Extra-occupational Master’s Degree Programme Sensor Systems Engineering (M.Sc.)

Sensor technology, the core topic of the master's degree programme "Sensor Systems Engineering", is one of the key technologies of our modern world. Sensor systems engineering includes design methods as well as control, communication and information technologies that make it possible to control the complexity of systems. The trend in sensor technology leads to increasingly complex systems. These systems evaluate diverse sensors, compile their data appropriately and make them available to the user in prepared form. More and more signals are evaluated mechanically (automatically) in order to draw conclusions from existing data and initiate courses of action. Sensor systems ensure the efficient use of resources in control loops, increase the safety of vehicles, protect health and life in medicine, and form a protective shield against terrorist attacks.

Programme Director
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Hermann Schumacher
Institute of Electronic Devices and Circuits

Programme Coordinator
Steffen Moser

Modules of the degree programme


Der Studiengang Sensorsystemtechnik gliedert sich in Einzelmodule, die insgesamt vier Modulgruppen zugeordnet sind. Aus jeder Modulgruppe müssen mindestens 12 Leistungspunkte nachgewiesen werden. Das bedeutet, dass Sie in gewissem Umfang Auswahlmöglichkeiten haben und dadurch während Ihres Studiums individuelle Schwerpunkte setzen können.
Es gibt in diesem Sinne keine Pflicht-, sondern nur Wahlmodule.

Ein Zertifikatsmodul umfasst zwischen 4 und 6 Leistungspunkte, die Masterarbeit wird mit genau 30 Leistungspunkten bewertet.

The master's degree programme Sensor Systems Engineering combines hardware, software and infrastructure aspects with design techniques and elements of the management of complex design processes. Through this interactive approach, results can be achieved that cannot be reached by considering the individual elements separately. Successful graduates master special fields of engineering, computer science and natural sciences as well as relevant management aspects.

Sensor systems engineering requires expertise in sensor functions and knowledge from engineering, physics, chemistry and increasingly also from molecular biology. In addition, sensor systems engineering appears as an independent branch of science that deals with design methods as well as control, communication and information technologies that make it possible to handle the complexity of such systems.

Systems engineering defines a system as "a construct or collection of different elements that together achieve results that the elements alone could not achieve. These elements include people, hardware, software, infrastructure, instructions and documents". This definition goes clearly beyond the fields of engineering, computer science and natural sciences and makes it necessary to integrate management aspects into education. On the other hand, systems engineering tailored to the special needs of sensor technology cannot be achieved without profound knowledge, especially from the natural sciences; general training in systems technology or systems engineering cannot provide this background knowledge.

After successfully completing the master's degree programme Sensor Systems Engineering with both research and practice-oriented studies, the students gain outstanding specialist knowledge and excellent skills for tasks in the technical environment and at the interface to management.

A successfully completed master's degree in sensor systems engineering should enable
  1. to work autonomously in companies where topics from sensor technology or systems engineering play an important role, e.g. in the automotive, mechanical engineering and telecommunications industry or in software companies,
  2. to lead projects which deal with the methodology, the analysis, the modelling of engineering and technical questions,
  3. to lead teams with respect to planning, development and research tasks in technical and public institutions,
  4. to work as a research assistant at a university and
  5. for access to a doctorate.

The master's degree programme enables graduates to autonomously acquire, at a high university level, competences in different sub-areas that are relevant for sensor systems engineering. Students gain knowledge in the key areas of systems engineering, sensor technology, system design and management aspects. They also acquire competences in independent project implementation and presentation of results.

Students also acquire profound knowledge in special fields such as system theory and control engineering, modelling, and identification, but also in sensor principles, integrated circuits, semiconductor, biosensors and radar sensors. The course also offers connections to topics which are more related to computer science, such as design methodology of embedded systems or sensor networks.

Successful graduates of the master's degree programme in sensor systems engineering are familiar with superordinate aspects of systems engineering, including project, risk, and quality management, which enable them to design and implement even more complex sensor systems. They are familiar with the relevant instruments of control engineering, they can apply procedures for the design of embedded systems in a targeted manner and know sensor components with sufficient profundity to apply them ideally in their systems.

In particular, a graduate of the master's degree programme Sensor Systems Engineering should
  • know the ways of thinking, methods and tools of systems engineering and be able to apply them in projects
  • know the importance of upfront analyses to minimise costs
  • be able to describe (technical) systems mathematically, to explain the difference between a system and the elements of a system, and be able to manage a system
  • be able to describe the model-based design of embedded systems, and to select and redesign methods and algorithms for real-time systems
  • explain the relationships that lead to the development of optimal status estimators and controllers as well as apply the methods for identification, estimation, and control
  • understand and be able to describe working principles, phenomena, and techniques of sensors
  • be able to apply the principles of high-frequency and microwave technology for the design and metrological verification of radar sensors and wireless sensor networks
  • define, design, and evaluate wireless networks and their specific requirements, as well as knowing and selecting fundamental security concepts in wireless networks and applying them to system architectures
  • deepen their knowledge and specialise in other (elective) areas

Due to the profound understanding of the design of complex technical systems gained in this degree programme, students are able to assess the risk of such systems, also beyond sensor systems. Graduates can thus contribute to a critical and qualified discussion about the opportunities and risks of new technical systems in the overall societal context. In relation to their field of study, students acquire innovation potential in product development and product optimization. In the cross-disciplinary area, they acquire skills in project conception, implementation and presentation and are enabled to work in a constructive team.

