Pioneering in Finance: creating value through sustainability

More than ever, today’s financial markets play a key role in tackling global environmental and social challenges. Regulators and society expect major capital suppliers to demonstrate the purpose they serve beyond financial goals. At the same time, the financial sector recognises that considering issues such as climate change and societal well-being in financial decision-making is not just the right thing but also a smart thing to do.

It is the reason why the world’s leading institutional investors, banks and financial service providers are making sustainability and environmental, social and governance (ESG) an integral part of their core activities. For example, BNP Paribas and APG no longer finance the tobacco sector, while ABN AMRO and Triodos invest in companies that have a positive impact on society and earn competitive financial returns. This move towards sustainable finance creates the need for professionals who can use their knowledge of finance and sustainability to achieve financial and societal goals. Are you interested in learning how financial analysis and investments can take sustainability risks and opportunities into account? Do you want to apply finance in a meaningful way by investing in companies and projects that have a positive impact on society? Do you want to bridge the knowledge gap between traditional finance professionals and sustainability experts?

Our Master’s programme in Sustainable Finance and Investments is an opportunity to study how fundamental finance knowledge and the principles of sustainability can be brought together in financial analyses and investments. The programme equips you with the latest scientific know-how and practical skills to integrate environmental and social issues in finance. This combined expertise is sought by major financial institutions and companies that seek to fulfil their financial goals while promoting a more sustainable financial market, economy and society.

The real world perspective

The Utrecht University School of Economics (U.S.E.) aims to contribute to an economy where people flourish. We enrich economics with other disciplines to better solve problems and identify opportunities, from a business and a government point of view. Scientifically rigorous and societally relevant. The real world perspective.

Research expertise

In this Master’s programme, you will learn from academic staff with more than a decade’s experience in research and education on sustainable finance and business. Utrecht University School of Economics’ (U.S.E) academic staff excel in integrating financial and economic perspectives into broader societal issues. U.S.E promotes the translation of science into practice and policy through initiatives such as the Sustainable Finance Lab and the Social Entrepreneurship Initiative.

Financial institutions will experience material risks if they do not anticipate the transition to a more sustainable economy, but opportunities if they do ...

Content of the programme

During this Master’s programme in Sustainable Finance and Investments, you will focus on:

  • acquiring the fundamental finance knowledge and tools you can use to assess the returns, risks and value of investments;
  • the sustainability risks and opportunities that financial professionals are experiencing – such as those connected to climate change, resource scarcity, social inequality and stakeholder well-being;
  • implementing sustainable and ‘impact investments’;
  • measuring the financial performance and social impact of investments;
  • the pros and cons of using ESG metrics in the financial analysis of companies, investing and shareholder engagement;  
  • what externally financed companies can do to identify, prioritise and report on material sustainability issues; and
  • learning from finance and related disciplines on how the financial sector can promote the transition to a more sustainable economy and society.

The combination of compulsory and elective courses enables you to tailor the curriculum to your personal interest: whether you are primarily interested in financial analysis and investing, or in the positive environmental or societal impact of investments. Read more about the study programme.

Programme objectives

This Master’s programme equips you with the knowledge and skills that will benefit you in your professional and personal life. Over the year, this programme provides you with:

  • an understanding of the principles of sustainability and how these are considered by the finance profession and companies in practice;
  • the ability to identify sustainability issues that matter to the financial market, investors and companies;
  • the knowledge and skills to apply financial analysis and make investment decisions while considering the environmental and societal impacts of investments;
  • key insights into scientific and practical sustainability impact measurement tools, and the competences and techniques to apply social or environmental impact assessments on investments; and
  • the competences to qualitatively argue how sustainability principles should be reflected in financial decision-making and, if feasible, support these arguments with financial analyses;
  • further development of not only your academic skills but also quantitive and analytical skills that enable you to critically evaluate the quality and practical relevance of financial research reports.

Career prospects

You may envision working at a traditional finance-focused organisation that aims to make better financial and investment decisions by considering sustainability. Or you may aspire to work for an investment firm that intends to generate positive societal benefits alongside financial rewards. Read more about your possible career prospects

 

Key facts

Degree: 
International Economics and Business
Language of instruction: 
English
Mode of study: 
Full-time
Study duration: 
1 year
Start: 
September
Tuition fees: 
Dutch and other EU/EEA students (statutory fee, full-time) 2022-2023: € 2,209

Non-EU/EEA students (institutional fee) 2022-2023: € 17,500

More information about fees
Croho code: 
60648
Accreditation: 
Accredited by the NVAO
Faculty: 
Law, Economics and Governance 
Brochure: 
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