MSc Software Engineering of Distributed Systems

Emerging computer networks and communication technology provide a new technological foundation for designing software systems. The systems become distributed, reconfigurable and adaptive, and their components employ a high degree of autonomy. This is an exciting and rapidly evolving field in which there is a continuous demand for qualified software engineers on the world labour market.

Application dates for studies starting in Autumn 2021

16 October 2020: Application opens
15 January 2021: Application deadline
1 February 2021: Deadline for supporting academic documents (all applicants) and documentation of fee exempt status (if required) or receipt of application fee (if required)
9 April 2021: Notification of selection results
August 2021: Arrival and start of studies

Software Engineering of Distributed Systems at KTH

The set of devices in which distributed software applications may operate ranges from cloud servers to smartphones. New technological developments create considerable demand from industry and for engineers who can design software systems utilising these developments. This master’s programme is intended to be an educational response to such industrial demands. It provides students with state-of-the-art knowledge of the field and develops their practical skills to meet current industrial requirements, as well as enhancing their ability to adapt to the new developments of tomorrow’s technology.

The program is course-based. 60 ECTS credits must be obtained from the set of compulsory courses (including the degree project) and 60 ECTS credits can be obtained from the set of elective courses. The programme offers two tracks: the Software track and the Data Science track. The Software track emphasises software development courses while the Data Science track put a focus on data analysis courses. Among the set of elective courses for these specialisations, four courses (30 ECTS credits) for each of these tracks must be elected from the lists of corresponding elective courses for the tracks. The final term is dedicated to the degree project with one set of thesis topics provided by faculty. Many students choose to conduct their project in collaboration with industry, either in Sweden or abroad, and others are interested in pursuing their project in a university abroad. The choice of degree project depends on the students’ plans for future industrial or research work.

This is a two year programme (120 ECTS credits) given in English. Graduates are awarded the degree of Master of Science. The programme is given mainly at KTH Kista campus in Stockholm by the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (at KTH).

Topics covered

Distributed systems, software engineering, distributed artificial intelligence and intelligent agents, data science.

Courses in the programme


Since the programme is oriented to educate software engineers with a comprehensive knowledge of recent advanced methods and technologies in distributed software systems, opportunities for graduates to find a job are extensive. The programme qualifications allow students to work in a multitude of companies developing or maintaining software, and this is a huge market. Alumni can be found working in companies such as Ericsson, Spotify, Google, Nasdaq, Netlight, Scania group and SEB. Many students have been offered permanent positions either in Sweden or abroad even before they graduate. Feedback from former students shows that they very much appreciate the knowledge of modern technologies they learned from the programme, and this knowledge enables them to be very competitive in the labour market. Likewise, there are many examples of graduates becoming key employees in their companies by promoting these modern technologies.

A large number of students also target an academic career, and many of them have proceeded to doctoral positions in well-known universities all over the world.

After graduation

Software development, enterprise architect, consulting, entrepreneur, project manager, researcher, business development.


Find out what students from the programme think about their time at KTH.

"I would say KTH has a very high standard of education. There are so many options to learn details throughout the lectures, exercises, labs, projects, and exams."

Helal Uddin

Meet the students

Sustainable development

Graduates from KTH have the knowledge and tools for moving society in a more sustainable direction, as sustainable development is an integral part of all programmes. The three key sustainable development goals addressed by the master's programme in Software Engineering of Distributed Systems are:

4. Quality Education
9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
12. Responsible Consumption and Production

Quality Education: The programme provides a stimulating international environment in which students from countries all around the world collaborate on common subjects; the approach we take in teaching the programme creates a strong basis for supporting life-long learning

Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure: In the programme we underline innovation factors as an important component of progress in software industry; building reliable infrastructure requires expertise in software technology that we teach as a vehicle for its development

Responsible Consumption and Production: The programme underlines digitalisation as an approach to responsible consumption that includes reduced resource consumption (paper, for example) and responsible energy consumption.

Webinar on sustainable development

Watch a recording of the webinar offered by the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in November 2019. The webinar focused on the schools' master’s programmes and how they relate to sustainable development.

Faculty and research

The research goal of the department is to continue strong research in fundamental aspects of software and computer systems, central areas within Computer Science, with a focus on cloud computing, service computing, social networks, time-aware systems, data science, and applied AI as well as Software Engineering.

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