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
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.
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.
Who should apply
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.
Other Programmes that might interest you
Computer Science - Algorithms, Languages, and Logic
Embedded Electronic System Design
High-Performance Computer Systems
Interaction Design and Technologies
Software Engineering and Technology
Entry requirements (academic year 2019/20)
General entry requirements
An applicant must either have a Bachelor's degree in Science/Engineering/Technology/Architecture or be enrolled in his/her last year of studies leading to such a degree. General entry requirements
Specific entry requirements
Bachelor’s degree with a major in: Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Automation and Mechatronics, Electrical Engineering, Engineering Physics, Mathematics, Software Engineering or related subjects
Prerequisites: Mathematics (including Calculus (at least 7,5 cr.) and Linear Algebra (at least 7,5 cr.)), Introduction to Computer Engineering (at least 5 cr.), Programming in a General-Purpose Language (e.g. C/C++/Java/Haskell or similar (at least 7,5 cr.)) and one of the following courses: Discrete Mathematics and/or Mathematical Statistics and/or Probability Theory and/or Algorithms and/or Data Structures (at least 7,5 cr.)
Preferable course experience: Finite Automata Theory and Formal Languages, Mathematical Modelling and Problem Solving, Functional Programming, Machine-Oriented Programming, Development for Embedded Systems
Chalmers Bachelor’s degree
Are you enrolled in a Bachelor’s degree programme at Chalmers now or do you already have a Bachelor’s degree from Chalmers? If so, different application dates and application instructions apply.
Please note that the above schematic view corresponds to the academic year starting in autumn 2018. Minor changes may occur.
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.
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 has been carefully designed to be relevant to a growing industrial and governmental ICT sector. In particular, the healthcare, e-commerce, aerospace, automotive, and telecom industries all rely on secure, dependable, safe, and energy-efficient computing systems and communication networks.
The programme gives you the opportunity to combine academic training with engineering work experience, a combination that opens up diverse career paths, such as becoming:
- the Chief Technology Officer who takes responsibility for the company’s technological development plan and influences its competitiveness in the market
- the Systems Architect and Designer who builds computer systems and design networked applications and protocols
- the Project Manager responsible for driving specific projects by choosing technical directions and leading people
- the Software Engineer who develops systems and run-time software that interfaces to the hardware platform
- the Security and Network Specialist who oversees company computer resources to ensure that sensitive data and services are only accessible to authorized users.
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.
Department of Computer Science and Engineering