Parallel ad Distributed Computer Systems

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Program Description

Why study Parallel and Distributed Computer Systems at VU Amsterdam?
As the internet develops, it has come to include cloud computing centres, smartphones, RFID tags and sensor networks. This connected world brings new opportunities for science and business, but also new challenges to privacy and security. You will study entirely new software architectures and large-scale, geographically distributed systems which can serve billions of users. Scalability, performance, security and visualization are key topics.

The Master’s in Parallel and Distributed Computer Systems is a two-year programme that strikes an effective balance between classroom and applied work. About one third of the first three semesters is devoted to practical projects. The emphasis shifts gradually from lectures to independent and research-oriented study with practical work, seminars and the identification of open research questions. The first semester is an even mix between compulsory and elective courses. Compulsory courses include Distributed Systems, where you will learn about the development of middleware systems for large-scale computer networks. Parallel Programming teaches you how to write programmes that run in parallel on a large number of processors and Computer & Network Security is a wide-ranging course on security.


•PDCS emphasizes experimental computer science rather than theory
•PDCS involves the design, implementation, testing and performance analysis of complex systems software
•The curriculum includes many software lab courses, which are aimed at training you to carry out scientific software experiments that solve challenging research problems
•For some projects, you will cooperate in small teams to train you in collaborative research

What`s Included

The curriculum requires that you take compulsory subjects worth 32 ECTS and optional subjects worth 27 ECTS. The emphasis shifts gradually from classroom lectures to independent and research-oriented study with practical work, seminars and the identification of open research questions.

Compulsory subjects include:
• Distributed Systems
• Parallel Programming
• Computer & Network Security

The entire programme is taught in English, and your fellow students come from all over the world. Upon successful completion of the programme, you will be awarded the title Master of Science (MSc).

Degree Course

Business, Computer Science / IT, Mathematics

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Program Locations

VU Amsterdam, Netherlands

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Program Details

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
  • Netherlands: VU Amsterdam
School Term:
Academic Year
Degree Level:
Masters Degree
€2.006 for EEA students; €13.400 for non-EEA

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