Software Systems Engineering, M.Sc.

  • Application Deadline
  • 24 months
  • English (book IELTS)
University rank #79 (WUR) ,
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.


While a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science typically qualifies an individual to participate in large-scale software projects, the Master’s 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 Master’s programs in Computer Science.

Programme Structure

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 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 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.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 24 months
  • Credits
    120 ECTS
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Book IELTS
  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL – or Test OF English as a Foreign Language – offers a paper-based test (PBT). The final, overall PBT score ranges between 310 and 677, and is based on an average taken from the three test components (listening, structure, and reading). The writing part of this test is scored separately on a scale of 0-6. Read more about TOEFL (PBT).

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL – or Test Of English as a Foreign Language – offers an internet-based test (iBT). The final, overall iBT score ranges between 0 and 120, and includes a scaled average from the four components (reading, listening, speaking, and writing). Read more about TOEFL (iBT).

Academic Requirements

  • This programme does not recognise GRE® scores.

    The GRE® General Test is a widely administered admissions test that measures the skills needed in today's graduate and business school programs worldwide. The GRE® General Test contains three sections - Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. Three scores are reported: a Verbal Reasoning score on a 130 - 170 score scale in one-point increments, a Quantitative Reasoning score on a 130 - 170 score scale in one-point increments, and an Analytical Writing score on a 0 - 6 score scale in half-point increments.

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 550 paperbased / 213 computer-based / 80 internet-based or IELTS 6.0). 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.

Tuition Fee

  • International Applies to you

    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 0 EUR per year and a duration of 24 months.
  • EU/EEA Applies to you

    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 0 EUR per year and a duration of 24 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for Aachen

  • 710 - 930 EUR/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


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