Master in Computer Science


Program Description

Master in Computer Science

The Master’s program 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 program 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 Vrije Universiteit 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.

This Master's program is a joint degree program of the University of Amsterdam and VU Amsterdam. Courses are given at the two Faculties of Science. Graduates receive a diploma accredited by both universities.

Study program

The Master’s in Computer Science is a two-year program 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.


  • Foundations of Computing and Concurrency;
  • Internet and Web Technology;
  • Computer Systems and Security;
  • High-Performance Computing;
  • Parallel Computing Systems;
  • Software Engineering.

All courses are taught in English, except in the specializations of ‘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 program 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.

Career prospects

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 a software engineer. Examples of other jobs are:

  • web engineer;
  • data warehouse consultant;
  • user interface designer;
  • systems specialist;
  • IT project manager;
  • IT consultant;
  • systems engineer.

Admission requirements

The requirements are split up into Masters’ specialization specific requirements and general requirements.

Specific requirements master’s program

  • 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 enroll for the Master’s program 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 program of at most 60 ECTS may be required. If the gap is too pronounced, the student will be asked to do a Bachelor’s program 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 program.

  • HBO graduates
    Students with Bachelor’s diplomas from Dutch HBO institutions can usually enroll for the Master’s program in Computer Science after a pre-Master’s program 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 Program 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 program 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

Vrije Universiteit 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 Nov 2019

About the School

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is an internationally renowned research university founded in 1880. The university offers over 150 English taught programmes at Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD level to 23,00 ... Read More

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is an internationally renowned research university founded in 1880. The university offers over 150 English taught programmes at Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD level to 23,000 students from all over the world. Students and staff of 130 nationalities create a dynamic international academic community. The University distinguishes itself in research and education through four interdisciplinary themes: Human Health and Life Sciences, Science for Sustainability, Connected World and Governance for Society. Read less