Engineering of Socio-Technical Systems - General Information
Prof. Dr. techn. Susanne Boll-Westermann
Ani Withöft (Coordination Assistent)
Location: OFFIS, Room E04, Escherweg 2, 26121 Oldenburg
Consultation hour: Mo, 11 - 12 and by appointment
Currently: Through COVID-19 only accessible by email
Engineering of Socio-Technical Systems - General Information
Engineering of Socio-Technical Systems - Master's Programme
The English-language Master's degree programme Engineering of Socio-Technical Systems (EngSTS) is a specialized academic curriculum. To be admitted to this programme, students must have completed a Bachelor’s degree in Computing Science or Psychology (with a technical specialization) or in one of the previously mentioned subjects which are closely linked to the Master’s programme. The courses take an interdisciplinary approach to the development of safety-critical, computer-based interactive systems, and particularly focus on the interaction between humans and technology. They combine content from neuroscience with methods used by engineers to develop information systems. This Master’s degree programme offers students a unique opportunity to follow an intricate mix of Computing Science and Psychology courses, especially cognitive and perception psychology.
- Fundamental Competencies in Computer Science and Psychology (18 credit points, first semester): Introduction to the relevant mathematical-logical and computer science principles and introduction to the relevant cognitive, psychological and empirical principles (compulsory modules)
- Foundations of Socio-Technical Systems Engineering (24 credit points): principles of neuroscience, psychology and computer science (compulsory modules)
- Accentuation Practical (24 credit points): specialization, students select specialization tracks (optional)
- Accentuation CS: specialization, students select a specialization from one of the core computer science courses (optional)
- Accentuation Domain: in-depth insights into the requirements and particularities of different accentuation domains (automation and robotics, automotive, maritime, medical technology, optional)
- Master’s thesis (30 credit points) including final colloquium in the last semester
Embedded Brain-Computer Interaction (EmbeddedBCI): This track provides students with the necessary theoretical knowledge and practical skills to design and evaluate complex technical systems with both human and technical players as well as to use brain-computer interfaces in cyber-physical systems. This course covers the principles of system design, neurocognitive psychology and signal processing as well as a wide range of accentuation domains, which emphasizes the extent to which the knowledge and skills learnt during this course can be transferred to and applied in different areas.
Systems Engineering (SE): This track equips students with the necessary theoretical and practical knowledge to analyse, design and develop large cooperative networks of safety-critical, socio-technical systems, i.e., large systems whose limits are not bound by other systems. At the end of this course, students will be able to recognize, analyse and describe the relationships between individual subsystems in the context of an integrated system as well as the interactions between subsystem properties and integrated system properties.
For more information about the tracks, see
German language skills are not required for admission.
In order to study this course at the University of Oldenburg, you need an adequate knowledge of English.
English Language Proficiency see admissions regulations
- Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) Level B2
- if applicants are native speaker or they have university entrance qualification or a university degree obtained in English.
The proof of language proficiency must be presented for the enrolment. For other proof possiblities see: Language requirements
Although interactive and collaborative CPS technologies are already being introduced in many areas, the development of such technologies often occurs on an ad hoc basis, tends to be specific to a particular domain and focuses more on the technology itself. This area is yet to reach the same level of maturity as the established engineering sciences, which have progressed from domain-specific to general technology design principles, thus facilitating the development of products such as general-purpose programming languages, hardware platforms and operating systems. As such, specialists in this area are in high demand; graduates have excellent career prospects in both the fundamental development of CPS and in their domain-specific applications.
Graduates of this Master’s degree programme often go on to work as usability or safety engineers, human factors professionals, interaction developers, or developers of user interfaces and cooperation strategies for future interactive and cooperative information and cyber-physical systems. Successful students will find job opportunities in many different industry areas in which interactive, cooperative and cyber-physical systems (CPS) are developed – from mobile application development to partially autonomous technical systems, from web services, automotive and aerospace systems to the development of medical devices.
The three tracks of the Master’s degree programme give the students the opportunity to specialize in different aspects of the design and development of socio-technical systems. Students who choose to follow the Human Computer Interaction track focus on the design of interactive systems in the context of user-centred design processes and apply the relevant methods and principles to develop usable interactive systems. Students of the Embedded Brain-Computer Interaction track often go on to develop sensors and actuators for interactions with the human brain as well as assistance systems that use brain computer interactions. Graduates of the Systems Engineering track often work in research, development and safety analysis of cyber-physical systems and have successful careers in consulting, system analysis, design, and implementation in many technical and commercial sectors.
This programme addresses the high demand for specialists both in the fundamental development of socio-technical and safety-critical systems as well as the application of these systems in specific domains. Many graduates also choose to continue their academic research in this up-and-coming discipline by completing a PhD, either in Germany or abroad.
- Bachelor’s degree or equivalent qualification in a subject closely related to Computing Science or another related discipline, in Business Information Systems, in Psychology or Cognitive Sciences, or another subject which is closely related to the content covered in the Master’s programme and special expert knowledge (see admission regulations).
- English language proficiency at level B2 of Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).
- If applicable, evidence of relevant professional experience or internships
- If applicable, information regarding study-related experience abroad
- Completed form for the application documents
Deadline for applications for the winter semester: 15 July
- Kurzbeschreibung Engineering of Socio-Technical Systems (M. Sc.) [pdf]
- Brief Information Engineering of Socio-Technical Systems (M. Sc.) [pdf]
- Current courses for Engineering of Socio-Technical Systems (Master's Programme)
- Internetseite Engineering of Socio-Technical Systems M.Sc.
- Akkreditierungsurkunde Engineering of Socio Technical Systems (M.Sc.) bis 2022 [pdf]