Master in Computer Simulations for Science and Engineering COSSE


Read more about this program on the institution's website

Program Description

Computer Simulations for Science and Engineering (COSSE) is a master’s programme within the multidisciplinary field of Computational Science and Engineering (CSE), which is an enabling technology for scientific discovery and engineering design. CSE involves mathematical modelling, numerical analysis, computer science, high-performance computing and visualisation. The remarkable development of large-scale computing in recent decades has turned CSE into the “third pillar” of science, complementing theory and experiment.

Female software engineer codes at computer

Computer Simulations for Science and Engineering at KTH, TU Berlin and TU Delft

The master's programme in Computer Simulations for Science and Engineering is a two-year programme including compulsory mobility for the students. The programme is given jointly by KTH, the Technical University of Berlin in Germany and Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. Students will enter one of the universities and continue in their second year at one of the other universities. As a general rule, students will be admitted to TU Berlin for the first year.

The programme includes three semesters of courses followed by a fourth research semester spent on a master’s degree project under the supervision of both universities attended. The students receive two degrees from both the first and second-year universities.

Learning outcomes

Students in the master's programme in Computer Simulations for Science and Engineering will become very familiar with the tools of CSE, which includes:

  • mathematical modelling techniques,
  • simulation techniques (discretisations, algorithms, data structures, software in CSE),
  • and analysis techniques (data mining, data management, visualisation).

The students will become experts in the generic tools as applied to one of the specialisations offered by the universities. Upon graduation, the students will have acquired:

  • familiarity with selected scientific and engineering application areas and their mathematical models.
  • a knowledge base and skills ranging from the formulation of a mathematical model to constructing software for high-performance computer architectures.
  • effective communication skills for interacting on written and oral presentations with the professional community as well as management and society at large.
  • a degree of independent and critical appraisal of the capability and limitations of, and results produced by, computational modelling.


After the beginning of the second semester, students, scholars and teachers of all partner universities will meet for a joint workshop to advise students on their elective courses, including possible topics for their master’s thesis. The workshop will include joint research and cultural activities and provide contacts to research departments in academia and industry.

Degree project

The master's degree project comprises 30 ECTS credits and is carried out in the second half of the second year of the programme. Students are supervised and examined by faculty staff from both the home and the host university. The project work may be performed in a research group at the institute or as a project in industry or a consultancy company.

Previous degree project topics

This is a two-year programme (120 ECTS credits) given in English. Graduates are awarded the degree of Master of Science from KTH and an equivalent degree from the attended universities, respectively. At KTH, the programme is given mainly on its Campus in Stockholm by the School of Engineering Sciences (at KTH).

Topics covered

Computational fluid dynamics, numerical linear algebra, high-performance computing, data assimilation, optimal control, control theory, numerical analysis, biocomputing, bioinformatics, machine learning.


As to career opportunities, a degree from the master's programme in Computer Simulations for Science and Engineering opens several opportunities:

  • to join the international research community by continuing PhD studies in the CSE and science/engineering fields where simulation and high-performance computing is applied: fluid dynamics, electromagnetics, molecular physics, quantum chemistry, material science, chemical engineering, structural mechanics, biocomputing, and many more.
  • to gain employment in “end-user” high-tech industry and “provider companies”, using and developing tools for advanced computer simulation in the pharmaceutical, automotive, materials, aeronautics, power generation, microelectronics, etc. industries.
  • to start new innovative companies which are based on CSE expertise.

The programme is highly research-oriented. So far, roughly two-thirds of the graduates have continued with a PhD position at the consortium partners KTH, TU Berlin, and TU Delft as well as other leading international universities, for example, MIT (USA), Oxford University (UK), Purdue University (USA), Uppsala University (Sweden), ETH (Switzerland), Karolinska Institute (Sweden), University Melbourne (Australia), INRIA (France), Simon Fraser University (Canada), UPC Barcelona (Spain), NTU Singapore, and many others.

The graduates of this programme are in high demand in the labour market as well. Alumni work in large and smaller companies such as Ericsson (Sweden), IBM Peking (China), BASF (Germany), Tata Steel (The Netherlands), DeCode genetics (Iceland), Sabic (India), AT Kearney (The Netherlands), HERE (Germany), TNO (The Netherlands) and many others.

"The best part about the programme is the environment that it creates for the students. It is a unique setting, where students from different cultures and with different backgrounds meet, exchange their knowledge and experiences and help each other grow."

Karolina from Poland

Sustainable development

Graduates from KTH have the knowledge and tools for moving society in a more sustainable direction, as sustainable development is an integral part of all programmes. The particular strength of mathematics is its high grade of abstraction with one and the same mathematical model used to describe very different features in many different areas of application. This versatility leads to the effect that once you can quantify phenomena you will be able to investigate these phenomena independently of their source, for example in science, engineering, society and the economy. Many of the UN goals of sustainable development are accordingly linked to Applied Mathematics, to name just a few: Good health and well-being, affordable and clean energy, Decent work and economic growth, Industry, innovation and infrastructure, Sustainable cities and communities, Climate action, Life below water, Reduced inequality and others. The master’s programme in Computer Simulations for Science and Engineering provides the student with the knowledge and tools applicable for their successful treatment. You will see examples of how to do this in different courses. It is not uncommon for the final master’s degree project to be devoted to questions related to sustainable development and its various goals. The examples of sustainable development goals addressed by the programme are:

  • 7 Affordable and Clean Energy
  • 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • 9 Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure

Examples of master’s degree projects relating to Affordable and Clean Energy are Solar power forecasting with machine learning techniques (in collaboration with Vattenfall); Risk assessment for hydropower plants (in collaboration with Vattenfall Hydro); Control of smart grids for energy distribution (in collaboration with Ngenic); Optimization in seasonal planning of hydropower plants (in collaboration with Power).

