What is the essence of the EPA programme?

EPA builds on the analytical and problem solving skills you obtained in your STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) bachelor. You will learn advanced (big) data analysis techniques, will be able to design advanced dynamic models and build simulations. This will allow you to study the behaviour of the systems you study and allows you to give strategic advice for decision-making under (deep) uncertainty. You will apply these methods and techniques for the so-called Grand Challenges: international cooperation, development issues, climate change, water, food and cyber security, critical resources and infrastructures.  You will learn how your knowledge can make a difference in international policy and politics. 

What is the difference between EPA and CoSEM?

EPA focuses on the grand challenges; climate change, energy security, cyber security, water, international development. We use methods like data analytics, dynamic modelling, simulation and gaming to analyse large scale natural and socio-technical systems to support strategy- and policy making for solving complex problems and for decision-making while dealing with (deep) uncertainty.

CoSEM focuses on designing in socio-technical systems in a specialization domain (ict, infrastructure and logistics, energy and industry, land-use planning) with a focus on  the design of technical artefacts and institutional arrangements. 

What is the difference between EPA and MOT?

EPA focuses on the grand challenges; climate change, energy security, cyber security, water, international development. We use methods like data analytics, dynamic modelling, simulation and gaming to analyse large scale natural and socio-technical systems to support strategy- and policy making for solving complex problems and for decision-making while dealing with (deep) uncertainty.

MOT focuses on optimizing production and innovation processes in private companies. MOT studies technology and innovation management and innovation systems, it focuses on business analytics, micro economics, and discusses strategy, leadership, and entrepreneurship. 

What is the ‘level’ of the programme?

The EPA MSc programme has set ambitions high and students should match this ambition. Typically within the faculty of TPM EPA students have the highest grade average. For many of them EPA is a first step in their ambition to have an international career. International students are subject to a highly selective TU Delft admission procedure and demanding scholarship requirements oblige these students to perform well. 

Is EPA just about politics?

International politics is just one of the aspects of political decision-making and policy preparation. Moreover EPA is not about governments making policies; it is about strategy and policy on the interface between public and private sectors. Do you think multinationals do not do politics? When looking at the grand challenges there will be no solutions without private sector involvement; EPA is about international cooperation, resources and interdependencies and the willingness of parties to invest in sustainable solutions and adaptive policy making.

How technical is the programme?

You will get an engineering degree from TU Delft! 50% of the programme is about data analytics, dynamic systems, simulations and mathematical modelling. The application areas are the Grand Challenges; it is about technical and natural systems and their interactions with society and the challenge of sustainable management. How much technology do you want? 

What kind of career opportunities does an EPA graduate have?

Most students find a job immediately after graduating; 90% of EPA graduates finds a job within 3 months after graduating. Two out of three work as a consultant or strategic advisor for international consultancy firms, internationally operating engineering consultants, energy companies, investment banks and investment companies, or as advisors in political context, or work as consultants for NGO’s. About 10% starts as a government employee, 10% starts a scientific career (PhD) and 10% starts their own (advising/modelling/gaming) company. 

How does the programme relate to the practice field?

We are actively working on embedding our programme in the dynamic environment of government agencies, advisory bodies, policy research institutes and international consultancies in the region Rotterdam –The Hague. Our new location in The Hague, one of the largest UN cities of the world, brings opportunities to connect to the world of international justice, safety and (cyber)security. Real world problems are used in class and in modelling exercises, guest speakers are common; we bring the world in the classroom. 

In what way is my scientific background important?

Your scientific or engineering background is important to understand the boundary conditions imposed by science or technology on policy making. You will be able to bridge the cleft between science and technology on the one hand and society and politics on the other. Your STEM background will be required for the modelling courses, for case studies and especially for your thesis research. In other words, your own scientific background will be very relevant when you engage in case study research, for choosing your specialization in the third semester and for your Master thesis. 

Can I apply for EPA?

How and if you are able to apply depends on your background. You can find all the application rules here

I am a TB bachelor; will there not be overlap with my bachelor programme?

No. There is a 10 ects alignment programme in the first semester where all other students will be introduced to the main TB concepts; you will have to learn some programming and do an additional technology course. All other courses are new and advanced level courses. 

I am a TU Delft student; can I start the EPA programme in the spring semester?

The programme starts in the fall semester. As the curriculum is structured such that core competencies are first learned in the fall semester, followed by applications to specific case studies and modelling assignments in the spring semester, we advise to start in September. TU Delft students cannot be prohibited to start at another date but they are advised to start in September. The latter is also relevant to get acquainted with your fellow students from abroad. If you enter the programme at another moment, you will have to arrange your own schedule, may not be able to opt for exchange, and probably will need more than the nominal four semesters to complete the programme.

How international is EPA?

EPA is an international programme, meaning that we have an international staff, and staffers with a lot of international experience; we have a programme that pays attention to international developments, and uses international examples and case studies; we have ample exchange opportunities allowing you to spend the third semester abroad, and we have an international student population. In 2015 75% of the students were international students. As the admission requirements have changed for 2016 we expect the share of Dutch students to rise to some 50%. Therefor EPA is an ideal starting point for an international career. 

What about internships?

Internships in the EPA programme are optional and usually reserved for thesis research only. EPA faculty are well connected to the public and private sectors as well as civil society and can help students find internship opportunities. It is possible and actually quite common to combine Master thesis research with an internship in the fourth semester. 

On what topic can I write my thesis?

Examples of challenges tackled by EPA students in their thesis work include:

  • Managing intellectual property rights in inter-organisational collaboration
  • The provision of assured safe infrastructure for mobile telephony in The Netherlands 
  • Study of successful public-private partnership for highway construction and maintenance in China
  • ‘Push to Talk’ - Opportunities for mobile operators in Africa
  • A cost-benefit analysis of storage opportunities for wind-power