Introduction to Finance and Banking

Course code
Student fee
Course fee (excl. housing)
Course Level

Financial news is dominating the headlines. The financial and banking system had and still has a great impact on the economic situation in the world. Sparked by the financial crisis, the role of banks is changing, and new financing models are slowly gaining traction. During this course we will provide you with an action-based way of learning by letting you take management level decisions within a simulated environment, learning the ins and outs of running a retail bank.

Welcome to our simulated learning environment. During this intensive one-week course your group will form the management team of a retail bank, taking all management level decisions that come with running a bank while competing against the other teams in the course. In each round, you will receive direct financial results regarding the decisions made by your team providing you with valuable feedback for the next round. However, the simulation is not just about making profit, but also about sound risk management for your bank: you will have to follow the Basel III guide lines, take decisions about which products to launch and about hiring and firing staff.

This course will help you to learn all about the basics of finance, and cover topics such as financial statements, ratio analysis, asset and liability management and accounting. You will learn how to successfully run a crowdfunding campaign and gain useful insights in the field of sustainable financing and banking, such as how to finance sustainable energy projects. This simulation is a great action-based way of learning, providing you with the ins and outs of running a retail bank.  

Many students who have done this course, follow up with the B24 course 'Financing Models for a Sustainable World' and often also the course 'Sustainable Investing'.

What previous students (summer 2023) say about this course:

"I'm very impressed with this course, especially with the interactive simulation bank! ".

"The course was insightful and provided more than a thorough introduction to finance and banking as well as crypto. The professors and staff are amazing and helpful. I would definitely take courses from HU University again."

 "This course was really a good experience. If you're looking for a complete course of Financial Banking you should take this. The quality of the teachers, the support material and the international exchange are what you need. 100% recommended."

Course director
Gerrit-Jan Lanting, MSc


Gerrit-Jan Lanting, MSc

Bernard van der Biessen 

Target audience

Students from all levels (Bachelor and Master) -  a business study programme or financial background is not required. This course is for students who want to build or expand their knowledge of finance and banking.


A sufficient level of English language proficiency is required (at least B1).

Aim of the course

-  You will learn about and discuss basic finance and banking theory;

- You will gain knowledge of how a bank operates and functions;

- You will learn how to interpret bank balance sheets;

- You will gain a basic understanding of the accounting system and ratio analysis.

Study load

52 hours of lectures/field excursions + assignments (self-study).


Course fee:
Student fee:
Student fee
Fee covers
Course + course materials
Housing fee:
Housing cost
Housing provider:
Utrecht Summer School
Extra information about the fee

The Student Fee (= discounted price) applies to all students currently enrolled in a Bachelor, Master or PhD programme and to 'Fresh Alumni' of any of these programmes. If this applies to you and you therefore believe that you are eligible for the reduced student fee, please include this in your motivation.


Additional information

The housing fee includes € 50 for the USS sleeping bag and pillow which you can take home (small and light package) after the course. If you do not want to buy the USS sleeping bag, please notify us and we will give you a discount on the housing fee. In that case, do not forget to bring your own bed linen and pillow! In all cases, do bring your own towels, please.

Contact details


Application deadline: 
Registration deadline
15 June 2024