Master of Engineering: Computer Science (Leuven)


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

We live in a digital world. Computers and software play a central role in society: in companies, in education and research, and in our daily lives. Year after year, our daily activities become more connected with the digital dimension. In this context, the Department of Computer Science at KU Leuven steers the most novel evolutions and develops the technology required for the next generation of applications.

What's the Master of Computer Science about?

This Master will train you to become an expert in the development and up-front professional use of computer and software systems. Nowadays, these systems are indispensable in nearly all areas of our society: in industry, the public sector, health and many social applications for end users. They are also the most complex systems ever created by humans.

The program will teach you to specify, design, implement, test and maintain advanced software systems. It will teach you how to handle complexity and how to deal with diverse requirements such as functionality, reliability, user-friendliness, security, reliability, intelligence, efficiency and cost.

You will acquire all the necessary skills to tackle complex research questions, formulate your own research goals, and successfully achieve them.

You will be trained in communication skills and stimulated to acquire a broad societal view on the relevance of computer science and technology today.

Application deadline for 2018-2019

  • 1 March 2018 (for non-EEA citizens)
  • 1 June 2018 (for EEA citizens)

KU Leuven uses an online application system. You can download and submit your application form via Students with a Flemish degree can consult

Tuition Fee

For more information about our tuition fees, please visit


The program is structured around a mandatory core (42 credits) of which 18 credits are dependent on the Bachelor’s track followed by the incoming student. This core focuses heavily on software development and is the main foundation of the program.

You can choose between two advanced specialization areas: software security or artificial intelligence. In both specializations, you will conduct your own research and develop novel technology, guided by top-experts in the international research community.

The Master’s thesis covers 24 credits and is started at the beginning of the second stage.

General education courses (12-14 credits) cover a wide variety of topics such as advanced language courses, economy, law, advanced mathematics courses. All students have the additional option to complete their program with any course offered by the university (6 credits).


At the Faculty of Engineering Science, students are given the opportunity to complete one or two semesters of their degree within the Erasmus+ program at a European university, or a university outside Europe.

Students are also encouraged to carry out industrial and research internships abroad under the supervision of the departmental Internship Coordinator. These internships take place between the third Bachelor’s year and the first Master’s year, or between the two Master’s years.

Other study abroad opportunities are short summer courses organized by the Board of European Students of Technology (BEST) network or by universities all over the world.

The Faculty of Engineering Science is also a member of the international networks CESAER, CLUSTER, and ATHENS, offering international opportunities as well.

More information on the international opportunities at the faculty is available on the website.


The program, courses, and areas of specialization are strongly linked to the research groups. This guarantees a state-of-the-art education in the field of computer science. Research activities (e.g. Master’s thesis) also form part of a student’s curricula.

A significant number of courses are focused on industry-relevant skills and content. The amount of industry-related research projects in the department of computer science allows us to include relevant content in our courses.

The 2015 student survey indicated that the following aspects of our program score very high: structure of the program, electives, theoretical foundations, research & scientific content, quality of teaching staff, overall logistics.

This is an initial Master's program and can be followed on a full-time or part-time basis.

Is this the right program for me?

  • You have completed a bachelor’s program in computer science or informatics.
  • You are very familiar with programming, including object-oriented programming, and are knowledgeable about computer architecture, networks, and databases.
  • You have received thorough training in mathematics, including analysis, linear algebra, numerical mathematics, statistics and preferably discrete mathematics.
  • Experience with working in teams is also preferred.

Career Paths

Software engineers can be found in nearly all sectors of society. The software is a crucial component in all industrial processes, in the service and entertainment industry, and in our society as a whole. Masters of Computer Science are active in the software development industry as well as in telecommunication and other industries. Many of our graduates work in hospitals, in the banking sector, in social organizations, and for the government as heads of ICT.


1. Competent in one or more scientific disciplines

1. Has advanced knowledge and insight in the following areas of computer science:

  • Software engineering: principles and techniques of modeling, design, and development of software; principles and realization of software architectures;
  • A wide range of different types of programming languages and algorithms;
  • Systems software (operating systems and distributed systems);
  • Theoretical and mathematical foundations of computer science.

2. And possesses specialized knowledge in at least one of the following disciplines of computer science:

  • Artificial intelligence
  • Computational informatics
  • Distributed systems
  • Human-computer interaction
  • Software engineering
  • Secure software

3. Is able to apply, expand, deepen and integrate knowledge from different fields of computer science.

2. Competent in conducting research

4. Can gather all the scientific information relating to a complex problem, assess its relevance and process the valuable aspects.

5. Can formulate specific research questions.

6. Can independently plan and execute different phases of the research process.

7. Can critically evaluate research results.

8. Engages other disciplines in the research, where needed.

3. Competent in designing

9. Has acquired specific expertise relating to all stages of the software development process: drafting requirements, analysis, design, implementation, testing, and maintenance.

10. Can use different paradigms and tools to develop software systems.

11. Can handle and control software development on a project-driven basis.

12. Can make an informed decision about whether to reuse an existing software solution based on the quality of the design and implementation.

13. Can create software solutions for multidisciplinary problems with an open end of which the solution space is very large.

4. A scientific approach

14. Can critically examine existing theories, models or interpretations in the field of computer science.

15. Can develop, use and validate new models at different levels of abstraction.

16. Observes the limitations and boundaries of solution methods.

17. Demonstrates academic integrity in thought and action.

18. Is able to independently keep up with developments in the field.

5. Basic intellectual skills

19. Can form an opinion based on objective evidence.

20. Can rationally cope with incomplete or irrelevant data.

21. Can independently reflect critically and constructively on their own thinking, decision-making, and actions.

22. Has a critical and constructive approach to developments in the field.

23. Is capable of abstract and structural thinking.

6. Competent in co-operating and communicating

24. Can orally and in writing communicate about and report on his or her research and solutions in Dutch and/or English with laymen, specialists and other stakeholders.

25. Can efficiently work in groups on a project basis, carry team roles, and deal with social dynamics.

26. Can handle deadlines through an independently drawn work schedule.

7. Takes account of the temporal and social context

27. Takes into account the social and economic constraints and the different aspects of the sectors he/she will be part of (e.g. industry, banking and insurance, healthcare, government, and education)

28. Is aware of their social and ethical responsibility and acts accordingly.

29. Has insight into the broader context of computer science in society (legal, economic, sociological, cultural, political and technical-industrial context).

Further Studies

When allowed:

  • Master of Artificial Intelligence (Leuven)
  • Master of Welding Engineering (Sint-Katelijne-Waver)
Last updated Mar 2020

About the School

KU Leuven is an institution for research and education with international appeal. All programmes at this University are based on the innovative research of its scientists and professors and are ranked ... Read More

KU Leuven is an institution for research and education with international appeal. All programmes at this University are based on the innovative research of its scientists and professors and are ranked among the top 100 in the world. Read less
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