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Studierende auf der Lernfläche des Instituts für Informatik, Foto: Universität Paderborn, Fotografin: Judith Kraft
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Studierende auf der Lernfläche des Instituts für Informatik, Foto: Universität Paderborn, Fotografin: Judith Kraft

Degree Programs Computer Science

Within the scope of the reaccreditation of study programmes, the degree programmes for computer science were restructured as of 1st October 2017. For information about the previous degree programmes (from 2009), follow this link.

Conception

The degree programmes of computer science at the Paderborn University are characterised by their distinct scientific orientation, certain key aspects and the adequate design of forms of study. The degree programmes of computer science are scientific studies, which are basic research and method-orientated. As the degree programmes are not restricted to simply teaching current valid contents but rather support fundamental concepts and methods that withstand current trends, the basic research orientation enables graduates to successfully work in the profession of computer sciences both, in the field of economy or science, throughout their lives.

Bachelors Degree Programme Computer Science

Please note that the Bachelor Degree Program of Computer Science is almost completely held in German. For your orientation, you find some information about the program here in English.

To gain the ability to carry out scientific work, the Bachelors Degree Programme is designed in such way that students

  • acquire the necessary mathematical, logical and statistical skills in computer science to transfer learned methods to informatics problems and to apply these on modelling informatics problems;
  • acquire professional competences in the field of Algorithms and Data Structures which allow them to utilise and analyse them and to estimate the limits of their capabilities;
  • acquire fundamental programming methods and have the ability to structure software systems;
  • have a basic understanding of the design and operating principle of computers;
  • know computing systems and the ground principles of their safe and user-friendly design; and
  • are able to apply the acquired basic knowledge to work with pursuing subject matters and to deepen their knowledge and skills.

Alongside technical competences, the student´s acquire interdisciplinary competences and qualify for their later professional life as they

  • are enabled to adequately work with complicated problem areas, reflect on solution approaches and discuss these in a team;
  • have acquired learning strategies which enable them for lifelong learning;
  • have learned to present work results to the non professional public;
  • have become familiar with teamwork and performance assessment during project work;
  • have learned to think and to act problem-oriented, interdisciplinary and integrally interlinked based on their acquired expertise; and
  • have learned to act responsively in accordance with the social and ethical meaning of research and development.

All things considered, this basis-orientation of the bachelor studies, qualifies the graduates for the master studies in an excellent manner.

Course of Studies

The Bachelor degree programme is basically offered in the German language and includes almost no lectures in foreign languages. It is structured into two sections, the first section, which primarily includes the first four semesters and the second section, which is largely located during the fifth and sixth semester.

The first study-section lays the foundation for scientifically substantiated studies in computer science and consists of the following modules:

  • Analysis für Informatiker, Calculus (8 credit points)
  • Lineare Algebra für Informatiker, Linear Algebra (8 credit points)
  • Stochastik für Informatiker, Stochastics (6 credit points)
  • Programmierung, Programming (8 LP credit points)
  • Programmiersprachen, Programming Languages (4 credit points)
  • Software Engineering (5 credit points)
  • Softwaretechnikpraktikum, Software Technology Practicum (8 credit points)
  • Digitaltechnik, Digital Technology (5 credit points)
  • Rechnerarchitektur, Computer Architecture (5 credit points)
  • Systemsoftware und systemnahe Programmierung, System Software and Machine-oriented Programming (9 credit points)
  • Datenbanksysteme, Data Base Systems (5 credit points)
  • Gestaltung von Nutzungsschnittstellen, Design of User-Interfaces (6 credit points)
  • Modellierung, Modelling (8 credit points)
  • Datenstrukturen und Algorithmen, Data Structures and Algorithms (9 credit points)
  • Berechenbarkeit und Komplexität, Computability and Complexity (6 credit points)
  • IT-Sicherheit, IT Security (5 credit points).

The lecture “IT-Sicherheit” is the only lecture of the first section that takes place during the 5th semester; all other lectures are placed during the first four semesters.

