Minor Finance For Non-Financials

Broadening minor
Minor code
10 weeks


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, getting a mortgage) and help you prepare starting your own business.

In this interactive course we will address the following questions:

  1. How to read financial statements (such as balance sheets and profit & loss statements) and digest financial information?
  2. How to evaluate the short-term and long-term financial health of a business or organization?
  3. How to evaluate the financial consequences of business decisions such as investment projects?
  4. How to evaluate different ways of financing business activities?
  5. How to make sure a business does not run out of money and get into financial trouble?

Learning objectives

At the end of this course the student should be able to:

  • Understand and extract financial information from financial statements
  • Perform financial statement analysis to evaluate the financial health of a company
  • Understand investment decision rules and 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

Special aspects

  • 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 (e.g., maths and statistics). Generally, the students are expected to have an A-level of mathematics (equavalant 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 quantititative analysis skills are more likely to succeed in this course.
  • All RSM minors have mandatory attendance.

Teaching methods

The course consists of interactive lectures (incl. guest lectures). 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): Fundamentals of Corporate Finance, by Hillier, D., I. Clacher, S. Ross, R. Westerfield, and B. Jordan, 2017, 3rd Edition. McGraw-Hill (ISBN 9780077178239)

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, group assignments, and participation.

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.


Feedback will be provided online and during class.

Contact information

Dr. Guosong Xu

+31 10 408 2759
room: T08-50

Faculty website

Broadening minor
Minor code
10 weeks
Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University
Study points (EC)
Instruction language