Educational Programme

IPA’s educational programme focusses solely on the acquisition of scientific knowledge. The main focus is on the research subject areas represented in IPA, viz., Algorithms & Complexity, Formal Methods and Software Engineering & Technology. The educational programme is summarised in the table below.

Advanced Courses TOTAL ECTS
    Algorithms & Complexity 2
    Formal Methods 2
    Software Engineering & Technology 2
    2 x / Spring Days 2
    2 x Fall Days 4
Optional Courses
    Specialisation Courses 1-2 per course
    Participation in an ICT with Industry week 2

IPA’s advanced courses and events are announced via the front page of the IPA website, as well as via the mailing lists for IPA PhD candidates and IPA scientific staff.

Covid-19 update: we have temporarily changed the format of advanced courses and Fall Days from a full week on location format to an online format, with a day or half-day every 3–4 weeks.


The three advanced courses focus on the foundations of one of IPA’s three research pillars.
Such courses are aimed at first and second year PhD candidates, and present general techniques, open problems, and possible solutions to relevant problems. Each advanced course is offered at least once every two years, enabling all PhD candidates to take the course once during their career as a PhD candidate. PhD candidates are required to follow the three advanced courses but are exempted for the advanced course that covers the field of specialisation of the candidate.

The most recent or already planned editions of the three courses were scheduled as follows:

The next Algorithms & Complexity and Formal Methods course will likely take place in June 2020 and January 2021 respectively.

The Fall Days are dedicated to one of the strategic research areas selected by IPA, whereas the Spring Days are dedicated to more general research topics within IPA and may be combined with other events such as the national ICT.OPEN conference in which ASCI, IPA and SIKS all cooperate. Fall Days involve PhD Workshops, providing first and second year PhD candidates the opportunities to present their research topics and get feedback on their presentation skills and research topics from their peer PhD candidates and senior staff.

The optional specialisation courses have been added to IPA’s programme, formalising the various ad-hoc courses offered over the past years. Such specialised courses are infrequent courses aimed mainly at second and third year PhD candidates and provide in-depth treatments of specialised topics taught by one or more leading experts in the research domain. Examples of such courses are the Principles of Model Checking course, taught in 2009, 2010 and 2012 by J.P. Katoen from RWTH Aachen,  and the 2011 Security Course taught jointly by staff members of IPA, Prof.dr. S. Mauw from Luxembourg and ASCI and SIKS.

Apart from the courses organised by IPA, IPA PhD candidates can participate in courses offered by ASCI and SIKS (albeit sometimes some participation costs may be charged). For information concerning the courses offered by ASCI and SIKS, please see:

IPA furthermore assumes that the individual training and supervision programme consists of developing soft skills and professional skills such as courses on presenting and writing, and attending workshops, conferences and summerschools. Below is a non-exhaustive list of summerschools recommended by IPA.