FIND EXPERT SOLUTIONS TO TODAY'S COMPLEX BUSINESS PROBLEMS
The Master’s in Business Analytics (BA) is a multidisciplinary programme, aimed at improving business processes by applying a combination of methods based on mathematics, computer science and business management. You will be trained in recognizing and solving in-company problems. BA is a hands-on programme: you will use your expertise in the various fields to improve business practices by examining and analysing real-world situations as faced by companies daily.
Construct, implement and assess solution approaches
Theories from Business Analytics are typically applied to areas such as supply chain planning, data mining, call centre management, revenue management and risk management. The Master’s programme will deepen your knowledge in these areas and give you the opportunity to specialize in business process optimization, computational intelligence and financial risk management. Combining the knowledge you acquire and applying it to practical situations plays an essential role in the programme. The Master’s degree is concluded with a six-month individual internship at a
company (the Master’s project).
The Master’s programme in Business Analytics is a two year programme consisting of 120 ECTS, divided into four semesters. The first semester is devoted to compulsory courses. During the second and third semester, you may focus on one of the three specializations. Finally, in the fourth semester, you spend six months on an internship at a business or research institute.
Compulsory courses: 36 EC
At least four out of sixteen optional BA courses: 24 EC
Other optional courses 24: EC
Master's project 36: EC
You will learn:
- The art of mathematical modelling and ways to apply it in practice
- To build a complete decision support system in a group project
- To analyze data and recognize data patterns and structures
- Mathematical methods used within financial institutions
Scientific writing and presentation skills
- To work in an interdisciplinary team, to communicate and work together with experts in different areas
- To combine and apply your knowledge in practice by means of a traineeship
The compulsory courses are:
- Applied Stochastic Modelling (6 EC)
This course provides you with an insight into mathematical modelling and the way it is used in practice. You will explore a number of stochastic solution methods.
- Data-Mining Techniques (6 EC)
This course surveys basic data-mining techniques and their application in solving real-life problems in such areas as marketing, fraud detection, text and web mining, and bioinformatics.
- Applied Analysis: Financial Mathematics (6 EC)
This course introduces you to the maths used within financial institutions. Topics covered include the theory of options, the binomial method, the Black-Scholes model and its application, the heat equation, and numerical methods.
- Business Process Optimization (group project, 6 EC)
This course begins by teaching you how to use the Excel macro language (VBA). Then, in a group, you build a complete or partial decision-support system for use in, say, call-centre staffing or the pricing of airline tickets.
- Statistical Models (6 EC)
In this course you will learn to apply several common statistical models in valid settings, and will learn the theoretical foundation for each model. Topics that will be discussed are: analysis of variance, generalized linear models, non-linear models and time series models.
- Reseach Paper Business Analytics (6 EC)
This course focuses on addressing a relevant problem statement. In many cases, the input for this research will be drawn from the existing literature, although it may also involve the use of computer-generated data. Its focus embraces aspects of business, mathematics and computer science.
During the second and third semester you may specialize in one direction of expertise. The three main specializations are:
- Business process optimization
- Computational intelligence
- Financial risk management
With a Master’s degree in BA, you will always be in demand on the labour market – even in times of economic downturn. Companies need academics who have learned to analyze quantitative problems, devise good solutions and implement them. Opportunities for continuing your education in a PhD research programme might also be considered.
What do students of Business Analytics do once they graduate?
- consultants (30 percent)
- quantitative analysts or risk managers at financial institutions (30 percent)
- ICT workers (20 percent)
- data-mining specialists (10 percent)
- other professions (10 percent)
Continuing your studies
Graduates with excellent grades are invited to apply for one of our PhD student positions. This is normally awarded for four years, during which the student is expected to complete a research project. The main task of a PhD student is to conduct research resulting in a thesis.
There are three specializations in the Master’s programme in Business Analytics:
Business process optimization
You will tackle quantitative business problems with the aid of mathematical algorithms which are then implemented in decision support systems.
You simulate the human brain in a computer program to make decisions with optimization and data mining techniques.
Financial risk management
You learn to price derivatives, such as share options, and strategies for risk management. You will deal with both practical and theoretical aspects of the discipline.
All three areas of specialization prepare you for a career in business, industry, government or with a research facility.
WHY VU AMSTERDAM?
A unique programme
VU Amsterdam is the only university to offer a Master’s degree in Business Analytics. Education in three different fields of expertise (mathematics, computer science and business management) is combined with group projects to form a programme that is unique in the Netherlands.
Prepare for business
The strong emphasis on analyzing the complete trajectory of business processes is what distinguishes this degree from other business-oriented programmes with a quantitative component. This assures employment in a multidisciplinary setting once you have obtained your Master’s degree. VU Amsterdam has many contacts with businesses, and the research of the academic staff is strongly focused on practical applications. This is particularly fruitful during the external Master’s project, which is carried out in a business, industry or research setting. During your external Master’s project, you will gain considerable practical and professional experience which will be of great value during your future career.
The Department of Mathematics at VU Amsterdam has a first class reputation as a training and research institute. Specifically, the mathematics department is well acknowledged for its research in operations research and for applying mathematics to solve business problems.
The potential to combine employment and study
If you are a Dutch student, you can decide to combine employment and study, each on a part-time basis, in the ‘dual’ Master’s programme. The work has to be relevant to your degree, ensuring that your knowledge is directly applied in a practical situation. The work experience you obtain is therefore relevant both academically and professionally.
Campus in Amsterdam
The mathematics department at VU Amsterdam maintains close ties with companies in the financial epicenter of the Netherlands, located at a stone’s throw from the university campus. The campus also houses the VUmc academic hospital, providing an ideal opportunity for the application of BA in health care. In addition, the university’s programmes in other fields of science provide opportunities for combining BA with other key areas of application, such as computer science and economics. VU Amsterdam is conveniently located: it is easy to access by public transport and close to the city centre of Amsterdam.