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SNE is the only academic Master's programme in The Netherlands that focuses on understanding, developing, maintaining and securing complex IT systems and networks. It raises questions like: How do you apply different software components within a complex architecture, to end up with an efficiently working system?

The curriculum and courses

The one-year Master's programme Security and Network Engineering consists of eight courses (all 6 EC) and two research projects. The courses are divided into two focus areas: Networking and Security. You will follow the courses of the two focus areas in parallel. In the morning you will generally follow a theoretical course and carry out related practical assignments in the afternoon. Guest lecturers are often invited to supplement courses and to provide insights into current research. 

Compulsory courses

The programme contains the following core courses (all 6 EC):

  • Classical Internet Applications
  • Security of Systems and Networks
  • Large Systems
  • Offensive Technologies

Focus areas

The other courses are divided into two focus areas which you follow in parallel.

  • Networking

    This area focuses on the architecture and protocols of layers two, three and four of the Internet TCP/IP stack. It provides you with a theoretical background as well as extensive hands-on experience.

    The course Internetworking and Routing looks at the world of switching and routing in local and wide area networks. It covers layer 2 switching and Interior Gateway Protocols like RIP and OSPF and the Exterior Gateway Protocol BGP. As part of the course you will build your own Autonomous System and set up peering with the other students via our own Internet Exchange.

    The Advanced Networking course provides an in-depth overview of TCP, and optical and wireless transmission. In addition you will look at and work with recent developments in the area of programmable networks, Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Virtualisation Functions (NVFs). Highlight of the course is when you are asked to design your own 10 Gbps network using our carrier-grade routers and switches.

    Classical Internet Applications gives you some history, covers DNS and DNSSEC, looks at email and web. Basic computer architecture will also be covered. 

  • Security

    This area focuses on all aspects of security, and forensic intelligence and analysis. You will learn to trace digital evidence on all levels, from a single computer to a large network. It teaches you to track down cybercrime and to document digital evidence in a way that will hold up in court. The course Cybercrime and Forensics covers data acquisition from ICT infrastructures for investigative purposes in a forensically sound manner.

    The Advanced Security course discusses malware, and the security of radio-based technologies (GSM, Bluetooth, ZigBee) and mobile operating systems. It also teaches you how to run an efficient and effective security incident response team.

    The course Offensive Technologies focuses on physical, network, database and application security. You will make in-depth analyses of real-life attacks and get hands-on experience with hacking, monitoring and defending.

Research projects

You carry out two research projects of a month each (6 EC): one in January (individually or with a partner) and one in June. The second research project will culminate in your Master's thesis.

Detailed course information

For detailed information regarding the curriculum and courses, please see the UvA Course Catalogue via the link below. 

Why choose Security and Network Engineering

SNE is unique because of:

  • the focus on the patent OS3 principle (Open Standard, Open Software and Open Security), with openness and sharing of knowledge as key conviction;
  • the individual guidance by the top-notch teaching staff, with extensive experience in both research and industry;
  • the strong social cohesion amongst the highly motivated, skilled and international student population;
  • the uniquely designed SNE lab;
  • focus on two important topics: Networking and Security;
  • the possibility to work with respected academic institutes and relevant organisations during your research projects;
  • the many guest lectures by leading professionals from consultancy firms, financial institutes and research institutes;
  • the field trip abroad to learn more about a specific project or institute (like CERN in Switzerland), and about each other.

Educational guidance

You will receive intensive, personal guidance by the academic staff. A team of three lecturers is permanently available for any questions or problems that may arise, and during practical assignments a practical teacher is present in the SNE lab.

Part-time study

The programme can be completed part-time, in two years instead of one. Various companies offer the possibility to do so during working hours. As the lectures are taught during working hours, two and a half days of full time attendance in Amsterdam is required. The part-time programme is demanding and you will need to balance work, study and spare time carefully.

Due to visa requirements, students with a nationality outside the EU, EEA or Switzerland cannot join the part-time programme.

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 Security and Network Engineering and the title of Master of Science (MSc).