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Build tomorrow’s hacker-proof computer systems

Are you interested in building tomorrow's hacker-proof computer systems?

And do you get a kick out of solving tough experimental computer science problems and understanding the many security issues that plague the modern hardware/software stack? Then our Master in computer security is the programme for you.

Check whether you meet the programme requirements and apply

  • Coronavirus: additional information admission

    Generally speaking, students must complete their Bachelor’s or pre-Master’s before starting on their Master’s programme. This is known as the ‘BSc-before-MSc rule’. Due to the corona crisis, however, some students have had to partially stop their studies, resulting in an unfortunate delay.

    There has been examined how an exception to this BSc-before-MSc rule can be made possible for Master’s programmes at VU Amsterdam. This means that, under certain conditions, students who are lacking credits for no more than a few courses including their bachelor project, will still be able to start their Master’s at VU Amsterdam next year. This is a one-off measure. The missing credits must be completed during the 2022-2023 academic year, in other words no later than August 31, 2023. Please read carefully below which rules apply for admission into this Master’s programme.

    The following rules apply this year for admission into this Master’s programme:

    Target groupNumber of EC at least achieved / % EC achieved
    Bachelor students at a Dutch University (incl. VU)150 EC

    You are required to have obtained your Bachelor degree before you are able to start with your Master’s project Computer Security.

    Please note that, apart from the rules above, the following passages are still applicable and must be met to be considered for admission into the Master’s programme:

    • Admission criteria / requirements that are not EC related
    • English language proficiency requirements

    Do you want to start a Master’s programme in September?  Then complete the form for exceptional admission to a Master’s programme.

  • I have a Dutch university level (WO) Bachelor’s degree (VU Bachelor’s degree, VU pre-Master or Bachelor’s degree at another university)

    Our Master’s programme is open to both Dutch and international students and attracts excellent students from the field of Computer Science. The Admission Board will decide upon your admission after having evaluated your complete online application.

    This is a specialised Master’s programme, consisting mainly of classes, practicals, and research projects in computer security with a strong computer systems focus. Students preferring to take a wide-ranging Master’s programme are advised to opt for a standard programme such as Computer Science. 

    Specific requirements for the Master’s programme in Computer Security
    In order to gain admission to the Master’s programme in Computer Security, you will need to have at least a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited research university including at least three full years of academic study amounting to a minimum of 180 ECTS or equivalent. A background in Computer Science and a demonstrable, highly advanced knowledge of computer systems is required (experience in Security is a plus). Evidence for such deep knowledge are prior academic performance (especially in systems courses such as operating systems, computer networks, etc.), research projects, contributions to open-source projects, etc. Academic writing skill is to be demonstrated by submitting a thesis.
    We do not require a GRE or GMAT test score.

    The programme is open to both Dutch and international students and widely advertised. All students undergo a strict selection procedure to gain admission. Standards will be very high indeed. 

    General language proficiency requirements 
    VU Amsterdam requires all international applicants to take an English test. If you have a Dutch bachelor's degree you are exempt from this requirement.

     

  • I have a Dutch higher vocational education (HBO) Bachelor’s degree (or an international equivalent)

    A Bachelor's degree obtained at a Dutch University of Applied Sciences (HBO) is insufficient to be admitted into the programme. The same applies to international students who obtained an international equivalent of the Dutch HBO Bachelor's degree.

  • Application with a Dutch degree

    Enthusiastic about this programme? And do you meet the admission requirements? Find out how to apply.

    If you want to apply for a Master's programme at VU Amsterdam, the application procedure depends on your previous degree(s) and whether you obtained your diploma in the Netherlands or abroad. You find all information about the application procedure with a Dutch degree on the application page

    Note: this Master may still be listed under its old name (PDCS: Parallel and Distributed Computer Systems) in the administration and application procedures, since the new official name (Computer Security) has only been recently formalized.

    The application deadlines are:

    • 1 February for international students applying for one of the VU scholarships
    • 1 April for non-EU/EEA students*
    • 15 July for non-Dutch EU/EEA students
    • 15 July for holders of a Dutch bachelor’s degree (with a Dutch or EU/EEA nationality)

    *non-EU/EEA students who do not need a study visa and/or a residence permit can still apply until 15 July

  • I have an international degree

    Our Master’s programme in computer security is open to both Dutch and international students and attracts excellent students from the field of Computer Science. The Admission Board will decide upon your admission after having evaluated your complete online application.

