Bachelor in Data Science and Knowledge Engineering


Program Description

Why this programme?

Knowledge is central to modern society. Smart chips help companies keep track of goods and manage supplies and stocks. New, high-tech communication devices, such as mobile phones, navigation instruments, and digital cameras, are greatly enhanced by intelligent software and medical and biological engineering help medical doctors arrive quickly at accurate diagnoses.

As a Data Science and Knowledge Engineering student, you'll study methods to approach new challenges in these important areas. You’ll generate new knowledge by gathering and ordering valuable information using mathematics and intelligent computer techniques. The knowledge you'll acquire can, in turn, be used to make decisions or solve problems efficiently.

Building bridges between theory and practice

In contrast to more traditional programmes in computer science and mathematics, Knowledge Engineering takes a targeted, practical and applied approach. You'll learn to build bridges between theory and practice and you’ll be able to apply solutions to data problems in a broad range of settings, such as logistics, robotics, and medicine. You’ll use techniques from:

  • computer science, with an emphasis on software, programming, algorithms, and logic
  • applied mathematics, including the practical application of major mathematical concepts, methods, and techniques
  • artificial intelligence, including ways to reason using available knowledge and an introduction to machine learning and intelligent search

Project-Centered Learning

Project-Centered Learning (PCL) is an innovative, application-centered instructional method used at DKE. You'll work on projects in small groups of 5-6 students, applying recently acquired knowledge to open-ended problems, that are often based on real-world situations. The assignments you'll work on are may be provided by companies and organizations in healthcare, IT and logistics. You could, for example, be asked to develop a program that records river water levels and issues timely flood warnings for a local government. But you may also be asked to study the traffic flow at major highways and road junctions and come up with effective ways to manage them.

A study in an international environment

The job market for knowledge engineers is an international one, so chances are that you end up working overseas, or at an international company. This means you must be able to work with people from many different cultural backgrounds. Few places could be better situated for this than Maastricht. Students and staff come from all over Europe and the rest of the world, and Maastricht itself is at an international crossroads between the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany. Two-thirds of our students come from outside the Netherlands, and such diversity creates a strong international atmosphere.

Spend the first semester of your third year abroad

As a Data Science and Knowledge Engineering student, you’ll have the opportunity to spend the first semester of your third year abroad. Studying abroad is not mandatory in this programme. DKE has exchange partners in Australia, Denmark, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Iceland, Italy, Singapore, the United States and Switzerland.

MaRBLe honors programme

Through the Maastricht Research-Based Learning programme, MaRBLe for short, we offer talented third-year bachelor’s students the opportunity to conduct their own research project. You will be guided by experienced academic staff who will help you further develop your critical thinking and research skills. This will help prepare you for a career in scientific research or research positions in business.


First Year

  • Introduction to Data Science and Knowledge Engineering KEN1110
  • Introduction to Computer Science 1 KEN1120
  • Discrete Mathematics KEN1130
  • Computational and Cognitive Neuroscience KEN1210
  • Introduction to Computer Science 2 KEN1220
  • Linear Algebra KEN1410
  • Project 1-1 KEN1300
  • Calculus KEN1440
  • Data Structures and Algorithms KEN1420
  • ICT and Knowledge Management KEN1430
  • Numerical Mathematics KEN1540
  • Software Engineering KEN1520
  • Logic KEN1530
  • Project 1-2 KEN1600

Second Year

  • Databases KEN2110
  • Philosophy & Artificial Intelligence KEN2120
  • Probability and Statistics KEN2130
  • Reasoning Techniques KEN2230
  • Machine Learning KEN2240
  • Graph Theory KEN2220
  • Project 2-1 KEN2300
  • DKE Honours Programme - MaRBLe 2.0 (2-1) KEN2320
  • Mathematical Modelling KEN2430
  • Human-Computer Interaction and Affective Computing KEN2410
  • Theoretical Computer Science KEN2420
  • Linear Programming KEN2520
  • Mathematical Simulation KEN2530
  • Social Media KEN2540
  • Computer Security KEN2560
  • DKE Honours Programme - MaRBLe 2.0 (2-2) KEN2620
  • Project 2-2 KEN2600
  • Text Retrieval Systems KEN2550

Third Year

  • Project 3-1 KEN3300
  • Data Analysis KEN3450
  • Operations Research Case Studies KEN3410
  • Intelligent Systems KEN3430
  • Bachelor's Thesis KEN3500
  • DKE Honours Programme - KE@Work (3-1) KEN3310
  • DKE Honours Programme - MaRBLe 2.0 (3-1) KEN3320
  • Study Abroad KEN3600


