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 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.


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 the candidate.

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

The next Software Engineering & Technology courses will likely take place in 2024.

The Fall Days are dedicated to one of the strategic research areas selected by IPA, whereas the ICT.OPEN (in which ASCI, IPA and SIKS all cooperate) is dedicated to more general research topics. 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. Furthermore, there is plenty of opportunity for discussions with peers and more senior scientists.

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 also encourages participation of its PhD candidates in the ICT with Industry workshop. During five days a group of about 50 researchers from IT and Computer Science from a wide range of universities (within the Netherlands and Europe) work together extensively on challenging problems proposed by companies. The week brings together scientists, in particular (junior) research staff and PhD students, and professionals from industry and governments. The workshop revolves around a number of case studies, which are subject to an intense week of analysing, discussing, and modeling solutions.

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.