Curriculum

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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.

 

    • Corporate Finance deals with two broad and interrelated themes: how to value businesses and corporate investment opportunities; and how to finance corporate investment and activities. 

      The main topic of the course is on financing and financial policy covering the trade-of theory of capital structure, tax benefits, signalling models, as well as key features of the issuance process for certain kinds of debt and equity. Other topics include working capital management, corporate governance, and risk management.

      Review the course guide​​​​​​​ for more details.

      Taught by prof. Daniel Metzger.

    • The goal of this course is to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary for analyzing publicly available accounting information, coming up economically meaningful forecasts of future performance and translating the same into valuation of publicly-listed firms. The theory underlying the estimation of the main inputs for valuation models will be discussed – namely –the value relevant cash flows, future growth and it is limits thereof and the cost of capital. This will be followed by a discussion of standard valuation techniques (such as the WACC approach or the adjusted-present value) as well as the real options-based valuation technique. Excel will be used to apply this theory to estimate the valuation inputs and to incorporate them into a real-world valuation exercise.

      Review the course guide​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ for more details.

      Taught by dr. A. Rajamani.

    • 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, behavioral finance, anomalies, and the limits to arbitrage. The course furthers students’ understanding of Modern Portfolio Theory, the Capital Asset Pricing Model, the Arbitrage Pricing Theory, market efficiency, 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. Although the main goal of the course is to cover the academic foundations for the broad field of investments (and lay the groundwork for more applied courses in the remainder of the MScFI), the course will also discuss practical applications as well as the implications of the theories covered.

      Review the course guide​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ for more details.

      Taught by prof. Mathijs van Dijk.

    • This course introduces a set of analytical tools to solve practical problems in finance. The objective is to bridge the gap between theory and practice by implementing financial models in computer programs, taking them to real-world data, and using the outcomes to support financial decision making. The course helps students to gain the financial, statistical, and programming knowledge necessary to succeed in the financial industry of the future. Example topics include: return prediction, risk measurement, portfolio optimization, performance evaluation, and option and bond pricing.

      Review the course guide​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ for more details.

      Taught by dr. M.M.J.E. Cosemans

  • This introduction course starts with analysing and discussing the contribution of finance to society. The link with the RSM mission ‘a force for positive change’ is highlighted. How can finance be a force for positive change?

    The course provides an introduction to current topics in the financial system. The “New Finance” day deals with newly emerging topics. This year the focus is on FinTech and Sustainable Investing. The “Corporate Finance” day focuses on financing corporates and entrepreneurs. All topics are approached from an academic and practical angle. Finance faculty link the topics to the core courses in block 1 and 2. Guest speakers introduce the topics from a practical perspective. The overall aim of the introduction course is to introduce the academic concepts in finance and to show the practical relevance of finance.

    Students apply the acquired insights in group assignments. 
     

  • The financial crisis of 2008 raised public discussion about a possible lack of moral conduct in the corporate world. Ethics and compliance became terms often used in the financial sector. The pressure for financial organizations to comply with laws and regulations and implement compliance measures to live up to ethical standards is ever-increasing. Compliance measures and ‘ethics & compliance’ departments are now commonplace within the financial sector. This course will provide students with background knowledge on what business ethics means in practice for financial organizations. It will help students to better understand crucial ethics and compliance concepts and how their own ethical behavior is sometimes influenced by external factors. It is important for the future finance professional to be aware of this as working in the financial sector will mean that they will get in contact with these concepts.

    For this course it is needed that students actively participate during the lectures and make the two assignments between the lectures. This will help them preparing for the exam.

    Workshop 1: Ethics and misconduct in the Financial Sector: Welcome to the Dark Side?
    We discuss what is meant with the terms “ethics” and “compliance” in the context of a business organization. In the lecture we take a behavioral (as opposed to a philosophical) approach in order to understand what factors influence human behavior concerning ethics & compliance. What influences people towards morally good or bad decisions? We discuss different examples of misconduct from the financial sector.

    Workshop 2: Pressure and Dilemmas
    We will further discuss several examples of ethical issues and compliance violations from the financial sector in an interactive way. We have studied academic articles on behavioural concepts, and we will use these to apply and deepen our knowledge gained in the first lecture.

