Finance: Duisenberg Honours Programme in Quantitative Risk Management

Become a future CRO

Looking for an executive-level education that will turn you into a quantitative financial risk professional – or maybe even Chief Risk Officer?

Wim Duisenberg was a Dutch politician whose pivotal role in the financial sector culminated in serving as the first President of the European Central Bank. Named after him, this challenging Honours programme will give you not only quantitative econometric and mathematical skills, but also the hands-on practical experience to be able to implement econometric models in the workplace from day one. That’s why all our students have job offers before they graduate with their Master’s – and also why they’re ready to hit the ground running when they start their careers. But make no mistake: this is a demanding programme that attracts only the best and brightest minds – the study load is 84 EC compared to the regular 60 EC, which means you’re learning far more than you would at equivalent programmes elsewhere, and can expect the Master’s to take a few months longer to complete as well. Are you up for the challenge?

AACSB

For the first half of the programme, you’ll focus on fundamental quantitative theories. For the second half, you’ll focus both on the application of these theories and on the field of risk management.

To break it down:

  • You’ll take eight mandatory core courses that together cover quantitative skills and risk management. These include:
    • Stochastic Processes – At the start of the programme, you’ll cover the fundamental mathematical concepts that dictate how financial markets move.
    • Quantitative Financial Risk Management – Towards the end of the programme, you’ll apply the knowledge you’ve learnt so far to the quantitative modelling of risk.
    • Econometrics – Not offered by any other quantitative finance programme, you’ll get hands-on experience of using econometric models.
  • You’ll take at least two electives, which you’ll have the freedom to choose from any department at VU Amsterdam or even another university! In practice, most students take electives in computer science or fintech courses – for example, with a focus on machine learning or data mining.
  • You’ll conduct a research project that relates to a genuine issue in the industry.
  • Finally, you’ll write your Master’s thesis in combination with an internship. Past students have taken internships at the top 4 consulting firms, major banks, top pension funds, insurance companies, fintech companies and trading firms. In all cases, you’ll be carrying out cutting-edge research that’s driven by a practical need.

Want to know more? Check out the programme overview and studyguide

  • This programme offers a unique combination of quantitative maths/statistics skills, financial business savvy, and the understanding of what’s relevant when it comes to implementation in practice.
  • You’ll come out of the programme as a fully-fledged professional – ready work independently as soon as you start your first job. No further training needed! 
  • The excellent reputation of the programme among prospective employees means that you’re not only 100% guaranteed to get an internship – you’re also guaranteed to land a job.
  • 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 (25-30 students to 10 staff members) 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 a future CFO or CRO.
  • You have a strong quantitative background, with a Bachelor’s degree in engineering, mathematics, computer science, econometrics or economics (the latter only with a focus on quantitative courses). 
  • You achieved above-average grades in your Bachelor’s degree, as this is a highly selective Master’s programme.
  • You’re curious, inquisitive and have a strong work ethos.
  • You’re not afraid of a challenge – the harder the better!
  • Work experience, volunteer work, a previous internship or community engagement are an advantage but not a prerequisite

Does this sound like you? Then come along to our Master’s Evening where you can find out more and try out the programme for yourself! If you’re keen to apply and meet the entry requirements (see below), then take a look at our application procedure and deadlines

What skills make you interesting to potential future employers?

The Duisenberg Honours programme is well known in the financial industry in the Netherlands, because our students graduate not only with the quantitative skills that you’d expect from maths or econometrics graduates, but also with hands-on implementation/coding skills and practical knowledge of financial markets.

What kinds of jobs are available to you?

Banks, consulting firms, asset managers, trading firms and fintech companies are all looking for quantitative finance specialists. Later in your career, you can expect to climb the ladder to CFO or CRO level.

What have alumni gone on to do?

Former students of the programme now work for the Big 4 consulting firms, large banks such as ING and ABN AMRO, fintech companies, pension funds and insurance companies.

How does the programme help prepare students for the job market?

Due to the internship component, 100% of graduates go on to immediate employment. The programme also offers workshops in leadership, communication and presentation skills to prepare for the job market.

Overview Finance: Duisenberg Honours Programme in Quantitative Risk Management

LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION

English

DURATION

1 year (7 modules spread out over 12 months worth 84 EC credits)

TUITION FEE

APPLICATION

1 April for international degree holders from non-EU/EEA countries (different deadlines may hold for other category students);

15 July for Dutch degree holders and international degree holders from EU/EEA countries

START DATE

1 September

STUDY TYPE

Full-time

SPECIALIZATIONS

Students can select their own electives, research project, and thesis subject, thus creating their preferred profile for their future career.

FIELD OF INTEREST

Economics, Business and Law

Admission with a Dutch degree

Duisenberg Honours Programme in Quantitative Risk Management is a highly selective and challenging programme for those students who have strong quantitative focus which they want to apply in all areas of quant finance and risk management. You have a bachelor degree in mathematics, statistics, econometrics or engineering, or you have an economics bachelor but you also followed and successfully completed a number of quantitative courses. You can programme in at least one algorithmic language. You are fascinated by the way financial markets operate. If the above applies to you, this programme will be a perfect continuation of your studies and your gateway to the world of 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 demonstrated your quantitative abilities (for example, by successfully finishing Econometrics minor) and/or you have successfully finished the following courses:

Generally, admission requirements can be found in this document.

