Study Programme

The Artificial Intelligence programme is a fulltime two-years programme (120 EC), consisting of a 76 EC course part and a 44 EC research part. Each year is divided into two semesters, running from September until January and from February until June. 

Course part (76 EC)

The course part consists of 16 EC compulsory courses and 60 EC elective courses. For detailed course descriptions and options, please see the courses page.

Research part / Thesis (44 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.

Artificial Intelligence - study scheme (sept)
Artificial Intelligence - study programme (feb)

Interdisciplinary profiles

To expand the thematic range of your Master's programme, you can replace your secondary electives by a coherent course set from of a specific profile (30 EC). The courses are on a single theme that is usually not a standard part of the programme.

Communication Profile

The Communication profile (33 EC) offers students the opportunity to focus on science communication and informal science education within the context of their own science research Master's programme. These days researchers are increasingly called upon to engage with society, to share their results with a great variety of groups and to talk about work-related matters with citizens and interested parties. If you do not just want to become a good researcher, but also want to learn how to communicate properly about your work with a variety of target audiences or how to teach your subject matter well in informal settings, this profile is a good choice for you. For more information check the profile page.

Complex systems profile

Complex Systems is an interdisciplinary profile for ambitious students from different Master’s programmes, who want to work on modelling solutions within the field of Complex Systems. The profile gives you the opportunity to broaden your view and knowledge from an interdisciplinary angle and widens your opportunities for further development. It prepares you for a career in interdisciplinary fields at, for instance, financial companies. You will receive a Complex Systems certificate. More information

Educational profile – teacher degree

If you are passionate about sharing your knowledge, and you would consider a career as a teacher in secondary education, this profile might be right for you. A profile is a coherent set of courses totaling 30 EC and can be chosen to expand the thematic range of your Master's programme. The courses are on a single theme that is usually not a standard part of the programme.

The emphasis of the Educational Profile is on practitioner skills and school-based activities. Throughout the profile, learning theories and teaching methods will be taught closely linked to your day to day work in the classroom. The profile is tailored to meet the professional development needs of teachers in the early stages of their careers.  More information.

Science-based Entrepreneurship Profile

Science is a constant source of innovation, whether it is finding a science-based product while working at a large company or performing research in an incubator. The profile Science-based Entrepreneurship offers you the possibility to test your entrepreneurship gene by learning and working on scientific innovation in your field of study. The foundation of the profile is the course Science-based Entrepreneurship, that concerns developing a business plan and a prototype of a science-based innovation. After that, you can choose from a list of approved electives and optionally a project. These projects can be done in teams and as an individual. More information.


Students with deficiencies in the required entrance knowledge for the AI Master's programme can (subject to approval) use at most 7.5 EC to take courses (usually at the undergraduate level) to remedy those. For students with more deficiencies the admissions committee could, if feasible given the student's background and knowledge, offer the student a Pre-Master's programme of 30 EC.

Mentoring System

At the start of the programme, each student discusses his or her interests with the Artificial Intelligence student advisor.

Together, an individual study plan is drawn up that fits the background and interests of the student. The study plan details all courses the student intends to take; it may always be changed in a later phase after checking with the student advisor. During the first part of the study, the Artificial Intelligence student advisor will be the primary contact for any study-related questions and problems. During the final thesis project, this role is taken over by a staff member supervising the final project.