Artificial Intelligence (Lifestyle Informatics)

Enhancing human life


Artificial intelligence (AI) is everywhere now, and its importance is only going to grow. The media is full of it: AlphaGo, robots, driverless cars, etc. We all use AI technology each and every day. Searching with Google, recommendations on Netflix and Amazon, language recognition with Siri, machine translations, spam filters; all of these are a part of our everyday lives. Science and healthcare too would be unimaginable without artificial intelligence nowadays. Image recognition, diagnostic support tools, predictive models and other innovations provided by artificial intelligence are crucial in all areas of society. As an academic discipline, artificial intelligence holds the future – and could shape your future career. Studying AI at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is your route to success.

The Bachelor's programme in Artificial intelligence at the VU Amsterdam has two tracks: Intelligent Systems and Socially Aware Computing. You decide which option is best for you. The first year is the same for both tracks, the second year shares 40% of their programmes. This means you can switch very easily!

Intelligent Systems track
The Intelligent Systems track of the AI Bachelor’s degree programme focuses on building intelligent systems, i.e. on developing, applying and evaluating new intelligent algorithms. You will study how computers are able to learn automatically and how they accumulate, represent and apply knowledge on a large scale. This programme teaches you three main aspects: essential informatics skills and knowledge, such as programming, databases and algorithms; a sound foundation in mathematics in order to use and evaluate new methods, such as logic, algebra or statistics; and general AI methodology and technology, such as automatic learning and building intelligent systems.

Socially Aware Computing track
This track is unique in the Netherlands: you can only study Socially Aware Computing at VU Amsterdam. This programme focuses on helping people by using artificial intelligence. You will learn how to develop the tools and programmes that make people’s everyday lives more pleasant, safer and healthier. For example, you could develop an intelligent living environment for the elderly, smart training programmes for athletes, or intelligent sensors and devices to help deal with stress. We are seeing more and more applications of artificial intelligence in our daily lives.

Socially Aware Computing is very much a multidisciplinary programme. As well as basic knowledge about informatics and artificial intelligence, you will learn about other specialist areas, including psychology and health sciences. In addition, you will learn to investigate how people live and how to use technical skills to increase their quality of life. To this end, you will also learn how new technologies work, so that you can combine your medical and psychological knowledge and your AI and informatics expertise for application in theoretical and practical skills. This will allow you to make a difference in the future – or even during your studies, as undergraduate Fabian Dophemont did for his degree thesis on how the use of smart phones can be reduced when cycling.


Are you looking for a science degree that will lead to a practical goal? Do you have an affinity with psychology and/or criminology, medical science and AI/informatics? Do you want to make a difference in society? Then you should get to know what the Bachelor's in Artificial Intelligence is all about at an open day taster at VU Amsterdam.


Artificial Intelligence combines psychology and biomedical subjects with modelling, information and communication. During your studies you will be experimenting, analysing and describing human processes and tasks. You will be developing aids and devices that understand these human processes and tasks. You will be studying at the Faculty of Science at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and as well as studying mathematics, AI, informatics and logic you will be attending courses at other faculties, including Psychology and Humanities.

Duration of degree
This is a three-year degree programme and you will spend approximately 40% doing practical work, 40% at lectures and 20% in tutorials.

For more information on the first year curriculum, please check our Study guide.

For more information on the second year curriculum, please check our Study guide.

For more information on the first year curriculum, please check our Study guide.

For more information on the first year curriculum, please check our Study guide.

For more information on the second year curriculum, please check our Study guide.

For more information on the first year curriculum, please check our Study guide.

As a graduate in Artificial Intelligence you will be in demand on the job market. Nearly all graduates find a job very quickly. For example, you could be developing a new device for education or healthcare, like Alice, the care robot. It could be an application supporting people with depression, or e-learning applications; you could opt for a career as an Applications Developer for a technology start-up, or as a Knowledge Manager or Information Analyst at a company or healthcare institution. You could opt for a career in science, by taking a doctoral post in our research department. You can watch a clip here that shows an example of research and its application, produced by AI research group AAL-VU.