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.
  • Affiliation with finance, which can be demonstrated by means of e.g., bachelor thesis on a finance-related topic and/or internship in a financial institution.

Application procedure
To enroll in the programme submit your enrolment application via Studielink. Please note: in Studielink you can apply for the Master in Finance and in VUnet you can select the specialization Duisenberg honours programme in Quantitative Risk Management.

Step 1:
Apply for the programme MSc Finance via Studielink before 15 July. You can apply for the specialization in VUnet (see step 2)

Step 2:
Please complete your application in VUnet by answering additional questions, affirming  your choice for the specialization Duisenberg honours programme in Quantitative Risk Management and uploading the following document: a formal transcript of your bachelor grades. Your transcript must include an average score (GPA).

Step 3:
To apply for admission you should send a request to the admissions board. You have to add the following documents:

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Thesis (or another sample of academic writing)
  • Motivation letter

You can send your request per email until 15 July to toelating.sbe@vu.nl.

Please note: we can only process your application when your choice of specialization is selected in VUnet and you send all documents in time to toelating.sbe@vu.nl.  

Step 4:
The admission committee will assess if you meet the admission criteria and will inform you about the decision via email.

More information regarding registration WO-bachelors, see the VU website (in Dutch).

Services for international (IBA) students / Residence permit:
If you are planning to continue your studies at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam after your IBA, please contact the Central Admission’s Support Team of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam for further information and specific questions about the offered services for international students like extending your residence permit. You will need to apply for extension of your residence permit if you continue your studies at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Duisenberg Honors Program in Quantitative Risk Management is a highly selective and challenging program for those students who have strong quantitative focus which they want to apply in all areas of quant finance and risk management. You have a bachelor degree in mathematics, statistics, econometrics or engineering, or you have an economics bachelor but you also followed and successfully completed a number of quantitative courses. You can program in at least one algorithmic language. You are fascinated by the way financial markets operate. If the above applies to you, this program will be a perfect continuation of your studies and your gateway to the world of finance.   

Admission requirements
The Duisenberg honours programme Quantitative Risk Management is open to students with a university Bachelor's degree that provides a thorough knowledge in  mathematics, econometrics,  statistics and probability theory, as well as knowledge of basic investment theory and programming. Also: students should be familiar with a theorem-proof type teaching style for some of the more mathematical courses. 

You need to have successfully completed courses and studied literature related to the core of this programme, consisting of (or equivalents of):

•  Calculus
    Edwards, C.H., and D.E. Penney (2002), Calculus with analytic Geometry (with early transcendentals, matrix version). Prentice Hall
•  Investments
    Bodie, Kane, Marcus (1996), Investments. [integral]
•  Statistics
    Rice, J. (1995, 2nd ed.), Mathematical Statistics and data analysis. Duxbury Press
•  Probability
    S.M. Ross, A First Course in Probability, Prentice-Hall, 2002
•  Econometrics
    Stock & Watson (2010), Introduction to Econometrics
•  Programming Language
    Knowledge of Matlab, , C++, R, Python or a similar language

This MSc is an honors program, which means we select the students for this program on the basis of:
•    Motivation letter
•    Grade average achieved in the Bachelor program
•    Affiliation with finance, which can be demonstrated by means of e.g., bachelor thesis on a finance-related topic and/or internship in a financial institution.

Approval is in most cases given to students who hold a Bachelor degree in:
•    Econometrics
•    Economics with strong quantitative elements
•    Engineering
•    Physics
•    Computer Science
•    (Applied) Mathematics

The programme also invites applications of students in related sciences with a strong emphasis on quantitative methods and modeling.

Application procedure
To enroll in the programme submit your enrolment application via Studielink. Please note: in Studielink you can apply for the Master in Finance and in VUnet you can select the specialization Duisenberg honours programme in Quantitative Risk Management.

Step 1:
Apply for the programme MSc Finance via Studielink before 15 July. You can apply for the specialization in VUnet (see step 2).

Step 2:
After application in studielink you will receive a VUnet-ID and password. Please complete your application in VUnet by answering additional questions, affirming  your choice for the specialization Duisenberg honours programme in Quantitative Risk Management and uploading the following document: a formal transcript of your bachelor grades. Your transcript must include an average score (GPA).

Step 3:
To apply for admission you should send a request to the admissions board. You have to add the following documents:
•    Curriculum Vitae
•    Thesis (or another sample of academic writing)
•    Motivation letter
You can send your request per email until 15 July to toelating.sbe@vu.nl.

Please note: we can only process your application when your choice of specialization is selected in VUnet and you send all documents in time to toelating.sbe@vu.nl.  

Step 4:
The admission committee will assess if you meet the admission criteria and will inform you about the decision via email.

