Course structure and curriculum

Structure and curriculum


The IST course is a two-year master's program. Both years are divided into semesters that run from September tot January and from February to July. There are two quarters of eight weeks in each semester in which you take courses. Knowledge will be tested in examination periods of two to three weeks. Teaching is in English.

IST students take five core courses - in cryptology, cyberattacks, data protection, network security, and software security - as well as a seminar, and several electives. The program finishes with a master project (worth 40 ECTS). There is room for an internship or an international exchange in your free elective space.

Core courses (mandatory)


IST electives


Free electives


Graduation project


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You may use your free elective options to study other technical or non-technical topics of your choice to broaden your perspective. This means that you can also choose courses from other departments at TU/e, other universities in the Netherlands, or a range of universities abroad. An internship is an option here, too. 


Security technology is a mix of cryptography, hardware and software security. We offer an array of courses addressing these topics from different angles, with the goal of gaining insight in security fundamentals, understanding systems, analyzing security applications, designing robust security, and grasping the societal context.

Clearly, you can't talk about information security without thinking about computer science. Yet, IST is not a software engineer training in which you are constantly programming (even though it is an important part of the degree). We offer also mathematical subjects, such as Crypotology, Applied Cryptography, Cryptographic Protocols, and Verification of Security Protocols. Other disciplines covered include information theory, quantum cryptography, software security, network security, IoT security, data security, cyberattacks, and defense.

For a more in-depth breakdown of the course curriculum, click here

The program ends with a research project in which you prove yourself as information security expert. You will specialize in a single subject and demonstrate that you are able to organize a research project independently. Our students have executed master projects at leaders in information technology, such as Brightsight, Secura, Compumatica, Deloitte, Forescout, Fox IT, Fraunhofer SIT, IntrinsicID, Irdeto, Nedap, NXP, and many others.

Exciting projects and initiatives

The IST mastertrack also offers practical activities that are integrated within its educational program. Research-oriented, student-driven, and integrated projects are an interesting part of the IST experience. For example, the BlackHat Lab (B-LAB) is an initiative to study nation-state-level malware, advanced attack vectors, and defensive techniques. The lab has an IoT interface to test new (and existing) attacks against the ever-growing IoT world. Next to that, we are part of the Eindhoven Security Hub SOC (ESH-SOC), a public-private initiative at TU/e, offering security monitoring services to external companies in the region.