Students also acquire skills in academic work and project management (individually and in groups). On the one hand, these skills are achieved by project work in strategic process management and the master's thesis, and on the other hand by on-campus meetings, which serve, among other things, to discuss the acquired knowledge or to intensify it in an application-oriented manner through case studies. The on-campus meetings also serve as a platform for an exchange between students, which leads to the strengthening of social skills.

As a learning management system (LMS), a system is used which enables the module participants to use all equipment classes from PC to tablet to smartphone in all common operating systems.

An installation of the widespread LMS Moodle was adapted to the special needs of the user group. The adaptation ensures that an adapted technical layout creates a visual appearance that can be used for all device classes. This reduces both the maintenance effort and the development time when implementing new features.

The highlighted display of processing statuses in relation to progress questions and exercise sheets is intended to give students at any time a clear overview of the current processing status of a module.

The integration of the open source videoconference system "BigBlueButton" also facilitates consultation hours and tutorials. The software is available to students at any time for the independent organization of meetings.

Unique combination of contents
The curriculum comprises topics with strong engineering focus on systems engineering, sensor principles and sensor networks, control engineering and embedded systems, but combines these with economics.

Blended-learning concept
E-learning concepts are combined with virtual classrooms and on-campus meetings lasting several days to deepen the learning content and for individual exchange between students and with the lecturers.

Completely modularised
The individual modules of the master's degree programme can be taken separately and largely independently of each other. Individual modules that build on each other are specially labelled. Students are recommended models to structure their studies. For each successfully completed module you will receive a certificate from Ulm University. This will also be credited later as a study module in the master's degree programme in sensor systems engineering.

Reliable didactic concept
For each module that you want to attend, you know the framework conditions in advance: the amount of time to be spent learning, the offered forms of learning and didactic learning paths, the planned practical exercises, the appointments of on-campus meetings, the work phase to be carried out, the module conclusion with form and date of the examination.

Free choice of modules
A balanced support model and the free choice of the number of modules to be taken per semester enable our students to bring their studies in line with their individual career planning and family situation. This means that you can study independently of time and to a great extent also independently of location!

Duration of studies
You determine the duration of your studies yourself! It is possible to study the master's degree in sensor systems engineering in a minimum period of one and a half years, but you can reduce the number of modules you take and then study for a correspondingly longer period.

Intensive assistance and support concept
We provide intensive, interactive assistance and support tools by the lecturers and instructors as well as by the programme coordination to promote efficient learning progress. Each student also receives a personal mentor in each module to whom he or she can direct questions. In this way we guarantee rapid feedback on content-related questions and the review of submitted seminar assignments.

Practical application
Although the study design contains many online components, we place special emphasis on the practical phases: During the on-campus meetings at the University of Ulm you have the opportunity to apply what you have already learned in the laboratory.

Degree programme for specialists
The master's degree programme in sensor systems engineering is designed for graduates with a completed technical degree, for example in electrical engineering, information technology, mechanical engineering, physics or similar. The successful completion of the course of study opens opportunities for you to progress to management positions in technically oriented companies or for a doctorate in the academic field.

Guaranteed scientific quality
The scientific quality of the study programme is ensured by the responsible cooperation of a team of professors from the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Ulm. The selection of lecturers and teaching assistants for complementary, supplementary content is made by the programme director. Regular feedback and continuous evaluation by the participating lecturers and students ensure that the quality of the modules is optimised. Upon completion of your degree as a Master of Science, you will have the opportunity to do a doctorate at a university.

  1. bachelor's or diploma degree in a technical subject
  2. for the studies: at least one year of professional experience   

Accredited by

Study format
Extra-occupational degree programme

Master of Science (M. Sc.)

- first academic degree in a corresponding field of study
- at least one year of qualified professional experience

ECTS Credits

12.200 - 14.900 €

Start of study
Winter semester: October
Sommer semester: April

Teaching language
German and English

Degree of the programme Master of Science (M.Sc.) Diploma of Advanced Studies (DAS) Contact studies (certificate)
Coursework 90 ECTS-Punkte (incl. master thesis) at least 30 credit points modules within the scope from 3 to 10 credit points
Standard period of study 3 full-time semesters or 7 part-time semesters can be absolved in 2 extra-occupational semesters each module one semester
Study organisation approx. 80% self-study phases and 20% on-campus meetings

Per module 4 to 10 credit points according to ECTS (1 ECTS corresponds to approx. 30 hours workload).

The modules can be booked and attended individually.
Structure/content From each module group (basics of systems engineering, sensor technology, system design and management aspects) a minimum of 12 credit points must be proven. The remaining ECTS are covered by a master thesis of 30 credit points. It can be chosen from three points of focus: Embedded Systems, Systems Engineering or Sensor Technology. In each case 4 (or 5) required (or elective) modules of 3 – 6 ECTS each must be taken. In addition, a final thesis of 6 credit points must be written. Contact students can choose from all modules of the programme.
Application/Registration Application Registration DAS Registration for single modules
Application deadlines January 15th or July 31st February 15th or September 15th
Costs At the time of enrolment,  tuition fees and various contributions must be paid. Details of the DAS and the fees For the certificate courses in contact studies, fees vary depending on the scope of the module.
Prerequisites 1st academic degree with 180 ECTS + 1 year professional experience 1st academic degree
Accreditation Accredited by the Accreditation Council
Contact and advice Pleas use our contact formula or send a message to saps(at)uni-ulm.de.
You can reach us by phone under +49 (0)731/50-32401!