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New solutions for globally distributed systems

Parallel and Distributed Computer Systems

The Master’s programme Parallel and Distributed Computer Systems will follow a new curriculum with a stronger focus on Computer Security from September 2021 onwards. More information on the renewed programme will be available soon.

Are you interested in designing and implementing the next generation of cutting-edge computer systems? Do you have a Bachelor's degree in computer science with excellent grades?  And do you get a kick out of solving tough experimental computer science problems and learning how modern computer systems work “under the hood”?  Then the Master’s in Parallel and Distributed Computer Systems is the programme for you.

Admission requirements and application

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

    The Master’s programme Parallel and Distributed Computer Systems (PDCS) is open to both Dutch and international students and attracts excellent students from the field of Computer Science. Admission is based on a strict selection procedure. The Faculty’s Admission Board will decide upon your admission after having evaluated your complete online application.

    In order to gain admission to the Master’s programme PDCS, 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. Academic writing skill is to be demonstrated by submitting a thesis. We do not require a GRE or GMAT test score.

    Specific requirements for the master’s programme PDCS
    All students undergo a selection procedure to gain admission. Competition is tough as the programme is open to foreign students and is widely advertised. You will be competing for a limited number of places with students from Europe, US, India, China and elsewhere. Standards will be very high indeed. This is a specialised Master’s programme, consisting mainly of classes, practicals and projects in computer systems. 

    A background in Computer Science and demonstrable knowledge of computer systems is required. Students preferring to take a wide-ranging master’s programme Master’s are advised to opt for a standard programme such as Computer Science. In keeping with the programme’s international orientation, the application procedure is based on the system in such countries as the UK, the US and Canada. Students with a degree from a Dutch university do not need to supply additional admission documents, since the level of education and status of Dutch universities is well known.

  • I have a Dutch University of Applied Sciences (HBO) Bachelor's degree (Pre-Master's programme)

    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).

  • I have an international degree

    The Master’s programme Parallel and Distributed Computer Systems (PDCS)is open to both Dutch and international students and attracts excellent students from the field of Computer Science. Admission is based on a strict selection procedure. The Faculty’s Admission Board will decide upon your admission after having evaluated your complete online application.

    In order to gain admission to the master’s programme PDCS, 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. Academic writing skill is to be demonstrated by submitting a thesis. We do not require a GRE or GMAT test score.

    Specific requirements for the master’s programme PDCS
    All students undergo a selection procedure to gain admission. Competition is tough as the programme is open to foreign students and is widely advertised. You will be competing for a limited number of places with students from Europe, US, India, China and elsewhere. Standards will be very high indeed. This is a specialised Master’s programme, consisting mainly of classes, practicals and projects in computer systems. 

    A background in Computer Science and demonstrable knowledge of computer systems is required. Students preferring to take a wide-ranging master’s programme Master’s are advised to opt for a standard programme such as Computer Science. In keeping with the programme’s international orientation, the application procedure is based on the system in such countries as the UK, the US and Canada. Students with a degree from a Dutch university do not need to supply additional admission documents, since the level of education and status of Dutch universities is well known.

    General language proficiency requirements 
    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam requires international students to pass an English language proficiency test. This requirement can be met if no longer than two years before the start of the programme the applicant has successfully completed one of the following examinations with the minimum scores indicated:

    Exceptions are made for students who:

    • have obtained a Dutch VWO-diploma including English, or an International Baccalaureate or European Baccalaureate diploma
    • have obtained a bachelor’s degree from a Dutch university,
    • have completed previous education in Canada, Ireland, UK, USA, Australia or New Zealand.

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

  • Application

    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 or international degree on the application page.

    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

    Are you applying with an international degree?
    You can find more information about the required documents on the application page (see Required documents).

    Once you have completed the application, our International Student Advisors will contact you via email.

    Further information for international students about

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?

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