    Workshop 3: Compliance Management: Rules to protect us from the Dark Side?
    We will discuss several examples on how to manage ethical behavior. We will discuss the following questions:
    1.    How can we make employees comply with laws, regulations and guidelines?
    2.    What are the pitfalls of all these rules and controls?
    3.    How does an organization make the best use of compliance instruments like a Code of Conduct and a whistleblowing procedure?

    Review the course guide for more details.

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

  • When you care about what you do, you will enjoy your work more, create greater impact, and be more successful in being a force for positive change. But it can be difficult to identify what your passion is, where your competencies and skills will be useful, and which professional environment and culture are the best match for you. RSM Career Centre has therefore developed a course aiming to put you in the driver seat of your own career and to support you in identifying and preparing for your first career step after graduation. 
     
    Through several online modules, the “Your Future Career “ course will help you make crucial steps towards landing the best suitable internship or job. Your career development begins with personal reflection on interests and motivations, before moving on to developing knowledge of the job market, functions, companies and industries. Once you have targeted your role and sector, you will intensively work on preparing your internship or job applications.

    Review the course guide for more information.

    • This course covers the more challenging and complex issues that analysts, investors, and financial advisors encounter when they evaluate company performance and firm equity value. It adopts a very pragmatic approach towards valuation. Students will be taught how valuation works in practices while drawing from theory. We have selected three analytical challenges that will be discussed in more detail:
      »    Advanced Financial Analysis & Valuation Tools: Introducing Equity versus Enterprise value methods; identifying Enterprise Value Multiples; accounting issues in enterprise value; forecasting earnings for enterprise value; sum-of-the –parts valuation; Economic Value Added (EVA), real options in enterprise value; dealing with contingent claims character of equity and debt and valuation of private firms and start-ups.
      »    Understanding Risk in Analysis and Valuation: Sources of risk; motives for risk management; Miller & Modigliani and risk management; hedging with financial instruments; accounting for derivative instruments; reflecting risk management in financial statements; dealing with risk management in equity valuation and particularly understanding how firms manage risk in their supply chain. Cost of Capital complications, Capital Structure impact of risk management and how that affects equity value.
      »    Applied Analysis & Valuation for Banks: Banking Business Models; regulatory background; financial statements for banks; controversial issues in reporting for banks; analyzing bank performance; drivers of value creations; decomposing return on equity for banks; applying valuation methodologies such as Dividend Discount Models, Equity Multiples for banks.

      Review the course guide​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ for more details.

      Taught by dr. S.G. Zori.

    • 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.

    • This course is intended to enhance the M&A preparedness of students in their future roles as employees, M&A advisors, or stakeholders by providing an overview of topics relating to M&A, especially, the major accounting and valuation related aspects. 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 structuring, payment and financing choices. The second module will cover some of the important accounting challenges and discuss various valuation related aspects in the context of M&A. In the final module, we will discuss risk management in the context of M&A and the challenges associated with post-merger integration. The course will combine academic content with practical insights that are provided by invited guest speakers.

      Review the course guide​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ for more details.

      Taught by dr. A. Rajamani.

    • From very humble beginnings in the 1980s, Private Equity has become a very large Asset Class. 2018 was another record year in terms of funds raised and invested into assets backed by Private Equity. As of the end of 2018, $2.5 trillion of funds globally are looking to be invested by PE funds.
      This course aims to give students a solid introduction to the world of Private Equity (including Venture Capital and Buyouts). It focuses on the following (along with practical insight from prior transactions) main areas of knowledge that underpin the PE environment:
      »        “Organizational” topics related to PE funds & investing;
      »        Cash flow analysis & modeling (we will be using a PE/LBO model for that);
      »        Review of corporate valuation methods;
      »        PE investment process (a complete cycle from a purchase idea to a completion of acquisition; and from putting the asset up for sale through to a complete exit) - we will follow a “live” (recently completed) transaction;
      »        PE transaction structuring;
      »        Negotiation of a Term Sheet/Letter of Intent and Share Purchase Agreement (SPA);
      »        Finalization of the transaction price (Locked Box and Completion Accounts mechanisms);
      »        Practical key lessons from prior transactions, i.e. practical experience;
      With the exception of item 1 (above), where some theory and “informational” delivery (deliberately kept to a modest minimum) is scheduled, this course focuses on practical aspects and transaction based learning.

