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Computer Engineering

Computer Engineering is a field that involves the analysis, design and evaluation of computer systems with their hardware and software layers, and the use of computer-controlled systems in cars, smart phones and medical technology, for example. As a modern engineering science at the interface of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering is a key information technology discipline.

Starting with the Bachelor's program, the Computer Engineering study program provides a wide range of knowledge in the fields of Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Mathematics. In the Master's program, students are provided the opportunity to deepen their experience in embedded systems, nano/microelectronics, communication technology, networks, or other current Computer Engineering fields. In addition to professional education, the study program of Computer Engineering also values practical relevance and professional qualifications through labs, project work, seminars on the legal and social aspects of information technology, and soft skills.

The Bachelor's program in Computer Engineering is held in German; the Master's program can be studied in German or in English. Because English is such an important language for the field of information technology, all students must complete a minimum of courses held in English (24 ECTS credits). Taking an elective course, for example in the area of languages, helps students further improve their language skills.

Study

Career Options

Through the excellent education at the University of Paderborn, Computer Engineering graduates have many career options open for them. Computer engineers hold specialist and manager positions in research and development, project planning and manufacturing, measurement and test engineering, service and sales, management, and also education and training. The interdisciplinary qualifications acquired at the interface of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering is in large demand in especially these areas:

  • Computer Technology
  • Communications Technology, e.g., mobile communication
  • Nano/Microelectronics
  • Embedded Systems, e.g., automobile technology, aerospace, medical technology
  • Microsystems Technology
  • Manufacturing Process Automation
  • Robotics

These areas have a very high turnover and a high demand for qualified workers. This is especially the case in Germany, with its many leading companies in the automotive industry, medical technology, automation and mechatronics. Because the existing "engineering gap" will increase in the coming years, excellent job prospects are expected on the whole for Bachelor's and Master's graduates in Computer Engineering.

Students acquire competence not only in their major field. Their multidisciplinary expertise is also trained intensively throughout their studies through projects, seminars and internships. As a result, Computer Engineering graduates hold the best prerequisites for their professional career. In comparison to graduates of the Bachelor's program, the Master's program graduates receive an in-depth education. Because the topics in the Master’s program are oriented towards the areas listed above, Master’s graduates already gain specialized qualification in specific scientific fields. In addition, through the specialization areas and the Master's thesis they are introduced to current scientific challenges, and are thus optimally prepared for industrial or academic research.

The Bachelor's Program
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The Bachelor’s program of Computer Engineering is divided into two phases with the goal of providing a broad general knowledge in Computer Engineering. The first 4 semesters (basic studies, or the 1st phase) cover the required courses that lay the foundation for scientifically-based university studies. The 5th and 6 semesters (advanced studies, or the 2nd phase) cover the elective courses, which give the students the opportunity to select topics that let them follow their own individual interests.

In the first phase of studies, students complete required modules in Mathematics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. In the engineering discipline of Computer Engineering, not only the basic subjects, but also career-oriented practical training plays an important role. The offered courses include many practical exercises and experiments in the basic modules, and also two courses tailored to the studies of Computer Engineering: In the third semester, a lab in microcontrollers and interface electronics provides students an introduction to fundamental measurement technology and the interface between hardware and software. In the fourth semester, students work on a team project in system design, focusing on a joint major task in hardware/software design. To become prepared for the methodology this project work entails, students complete a course in project management during the third semester.

The second phase covers compulsory and elective modules. In addition to two compulsory modules in Electrical Engineering and the final Bachelor's thesis, the required courses on the legal fundamentals of information technology professions and the social aspects of information technology are central to the students’ professional qualification. In the Key Competences module, an introductory seminar and an elective course are held on soft skills, and participation in the mandatory mentoring program is set up. The introductory seminar provides not only a deeper knowledge in certain specific points, but introduces students to seminar-related work, including giving a presentation and writing a report. In parallel, elective courses increase the students' individual strengths in language, writing and presentation skills. The mentoring program requires that students conscientiously plan their studies by reflecting on their progress and through dialogs with university instructors. Work on the final thesis includes writing the actual Bachelor's thesis and completing the preparatory work in the planning phase. The topics of the Bachelor's thesis are designed so that a 9-week time frame of full-time work is sufficient for writing the thesis. The thesis topic is designed during the planning phase and drawn up in cooperation with a thesis advisor. A 12-week total of full-time work is planned for the entire final thesis. In the Bachelor's program, the students’ individual interests are supported by two elective modules in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

Students must complete at least 52 ECTS in the first phase of studies before they are granted permission to complete modules from the second phase. Work on the final thesis can be started only after all modules from the first phase and the mentoring program are successfully completed. During transition period to the Master's program, students can already complete up to a maximum of 16 ECTS in Master's courses during the Bachelor's program. The prerequisite is that 150 ECTS points in the Bachelor’s program were already completed and that the Bachelor’s thesis was already officially registered.

