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The Curriculum

As humans, we are often intrigued by how complex our daily activities are. How does it work actually to perceive, to act, to decide, and to remember? On the one hand, if we understand how our own intelligence works, we can use this knowledge to make computers smarter. On the other hand, by making computers behave more like humans, we may be able to learn about how our own cognitive system actually works.

The AI master programme at Nijmegen has a distinctly cognitive focus where computational modelling is the central methodology used to:

  • understand naturally intelligent systems,
  • build artificially intelligent systems, and
  • improve the interactions between natural and artificial systems.

Depending on the area of study these models can range from behavioural models of millions of individuals interacting on the web, through functional models of human or robot decision making, to models of individual or networks of artificial neurons.

This cognitive focus leads to a highly interdisciplinary programme where students gain skills and knowledge from a number of different areas such as: Mathematics and Computer Science to develop computational models, Psychology and Neuroscience to understand natural systems, and a core foundation of AI techniques to implement and evaluate these models in artificially intelligent systems.

Structure of the programme
The programme consists of two specialisations (Intelligent Technology and Cognitive Computing) focusing on different areas of natural and artificial intelligence and a set of foundational courses covering basic techniques to all specialisations.  Within their different areas of interest, both specialisations consist of a number of core courses, specialisation courses, specialisation electives, free elective courses, and the graduation phase.
The general structure for both specialisations is:

Year 1

Core courses:   21 EC
Specialisation courses:  18 EC
Specialisation electives:   18 EC
Free electives 3 EC
Total   60 EC

Year 2

Free electives:   15 EC
Internship (15 EC) + Research Project (30 EC) 
Extended Research Project:  45 EC
Total   60 EC

Core courses
The core or foundation provides the general knowledge and key skills required by both specialisations. AI is immersive in our society nowadays. Every AI professional should be aware of the ethical, legal, and societal impact of AI and therefore, the course Ethics for AI is mandatory for all students. There is a mandatory course Advanced Academic & Professional Skills teaching you how to plan, do, and report on AI research, how to write strong papers and reports, and how to operate as AI professional in an entrepreneurial environment. One of the most important technical skills you will need as an AI professional is machine learning; you will follow either Applied Machine Learning (IT) or  Probabilistic Deep Learning (CC) to hone these skills. Students in the CC specialisation will do a 3EC Research Colloquium while the IT specialisation focuses on AI in the professional workfield.

Specialisation courses
Each specialisation consists of a set of specialisation core courses from which you select at least 18 EC. In CC, these courses reflect current fundamental research in the AI department. In IT these courses reflect our applied work in AI solutions for healthcare and neurotechnology (heealthcare and neruotechnology tracks). In addition, a further 18 EC of "specialisation-choice" courses can be chosen from a specialisation specific list to deepen your knowledge within the specialisation in your preferred direction, or to broaden your background with courses from the other specialisation.

Free electives
Finally, you have 18EC of free electives that can be used to take any (AI relevant) course from the Radboud University here, another university, or abroad.

Internship & (extended) research project
The internship (15EC) and Research Project (30EC) or Extended Research Project (45EC) are the culmination of your personal AI Master's programme. As this is where you put to practice what you have learned, the subject of the internship and thesis will generally be in line with the direction you have chosen so far. To get an impression of possible topics, browse through some of the Master theses our students have completed in the Thesis Repository.

AI: an international master's programme
Due to its academic excellence and international approach, the Artificial Intelligence Master's programme is one of the 25 Master's programmes that were selected by the Radboud University Nijmegen as an International Master's programme. This means that:

  • All education is conducted in English;
  • A significant number of international students and staff gives students the experience of working in an internationally oriented environment;
  • The AI master's degree is accredited by the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO) so students are assured the degree is internationally recognised;
  • International students are guaranteed a fast and easy application procedure as described in the Radboud University Nijmegen international students Code of Conduct.

As an International Master's programme, the Artificial Intelligence Master's programme prepares its students for strategic positions in research, business and the public sector and is especially suited for ambitious students from around the world.