Emerging computer networks and communication technology provide a new technological foundation for designing software systems. The systems become distributed, reconfigurable and adaptive, and their components employ a high degree of autonomy. This is an exciting and rapidly evolving field in which there is a continuous demand for qualified software engineers on the world labour market.
Software Engineering of Distributed Systems at KTH
The set of devices in which distributed software applications may operate ranges from cloud servers to smartphones. New technological developments create considerable demand from industry and for engineers who can design software systems utilising these developments. This master’s programme is intended to be an educational response to such industrial demands. It provides students with state-of-the-art knowledge of the field and develops their practical skills to meet current industrial requirements, as well as enhancing their ability to adapt to the new developments of tomorrow’s technology.
The program is course-based. 60 ECTS credits must be obtained from the set of compulsory courses (including the degree project) and 60 ECTS credits can be obtained from the set of elective courses. The programme offers two tracks: the Software track and the Data Science track. The Software track emphasises software development courses while the Data Science track put a focus on data analysis courses. Among the set of elective courses for these specialisations, four courses (30 ECTS credits) for each of these tracks must be elected from the lists of corresponding elective courses for the tracks. The final term is dedicated to the degree project with one set of thesis topics provided by faculty. Many students choose to conduct their project in collaboration with industry, either in Sweden or abroad, and others are interested in pursuing their project in a university abroad. The choice of degree project depends on the students’ plans for future industrial or research work.
This is a two-year programme (120 ECTS credits) given in English. Graduates are awarded the degree of Master of Science. The programme is given mainly at KTH Kista campus in Stockholm by the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (at KTH).
Distributed systems, software engineering, distributed artificial intelligence and intelligent agents, data science.
Since the programme is oriented to educate software engineers with a comprehensive knowledge of recent advanced methods and technologies in distributed software systems, opportunities for graduates to find a job are extensive. The programme qualifications allow students to work in a multitude of companies developing or maintaining software, and this is a huge market. Alumni can be found working in companies such as Ericsson, Spotify, Google, Nasdaq, Netlight, Scania group and SEB. Many students have been offered permanent positions either in Sweden or abroad even before they graduate. Feedback from former students shows that they very much appreciate the knowledge of modern technologies they learned from the programme, and this knowledge enables them to be very competitive in the labour market. Likewise, there are many examples of graduates becoming key employees in their companies by promoting these modern technologies.
A large number of students also target an academic career, and many of them have proceeded to doctoral positions in well-known universities all over the world.
Software development, enterprise architect, consulting, entrepreneur, project manager, researcher, business development.
"I would say KTH has a very high standard of education. There are so many options to learn details throughout the lectures, exercises, labs, projects, and exams."
Helal from Sweden
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 three key sustainable development goals addressed by the master's programme in Software Engineering of Distributed Systems are:
4 Quality Education
9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
12 Responsible Consumption and Production
Quality Education: The programme provides a stimulating international environment in which students from countries all around the world collaborate on common subjects; the approach we take in teaching the programme creates a strong basis for supporting life-long learning
Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure: In the programme, we underline innovation factors as an important component of progress in the software industry; building reliable infrastructure requires expertise in software technology that we teach as a vehicle for its development
Responsible Consumption and Production: The programme underlines digitalisation as an approach to responsible consumption that includes reduced resource consumption (paper, for example) and responsible energy consumption.
Faculty and research
The research goal of the department is to continue strong research in fundamental aspects of software and computer systems, central areas within Computer Science, with a focus on cloud computing, service computing, social networks, time-aware systems, data science, and applied AI as well as Software Engineering.
To be eligible for the programme, you must have been awarded a bachelor's degree, be proficient in English, and meet the programme-specific requirements.
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 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/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 recognized English tests, previous studies, and required documents is provided by University Admissions.
Specific requirements for the master's programme in Software Engineering of Distributed Systems
A bachelor's degree in computer science or equivalent degree, corresponding to at least 180 ECTS credits, including courses in mathematics, information technology or computer science equivalent to at least 90 ECTS credits.
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:
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 Software Engineering of Distributed Systems
Autobiographical Statement (Motivation Letter)
2 Letters of Recommendation
Certificate showing relevant work experience, if applicable