    This is a specialised Master’s programme, consisting mainly of classes, practicals, and research projects in Computer Security with a strong computer systems focus. Students preferring to take a wide-ranging Master’s programme are advised to opt for a standard programme such as Computer Science. 

    Specific requirements for the Master’s programme in Computer Security
    In order to gain admission to the Master’s programme in Computer Security, you will need to have at least a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited research university including at least three full years of academic study amounting to a minimum of 180 ECTS or equivalent. A background in Computer Science and a demonstrable, highly advanced knowledge of computer systems is required (experience in security is a plus). Evidence for such deep knowledge is prior academic performance (especially in systems courses such as operating systems, computer networks, etc.), research projects, contributions to open-source projects, and similar experiences. Academic writing skill is to be demonstrated by submitting a thesis. We do not require a GRE or GMAT test score.

    General language proficiency requirements 
    VU Amsterdam requires all inernational applicants to take an English test. You can, however, begin your application without having the test results. Exceptions are made for students who have completed a Bachelor or Master degree in Canada, USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia.

    The minimum English language proficiency requirements for admission to this Master's programme are:

    • IELTS: 6.5 overall
    • TOEFL Internet-based test: 92 overall
    • Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE): A, B, C
    • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): A, B, C

    Please note that students who need a study visa must submit their English test results before 1 June. All other students have to submit the test certificate before 31 August (preferably sooner).

    TOEFL and IELTS tests must have been completed no more than two years before 1 September of the year in which your course starts. Note that TOEFL MyBestScore is not accepted. Our institution code is 7947.

    Your English test results can be included in your application file or sent to the following email address (for non-Dutch degree holders): masters.fs@vu.nl. The general requirements regarding language proficiency are found here.

  • Application with an international degree

    Required format and required documents
    Please note: you will need to upload all required documents in one PDF file, using this Application Form Template.
    Please check here which documents you need to submit for this specific Master's programme.

    After having prepared the required documents, please follow the online application procedure. For more information, international students may also contact the International Student Advisors: masters.fs@vu.nl.

    Grants and scholarships
    As an international student planning to study at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, you can apply for a variety of grants and bursaries. Detailed information about scholarships and deadlines can be found on www.vu.nl/scholarships or www.grantfinder.nl

    International Student and Alumni Ambassadors
    Our International Student and Alumni Ambassadors are happy to tell you all about their experiences with studying at VU Amsterdam and living in Amsterdam.

    • Our Student Ambassadors are current students at VU Amsterdam that represent a wide variety of programmes and countries.
    • Our International Alumni Ambassadors are VU Amsterdam graduates who are currently either working in the Netherlands or abroad, or doing a PhD or (second) Master's.

    You will find the full overview of our Ambassadors here: vu.nl/ambassadors. There you can chat with them directly.

  • Additional costs

    Master students Computer Security will have to spend approximately 200 euro per year on buying books. Students are expected to possess a laptop computer, running either Windows 10 or mac OSX, for participating in educational activities (which comes down to approx. 300 euro per academic year).

Want to know more?

Don't hesitate to contact us!

Are you applying with a Dutch diploma? You can contact the Educational Office of the Faculty of Science for questions and practical information: toelating.beta@vu.nl

For questions about the Master's programme Computer Security, please send an e-mail to Master's director Cristiano Giuffrida: c.giuffrida@vu.nl. For more general questions, please send an e-mail to contact@vu.nl

Call us on +31 20 5985000 (on working days from 10.00 till 16.00)

International diploma applicants

International diploma applicants are welcome to send an e-mail to masters.fs@vu.nl or book a phone appointment to get in touch with the International Student Advisor of this programme

If you have questions about the tuition fee, Studielink or your personal dashboard on VU.nl, please contact the Student Desk: studentdesk@vu.nl

Contact

  • Marija Bosnić
  • International Student Advisor
  • Faculty of Science
  • masters.fs@vu.nl
  • Sandra van Daalen
  • International Student Advisor
  • Faculty of Science
  • masters.fs@vu.nl
  • Jasper Oosterveld
  • International Student Advisor
  • Faculty of Science
  • masters.fs@vu.nl