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As a student of this master’s programme, you will develop a solid grasp of computer systems and networks through a broad, yet in-depth, training experience in the field of Computer Science and Engineering. You will acquire theoretical knowledge and engineering skills in:

  • Parallel and Distributed Systems
  • Computer Security and Dependability
  • Computer Systems Engineering
  • Communication Networks
Programme description
The programme instills a set of essential skills that prepare you to work in Information and Computing Technology (ICT).Courses in Computer Networks, Fault Tolerant Computer Systems, Parallel and Distributed Systems, Computer Architecture, Computer Security, and Real-Time Systems are taught by internationally recognised faculty in Computer Science and Engineering. In addition to academic training in skills related to algorithm design, programming languages and computer systems engineering, you will gain hands-on experience with emerging technologies and have opportunities to participate in cutting-edge research.This programme is the first within Chalmers to provide the necessary preparation to contribute to ubiquitous computing, cyber-physical systems, and other rapidly growing areas in the expanding ICT industry. If you are interested in becoming a technology expert in these and other areas, the programme provides excellent background for pursuing doctoral studies.
Why apply

You will learn the design methodologies used to construct computer systems and networks. Such methodologies include Fault-Tolerant Distributed Algorithm Design, Concurrent Programming, Computer Systems Engineering, Systems Programming, and Secure and Dependable Systems Design. The coursework is designed to develop both your theoretical knowledge and practical expertise.
For example, you will learn how to:

  • design a system based on new and existing components (Systems Engineering)
  • understand low-level hardware/software interaction, develop systems and applications (Programming)
  • analyse performance and system design limitations (Distributed Computing) and
  • assess, evaluate, and design systems, programs and applications to increase security and dependability (Systems Design).
Rather than concentrating on a single aspect of computer systems and networks, the courses provide the broad, practical and up-to-date experience required by major ICT companies who develop computer systems and networks.
Research connections
The faculty behind the programme has an established track record of academic, industrial and scientific accomplishments in the following research areas:
  • Computer Security
  • Dependable Real-Time Systems
  • Distributed Computing and Systems
  • Computer Architecture
  • Computer Communications and Computer Networks

As a student, you will be invited to take part in such research through seminars, thesis projects, and other individual and group projects. Past research collaborations including master-level students have yielded many innovations and accompanying scientific publications. Moreover, many of these students have been accepted to Ph.D. studies at Chalmers and other leading institutions worldwide.

Detailed Course Facts

Application deadline January 15
Tuition fee
  • EUR 15000 per year (International

    Tuition fee for the international students.


Non-EEA:140 000 SEK/academic year;EU/EEA Citizens are not required to pay fees.

Start date
Credits (ECTS) 120 ECTS
Duration full-time 24 months
Delivery mode On Campus
Educational variant Full-time

Course Content

Course plan

Advanced mandatory courses for providing the necessary background.

Computer Networks (7.5 credits)

How does the internet work? How are new computer networks designed? How do we ensure that our networks function correctly and efficiently? And how do we program applications that communicate with each other? This course teaches the basics of network design and implementation, covering topics from core protocols like TCP/IP to emerging network technologies. The course also emphasizes the fundamental algorithms underlying computer networks.

Fault-Tolerant Computer Systems (7.5 credits)

What is dependability? How can we guarantee reliability? Fault tolerance, or the ability to provide correct service in spite of failures, is essential in modern computer systems ranging from large-scale servers and smart power grids to auto-pilots for cars and medical devices. This course broadly introduces fault tolerance and dependable system design, teaching methods for reliability, availability and safety analysis with an emphasis on life-cycle models.

Operating Systems (7.5 credits)

How do applications actually run on a computer system? How do multiple applications run at the same time? Operating Systems are an integral part of all computer systems, from workstations to smartphones to embedded systems in vehicles. This course provides an introduction to OS design and implementation. Students who have taken a similar course during their bachelor studies may choose an elective course instead.

Technical Writing in Computer Systems and Networks (7.5 credits)

How can you prepare yourself to write a master thesis? What exciting topics in the field of Computer Systems and Networks could you work on? How can we learn from the professional literature about these topics? This course covers a broad range of skills that are needed for planning and carry out a thesis project in the area of Computer Systems and Networks.

Course tracks that serve as the backbone of the Master’s programme. Select at least two course tracks out of four course tracks. (Each track includes two courses of 7.5 credits.)

Computer Architecture (7.5+7.5 credits; study periods 1 and 2)

How can we design computers that solve problems as fast as the underlying technology permits and with minimal energy consumption? This course track provides an understanding of the principles that govern the design of computers used in IT systems ranging from smart phones to data centres.

Computer Security (7.5+7.5 credits; study periods 3 and 4)

What is security? Can we really make computer systems and networks secure? Are internet attacks and intrusions avoidable? In this course track you will scrutinize the reasons behind such security problems and study methods and mechanisms for protecting against them. The track instills an understanding of the fundamental issues through modeling and evaluation.

Distributed Systems (7.5+7.5 credits; study periods 2 and 3)

Why do we need distributed systems? How can a collection of independent computers appear to its users as a single coherent system? How can we build a working system out of parts that do not work correctly all the time? These are questions that distributed system designers must answer. This course track teaches the fundamental principles and builds practical knowledge needed to answer such questions.

Real-Time Systems (7.5+7.5 credits; study periods 3 and 4)

How do computer systems ensure that things happen in time? For example, when a car needs to brake, how does its computer system make it happen NOW? This track teaches the software design process for embedded systems with special requirements for reliability and timeliness. You will study design principles for programming languages and software systems followed by performance analysis and optimization of real-time systems.

Elective Courses (30 credits)

What if you want to learn more about a particular subfield? Students can freely choose four elective courses from the above list of courses and other elective courses such as Cryptography and Programming Language Based Security. We recommend the elective project courses: Autonomous and Cooperative Vehicular Systems (study period 2) and ICT Support for Adaptiveness and Security in the Smart Grid (study period 4).

Thesis (30 credits)

Students may perform their thesis work in an industrial context or within a research group at Chalmers. Students who want to write a research-oriented thesis may apply for an additional 15credit research project or extend their research thesis work to 60 credit units.


The programme trains professionals in the field of Computer Science and Engineering. We welcome applications from graduates of Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Information Engineering, Software Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechatronics, Mathematics and Physics.


Bachelor´s degree (or the equivalent) with a Major in: Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Software Engineering or Electrical Engineering

Prerequisites: Mathematics (including Linear algebra or Discrete mathematics), Algorithms and/or Data structures (at least 7.5 credits and Programming (at least 7.5 credits).

English Language Proficiency

The most common and important scores that are accepted are

  • IELTS (academic training), 6.5 (with no part of the test below 5.5)
  • TOEFL (Internet based): 90 (with a minimum of 20 on the written part)
  • TOEFL (paper based): 575 (with a minimum of 4.5 on the written part)

Work Experience

No work experience is required.

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