Why in Utrecht

The real world perspective

The statement ‘the real-world perspective’ summarises succinctly U.S.E.’s mission. It indicates a strong awareness of the complex socio-economic reality: human behaviour is not always ‘rational’ and markets are not always in equilibrium. Institutions are important in understanding economic dynamics and so are the dimensions of time and space. The real world perspective leads to a multidisciplinary-economics approach, a research profile that favours crossing borders between academic disciplines, but also – within the economics discipline – between economics and business. U.S.E. aims to contribute to a society where people thrive, by taking a broad view on welfare and all factors involved. Well-being, cooperation, innovation and curiosity are the core values in the academic profile of U.S.E. In the MSc Banking and Finance programme in Utrecht you will:


  • Focus on investment and risk management

Adequately identifying, managing and monitoring investment opportunities and corresponding risks are key success factors for financial institutions. You’ll get a strong foundation in both the theoretical and practical aspects of investment management and in risk management. You will be able to refine your research and analytical skills by working – both individually and in teams - with real-world data obtained from financial institutions and financial markets.   


  • Focus on financial markets and institutions

Financial markets and institutions are part of a complex and highly interconnected financial system. This Master will give you a thorough understanding of how the financial system works, what role each institution plays, and how these institutions are regulated.  You will get the expertise to tackle complex issues facing financial institutions and markets, and learn how current changes in regulation attempt to ensure stability and efficiency of the financial system.


  • Develop quantitative and programming skills relevant for financial institutions

Quantitative and programming skills are becoming increasingly important in the financial industry. Whether used to gather and analyze data, to test different investment strategies, or to automate trading, these skills are in high demand by future employers. This programme offers you the  opportunity to develop your data science skills, including your programming skills in languages like Mata (Stata) and Python. The programme includes an elective course offered in close collaboration with a financial trading firm, where students can learn how to write a trading algorithm and implement it using Python.


  • Meet experienced practitioners from the field

Through the close professional connections of the Finance Section of the Utrecht University School of Economics, you have an opportunity to build links with both financial institutions and regulators.  In many courses, experienced practitioners share their real-world perspectives on the interplay between practice and theory in guest lectures. These guest lectures, as well as the opportunity for Master’s theses research internships, visits to financial institutions, and career events will help you to connect with a network of professionals for career opportunities.


  • Close contact to the Sustainable Finance Lab (SFL)

The sustainability and long-term perspectives of financial solutions is an important aspect of education for a new generation of bankers and regulators. Since 2015 U.S.E. has been home to the Sustainable Finance Lab, a co-initiative of Utrecht University, the Utrecht Sustainability Institute and Triodos Bank.


  • Close contact to the European Centre for Alternative Finance (ECAF)

The European Centre for Alternative Finance is a research centre within Utrecht University. It has a central role in guiding the international research agenda on alternative finance, supporting financial inclusion and access to finance. ECAF is a joint initiative of Utrecht University School of Economics (U.S.E.), CrowdfundingHub and the Sustainable Finance Lab.


  • Tailor the programme to your ambitions and interests

This finance and banking Master’s combines a solid foundation in finance, economics, and business economics with the possibility to gain more specialised knowledge in topics of your choice. Many optional courses ensure your own interests and career ambitions are accommodated during your study.


  • Be part of a small, international community

The high staff-to-student ratio in tutorials encourages close interaction between you, your peers, and your professors and lecturers in this highly international programme.  Guest lectures from experts in the field, company visits and the option to combine your thesis with an internship all provide you with interesting and challenging opportunities to prepare for your future career. Finally, you will be part of a very active student community, with access to a much larger university environment with international students, researchers and lecturers  from all over the world.


Utrecht University in the rankings

As a student at Utrecht University (UU), you will be studying at one of the world's top universities. The Shanghai Ranking places UU as the top university in the Netherlands, 13th in Europe, and 49th in the world. The Times Higher Education World University Ranking places UU at number 74. More information about Utrecht University.

Top-quality facilities

The Utrecht University School of Economics (U.S.E.) is located on the attractive grounds of the International Campus Utrecht. The campus is approximately ten minutes by bicycle from Utrecht’s beautiful historic city centre and is very close to Utrecht Science Park, our main campus. You will have access to a wide range of high-quality facilities such as Wi-Fi, cross-campus library access, and online access to academic books, journals, and databases. More information about student facilities.


Active study association

The Utrecht University School of Economics (U.S.E.) is also home to an active study association: ECU ’92. This association is a meeting ground for economics students of all nationalities and specialties. Representatives from ECU’92 are found on most Faculty boards, and the society plays an important role at U.S.E. in ensuring that your voice is heard. ECU’92 is also responsible for organising a range of student activities, from social gatherings to field trips and guest lectures, and every year, the study association hosts an annual career event and scientific conference, where you can speak with – and get noticed by – representatives from many major international companies.