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Build tomorrow’s hacker-proof computer systems

PDCS: Top Master in Computer Security

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

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

    The 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. 

    Note: this Master is still listed under its old name (PDCS: Parallel and Distributed Computer Systems) in the administration and application procedures. 

    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). 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 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 in Canada, USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia.

    The minimum English language proficiency requirements for admission to this master 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.

    A PDF copy of your English test result can be sent to the following email (for non-Dutch degree holders): masters.fs@vu.nl
    The general requirements regarding language proficiency are found here.

  • I have a Dutch higher vocational education (HBO) Bachelor’s degree (premaster)

    A Bachelor's degree obtained at a Dutch University of Applied Sciences (HBO) in most cases does not grant direct access to the programme (only exceptionally high ranking students stand a chance of admission).

  • 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 is still listed under its old name (PDCS: Parallel and Distributed Computer Systems) in the administration and application procedures. 

    The application deadlines are:

    • 1 February for international students applying for one of the VU scholarships
    • 1 April for non-EU/EEA students*
    • 1 June for non-Dutch EU/EEA students
    • 1 June 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 1 June

  • I have an international degree

    The 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. 

    Note: this Master is still listed under its old name (PDCS: Parallel and Distributed Computer Systems) in the administration and application procedures. 

    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). 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 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 in Canada, USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia.

    The minimum English language proficiency requirements for admission to this master 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.

    A PDF copy of your English test result can be sent to the following email (for non-Dutch degree holders): masters.fs@vu.nl
    The general requirements regarding language proficiency are found here.

  • Application with an international degree

    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 an international degree on the application page. Once you have completed the application, our International Student Advisors will contact you via email.

    Note: this Master is still listed under its old name (PDCS: Parallel and Distributed Computer Systems) in the administration and application procedures. 

    Application fee & deadlines
    All students seeking admission to an international Bachelor’s or Master’s programme with an international degree are required to pay a non-refundable €100 application fee. Only after you have paid this fee will we be able to start the evaluation of your application file. If you are applying for more than one programme, you will only need to pay the application fee once. Your application fee payment is valid for two years. 

    Information on how to apply with an international university degree and deadlines can be found here.
    For more information, international students may also contact the International Student Advisor: 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.

    Student Ambassadors
    Some International students are happy to tell you about their experience with living and studying in Amsterdam. These Student Ambassadors come from all over the world and have attended various Bachelor's and Master's programmes. Our Student Ambassadors are listed here on this webpage: vu.nl/ambassadors. Reach out to them and get their stories about being a student at VU Amsterdam.

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

Are you applying with a non-Dutch diploma? You can contact the International Student Advisors of the Faculty of Science - Marija Bosnić, Sandra van Daalen and Jasper Oosterveld: masters.fs@vu.nl

International students are also welcome to call the International Student Advisors of the Faculty of Science: Marija: +31 20 598 5409, Sandra: +31 20 598 7459 and Jasper: +31 20 598 6104

Do you have any other questions?

For questions about the programme, please send an email to Master's coordinator Cristiano Giuffrida: c.giuffrida@vu.nl. For more general questions, please send an email to contact@vu.nl

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

Or send a Whatsapp message to +31682548367