A profile can be chosen as part of your study programme to expand the thematic range of your Master's programme. A profile is a coherent set of courses totaling 30 study points. The courses are on a single theme that is usually not a standard part of your Master's programme. The 30 study points that comprises the profile can be done as part of the total 120 study points of your Master's programme.

To incorporate a profile into a Master's programme without compromising the essential content of the programme, master's programmes have a separate set of rules for elective courses when a profile is chosen. These are listed in the programme annex of the Education and Examination Regulations. They apply only when the chosen profile is actually completed successfully by the student, otherwise the standard elective rules apply.

Before choosing a profile, you are advised to discuss this with your Programme Coordinator. Students are free to chose a profile as a part of any Master's programme, but special admissions conditions may apply. Please check the individual profile pages below.

Description and aims

The Master’s profile Complex Systems is an interdisciplinary profile for students who are interested to broaden their knowledge and expertise within the field of Complex Systems. In this research field societal issues, such as a financial crisis, a sudden epidemic or climate change are studied from a quantitative modelling perspective. Students will get an understanding of the various models used in the complexity field and the behaviour (i.e. transitions, predictability) of these models.

The aim of the Complex Systems Profile is for students to develop or improve their

• affinity for quantitative approaches in order to address societal issues,
• ability to build models that are amenable to quantitative approaches,
• familiarity with standard (quantitative) methods in the toolbox for analysing complex systems, and
• ability to work in interdisciplinary teams.

Learning outcomes

Upon completion of the Master’s profile the student

• is able to recognise the complex systems aspects when confronted with a societal problem,
• is able to develop models of complex systems and/o has a good overview of model-building for complex systems,
• has a good overview of the methods in the complex systems toolbox, can apply them to models and extract quantitative results, and
• communicate/explain complex-systems models and methods to (interdisciplinary) teammates.


The Master’s profile comprises 30 EC and consists of the following parts:

• Two electives (7.5 EC each) from the following courses (one of these electives need to be from 1-3 below, which are termed as core courses for Complex Systems):

  1. Introduction to Complex Systems (WISM484)
  2. Complex Networks* (WISL115) – see explanation of star (*) next page
  3. A Complex Systems labelled course listed under a master programme that is different from the one to which the student is admitted (see list below). Note on this list: some programmes may require one of their own primary elective courses, labelled as Complex Systems course to be taken; the student cannot count them as primary electives as well as Complex Systems master profile courses. More information can be found in the specific programme description section of the Education and Examination Regulations.

• A research Project on a Complex Systems topic (15 EC, Osiris code GSNS-CSRP), for which focus should be on interdisciplinary aspects and at least two supervisors from two different departments/faculties must be involved.
The topic should not correspond to the topic of the master thesis, however if the master research project deals with a complex system subject – currently available only for Theoretical Physics, Experimental Physics and Climate Physics Master programmes at Utrecht University – it is permitted to combine the research project of the master’s profile Complex Systems (15 EC) with the master thesis project. In case the master research project deals with a complex system subject, the complex systems aspects must be separately assessed and a supervisor from a different department or faculty other than the department related to the student’s master programme needs to be involved in assessing the complex system aspects of the research project. 

The topic must be approved by the coordinator of the profile as well as by the coordinator of the master programme to which the student is admitted.

The total number of EC of each master’s programme will NOT be increased by completing the master profile Complex Systems. Students receive a certificate by completing the Master’s profile Complex Systems.

List of courses labelled as a complex systems course

The courses can be found in the complete profile desciption.

Entry requirements

• The student belongs to one of the participating master programmes
• Upon consultation with the coordinator for the profile, it is also possible for students from outside Utrecht University to participate in the profile, when their master programme has an affinity to complex systems

Participating Master’s programmes

• Climate Physics
• Computing Science
• Energy Science
• Artificial Intelligence
• Experimental Physics
• Game and Media Technology
• Mathematical Sciences
• Nanomaterials Science
• Sociology and Social Research
• Sustainable Development
• Theoretical Physics
• Multidisciplinary Economics

Legacy issues

Courses that were labelled as Complex Systems courses in the past academic years (noted in parenthesis) can be found in the complete profile desciption.

The Educational Profile (30 EC) can be taken as part of your GSNS master’s programme. If you are passionate about sharing your knowledge, and you would consider a career as a teacher in secondary education, this profile might be right for you.

A major feature of the profile is the emphasis on practitioner skills and school-based activities. Throughout the programme, learning theories and teaching methods will be taught closely linked to your day to day work in the classroom. This programme is tailored to meet the professional development needs of teachers in the early stages of their careers. 

The total number of EC of each master's programme will NOT be increased by completing the Master's Educational Profile.

If you have already completed an ‘educational minor’, or if you obtained a second degree (i.e. a limited teacher degree allowing you to teach until 9th grade) in teaching elsewhere, your educational profile will lead to a first degree teacher certificate. This allows you to teach secondary and higher education (excluding university level, of course). The Educational Profile will comprise of the following courses:

Start September and February 2021

  • Professional in Practice 2 (10 EC, GSTPIP2)
  • Pedagogy 2 (2,5 EC, GSTPED2)
  • Subject Teaching Methodology 2 (7,5 EC, GSTVAKD2+subject IN/NK/SK/WK)
  • Pedagogical elective (5 EC, choose from GSTPKC01 – GSTPKC07)
  • Elective (5 EC, choose from GSTOKC01 – GSTOKC10, FI-MSECSIS)

If you are new to teacher education, you will join the first semester of the teacher training programme. After your master’s, you will be eligible to complete your first degree teacher programme in only half a year. Your master’s profile will comprise of the following courses:

  • Professional in Practice 1a (10 EC, GSTPIP1A)
  • Professional in Practice 1b (10 EC, GSTPIP1B)
  • Subject Teaching Methodology 1 (5 EC, GSTVAKD1+subject IN/NK/SK/WK)
  • Pedagogy 1 (5 EC, GSTPED1)

This first semester of teacher training will lead to a (limited) second degree teaching qualification for lower secondary education (vmbo-t and the lower grades in havo and vwo), provided your bachelor’s programme is registered in the 'Verwantschapstabel'. In any case, after having completed this first semester successfully, you are halfway obtaining a first degree teaching qualification for secondary education (only 30 EC left). Please check Admission and enrolment, deadlines and procedure for more information on your admissibility.

The educational profile starts twice a year in September or February. By default, the profile will be completed in a single semester of full time study.

In order to get admitted to this profile, you will have completed a substantial part of your current programme. Moreover, there are specific requirements upon the match between your disciplinary background and the school subject you would like to teach (physics, mathematics, chemistry or computer science). Please, check the ‘Verwantschapstabel' to see if you meet the entry requirements.

In order to apply for this profile, please go to OSIRIS Online Application

  • Choose your language.
  • Click: “change solisID”
  • Fill in your details
  • You will receive an email from Osiris with username and password to start your application.
Start profile: Registration open until:
September 2021 1 April 2021
February 2022 15 October 2021

Once your disciplinary background has been found to be in accordance with the requirements, you will be invited for the matching activities to assess your eligibility.

As the educational profile is primarily targeted towards teaching in the Dutch school system, the courses and the internships are by default in Dutch. Non-native candidates are welcome to follow the educational profile and obtain the Dutch “limited second degree in teaching”, provided they have a basic proficiency in Dutch. Should a non-native student start per September and do the educational profile during the first semester of the academic year, most of the courses will be in English. The course in subject-related methodology, however, will be in Dutch. There will be limited placement opportunities in bilingual or international schools.

Admission is possible if the candidate masters the Dutch language for reading and listening at B2 level. Sufficient passive control of the Dutch language can be demonstrated 1) during an interview or 2) by passing the Reading and Listening components of the State Examination NT2 before the start of the course (minimum score 500 points).

If a student start the educational profile in February all courses will be in Dutch, which means they need enough command of the Dutch language to follow all classes in Dutch. This command can be demonstrated through the aforementioned NT2 test or during an interview. The programme will try to find an internship in a bilingual or international school. If you already have a Dutch second degree in teaching and want to obtain a first degree in teaching, it is necessary to understand and speak Dutch fluently. 

For this programme you may qualify for a contribution of €5000 towards your tuition. Visit www.wordleraarinhetvo.nl or the website of DUO (both in Dutch) for more information and the conditions that must be met.

Further information

  • For questions about the contents of the programme, prospects after the programme etc., contact the study advisor: studieadviseur.gst@uu.nl
  • For questions about your eligibility and about the admissions procedure, contact the admissions office at: mastertoelating.gst@uu.nl

The coördinator for this profile is Gjalt Prins.

For questions about your planning please contact the programme coordinator of your own Master’s programme.

*Please note that the profile starts one or two weeks before the start of the academic year to align with the start of the secondary schools. Full participation in this first week is a requirement for further participation in the profile.

* The Applied Data Science Profile will stop per 2021-2022 *

Data are everywhere. From the sciences to industry, commerce, and government, large collections of diverse data are becoming increasingly more indispensable for decision making, planning, and knowledge discovery. But how can we sensibly take advantage of all the opportunitities that these data potentially provide while avoiding the many pitfalls? The Master’s profile Applied Data Science addresses this challenge.

Applied Data Science (ADS) is a multidisciplinary profile for students who are not only interested in broadening their knowledge and expertise within the field of Data Science, but are also eager to apply these capabilities in relevant projects within their research domain. The two mandatory courses provide a thorough introduction to data science, its basic methods, techniques, processes, and the application of data science within specific domains. The foundations of applied data science include relevant statistical methods, machine learning techniques and programming skills. Moreover, key aspects and implications of ethics, privacy and law are covered as well.

The multidisciplinary nature of the Applied Data Science profile is also embodied in the collaborative design of the mandatory courses and (optionally) the research project. This means that both the teaching staff and students will have different backgrounds as means to help broaden perspectives and stimulate creativity. We investigate data science methods and techniques through case studies and applications throughout the life sciences & health, social sciences, geosciences, and the humanities. Therefore, students applying for this master’s profile should have an affinity for this multidisciplinary approach.

Please read the full ADS profile desciption (pdf) including contents and specific requirements.