. Then during the second half of the semester the research is carried out resulting in a written report/paper and a live presentation.  The learning objective and outcomes are:

  • Writing a project proposal (plan) and writing a research/development plan for the actual Capstone activities.
  • Demonstrate or solve a real world business problem related to Digital Business Practice;
  • Demonstrate knowledge about digital business processes;
  • Learn how to synergize knowledge gained from 2 or more topical areas of the minor into convincing business solution;
  • Ability to review, understand, and query peer students about their capstone projects so that the student’s knowledge and learnings about digital business practices expands;
  • Carry out research (desk and/or field) about fast moving digital business processes.
To allow you to tailor the programme to your own desires, you can choose between one of the following two electives:

Elective 1: Online Marketing Campaigns (4 ECTS)

After completion of the mandatory foundation course about Online Marketing and Sales Automation, students can choose this elective which provides an opportunity to apply and run a real online compaign for a non-profit organization.  You will contribute to a meaningful cause which the non-profit organization represents.  The campaign is carried out in groups of 3 – 5 students working directly with the non-profit organization.  The Google company provides up to $10,000 per month of advertising credits to carry out the online advertising and promotion campaign.  Part of the learnings requires that you gain Google Adwords certification via Google’s online learning and assessment system. This elective allows you to build tactical skills that are in high-demand on the job market.  The cooperation with Google and how non-profits are choosen can be found via this link to the Online Marketing Challenge .

The course is organized such that you spend the first 7 weeks learning how to use Adwords and applied online promotion techniques and tools.  At the same time, you are introduced to the non-profit organization and have to draw up a promotion plan and get them to sign off on the plan. Then you actually carry out the online campaign, placing real ads and promotional items online for about 3 – 4 weeks.  You recap and reflect on your results together with the non-profit organization.


Elective 2: Digital Collaboration & the Cloud (4 ECTS)

  • Explore strategic trends and key issues of digital collaboration in a business ecosystem;
  • Learn about the concepts and tools of internal digital collaboration;
  • Gain insights about digital collaboration strategies and relevant change models to implement digital collaboration successfully;
  • Analyze and explain managerial and communication skills to effectively communicate with key stakeholders in this course and produce relevant conclusions and recommendations in both written and spoken forms.

Learning outcomes

Students learn how digital business processes are engrained in all aspects of modern business enterprises, from customer facing processes to internal production, operations, and product development processes. You will learn how to avoid obsolescence in your career as we teach you how to evaluate, appreciate, and use digital disruptions and digital innovations that occur constantly in modern business life. Students also gain valuable hands on experience using and specifying marketing and sales automation tools. You will be able to analyze an analytical business problem, creating a digital story board commonly used in professional presentations. Experiential learning occurs as well via field trips to companies, events, and guest lecturers from outside corporations. 

Target audience & Entry level

The level of this programme is intermediate. The programme is intended for students who have successfully completed their first two years in a bachelor programme. Basic undergraduate course(s) in marketing/management and numerical methods (such as finance or statistics) must have been part of their prior studies. Also some of the classes will require homework to be carried out on the student’s own laptop computer.

English language proficiency

Exchange students are expected to have a good command of English. Therefore, a minimum level of proficiency in the English language is required. Exchange students must substantiate their level of English-language proficiency by submitting evidence in the form of an original language certificate: IELTS (6.0), TOEFL iBT (80), TOEFL PBT (550) or similar certificate. For EU students we also accept a statement from the university on the student’s level of English (the minimum level is B2).

How to apply for exchange students

Applications should always be submitted via the International Exchange (or Erasmus) Officer at the home university. This officer will send your application request (nomination) to Fontys. Once Fontys has accepted your nomination, your Fontys study department will send you a link to a web application called Mobility Online. Added to the link you will receive all necessary information. Please click here to see how it works.

Deadline for application

Fall semester 15 May

Academic dates study semester

Fall semester 26 August 2019 - 3 February 2020


Fontys can arrange accommodation for exchange students. Fontys does not have its own accommodation but acts as a mediator between the student and the housing agency. To apply for accommodation assistance through Fontys, you have to fill out an accommodation form in Mobility Online. You will reach the step for requesting accommodation when you follow the steps in your workflow. Make sure you reach the accommodation step before the deadline, because we will only be able to arrange accommodation if you fill out and upload the form in time. More detailed information (rental fees, quality standards of the accommodation, terms and conditions) can be found here.

