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Introduction to Informatics (first year)

Get hands-on experience in software engineering by focusing on essential skills such as Object Oriented programming and software testing. Engage in practical project work in small, diverse groups, preparing you for challenges in the IT field.

About the exchange programme

This exchange programme will give you a thorough introduction in Software Engineering. It's the second semester of an Informatics bachelor programme. All aspects of the software development lifecycle are discussed. A project in which a business application is developed from scratch is the central module in this semester. The project is supported by modules (theory as well as practical work) regarding Object Oriented programming, UML modelling, software testing and project management. The programme is intended for students who have basic experience with object oriented programming and relational database systems already.

Why this programme?

  • A comprehensive introduction to Software Engineering, covering all aspects of the software development lifecycle.
  • Interactive and practical learning experiences in small, international classes, emphasizing hands-on project work
  • We focus on Object Oriented programming, UML modelling, software testing, and project management, preparing students for real-world IT challenges.

More about Introduction to Informatics (first year)

What can you expect from us

The semester consists of four modules with theory lectures and practical work, and a project in which students work together in groups. Educational activities are interactive and take place in small classes. Our classes are quite international: Dutch, German (due to our location at the border) and 'real' international students. Speaking English is the standard.

What do we expect from you

Basic foreknowledge in the domain of Object Oriented Programming and relational database systems is needed; furthermore, interest in the IT discipline and an active and eager-to-learn attitude is all we expect.



The total workload for this programme is 30 European Credits, duration is 1 semester. All courses have to be taken in order to achieve the full credits. The following minor parts (courses) have been defined:


  • Programming Concepts 2 - 5 ECTS
  • Analysis and Design - 5 ECTS
  • Development Processes - 5 ECTS
  • Development of a Business Application - 10 ECTS
  • Elective - 5 ECTS

Programming Concepts 2

Students will gain a more advanced knowledge of essential features and classes of the Java programming language. Important concepts will be presented and exercised during practical work in the computer laboratories.

Analysis and Design

This course is a first introduction and provides a basic understanding of the most important diagrams. It is a practical course: students learn how to apply the diagrams in various concrete situations, from sketch up to a test driven development wherein the diagrams are checked for consistency and performance.

Development Processes

This module deals with the quality aspects of a software product, in particular did we build the right thing (validation) and did we build it right (verification). Students will learn about the importance of professional project management. Based on knowledge areas and process groups in project management, students will gain a thorough understanding of project related areas and how these are linked with project processes. This module is closely related and connected to programming concepts 2 and the project.

Development of a Business Application
During this project, students develop a complex information system for a fictional company, e.g. for an airline. The system is developed from scratch and students come into contact with all aspects of software engineering. The project starts with the analysis and documentation of core business processes in the company. Subsequently, students need to gather and specify software requirements, under the guidance of a project coach. After the analysis phase, students will design and implement an information system
using common software engineering techniques.
The focus is on delivery of high quality and consistent artefacts that are in line with each other. Besides the integration of technical skills and knowledge, the process of working together in bigger groups (up to 7 students) in an efficiently and effective manner is learnt. In this project, the following languages/technologies will be used: UML (AADE), Java (PRC2), JavaFX, SQL (Postgres), Git, Docker, Agile (DVPR).  


One elective of the programme Advanced Informatics that is a good add-on in your eyes, e.g. BUPR, ITSM, INES or INCS, Intro to Cyber Security


Admission requirements

For this exchange programme we have the following admission requirements:

  • English level: equivalent to IELTS 6.0;
  • Prior knowledge in IT, more specifically some knowledge of Java & OO.


How will your course programme be recognised by your home university?

Fontys will provide you with a so-called ‘Transcript of Records’, which will clarify the results that you have achieved. Depending on your results, you will receive a maximum of 30 ECTS credits. ECTS credits are recognised throughout Europe. The agreement between your home university and Fontys University of Applied Sciences will usually include a condition whereby the credits that you obtain will be recognised and transferred into the records kept by your home university.


Practical information

Start moment(s)
1 semester

Applications should always be submitted via the International Exchange (or Erasmus) Officer at the home university. This officer will send your application request (nomination) to Fontys. Once Fontys has received the nomination, your Fontys study department will send you a link to a web application called Mobility Online. Please take a look here to see how it works.

If you want to come as a freemover, we also need your university to send us a nomination e-mail. Once we have received this we will send you our application information.
As a freemover the fees are €75 per ECTS. If you are not sure if your university is a partner of Fontys Venlo University of Applied Sciences, the international office of your home university can tell you more about this.


Spring semester:

Nomination deadline November 1st

Application deadline November 15th

Fall semester:

Nomination deadline May 1st

Application deadline May 15th

For more information concerning the start date, please get in touch with the contact person of the study department of the concerned exchange programme.

English language requirements

For most English taught exchange programmes a minimum level of English language proficiency of CEFR* B2 or an equivalent of IELTS 6.0 or TOEFL 80 is required. However there might be programmes where a higher level is required and submitting evidence might be necessary.

Ambience photo Fontys

For more detailed information about practical matters, such as financial matters, residence permit, health insurance and accommodation, please click on the button below.

Doing a study abroad most certainly means a lot of excitement and perhaps also a bit of anxiety. Getting used to everything may be a challenge at times. You may have language difficulties or be unfamiliar with certain aspects of life in the Netherlands and at the university.

We receive around 100 international exchange students each semester. To give them a warm welcome into Dutch culture and at our campus, the International Office has set up a buddy programme. A buddy is a Fontys bachelor student who is familiar with the campus and who can give practical help with administrative systems, timetables etc. They know their way around the city of Venlo and can also help students to better understand Dutch traditions and habits and feel at home real soon!

What else can students expect from a buddy? A buddy will:

- meet you at the Venlo train station and accompany you to your room.

- help you get settled during the first weeks by answering practical questions related to living in Venlo and by showing you around town.

- help you with questions about campus life, teaching styles, campus set-up, how to prepare for exams, etc.

- help you with practical questions such as how to print documents, how to get connected to Wi-Fi, get acquainted with the Fontys portal, etc.

- introduce you to Dutch culture.

- be able to join you during social activities.

The programme seeks to give students the best possible start to their study abroad in Venlo and at our campus!


Location and contact