Academic Counseling for EngSTS

For questions about the course/subject:

Study guidance in EngSTS

Prof. Dr. Susanne Boll-Westermann

OFFIS, Raum O 48, Escherweg 2, 26121 Oldenburg (» Adress and map )

nach Vereinbarung

+49 441 9722-213  (F&P

Objectives of the Study Programme


Interactive, cooperative and cyber-physical systems are increasingly permeating our living environment and will change the way we interact with the physical environment and with each other in a similar way as the Internet has done with regard to interaction with the virtual world. The conscious understanding and responsible shaping of the associated technical, social and societal upheavals requires the cooperation of many disciplines. The course of studies "M.Sc. Engineering of Socio-Technical Systems" therefore deals with this subject area in an interdisciplinary way. It conveys the essential fundamentals of the design and evaluation of safety-critical systems in connection with human-technology interaction in an interdisciplinary way. A special feature of the course is the strong combination of courses from computer science and psychology, especially cognitive and perceptual psychology.

Possible professional fields for graduates can be found in all application areas in which interactive, cooperative and cyber-physical systems (CPS) are developed and optimized. Such systems will make central contributions to human safety, efficiency, comfort and health in the future and are a key technology in the economically important domains of Smart Mobility, Smart Maritime, Smart Grid, Smart Production, Smart Home and Smart Health.

As a result, graduates work in companies as usability or safety engineers, in the field of human factors, as developers of interaction, user interfaces and cooperation strategies of future interactive and cooperative information and cyber-physical systems. Possible fields of application can be found in all application areas where interactive and cooperative systems are developed. The industries can be diverse, from mobile application development to semi-autonomous technical systems, from web services to automotive and aerospace to medical device development.

The three focal points in the Master's programme allow for a focus on different directions of design and development of socio-technical systems. Students in the Human Computer Interaction major focus on the design of interactive systems in terms of the User-Centered Design Process and apply the methods and fundamentals for the development of usable interactive systems. Students in the Embedded Brain Computer Interaction major work as developers of sensors and actuators for interacting with the human brain and as developers of assistance systems that use brain computer interaction. Graduates of the major in Systems Engineering work in the research, development and safety analysis of cyber-physical systems and have a broad professional field in consulting, system analysis, design and implementation in many technical and commercial sectors.

The course addresses the great demand for skilled workers both in the basic research-driven development of socio-technical and safety-critical systems and in their domain-specific application. Graduates will also find national and international opportunities for a doctorate in this developing field.

The English-language Master's programme EngSTS offers a scientific in-depth study based on a completed Bachelor's degree in computer science or in psychology with a technical orientation or in a course of studies closely related to the above-mentioned subjects. The study programme comprises an interdisciplinary approach to the development of safety-critical computer-based interactive systems with special consideration of the interaction between man and technology. For this purpose, it combines contents from the neurosciences with methods of engineering development of computer systems. A special feature of the course is the strong networking of courses from computer science and psychology, especially cognitive and perceptual psychology.

The course of studies consists of a compulsory part, which imparts core competences in the field of engineering development of socio-technical systems, as well as of focal points and areas of application reflecting the diversity of these systems and their fields of application. The main focus is on different system classes, each of which requires specific design and analysis methods, while different domain-specific application perspectives are taught in a separate strand of the curriculum, so that students acquire broad application knowledge that goes beyond the specific system class, regardless of their specializations.

Graduates of this programme have a clear understanding of the principles and methods of computer science and cognitive science relevant to the development of reliable sociotechnical systems and their applications, as well as an insight into methods, problems and results from the latest research in this field. They are able to assess theories and methods, process models, tools and systems according to scientific criteria and to apply them to solve problems relevant to practice. They are also able to apply this competence to complex and novel problems. Graduates have qualified knowledge of the design, specification, implementation, optimization, validation and safety analysis as well as of the operation and further development of complex socio-technical systems and are able to use these in a targeted and problem-adapted manner or to manage their use. They are trained to determine and document the requirements of existing and new application domains in transdisciplinary teams, to transfer them into designs of appropriate sociotechnical system solutions, to implement them and to assess their properties. They have a solid knowledge of current methods of system development, especially the development of complex socio-technical hardware-software systems in teams. Graduates have the ability to act responsibly and responsibly in your job and are aware of the social effects of technical and socio-technical system solutions.

Graduates of the course are also familiar with the demands of working in groups and the convincing presentation of their own or other people's work results. They are also prepared to take on leadership positions in teams and companies. Furthermore, they are familiar with the current state of research in the field of systematic development of reliable socio-technical system solutions and are thus equally qualified for work in industrial and academic research and development.

Professional Competencies

Graduates ...

  • name and identify the principles of computer science and transfer them to current developments in computer science,
  • know a subarea of the development of socio-technical systems in detail in which they have specialized,
  • recognize and assess the techniques and methods to be applied in their special field and their limitations,
  • design solutions for complex, possibly imprecisely defined or unusual tasks in the field of information technology and evaluate such designs according to the state of the art,
  • identify, structure and solve problems even in new or emerging areas of their discipline,
  • apply state-of-the-art and innovative methods in the investigation and solution of problems, if necessary, with recourse to other disciplines,
  • put knowledge from different disciplines in relation to each other and apply these synergies in complex situations,
  • develop complex computer systems, processes and data models,
  • recognize the limits of the current state of knowledge and technology and contribute to the further scientific and technological development of computer science
  • discuss current developments in computer science and assess their significance.

Methodological Competencies

Graduates ...

  • identify, formalize and investigate problems appropriately using appropriate formal methods,
  • find and design one or more approaches,
  • evaluate tools, technologies and methods and apply them in a differentiated manner,
  • investigate problems using technical and scientific literature write an article according to scientific criteria and present their results in a scientific lecture,
  • plan time schedules and other resources,
  • apply project management techniques,
  • creatively develop new and original procedures and methods,
  • reflect problems also in new or emerging areas of their discipline and apply computer science methods for investigation and solution.


Graduates ... 

  • take on leadership tasks within the team,
  • critically follow the further development of socio-technical systems in general and in their special field,
  • carry out innovative activities in their professional field successfully and independently,
  • recognize the limits of their competence and expand it in a targeted manner,
  • reflect their self-image and actions from a professional, methodical and social point of view,
  • develop and reflect on their own theories into independently established hypotheses,
  • work independently in their professional field.

Social Competencies

Graduates ...

  • integrate their skills into team processes,
  • recognize the achievements of others,
  • integrate criticism into their own actions,
  • respect the decisions developed in the team,
  • communicate convincingly orally and in writing with users and experts,
  • identify subtasks and take responsibility for them.
(Changed: 19 Jan 2024)  | 
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