      Review the course guide​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ for more details.

      Taught by A. Grezsczak MBA.

    • It is the main task of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to ensure that the firm has a sufficient amount of access to finance and to ensure financial stability over time. In order to reach this, the CFO is assisted by the Treasury Department. During this course, students are getting familiar with the different activities of the Treasury Department. These activities include cash management, working capital management, debt management, equity management, investment management and risk management. Cash management includes everything that  the treasurer does in order to ensure a stable cash position both now and in the future. Working capital management discusses the matching of the current assets and current liabilities to ensure a sufficient of liquidity. Debt and equity management discusses the several choices firms have to make when issuing debt or equity respectively. Investment management talks about the possibilities and choices that firms have when they want to invest today’s excess cash to ensure future income. Risk management discusses the several types of risk that firms are exposed to in their daily activities, such as exchange rate risks and interest risk.

      Review the course guide​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ for more details.

      Taught by dr. Stefan van Kampen.

    • Understanding business value is a key competitive advantage in M&A, private equity as well as fundamental for any investment decision. In this course we discuss various advanced approaches to measure and analyse business value and value creation from both an academic and practitioners perspective. We will expand on the students basic knowledge on business valuation and value creation analysis and take this to the next level. This course is highly relevant for students that pursue a career in M&A, private equity and valuation advisory. 

      Review the course guide​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ for more details.

      Taught by Hans Haanappel. 

    • FinTech covers technology-enabled business model innovation in the financial services industry. FinTech is rapidly evolving across the globe and represents an existential challenge for major parts of the financial sector. These innovative technologies can disrupt existing industry structures and blur industry boundaries, facilitate disintermediation, radically change how firms create and deliver products and services, generate significant privacy, regulatory and law-enforcement challenges, offer new gateways for entrepreneurship, and create opportunities for inclusive growth.

      In this course, we will provide an introductory overview of innovations that are central to FinTech. Specifically, these innovations include cryptocurrencies and blockchains, mobile money, robo-advising, crowdfunding, marketplace lending. We will also explore threats and opportunities that these technologies pose to incumbent firms and discuss the way that FinTech interacts with law enforcement and regulation issues. The approach adopted to address these themes is analytical. Furthermore, the course will feature a number of guest speakers from industry.

      Review the course guide​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ for more details.

      Taught by dr. T. Lambert.

    • In this course the focus is on financial topics related to Real estate investment and financing (corporate Real estate, commercial Real estate and residential). 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 Real estate. There are three main topics:
      »      Market analysis;
      »      Real estate valuation, and most importantly,
      »      Real estate finance.

      Review the course guide​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ for more details.

      Taught by dr. P. Neuteboom.

    • This course provides insight in the sustainability challenges and the link to finance. The main task of the financial system is to allocate funding to its most productive use. Traditional finance focuses on financial return and regards the financial sector as separate from the society of which it is part and the environment in which it is embedded. By contrast, sustainable finance considers financial, social, and environmental returns in combination and shows how finance can accelerate the transition to a low-carbon, inclusive economy.
       
      The course reviews evidence that environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors matter and explains in detail how to incorporate these in company business models and strategies, equity investing, bond investing, and bank lending. The course examines the financial instruments and techniques that can be applied in the context of evolving climate policies (and other sustainability policies). The tools will be applied in a group assignment on the valuation of a company based on ESG factors.

      Review the course guide​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ for more details.

      Taught by prof. D. Schoenmaker.

    • Economic theory treats people as if they were making rational choices. Yet, in practice, investors and managers do not always make rational decisions. In fact, a lot of CEOs admit that major business decisions come “straight from the gut”. And such judgement about money and investment plans are often clouded by biases and emotions. In the course of Behavioral Finance, we investigate how these behavioral biases impact our financial decisions, and how we can avoid the most common pitfalls. 

      Behavioral finance is the application of psychology to financial behavior of practitioners. It has gained prominence in academia. Daniel Kahneman and Richard Thaler were awarded the 2002 and 2017 Nobel Prize in Economics respectively for their contributions in the field. It is also appreciated by practitioners. Financial institutions such as Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, ABN Amro, and Robeco all run funds employing behavioral strategies. 

      Review the course guide​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ for more details.