The second section broadens the basics of the first section for scientifically substantiated studies in computer science and allows delving deeper into one area of computer science. It consists of following areas of computer science

  • Softwaretechnik, Software Engineering (6 credit points)
  • Algorithmen und Komplexität, Algorithms and Complexity (6 credit points)
  • Computersysteme, Computer Systems (6 credit points)
  • Daten und Wissen, Data and Knowledge (6 credit points)
  • Vertiefung, Specialization (6 credit points)

And the compulsory modules

  • Soft Skills (5 credit points)
  • Abschlussarbeit, Final Thesis (12 credit points)

Within the first four mentioned areas of computer science, you have a choice of 4-6 compulsory subjects in modules of which student´s can chose one each. During specialisation the student´s can chose freely between currently 19 possible modules. The arrangement of the degree programmes structure, allows it to complete one of the compulsory subjects already during the 4th semester. The module Soft Skills serves to strengthen the interdisciplinary competences and consist of a mentor-programme and a proseminar. The module Abschlussarbeit (Final Thesis) consists of a one-month long orientation- and subject search phase, followed by a formally controlled five-month long preparation phase, as well as an obligatory minor studies comprising of about 20 credit points and the Studium Generale comprising of 5 credit points. The first two semesters of study are focused on contents of computer science – the studies of subsidiary subjects begin in the third semester (exception: subsidiary subject mathematics) or Studium Generale, respectively.

Degree Course Scheme

The plan illustrates the schedule planning of the Bachelor´s Degree Programme. Thereby, all lectures of the first section of study are compulsory subjects, which should be completed in the illustrated order.

Whereas, in the second section of study, the positioning of the compulsory subjects of the four areas in Computer Science and the specialisation during the 4th and 6th semester can vary - the illustration is just an example. Parallel to the final thesis with 15 credit points you can also chose compulsory subjects and/or a proseminar.

AbbreviationMeaning
AnaCalculus
AuKAlgorithms and Complexity
BuKComputability and Complexity
CoSyComputer Systems
DBSData Base Systems
DTDigital Technology
DuAData Structures and Algorithms
DuWData and Knowledge
GNSDesign of User-Interfaces
GPProgramming
ITSIT Security
LALinear Algebra
ModModelling
NFMinor Subject
PSProgramming Languages
RAComputer Architecture
SESoftware Engineering
SGStudium Generale
SSPSystem Software and Machine-oriented Programming
StStochastics
SWTSoftware Engineering
SWTPRASoftware Technology Practicum
Subsidiary Subjects

The Bachelor´s and Master´s Degree Programme are each combined with a minor subject, which the student can choose. The minor subject during the bachelor´s degree programme comprises of 18 – 22 credit points and is mandatory. You can choose from the following standard minor subjects:

  • Electrical Engineering
  • Mathematics (subsidiary subject from the 1st semester)
  • Media Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Psychology
  • Business Information Technology
  • Economics

Following subjects can be chosen on application:

  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Music
  • Theology
  • Sports.

Further information is offered on the special pages for minor subjects.

Studium Generale (Interfaculty Lectures)

In the Bachelor´s-, as well as Master´s Degree Programme Computer Science, some parts are integrated in the “Studium Generale”. During the bachelor´s programme it comprises of 5 – 7 credit points and is dependent on the exact scope of the minor subject. Here the following rule applies, that the scope of the minor subject and the scope of the Studium Generale must add up to 25 credit points.

Basically, every lecture at the Paderborn University can be visited during the Studium Generale. Also the active participation in the university choir, theatre AG or the big band can count towards the Studium Generale.

Generally, the Studium Generale functions as general education and should be seen as a chance to broaden one´s horizon.

Nevertheless, the Studium Generale must be graded, but only counts to a small extent to the final grade. Generally, courses in computer science cannot be visited.

For further information, please visit the page Studium Generale (Interfaculty Lectures).

Module Guide Book and Examination Regulations

In the Modul Guide Book (German only) you can find descriptions of all modules. These are described in regards to content, requirements are specified in form and content, the examination modalities are determined and the structural placements of the modules in the course of study are processed. The entries provide a reliable source of information for study planning. Please note that the Mandatory lectures during the first phase of study are held in a strict annual rhythm; the compulsory subjects are held by the availability of the lecturers and are therefore held unregularly – here the concrete offers may vary each semester.

