This information refers to the Master of Science in Computer Science. For the full regulations of both Computer Science and Computer Engineering, check the univerity site: https://cs.uni-paderborn.de/en/studies/formalities/academic-rules-and-regulations/
Simply put the Paderborn Master’s program consists of a number of modules that sum up to 120 credit points. To get your degree, you must pass enough module exams to get credited this sum and satisfy a number of constraints in doing so. The content of your modules remains mostly up to you, so take your time and pick subjects you like!
The major subject of the master’s program computer science at the University of Paderborn consist of several modules. First of all, there are 8 modules of compulsory optional subjects (in German: Wahlpflichtfächer, that means you can choose any course you like, but you must choose something for each module), 2 seminars, a project group and the master’s thesis.
Besides this, you need to complete 12 ECTS of either a minor subject or general studies (in German: Studium Generale). Foreign students have to learn German up until to and including level A2 in order to complete their master’s program. You are free to decide how you want to learn German and when - although, if you start learning at the beginning of your stay here, you should have all the time that you need and you probably benefit most ;-) To this end, the university offers free German language courses. If you choose to attend these, you need to complete courses A1.1, A1.2 and A2.1 (though, of course, if you already know a bit of German, you don’t need to start at the very beginning!). Attending the university (German) language courses is not only free, but will also give you ECTS which you can use for your general studies. If you don’t know any German before your stay here and choose to do the university German language courses, you will gain more ECTS than you can use for your general studies, but that’s no problem.
This page will introduce you to the structure and important regulations regarding our master’s program. In order to provide an overview, we will not mention every detail. Important are the examination regulations and the module handbook (in German: Prüfungsordnung und Modulhandbuch). For an overview of the master’s program, you can also look at the slides by Dr Harald Selke, student advisor for CS: Introduction to master’s program
Compulsory elective subjects
Computer Science at the University of Paderborn has 6 different focus areas:
- Software Engineering
- Algorithm Design
- Networks and Communication
- Computer Systems
- Intelligence and Data
- Data Science
You have to choose one of these focus areas as your area of specialization (in German: Vertiefungsgebiet). You need 3 modules in your specialization area and at least one in another area. There is no need to choose in the beginning of your studies, you can try some courses in each focus area first.
Modules can contain lectures. When signing up for a module, make sure you are also signed up for the course in PAUL.
There are 2 types of subjects: lectures and seminars. Seminars mean you will research and present a topic that is within the topic of the seminar. They are meant to teach you academic writing and presenting.
Be careful: Not all subjects are taught in English! In PAUL, you find an “(in English)” suffix on subjects which are taught in English (even if the rest of the title may be German).
Remark: You can add additional modules. If you passed an additional computer science module and your grade is better than one of your mandatory modules, the role of these 2 modules can be interchanged. You cannot do more than 18 ECTS additional subjects. Additional non-computer science subjects are part of these additional subjects as well!
Be aware, that every module you tried (at least 1 examination attempt) will be either part of your mandatory modules or additional subjects! Only the courses you passed will appear on your transcript of records and even for subjects you passed, you can opt out and they will not appear.
Project group (PG)
In the project group you will work on a project with usually 5-10 other students. This project group lasts for 1 year (2 semesters) and you are not allowed to fail the project group more than once. Each semester of the project group takes 10 ECTS on paper, but expect that you’ll have to invest more time per ECTS than usual! On the other hand, the grade of the project group is only counted with 8 ECTS.
It is a good idea, to start this project group early, because you can not start writing you master’s thesis before you passed the complete project group (both semesters).
In every semester, usually in the last week of lecture, there is a presentation of the upcoming project groups. The enrollment will be explained at this presentation.
This thesis usually completes your master’s studies. For your master’s thesis you need a topic to write about. Most students talk to a professor, who is working in an area of interest to the student. The professor suggests a rough topic which will be refined by the professor, the student and maybe an additional supervisor, since not all theses are supervised by the professor himself/herself. You can also talk to potential supervisors directly, for example, many of the people holding the exercises for your classes may offer topics.
It is also possible, to come up with you own topic or write a thesis in cooperation with a company.
Usually, the student will write down the refined topic together with a working plan. This so called proposal (in German sometimes called Arbeitsplan = working plan) will be handed in to the Examination Office (in German: Prüfungssekretariat) when you register your thesis. After this registration, you have 5 months until you have to hand in your thesis.
To make computing your final grade of your Master’s Degree easier, you can copy this template. Google Drive Template