The Master's degree is the second highest academic degree in Germany and qualifies you not only for many exciting jobs, but also for a doctorate. It has the goal of preparing you for management positions in business as well as for a career in science.
Aufbau und Ablauf (PO Master 2023)
Computer science is constantly changing, so that in some cases knowledge quickly becomes obsolete. Therefore, the master's program in computer science at RWTH Aachen University aims to provide you with the skills to independently familiarize yourself with new, complex issues. In the spirit of independence, you will have to organize many aspects of your master's program yourself: There are hardly any compulsory modules and no fixed study plan. This gives you the opportunity to deepen your knowledge of one or more topics, or to acquire a broad knowledge of many different subject areas.
Der Masterstudiengang Informatik besteht aus Modulen. Das Bestehen eines Moduls gibt sogenannte Credits. Das ECTS (European Credit Transfer System)-Punktesystem beschreibt die durchschnittliche Arbeitsbelastung eines Studierenden: ein ECTS-Punkt entspricht einer durchschnittlichen Arbeitsbelastung von 30 Stunden. Ist ein Modul z.B. mit 6 ECTS-Punkten bewertet, ist für dieses Modul mit einer Arbeitsbelastung von 180 Stunden im Semester zu rechnen. Alternativ zu ECTS wird auch das Kürzel CP (Credit Points) gebraucht.
The master's program has a scope of 120 CPs. The standard period of study is four semesters.
Compulsory elective modules (57 - 63 CP)
The major part of your studies consists of elective modules, which usually consist of lectures and exercises and deal with current, research-related topics in computer science. Such modules are concluded at the end of the semester with a written or oral exam.
Die Wahlpflichtmodule sind in die folgenden fünf Bereiche eingeteilt:
- Theoretical Computer Science
- Graphics and interaction
- Hardware/software systems
- AI & Data
- Software-Entwicklungsmethoden und Werkzeuge
An overview of the entire elective course offerings in the Master's program in Computer Science can be found in the Module Handbook.
At the beginning of each semester, there is a a listing presenting the elective courses offered in the current semester.
- You must complete at least 12 CP of modules in Theoretical Computer Science.
- Zusätzlich zu der theoretischen Informatik musst du jeweils mindestens Module im Umfang von 12 CP in zwei weiteren Wahlpflichtbereichen absolvieren.
Seminar and Software Lab (4 + 7 CP)
Since places in (pro-)seminars and software project practicals are limited, they are allocated via a separate allocation procedure in the pre-semester. This ensures that there are no duplicate enrollments that take a place away from fellow students. In the second half of the lecture period of the pre-semester, the courses offered are allocated via
To participate in a course in the coming semester, registration and election via SuPra in the current semester is required. The timing of the process is determined individually for each semester and is aligned with, among other things, the lecture-free period (Christmas, Pentecost, end of lectures). The exact dates will be communicated by mail in due time before the start of the process. However, you can expect this to be the case in the second half of the lecture period.
Offers can be prioritized so that the distribution always tries to assign the highest priority if possible. In addition, courses can be marked to which an allocation should be made if the prioritized courses are full. The greater the flexibility, the more likely it is to get a place. Details of the process can be found in SuPra.
Seminar (4 CP)
In the course of the seminar, you will independently study the literature on a research topic and prepare it in the form of a paper and a presentation. The goal is to abstract from technical details in order to make the essential aspects of your topic understandable to your fellow students.
In the Software Lab you have to show that you are able to apply what you've learned during your studies. To this end, you have to realize a project that typically comprises conception, implementation, and testing of software. Since the lab is done in small groups, capacity for teamwork is required as well.
If you fail three seminars or three labs, then you have definitively failed your studies - even if they are three different seminars or labs!
All students enrolled in the Master's program for the winter semester 20/21 or later must complete the online course "Scientific Integrity". Passing this course is a prerequisite for registering for the master's thesis. However, there are no credits for this course.
Depth-area Oral Colloquium (3 CP)
The Depth-area Oral Colloquium is an opportunity for you to show that you have become a real expert in a particular subject area: You choose three modules that have thematic links to each other and are orally examined on these topics by one or more professors. Here you can show in particular that you can look beyond the confines of individual modules and recognize cross-connections between topics that are not obvious.
In the Depth-area Oral Colloquium, you can be examined on any modules from the compulsory elective area as well as the contents of seminars or internships. It is not a prerequisite that you have previously passed the corresponding modules. However, the preparation effort is naturally greater if the modules are new to you. Modules that you have already completed during your bachelor's degree can also be part of the exam. Whether the combination of topics you have in mind is suitable for the focus colloquium or not is decided by the examiners.
The Depth-area Oral Colloquium has only 3 credits, but it contributes to your overall grade with quadruple weighting. All other modules are only weighted once. So the colloquium has a big influence on your grade!
- Start thinking now about possible topics for your focus colloquium and choose your modules accordingly.
- Contact your potential examiners early, because you won't get an exam date on short notice.
- You should have a plan B in case you cannot take the colloquium with the examiners of your choice.
- The registration of the colloquium is done by the examiners.
- The colloquium contributes to your grade with quadruple weighting!
Master thesis (30 CP)
As part of your master's thesis, you have six months to work intensively and independently on a research question. For most students, it is the first - and sometimes the last - time that they deal so intensively with a topic from computer science. This is a special experience that can be very informative, especially with regard to the question of whether you want to work in research or in industry after your studies.
Supervising a thesis is a lot of work and the supervisory capacities are limited. Consequently, a chair in which you have hardly taken any modules or in which you have mostly received poor grades will, in case of doubt, not offer you a topic for a thesis. Therefore, it is very important that you set thematic priorities during your studies and recommend yourself in these areas through good performance.
In order for you to register your thesis, some requirements must be met:
- You must have completed at least 60 CPs worth of modules.
- If you were given requirements when you were admitted, you must have passed them.
- You must have passed the "Scientific Integrity" course.
- Start thinking about topic areas for your master's thesis early.
- Take several modules at chairs where you would like to write your thesis.
- The search for a topic and supervision can take time, so start early.
- You should have a plan B in case you cannot write your master thesis at the chair of your choice.
- If all these initiatives have not been successful, you can apply to the PA for assistance.
Anwendungsbereich (10 - 18 CP)
Exams and exam registration
- You have to register for each exam you want to take. Even if you are already registered for the corresponding module, there is no automatic exam registration. Even if you do not pass an exam on the first date, you still have to register explicitly for the second exam date.
- There are no standard registration periods for exams. Find out in good time about the deadlines for those examinations in which you would like to participate.
Exclusion of Grades
When completing the program in the standard period of study, it is possible to exclude one module grade from the overall grade calculation. This module is then entered as "passed" on the final certificate and the grade is shown for information purposes in a separate area.