Introduction to Finance and Banking

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.



Course Level
ECTS credits
Course location(s)
Utrecht, The Netherlands


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.

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 B21 'Sustainable Investing'. Another logical combination is B26 'Business Innovation with Blockchain'.

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."

B23 Day to day introduction to finance and banking 2024.pdf

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: €699.00
  • Included: Course + course materials
  • Housing fee: €200
  • Housing provider: Utrecht Summer School

The course fee presented applies to all students currently enrolled in a bachelor, master or PhD programme and to 'Fresh Alumni'.

If this applies to you and you therefore believe that you are eligible for this fee, please include this in your motivation when applying for this course.

If not, the professional fee of €875 is applicable, and will be invoiced and visible for you in your account once you are accepted to the course.

Please note: if you do not provide proof that you are currently enrolled in a bachelor, master or PhD programme or a  'Fresh Alumni', we will charge the ‘professional (higher) fee!


Additional information

The housing costs do not include a Utrecht Summer School sleeping bag. This is a separate product on the invoice. If you wish to bring your own bedding, please deselect or remove the sleeping bag from your order. In that case, do not forget to bring your own bed linen and pillow! In all cases, do bring your own towels, please.