Parallel and Distributed Computer Systems


If you want to reach the top of the field of experimental computer science, PDCS is your program. The Top Master programme in Parallel and Distributed Computer Systems was founded by prof. Andrew S. Tanenbaum and is designed to challenge students with the hardest problems in modern systems-oriented computer science.  The programme aims at highly talented students and is selective. 

Computing architectures have evolved in order to meet the challenges of growingly important areas (e.g. Big Data, Cloud Computing, Security and Privacy). The Internet is now constituted by large-scale data centres, mobile devices, RFID tags, and sensor networks, forming a complex ecosystem we increasingly call the “Internet of Things” (IoT). This connected world brings new opportunities to science and business, but also new challenges to reliability, security, and privacy. 

Students study entirely new software architectures and large-scale, geographically distributed systems which can serve billions of applications in parallel. Scalability, performance, reliability, and security are key topics of this programme. After having completed this master, many students move on to pursue careers at leading companies like Google or Microsoft, PhD programs in top research schools, or join R&D labs in industry.


Level Master
Language English
Duration 2 years
Type Fulltime
Credits 120 EC
Faculty Faculty of Science
Parallel and Distributed Computer Systems constrained choice FCC
Compulsory choice Theoretical Computer Science of 6 credits, at least
one choice out of the courses below.

Note: Every programme, including the choice of optional courses, has to
be discussed and agreed upon with the master coordinator or a personal
mentor and approved by the Examination Board.
Course Name Period Credits Code
Protocol Validation P1 6EC X_400117
Logical Verification P2 6EC X_400115
Advanced Logic P4 6EC X_405048
Distributed Algorithms P5 6EC X_400211
Parallel and Distributed Computer Systems elective courses
Course Name Period Credits Code
Industrial Internship Ac. Year (sept) 6EC XM_405080
PDCS Programming Project Ac. Year (sept) 12EC XM_405054
Selected Topics in PDCS Ac. Year (sept) 6EC XM_400379
Evolutionary Computing P1 6EC X_400111
Green Lab P1 6EC X_418158
Introduction to Computational Science P1 6EC XMU_418111
Large Scale Data Engineering P1 6EC X_405116
Service Oriented Design P1 6EC X_405061
Software Asset Management P1 6EC X_400412
Concurrency Theory P2 6EC XMU_0012
Hardware Security P2 6EC XM_40019
Internet Programming P2 6EC X_405082
Knowledge Engineering P2 6EC X_405099
Performance of Networked Systems P2 6EC X_405105
Software Architecture P2 6EC X_400170
Web Data Processing Systems P2 6EC XM_40020
High Performance Computing and Big Data P3 6EC XMU_40013
Parallel System Architectures P3 6EC XMU_40015
Coding and Cryptography P4 6EC X_405041
Experimental Design and Data Analysis P4 6EC X_405078
Information Visualization P4 6EC XMU_418143
Programming Multi-core and Many-core Systems P4 6EC XMU_40018
The Social Web P4 6EC X_405086
Binary and Malware Analysis P5 6EC X_405100
Data Mining Techniques P5 6EC X_400108
Performance Engineering P5 6EC XMU_40016
Software Testing P5 6EC X_400439
Web Services and Cloud-Based Systems P5 6EC XMU_418110
ICT4D in the Field P6 6EC XM_0008
Machine Learning for the Quantified Self P6 6EC XM_40012
Project Systems Testing P6 6EC X_405124