To achieve these goals, you will have access to some of the most advanced computing, networking, storage and visualization facilities in the world. When completing the programme, you graduate in one of the many domains Computational Science has to offer, such as Computational Finance, Computational Biology, Numerical Mathematics or Complex Networks.
This is a joint degree programme of the University of Amsterdam and VU Amsterdam. Courses are given at the two Faculties of Science. Graduates receive a diploma accredited by both universities. Therefore, as a Computational Science student you benefit from the expertise, networks and research projects at both universities.
Three types of courses
The first year
The first year is dedicated to core Computational Science courses covering computing & algorithms, modelling & simulation, massive-data processing and multidisciplinary collaboration.
During the first year, you can choose between different core courses for each study block. In most blocks, two core courses are available, of which you can choose one. You may also opt to take both core courses that are offered in a block. The constrained choiceand electives courses are in addition to your core courses and can be chosen freely from an extensive list. The constrained choice courses are needed to obtain the required 60 EC for the first year.
The second year
The second year is dedicated to elective courses and the Master's project. The electives provide opportunity to deepen your knowledge of core concepts in Computational Science. Electives are selected to obtain a specialty in Computational Science or the different application domains, such as Finance & Economics, Biology & Bioinformatics, Numerical Mathematics and Earth Sciences.
The electives help you prepare for the Master's project. The Master's project will be conducted in a scientific group at in one of the universities in Amsterdam, but could also take place at institutes at the Science Park, such as CWI, NIKHEF, AMOLF, AMC and the NKI, outside Amsterdam or abroad. Often students who choose Finance & Economics will do their Master's project at a financial institute such as 'de Nederlandse Bank'. The Master's project must be a scientific project with potential to complement the existing body of knowledge in Computational Science.
Graduation in different domains
Not only do you graduate with knowledge of the core concepts of Computational Science like complex network simulation, but you can also specialise in one of the application domains, such as Computational Biology or Computational Finance. You can use the electives to take specific courses in application domains and perform your research in helping solving domain-specific problems in collaboration with domain experts.
Graduates of Computational Science are highly valued because of their skills and knowledge in this new field of science. They are ready to start a career in any research environment where computation is the core business. Here are some examples of what you can end up doing after graduation:
Vladislav Sergeev MSc Grid Computing-Computational Science (2006).
Current Position: Quantitative Analyst, Financial Markets department, ING Bank.
“My interest in computational problems faced by financial industry has been triggered by a course in Computational Finance. Doing graduation work on a topic of option valuation with PDEs, combined with a few optional courses from the Econometrics department of the UvA, was a natural way forward. Without a doubt, the training received at the UvA has paved the way to a career where I can freely steer between quantitative finance and software engineering. Be it development of an automated option trading platform, a financial engineering position in a risk management consultancy or quant development in a large bank, my confidence is rooted in the solid foundation of my MSc years.”
Johann de Jong MSc Grid Computing-Computational Science
Current position: PhD student The Netherlands Cancer Institute
“My research focuses on transposons and retroviruses. These are pieces of genetic material that can integrate themselves into the DNA of a host cell. The goal is to predict where integrations will occur, how active they will be, and how they influence their environment (the 'chromatin'). I use very large ('genome-wide') datasets describing the chromatin, and techniques mainly derived from machine learning and statistics. The study of transposons and retroviruses is of great importance for cancer research and the safety of gene therapy, and more generally to gain new insights into gene regulation.”
Future in Science
In addition, many of our students go on to join a research group and pursue a PhD, whether in Amsterdam or abroad.
Information about the programme
For questions specific to this programme, please contact the Programme Manager, Mike Lees:
For further information you can contact the PR Officer:
Erik van Zwol
T +31 (0)20 598 7499
Practical information for international students
Would you like to know more about our courses, scholarships and application & registration procedure? Please contact our International Office.
General information about VU Amsterdam
Please phone us at +31 (0)20 598 5000 (Monday – Friday, 10:00 to 12:00). You may also e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.