MSE Master of Science in Engineering

The Swiss engineering master's degree

Each module contains 3 ECTS. You choose a total of 10 modules/30 ECTS in the following module categories: 

  • 12-15 ECTS in technical scientific modules (TSM)
    TSM modules teach profile-specific specialist skills and supplement the decentralised specialisation modules.
  • 9-12 ECTS in fundamental theoretical principles modules (FTP)
    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.
  • 6-9 ECTS in context modules (CM)
    CM modules will impart additional skills in areas such as technology management, business administration, communication, project management, patent law, contract law, etc.

In the module description (download pdf) you find the entire language information per module divided into the following categories:

  • instruction
  • documentation
  • examination 
Software Engineering and Architectures (TSM_SoftwEng)

The module provides an in-depth view of selected topics of modern software engineering. These stem from the fields: modern software development processes, software architecture, and the principles of evolution of software systems.


  • Object-oriented programming and design in more than one programming language
  • Unified Modeling Language (UML)
  • Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software (Gamma, Helm, Johnson, Vlissides; ISBN 0-201-63361-2)
  • Version and configuration management concepts
  • Unit testing concepts and practice
  • Basic knowledge of Scrum

Learning Objectives

  • The student applies and understands benefits and liabilities of agile and lean development
  • The student knows about advanced architectural and design patterns and uses them to drive and reflect on design decisions
  • The student has the awareness of software as a continuously evolving and complex system
  • The student knows and can select maintenance and evolution techniques for continuous development of evolving and extension of legacy software systems while maintaining its quality

Contents of Module

Modern Software Engineering

  • Agile Development
    • value creation and innovation
    • risk and complexity in software development
    • agile competence pyramid
  • Principles and Practices
    • effective communication among stakeholders
    • project retrospectives, feedback techniques
    • ongoing requirements, solicitation and management
  • Modern Software Engineering Methodologies
    • benefits/difficulties and comparison of different approaches (i.e. plan-driven, hybrid and agile)
    • implications for project management
    • incremental planning
  • Research in Agile Development

Software Architectures

  • Role of software architecture and software architects
    • reference models, reference architectures
    • architectural structures and views
    • software architecture documentation
  • Advanced design concepts
    • the SOLID principles
    • Attribute Driven Design
    • design by contract
  • Architectural patterns
    • for distributed architectures
    • architecture patterns vs design patterns
    • pattern styles
  • Selection, creation, and evaluation of software architectures
    • quality attributes
    • architecture analysis methods
  • Research in Software Architecture

Software Evolution

  • Principles of Software Evolution
    • development, maintenance, evolution
    • software aging
    • Program comprehension
  • Software Quality & Analysis
    • software quality metrics
    • software visualization
    • continuous quality control
  • Evolution of Legacy Code
    • “Re”-Techniques: Reverse Engineering, Re-Engineering, Re-Factoring
    • object-oriented re-engineering
    • Testing legacy systems
  • Research in Software Evolution

Teaching and Learning Methods

Self-study, homework assignments


  1. Mary & Tom Poppendiek: Lean Software Development
  2. Kent Beck: eXtreme Programming Explained 2nd Ed.
  3. Ken Schwaber et al, Agile Software Development with Scrum, Prentice Hall, 2002
  4. Alistair Cockburn: Agile Software Development
  5. Robert C. Martin: Agile Software Development
  6. Tom Mens: Software Evolution
  7. Doug Schmidt Pattern-oriented Software Architecture, Vol. 2
    Frank Buschmann et al: Pattern-oriented Software Architecture, Vol. 4
  8. Len Bass, Paul Clements, Rick Kazman: Software Architecture in Practice 2nd Ed.
  9. Gernot Starke: Effektive Software Architekturen 2. Auflage
  10. Lehmann "Laws of Software Evolution Revisited"
  11. Martin Fowler et al, Refactoring
    Joshua Kerievsky, Refactoring to Patterns
  12. Michael Feathers, Working Effectively with Legacy Code
  13. Andreas Zeller: Why Programs Fail ISBN 1558608664

Download full module description