Department of Data Science and Knowledge Engineering


Our department offers in-house bachelor’s and master’s programmes covering artificial intelligence, data science and computer science.

Our programmes

BSc Data Science and Artificial Intelligence

The bachelor’s programme in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence bases itself upon the disciplines of applied mathematics and computer science. The programme focuses on technical aspects of data science and artificial intelligence, and equips students with the knowledge and skills to develop smart systems for solving complex problems.

Since the programme’s start in 1992, it has grown into a consistently top-ranked Artificial Intelligence programme in the national Keuzegids ranking. Our bachelor’s programme draws over 200 first-year students annually. With around 75% international students coming from over 45 different countries, it is the most international AI bachelor’s programme in the Netherlands. 

The award-winning KE@Work honours programme, which allows top-performing students to work at local organizations in the second and third year of their studies, is embedded in this bachelor’s programme.

Read more

MSc Artificial Intelligence

Our two-year Artificial Intelligence master’s programme teaches students to design and develop AI systems to perform complex tasks. These systems are able to act on their own and adapt to changing environments.

The Master’s programme in Artificial Intelligence started in 2005. Like our other programmes, it has a highly international student population: more than 80% of students join us from abroad.

Read more

MSc Data Science for Decision Making

Our two-year Data Science for Decision Making master’s programme focuses on two aspects. The data science elements of the programme cover techniques to process, transform, and protect data, and to build models. We train students to extract useful information from data, to recognize patterns and anomalies, and to predict future behavior. Secondly, the decision-making elements of the programme cover techniques for intelligent decision-making that take advantage of the knowledge extracted from data.

Our Data Science for Decision Making master’s programme (formerly known as Operations Research) launched in 2005. More than 80% of students in this programme come from abroad.

Read more

For PhD candidates

We frequently have openings for PhD candidates in projects related to data science, artificial intelligence, computer science, and/or mathematics. We list our open PhD positions on the academic vacancy portal AcademicTransfer.

Teaching in other programmes

In addition to our own programmes, our staff teaches in other Maastricht University study programmes including University College Maastricht, Systems Biology, Maastricht Science Programme, Business Engineering and Circular Engineering. 

Within these programmes, the department covers courses related to data science, artificial intelligence, applied mathematics and computer science. 

Our teaching method

All of our bachelor’s and master’s programmes employ project-centred learning, a variant of Maastricht University’s signature problem-based learning. In addition to technical skill development, this educational model trains employability skills such as teamwork, project planning, documenting, and presenting.

In project-centred learning, students work in small groups to tackle two big projects per year (amounting to one per semester). These projects last around five months each and run parallel to courses, which follow a lecture- and tutorial-based setup. The level of the projects, and the products students need to deliver, matches the students’ study progress by requiring knowledge obtained from coursework.

We base projects on real-life research and/or societal challenges provided by our staff and by companies. Projects for instance require students to design a quadcopter platform for an autonomous swarm, to optimize timetables, to automate the recognition of facial expressions, or to design and implement a traffic simulator.

Education news

  • Thesis awards for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence students

    Tuesday, May 17, 2022

    Congratulations to Anna-Lena Krause, Krzysztof Cybulski and Frederik Calsius!

    Read more
  • Mateusz Wiza, winner of the 2021 Q-Park Student Award

    DKE student wins Q-Park Student Award

    Thursday, November 4, 2021

    Q-Park announced the winners of its annual Student Awards this week. Mateusz Wiza was one of the winners to receive a €1.500 cash prize for his thesis.

    Read more
  • Data Science and Artificial Intelligence

    Everyone wins: Data Science and Artificial Intelligence students work on business cases

    Thursday, February 4, 2021

    The bachelor’s programme in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence now offers the opportunity – in collaboration with Brightlands-based BSSC and BISS – for third-year students to complete a semester project with a company or organization.

    Read more
  • Data Science and Artificial Intelligence

    Data Science and Knowledge Engineering bachelor's programme changes name

    Tuesday, September 1, 2020

    As of 1 September 2020, the programme is named Data Science and Artificial Intelligence.

    Read more
  • MASA

    First-year bachelor’s students rescue kidnapped professor

    Friday, August 28, 2020

    150 unsuspecting students took part in an alternate reality game last Monday. Within 30 hours of starting their introduction to the bachelor’s programme at the Department of Data Science and Knowledge Engineering, they collectively defused a bomb and emerged as heroes.

    Read more
  • Lyrics to 'I write a Song'

    UM students compete in first international Artificial Intelligence Song Contest

    Tuesday, April 14, 2020

    The first international Artificial Intelligence Song Contest is currently taking place online. Even better – it includes a team of UM students and local musicians.

    Read more
  • Marc Pont, alumnus Data Science for Decision Making

    "I’m surprised by the recentness of the knowledge that I gained"

    Monday, December 16, 2019

    Marc Pont, alumnus of the master's programme in Data Science for Decision Making, discusses the atmosphere, curriculum and job search.