Many graduates choose to further their knowledge by doing a Master’s degree. The Bachelor's programme in Artificial Intelligence provides direct access to our two-year Master’s in Artificial Intelligence. This fascinating programme offers all sorts of avenues to explore once you have graduated. You could opt to study Minor Bioinformatics and Systems Biology in your third year, then after completing your AI degree you could move up and study for a Top Master’s in Bioinformatics and Systems Biology. To see what Master’s degrees are available please go to

Applicants holding a diploma from another country must meet a number of requirements:

1. A diploma equivalent to the Dutch pre-university VWO diploma
See the Diploma Requirement List for examples of accepted diplomas per country. Please note: this list is meant to give you an indication of admissibility; no rights can be derived from it.

2. Proof of sufficient proficiency in English
See the General Admission Requirements for the English language requirement.

3. Proof of sufficient proficiency in Mathematics
After you apply to the programme and upload the required documents in our student portal, your International Student Advisor will have a look at your transcripts to determine whether your diploma is equivalent to the Dutch VWO diploma and whether your Mathematics level is sufficient. These examples of diplomas demonstrate sufficient proficiency in the subject Mathematics:

  • International Baccalaureate: Mathematics Standard or Higher Level.
  • British GCE A-Levels: A-level in Mathematics. At least grade A,B or C.
  • Germany: Zeugnis der allgemeinen Hochschulreife, including Mathematics as Grundkurs.
  • European Baccalaureate:  Mathematics; written or oral examination, at least 4 hours during the Orientation Cycle.

If your proficiency in this subject is considered to be insufficient, your International Student Advisor will inform you about the possibilities how to meet the requirements with additional certificates.
When advised to sit an entry exam, the following certificates are deemed equivalent to Dutch VWO Mathematics A.

Exams in the Netherlands

  • Boswell-Bèta (English). Boswell-Bèta in Utrecht (the Netherlands) provides VWO Mathematics A with exams in December, May and July.
  • CCVX (Dutch and English). CCVX offers VWO Mathematics A.

Once you have made your choice of study programme, VU Matching offers you the opportunity to determine if the study programme corresponds to the image and expectations that you have and whether it suits you. VU Matching is part of the application procedure for all bachelor degree programmes. It consists of two parts: first you fill out a digital questionnaire on VUnet and second you participate in the matching activity of the programme.

This programme offers an online matching activity. In order for us to be able to send you an invitation it is necessary that you log in to VUnet and complete and confirm the application form (progress 100%). The start date for sending the invitations is not yet known. Keep an eye on your inbox: the invitation will be sent to the email address you entered when you registered. Check your spam folder regularly to make sure you don’t miss out on any messages from us.

For students based in the Netherlands it is possible to participate in a matching activity on campus. This day will be scheduled in the period of Tuesday 26 May to Tuesday 9 June 2020. If you receive an invitation for the online activity but you would rather participate in the matching activity on campus, do please sent an email to

For general information about matching, please check out the website VU Matching [Dutch] or VU Matching [English]. If you have questions about the matching activity, please contact the Matching coordinator for the Faculty of Science at

If you have a specific question about applying with a non-Dutch diploma you can contact our International Student Advisor. The ISA will help you with practicalities about your bachelor admission and support you throughout the application process.

Kim Daamen                                      Julia Tan
T: +31 20 59 85284                           T: +31 205984212      

Or email your question to:

Tessa de Jong


I found it hard at first to choose the next stage of my education. I have always had a broad interest, and my subjects cluster at secondary school offered a variety of opportunities. I came across AI at the open day and this programme immediately appealed to me. I am now in my second year and am really loving it, especially the variety. You could be learning all about the brain in psychology at one moment and the next thing you will be learning to program the ‘Snake’ game or building your own website.

Overview Artificial Intelligence (Lifestyle Informatics)




3 years (full time)



1 April (students requiring visa and/or housing services) / 1 May (students who do not require visa and/or housing services)


1 September




A minimum of 42 credits


Behavioural and Social Sciences
Health and Movement
Computer Science, Mathematics and Business