MSc in Software Engineering

University of Amsterdam

Program Description

MSc in Software Engineering

University of Amsterdam

You already know how to code. And over the years you've gained the necessary theoretical and practical experience. But you want more. You want to take your qualities as a software engineer to the next level. To work with other software engineers on realistic, complicated issues. To solve isolated technical problems, but also to operate within the whole dynamic and extensive field that software engineering is. To not just know the how, but to understand the why.

Is Software Engineering at the UvA the study for me?

It is, if you:

  • have a solid technological basis and a fundamental understanding of computer science and software
  • want to study software engineering on an academic level
  • are curious and like being challenged by complex software issues
  • want to learn how to make thorough strategic decisions
  • want to learn how to collaborate ánd negotiate effectively
  • are critical, but also innovative and open for discussion

What does Software Engineering at the UvA have to offer me?

The programme concerns the broad field of software engineering, a field that is in constant movement due to innovations in technology, design patterns and techniques. Software engineering distinguishes itself from classical computer science by its focus on human factors, system size and complexity of requirements. We believe a good software engineer is comparable to a good researcher, we teach you how to acquire relevant knowledge and how to reflect on your assumptions and ideas, by giving you:

  • technical courses covering software quality, specification-based automated testing, automatic code analysis, automatic code transformation and development of domain specific languages
  • non-technical, people-oriented courses on software architecture, requirements engineering and organisational aspects of software engineering

  • a very intensive programme filled with challenging assignments, wherein 40 hour-weeks are the rule rather than the exception
  • an intensive and personal learning environment, where staff members are always open to questions and discussions
  • continuous feedback through weekly paper sessions and progress meetings, wherein we work on your research skills
  • a tight and engaged team of staff members, with solid practical experience as well as strong scientific reputation
  • the option to study part-time next to a job
  • a very promising career perspective.
  • Thesis fair: connection with the industry

Whether you see your future in industry or in research, the staff of this Master's programme has just one mission: to make you a better software engineer and designer, who can make significant contributions to software (research) questions and projects.


The SE course load is based on the process of software engineering and its fixed components. There are three courses on the technical aspects of software engineering:

  • Software Evolution (1st semester, 6 EC) -- How do you keep your system relevant and useful as long as possible? How can automatic analysis and transformation tools help with this?
  • Software Testing (1st semester, 6 EC) -- How does automatic testing work? How can you substantiate quality?
  • Software Construction (2nd semester, 6EC) -- Which building techniques should you use, to write clear and concise for others to read?

and three courses on the managerial/ human aspects of software engineering:

  • Software Architecture (1st semester, 6 EC) -- How do you make a first design for a system, with so many uncertainties? What does each component do and how do they relate to one another?
  • Requirements Engineering (1st semester, 6 EC) -- Which system is needed? What should it be able to do? Which conditions must it meet?
  • Software Process (2nd semester, 6 EC) -- Which problems occur often in software processes? Which measures can you take to counter them? What role do methods like Scrum and RUP play hereby?

Research projects

Lab assignments are part of the programme. Most are conducted in small groups and have to be completed in one or two weeks. This requires that you work together with other students at the faculty, and do all your reading in advance at home. As the year progresses, more and more projects are carried out on an individual basis under supervision.

The end of the year is reserved for your individual Master's project (24 EC), which requires real academic research. There is an extensive array of possible subjects. Many students choose to conduct their project within the National Research Institute for Mathematics and Computer Science (CWI, located next to the faculty). Part-time students who combine the programme with a job can choose a subject that is of interest to their employer. Another great way to help you choosing an appropriate research project is the SE Thesis Fair. At this event students and organisations meet during speed dating sessions while trying to make a match.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated November 16, 2017
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2018
12 months
Part time
Full time
2,006 EUR
Netherlands - Amsterdam
Start date: Sept. 2018
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Sept. 2018
Netherlands - Amsterdam
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
EU/EEA students. Non-EU/EEA students €21,010 per year.