NEW per September 2015
: Duisenberg honours programmes


Testimonial MSc Finance - Marco KistnerThis one year master is for anybody who likes a challenge. Taught by teaching staff with great academic and professional experience, you will gain an in depth knowledge of finance through theoretical and practical tasks, and develop skills highly relevant to a career in this field. This master allows you to specialize in a particular field of Finance and the ability to tailor the course towards your interests and career goals. Aside from this, the programme offers various other services - for example career events, workshops and external speakers which aim to prepare you for the best possible career in finance.

Marco Kistner, MSc student in Finance

Making the difference in the world of finance

Financial decision making touches upon all aspects of the modern economy: finding appropriate financing instruments for new companies or new business opportunities; thinking about stimulating economic growth through financial innovation and a safe regulation of the financial system; building sound investment strategies and improve risk sharing in insurance and old-age provision. Both the corporate world and financial industry are constantly on the lookout for clever, bright minds that have an academic critical attitude and can face up to the complex challenges of today’s financial world.

Core facts of the MSc Finance

  • 60 EC, 12 months, classified the Netherlands' top programme in Finance by the Guide for Higher Education 2015 ('Keuzegids Hoger Onderwijs');
  • Programme: 6 challenging courses, 2 research projects; 
  • Flexibility: 30% coursework is elective, featuring either a more corporate or more investments flavoured profile;
  • Academic and hands-on: academic and industry professors, career services, two active student study associations.

Top Financial Programme in the Heart of Amsterdam's Financial District
The MSc Finance programme at VU University ranked first among the finance programmes in the Netherlands (Guide for Higher Education 2015) and is competitive to any Finance major in the world. It has a reputation of training students in analytical and quantitative skills that are directly applicable in their business career.

  • The programme is taught by professors who publish at the academic frontier in international top, as well as professors with extensive industry experience. 
  • Our academic teaching goes hand in hand with the application of theory to complex real-life settings.
  • The programme is flexible and enables you to shape your curriculum towards your preferred job market profile.
  • VU University Amsterdam is clear and well-organized.
  • Caters to a culturally and academically diverse community of faculty and students.
  • In the typical Dutch fashion, we cherish the direct style of communication and a low barrier between professors and students.

These are just a couple of the reasons why you should study the MSc Finance programme at the VU University, but find more of them here.

Pre-programme: Excel for Finance
Before the programme starts, we offer an online crash course in Excel. One part of the course is at a basic level, another part is focussed on VBA, which is new for most students. For further information, see We expect all students to have completed this material before arrival, such that they possess the necessary skills to efficiently complete the case work during the courses.

Further specialised statistical software is used in some other specific courses and electives of the master, and is introduced separately.

Programme in a nutshell

semester 1First semester
Your journey starts by deepening your knowledge in the field of Asset Pricing and Corporate Finance. You learn how to apply optimal asset allocations for investors and you gain quantitative skills to apply corporate finance concepts in real life. These first two courses are followed by Empirical Finance, which covers the empirical research methods you will need directly afterwards in your research project and academic thesis. You also take an elective in your desired field of specialization, e.g., Derivatives or Corporate Valuation. The semester ends with the Research Project in January. This is an applied project where you work in teams of three students on a topic provided by our faculty members. Some research projects are also offered in collaboration with partner firms from the financial industry.

semester 2Second semester
In February-March you take the core course on Financial Markets and Institutions and a second elective (for instance, Behavioural Finance, Institutional Investments and ALM, or Bank Management). Finally, in April you start working on your MSc thesis, which is aimed for completion end of June. The thesis can be combined with an internship (extended deadline) and is supervised by one of our faculty experts.

Your degree
Upon successful completion of the programme, students receive a VU University Master of Finance diploma. This is an official Master of Science (MSc) Degree. The programme has been accredited by the NVAO (Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders) and complies with the highest academic standards.

Further information
Did we already trigger you? Please look what more the MSc Finance at VU University Amsterdam can offer you.

  • Language of instruction:English
  • Duration:1 year
  • Tuition fee:Tuition fees (Dutch)
    Tuition fees (international students)
  • Application deadline:1 June via (students with direct admission) / International degree students: 1 April (different deadlines may hold for other category students)
  • Start date:1 September
  • Study type:Full-time
  • Field of Interest:Economics, Business and Law
  • Specializations:Various areas of finance including, but not limited to, corporate financial management and asset management. You could also opt to take the Honours programme in Quantitative Finance.
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