      Taught by dr. L. He.

    • 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 Prof. Marno Verbeek.

    • This elective examines the main activities of financial intermediaries, the related risks, and how these risks can be managed. Moreover, we will deal with specialized topics that have recently gained in importance, such credit risk transfer, off-balance sheet banking and fintech. Finally, we will consider the objectives and requirements of banking regulation, and discuss the challenges raised by the Global Financial Crisis and the recent Covid-19 crisis.

      Review the course guide​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ for more details.

      Taught by prof. Wolf Wagner.

    • 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

    • ​During the last decade, financial distress risks have become increasingly important for corporations. Changes in bankruptcy law, improved funding sources for distressed firms, and specialized financial investors set the stage for a multitude of resolution options in a corporate bankruptcy. Financial distress risk management is thereby not limited to companies at the brink of default. Healthy companies put much effort into choosing the most appropriate debt structure to avoid potential bankruptcy losses. Financial distress risks are also a central concern for investors across all capital markets, rating agencies, and governments.

      This course focuses on the effects of financial distress from the perspective of a corporation. The course introduces legal aspects of bankruptcy law in the U.S. and Europe, highlights conflicts of interests between debtholders and stockholders of a financially distressed firm, and discusses the consequences and resolution strategies for financial distress. Students will also learn to know the bargaining setup of a bankrupt firm, how to predict financial distress, and understand the characteristics of investing into financially distressed firms. This course is highly interactive and features lectures, case studies, a bankruptcy simulation game, and a guest lecture from a practitioner.

      Review the course guide​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ for more details.

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

    • In this course we will we will learn some general principles about financial modeling in Excel. We will read through a selection of classical finance studies and will try to replicate these studies in Excel. The topics we will cover range from asset pricing and performance evaluation to bond markets and private equities.

      After having followed this course students are able to build Excel models using best-practice modelling techniques, and using a wide range of Excel functionalities required for financial calculations and for presenting results, knowing which technique is appropriate for which purpose and knowing how apply each technique correctly.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by dr. Joop Huij.

    • It is a data-driven world with an extreme competition for analytical talent, according to research by McKinsey Global Institute and McKinsey Analytics in 2017. In this course, I will discuss two main techniques to deal with structured data and unstructured data at entry level: 1) textual analysis and 2) machine learning. It aims to introduce a set of analytical tools for understanding and examining real-time data examples in R. Students need to complete empirical assignments in R to enhance the knowledge and skills learned in the course.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by dr. M. Luo.

    • In this course we will learn some general principles about financial modeling in Excel. We will read through a selection of classical finance studies and will try to replicate these studies in Excel. The topics we will cover range from asset pricing and performance evaluation to bond markets and private equities.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by dr. J. Huij.

  • The FI Honours Programme includes an interactive course by academics and practitioners on the Role of Finance in Society and a living management case. The course provides insights in the societal role of finance: what can finance contribute to a good society. It is aligned with the mission statement of RSM: A force for positive change. Topics and cases are each year refreshed reflecting the newest trends in societal thinking and their application to finance.

    •     Blocks 3 & 4: Eight lectures (a mix of academic lectures, and guest lectures by industry) on the Role of Finance in Society. The topics for academic year 2019/2020 are Sustainable Investment and Banking, FinTech and Blockchain, and Responsible Finance and Financial Inclusion. The form of assessment is an essay for the interactive course.
    •     Block 5: Living management case with corporate partners. The form of assessment is a group assignment for the case.
    • The Research Methods in Finance course gives students the opportunity to acquire the statistical and econometric skills needed to work with data, conduct an empirical analysis, interpret and report the results in the context of an academic paper or thesis. These skills are essential for the successful completion of the Master Thesis. Students will attend lectures and workshop sessions, will work with Stata (and Excel) and have to complete an empirical assignment. 

      For the assignment, students can choose between two tracks: Corporate Finance or Asset Pricing. Otherwise, the two tracks are identical. The skills students train are the same (e.g., processing data, implementing empirical methods using statistical software, and interpreting results), and so is the exam. 
       

    • 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.

Note regarding taking courses if you are not an RSM master student: RSM does not offer the possibility for non-RSM students (master or otherwise) to take RSM courses outside of official exchange partnerships or other inter-faculty agreements.