Studying technology and society and their interrelations is typical for the analytical approach central to all master programmes offered by the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management. The international programme Engineering and Policy Analysis (EPA) offers students a challenging interdisciplinary curriculum.  EPA is characterized by its unique blended, case-based approach to teaching and its focus on modelling and simulation. 

You will gain the knowledge and means necessary to analyse problems, to model and simulate dynamic systems and to assess solutions that change our world for the better. Therefore we use innovative teaching methods, online as well as offline, with focus on debating and presentation skills, including role-play with actors. You can profit from the case based approach of the programme, with real life cases.

Students can take part in the EPA programme in one of the following ways:

  • as a full time student of the two-year programme (see further under Application and admission).
  • as an exchange student taking one or more individual modules to meet the requirements set by their own university.

Teaching system

Click on one of the following topics for more information:

Modular structure

The EPA programme has a clear modular structure. There is a distinction between theory modules and project modules.  In a theory module the subject matter is presented in lectures and seminars. Here the students will learn the theoretical aspects and ways to apply the theory when solving problems in the given study discipline. A theory module is generally concluded with an examination.

In a project module students work individually or with a small group of fellow students on a practical problem in the field of EPA. During the process they get familiar with the type of work they will undertake later as graduate engineers. They also develop skills in written and oral communication, such as written reporting, oral presentation, and co-operating in groups.

To work successfully on their projects students must first acquire sufficient theoretical knowledge in the preceding theory modules.

Teaching methods

The choice of the teaching method depends on the teaching objectives that are defined for each specific part of the programme. See an overview of the most important teaching forms used in the EPA programme: 

  • Lecture
    In a lecture you will sit together with all the students in your year in a lecture hall and the lecturer will present the material of the module. The purpose is to clarify the structure of a module, to sketch the broad outline and to indicate relationships with other modules.
  • Computer-assisted exercises
    Computer-assisted exercises are part of those modules where it is essential to use the computer for certain assignments and to solve problems within a study discipline.
  • Project work
    In a project you will work with a small group of students and apply the theoretical knowledge acquired in various modules to solve real problems in the field of EPA. During the process you will also learn other skills such as collaboration, planning, written and verbal communication and argumentation. The result of the project will be recorded in a report and will be orally presented and defended.  
  • Skill lab
    The skill lab is a computer room where you can work on your own to practice various skills, at times suitable for you. For instance, you will learn to use specific computer applications or watch computer or video demonstrations as a part of a specific theory module. This will enable you to practice solving problems, accessing information on the Internet or analysing decision-making processes on video.
  • Individual study and written study materials
    Studying individually is absolutely essential so you will have to spend necessary time studying on your own. EPA provides good printed materials and sufficient practice assignments for your individual studying. 
Examination system

The examination timetable is available at the Student Information Centre, and on the faculty website. To take part in examinations students have to register first. For most of the examinations they can register in the on-line Examination Registration System (TAS) in the Student Information Centre. Registration is possible up to fourteen days before the examination date and you may cancel your participation up to two days before the exam.

The complete rules governing the obligations of the students taking part in the exams are published each year in the Education and Examination Regulations (EER) and (partially) in the course handbook. The EER is also available on the faculty website.

The results are announced anonymously (using student registration numbers) as soon as possible on the faculty website (no names are mentioned to guarantee privacy).

Examinations are held twice a year at the end of each semester and in the retake period in August. Under special circumstances (e.g. illness certified by a doctor) a student may be allowed to take the exam in another period. 

The faculty has a permanent examination board with the following tasks:

  • appointing the legal examiners;
  • defining examination rules and measures to be taken;
  • officially determining the examination results;
  • issuing study recommendations;
  • dealing with complaints about teaching and examinations (including cases of fraud or plagiarism);
  • dealing with appeals concerning the application of examination rules and regulations. 
Teaching quality system

To ensure good quality of teaching, the faculty has set up a teaching quality system. The system includes gathering data about the teaching process, measuring this information against the quality criteria and informing the faculty community (including the tutor or lecturer concerned) about the results.  Co-operation of the students is of crucial importance for the quality system. At the end of each semester the students will be asked to complete special questionnaires about the teaching quality during the past term. The questionnaires will then be read and analysed by a special computer programme (Sensor). The results are published on the faculty website.

Students may also be encouraged to participate in so-called lecture and seminar response groups. The groups meet once per semester to discuss subjects directly concerning the teaching quality. The participants are expected to have attended all lectures and seminars during the past term. They are asked to give their opinion about the difficulty and content of the modules, the teaching forms, the teaching style of the lecturer or the tutor, the study materials and the method of examination. 

Naturally the students are informed about the results of the teaching evaluations: a special quality report is produced every year. Information and reports are available on the TPM website.

Scott Cunningham about Data Science

Gerdien de Vries about decision-making processes