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Explaining our complex world through modelling and simulation

Learn to apply computational science to solve complex societal problems

The master’s programme in Computational Science takes two years to complete. You will follow a compulsory core and you will also be given the flexibility to specialise and create your own profile. 

The programme has three types of courses:

  1. Compulsory core courses reflect the central body of knowledge in Computational Science such as modelling, simulation, and computing. Four courses are compulsory for all students in the programme.
  2. Restricted-choice elective courses allow you to either deepen your knowledge on core topics or to broaden your scope.
  3. Free-choice elective courses give you the freedom to select courses in the different application domains. These are an ideal way for you to expand your knowledge in an application domain in which you would like to conduct your master’s thesis project. 

Specialise in one or more domains
Not only will you develop knowledge of the core concepts of Computational Science, but you can also specialise in one or more of the application domains, such as:  

  • Computational Science Core
  • Computational Finance / Economics
  • Computational Biology
  • Computational Biomedicine
  • Computational Chemistry and Physics
  • High Performance Computing
  • Computational Social Choice
  • Scientific Computing / Numerical Math
  • Complex Systems

These application domains are not official specialisation tracks that will appear on your diploma, but they areas in which you can specialise through your selection of courses, projects and research topics.

You can also choose to compile your own personalised curriculum, as long as it is approved by the Examinations Board.

For more information, see the UvA Course Catalogue

The start date of this programme is September 1st.

First year

The first year of the Computational Science master’s programme is dedicated to compulsory core courses (30 EC), which cover topics such as:  

  • computing & algorithms
  • modelling & simulation
  • massive-data processing 
  • multidisciplinary collaboration

You will also choose 24 EC from the restricted-choice elective courses:

  • Evolutionary Computing 
  • Programming Large-scale Parallel Systems
  • Performance of Networked Systems
  • Stochastic Simulation
  • Biosystems Data Analysis
  • Computational Finance
  • Experimental Design and Data Analysis
  • Scientific Computing
  • Computational Biology
  • Data Mining Techniques
  • Distributed Algorithms 

Second year

The second year is dedicated to the master’s thesis project (42 EC) and free-choice elective courses (24 ECTS). 

Master’s thesis project
The master’s thesis project is a mandatory part of the Computational Science programme. You will carry out independent research, guided by a member of our academic staff. 

Free-choice elective courses
These elective courses allow you to further specialise in a wide range of domains. One individual project may replace one free-choice elective component.  A project may amount from 3 EC to a maximum of 6 EC and thus replace one free-choice elective course. Your selection of courses and project needs to be approved by the Examinations Board. See also a list of recommended free-choice elective courses in the UvA Course catalogue

Study costs and laptop

In addition to your tuition fees, you will need to include a number of other study costs in your budget, such as books, excursions, a laptop and possible other equipment. 

These costs can vary but academic books and study materials will usually cost you between 50 and 100 euro per month. You will need to bring your own laptop during the computer lab sessions.


Scholarships for the Computational Science programme are primarily available through UvA. The Faculty of Science at UvA has several scholarship programmes that offer highly-motivated students, from both the Netherlands and abroad, the opportunity to pursue a science degree.

Find out more on the UvA website.

Change your future with the Computational Science programme

Change your future with the Computational Science programme

After earning a master’s degree in Computational Science, you can specialise further by pursuing a PhD. Your advanced technical skills and analytical ability will also make you in high demand on the job market. Depending on the domain(s) that you specialised in, you can start a career in fields like:

  • computational finance
  • computational biology
  • numerical mathematics
  • complex networks
Explore your future prospects
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Want to know more about the curriculum of this programme?

Please contact the programme coordinator