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Corporate Finance (MSc Finance)
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The study programme

In the Corporate Finance track you learn how companies sell bonds or equity to raise financing from external investors, and the factors that influence their investment decisions with these funds.

How to act on dependencies of corporate value

Companies of any size continuously face decisions on how to raise and invest money. The primary goal of publicly traded corporations that is frequently stated is to maximise returns for its shareholders, but there are many different factors that influence returns. In the Corporate Finance track you gain insight into how corporate value depends on their capital structure, terms of financing raised, quality of investment opportunities, and corporate governance. You also will learn how to estimate the value of firms, and of corporate actions like equity offerings or mergers and acquisitions.

Advise on complex financial business issues

Work on real-life cases presented/supervised by companies such as Ernst & Young, American energy company AES and the Dutch National Bank.

The programme

Corporate Finance is one of the tracks of the MSc Finance. During your Master's you will follow 6 general courses and 3 track-specific courses. You will finish with a thesis. If you have a drive to challenge the corporate environment, you can participate in our Honours programme.

  • Compulsory courses

    Advanced Corporate Finance

    This course offers you a rich blend of lectures, guest lectures from industry representatives, readings, exercises and cases in the area of corporate finance. You will cover topics such as corporate investment strategies, corporate governance, bankruptcy, equity offerings, and mergers and acquisitions, all while discussing state-of-the-art research methodologies. You will extend your theoretical framework as well as understand how these theories are implemented in the real business world.

    Financial Markets

    This course provides you with a hands-on treatment of the field of market microstructure - the area of finance that studies price formation in securities markets.

    Applied Financial Econometrics

    In this course you expand your knowledge about regression analysis applied to finance topics,  a powerful tool in empirical finance for  analysing empirical relationships. You will review estimation and testing of the basic linear regression model and subsequently will focus on various applications and extensions of the basic model.

    Empirical Methods in Finance

    In this course you will focus on the current statistical methodology used in empirical work and the practical implementation of data analysis using STATA. You will attend methodology lectures on how to use the university’s databases and tutorials in which you present and receive feedback on empirical group assignments. Also you will write a first thesis proposal.

    Ethics and Professional Skills in Finance

    This course will explain to you the importance and relevance of ethics in finance. You will discuss:

    • the relationship with corporate governance and recognition.
    • personal dealing with ethical issues in the finance profession.

    You will also get acquainted with ethical issues in finance through practical cases.

    Being a professional requires more than specialised knowledge of finance. You also need professional skills to become successful. That is why during this course we offer you a selection of skills workshops to choose from:

    1. Public Speaking 
    2. People Skills
    3. Self-management
    4. Negotiation skills
    5. Programming with Python

    Thesis Seminar Finance

    This course prepares you for writing your Master's thesis. It brings you up-to-date knowledge and professional skills.  Also, you will learn how to acquire a critical view on your own work and that of fellow students. In the course you will develop your thesis plan as well as learn to present, discuss and referee other’s work.

  • Track-specific courses

    Corporate Governance

    Get a a state of the art understanding of modern corporate governance. It exposes students to powerful empirical research methods used to determine the effects and effectiveness of individual governance mechanisms. The latter is essential as governance fails under a checkbox-ticking approach but instead is highly context-contingent.

    Mandatory electives, semester 1

    Choose 1 out of 2 courses: 

    • Banking
    • Valuation

    Mandatory electives, semester 2

    Choose 2 out of 3 courses:

    • Behavioural Finance
    • Corporate Restructuring
    • International Corporate Finance
  • Thesis

    The academic programme culminates in a thesis, which allows you to engage with state-of-the-art data analysis and statistical techniques. The Master’s thesis is the final requirement for your graduation. It is your chance to dive deep into a topic in your field of choice (track) that you are enthusiastic about, and allows you to do an independent research project in Finance. A professor of your track will supervise and support you in writing your thesis.

  • Honours programme

    The Duisenberg Honours Programme in Corporate Finance and Banking is designed for top-talent with excellent analytical and leadership abilities and a fundamental drive to challenge the corporate environment. It is a challenging programme and a great chance to stand out for future employers.

    More about the Honours programme
Check more detailed information about the specific courses in the course catalogue
Real-life case: valuation of Twitter Inc.

Complete a comprehensive DCF valuation of Twitter Inc. Read actual financial statements, make your own assumptions and provide a recommendation on whether investors should buy, hold, or sell Twitter stock. Also analyse the steps that Twitter took to become profitable. Your job is to offer a well-reasoned analysis of how the business changed, and to critique management’s discussion of the changes.

Contemporary issues

You will discuss and learn how to analyse a wide range of recent company decisions. Recent examples include:

  • In February 2019, Japanese carmaker Honda announced plans to shut the plant in Swindon (UK). What was the rationale behind this decision? What was the importance of Brexit in this decision? What was the role of Brexit on the economic and transaction exposure to the currency risk of Honda?    
  • Spotify went public April 3 on the NYSE. Instead of paying investment banks high fees to facilitate an IPO, Spotify followed an unconventional alternative: direct listing of its shares on the market. What is the rationale behind this strategy? What are the main advantages/disadvantages? To what extent could this strategy be adopted by more companies in the future?
  • Amazon recently announced its plans to begin air delivery of packages using drones. What are the  potential revenues and expenses of this strategy relative to truck-based deliveries? Is this strategy likely to succeed?  
  • Alibaba recently announced a record-breaking number of sales as part of China's annual ‘Singles Day’ shopping event. However, the sales figures do not seem to match up with reasonable estimates of internet users in China or Alibaba's ability to process shipments and electronic payments. We work through a case on Alibaba that hedge fund manager John Hempton of Bronte Capital used during job interviews.
Copyright: iStock-1292653388-Halyna Kabanets
My understanding of financial knowledge has gotten deeper through the fusion of different ideas. The multi-cultural background of students and faculty stimulate you to being open to new ways of thinking. Wang Xinling, Corporate Finance track Read about Wang's experiences with this Master's

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