Applied Computer Science

Do you already have an academic bachelor’s degree in another scientific field and do you want to pursue your academic career in the field of Computer Science? Then the master’s in Applied Computer Sciences is the programme you’re looking for! It is organised in such a way to accommodate your scientific background and future-oriented academic interests – developing the necessary Computer Science skills by complementing your primary field of expertise. Above all that, we offer a wide variety of highly specialised elective courses.

“Data science and big data analytics: key areas to develop”

Data Science and Engineering

Data has become a torrent, flowing into every aspect of the international economy, and is an invaluable capital for a plethora of global operations. Google, Yahoo and Microsoft have access to zettabytes or brontobytes of data, and social media platforms connect hundreds of millions of users around the globe. Moreover, millions of networked sensors and actuators are being embedded in the physical world in devices such as mobile phones, smart energy meters and distributed cameras. What is more, petabytes of diverse data, ranging from genomic data to health records and medical imaging are transforming healthcare.

Graduates of diverse background in science and engineering, who understand fundamental methods of ICT systems as well as machine learning, data mining and predictive analytics, will be in high demand across all industries. Such skilled graduates will be able to create growth in domains such as smart cities, digital health, smart environments and business intelligence.

Why Study at VUB?

VUB offers high-quality, English-taught programmes supported by outstanding research. Being a student at VUB means learning in an open atmosphere of tolerance and diversity, and growing into an independent and critical thinking individual. There is an excellent student to staff ratio, making it possible to teach in small groups and enabling close interaction between students and the academic staff. In addition, the university is located in three student-friendly green campusses in the cosmopolitan city of Brussels.

Read more: http://www.vub.ac.be/en/

Why Study in Brussels?

When moving about in Brussels, you hear a lot of different languages. That’s no coincidence, because the city is a melting pot of cultures. With 30% of the population of foreign origin, you can expect a rich cultural climate. Brussels is home to the EU Institutions and several af liates, NATO HQ, diplomatic representation of ces, headquarters for many international companies, NGOs, trade associations, one of the world’s largest press corps, as well as a whole host of international and European schools.



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The Programme at a Glance

The first year of the programme focuses on developing knowledge of computer science concepts and techniques with respect to the student’s previous studies. Elective courses in the second year allow the student to apply the skills established in the first year to a specialization, such as software development, telecommunications, multimedia, numeric engineering, bioinformatics, embedded software, or robotics, as well as many other possibilities. Practical sessions and a master’s thesis are also included in the study programme.


ECTS (European Credit Transfer System): 1 credit represents 25-30 hours of study activity

Smart Cities

The Smart Cities module looks at logistics and mobility, with a focus on finding sustainable solutions for environmental problems. It makes use of modern software and systems engineering technology as well as new techniques for embedded systems. The ‘internet of things’ is also considered: how cryptography, configuration and sensors, among others, function in networks. A versatile look at the science behind high-tech applications.

Digital Health

Combining several disciplines, the Digital Health module approaches biological problems such as protein structure from a computational angle. Digital imaging, machine learning and medical informatics are also important in this module. A multidisciplinary approach to health, biology and the medical field.

Business Intelligence

You will learn technologies and practices for the integration and analysis of business data that support business decision making. The module Business Intelligence is offered through a double degree with the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca in Romania.

Learning outcomes

Learning outcomes describe the intended knowledge and understanding, skills and attitudes that you must master after completing your studies. Do you want to know more about the specific learning outcomes of this programme? Click here for more information.


Students can opt to take up an internship, which will preferably take place during the summer to avoid delaying study progress. Registration for the internship is possible, provided that the student doesn't have a combined bachelor-master enrolment and has already attained 45 ECTS of the master's programme (exemptions included). The department has partnerships with organisations including APEX R&D, TenForce, NUMECA International and Digipolis.
More information and an online application tool are available at: 

The academic coordinator for the internships in the MACS programme is Prof. Leo Van Biesen.

Master Thesis

The master thesis topic is most often situated in the scientific fields of the research groups within the department of Electronics and Informatics (ETRO) and the department of Computer Science (DINF), although collaborations with other research groups are possible. The research groups provide an online list of potential topics (associated to promotors).

Thesis topics:

The student is fully responsible for the master thesis project, of course under close guidance of the academic staff. There are various important facets to be addressed: a thorough examination of the scientific context of the research problem, a positioning of the problem versus the current state of the art, a clear formulation of the scope and the aim of the project, the setup and follow-up of a planning, the execution of the scientific program, and the preparation of a manuscript describing the project’s output. Finally, the thesis needs to be presented in front of a jury, consisting of the promotor, other professors and potentially external members.

Some Previous Thesis Topics

Twitter User Geolocation Using Deep Learning

Predicting the geographical location of users on social networks like Twitter is an active research topic with plenty of methods proposed so far. Most of the existing work follows either a content-based or a network-based approach. The former is based on user-generated content while the latter exploits the structure of the network of users. In this thesis, we proposed a more generic approach, which incorporates not only both content-based and network-based features, but also other available information into a unified model. Our approach, named Multi-Entry Neural Network (MENET), leveraged the latest advances in deep learning and multiview learning. A realization of MENET with textual, network and metadata features results in an effective method for Twitter user geolocation, achieving the state of the art on two well-known datasets.

Student: Tien Do Huu. Promotor: Prof. Dr. Nikos Deligiannis

Image Processing for Art Investigation

Museums started digitizing their collections, mainly for preservation, documentation and dissemination purposes, but one can go further than archival: digital acquisition enables digital analysis of paintings. This proves to be a useful, noninvasive tool, for many applications such as restoration, conservation, art history, material and structure characterization, authentication, dating and even style analysis. Paintings are complex structures. Analysis of all pictorial layers and the support requires multimodal imaging, high resolution and standardized data acquisition, and big heterogeneous data analytics tools and expertise. We have a high resolution multimodal dataset of famous paintings at our disposal that can be used in various art related studies.

