Curriculum

Curriculum

The RSM MSc in Finance & Investments programme is one academic year’s duration. Core courses are compulsory and will be offered during the autumn semester (22 EC). Master electives (18 EC) are offered during the spring semester, of which one elective can be chosen from another MSc programme. During the year, students work on a master thesis project (20 EC).

 

Please note that certain electives may be very popular. Although we can place most students in the elective(s) of their choice, there are no guaranteed places.

 

    • This course deals with financial decision-making from the perspective of an investor. We focus on the fundamental principles of risk and return, diversification, asset allocation, and efficient markets. Students will develop their knowledge on financial market structures, equity and fixed income securities, investment strategies, and performance evaluation methods. The course extends your knowledge of Modern Portfolio Theory, the Capital Asset Pricing Model, the Arbitrage Pricing Theory, and stock return predictability by discussing recent insights from academic research. Furthermore, the course covers fixed income markets and the term structure of interest rates. The course emphasizes practical applications and implications of the theory of investments.

       

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by dr. Egemen Genc.

    • This course will provide you with an advanced understanding of corporate finance, in particular: capital budgeting, capital structure choice, pay out policy, risk management, and corporate governance. We will discuss these topics from three perspectives: value maximization for the shareholders, principal-agent problems, and behavioral finance. The course consists of plenary sessions to cover the literature and workshops to discuss cases and academic articles. For students who studied this course in previous academic years and wish/need to retake this course to improve their grades, please contact MSc Programme Management to discuss possible options.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by L. He MSc and M. Bersem.

    • This core course deals with the management of financial risk and return. This theme is discussed from the viewpoint of financial institutions, international investors and corporate firms. Various potential sources of risk are studied, including market risk, credit risk, liquidity risk and operational risk, as well as alternative approaches to measure and control risk. The course teaches you how to apply risk management in an organisation, using the concepts of hedging, insurance, risk budgeting, and risk adjusted performance measurement. Particular attention is paid to the application and valuation of derivative instruments, such as futures and options. During the course, we analyse a number of cases where risk management failed in practice.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by dr. D.G.J. Bongaerts and dr. H. Choi.

    • Stakeholders such as managers, shareholders, bankers and analysts rely on accounting information to understand, compare and forecast financial performance. The course ‘Financial Analysis and Valuation’ provides the knowledge and skills to understand the key concepts of financial accounting as well as to derive, interpret and forecast key metrics that matter for analysing, comparing and estimating financial performance. The course takes the perspective of the user of financial statements (investment analyst, portfolio manager, financial manager) as she interprets financial reports, prepares forecasts and applies valuation techniques to derive equity value.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by prof. E. Peek and S. van Kampen.

    • The financial crisis has raised public discussion about ethical conduct in the corporate world. The pressure for organizations to comply with laws and regulations and implement and live up to ethical standards is ever-increasing due to respective media coverage and enforcement actions. Ethics and compliance are now terms often used in the financial sector. This course will provide knowledge on what business ethics is, why it is important for financial professionals to know about ethics and compliance concepts and how behavior can be influenced towards both ethical and unethical behavior. Active participation in the course will help you preparing for the exam.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by M.A. de Kiewit and prof. P. Roosenboom.

    • Why do financial intermediaries exist and what do they do? We lay the groundwork with theoretical explanations for the existence of financial intermediaries that are based on frictions in financial markets, such as transaction costs and informational asymmetries. We will examine the main activities of financial intermediaries, including lending, securitization, and capital structure management. Based on this overview, we will discuss whether financial intermediaries are “special” compared to other firms, with the aim to explain the rationale for their regulation. Finally, we will discuss how the global financial crisis of 2007-2009 has affected banking regulation and financial intermediation in general.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by prof. Wolf Wagner.

    • After some general principles on modelling, we will start learning about Excel built-in functions. We then move to the calculations required for portfolio analysis: calculating means and variance-covariance matrices, calculating envelopes, optimal portfolios, global minimum variance portfolio, to conclude with the Black-Litterman model. Option valuation is next: we will build binomial and trinomial trees in Excel as well as the standard Black and Scholes formula (for which we will also create a user-defined function). Term structure models are next, and finally we’ll move to random numbers: Monte Carlo methods to value derivatives. Throughout the whole course we will spend time on Excel and on VBA.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by dr. M.A. Rosellon.

