MSE Master of Science in Engineering

The Swiss engineering master's degree

Programme Structure

The programme in each profile is structured on a modular basis and represents 90 ECTS credits.

Central element of the course of study: Specialisation in your profile

Work involved: 60 ECTS credits 


  • Specialisation projects: You will acquire knowledge and experience in your area of specialisation through challenging current research projects. The projects are frequently developed directly by industry or the public sector, or else they have short-term or medium-term marketing potential.
  • Supplementary course elements: The Universities of Applied Sciences offer seminars/colloquia or special modules and provide students with highly specialised knowledge in their area of specialisation. Your advisor (=advising lecturer) will explain the options available in your specialisation to you.
  • Master’s thesis: Your master’s thesis enables you to acquire more detailed knowledge and demonstrates your level of qualification with a comprehensive project that you have carried out independently. This project meets high methodological, conceptual and scientific standards. The master’s thesis has a high degree of practical relevance and makes a substantial contribution towards the solution of a current practical problem. A master’s thesis will generally be commissioned by industry, business or the public sector, or else will be a university-internal research project.

Where: You can take your specialisation at the University of Applied Sciences of your choice. The focal areas of study of your specialisation correspond to the core skills of your selected profile.

Theory modules 

Work involved: 30 ECTS credits 

Modules: Around 141 theory modules are on offer

Module categories: 

  • Technical scientific modules (TSM), 12-15 ECTS
    TSM modules teach profile-specific specialist skills and supplement the decentralised specialisation modules.
  • Fundamental theoretical principles (FTP), 9-12 ECTS
    FTP modules deal with theoretical fundamentals such as higher mathematics, physics, information theory, chemistry, etc. They will teach more detailed, abstract scientific knowledge and help you to bridge the gap between abstraction and application that is so important for innovation.
  • Context modules (CM), 6-9 ECTS
    CM modules will impart additional skills in areas such as technology management, business administration, communication, project management, patent law, contract law, etc.

Where: At central locations in Lausanne, Lugano or Zurich, and at additional locations in certain cases

The range of theory modules available in Switzerland can be found here

Stefano Balestra, MSE student, FHGR

Stefano Balestra, MSE student, FHGR

"During my part-time studies, I learned to juggle various challenges simultaneously and to make the best use of my time. After all, being a student and working are both demanding. Nevertheless, part-time study also brings some advantages. For example, what you learn can be used directly in practical work, and conversations with work colleagues open up a new perspective on problems from your studies. In addition to one's personal attitude, it is also important that the employer is aware of the challenges and supports the students."

Tanja Herdt, MSE lecturer, OST

Tanja Herdt, MSE lecturer, OST

"The Master of Science in Engineering allows you to apply your newly acquired theoretical skills directly in project work. With your unique mix of theoretical knowledge and practice-based skills, you will be sought after as a specialist on the job market as soon as you graduate."

Individual study agreement

You draw up your individual study plan together with your advisor. This plan will be based on your subject background and your career aims. 
Your Individual Study Agreement (ISA) sets out your basic educational objectives, the orientation of your individual master’s course and the modules that you will be taking. 
You will agree on the contents of your specialisation, such as specialisation projects, and on suitable supplementary course elements. In addition, appropriate theory modules will be defined and details of the self-study that is expected will be discussed.

Full-time/part-time study

Full-time study takes three semesters, while part-time study for those in employment will take correspondingly longer. With full-time study, you will generally attend lectures for the theory modules on two days each week during the first and second semesters. You will spend the rest of the time on your specialisation. In the third semester, you will concentrate entirely on your master’s thesis.
A high proportion of self-study will foster your ability to acquire knowledge and solve complex problems independently. 

Part-time study is possible for those in employment – i.e. you can continue to work and take the MSE at the same time. At a number of Universities of Applied Sciences, it is also possible for you to work as an assistant at an institute and to take your MSE on a part-time basis. 

Semester schedule for theory modules

Please note that the semester schedule for theory modules differs slightly at the Lausanne and Lugano locations. You will find the current semester schedule on the Moodle learning platform.