- Student: Jasper Bervernage. Promotor: Dr. Bruno Cornelis

Automatic Detection of Suspicious Microcalcifications in High-Resolution 3D micro-CT breast Imaging

The aim of this master thesis was to optimize an automated predictive model for breast cancer detection based on the characteristics of tiny spots of calcium, called “micro-calcifications”. Therefore, 50 benign and 50 malignant samples were scanned using an in vitro 3D high-resolution micro-CT scan. In total a set of 3685 microcalcifications were extracted. To distinguish benign and malignant microcalcifications, a set of features is calculated. A set of 48 novel 3D texture features is proposed to characterize interior differences.  The samples can be classified correctly with an accuracy of 87, 88%, a sensitivity of 98,01% and a specificity of 78,72%. This is an improvement of the accuracy with 15,18% in comparison with previous research. 

- Student: Inez Van Laer. Promotor: Prof. Dr. Bart Jansen

Three Research Departments

There are three research departments active in the Master of Applied Computer Science. 

Department of Electronics and Informatics


Department of Computer Science


Department of Business technology and Operations


Industrial Partners

The three departments have various contacts in the industry, ranging over multiple research domains.

Academic Partners

Research collaborations are established with leading universities in the world (Duke University, University College London, University of Patras, Northwestern Polytechnical University and EPFL) in the form of international joint research groups. The module Business Intelligence is offered through a double degree with the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca in Romania.


A master degree opens doors in many different branches and sectors. You will be able to work in the private sector, (non-) governmental organisations, or continue your academic career as a PhD researcher. Not sure what your next step should be? The VUB helps you with your first steps on the job market.

Student Testimonials

"This programme does not only help students to gain a solid knowledge of Computer Science technologies, but also provides numerous practical sessions to gain hands-on experience."

- Ting Ting Liu, Tom Tom

"I highly recommend this program to anyone with an academic bachelor’s degree in another scientific field who wants to pursue his/her academic career in the field of Computer Science."

Saba Faraz, Altran

"The unique strength of this program is the combination of computer science knowledge and the personal scientific area of expertise. I am genuinely grateful to the VUB professors who made this all possible. They gave me passion and nothing is more important than that."

Inez Van Laer, Delaware

Career Center

The VUB helps you to make your first step in the job market with workshops, networking events, job fairs, tips ‘n tricks for job interviews. All an ambitious student needs!

First step in the market

Interested in a PhD?

If you want to continue your academic career, you can apply for a PhD position at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. All you need is a promoter, research subject and sufficient funding. Are you up for this challenge?

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Language requirements

Prospective students can provide proof of sufficient knowledge of English as language of instruction by meeting one of the following criteria:

1. Having successfully completed one of the following language proficiency tests:

  • TOEFL: minimum level: 213 for the computer-based test (CBT); 80 for the internet-based test (IBT); 550 for paper -based test
  • TOEIC: minimum level: 785
  • IELTS: minimum level academic module 6.5
  • CAE: minimum grade B
  • CPE: minimum grade C
  •  ITACE for Students certificate with ERK/CEFR score B2
  • Cambridge English First (FCE)
  • Cambridge English: Business Vantage (BEC Vantage)
  • Cambridge Michigan ECCE
  • Trinity College London: ISE II, GESE Grade 7-9; or ALTE Q mark
  • The Pearson Test of English General (PTE General): minimum level 3
  • The Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic): minimum level 59

2. Having successfully completed at least one year of secondary education with English as language of instruction, or having successfully completed secondary school in a Belgian institution;

3. Having successfully completed programme units in higher education with a minimum of 54 ECTS-credits where English was the language of instruction.

Specific admission criteria

This programme is intended for students with a general scientific and academic bachelor or master degree. Admission is based on acceptance and will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Start Your Application

This is the link where you can start your application:

Please see the pdf that provides the description of the steps for applying to the Master in Applied Computer Science: 

In the CHOICE OF PROGRAMME: Please make sure that you select the programme with code 00243.

For more details on admission requirements and application

Click here

Application deadline

Prospective students are advised to apply as soon as possible, even if they have not yet obtained their degree. Applications can only be submitted through our website www.vub.ac.be/en/apply

  • All students need to apply before June 1st
  • Note: if the proof of English proficiency or APS certificate is not ready before the deadline, you can always submit it later instead of missing the deadline.

For more details on admission requirements and application

Click here

Tuition fees

All Flemish universities in Belgium are subsidised by the government, which results in relatively low tuition fees. The general tuition fee for our master programmes is €890/year. Some master programmes have an increased tuition fee for students with a non EU/EEA nationality. A detailed overview of the tuition fees can be found on: www.vub.ac.be/en/tuition-fees.

Scholarship Programmes

Priority Country Programme
Aimed at promoting exchanges of students between Belgium/Flanders and the following priority countries: Brazil, Chile, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Russia, South Africa, Turkey and the United States of America.

Aims at promoting exchange of students between Belgium/Flanders and 4 countries in Asia, i.e. China, India, South Korea and Vietnam. 

Master Mind Scholarships
The Government of Flanders awards scholarships to outstanding students for Master programmes in Flanders and Brussels.

Contact Persons

Prof. Dr. Nikos Deligiannis – program director

Prof. Dr. Roger Vounckx – program vice-director

Prof. Dr. Bruno Cornelis – program liaison

Irene Raadschelders - educational officer