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 
Materials and Surfaces (TSM_MatSurf)

The interdisciplinary field of materials science and engineering covers approaches to improving the synthesis of new materials, to understanding their surfaces and main properties and, in particular, to adapting their properties to meet special requirements. The aim of this course is to teach students the fundamental principles necessary to understand the relationships between structure and property in material development.


The course requires knowledge of general physics, general chemistry and mathematics. Basic knowledge of the materials science and technology of metals, ceramics and organic materials is also necessary.

Learning Objectives

Students acquire comprehensive knowledge about the use of modern materials and their properties. Where appropriate, state-of-the-art problems are covered in the form of examples. Students understand the concepts of the structures, from bonding through to the microstructure and then learn to consider the correlations between structure and property. Examples are also presented for discussing how to influence these relationships between structure and property in the development of materials.

The aims of the course are as follows:

  • Teaching students the fundamental mechanisms of materials science and materials technology.
  • Teaching students the basic concepts regarding the correlations between structure, properties and processing of all the different material classes.
  • Teaching students the importance of quantifying and characterising properties and phenomena

Contents of Module

  • Light metals, superalloys: properties and applications, methods for increasing strength, designing with metals
  • Ceramics: classes, types, properties and applications, sintering, production technologies, additives
  • Inorganic and organic glass types: classes, types and applications, production technologies
  • Polymers: structure/property relationships and test methods
  • Surface technology, coating and coating methods: functional coatings, thermal spraying processes, CVD, PVD, surface modifications
  • Surface engineering: surface characteristics, topography and surface function, surface treatment
  • Tribology: friction and wear, wear mechanisms, analysis methods, selection of wear-resistant materials and coatings

Teaching and Learning Methods

  • Frontal teaching
  • Presentation and discussion of case studies
  • Private study:
    • study of specialist books and texts.
    • analysis of case studies


  • Lecture notes
  • Michael F. Ashby, David R. H. Jones: Engineering Materials 1: An Introduction to Properties, Applications and Design, Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford, ISBN 0-7506-6380-4
  • Michael F. Ashby, David R. H. Jones: Engineering Materials 2: An Introduction to Microstructures, Processing and Design, Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford, ISBN 0-7506-6381-2

Download full module description