    • Financial decisions worldwide are increasingly influenced by the scarcity of resources and climate. The extent of the environmental impact from climate change is still uncertain but the recent scientific evidence is increasingly worrisome and most governments are taking decisive steps in order to avert a catastrophe. The transition towards a low-carbon economy requires a broad array of financial tools and techniques that will have far-reaching implications for financial institutions, corporations and investors. This course will introduce the science of climate change, and carefully examine the financial instruments and techniques that can be applied in the context of evolving climate policies. Specific areas to be covered include the use of capital markets to create market-based emissions trading systems, venture capital to develop low emissions technologies, climate risks assessment for banks and companies, project finance to build clean-tech energy projects, and corporate finance to embed climate change and related regulatory risks in the valuation of securities.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by prof. D. Schoenmaker.

    • The objective of this course is to expose students to both fundamental concepts and cutting edge theories and tools in portfolio management. We will cover optimal portfolio construction techniques and models such (such as Black-Litterman, Treynor-Black) and transaction costs. We will learn about the law of active management with a comparison the active vs. passive portfolio management (i.e. how active (mutual funds) managers perform). The course will also include paper presentations on anomalies, investor sentiment, and factor investing. Case studies will be used to illustrate the various methodologies introduced in this course. Moreover, exercises with real financial data will be the part of the course.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by E. Genc.

    • Over the last decades, companies and investors have been increasingly challenged by risks due to unpredictable movements in stock prices, exchange rates, and interest rates. Financial markets have responded to this increase in volatility by developing a wide range of financial instruments known as derivatives, as well as strategies combining these products with traditional financial securities like stocks and bonds. As a result, derivatives markets have been rapidly increasing in volume and complexity. However, the recent financial crisis has made painfully clear that derivatives can also create new risks when their limitations are poorly understood.

      This course covers the essentials of key derivatives instruments, such as forwards, futures, and options. You will learn how these products work, how they are used, how they are priced, how to measure their risk, and how to exploit any mispricing using arbitrage strategies. Moreover, you will have the opportunity to apply the theoretical knowledge on derivatives to practical cases and assignments.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by dr. M.M.J.E. Cosemans.

    • The primary objective of the course is to provide students with an overview of the major economic and accounting issues associated with mergers and acquisitions. The course consists of 3 modules. The first module of the course will focus on the various rational and (sub-rational) motives/drivers of mergers (or takeovers), the sources of value creation and the determinants of deal characteristics such as method of payment and financing decisions in M&A. The second module will discuss some of the important accounting challenges in M&A and re-visit valuation techniques in the context of M&A. The final module of the course will focus on the acquisition of distressed firms as well as the drivers of various types of restructuring activities.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by dr. A. Rajamani.

    • This course covers the more challenging and complex issues that analysts, investors, and financial advisors encounter when they evaluate company performance and value firms. We have selected three analytical challenges that will be discussed in more detail:

      • Understanding corporate risk management: We will explain the motives for risk management, how risk management is captured in the financial statement and whether risk management makes sense from an investor’s perspective. We will use case studies including Alcatel-Lucent, EADS and Lufthansa.
      • Challenges in valuation: We will discuss various complexities in enterprise valuation, such as how to analyse, value, and account for non-equity claims and deal with valuation of conglomerates, private firms and spin-offs.
      • Financial analysis and valuation of banks: Our aim is to explain the accounting and valuation for banks. We will discuss the valuation and accounting for banks by using the examples of global banks JP Morgan, HSBC and Goldman Sachs.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by dr. S.G. Zori.

    • We will start by consolidating and deepening the DCF approach, and will then present alternative approaches: comparable companies, alternative income/cash flow approaches. These valuation techniques will then be extended to particular types of companies that require variations of and adjustments to the standard techniques due to their particular characteristics, such as young companies, banks and financial institutions and companies in distress. We then move to managing for value. First, we will wonder why companies should be managed for value and what managing for value means. We will look at strategies that create value, and will look at real companies and analyse their strategies from this perspective. Finally, we will pay some attention to how one can present ideas resulting from this analysis using a variety of charts. Students will apply all these techniques to a company of their choice.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by dr. M.A. Rosellon.

