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VU Amsterdam is the purveyor of top Dutch financial professionals

Executive Master of Finance & Control Programme

During this study you will gain the knowledge, insight, and skills you need as a senior finance professional in this day and age. To be both the corporate conscience of the organisation and a good business partner for management.

The following themes are central:

  1. Sustainable value creation
  2. Digitisation and robotisation
  3. Increasing volumes, velocity and variety of data
  4. Fact-based and evidence-based planning and decision-making
  5. Finance as a reliable operational and strategic business partner of management

Click here to see a visual overview of the curriculum.

Want to know more about the study content? Scroll down.

Lecturer team

  • The lecturer team consists of academics who have a great deal of experience with major corporations and who also closely follow the developments in the field. The study content is geared to current developments.
  • The lecturers have a common view on organisations, the part the controller plays in them, and the didactic approach that is necessary to arm the controller against changing circumstances.
  • They take the students out of their comfort zone and teach them how to deal with feelings of unease and uncertainty.

Prof. dr. Bert Steens RC MCM

Prof. dr. Bert Steens RC MCM

Prof. Dr. Bert Steens studied Econometrics at Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) and Controllership at VU Amsterdam. He is programme director of the EMFC programme and full university professor of Management Accounting & Control. His experience stems from his roles as an advisor at EY (1989 – 1999), partner of EY (1999 – 2001 and 2005 – 2018) and vice-president of Cap Gemini Ernst & Young (2001 – 2005). He obtained his PhD at VU Amsterdam for research into the influence of transfer pricing on economic value creation. He lectures within the EMFC programme and other executive programmes and advices organisations. He lectures Investment Appraisal & Business Valuation, Data Analytics & Business Intelligence and the application within Management Accounting. Research areas include transfer pricing, cost accounting, valuation, controllership, and performance management.

View the profile of Bert Steens
Prof. dr. Bert Steens RC

More information about the contents

  • Theme 1: Sustainable value creation

    Companies are required to create value for all relevant stakeholders in order to keep their ‘license to operate’. This requires creating economic value while realising the required ESG performance goals. This theme and the relevant approaches are embedded in the courses Management Accounting, (Advanced) Management Control, Strategy, Investment Appraisal & Business Valuation and Financial & Sustainability Reporting.

  • Theme 2: Digitisation and robotisation

    Robotisation and other digitisation technologies affect the finance function and its processes significantly. Opportunities (speed, accuracy, performance, etc.) and threats (lacking basis for providing in-control statements, etc.) must be dealt with. This requires the development and continuous improvement of end-to-end processes taking into account all relevant perspectives. For that reason the course Information, Technology & Control (I,T&C) integrates the following disciplines Accounting Information Systems (AIS), Information Management (IM) and Internal Control (IC).

  • Theme 3: Increasing volume, velocity and variety of data

    The growing volume, velocity and variety of data available internally and externally provides a strategic opportunity for companies to gain a competitive advantage when the ‘small data’ and ‘big data’ are used to gain better insights in performance drivers, optimises business processes and creates new value while creating business models.

    That is why business controllers need to possess data analytics and business intelligence competencies. During the VU EMFC-programme you will be trained to apply analytics in the field of Management Control and Management Accounting to issues that are rich in data and derived from daily practice, and therefore also complex in nature. In the process, you will learn to draw up explanatory and predictive revenue, cost and profit models, estimate customer churn and lifetime value, and compile evidence-based value trees.

  • Theme 4: Fact-based and evidence-based planning and decision-making

    As more data becomes available, planning and decision-making can and will become increasingly fact-based and evidence-based. Key to evaluating facts and evidence is bringing together up-to-date knowledge, internal business intelligence and professional experience. The VU EMFC-programme is designed in such way that the students learn to assess, design and improve processes (strategy realisation, management control and reporting) and the organisation of the finance function based on facts and evidence. The programme requires of students to write papers based on practical issues from their own organisations. Papers are linked to courses that are part of the clusters Reporting & Control and Strategy & Control.

  • Theme 5: Finance as a reliable operational and strategic business partner of management, showing personal leadership

    In addition to the four aforementioned themes, the finance executive’s arsenal should comprise the core competencies required for the ‘back bone of the finance function’. Without this basis, a finance executive will not be acknowledged as a trusted advisor to the management of a company.

    That is why, EMFC-programme of VU Amsterdam pays ample attention to the following competencies:

    • help prepare and interpret external reporting (including ESG-reporting, Integrated Reporting, reporting in accordance with the CSRD) and manage related risks,
    • develop and set up (management) control processes and systems,
    • drafting a good business case,
    • develop risk management processes and systems,
    • participate in discussions about the governance and supervision of organisations,
    • develop a financing and treasury plan,
    • assess the performance of, for example, companies, product-market combinations, customers, and projects,
    • determine and manage the economic value of companies,
    • organise the finance function.

    Creating impact as a business partner also requires personal leadership. For improving your personal leadership qualities, the programme offers many concepts, tools, and opportunities to practice, reflect and improve (e.g., in clinics that simulate real life settings).   

  • Business Project

    • You graduate by completing a Business Project. The Business Project typically consists of the scientifically based solution of a current practical problem of the finance & control function in your own (or another) organisation.
    • This project results in the graduation thesis that meets the scientific requirements of an MSc graduation thesis and is also practically relevant.
    • The curriculum and the intensive supervision by the professors and lecturers (who also have extensive practical experience) are aimed at this.
    • You defend your thesis during a workshop with fellow students. The value of the Business Projects is confirmed by the many positive reactions from organisations for which the students have carried out their business projects.
  • Time Investment

    A regular Friday has 6 hours of lectures. Each hour of lectures requires 1.5 to 2 hours of preparation. Preparation therefore requires about 9 to 12 hours and is mainly intended for students to discuss the subject matter and reflect on its impact on work. You work in teams of 2, 3 or 4 students.

  • Top-level lecturers

    Prof.dr. Frans Roozen (Full university professor Management Accounting, VU)

    Louis Spoor RA
     (University lecturer, VU)

    Dr. Marilieke Engbers (Researcher, speaker, consultant, university lecturer, VU)

    Drs. Coen Arnold RA (KPMG Accountants, university lecturer, VU)

    Dr. Anita van den Berg FRM (Manager Business Intelligence & Analytics, ASML)

    Prof.drs. Egbert Eeftink RA (Counsel at the Enterprise Division of the Amsterdam Court of Appeal, EMA Leader and Audit Quality Monitoring Partner, KPMG Europe, Middle East & Africa)

    Mr.dr. Annelies Brink-van der Meer (Associate professor, VU, soon to be deputy judge at the Auditor's Office) Herbert Rijken (Full university professor Corporate Finance, VU)

    Dr. Evelyn Braumann (University lecturer, VU, trainer Risk Management, Controller Institut, Vienna, Austria)

    Dr. Eelke Wiersma (University lecturer, VU)

    Luc Keuleneer Lic MBA (University Professor / Voorzitter Raad van Bestuur WEALTHEON NV / Board Advisor KPMG)

    Drs. Sebastiaan Kuijper (Partner Operating Model Effectiveness, EY Netherlands)

    Dr. Brigitte de Graaff LLM CMA (Program director CMA, VU / Chair Sustainable Business Management Global Task Force, IMA / Global Board Director, IMA / Vice-President, IMA Amsterdam Chapter)

Would you like to know more?

Please feel free to contact Patty Faase or Ewald Liebegut.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
School of Business and Economics Executive Education
De Boelelaan 1105

Volg ons


  • Patty Faase
  • Education coordinator
Patty Faase
  • Ewald Liebegut
  • Education coordinator
Ewald Liebegut