Study programme

Artificial Intelligence is a two-year research oriented Master's programme (120 EC). EC stands for European Credits in which 1 EC equals 28 hours of work.


The curriculum consists of a 76 EC course part, followed by a 44 EC research part in year 2. 

Course part (76 EC)

The course part of this programme consists of:   

  • 2 compulsory courses (16 EC) 
  • 8 elective courses (60 EC) 

In the course list below you can find a description of the specific courses. Please note: students cannot be guaranteed a spot in a certain (elective) course. Some courses may have limitations on the number of students that can enroll. 

Research part (45 EC)

Besides the course part, the programme consists of a 44 EC research part. In this part the student carries out a research project under the supervision of one of the staff members of the research groups offering the AI programme. The project can be done within Utrecht University, at an external University or in a research-and-development department of a company or research institute. In the past, students have carried out external thesis projects in companies such as KPN, Origin, The Dutch Tax and Customs Office, Vitatron Medical B.V, TNO, NS, ING, STRO, VSTEP, LibRT and Playlogic Game Factory, and at foreign universities or with companies abroad. 

When done within Utrecht University, your final thesis project is monitored by a supervisor from the AI teaching staff. When the final project is conducted within a company or external institute, you will be guided by both a local supervisor within the company/institute and a supervisor of the AI teaching staff. 

Educational methods

Due to the highly interdisciplinary nature of the programme, teaching methods vary across courses and departments providing them.

  • Lectures
  • Internship
  • Small group seminars
  • Assignments
  • Software project


  • Mid-term and final exams (written)
    Most of the courses have a final written exam. In addition to the final exam, some courses may require a mid-term exam.
  • Thesis project
    All students have to submit a thesis project
  • Programming assignments and Software project
    May be required by courses provided by the computer science department
  • Written essay
    Some courses, e.g. Philosophy courses, are requiring a final written essay that is based on the research material presented in the course

Thesis examples

  • Text mining of clinical outcomes for medical prediction model development: how accurate should it be?
  • Investigating pedestrian-robot interaction in a context manipulation experiment
  • AI implementations for Dutch water management: a literature study
  • Algorithmic Fairness: which algorithm suits my purpose?
  • Modeling habit formation in the real world: the case of hand-washing during COVID-19 times

Extra opportunities

Utrecht University offers several programmes for students looking for an extra challenge. These programmes are followed on top of your regular Master’s programme and go beyond the regular curriculum. Do you want to know more about extracurricular opportunities?  

Read more about extra opportunities