    Read more
  • London street

    Research into Japanese puzzles prompts London adventure for master's student

    Tuesday, November 26, 2019

    A love for Japanese culture snowballed into a London conference trip for Lianne Hufkens, master's student Artificial Intelligence.

    Read more
  • DKE graduation 2019

    DKE’s Class of 2019: what’s next?

    Tuesday, July 16, 2019

    Following the graduation ceremonies on July 11 and 12, we asked four brand new graduates about their next steps in life. We also asked them to reflect – perhaps for the last time – on their time at DKE.

    Read more
  • FSE Hackathon champions 2019

    FSE students place first in international hackathon

    Tuesday, June 4, 2019

    A group of bachelor’s students of the Maastricht Science Programme (MSP) and Data Science and Knowledge Engineering (DKE) won the Eramet challenge at the VivaTechnology Hackathon in Paris during the weekend of 18 May.

    Read more
  • T500

    11 DKE students listed in Dutch ‘Top 500 tech talents under 26’

    Wednesday, May 8, 2019

    Technology conference TNW catalogues 500 of the Dutch tech world’s most talented people under the age of 26. This year’s list – the T500 – features three alumni and eight current students of the Department of Data Science and Knowledge Engineering (DKE). Among them is Dirk Bongers, DKE master's student.

    Read more
  • Philippe Debie

    Odd one out: student presents bachelor thesis at esteemed conference

    Wednesday, February 20, 2019

    Philippe Debie is literally going the extra mile to present his bachelor thesis at a renowned international conference in Santiago, Chile.

    Read more
  • Penros and students

    The Road to Maastricht

    Thursday, January 31, 2019

    What would you ask someone who, in the words of the organizers, played a major role in the story of science in the last 70 years?

    Read more
  • KE@Work - Cake

    Five years KE@Work, more A-team than Beauty and the Beast

    Monday, January 21, 2019

    What makes the KE@Work partnership unique, and which philosophy is behind the programme’s collaboration?

    Read more
  • Reimagine Education Award DKE

    Two silver Reimagine Education Awards for KE@Work

    Tuesday, December 4, 2018

    KE@Work won a silver award in the category Best Employer-University Partnership during the gala ceremony in San Francisco.

    Read more
  • FHS - DKE KE@Work

    KE@Work shortlisted for 2018 Reimagine Education awards

    Thursday, November 15, 2018

    The honours path for bachelor students of the Data Science and Knowledge Engineering programme, KnowledgeEngineering@Work or KE@Work, is shortlisted for the 2018 Reimagine Education awards. The reputable Reimagine awards seek to reward education innovators from around the globe.

    Read more
  • 1 study & 3 jobs

    Thursday, September 20, 2018

    Three Artificial Intelligence alumni talk about their work. Marloes van Eijk is a data scientist/advisor at the Public Prosecution Service, Gijs-Jan Roelofs is a freelance consultant and Inge Lemmens is chief technology officer at PNA Group.

    Read more
  • Keuzegids Master's - Top Rated Programme

    Data Science for Decision Making best Master's programme in it's category

    Wednesday, March 7, 2018

    The ‘Keuzegids Masters 2018’, released today, ranks DKE's Master programme in Data Science for Decision Making 1st place in the country for the category for Theoretical Master for Computer Science. Due to its high score, it has also received the "topopleiding" seal, which means that it belongs to the best Masters programmes in the Netherlands.

    Read more
  • Innovative Data Science research project wins award

    Thursday, January 25, 2018

    A research project titled 'Intelligent games for assessing cognitive, social and physical capacities of elderly and children' was awarded a prize at the Pre-Dies Natalis symposium 'The Future of a Data-Driven Society'.

    Read more
  • Eminem

    Rappers more educated than pop artists?

    Wednesday, August 16, 2017

    DKE student Thomas Vrancken uses text-mining to prove that the vocabulary of rappers is significantly richer than that pop music artists.

    Read more
  • Harry Potter

    Extracting spells in Harry Potter

    Wednesday, July 19, 2017

    How many spells are cast by the characters in the seven Harry Potter books? That’s what master’s students of Data Science for Decision Making Moritz Haine and Markus Dienstknecht wanted to find out in celebration of Harry Potter’s 20th anniversary. To answer their question, they used text mining, an information retrieval technique common in computer science.

    Read more
  • SSCAIT Logo

    DKE student wins Student StarCraft AI Tournament

    Tuesday, March 28, 2017

    Martin Rooijackers (Master student Artificial Intelligence at the Department of Data Science and Knowledge Engineering – Maastricht University) and his LetaBot took part in the annual Student StarCraft AI Tournament and won in both the student-division as well as the mixed division!

    Read more
  • UM Artificial Intelligence student wins multiple awards

    UM student of Artificial Intelligence wins multiple awards

    Tuesday, October 11, 2016

    Dennis Soemers won the award for the best student paper at the annual IEEE...

    Read more
  • graduates KE@work

    KE@Work: First 10 students in academic work/study track to graduate

    Monday, July 11, 2016

    On Wednesday, 13 July 2016 the first 10 bachelor's students to complete the work/study track KnowledgeEngineering@Work, a programme unique in the Netherlands,  graduated.

    Read more