    • In the radically changing economic environment, treasury is both central and critical to many of the key tasks facing a Chief Financial Officer (CFO). These include ensuring availability of credit, managing working capital efficiently, defining the dividend policy, managing financial risks, and restructuring banking relations.

      Within this course, students are put in the position of a treasurer/CFO who has to make decisions about how to fund and hedge daily business activities. As such, we focus on some of the key elements of corporate finance applied to the operations and decision-making within a treasury department. The course also provides knowledge of capital markets, money markets, financial instruments and risk management, which has become essential for managing the treasury department of companies.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by Stefan van Kampen.

    • How do investors know that they will get an appropriate return on their investments? This course covers this and other questions that form the basis of corporate governance, both from a theoretical and an applied perspective. The course will cover topics like the role and functioning of the board of directors, executive compensation, ownership structure and others.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by dr. F. Urzua Infante.

    • In this course the focus is on financial topics related to real estate (corporate real estate, commercial real estate and residential) investment and financing. The course provides a theoretical framework to study these topics; ample empirical facts and actual practices of agents in real estate and finance markets will show business relevancy.

      This course prepares students to understand the risks and rewards associated with investing in and financing. There are two main topics:

      • Real Estate Investment estate from both the investor’s and user’s perspective
      • RealEstate project development and the financing of these developments

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by dr. P. Neuteboom.

    • This course introduces students to behavioral finance, which lies at the intersection of psychology and financial economics. In this course, we will survey how investors and managers make financial decisions, and discuss whether and how their behavior may deviate from the behavior predicted by the standard economic theory. We will focus on the nature of those deviations, their potential reasons using insights from psychology, and further examine their implications for asset prices, investor behavior, and corporate decision making.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by dr. L. He.

    • This is a graduate level course on the quantitative and statistical tools that are important in applied finance. It studies financial markets and market risk from a quantitative point of view, focusing on understanding the relationship between risk and return. The course brings together three essential fields: finance, statistics and computer programming. Students will be exposed to application of these tools and the key properties of financial data through a set of computer-based exercises. Implementing the tools in MATLAB is an essential part of the course.

      Review the course guide for more details. 

      Taught by dr. H. Choi.

    • After some general principles on modelling, we will start learning about Excel built-in functions. We then move to the calculations required for portfolio analysis: calculating means and variance-covariance matrices, calculating envelopes, optimal portfolios, global minimum variance portfolio, to conclude with the Black-Litterman model. Option valuation is next: we will build binomial and trinomial trees in Excel as well as the standard Black and Scholes formula (for which we will also create a user-defined function). Term structure models are next, and finally we’ll move to random numbers: Monte Carlo methods to value derivatives. Throughout the whole course we will spend time on Excel and on VBA.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by dr. M.A. Rosellon.

    • Avoiding financial distress is a major concern of every corporation. During the last decade, financial distress risks have become increasingly important with an unprecedented number of large corporations filing for bankruptcy. This course enables you to understand the causes and resolution strategies for corporate defaults. Moreover, we will discuss methods for predicting financial distress for firms and the implications of financial distress for firm valuation and investors.

      During the course, we will discuss real bankruptcy cases and you will become familiar with tools and online-resources that enable you to apply your knowledge to your personal investment decisions. Journal articles complement the applied course content by providing an academic perspective and recent research findings.

      Review the course guide for more details. 

      Taught by dr. C.H.O. Schmitt.

    • Financial innovation was usually seen as desirable, but the recent financial crisis cast doubts on its value for the society. This course provides a framework to understand why financial innovations arise, focusing on their benefits, but also on their costs from a social point of view. The aim is to enable and stimulate students to think about opportunities for new financial products and services, as well as to critically evaluate their potential social costs.

      The course will begin outlining the social value of financial innovation, focusing on its interaction with financial development, economic growth, and financial crises. After a description of the factors affecting the rate of financial innovation, based on theoretical arguments and examples from history, the course will provide an overview of the most recent financial innovations. This will include examples of financial products (e.g. Exchange Traded Funds), payment services and instruments (e.g. E-Money), forms of consumers and firms financing (e.g. crowdfunding), and asset management services. Finally, the course will show how traditional financial intermediaries are facing the challenge of these recent financial innovations.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by dr. T. Lambert.

