M.Sc. Software Systems Engineering

RWTH Aachen University | Aachen, Germany
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.

Description of Software Systems Engineering


While a Bachelorís degree in Computer Science typically qualifies an individual to participate in large-scale software projects, the Masterís degree provides the skills needed for leadership. Graduates of the Software Systems Engineering program are expected to be technically innovative, to work as system architects, and to manage large projects.

Graduates will also have the qualifications necessary for pursuing a doctoral degree.

Career Prospects

Computer scientists have been in great demand in past years, a trend which is expected to continue into the foreseeable future. The ability to design and implement large computer software systems in an interdisciplinary environment opens the door to management and leadership positions, an aspect that distinguishes this program from other Masterís programs in Computer Science.

Detailed Course Facts

Application deadline Wintersemester bis zum August 15;Sommersemester February 15
Tuition fee
  • Free (Non-EEA)
  • Free (EEA)
Start date October  2016
Credits (ECTS) 120 ECTS
Duration full-time 24 months
Delivery mode On Campus
Educational variant Full-time

Course Content

The curriculum covers the areas of theoretical foundations of software systems engineering, 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 foundations of software systems engineering as well as at least 16 credits in software engineering. This includes a mandatory four credits course on the management of large software system engineering projects and courses in the amount of twelve credits to be choosen from a specific set of lectures called Core Subjects both in software engineering and in theoretical foundations of software systems engineering.

Additionally, students need to take two seminars and a lab course during the program.

The Masterís 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 Masterís thesis.

The thesis typically takes the final six months of the program and can be written within the framework of an internship in the industry or at the university.

The course content will be 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.

Requirements for Software Systems Engineering

Formal Entrance Requirements

  • Candidates should have a recognised first degree (Bachelor of Science or Engineering) in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Informatics, or another closely related discipline, awarded by an internationally recognised university or equivalent degree-awarding institution.

Applicants should also have performed above average during their undergraduate studies. Further, we strongly advise candidates to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

Candidates must be able to speak and write fluent English (TOEFL 213 computer-based). English-speaking students will attend a basic German language course starting in August, two months prior to the beginning of the Master's program.

Special Entrance Requirements

  • The candidate should have a substantial background in Computer Science and Mathematics.

Typically this would include courses in the following areas: Calculus, Linear Algebra, Discrete Mathematics and Logic, Probability Theory, Fundamentals of Computer Programming, Computer Architecture, Data Structures, Analysis of Algorithms, Programming Languages, Computability, and Complexity Theory.

In addition, the applicant should have taken at least two advanced undergraduate courses in specialised topics such as Distributed Systems, Information Systems, Operating Systems, and Compilers.

Work Experience for Software Systems Engineering

No work experience is required.

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RWTH Aachen University, Germany

Germany With 260 institutes in nine faculties, RWTH Aachen University is one of Europeís leading institutions for science and research. Currently around 31,400 students are enrolled in over 100 academic programmes. Over 5,000 of them are international students hailing from 120 different countries.

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