The Examination Regulations (German only) represents the legally binding illustration of the rules on study. Here, the admission, formative type of assessment, audit scope, examiners, certificates and similar circumstances are officially regulated. This document is therefore the ultimate reference for all-important questions concerning the studies.

The transition rules (German only) for the until recently prevailing examination regulations for the current examination regulations, are only relevant for you, if you enrolled before the winter semester 2017/18 and you have to decide if you would like to stay in the old regulation or you may want to switch to the new regulation.

Master Degree Program

The Master program is a consecutive continuation of the Bachelor program. Based on their undergraduate experience the students earn additional formal, algorithmic, and mathematical competences as they

  • are enabled to describe and analyse problems with formal methods;
  • acquire up-to-date research results and detailed, deep knowledge from a self-chosen area within the so-called Focus Areas, which are Software Engineering, Algorithm Design, Networks and Communication, High-Performance and Embedded Computing Systems, and Intelligence and Data;
  • are enabled to develop solutions to incompletely defined problems;
  • can handle complex, incomplete, and even contradictary information; and
  • can structure and formalize problems and solution approaches.

During the master study program the students acquire competences on methods and project management, which enable them to

  • design and implement computing models, systems, and processes;
  • apply innovative methods;
  • develop the area of computing as a scientific discipline;
  • define goals and topics, infer task assignments, organize solutions, lead and represent teams; and
  • assess the non-technical effects of computing systems.

Based on this program, the Master students are in the end able to work in high-level professional positions, as well as continue their qualification with a PhD dissertation.

Course of studies

The Master´s degree programme is designed bilingually (German, English). This takes account of the fact, that English has become the common working language in computer science research worldwide. Therefore the lectures are offered in German and English. This means, that the degree programme is suitable for foreign students with a Bachelor´s degree but also means, that the programme contains a great deal of lectures in English for the German-speaking students.

One of the five Focus Areas is to be selected as the “Specialisation Area”. All in all, eight compulsory elective modules (each 6 credit points) of the Focus Areas have to be successfully completed, in doing so, three modules must be completed in the Specialisation Area and modules of at least two different Focus Areas must be completed. Otherwise, there are no restrictions for the eight modules of the Focus Areas. These “weak” rules allow the student´s to choose rather freely from the modules. Highly specialised studies as well as a broad education are possible.

The Project group (20 credit points), which stretches over two semesters and is occupied by 8 – 16 students, is of particular importance. Over a period of one year, the group works as a self-organised team on a project, which is typically connected to a current research topic of the project team operator.  By this, team-orientated working methods, which are common in the professional life are learned and practised.

Furthermore, there are two seminar modules (each 5 credit points) and the Master´s Thesis with 30 credits, which takes up a time frame of about one semester. In addition, there are lectures in a “Studium Generale” module (interfaculty lectures) or an optional subsidiary subject (12 credit points).

Degree Course Scheme

The plan to the right illustrates a possible arrangement of modules during the Master´s degree programme. The green boxes correspond with the eight compulsory elective modules and the two seminars are successively placed in the 2nd and 3rd semester -parallel to this, the project group also takes place during these two semesters.

The 12 credit points during the Studium Generale module (interfaculty lectures) or the optional subsidiary subject also take place during this time frame.

Of course, the distribution of elective modules, seminars and the Studium Generale or subsidiary subject can look very different – also, parallel during the Master´s Thesis (here completely during the 4th semester) other lectures can be visited.

The rules require that one Focus Area is chosen as a specialisation, of these, at least 3 have to be of the 8 modules. The remaining 5, can be chosen freely, however, it must comprise of at least a second Focus Area. The topic of the Master´s Thesis should be chosen of the Specialised Area.

Optional Subsidiary Subject

Unlike the Bachelor´s, the optional subsidiary subject during the Master´s is not obligatory. Like in the Bachelor´s programme it is however possible to choose one of the offered subsidiary subjects

  • Electrical Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • Media Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Business Information Technology
  • Economics

Also, an optional other subsidiary subject can be chosen on application. The scope of the subsidiary studies is restricted to 12 credit points. If the taken lectures during subsidiary studies correspond to the plans for the Master´s studies, the subsidiary subject will be explicitly mentioned in the Master’s degree certificate.