Computer Engineering is a field of studies with an internationally reputable, recognized profile and job outline. In the prescribed 6-semester study period with a total performance of 180 ECTS, students acquire a degree whose contents and scope match international standards.

The following diagram provides a descriptive overview of the Bachelor's program in Computer Engineering. For a detailed description and explanation of the various subjects, modules and elective courses, see the Examination Regulations and the Module Handbook.

The Master's Program
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The 4-semester Master's program in Computer Engineering aims at deepening in one or more Computer Engineering fields the knowledge students acquired in the Bachelor's program. The Master's program is designed to be research-related and provides especially the abilities necessary for analyzing problems in Computer Engineering independently and for developing the scientific methods required to describe and solve these problems.

The Master's program consists of one compulsory module each in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, an elective area, a module "Scientific Workstyle", the project group and the final thesis. The compulsory modules in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering strengthen the skills in the central fields of Computer Engineering. In elective courses the students specialize themselves in a specific field by choosing an area of specialization, and also acquire a broad base of knowledge through more elective modules. The Master's program offers the following areas of specialization:

  • Embedded Systems
  • Nano/Microelectronics
  • Computer Systems
  • Communication and Networks
  • Signal, Image and Speech Processing
  • Control and Automation

In the module "Scientific Workstyle", students complete a research-oriented seminar and, in parallel, a further elective course that strengthens their individual competence in language, writing or presentation skills. The project group is a two-semester course in which a team works together in collaboration on a research-related topic. The final thesis project covers the Master's thesis and a preparatory work planning phase, and is often derived directly from the topic of the project group or from the student's own area of specialization. The final thesis can be started after students successfully complete a total of 45 credits (ECTS) in the modules.

Computer Engineering is a field of studies with an internationally reputable and recognized profile and job outline. In the prescribed 4-semester study period and with a total performance of 120 ECTS, students acquire a degree whose contents and scope match international standards.

The following diagram provides a descriptive overview of the Master's program in Computer Engineering. For a detailed description and explanation of the various subjects, modules and elective courses, see the Examination Regulations and the Module Handbook.

Additional Prerequisites

The Bachelor's Program

The Bachelor’s program in Computer Engineering is currently open to any student, which means that no numerus clausus (NC) is applied. Any person interested in studying Computer Engineering can apply for the program at the university. If the official admission prerequisites are fulfilled, the prospective student is granted official matriculation. The program can be started during the winter semester or the summer semester, whereas the winter semester is recommended. The official admission criteria are oriented on the type of secondary school degree:

  • General university qualification: direct admission
  • Specialized university qualification in the area of technology/information technology: direct admission
  • Qualification for university of applied science in the area of technology/information technology: accepted grade point average and suitability test. See here (only in German) for more information.

The Master's Program

The prerequisites for being granted admission to the Master’s program in Computer Engineering is a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Paderborn or a similar Bachelor's degree from another college or university. In addition, proven sufficient proficiency in English and, for international applicants, a GRE Revised General Test are required for admission. 
As an international applicant you have to apply via the uni-assist online portal, which allows you to submit your application electronically. The uni-assist web site lists the University of Paderborn under "Universities (Master)" and heading "Northrhine-Westphalia". Before registering, please check whether you meet the admission requirements. 
The Master’s program can be started in either the winter semester or the summer semester. The contact persons listed below are available for more information.

The contact persons listed below are available for more information:

Sybille Hellebrand  

Prof. Dr. Sybille Hellebrand

Office: P1.6.08.1
Phone: +49 5251 60-3002
E-mail: sybille.hellebrand(at)uni-paderborn(dot)de

Marco Platzner  

Prof. Dr. Marco Platzner

Office: O3.207
Phone: +49 5251 60-5250
E-mail: platzner(at)uni-paderborn(dot)de

Note

To check your own ideas and expectations regarding course content, requirements and career opportunities, there is an expectation Check Computer Engineering Bachelor and Master available in German at the web sites of the Student Counselling Centre (ZSB).

The University for the Information Society