Examples of master’s degree projects relating to Decent Work and Economic Growth are The effect of Swedish laws on the inclusion of disabled persons; Financial sustainability of the Swedish income-based pension system (in collaboration with Pensionsmyndigheten); The effect of sustainability-oriented investments on the risk&return (in collaboration with COIN Investment Consulting Group).

Examples of master’s degree projects relating to Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure are Optimal traffic planning for autonomous vehicles (in collaboration with Volvo Construction Equipment); Optimal energy management for parallel hybrid electric vehicles (in collaboration with Scania); Optimal driving decision based on energy and time costs (in collaboration with Volvo).

Faculty and research

The programme is run by the Department of Mathematics. The Department of Mathematics at KTH hosts some of the strongest Swedish research groups in mathematics. It comprises four units: Mathematics, Mathematical Statistics, Optimisation and Systems Theory, and Numerical Analysis. Jointly, these units carry out research in a broad spectrum of mathematical disciplines, ranging from pure to applied mathematics. Some of the current larger research centres hosted at the department are:

  • Random matrices, sponsored by the Wallenberg foundation
  • Image processing, sponsored by SSF
  • PDE, sponsored by the ERC/VR/Gustafsson’s foundation
  • MathDataLab, sponsored by Brummer & Partners

The research at the Division of Numerical Analysis includes numerical methods for stochastic and deterministic differential equations, computational modelling in systems biology, numerical methods for micro and complex flow, multiscale methods, finite element methods for multiphase flow. The researchers are working actively in many interdisciplinary cooperative partnerships, for example, the Swedish e-Science Research Centre (SeRC), the Linné FLOW Centre, and with Karolinska Institutet. Students will also have access to Sweden’s fastest supercomputers through the PDC Centre for High-Performance Computing. The faculty members Professor Anders Szepessy and Professor Anna-Karin Tornberg are members of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Admission requirements

To be eligible for the program, you must have been awarded a bachelor's degree, be proficient in English and meet the program-specific requirements.

Bachelor's degree

A bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish bachelor's degree, or equivalent academic qualifications from an internationally recognised university, is required. Students who are following longer technical programmes, and have completed courses equivalent to a bachelor's degree, will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Students in their final year of undergraduate studies may apply and, if qualified, will receive a conditional acceptance. These applicants must include a written statement according to the instructions given by University Admissions. Students in the final year of undergraduate studies at a Swedish university do not have to provide a written statement in order, if qualified, to receive a conditional acceptance. They must, however, have completed 150 ECTS credits in the bachelor’s programme by 1 February.

English proficiency

English language proficiency equivalent to (the Swedish upper secondary school) English course B/6 is required. The requirement can be satisfied through a result equal to, or higher than, those stated in the following internationally recognised English tests:

  • TOEFL Paper-based: Score of 4.5 (scale 1-6) in written test, a total score of 575.
  • TOEFL ITP is not accepted.
  • TOEFL iBT internet-based: Score of 20 (scale 0-30) in written test, a total score of 90
  • IELTS Academic/IELTS UKVI: A minimum overall mark of 6.5, with no section lower than 5.5
  • Cambridge ESOL: Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) Certificate in Advanced English or Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE) (Certificate of Proficiency in English)
  • Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB): Minimum score of 90
  • The University of Michigan, ECPE (Examination for the Certificate of Proficiency in English)
  • Pearson PTE Academic: Score of 62 (writing 61)

The language requirement can also be fulfilled through previous university and upper secondary school studies. More information on recognised English tests, previous studies, and required documents is provided by University Admissions.

Specific requirements for the master's program in Computer Simulations for Science and Engineering (COSSE)

A bachelor’s degree corresponding to 180 ECTS credits or equivalent. The applicant should have a background in mathematics, computer science and numerical analysis including courses in: vector calculus, ordinary differential equations, stochastics and statistics. In addition, a basic understanding of partial differential equations and basic experience of a higher programming language is required.

Application documents

Your application is not complete without the required supporting documentation. The following general and programme specific documents must therefore be included in the application in the specified order:

General documents

  • Certificates and diplomas from previous university studies
  • Transcript of completed courses and grades included in your degree
  • Proof of English proficiency
  • A copy of your passport including personal data and photograph, or other identification documents

Specific documents for the master's programme in Computer Simulations for Science and Engineering (COSSE)

  • Transcript of records in the original language and translated into English. All courses taken must be included. Please also provide the university course descriptions from your university study guide or the university website in English. Weblinks will be accepted.
  • A Curriculum vitae including details on your academic career.
  • A letter of motivation including an indication of which specialization you wish to take and why and an indication of your preferred second-year university.
  • Summary sheet *

*In order for your application to be considered complete, you need to fill out the online summary sheet. If you do not include a summary sheet, this will negatively affect your evaluation score. Please be sure to fill out all of the required information before you submit the form.

If you have questions regarding the summary sheet please contact the programme directly.

Last updated Oct 2020

About the School

KTH Royal Institute of Technology has served as one of Europe’s key centres of innovation and intellectual talent for almost two hundred years. Recognized as Sweden’s most prestigious technical univer ... Read More

KTH Royal Institute of Technology has served as one of Europe’s key centres of innovation and intellectual talent for almost two hundred years. Recognized as Sweden’s most prestigious technical university, KTH is also the country’s oldest and largest. With over 12,000 students and an international reputation for excellence, the university continues to nurture the world’s brightest minds, helping to shape the future. Read less