NOTE: Before you submit the accommodation form in Mobility Online, make sure you have read all information on the website and on the form itself very carefully. Submitting the accommodation form is a binding contract and you will be obliged to accept and pay for the accommodation offered by Fontys.

Application deadlines for accommodation
Fall semester 15 June
Spring semester 8 December


You need to make sure that you are properly insured during your stay at Fontys. Every (exchange) student enrolled at Fontys is expected to have fulfilled his/her insurance obligations before arriving. Fontys cannot be held liable if a student does not have (sufficient) insurance cover. If you live in the Netherlands, you are obliged by law to have health insurance. The third party liability insurance cover (with global coverage of up to EUR 1,250,000) is strongly recommended, as well as the repatriation insurance cover. Please find more information about these insurances, the costs and an insurance checklist via the following links: 

If you do not require a visa and/or residence permit, you will be free to select the inexpensive insurance cover that we offer here, or to arrange your own insurance cover. This insurance is mandatory for students who require entry visas and/or residence permits. Fontys will arrange this insurance on your behalf, which will form a part of the immigration procedure. You will receive more information about this insurance and the payment during the visa process.

Visa and/or residence permit

Most exchange students from outside the EU need an entry visa and/or residence permit. Whether or not you need these documents, depends on your nationality, the duration of your stay and your purpose of stay. Fontys will apply for both your visa and/or residence permit. It is not possible to do this yourself. Please find more detailed information here. You will receive more information about the documents needed for the procedure as soon as you have finished all steps in Mobility Online. We recommend that you start the process early, as it may take some time for you to gather all of the required documents.

NOTE: We strongly advise you to not make any travel arrangements before you have the entry visa sticker (if applicable) in your passport!

Nuffic Certificate for Chinese students

All students with Chinese nationality are required to apply for a Nuffic Certificate themselves. We recommend you submit your application as early as possible, because this procedure may take up to two months. Students with a Hong Kong passport are exempted from this requirement. You can apply for a Nuffic certificate and read more information about it here.

Financial matters

Tuition fees

Exchange students from our partner universities do not have to pay tuition fees. They pay their regular fees to their home university. Fontys School of Marketing and Management does not accept freemovers.

Standard of living

The average living expenses per month for a foreign student in Holland are between € 900,- and € 1,100 per month. These living expenses cover rent, insurance, food, public transportation, books, clothing and other general costs. Costs within the first months upon arrival will be higher than all other months due to a housing deposit and books. Please note that the actual expenses will depend on your personal lifestyle. More information.

Visa and/or residence permit costs

The Dutch Immigration Service (IND) charges €323,-* for the visa and/or residence permit application (if applicable). Before we can apply for your visa and/or residence permit, we ask you to transfer this amount to our bank account. You will receive an invoice containing these costs and the payment procedure, as soon as you have finished all steps in Mobility Online. Besides this, the Dutch Immigration Service (IND) requires non-EU/EEA students to proof they have access to € 900,-* per month during their exchange period before they start their studies (living expenses). You will be informed about the exact amount and also about your options to proof you have adequate financial means during the visa and/or residence permit application procedure. More information.

*subject to change

Insurance costs

EU/EEA students who decided to select the insurance cover that we offer (and all non-EU/EEA students) will receive more information about the payment of the premium from the insurance company directly. More information.

Dutch bank account

Not all Automatic Teller Machines (ATM’s) accept bankcards from other countries and, due to occasional computer problems, you may not always be able to withdraw money from your bank account at home. Therefore, you might want to open a Dutch bank account during your exchange period at Fontys.

How will your course programme be recognised by your home university?

Fontys will provide you with a so-called ‘Transcript of Records’, which will clarify the results that you have achieved. Depending on your results, you will receive a maximum of 30 ECTS credits. ECTS credits are recognised throughout Europe. The agreement between your home university and Fontys University of Applied Sciences will usually include a condition whereby the credits that you obtain will be recognised and transferred into the records kept by your home university.

Contact person for information about the programme Digital Business Practices:

Drs. Ewoud Jansen 

Fontys University of Applied Sciences
School of Business and Communication (FSBC)

Visiting address
Rachelsmolen 1 (Building R4, 3rd floor)
5612 MA Eindhoven
The Netherlands

Postal address
P.O. Box 347
5600 AH Eindhoven
The Netherlands

Typical Field Trips


Drs. Ewoud Jansen

Fontys Campus Rachelsmolen (building R3/R4)

Rachelsmolen 1, Eindhoven

Locatiekaart op adres: Rachelsmolen 1, Eindhoven

Ambience photo Fontys