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General Information about the Programme

Contributors: schiffer, bachwerk
Master Software Systems Engineering

Final degree

Master of Science (M.Sc. RWTH)

Language of Instruction

(Students with sufficient knowledge of German may attend courses offered in German as well.)

Duration of the programme

2.0 years (120 ECTS)

Beginning of the programme

October   (You can NOT start in summer!)

Application and Admission

Goals of the programme

While a Bachelor degree in Computer Science typically qualifies a person to participate in large software projects, the Master degree provides the skills needed for leadership. Graduates of the Software Systems Engineering programme can be expected to be technically innovative, to work as system architects, and to manage large projects. Students who succeed in their Master degree will also have the necessary qualifications to pursue a doctoral degree.

Formal entrance requirements

A candidate should have a first degree (Bachelor of Science or Engineering) in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Informatics, or other closely related discipline, awarded by an internationally recognised university-level institution. Candidates should have also performed above average in their undergraduate studies, and be able to speak and write fluently in English (TOEFL 550/217 computer-based). See English Language Requirements for RWTH International Master Programmes for further information.
You'll need to have a minimum GPA of 65% in your first degree for application.
The formal requirements are checked for by the International Office. If you have questions regarding these, please inquire at International Office directly!

Special entrance requirements

The candidate should have a substantial background in computer science and mathematics. For details see our Admission and Application page.

General description of the programme

This programme focuses on the design and implementation of complex software systems, including their embedding in technical and socio-technical systems. The design of the programme takes full advantage of the environment offered at RWTH as one of the leading universities of technology in Europe. Students will achieve knowledge in theoretical, practical, and applied aspects of computer science, which will allow them to adapt quickly to the changes in this constantly evolving field. In addition, students will gain the ability to understand the depth and inter-disciplinary skills needed by taking courses in several areas. The programme features the areas of theoretical computer science, communication, data and information management, applied computer science, and software engineering. Students will further be taking two seminars, and a lab course, and they will finally write a Master's thesis.

The majority of the courses are taught in English. There are, however, a few courses taught in German.

Structure of the programme

See an tabular overview of the programme structure.

Structure [for students starting from WS 2010/2011]

The programme's curriculum covers the areas of theoretical computer science, communication, data and information management, applied computer science, and software engineering. Students may take courses of no more than 35 credits in each of these areas but are required to take courses of at least twelve credits in theoretical computer science as well as at least 16 credits in software engineering. In addition, a mandatory course on the management of large software system engineering projects is also required. During the programme students further need to take two seminars and a lab course.

The Master's examination consists of course-related exams, the two seminars, the lab course, an oral core exam on courses of twelve to 18 credits and the Master's thesis. The thesis typically takes the final six months of the programme and can be written in cooperation with industry or at the university.

The course contents are structured according to the ECTS (European Credit Transfer System). Each student will be assigned a professor from the Computer Science Department as a personal mentor.

You can find legacy information on the old structure here.

Career prospects

Computer scientists have been in great demand in the past, and this trend is expected to continue for the foreseeable future. The ability to design and implement large computer software systems in an inter-disciplinary environment opens the avenue to management and leadership positions. It is these latter aspects that distinguish this programme from other master programmes in Computer Science.

For further information please contact

Dr. rer. nat. Stefan Schiffer
RWTH Aachen University
Lehr- und Forschungsgebiet Informatik 5
Ahornstra├če 55
52056 Aachen

Tel.: +49 241 80 21 534
Fax: +49 241 80 22 321
e-mail: sse AT kbsg DOT rwth-aachen DOT de

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