Master in Computer Science
The Master’s programme aims to provide you with the knowledge, experience and insights you need to become an autonomous professional in the field of computer science. You will learn a great deal about the technology behind computer systems, software, networking and online systems. The programme is designed to offer a solid basis for a career in the business world and also to prepare you for further education as a scientific researcher. There are several research groups within VU University Amsterdam where you will have the opportunity to continue your work as a scientific researcher. The Computer Science department has many connections with national and international companies, which can offer you a flying start to your career once you have completed your Master’s. Computer Science graduates are in high demand and many of our students find work in their chosen field of specialization.
The Master’s in Computer Science is a two-year programme worth 120 ECTS. You can choose from a range of specializations. Each specialization consists of:
- a number of compulsory subjects
- a subject on the theory of computer science
- a mathematics subject
- a practical assignment within your specialization
- a literature survey
- a final project accompanied by a thesis.
All courses are taught in English, except in the specializations on ‘Computer Science and Communication’ and ‘Information and Communication Technology’, which are taught in Dutch.
Compulsory and optional courses
The actual content of the Computer Science programme depends on your specialization. The only course that is compulsory for all Computer Science Master’s students, regardless of your specialization, is ‘Distributed Systems.’ Please see the Specializations page for more specific information on the coursework in each specialization.
The vast majority of our students (90%) embark on a career in areas like consultancy, the software business, other private sector businesses or the government sector. Computer scientists are welcome in a variety of jobs including systems manager, information analyst, software engineer, policy advisor or project manager. Many of our former students now work at companies such as Philips, Deloitte en Touche, IBM and the Royal Dutch Navy. Others have created their own company, sometimes right after graduation.
The most typical job our graduates pursue is that of software engineer. Examples of other jobs are:
- web engineer
- data warehouse consultant
- user interface designer
- systems specialist
- IT project manager
- IT consultant
- systems engineer.
The requirements are split up into Masters’ specialization specific requirements and general requirements.
Specific requirements master’s programme
- Students with a Dutch preliminary education
All students who have a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science obtained at a Dutch university (including the universities of technology in Delft, Eindhoven and Twente) can enrol for the Master’s programme in Computer Science. Admission of students with other diplomas requires the approval of the Examination Board. If there are gaps in the student's knowledge that might hinder the successful completion of a Master’s in Computer Science, a pre-Master’s programme of at most 60 ECTS may be required. If the gap is too pronounced, the student will be asked to do a Bachelor’s programme in Computer Science first. Depending on the level of his or her previous education the student may be exempted from –a portion of the Bachelor’s programme.
- HBO graduates
Students with Bachelor’s diplomas from Dutch hbo institutions can usually enrol for the Master’s programme in Computer Science after a pre-Master’s programme of 60 ECTS. The best fit is to be expected of those who have studied Hogere Informatica. For those with other degrees, such as heao-Business Informatics: enrolment for a Master's in Information Sciences might be a better choice.
- Students with an international preliminary education
Students with a Computer Science Bachelor’s diploma obtained at a foreign university can apply for admission to the Master’s Programme in Computer Science. We will judge on a case-by-case basis whether the student's Bachelor’s degree fits the chosen specialization of the Master’s programme and whether and to what extent a pre-Master’s track might be required. The Examination Board may set additional requirements.
General language proficiency requirements
VU University Amsterdam requires international applicants to take an English test and to submit their score as a part of the application. Exceptions are made for students who have completed their education in Canada, USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia or who have obtained an international Baccalaureate or European Baccalaureate diploma.
Last updated December 2, 2015