Master Programme Computing Science
The world thrives on information. In everything we do, we make decisions and act
based on information. How can we cope with the abundance of information around us, the
uncertainties in information, and the many different options to process it? Information
systems and computing come to the rescue.
Software systems help us make better
decisions and enable us to do things that
would otherwise be more difficult, more time-consuming or even impossible. Yet, the more
information we have, the more we want to do with it. The MSc programme Computing Science
provides you with the advanced concepts, software design methods, and analytic skills
necessary for creating information-driven systems and applications in any domain of society.
The master's degree programme "Computing Science" is an excellent way to specialize in the
modern design issues of competitive algorithmic and software systems and their application.
Research in Computing Science
Discoveries in Informatics have a large impact on our everyday lives. Each new application
requires that you can adapt existing techniques or invent new ones, in any stage of the
design process. The MSc programme is therefore 'research-oriented' and focuses on the
development and understanding of the latest techniques in the design of software,
algorithmic techniques, and decision support systems. It learns you about the
state-of-the-art in computing science and software design and about the research people do
to advance it. The programme combines the expertise of Utrecht University's leading research
As a MSc student you will become part of these groups and their activities and engage in the exciting development in the field.
MSc Degree Programme in Computing Science
The MSc programme focuses on the development and understanding of the latest techniques
in the design of software, algorithmic techniques, and decision support systems and
their applications. The programme offers many options for you to tune your study programme
to your specific interests and passions in the field. The combined expertise of our research
groups allows us to offer you a broad range of courses and opportunities for individual
projects to choose from. On top of that, some courses from other MSc programmes
(like Technical Artificial Intelligence) may be chosen as well, if this fits the core
direction of your choice in Computing Science. The 2-year MSc programme Computing
Science is taught in English.
The 2-year programme leads up to an MSc project on current research in
the field in the second year. Successful completion of the Master's programme leads to
the MSc degree in Computer Science.
The MSc degree programme in "Computing Science"
is led by
professor Jan van Leeuwen
(a.i.), together with professor Arno Siebes
The MSc programme emphasizes the software- and algorithmic approach to software
technologies, programme design, data analysis, information structures, planning, reasoning, computational
complexity and information-based systems
, covering the whole spectrum from algorithmic modeling
to software and applications design.
Upon entering the programme you will select your individual study line
. You can either
select a previously approved study line or propose your own well-motivated one. A study line
may include a more theoretical or a more applied focus, depending on your preference and
perspectives. As a rule, a study line in the programme consists of up to ten courses (at
least 75 ects) and a MSc thesis project (45 ects) divided in:
- core courses digressing in the area of interest
- a motivated choice of elective courses
- a MSc thesis project prepared for by your chosen courses
The cores of the following study lines are pre-defined, with room for modifications and electives:
- Software technology
- Formal methods and program analysis
- Algorithm design and complexity
- Advanced planning and decision making
Decision support systems and their realization ('Engineering Bayes') (postponed)
- Algorithmic data analysis ('Big Data')
You will spend a little over a year (5 periods) on courses, seminars or small projects.
Every semester consists of two periods, normally with two courses per period. In addition you
will participate in one of the colloquium series of the groups to broaden your view of
the discipline. The larger part of your second year (3 periods) is reserved for your
Tailor your programme
Elective courses may include courses from any of the (other) study lines in the
program, seminars, up to two experimentation projects, or one or two courses from other
MSc programmes. If you have any gaps in your background knowledge upon entry in
the programme, you may be required to sacrifice up to two of your elective courses to
fill these gaps. The graduate student advisor will tell you which courses (if any) you
need to take instead.
Experimentation projects give you the opportunity to apply the theory studied in your
to challenging problems from some application area in science or industry. The seminars
are research-oriented, focusing on an advanced or specialised subject of current
interest. The topics of the seminars vary from year to year.
Here are some of the courses which we offer yearly and which serve either as part of
the predefined cores and/or as electives for your study line:
- advanced data mining, advanced functional programming, algorithmic game theory,
algorithms and networks, decision theory, generic programming, model checking, pattern
recognition, probabilistic reasoning, programming language concepts, queries and
retrieval, scheduling and time tabling, and more
The second year of your MSc studies is mostly devoted to your MSc Thesis project. Each
study line should prepare you for a MSc thesis project in the areas of one or
two of the research groups associated with the programme.
MSc thesis projects are offered in e.g.
- algorithmic data analysis,
algorithmic systems ,
and also in novel themes at the interface with the other MSc programmes.
You can do your thesis project within our Department of Information and Computing Sciences, in a company in
the Netherlands, or abroad. You plan and conduct your thesis project under the supervision of a member of staff and possibly with the help of an external coach. Your
thesis project is concluded with a MSc thesis and an oral presentation of your results and experiences.
Further details for 2010-2011: see curriculum
Graduate student advisor for Computing Science
Dr Ad Feelders
, together with Dr Wishnu Prasteya
MSc graduates of this programme are fully prepared for research positions at universities
and science labs, both in computer science and in interdisciplinary research, and for
careers in industry. Graduates find jobs as researcher, system designer, project leader,
software engineer, or IT-consultant. Many graduates also continue in PhD?
in computer science or an application domain, in computer science departments or research
institutes, or in industrial laboratories. PhD?
-research positions are normally advertised
by the relevant institutions.
oriented research is carried out in 'positions' as PhD?
('promovendus'). This number of positions is limited and may depend on
external funding. Available positions in the Department are usually advertised
employers may allow for PhD?
-oriented research 'on the job'.
Prerequisites for admission to the MSc degree programme in 'Computing
Science' are: a university-level BSc degree with a major in Computer Science
(comparable to the Department's BSc-degree) and a special interest for the
beauty and challenges of (research in) software technology, algorithmic systems and/or
data analysis and decision support systems.
For Utrecht University students the programme constitutes their years 4 and 5 of
the full 5-year programme (BSc + MSc) in Computer Science. If you are a 3rd-year
Utrecht University student of Computer Science ('Informatica') and wish to continue in
the master "Computing Science"
, please contact the programme's
graduate student advisor Dr Ad Feelders
Students with a BSc in Computer Science from other universities in the
in Informatics (with diploma), are
'automatically' admissible as well but should follow the admission procedure
for Dutch students. Qualified foreign students are welcome
and should follow
the admission procedure for international students. There is no entrance exam
but admission depends on your bachelor programme and study performance, and is
dependent on the judgment of the CS admissions committee. There is no set
limit on the number of accepted students. If you're not entirely sure, send
your cv to the programme's graduate student advisor, Dr Ad Feelders
, for a pre-advice. (Small deficiences in
your background may require that up to two of your elective courses are 'used' for
repairing this. For large deficiences a pre-master may be required before admission.)
Do you want to apply? Then please follow the admission procedure for Utrecht
University's MSc programmes, outlined by the instructions below. For
information not found there, contact the Bureau of Student Affairs:
Mrs Leonie Silkens
in the bachelor programme Compuer Science ('Informatica')
at Utrecht University, wishing to continue in the MSc programme Computing Science: please
contact the graduate student advisor for information and follow
inschrijving voor een masterprogramma
disciplines or from other
educational institutions in the Netherlands (only
) with a BSc or HBO
diploma: please follow the 'aanmelding en inschrijving' procedure for dutch students
: please follow the admission procedure for international students
When in doubt, contact the Bureau of Student Affairs:
Mrs Leonie Silkens
Information on tuition fees, scholarships, visa, accommodation etc is included
on the given websites, and in the useful links below.
The MSc programme Computing Science follows the excellent tradition of the Utrecht
University MSc programmes. We look forward to seeing you in our Department and in