More information regarding registration WO-bachelors, see the VU website (in Dutch).

Visit our Master's Events.

Information days and activities
contact@vu.nl
Admission requests, admission requirements and admission questions
toelating.sbe@vu.nl or on Tuesday and Thursday between 15:00h and 16:00h : Tel. 020 5985873
Tuition fees, Studielink, VUnet
Central Student Desk
Application
Studielink
Other questions
contact@vu.nl

Admission with an international degree

Duisenberg Honors Program in Quantitative Risk Management is a highly selective and challenging program for those students who have strong quantitative focus which they want to apply in all areas of quant finance and risk management. You have a bachelor degree in mathematics, statistics, econometrics or engineering, or you have an economics bachelor but you also followed and successfully completed a number of quantitative courses. You can program in at least one algorithmic language. You are fascinated by the way financial markets operate. If the above applies to you, this program will be a perfect continuation of your studies and your gateway to the world of finance.   

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.

All students should possess sufficient mathematics, econometrics, statistics and probability theory knowledge, as well as knowledge of basic investment theory and programming. Also: students should be familiar with a theorem-proof type teaching style for some of the more mathematical courses.

You need to have successfully completed courses and studied literature related to the core of this programme, consisting of (or equivalents of):

•  Calculus
    Edwards, C.H., and D.E. Penney (2002), Calculus with analytic Geometry (with early transcendentals, matrix version). Prentice Hall
•  Investments
    Bodie, Kane, Marcus (1996), Investments. [integral]
•  Statistics
    Rice, J. (1995, 2nd ed.), Mathematical Statistics and data analysis. Duxbury Press
•  Probability
    S.M. Ross, A First Course in Probability, Prentice-Hall, 2002
•  Econometrics
    Stock & Watson (2010), Introduction to Econometrics
•  Programming Language
    Knowledge of Matlab, , C++, R, Python or a similar language

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 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:  

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

TOEFL ITP:
VU-test English-language proficiency: offered by the VU Taalloket. You can find more information and register for this test at www.taalloket.nl .

Please refer to the language requirement page for the general requirements regarding the English language test.

If you have read the admission requirements and feel you are eligible for admission, please take the following steps to submit your application. Note that the initial application procedure is fully online and that scans of your relevant documents are required. You can already apply online without having completed your Bachelor’s degree. After admission, you will have until 31 August to send a proof of graduation by postal mail.

Step 1: Prepare documents and apply online
Please prepare the following documents and arrange the payment of the non-refundable €100 application fee. You can find a more detailed explanation of each document on the application page. All documents should be provided in English, and preferably in .PDF format.

  • Copy of your valid passport or ID (only for EU citizens)
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Motivation letter
  • Transcript of records
  • A description of the relevant courses you have taken during your previous higher education, with the main literature used for those course. You can use this format.
  • Thesis (or another sample of academic writing). If your thesis was not written in English, please submit the original with an added summary of about 3 pages in English.

After having prepared the required documents, please follow the online application procedure. After you have completed the application, our international student advisors will contact you via e-mail. Please refer to the application page to see which application deadline applies to you.

Step 2: Await decision on admission
After submitting your complete application, the Admission Board will review all your documents to assess your eligibility. In general, we can inform students of the admission decision within 4 weeks. Around deadlines, this can take a bit linger, so we always recommend to apply as soon as possible. If you are admitted, you will receive your letter of conditional admission by email. After that, you can start planning your move to Amsterdam!

Step 3: Finalize your enrolment and move to Amsterdam!
Make sure to finalize your enrolment as a student before the start of the programme. Here on our website, you will find an explanation of all things to arrange after admission. When all enrolment requirements have been met you will be ready to start your programme at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam!

Further information about:

Our international student ambassadors are happy to tell you all about their experiences with studying at VU and living in Amsterdam. Our student ambassadors come from all over the world and are currently attending various bachelor's and master's programmes.

Our student ambassadors are listed here.

Reach out to them and hear their stories about being a VU Amsterdam student!

International students can apply to several scholarships. For all VU scholarships, please see www.vu.nl/scholarships. Any available external grant or scholarship can be found through www.grantfinder.nl.

Visit our Master's Events

Central International Office
For detailed questions about the Master’s programmes or the application procedure, please contact one of your International Student Advisors at the International Office: masters.sbe@vu.nl

Leanne Schrijver
Leanne Schrijver
Tel +31 20 59 83032
Paul Steeman
Paul Steeman
Tel +31 20 59 88739
Amu Shrestha
Amu Shrestha
Tel +31 20 59 84296
Lotte de Winter
Lotte de Winter
Tel +31 20 59 89072


For general information about VU Amsterdam:
Please phone us at +31 (0)20 598 5000 (Monday – Friday, 09:00 to 17:00).
You may also e-mail us at study@vu.nl .

Study in Holland

Facebook - Faculteite der economische wetenschappen en bedrijfskundeTwitter - Faculteite der economische wetenschappen en bedrijfskundeYoutube- Faculteite der economische wetenschappen en bedrijfskunde
;