Master in Computer Simulations for Science and Engineering COSSE


Program Description

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

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

The master's program in Computer Simulations for Science and Engineering is a two-year program including compulsory mobility for the students. The program 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 program 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 program in Computer Simulations for Science and Engineering will become very familiar with the tools of CSE, which includes:

  • mathematical modeling techniques,
  • simulation techniques (discretizations, algorithms, data structures, software in CSE),
  • and analysis techniques (data mining, data management, visualization).

The students will become experts in the generic tools as applied to one of the specializations 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 modeling.


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 program. 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.

This is a two-year program (120 ECTS credits) given in English. Graduates are awarded the degree of Master of Science from KTH and an equivalent degree from the other attended university. The program is given mainly at KTH Campus in Stockholm by the School of Engineering Sciences (at KTH).


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

  • to join the international research community by continuing Ph.D. studies in the CSE and science/engineering fields where simulation and high-performance computing are applied: fluid dynamics, electromagnetics, molecular physics, quantum chemistry, material science, chemical engineering, structural mechanics, biocomputing, and many more.
  • to gain employment in the “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 that are based on CSE expertise.

The program is highly research-oriented. So far, roughly two thirds of the graduates have continued with a Ph.D. position at the consortium partners KTH, TU Berlin, and TU Delft as well as a 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 program are in high demand on the labor 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.


Find out what students from the program think about their time at KTH.

Katerina Petropoulou, Greece: "Coming from a pure math background, I wanted to study something a bit more technical that would allow me to pursue a more hands-on career. KTH's reputation precedes it both in academia, organization, and social life."

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 programs. 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 are able to 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 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 program 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 program are:

  • Affordable and Clean Energy
  • Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • 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).


The COSSE master's program is a two-year program including compulsory mobility for the students. The program includes three semesters of courses followed by the fourth research semester spent on the Master's Thesis (30 ECTS) under the supervision of both degree-awarding universities. The joint supervision of the thesis work includes the possibility that the topic is chosen according to specializations offered by the degree-awarding universities individually.

The students enter in one of the universities and continue the second year at one of the other universities in another country). As a general rule, students will be admitted to TU Berlin for the 1st year, for course work amounting to at least 60 ECTS. Upon request, students may enter KTH or TU Delft for their 1st year of studies (course work amounting to at least 60 ECTS), if approved by PAG and endorsed by the said university. Admission for the 2nd year can, in this case, be either TU Berlin or KTH/TU Delft as approved by PAG and endorsed by the university being responsible for admitting the student to the 2nd year.

The second-year university offers course work (at least 30 ECTS) and supervision of the Master’s thesis (30 ECTS). This includes a choice of specialization at the chosen university:

  • KTH: Biocomputing, bioinformatics, machine learning, computational fluid dynamics, numerical linear algebra, computational physics, numerical analysis;
  • TU Delft: computational fluid dynamics, numerical linear algebra, high-performance computing, data assimilation
  • TU Berlin: Optimal Control, Control Theory, Numerical Linear Algebra, Numerical Analysis

The specializations offered, reflect some of the research areas of each institution and its spearhead competencies. A student is allowed to choose a specialization different from the proposals above if the PAG agrees. The program consists of core courses, preparatory courses, and elective courses. Additionally, extracurricular courses can be taken.

First-year at KTH

  • SF2520 Applied Numerical Methods
  • SF2940 Probability Theory
  • SF2561 Finite Element Method
  • SF2524 Matrix Computations
  • SF2521 Numerical Solution of Differential Equations
  • SF2568 Parallel Computations
  • SF2822 Applied Nonlinear Optimization
  • SF2525 Numerical Methods for Stochastic Differential Equations and Machine Learning
  • DD2257 Visualization
  • SF2526 Numerical Algorithms for Data-Intensive Science

Second-year at KTH

  • AK2032 Theory and Methodology of Science
  • SF2524 Matrix Computations
  • SF2566 Advanced Individual Course in Sc Comp
  • SF2567 Project course in Scientific Computing
  • SF2565 Program construction in C++ for Sc Comp
  • DD2431 Machine Learning
  • DD2434 Machine Learning (Adv Course)
  • SF2935 Modern Methods of Statistical Learning
  • DD2435 Mathematical Modeling of Biological Systems
  • DD2404 Applied Bioinformatics
  • SK2530 Introduction to Biomedicine
  • BB2300 Computational Chemistry
  • BB2440 Bioinformatics and Biostatistics
  • BB2280 Molecular Modeling
  • SD2611 Aerodynamic Design of Aircraft
  • SI2530 Computational Physics
  • SF2832 Mathematics Systems Theory
  • SF2863 Systems Engineering
  • SF2866 Applied Systems Engineering
  • SF2942 Portfolio Theory and Risk Management
  • SF2980 Risk Management

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 recognized university, is required. Students who are following longer technical programs, and have completed courses equivalent to a bachelor's degree, will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

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 recognized 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: 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)

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

A bachelor’s degree corresponding to 180 ECTS credits. 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

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

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

  1. 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.
  2. A Curriculum vitae including details on your academic career.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Last updated Oct 2019

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