Programme structure

The EPA curriculum has two learning lines. The modelling and simulation line, representing courses departing from a more analytical and modelling perspective. And a policy and politics line, which tries to explain decision making as a game of power and interests. Although we distinguish two learning lines, these two lines are interwoven and courses phased in a deliberate way. They are represented in the curriculum on the right by different colours. The first year lays the foundation for the programme. 

The first year will be taught exclusively in The Hague. In the second year you will also have courses in Delft.

Specialisations 

In the first year, you follow a highly interactive programme with required courses.  In the second year you can choose a technical specialisation.

Learning lines and knowledge & skills

This line consists of 6 courses:

Policy analysis of multi-actor systems

This alignment course will be a combination of the Principles of PA and PA of MAS. It is obligatory for non-TB students and lays the foundation for systems thinking and multi-actor approaches. It is a blended course using online material. It prepares for the EPA Challenge project in the second period. 

Understanding International Grand Challenges

This course explores the application domain and schedules practical, ethical and methodological issues. There is an explicit focus on the role and position of the analyst/model maker in these large scale/high-level interventions.  

Intercultural Relations and Project Management

This course combines theoretical elements of cross cultural management, especially Hofstede’s dimensions of culture, and a small part of project management and has a project element added where students explore solutions for grand challenges while working in international interdisciplinary teams. 

Political decision-making

This course focuses on decision-making in networks and the ‘politics of policy analysis’ part. It ‘annotates’ and ‘criticizes’ the rational perspective of the advanced modelling courses running parallel to it in the modelling line. 

Macro-economics for Policy Analysis

This course introduces students to the basic macro-economic concepts and macro-analysis. The major competing macro-economic theories will be reviewed and used to assess the policy impacts of fiscal, monetary, trade and (energy) technology policies. Special attention will be paid to static and dynamic computable general equilibrium (CGE) models, which are used for policy analysis by the World Bank, the IMF, the OECD and the World Trade Organization (WTO). 

Ethics and Impacts of Global Interventions

This course considers and discusses the effects or impacts of major technological policies and projects as well as the ethical aspects of the evaluation and mitigation of these effects. It presents methods and approaches like (a) environmental impact assessment, social impact assessment, safety analysis for ex-ante research assessment and (b) (social) cost benefit analysis and value sensitive design for ex-ante evaluation and judgment. 

This Line consists of seven courses: 

Data analytics and visualisation

The objective of this course is to give an understanding of the approaches and tools to use data for developing model structures, providing input to models and to analysing and validating the outcomes.  

Computer Engineering for Large Scale Simulations

This course offers an introduction to programming in Python and an introductory overview of computer engineering topics that are essential for running large scale simulation models. The course provides a mix of theory and skills which are practised using lab assignments. 

Introduction to TPM Modelling

This courses introduces the three main TPM modelling schools: Discrete Simulation, System Dynamics and  Agent Based Modelling. The module will introduce the different simulation paradigms and discuss when/in which context to apply one of these. 

Actor and Strategy Models

This course provides students with a range of models and analytical lenses to understand actor interactions in a strategic decision-making or policy-making environment. A generic framework for such analysis is offered, introducing core concepts used for actor modelling. 

Advanced Discrete Simulation

System Theory, Object Orientation, Discrete Event System Specification, and Distributed Simulation will be the core topics of the course. After an introduction to system theory, the inner working of simulation environments will be illustrated. Several special topics will be taught, such as distributed and real-time simulation, and component-based simulation. 

Advanced System Dynamics

The overarching objective of this course is to deepen the knowledge of the students with respect to System Dynamics. To this end, the course discusses key research topics within the SD community. Specific attention will be given to when and why to use System Dynamics, how to use data in the development and testing of SD models, state of the art approaches to model validation, and formal model analysis, and the use of SD models in simulation gaming. 

Model-based decision-making

The central topic of this course is the support of long-term decision-making on complex societal issues through the use of cutting edge modelling techniques in combination with state-of-the-art deliberative methods. These large societal issues are typically surrounded by deep uncertainty, and the various policy makers that are involved virtually always operate in a highly political environment. 

During the course of the EPA programme students are expected to obtain specific knowledge and skills as described below:

  • Being able to demonstrate a systematic and critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights in technology and public policy in their academic discipline, field of study, area of expertise or professional practice. This involves being critical and interested in current affairs, technology, and the relationship between technology and society. 
  • Understanding and gaining insight in essential facts, concepts, theories and principles relevant to the analysis and management of large-scale systems, along with the economics, policy and decision making taking place in such systems. 
  • Knowing how to address complex issues in a systematic and creative way, being able to quickly get a grasp of a wide variety of subjects and to think at a high level of abstraction.
  • Making sound judgements in the absence of complete data is another skill to be learned in this interdisciplinary programme. This may be difficult for students who are used to research specific topics in great detail, thus, the programme makes sure to provide the students with the sufficient tools and knowledge as to master this skill.
  • Being able to clearly communicate with both, specialist and non-specialist audiences, both academic and professional communities. It is much more important in the EPA programme than in monodisciplinary programmes to have good oral and written communication skills given the variety in audiences and interactions that EPA graduates are expected to have within industry, public and private sectors. Fluent writing and speaking in English is therefore an essential requirement.

Academic Calendar

The academic year starts at the first Monday in September and continues until July the following year. The curriculum comprises two years of two semesters each (one semester has two course periods), which adds up to 120 ECTS.