Embedded Systems Design

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Foreign:$ 532 / Semester(s) Deadline: Nov 30, 2023
StudyQA ranking:1830 Duration:3 semestrs
Embedded systems are regarded as a key technology for new industrial, scientific, and medical devices. From domestic devices like washing machines to complex space technology such as satellites, most products require integrated digital control and software. These components have a great impact on functionality and performance. With more than 16 billion devices, embedded systems are everywhere. As "hidden systems", the embedded systems determine innovations in industrial equipment, medical devices and scientific instruments. Since many products without embedded systems cannot compete on the market, specially trained personnel are demanded by the industry worldwide.

The University of Applied Sciences Bremerhaven recognises these demands and offers a new Master's study programme "Embedded Systems Design" (ESD). An embedded system in the scope of ESD is a system whereby a mechanical or electromechanical system receives its essential functionality via electronics, control and software. Courses like system identification, mechatronics and discrete control systems qualify students to design future embedded systems in industrial, medical or scientific applications (ISM market). ESD pays attention to system-on-chip (SoC) solutions using programmable digital devices. The graduate students will meet the challenge of designing modern, safe and reliable embedded products.

Applicants should be interested in control engineering, mechanics, programmable logic systems (FPGAs) and software development. Basic knowledge in these areas as well as sound engineering principles of a preceding technical Bachelor's degree are requirements for admission to the ESD Master's programme.

Educational organisation

The first semester of "Embedded Systems Design" teaches methods required to engineer embedded systems:
  • System Theory, Identification
  • Mechatronics
  • Discrete Control Systems
  • Digital Systems / VHDL
  • System-on-Chip Design
  • Model-based Real-time Software Development

The second semester is more application-oriented:
  • Industrial Systems
  • Medical Systems
  • Maritime Scientific Instruments
  • Safety and Reliability Engineering
  • Embedded Systems Design Project

The modules consist of class and lab parts. The lab sections increase over time from 25% to 75% to transfer theory to practical applications.

The Master's thesis and the defence colloquium are intended for the third semester. Master's thesis topics comprise university research projects or industrial development/research.

All classes and labs as well as course documentation and exams are in English.

Part-time study is possible according to the part-time study regulations of the University of Applied Sciences Bremerhaven. Part-time study must be motivated and approved by the university. A common reason for part-time study is professional work in the area of embedded systems.

Study abroad unit(s)

ESD does not include a mandatory study abroad semester. Students are encouraged to use the second semester to study abroad. The external semesters must be approved by the ESD examination committee.


No industry internship is required for the Embedded Systems Design Master's degree.

Forms of assessment

Lab reports are required to pass modules. At the end of each semester, written or oral exams are required for grading. For the embedded systems design project an additional presentation is required.

The modules have a standard ETCS size of five CP (credit points) and never exceed one semester in order to facilitate student exchanges.

Course objectives

Graduate students can develop industrial, scientific and medical embedded systems in all major aspects: modelling, simulation of electromechanical systems, control, signal processing, digital hardware/software development and safety/reliability. Graduates are qualified for research and development in industry or to pursue advanced academic research.

Language requirements

Applicants must provide proof of their English and basic German language skills.

English: level C1 according to CEF (Common European Framework of Reference)
TOEFL iBT 95 (internet-based), TOEFL CBT 240 (computer based)
IELTS (band score) 6.5
or a preceding Bachelor's study programme taught in English

German: level A1 according to CEF (the lowest level) strongly recommended

Academic requirements

Bachelor's degree (or equivalent academic degree) in a technical subject with knowledge in
  • Electrical engineering
  • Mathematics/physics
  • Basics of mechanics
  • Control engineering
  • Digital systems
  • Programming/software

The final grade for the Bachelor's degree must be "good" (German grade 2.0, CGPA of 3.0 out of 4.0 or equivalent). For applicants with a professional background of two years or more after their Bachelor's degree, the required grade increases to 2.3.

A transcript of records must be submitted with the application to verify that the admission requirements are satisfied.

Enrolment fees

300 EUR per semester
The fee includes a semester ticket covering public transport in the Bremerhaven and Bremen metropolitan area.

Costs of living

Living costs in Bremerhaven are rather low in comparison to other German cities. The estimated amount of 650-750 EUR per month should be sufficient to cover basic expenditures. However, the amount of money spent by the student strongly depends on his or her standard of living.

Here is a rough estimation of monthly costs:
  • Health insurance: 77.90 EUR (for non-EU applicants)
  • Rent: 170-300 EUR
  • Food and clothing: 250 EUR
  • Telephone and Internet: 40 EUR
  • Books: 50 EUR

Job opportunities

Students may work up to 120 days (240 half-days) per year. The university offers student jobs (student tutor, lab assistant, etc., currently at a rate of 8.80 EUR/h).

Funding opportunities within the university

The university has a scholarship programme for excellent students. Recipients receive 300 EUR per month. Students can apply for a scholarship during the first semester (the second semester will be the first supported semester).

Arrival support

The International Office provides special support for new students (Buddy Programme), assisting with administration tasks, finding accommodation, etc.

Services and support for international students

The International Office of the University of Applied Sciences Bremerhaven supports incoming students in all aspects of the study programme and living in the area of Bremerhaven.

International Office / Incoming students
Ms Patricia Gebhardt
E-mail: pgebhardt@hs-bremerhaven.de
Tel.: +49 (0)4 71-4 82 33 61


Accommodation is available through the Student Service Office (Studentenwerk Bremen) or on the private market. Rent for a single room in a dorm is approx. 180-255 EUR. A single or two-room flat costs approx. 170-300 EUR. Private accommodation can be found on the Internet at: http://www.hs-bremerhaven.de/en/organisation/departments/international-office/incoming-students/your-stay-in-bremerhaven/accommodation.
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