Universiteit Leiden

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New in Leiden: Computer science and economics

In a survey held last year by the publication Elsevier, Leiden's Computer Science programme was voted by students as the best university programme of its kind in the Netherlands. And the Rotterdam Economics programme was voted the best in its field. Leiden University now offers a combined study based on both programmes: Computer Science and Economics.

Erasmus School of Economics

Business can no longer function without computer science.

Computer Science and Economics is part of the bachelor's programme in Computer Science at Leiden University. The computer science subjects are part of the Leiden programme, and for the economic subjects students attend lectures (two days a week) at the Erasmus School of Economics of Erasmus University in Rotterdam. 

Students acquire a thorough knowledge of both computer science and economics, including business economics, and learn how to solve complex business problems using computer science applications.   

Closely interwoven

Information systems and economics are closely interwoven since economic data are largely generated by information systems.  These systems manage information and business processes in a broad range of companies.  The use of information technology increases the speed of activities and reduces the costs, but can also impose some limitations.  

All economic domains

Many data flows, such as those from businesses to the tax authorities, currently take place electronically. This creates enormous opportunities for manipulation and analysis of the data.  Given these opportunities there is a demand across all domains for advanced, intelligent systems, for example in risk management, marketing and logistics.  


Professor Joost Kok, Professor of Fundamental Computer Science at the Leiden Institute for Advanced Computer Science, is enthusiastic about the new programme.  'There is such a strong connection between computer science and economics that I am sure it will enrich our programme enormously that we can now offer this specialisation. And it's an advantage that both Computer Science in Leiden and Economics in Rotterdam have been voted as the best programmes of their kind in the Netherlands. The best of both worlds is in this case not just an empty advertising slogan; we can actually prove it. And you can keep your options open: you can choose from two master's programmes in Leiden, but you also have the option of two master's in Rotterdam.' 

Professor Joost Kok: ‘The best of both worlds is in this case not just an empty advertising slogan; we can actually prove it.'


Computer Science and Economics consists of 60% computer science subjects including programming, databases, computer systems and telematics and software engineering. The economics subjects include: marketing and organisation, accounting, finance, micro-economics and macro-economics.  As well as the lectures and the practical sessions, students also work together on project tasks.'

Master's programmes

In the third year students choose a specialisation.  Both computer science and economics play a major part in all the specialisations, although there will be greater emphasis on the relevant specialisation.  The diploma awarded at the end of the bachelor's programme in Computer Science, with Computer Science and Economics as the specialism, gives direct entry to four master's programmes:   

  • MSc Economics & Business at the Erasmus School of Economics 
  • MSc Economics & Informatics at the Erasmus School of Economics 
  • MSc ICT in Business at Leiden University  
  • MSc Computer Science at Leiden University 

Strong employment market

There is and will continue to be a great need for academically trained staff who can devise innovative applications for information and communication technology.  The business sector also needs specialists who are not just experts in the field of computer science, but who also have a good understanding of how business processes work, how companies are organised and how companies structure their ICT activities. 

Computer science and economics

(21 April 2009)

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