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Information Studies: Information Systems (track)
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Study programme

Programme outline

  • First semester

    In the first semester you will get an overview of the Information Systems domain, including essential concepts, theories and problems. As further specialisation you gain insights in the theory of complex adaptive systems. The focus here lies on techniques for the analysis of the effect of interactions in complex adaptive systems, specifically structured equation models and system dynamics. There is also space for individual preferences, by choosing an elective from a set of suggested courses, from either the Data Science track, or any relevant course offered at a university in the Netherlands.

    Throughout the first semester you will learn and experiment with the creative process of developing an interaction environment as part of research into complex systems in the Data Systems Project. You will focus on stakeholder-research, user-research, context mapping, agile development to a technologic prototype, including its validation.

  • Second semester

    In the second semester you will investigate the interface between sensors, data, APIs, machine intelligence and societal interventions with practical application to people and real world problems. In research led activities will apply theory in projects which involve building and programming prototypes of remote sensing devices and physical data driven interventions. You will be encouraged to reflect on the societal impact of data and ubiquitous computing systems as distributed data driven services.

    In addition you will follow a second elective course, again either from a suggested set of courses or from courses of related IS disciplines such as Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence or Media Studies. The final phase of the programme is devoted to the Master's Thesis. During this project, you will demonstrate the knowledge and skills you have gained.

  • Master's thesis

    The last part of the Information Systems programme is dedicated to an individual research project, culminating in a Master's thesis (18 EC). This can be a general study regarding multiple organisations, or a study conducted within a specific organisation; your current workplace, for example. You can also choose to join an ongoing research programme within the UvA. Examples of IS research questions include:

    • How do people respond to a lying robot?
    • How can we apply mobile technology to prevent those in the early stages of dementia from getting lost?
    • What is the most effective way to present complex information to users?
    • How can we improve digital communication between the Ministry of Education and individual schools?
    • How can we use an interactive game to help children find their way around the library?

    In the Master's theses library, you can find examples of recent theses.

The programme examines subjects such as:

  • media & sensor technology
  • intelligent interactive systems
  • system dynamics
  • information retrieval
  • semantic web technology
  • privacy and ethical aspects in complex systems
  • innovation & design thinking
  • cognitive tools

The University of Amsterdam is ideally suited to research these subjects. The city of Amsterdam is located in one of the most important European centres in the area of ICT and new media and it offers an environment of unrivalled innovation. 

Full-time study

During weekdays you must be available at varying times between 09:00 and 21:00, and you are expected to spend at least 40 hours a week on your studies of which 16 hours of courses at the faculty and 24 hours of self-study.

Part-time study

The programme is also available on a part-time basis, in two years instead of one. You follow one half of the curriculum in the first year and the other half in the second year. It is expected that you spend 20 hours a week on your studies, of which around 8 hours of courses at the faculty and around 12 hours self-study. You will have a half-time load most of the year, while in the periods of January and June, full-time participation may be required, as they might cover a project that requests 40 hours of work per week.

Adapted study programme

If you already completed another Master's programme, such as Computer Science, it is not possible to follow an adapted, shorter version of the programme. You might be exempted of some of the courses though. This is based on the curriculum of your previous Master’s programme.

Taking Information Systems courses as an elective 

It is possible to take Information Systems courses as an elective if you are a student in another Master's programme. However Information Studies students have priority, and the entry requirements apply for separate courses as well.

Accreditation and title

This Master's programme has been accredited by the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO). Upon successful completion of the programme (a total of 60 EC), students will receive a legally recognised Master's degree in Information Studies and the title of Master of Science (MSc).

Bring your own device

All students enrolled in Information Studies are requested to bring their own laptop, due to the nature of the programme. More information on specific system requirements can be found here.