For further information, please visit the sites of the subsidiary subjects.

Studium Generale (Interfaculty Lectures)

12 credit points are dedicated to the Studium Generale (or the optional subsidiary subject). Most international student´s take the opportunity to visit German courses in their interfaculty lectures to fulfil the requirements of the examination regulations, of reaching level A2 of the German language. Alternatively, every lecture at the university can be visited for the Studium Generale. Also the active participation in the university choir, theatre AG or the big band can count towards the Studium Generale.

Generally, the Studium Generale function as general education and should be seen as a chance to broaden one´s horizon.

Nevertheless, the stadium Generale must be graded, but only counts to a small extent to the final grade. Generally, courses in Computer Science cannot be visited.

For further information, please visit the page Studium Generale (Interfaculty Lectures).

Module Guide Book and Examination Regulations

In the Module Guide Book you can find descriptions of all modules. These are described in regards to content, requirements are specified in form and content, the examination modalities are determined and the structural placements of the modules in the course of study are processed. The entries provide a reliable source of information for study planning. Please note that the listed core elective courses are not offered in every semester.

The offer strongly varies, depending on availability of lecturers each semester.

The Examination Regulations (Prüfungsordnung) for the Master studies represents the legally binding illustration of the rules on study. Here, the admission, formative type of assessment, audit scope, examiners, certificates and similar circumstances are officially regulated.
(A non-official translation of the Examination Regulations can be found here.)

This document is therefore the ultimate reference for all important questions concerning the studies.

The transition rules for the until recently prevailing examination regulations towards the current examination regulations are only relevant for you, if you enrolled before the winter semester 2017/18 and you have to decide if you would like to stay in the old regulation or you may want to switch to the new regulation.

Preparatory Courses (Pre-Master)

In some cases, admissions for the Master´s Degree Programme Computer Science are issued under certain terms.  These terms can be fulfilled by passing up to three preparatory courses (or PreMaster-Courses) to complement missing contents of the preceding Bachelor degree programme. The following six PreMaster-Courses, some in two parts, others in one part are offered consistently in the English language:

  • Mathematics 1 and 2
  • Software Engineering 1 and 2
  • Softskills, Management
  • Models and Algorithms 1 and 2
  • Systems 1 and 2
  • Foundations of Human-Computer-Interaction

The assigned PreMaster-Courses should be successfully completed during the first year of study (first and second semester). The assigned PreMaster-Courses should be passed towards the end of the Master´s studies at the latest or the registration for the Master Thesis cannot be accepted. You can only visit lectures of the Master degree programme, which do not require the assigned PreMaster-Courses until the PreMaster-Courses are completed.

The following table shows, which of the PreMaster courses which were assigned to a student need to be passed to take classes from a certain Focus Area.

 

PreMaster courseDuration
(hours per week)
Prerequisite for modules of Focus Area
Foundations of Human-Computer Interaction2Software Engineering
Mathematics 1 and 24Algorithm Design
Networks and Communication
Intelligence and Data
Models and Algorithms 1 and 24Algorithm Design
Intelligence and Data
Soft Skills, Management2Seminar I and II
Project group
Software Engineering 1 and 24Software Engineering
Intelligence and Data
Systems 1 and 24Networks and Communication
Computer Systems

The PreMaster-Courses are offered according to the following pattern, once every year:

Modul 1Modul 2
October
NovemberMathematics 1Software Engineering 1
DecemberMathematics 1Software Engineering 1
JanuaryMathematics 2Software Engineering 2
FebruaryMathematics 2Software Engineering 2
MarchSoftskills
AprilModels and Algorithms 1Systems 1
MayModels and Algorithms 1Systems 1
JuneModels and Algorithms 2Systems 2
JulyModels and Algorithms 2Systems 2
August
SeptemberFoundations of Human-Computer-Interaction

All PreMaster-Courses are installed in PAUL and students who are assigned to courses are automatically registered. The PreMaster-Courses will appear in the participants PAUL-Accounts as compulsory subjects.

The organizers or rather the lecturers of the PreMaster-Courses will inform all participants actively about organisational details of the courses (dates, times, place) in due time and will publish the necessary information within the PAUL instance of the PreMaster-Course.

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