Master of Science in Applied Sciences and Engineering: Computer Science


The Master in Computer Science is a two-year (120 ECTS) advanced study in computer science organised by the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. The programme is designed for students with a solid, fundamental academic background in computer science (i.e., bachelor in computer science, or equivalent). It will provide you with a deeper knowledge and understanding of computer science in general, and one of four specialisations in particular. The programme prepares you for an active role in computer science research and development, in academia as well as in ICT industry.

In addition to a meticulously designed core programme complemented by state-of-the-art specialisations, the curriculum offers a wide range of electives that allow you to tailor your education to your own interests.

Our courses promote an active style of learning. In addition to regular lectures, a broad range of instruction techniques are employed, such as group and individual projects, seminars, workshops, invited talks by experts in the field, and research trainings.

The courses are strongly embedded in the ongoing research activities of research groups that participate in various international networks and projects, and have experience in developing research trajectories with societal and economic impact – often in collaboration with industrial partners.

The following specialisations are offered:

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Multimedia
  • Software Languages and Software Engineering
  • Web & Information Systems

Outline of the programme – 120 ECTS

A core of 30 ECTS
One of the 4 specialisations: Artificial Intelligence, Multimedia, Software Languages and Software Engineering, or Web and Information Systems.
Each of these specialisations consists of a number of mandatory and optional courses; students should follow at least 30 ECTS within their chosen specialisation.
30 ECTS electives
These electives can be chosen from any of the four specialisations (i.e., regardless of the chosen specialisation).
6 ECTS can be taken from any of the master’s-level courses of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.
• A research training of 6 ECTS related to the chosen specialisation
• A master’s thesis of 24 ECTS related to the chosen specialisation

4 specialisations

  • Artificial Intelligence

The focus is on building intelligent software artefacts. The theories of complex dynamic systems and self-organisation are emphasised starting from the theory of complex dynamic systems as developed in related fields, such as mathematics, physics, and biology. Besides datamining and big data subjects, students will be exposed to current research in the areas of adaptive systems, multi-agent systems, the origins of language, and bioinformatics.

  • Multimedia

You will conduct in-depth exploration of techniques for signal processing and communication of multimedia content. The programme is designed to build thorough technological and scientific knowledge of various multimedia domains, such as digital television, telephony and videophony, computer animation, computer games, and the Internet. Students will gain experience with complex ICT architectures for the processing, distribution, and consumption of multimedia content.

  • Software Languages and Software Engineering

You will study languages, techniques, tools and methods to build complex software applications and software-intensive systems.
The profile includes an in-depth study and practical use of cutting edge programming languages such as Haskell, Clojure, Scala, Scheme, Erlang, ... as well as a solid academic foundation for the various advanced composition and abstraction techniques and concepts that are needed to build and maintain large scale applications. In the practical part of most courses, you will apply this knowledge in the context of a wide variety of innovative hardware such as mobile devices, manycore machines, wearables, etc. We offer electives varying from theoretical foundations (type theory), specialised programming paradigms (e.g. multicore  programming), virtual machines, advanced software engineering principles (e.g. quality assurance, meta programming), up to the more process-oriented aspects such as agile development.

  • Web and Information Systems

This specialisation is geared towards information-system development, and application development in the context of the Web. Students will learn about data and semantic representation methods and techniques, data visualization techniques, user interfaces and innovative user interaction techniques. They will acquire thorough technological and scientific knowledge related to the newest technological developments for the Web. Students can participate in research in the area of the development of new media systems (Virtual Reality, serious games, social systems, and the “Internet of Things”), multi-modal interaction systems, innovative document systems, and large-scale data processing.

Strong embedding in ongoing research

Our courses and specialisations are strongly embedded in the ongoing activities of research groups each specialised in a particular domain of computer science. The groups publish in international journals and at international conferences, and participate in various international research networks and projects. Master students carry out at least half of their studies within one of these groups. By being part of a professional research team, students receive maximal opportunities to learn and develop scientific skills, and to participate in worldclass research. The groups also have experience in developing research trajectories with societal and economic impact. They have implemented an active policy in technology and knowledge transfer, patenting, spin-off creation, industrial collaboration, and innovation.

A truly international context

About half of the students in our master’s programme come from Belgium, whereas the other half come from all over the world. Courses are taught and guided by a similarly diverse mix of professors and assistants. The membership of the research groups is truly international, and you can communicate with the university administration in English.

For an overview of all Master courses, click here.

Click here to take a look at example timetables for all four specialisations.