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Making a difference in the world of Finance

Learn about the impact of financial markets

The Finance specialization within the Master’s in Finance programme is focused on topics related to financial economics and financial markets. During the programme students can choose to focus their studies in the form of learning lines: Investments, corporate finance, institutional finance and real estate finance. In such learning lines real-world problems will be approached through the lens of financial markets and financial institutions.

The Finance specialization differentiates itself from the Financial Management specialization roughly speaking by having a financial market perspective whereas the Financial Management specialization is focused much more on a corporate perspective and its decision making. A way of comparing the two specializations is by looking at the courses. You will see that Finance focuses on asset pricing, financial institutions, and corporate finance, whereas Financial Management focuses on accounting, corporate finance, and the financial sector. This makes the Finance specialization somewhat more technical than the Finance Management specialization.

The programme has been a top ranked programme according to the National Student Survey (NSE) for several years. In 2023, the Finance Master's programme is ranked 52nd in the top 55 Finance programmes worldwide, according to the Financial Times Ranking. With approximately 150 students it is small enough to maintain close contact with your classmates and the teachers, but large enough to ensure a good selection of electives. On top of that, one third of the programme’s professors also work in the financial industry themselves. All other courses offer at least two guest lectures from industry professionals and use cases from the industry.

See an overview of the course schedule here.

The start date of this programme is September 1st.

What you will learn

Throughout the programme, we will prepare you for the job market by doing workshops by the career service department. You’ll look at the ethical side of the financial industry, and work on your self-development.

During the programme you’ll conduct a research project in small groups that will allow you to apply your newly acquired knowledge and skills, as well as preparing you to write your Master’s thesis and you’ll have the opportunity to take an internship.

You’ll take four core courses:

  • Asset Pricing – Learn what drives stock prices by competing against each other as portfolio managers. You’ll directly apply your knowledge of asset pricing by investing in (virtual) stocks to generate the most money – may the best team win!
  • Advanced Corporate Finance – You’ll work with case studies from Harvard Business to assess how real-life companies should finance their activities in the most optimal way for their situation.
  • Financial Markets and Institutions – Based on interviews with practitioners, the course will teach you about financial infrastructure: how financial institutions are linked and what their various responsibilities are.
  • Empirical Finance – You’ll study financial econometrics and statistical methodologies, and you’ll test the validity of economic theories. You’ll directly apply your newly acquired knowledge in the interactive PC labs. The best preparation for your thesis.

You’ll take at least two electives, each of which relates to one of the learning lines:

  • Investments – You can take electives in Derivatives, Institutional investments, and Quantitative Financial Risk Management, or Credit and Complexity.
  • Corporate Finance – Think of courses like Corporate Valuation, Behavioural Finance, or Bank Management
  • Institutional Finance – choose from Economics of Payment Systems, Macro and International Finance and Bank Management.
  • Real Estate Finance – You’ll get the opportunity to further specialize in the real estate sector. We offer electives on Real Estate Finance and Investments, Real Estate Economics, and Urban Economic Challenges.

Finance courses

  • Personal Development for Finance Professionals
  • Thesis MSc Finance
  • Advanced Corporate Finance
  • Empirical Finance
  • Asset Pricing
  • Financial Markets and Institutions
  • Research Project for Finance

For more information please consult the Study Guide.

Anne Opschoor and Xuan Wang

Anne Opschoor and Xuan Wang are both teachers within the Finance programme at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Two of the lecturers teaching in the Master of Finance program sharing their about teaching and what drives them to share their knowledge with our students. 

Duisenberg Honoursprogrammes

For motivated students, we also offer three honours programmes: the Duisenberg Honours Programme in Quantitative Finance, the Duisenberg Honours Programme in Corporate Finance and the Duisenberg Honours Programme in Finance and Technology. These honours programmes offer students a challenging yet rewarding programme that covers six periods in total.

Read more about the Duisenberg Honours Programme in Quantitative Finance

Read more about the Duisenberg Honours Programme in Corporate Finance

Read more about the Duisenberg Honours Programme in Finance and Technology 

The Financial Study association Amsterdam (FSA)

The FSA forms the link between ambitious students and leading companies in the financial sector. Throughout the year, we host 20 career events, designed to help you take the step from university to the labor market. These events help you orientate on your career and get in contact with the right people to apply for an internship or a job. In the Netherlands, our portfolio is unmatched: we collaborate with companies such as Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Heineken, Bain & Company, De Nederlandsche Bank, BCG, and many more.

Some of the areas we are active in: investment banking, private equity, strategy consulting, real estate, data science, and many more. Next to events, we offer career opportunities on our website.

The FSA is led by a fulltime board of 6 students and 20 different committees. Are you looking to gain leadership experience, get in contact with leading companies, orientate on the financial job market, develop yourself on a personal and professional level, and have an awesome year? Then working at the FSA is the right step for you!  

Eager to see what de FSA can do for you? Have a look at!

Change your future with the Finance programme

Change your future with the Finance programme

On completing this Master’s programme, you’ll be able to fulfil a valuable bridge function between the quants (as you’ll understand the numbers) and the business managers (as you’ll be able to interpret the results).

As a graduate of a Master’s in Finance you are perfectly prepared for roles as an asset manager, risk manager, business analyst or consultant.

Explore your future prospects
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