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MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD OF FINANCE
What determines stock prices? What’s the best way to finance a particular company? And how can the financial markets and financial regulations help a society as a whole to prosper?
The Finance Master’s programme explores these questions through real-life business cases, many of which are led by people who work in the financial industry themselves. You’ll look at the macro level of financial economics: how financial markets help maximise economic growth. You’ll also look at the inner workings of financial markets and corporations – and how financial regulation is the bridge between these two sides. With a Master’s in Finance, you can work in any of the large banks or consultancy firms, but also in institutions like the Central Bank or Ministry of Finance. Whichever direction you choose to go, a Master’s degree from the Finance programme, voted the best in the Netherlands by the National Student Survey (NSE), is the right place to start.
As a Master's student in Finance, you need to have a genuine interest in the area of finance, an inquiring mind, the capacity to cope with the rapid pace of work, an aptitude for picking out key points from large volumes of material, the ability to work accurately under pressure, good communication skills and a critical attitude towards your own results and those of others.
In order to gain admission to our Master’s programme, you need to have at least a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited research university including at least three full years of academic study amounting to a minimum of 180 EC or equivalent. We do not require a GRE or GMAT test score. You need to have successfully completed courses and studied literature related to the core of this programme, consisting of (or equivalents of):
- Corporate Finance: Berk & DeMarzo: Corporate Finance, Pearson, or equivalent
- Investments: Bodie, Kane, and Marcus: Investments, or equivalent
- Financial Markets and Institutions: Mishkin, Matthews and Guiliodori: Economics of Money, Banking and Financial Markets, Pearson or equivalent
- Mathematics: Sydsaeter, Hammond and Strom :Essential Mathematics for Economic Analysis, Prentice Hall, or equivalent
- Business Statistics: Berenson, Levine, Szabat: Basic Business Statistics,Pearson, or equivalent
The admission board wants to stress the intensity of the programme: reading scientific articles and writing papers will be a key part, all in a very high pace. Your English language skills, both oral and written, are extremely important in this programme. As you will have to communicate frequently with your fellow students and you will be working with and for international companies.
VU Amsterdam requires all applicants to take an English test. You can already apply online without having the test results. We do advise you to plan a test date as soon as possible. Below you will find the minimum English test scores for the programme:
• Minimum general score 6,5
• Minimum score speaking 6,5
• Minimum score listening 6,5
• Minimum score writing 6,0
• Minimum score reading 6,0
• Paper based test 580
• Internet based test 92
• Cambridge Proficiency Exam A, B, C
• Cambridge Advanced Exam A, B, C
The Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers the TOEFL ITP English-language proficiency test. The test is offered by the VU Taalloket.
Does this course require proof of English proficiency?
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The Finance Master’s programme is broken down into three thematic pillars on which both the core courses and electives focus: asset pricing, corporate finance and institutional finance. But you’ll also pick up valuable financial methodologies, quantitative skills, research skills and preparation for the job market.
To break it down:
- You’ll take four core courses:
- Asset Pricing – Learn what drives stock prices on the financial markets 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 – Led by a professor who also works for the Dutch Central Bank, 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 work with Rabobank to forecast which loans will not be repaid and how to predict bankruptcy.
- You’ll take two electives, each of which relates to one of the three pillars.
- 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.
- You’ll have the opportunity to take an internship.
- Throughout the programme, you’ll focus on ethics in the financial industry, preparation for the labour market, and self-development.
The cost of this program for students of EU/EEA countries is €2,143
Scholarships & funding
With our own scholarship, the VU Fellowship Programme (VUFP), we offer highly motivated students with excellent study results the unique opportunity to pursue a Master’s degree with financial support provided by the university. The VUFP scholarship is a tuition fee waiver. The Holland Scholarship Programme (HSP) is meant for students from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) who want to follow a Master’s programme in the Netherlands. VU Amsterdam embraces diversity as an enrichment to our teaching, research and our contribution to society. This scholarship is specifically intended for excellent students who contribute to the diversity at our campus. As an international student planning to study at VU Amsterdam, you can apply for a variety of grants and bursaries.
MSc in Finance
What skills make you interesting to potential future employers?
Having completed the 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).
What kinds of jobs are available to you?
A Master’s in Finance is the perfect preparation for roles as an asset manager, risk manager, business analyst or consultant.
What have alumni of the programme gone on to do?
Graduates of the programme have gone on to work at one of the large consulting firms (Deloitte, Accenture, McKinsey, etc.), the big banks (ING, ABN AMRO, etc.), the Central Bank or large corporations. IT firms like Booking.com and Google are also interested in graduates from the Finance programme.
How does the programme help prepare students for the job market?
Throughout the programme, you’ll take workshops that will help you find your ideal role, write the perfect CV and covering letter, and ace the interview.
About this institute
Welcome to Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (‘VU Amsterdam’) is an internationally renowned research university founded in 1880. The university offers over 170 English-taught programmes at Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD level to more than 24,000 students from all over the world. Students and staff...
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