Computer Science studies the technology that has become ubiquitous in our global, connected society. Traditionally, the computer had been the primary object of study. Nowadays, globally distributed information processing services have taken center stage, with the Internet connecting a wide variety of information processing devices, ranging from mobile phones to data centers operated by the world leadership companies.
The technical side of Computer Science deals with computer operations, like system software, computer networks, and programming environments. The theoretical foundations cover, for example, limits of what can be computed, computational efficiency, correctness, and the intricacies of concurrent execution. Software engineering studies construction and maintenance of large and often mission-critical software systems that need to be maintained by large teams of people. Because of its prominent role in everyday life, non-functional aspects of information technology are gaining importance in Computer Science, most notably the energy efficiency of data centers, and the security of computer systems.
Students aiming to enroll in the Master Computer Science are required to have a solid background on the level of a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, or similar. The program is structured in multiple, focused specializations from which a student chooses one according to personal preferences. The program is organized in close collaboration with the University of Amsterdam.
From the academic year 2016 on, students will be awarded a joint degree from both universities. Classes are taught both at the VU campus, and at Science Park Amsterdam. Both locations are conveniently connected by both public transportation and bicycle paths.