Finance for non-Financials


About this minor

Money makes the world go round and many professional decisions have financial consequences. Get prepared for understanding the finance aspects of almost any future job.

This course is aimed at non-RSM/ESE students that want to get prepared for understanding the finance aspects of almost any future job, for example as a consultant, corporate manager, legal expert, entrepreneur, professional practitioner (e.g., medical doctor, psychologist, lawyer), government official, or NGO employee. The course will also help to improve your personal financial decisions, such as taking a loan, planning your finances, and getting a mortgage.

In this interactive course we will address the following questions: How to read financial statements (such as balance sheets and profit & loss statements) and digest financial information?

  • How to evaluate the short-term and long-term financial health of a business or organization?
  • How to evaluate the financial consequences of business decisions such as investment projects?
  • How to evaluate different ways of financing your (business) activities?
  • How to make sense of the stock market, such as stock returns and risks?

Learning outcomes

  • Extract financial information from financial statements
  • Perform financial statement analysis to evaluate the financial health of a company
  • Apply investment decision rules to evaluate whether one should carry out a project
  • Understand how to finance business
  • Understand the basic features of financial securities, such as returns and risks of stocks, and how to select an investment opportunity

Good to know

  • There is no prerequisite for this course. Note that this course is NOT open to students from RSM and ESE.
  • The course is quantitative. The students should have a VWO-level of math knowledge and are expected to be comfortable working with numbers and quantitative analysis. Basic statistics knowledge (e.g., concepts of mean, variance, covariance, correlation) is assumed. Generally, the students are expected to have an A-level of mathematics (equivalent to a grade of 7.0 or above from secondary school).
  • Students should have or are willing to acquire necessary Excel skills to succeed in this course. Students with quantitative analysis skills are more likely to succeed in this course.
  • All RSM minors have mandatory attendance.

Teaching method and examination

Teaching methods
The course consists of interactive lectures and workshops. Attendance to all lectures is mandatory. Attendance will be checked. Being late will count as having missed 0.5 lecture. For this minor students are allowed to miss two compulsory lectures (with or without reason). Missing more than two lectures will result in failing the course.

Teaching materials
Textbook (recommended but not required): Fundamentals of Corporate Finance, by Hillier, D., I. Clacher, S. Ross, R. Westerfield, and B. Jordan, 2017, 3rd Edition. McGraw-Hill (ISBN 9780077178239). Older or more recent editions are fine.

Various journal and news articles will be provided to complement the textbook and facilitate in-class discussions. Further details will be announced at the start of the course.

Method of examination
Final written test and group assignments.

Composition final grade
The final grade for the course is a weighted average of the final written test (60%) and group assignments (40%). Note that all partial grades are only valid for the current academic year. In order to pass the course a score of 5.5 is required for the final grade. In order to obtain a grade you need to score at least 4.5 on the written test. There is a resit opportunity for the written test but not for the assignments.

Link to more information

  • Credits
    ECTS 15
  • Level
  • Contact coordinator
  • Selection minor
If anything remains unclear, please check the FAQ of Erasmus University.


  • Start date

    2 September 2024

    • Ends
      8 November 2024
    • Term *
      Block MINOR
    • Location
    • Instruction language
    • Register between
      15 May, 13:00 - 15 Jul 2024
These offerings are valid for students of Leiden University