  • Semantic Web KEN3140
  • Game Theory KEN3130
  • Prolog KEN3234
  • Robotics and Embedded Systems KEN3236
  • Software and Systems Verification KEN3150
  • Logic for Artificial Intelligence KEN3231
  • Parallel Programming KEN3235
  • Introduction to Bio-Informatics KEN3440
  • Secure Web Applications KEN3237
  • Study Abroad KEN3600

Admission requirements

The admission requirements for the bachelor’s programme Data Science and Knowledge Engineering depend on your prior qualifications. Please check below which requirements apply to you. A matching procedure is a mandatory admission requirement for all applicants.

Prospective students with a Dutch diploma

You are directly admissible if you have one of the following diplomas:

  • vwo diploma with mathematics B
  • a relevant hbo ‘propedeuse’ or bachelor’s degree

Prospective students with a non-Dutch diploma

You are directly admissible if you have one of the following diplomas:

  • Belgian diplomas: ASO in mathematics at least 4 hours per week in the final 2 years. KSO, TSO, or BSO (BSO only if you followed the seventh year) will be evaluated individually.
  • German diplomas: A Zeugnis der Allgemeinen Hochschulreife; or an equivalent pre-university high-school diploma with Grundkurs Mathematics
  • Other countries: A pre-university high school diploma equivalent to the Dutch vwo diploma with a sufficient amount of higher level mathematics education.

Prospective students with a non-equivalent non-Dutch diploma

If you have a non-Dutch diploma that is not equivalent to the Dutch vwo diploma, then you may be eligible for the Foundation Programme. The Foundation Programme is a one year, full-time study programme. It consists of English language training, content courses, academic skills training and cultural and social events that will help you integrate smoothly into your new life in the Netherlands as well as the study of your choice.

Prospective students who do not meet the requirements

If you do not have the required diploma or do not meet the additional requirements, you can still qualify by passing the entrance exam or colloquium doctum.

If you pass the entrance test or the colloquium doctum and submit the requested proof of language proficiency, you will qualify for enrolment in the relevant bachelor’s programme.

When are you eligible for an entrance exam?

  • You have a vwo-diploma or equivalent, but do not meet our mathematics requirements

When are you eligible for a colloquium doctum?

  • You have a propaedeutic/ statement of a non-science oriented hbo education, and you are 18 years or older
  • You don’t have a vwo-diploma or an hbo/propaedeutic statement, and you are 21 years or older

The deadline for applying for the colloquium doctum and entrance exam is 27 June 2018, the exam takes place on Friday 29 June 2018 (10h00-12h00).

Please note that you need to be on-site for participation in these exams. Based on the results of this exam, the Board of Examiners decides whether you are admissible to the bachelor’s programme in Data Science and Knowledge Engineering. If you have any questions about the colloquium doctum or entrance exam, please contact the programme's Board of Admission at

Language requirements English

This bachelor is taught in English. You must, therefore, have a thorough active and passive command of English. No additional evidence of sufficient command of the English language is required if you meet any of the following criteria:

  • you are a native English speaker
  • you finished your secondary education in an EU/EEA country
  • you have obtained an International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma

The required scores are:

  • IELTS test: minimum score overall 6
  • TOEFL test: overall, paper-based minimum score 550
  • TOEFL test: overall, internet-based minimum score 80
  • TOEFL test: overall, computer-based minimum score 213

If you do not meet any of these criteria, you have to provide evidence of sufficient command of the English language by either an IELTS or a TOEFL test. You have to prepare and register for one of these tests yourself.

Plan your test in time. It can take some time before you get the results.

Tuition fees

  • The statutory fee for this programme is: €2,060
  • The institutional fee for this programme is: €10,000
  • The statutory part-time fee for this programme is: Not applicable
  • The institutional part-time fee for this programme is: Not applicable
Last updated Sep 2018

About the School

The Knowledge Engineering bachelor’s and master’s programmes are designed around the Project-Centred Learning (PCL) teaching method. The PCL educational model is small-scale and student-oriented. You ... Read More

The Knowledge Engineering bachelor’s and master’s programmes are designed around the Project-Centred Learning (PCL) teaching method. The PCL educational model is small-scale and student-oriented. You work in small groups on complex and challenging projects that require you to develop a variety of skills such as writing and presentation skills and working in a team. The skills you learn are an important preparation for your future career. Read less