Data science: a shock to the financial system, or its biggest opportunity? The availability of big data, in combination with rapidly increasing computing power, is uncovering mechanisms not visible before. Blockchain has the ability to fundamentally change the way we register and administer information. Networks provide the opportunity to build robust and stable interactions. Major challenges lie ahead in understanding what these fascinating new technologies imply for our financial infrastructure.

These developments call for a new type of finance graduate. The Duisenberg Honours Programme in Finance and Technology trains you to master traditional finance techniques in combination with developments in data science. Having graduated from the programme, you’ll have the ability to understand the data techniques, how they can be applied in the financial sector, and how they can transform businesses. While you won’t be a data science specialist, you’ll form a bridge between the programmer and the manager. You’ll understand the technicians, apply the techniques in the financial sector, and sell them to the outside world.

What does the programme involve?

The Duisenberg Honours Programme in Finance and Technology has a study load of 84 credits, which means it’s a challenging curriculum that covers six periods in total.

To break it down:

  • In the first period, you’ll study the structure of the financial sector and financial markets. You’ll also follow the first data science course on Python – the most widely used programming language for big data, machine learning and artificial intelligence.
  • In the second period, you’ll study financial econometrics as well as the main new data science techniques, such as machine learning, artificial intelligence and blockchain.
  • In the third period, you’ll conduct a research project – applying your Python and machine learning skills, ideally through an internship or company assignment.
  • In the fourth period, you’ll apply your data science knowledge to financial markets and payment systems. You’ll also debate financial sector regulations with your peers.
  • In the fifth period, you’ll use insights from data science to look at financial risk management.
  • During the last two periods, you’ll also write your Master’s thesis. Again, ideally, you’ll be applying your knowledge at a large financial institution or start-up in practice.
  • Like all finance and financial management students, you’ll work on your portfolio throughout the year – giving you great preparation for the job market.

Why Finance and Technology at VU Amsterdam?

  • This programme offers a unique combination of finance, data science and implementation in practice.
  • The excellent reputation of the programme (Top Rated in the National Student Survey!) in combination with your unique and sought-after skillset means that potential employers will be lining up to hire you.
  • VU Amsterdam’s proximity to the heart of the Netherlands’ financial centre, the Zuidas, means it has excellent links with the financial services industry.
  • The size of the programme (approx. 50 students) means there’s close cooperation between students and teachers, most of whom also work in business themselves.
  • 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 an academic professional.

Are you a good fit for Finance and Technology at VU Amsterdam?

  • You have a background in economics or business, with a special interest in modern technology, as well as some programming skills.
  • Or you have a technical background, such as a Bachelor’s in business analytics, (applied) mathematics or physics, with some training in finance and economics.
  • You achieved above-average grades in your Bachelor’s degree, as this is a highly challenging honours programme.
  • You’re curious, inquisitive and have a strong work ethos.

What's next after Finance and Technology?

What skills make you interesting to potential future employers?
Having completed the programme, you’ll have a unique set of skills combining data science techniques with financial knowledge.

What kinds of jobs are available to you?
All firms in the financial industry are effectively looking for people who know how to handle data, and how to implement the new opportunities that such data offers in their business model. You will be able to fulfil a valuable bridge function between the pure quants (as you’ll understand the numbers) and the business managers (as you’ll be able to interpret the results).

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 programme.

How does the programme help prepare students for the job market?
Master Finance is unique in that it requires you to work on a portfolio throughout the year, which will prepare you for the job market. It includes workshops from our Career Service department (CV building, letter writing, interview techniques, etc.), ethics, and self-reflection exercises.

Admission with a Dutch degree

SBE Degree Holders

The Duisenberg Honours Programme in Finance and Technology is aiming at highly ambitious students with a background in economics or business, who have a special interest in modern technology. Alternatively, students from a more technical bachelor programme, such as business analytics, (applied) mathematics, or physics, with some training in finance and economics might qualify. It is an 84 credit honours programme, which makes it quite challenging. It is less technically oriented than the Duisenberg Honours Programme in Quantitative Risk Management but is broader as it focuses on the bridge function between data science and finance.

Admission requirements

With a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics or Econometrics and Operations Research from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam you are admissible to this programme, provided you have sufficient interest in and affiliation with finance and you successfully finished the 3d year course “Investments” or any other investments course on the level of the book Bodie, Kane, Marcus (1996), Investments.

With a Bachelor's degree in (International) Business Administration, Economics and Business Economics, you are admissible to this programme, provided you have a grade-point average of at least 7.0 and have demonstrated your programming skills and/or you have successfully finished the following courses:

  • Financial Markets and Institutions (E_EBE3_FMI)
  • Investments (E_EBE3_INVES)
  • QRM III ‐ Economics and Finance (E_EBE3_QRMEF)
  • Programming for Economists (X_400644) (highly recommended)

This MSc is an honours programme, which means we select the students for this programme on the basis of:

  • Motivation letter.
  • Grade average achieved in the Bachelor programme.

Other Academic Degree Holders

Admission requirements

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 are admissible to this programme, provided you have a grade-point average of at least 7.0 and have successfully finished the following courses:

  • 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
  • Programming - At least 6ec training and experience in a programming language (e.g., MatLab, Python, R, C++)

This MSc is an honours programme, which means we select the students for this program on the basis of:

  • Motivation letter
  • Grade average achieved in the Bachelor program

Approval is in most cases given to students who hold a Bachelor degree in:

  • Econometrics
  • Economics with sufficient quantitative elements
  • Engineering with sufficient finance elements
  • Physics with sufficient finance elements
  • Computer Science with sufficient finance elements
  • (Applied) Mathematics with sufficient finance elements

Admission with an International Degree

Admission Requirements


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 are admissible to this programme, provided you have a grade-point average of at least 7.0 and have successfully finished the following courses:

  • 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
  • Programming - At least 6ec training and experience in a programming language (e.g., MatLab, Python, R, C++)

English language proficiency

The admission board wants to stress the intensity of the programme: reading scientific articles and writing papers will be a key part, all at 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:

IELTS (academic):

  • 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

TOEFL:

  • Paper-based test 580
  • Internet-based test 92-93

Cambridge English:

  • Cambridge Proficiency Exam A, B, C
  • Cambridge Advanced Exam A, B, C
Program taught in:
English

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Last updated March 13, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Sep 1, 2019
Duration
1 year
Full-time
Price
2,083 EUR
- EU/EEA student; 14,600 EUR - Non-EU/Non-EEA student
Deadline
Apr 1, 2019
For international degree holders from non-EU/EEA countries; 1 June for Dutch degree holders and international degree holders from EU/EEA countries
By locations
By date
Start Date
Sep 1, 2019
End Date
Application deadline
Apr 1, 2019
For international degree holders from non-EU/EEA countries; 1 June for Dutch degree holders and international degree holders from EU/EEA countries

Sep 1, 2019

Location
Application deadline
Apr 1, 2019
For international degree holders from non-EU/EEA countries; 1 June for Dutch degree holders and international degree holders from EU/EEA countries
End Date