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Finance: Duisenberg Honours Programme in Quantitative Risk Management

This programme offers a unique combination of quantitative maths/statistics skills, financial business savvy, and the understanding of what’s relevant when it comes to implementation in practice.

You’ll come out of the programme as a fully-fledged professional – ready work independently as soon as you start your first job. No further training needed!

You’ll also have the opportunity to take workshops in soft skills – such as communications, leadership, presentation and public speaking skills – as part of a tailor-made programme to train you to become a future CFO or CRO.

The Duisenberg Honours Programme in Quantitative Risk Management (QRM) is extra challenging, as it constitutes 84 EC within one year instead of the regular 60 EC. The programme is substantially more technical than the regular Finance specialization. So, expect to be coding on a daily frequency! The QRM programme combines Finance with math and statistics/econometrics. In doing so the programme focuses on financial markets, stochastic processes, econometrics, and derivatives. This makes the QRM honours the most technical specializations in the “Master of Finance”.

For the first half of this programme, you’ll focus on fundamental quantitative theories. For the second half, you’ll focus both on the application of these theories and on the field of risk management.

To break it down:

  • You’ll take eight mandatory core courses that together cover quantitative skills and risk management. These include:
    • Stochastic Processes – At the start of the programme, you’ll cover the fundamental mathematical concepts that dictate how financial markets move.
    • Quantitative Financial Risk Management – Towards the end of the programme, you’ll apply the knowledge you’ve learnt so far to the quantitative modelling of risk.
    • Econometrics – Not offered by any other quantitative finance programme, you’ll get hands-on experience of using econometric models.
  • You’ll take at least two electives, which you’ll have the freedom to choose from any department at VU Amsterdam or even another university! In practice, most students take electives in computer science or fintech courses – for example, with a focus on machine learning or data mining.
  • You’ll conduct a research project that relates to a genuine issue in the industry.
  • Finally, you’ll write your Master’s thesis in combination with an internship. Past students have taken internships at the top 4 consulting firms, major banks, top pension funds, insurance companies, fintech companies and trading firms. In all cases, you’ll be carrying out cutting-edge research that’s driven by a practical need.

Wim Duisenberg was a Dutch politician whose pivotal role in the financial sector culminated in serving as the first President of the European Central Bank. The three Duisenberg Honours Programmes at VU Amsterdam are named after this influential figure in Dutch and European Economics.

The start date of this programme is September 1st.

The MSc programme

For students with an appropriate quantitatively oriented university bachelor degree, we offer the Duisenberg Honours Programme in Quantitative Risk Management within the MSc Finance programme. Upon successful completion, students obtain an MSc Finance diploma, with the diploma annex clearly stating that the student successfully completed the Duisenberg Honours Programme.

Students can select their own electives, research project, and thesis subject, thus creating their preferred profile for their future career.


  • Personal Development for Finance Professionals
  • Thesis MSc Finance - Duisenberg HP - QRM
  • Econometrics for Quantitative Risk Management I
  • Quantitative Investing
  • Stochastic Processes: the Fundamentals
  • Econometrics for Quantitative Risk Management II
  • Stochastic Processes for Finance and Derivatives Markets
  • Research Project for Finance
  • Credit, Complexity and Systemic Risk
  • Institutional Investments and Asset Liability Management
  • Quantitative Financial Risk Management

Please consult the Study Guide for more information

Change your future with the Duisenberg Honours Programme in Quantitative Risk Management

Change your future with the Duisenberg Honours Programme in Quantitative Risk Management

On completing this Honours Programme, you will start your career as a finance professional right away. As a graduate of the programme, you are able to start working at a variety of companies. Banks, consulting firms, asset managers, trading firms and fintech companies are all looking for quantitative finance specialists.

The excellent reputation of the programme among prospective employees means that you’re not only 100% guaranteed to get an internship – you’re also guaranteed to land a job.

Explore your future prospects