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 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.

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 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 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.

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.

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. The Sustainable Finance and Investment programme equips you with the knowledge and skills to pursue a career in these areas. Read more about your possible career prospects

Admission

Do you want to know whether you are eligible for this Master’s? Check the entry requirements.

  • portretfoto met geel kader om Mathiass
    The finance professional of the future must not only know about sustainable finance, but also see it as an integral part of their work
  • portretfoto met geel kader om Jeroen Derwall
    Combining finance with sustainability to achieve a sustainable financial market and society

Summary

Degree: This Master's programme is officially registered under its name in the Central Register of Higher Education Study Programmes
  • Title: MSc
  • Master's degree in: International Economics and Business
  • Programme: Sustainable Finance and Investments
Accreditation:
Accredited by the NVAO
Croho code:
60648
Language of instruction:
English
Part- or full-time status:
Full-time
Duration:
1 year
Credits: 60 credits equals one year full-time study load (European Credit Transfer System, ECTS)
60
Start of studies:
September
Application deadline:
  • Dutch & EU/EER students: 1 June
  • Non-EU/EEA students: 1 April
Tuition fees:
Faculty:
Law, Economics and Governance 
Graduate school:
Law, Economics and Governance