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The "Software Engineering for Embedded Systems" distance learning Master's degree (held in English)

Sought-after experts in many areas

Today, traditionally hardware-dominated product domains are increasingly turning into software-dominated ones. Many of the companies and organizations in these transitional domains still employ mostly traditional engineers without solid education and training in software engineering. Representatives in the industry have expressed great demand for a part-time training program to re-train the existing professional engineering work force in software engineering. With this in mind, the DISC has developed this high-quality part-time distance program. The program, offered by the DISC since 2008, imparts theoretical scientific background knowledge as well as practical methods, techniques, and tools that equip the engineer to deal with software development for embedded systems issues.

Target group

The distance education program is designed for professionals working in the field of software development who need to acquire advanced knowledge about emerging technologies and who wish to broaden their software engineering skills by pursuing graduate-level education in software engineering. The program targets graduates of engineering disciplines such as electrical, mechanical, and industrial engineering, graduates of IT disciplines such as computer science and business informatics, and graduates of non-engineering disciplines, such as mathematics and physics.

Applicants may also be accepted who have relevant work experience but have not graduated for a university. They must hold a diploma qualifying for university admission, be able to prove several years of relevant work experience and pass an aptitude test. More information about the admission requirements and the aptitude test can be found here and the application form is here

The course is held entirely in English.

For the enrolment to the English-language Master distance education program "Software Engineering for Embedded Systems"  a sufficient proof of English proficiency is necessary. These can be evidenced by:

  • an English-language first degree
  • Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages): C1
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency (CPE): Grade C
  • IELTS: 6.0
  • TOEFL computer: 213
  • TOEFL Paper: 550

If you have otherwise acquired English language skills, e.g. from occupation or education, please fill out this declaration and send this with your application form.


The overall goal of this distance education program is to provide professionals with a sound theoretical software engineering background as well as with practical methods, techniques, and tools that take software development issues into account. The program prepares the students for a career as professional software engineers in the industry. The course concludes with the academic degree "Master of Engineering" (M.Eng.).

Schedule and organization

The standard course duration for part-time, vocational study including examination time is four terms. It is also possible to take a break during the course and then return to complete it. The lectures and exercises for the distance learning program "Software Engineering for Embedded Systems" are provided in the form of written study material, developed specifically for distance learning. A weekly commitment of around 14 hours is required to study the material. In addition to this, online tutorials are also offered via a learning platform. Further information about the application process can be found here.


On campus events

One compulsory on campus weekend is held in each of the first three terms for all participants in the "Software Engineering for Embedded Systems" distance learning program. The goal is to reinforce the course contents within the scope of group work and workshops and discuss questions regarding the study material. Written examinations are also a part of these on campus events.

In certain circumstances and based on a written application, students have the option of taking the written examinations at a Goethe Institute or a German embassy.

In addition, in order to reinforce the learning content, the students must take part in a so-called studio of one week duration at Fraunhofer IESE, in the second and in the third term, respectively. They will join a team of about five students and develop software by applying the methods, techniques, and tools they have learned.


Program content

The distance education master program "Software Engineering for Embedded Systems" encompasses ten modules. The fields of study include principles of software engineering for embedded systems, requirements engineering, testing and inspections, software product lines, component-based development, security, real-time systems, as well as software quality assurance. Further information such as the course plan and the examination rules can be found in the Download section, which can always be accessed via the link in the download box at the top right of the navigation bar.


Authors & modules

The course includes the following modules:

Modul / Lehrbriefe / Titel


1. Semester

Einführung in das Software Engineering

Prof. Dr. D. Rombach
Prof. Dr. N. Wehn

Softwareentwicklung für eingebettete Systeme

Prof. Dr. J. Poore
Dr. S. Prowell


Dr. G. Pews

2. Semester

Requirements Engineering

Dr. F. Houdek


Dr. D. Muthig


Prof. Dr. P. Liggesmeyer

Softwareentwicklung Studio (Teil 1)

SE Praktikum, Fraunhofer IESE

3. Semester

Komponentenbasierte Softwareentwicklung

Prof. Dr. A. Poetzsch-Heffter

Modellbasierte Softwareentwicklung

Dr. M. Trapp

Dependability Engineering

Prof. Dr. J. Knight


Prof. Dr. H. Hansson et al.

Softwareentwicklung Studio (Teil 2)

SE Praktikum, Fraunhofer IESE

4. Semester




The Master's degree is offered in cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering (IESE).



Records of achievement are required during the course. These take the form of mail-in exercises, examinations, and submission of a master's thesis. Once all assignments and examinations have been successfully completed, the academic degree of "Master of Engineering" (M.Eng.) is awarded. Successful participants will then receive the following documents:

  • Transcript of record
  • Certificate on being awarded the academic degree Master of Engineering
  • Diploma supplement (DS)



The study fees for the distance learning program "Software Engineering for Embedded Systems" are EUR 1,950 per term. Added to this is a social contribution of EUR 90 per term. The one-off fee for the master's thesis is EUR 500. These fees cover all costs for teaching material, participation in the on campus events, term exams, and all administrative expenses. However, they do not include any travel, accommodation, or meal expenses for the on campus events. The study fees are not subject to German VAT and are tax-deductible.


Financial Aid

The government can support you in financing your studies with individual tax incentives. Based on your personal rate of taxation and your professional situation, you can, for example, offset the costs as professional or special expenses. Please get in touch with your local revenue office or tax advisor for more information. In certain circumstances, the German government can also support you in your professional training with so-called training and qualification cheques (Bildungs- und Qualifizierungschecks). You can find information on this on the internet, for example at www.bildungspraemie.info.

Employers are often also willing to contribute to the costs of training for their workforce. And low-interest bank loans geared specifically to funding training courses and offered by the government and by banks, such as the KfW Development Bank, represent another good option. However, financial support as per the rules of Germany's Social Security Code (SBG III) or Federal Education and Training Assistance Act (BAföG) is not possible, unfortunately.



The distance learning program has been accredited for awarding the academic degree Master of Engineering. Responsible agency for the accreditation process: ASIIN (www.asiin.de)



You can apply for the "Software Engineering for Embedded Systems" distance learning degree from mid-May to mid-July of every year. Courses start at the beginning of October. The DISC automatically sends out the documentation required for application to everyone who applied at the beginning of May. The documentation is also available for download and submission as a written application. You can also access the online application area via the link on the right. Here you find a PDF download with some help for completing the form.

Here you find the most relevant information about the application procedure.