    • This course explores the market for fixed income securities, which has become one of the most important financial markets in the world. The last decades have seen a multiplication of fixed income securities ranging from different types of bonds to various types of derivatives and structured products. Fixed income instruments play a major role in the decisions of investment companies as well as those of banks and corporations.

      This course aims at giving an overview of the most important fixed income securities and develops basic tools for their valuation. It also introduces to interest rate risk management. As a second objective, this course gives an overview about how fixed income markets are embedded in the economy by analyzing empirical academic evidence on the term structure of interest rates, on banking and securitization, on the market for corporate debt as well as on the recent financial crisis.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by dr. S.R. Draus

    • The objective of this course is to provide students with a state-of-the-art understanding of the valuation of small and mid-cap public and private firms, and the economics of contracts as it applies to entrepreneurship and new venture finance. Entrepreneurship concerns the undertaking of new business ventures. We will analyse the unique financial issues relating to entrepreneurial firms and to develop a set of skills that has wide applications for such situations. Specific topics will include: start-up ventures; financial management of rapidly growing firms; deal structuring; valuation; initial public offerings; the decision to harvest; and leverage/management buyouts. We will discuss the various sources of capital for entrepreneurial firms. These sources include venture capital, commercial banks and crowd funding. The decisions of firms at various phases of their life cycle will be examined and the advantages and disadvantages of various sources of financing will be compared. Analytical tools will be introduced and utilized. Financial analysis, various valuation methods, negotiations, and deal structuring are examined in the context of entrepreneurial firms. This course is aimed at students who plan to start, acquire, finance or work for entrepreneurial, fast-growing businesses. It will also be useful for students who plan to join venture capital/private equity firms and investment banks. The course aims at instructing the student in how “real world” professional investors and corporate managers operate to create wealth from entrepreneurial activity.

       Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by prof. dr. P.G.J. Roosenboom

    • Throughout this course, attending students will develop a solid understanding of how the securities industry is organized around the world. Moreover, they will develop insights on how the organizational form of a market affects the behavior of market participants and thus liquidity provision and price formation on that market. On a more general level, they will analyze how market structure and regulation affect asset pricing, and hence the cost of capital for firms around the world.

      This course is particularly suited for students who are considering a career in investment management, securities trading, market supervision, or the brokerage industry; or for students targeting a career as a financial advisor. The course will also be useful for students interested in finance more generally.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by dr. S.R. Draus

    • The goal of the course is to introduce a set of analytical tools for understanding and examining “big data” involving financial information. The emphasis of the course will be on the implication in asset management and corporate finance by using different techniques with real-time data examples. The course will cover topics like: 1) event studies, 2) network (graph) analytics, 3) text mining, 4) machine learning. We will also discuss some example applications such as data-driven credit scoring models, and examine the analytical frameworks behind some Fintech innovations, such as Kensho’s financial answer machine. We will work in R to discuss these topics. Students need to complete empirical assignments to enhance the knowledge and skills learned in the course.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by M. Luo MSc.

    • RSM supports every student through the process of researching and writing their MSc master thesis. The Research Skills core course is the first stage of your preparation. You will learn the skills needed to work with data, conduct an empirical analysis, and write an academic paper, all of which are essential for the successful completion of your master thesis.

      It’s an intensive skills training schedule. You will attend plenary lectures, work on empirical assignments, and present the results of these assignments. You can choose between Corporate Finance or Asset Pricing; each track offers two assignments on important topics in that field; each uses the same methods and skills such as working with datasets, empirical methods, and problems with these methods.

    • The master thesis trajectory comprises four compulsory stages that are followed sequentially by the students:

      Stage 1: Orientation and topic selection

      Stage 2: Research Skills course

      Stage 3: Master thesis proposal

      Stage 4: Master thesis.

      After the successful completion of the Master thesis proposal, Master thesis, and defence students obtain 16 EC. The Research Skills course yields 4 EC and is part of the core courses.