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Maastricht University, Department of Data Science and Knowledge Engineering

Maastricht University, Department of Data Science and Knowledge Engineering

Maastricht University, Department of Data Science and Knowledge Engineering


The Knowledge Engineering bachelor’s and master’s programmes are designed around the Project-Centred Learning (PCL) teaching method. The PCL educational model is small-scale and student-oriented. You work in small groups on complex and challenging projects that require you to develop a variety of skills such as writing and presentation skills and working in a team. The skills you learn are an important preparation for your future career. You immediately apply what you have learned from the course material and lectures to real-life problems. Together with fellow students you research which information is required and how it is best presented. At the end of each project, you deliver a functional product and present your findings to your fellow students, the teachers and/or the client. Projects offered at DKE are:

  • developing climate models
  • multi-purpose game engines
  • intelligent search engines
  • vision recognition systems
  • interactive mathematics courses

Projects are often submitted by companies and institutes giving our students the opportunity to gain invaluable experience by applying their education to finding solutions to real-world problems.

Quality of our master’s programmes

The master’s programmes have been legally accredited in accordance with the Dutch Higher Education and Research Act. The national accreditation committee has assessed the master’s programmes to belong to the best in the Netherlands. Moreover, the accreditation committee rated the study guidance and student support as excellent, thus emphasizing the internationally-competitive quality of these services’

Choose your own curriculum

In the first year of your master’s you will gain in-depth knowledge on the most relevant topics in Artificial Intelligence or Operations Research. In the second year of the master’s programme you will have the opportunity to focus the programme on your specific interest and career goals. In addition, during the first semester of the second year you can:

• take elective courses, also at other faculties of Maastricht University

• take electives of the other master’s programme

• participate in the research projects of the academic staff

• take part in a company or research internship

• follow an exchange programme at a university abroad In the second semester, you will finish your master’s programme by writing a master’s thesis. For this, you will choose a research topic which you will work on under the supervision of one of the academic staff members. The research can be performed internally or externally at a company or another university. Your thesis must also be publicly defended.

*Note that all individual programme choices are supervised by our study advisor and academic staff and are always evaluated on quality by the Board of Examiners.

Research at the Department of Data Science and Knowledge Engineering

DKE is actively involved in different areas of research. The academic teaching staff of DKE consists of experienced lecturers and researchers that are well known in the international scientific community.

Within the department the research is organized in three groups: "BioMathematics and BioInformatics" (BMI), "Robots, Agents and Interaction" (RAI) and "Networks and Strategic Optimization" (NSO). Department members are involved in multiple research groups and therefore enhance interaction between the groups.

The BioMathematics and BioInformatics research covers principal areas of Systems Biology and Bioinformatics, such as sensing, analyzing, modeling and predicting biological and medical phenomena. The Robots, Agents, and Interaction Group (RAI) focuses on the design, analysis and application of systems composed of computational agents – that is, software entities or robots – which pursue goals autonomously and interactively in complex (e.g., uncertain, open, dynamic, hardly predictable) environments. For the research group on Networks and Strategic Optimization the emphasis is on Knowledge Engineering topics related to the study of competition. The group has a lot of expertise in researching competition in board games and in game theoretical modeling.

International character of our master’s programmes

The Department of Data Science and Knowledge Engineering belongs to the Faculty of Humanities and Sciences. This faculty has the highest ratio of international students at the university. DKE collaborates in its study programmes with well established universities such as Aarhus University in Denmark, Université de Montreal in Canada, Reykjavik University in Iceland, , UESTC in China and Universiteit Hasselt in Belgium. Students can participate in an international exchange programme at these universities. The faculty members of DKE cooperate in international research programmes, allowing for international internships for our students.


  • Maastricht

    Maastricht University Department of Data Science and Knowledge Engineering P.O. Box 616 , 6200 MD, Maastricht


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