The curriculum is structured into three course categories:
- Breadth Courses (BC) present core areas of software engineering knowledge at an advanced level (e.g., Algorithms, Programming Languages, Databases, Distributed Systems)
- Depth Courses (DC) provide an engineering treatment of major topics related to software engineering (e.g., Component-Based Systems, Compiler Design, Real-Time Systems, Advanced Web Programming)
- Free Electives (AE) permit an individual choice of specialization from a variety of subjects (e.g., Machine Learning, Neural Networks, Parallel Algorithms, Pattern Recognition, Project Management)
These courses are supplemented by a thread that develops research skills, starting with a course on Research Topics, and continuing with directed research leading up to the final Master's project developed over the entire 4th semester.
The duration of the Master's program is 2 years (4 semesters), with the last semester devoted to the Master's dissertation. During the each of first three semesters, the students take three courses, and satisfy other program requirements, as follows:
During the first semester, students take the 3-credit "Research Topics" course for the corresponding Master's program. This course offers a presentation and discussion of the state of the art and research roadmaps in the field. Evaluation is done by the course instructor.
In the second semester, each student produces a literature review surveying the state of the art related to the chosen dissertation topic. The report should discuss about a dozen relevant research references and provide a set of conclusions presenting the motivation, focus and goal of the proposed dissertation. The literature research performed during the semester and the resulting report are evaluated by the dissertation advisor. Details are available here(D2,P2).
During the third semester, students perform directed thesis research under the supervision of their dissertation advisor. Each student produces a dissertation proposal, containing the problem statement, the state of the art (drawing on the previously completed literature review), the proposed solution, the expected results, and a time plan. The dissertation proposal is presented and debated in front of the dissertation advisor and student peers. (D3,P3)
The final semester is entirely dedicated to the dissertation work. The student has to perform a practical internship related to the chosen dissertation topic in department’s research labs, in industry or other agreed locations. The dissertation is finalized and defended in a final examination. Details about the structure of the dissertation and the examination are available here and here