MSc Embedded Systems

12 January 2021: The TU Delft MSc programme Embedded Systems has reached its maximum admission capacity for the academic year 2021-2022 and cannot accept applications from non-EU students anymore. For an up-to-date list of all concerned programmes, please visit the central admission page.

The TU Delft Master of Science Programme in Embedded Systems focuses on the design methodology of hardware and software user environments. It covers a wide spectrum of topics ranging from integrated circuit design, computer architecture, communication networks and real-time operating systems to software engineering and formal methods for embedded applications. As an essential component in the inexorable process of miniaturisation, it is an exciting engineering science of the future.

Degree: Master of Science Embedded Systems

Accreditation: Accredited by the NVAO

Credits: 120 ECTS, 24 Months

Type: Full-time

Start: September

Language: English

Embedded systems are hardware/software systems built into devices that are not necessarily recognised as computerised devices, but these systems do control the functionality and perceived quality of these devices. Some specific examples of embedded systems include: controllers for systems within a car; the automatic pilot of an aircraft; the chip set and software for smartphones, tablets and smart TVs; wireless sensor networks for ambient intelligence, a pacemaker; and control systems embedded in robots/ mechatronic machines. The growth rate in the embedded systems industry is more than 10% per annum and, according to forecasts, there will be more than 40 billion devices worldwide by 2020.

Innovations made possible by embedded systems are making our lives healthier, more interesting, safer and more sustainable. These innovations are at the heart of industrial innovation and competitiveness, creating and sustaining jobs and economic well-being.

What you will learn

You will obtain basic knowledge through courses on computer architectures for embedded applications, formal verification and quantitative evaluation of embedded systems, and real-time operating aspects.  By means of a team project you will experience how all these parts come together when designing an embedded system in practice.  Depending on your interest, you will learn more about topics like IC design, heterogeneous computer platforms, network security, wireless sensor networks, internet of things, and mechatronic system design. 

MSc. Embedded Systems versus other programmes

In the two figures below you can see how the master programme Embedded Systems differs from the other master programmes offered by TU Delft - Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Applied Mathematics (EEMCS). These programmes teach the full spectrum of topics needed to build integrated hardware and software systems. The Electrical Engineering (EE) programme primarily teaches hardware-related topics. The Computer Engineering (CE) programme is more hardware oriented, in addition to covering software-related topics. The Embedded Systems (ES) programme is more software oriented and covers some processing hardware aspects. The Computer Science (CS) programme primarily teaches software-related topics.

In particular, the Embedded Systems (ES) and Computer Engineering (CE) programmes can be defined as follows.

  • MSc. ES = Software & hardware, embedded in other systems to determine their functionality
  • MSc. CE = Using hardware & software to make computing systems with specific requirements

These two programmes have the following similarities and differences.

  • As an ES or CE student you will learn about software and hardware and you can specialize in many different CS and EE topics
  • ES has a software focus, CE has a hardware focus.
  • Compulsory courses ES and CE are different, pool of electives largely similar
  • ES is a 4TU programme (with Eindhoven University of Technology and University of Twente)
  • CE has a similar structure as EE programme
    Read more about the master Computer Engineering (CE)


If you would like to start this programme, but do need a bridging programme to be admissible, we strongly recommend you follow the bridging programme during your Minor in your Bachelor programme already.  If you have finished the bridging programme during your Bachelor, you will be able to start the MSc. Embedded Systems the September after finishing your Bachelor programme. For more information regarding your bridging programme, contact your study advisor.