Education Market, ICT, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence
Edu type:
Formal education
Master (EQF 7)
Start date:
Study Load:
3360 hrs
2 years
More information


Artificial Intelligence (AI) is widely adopted in our society: we find applications of AI ranging from cars that detect pedestrians to Apple’s virtual assistant, Siri. Such applications use AI techniques to interpret information from a wide variety of sources and use it to enable intelligent, goal-directed behaviour.


The Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam’s AI Master programme offers two tracks that are oriented towards the practical application of AI technology in a broad, problem-oriented setting. Here, you can study AI technology from a societal perspective, looking into questions such as “how can we develop and evaluate computer-based technology that exploits knowledge about human functioning?”

There are two tracks: one focusing on how to interpret, support and adapt to human behaviour, another track focusing on understanding cognitive aspects of AI.

This track focusses on the application of AI in Socially Aware Computing, highlighting the analysis and application of new AI techniques to develop solutions that understand and can reason about their social context. Its goals are highly diverse, and range from optimizing internet searches to supporting elderly people in their struggle with dementia. You will learn how human behavior can be interpreted based on sensor data and computational models of physiological and cognitive processes. You will gain experience in integrating such models in dedicated applications that support humans in their daily lives, making these systems truly aware of human functioning.


In the specialization phase of the Socially Aware Computing track you study relevant courses with respect to a particular application area (e.g. support of people during exercising, or elderly care) or a relevant scientific discipline (e.g. psychology, sociology, movement sciences, biomedical sciences, criminology, etc.).


Immerse yourself in the multidisciplinary study of mind and cognition. Researchers in cognitive science come from a wide range of backgrounds, including psychology, computer science, artificial intelligence, philosophy, mathematics and neuroscience. They all share the common goal of gaining a deeper understanding of the human mind, for both theoretical and practical purposes.


The track focusses on the processes that underlie human functioning from two different research perspectives: empirical work and computational modeling. The combination of these two perspectives allows for a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying human functioning. For example, empirical work may suggest a functional layout for computation models, and vice versa, results of simulations with computation models can provide suggestions for setting up specific experiments. The underlying philosophy of Cognitive Science at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is to challenge students to be knowledgeable in a wide variety of fields and techniques, all of which are related to the subject area of cognitive psychology.


The Cognitive Science track is jointly organized by the Department of Cognitive Psychology of the Faculty of Psychology and Education, and the Department of Artificial Intelligence of the Faculty of Sciences.


The Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam also participates in an AI master programme with the University of Amsterdam called “Artificial Intelligence in Amsterdam,” which takes a technical approach to AI, focussing on the understanding, analysis and development of novel AI algorithms. The collaboration in this master programme makes it possible to offer a range of topics of unparalleled breadth, all taught by active researchers who are experts in the respective areas. It builds on a basis of compulsory courses on core topics in AI and elective advanced courses in these or more specific AI topics.


NOTE: For this track you have to apply at the University of Amsterdam! It is not possible to participate in this track if you have applied for the VU Amsterdam.


Each Master’s programme concludes with a graduation project or internship. This can be an individual project or a group project. Internships proposed by the student need approval in advance from a member of staff, who will also be involved with supervising the project. For details, please visit the site of the Computer Science department.


NVAO accreditation

This program is legally recognized and accredited by the Accreditation Organization of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO).