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.
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):
- Introduction to Complex Systems (WISM484)
- Complex Networks* (WISL115) – see explanation of star (*) next page
- 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.
• 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
Courses that were labelled as Complex Systems courses in the past academic years (noted in parenthesis) can be found in the complete profile desciption.