Profile description and modules


Our lives are increasingly affected by distributed systems, database systems and embedded systems, ranging from smartphones to smart cars and smart buildings to any web-based application. Software and systems engineering is essential to ensure that the systems developed in these areas behave as the user expects, especially since they are omnipresent in our daily lives. 


Databases and information systems; distributed systems; software & systems engineering

Focus areas

The courses offered as part of this specialisation convey methods for the development of safe, high-performing and dependable systems, addressing a number of key challenges in computer science.

Specialising in "Systems", you will acquire the following skills ...

  • Performance / scalability: How can systems be designed in such a way that very large problem instances and data sets can be solved or processed while taking usability into account? The answer to this question is closely connected to another set of questions about the scalability of technical and algorithmic solutions.

  • Architecture of hard and software systems: How can systems be structured in such a way that they satisfy important design requirements? Further aspects in this context: “programming in the large” (e.g., layered architectures, peer-to-peer, client-server, distribution, replication, model-view-controller etc.).

  • Real time:  System correctness may depend on meeting real time constraints on the system. Those can be either soft (e.g. quality of service) or hard (e.g. safety-criticality). How can systems be built in such a way that essential real time constraints that apply to their design are provably satisfied?

  • Safety / dependability / correctness/ certification of sytems: How can we design systems that are dependably useable? The notion of dependability comprises numerous aspects, such as information security, privacy, functional safety, fault tolerance and availability. How can we ensure and assure that software and hardware designs satisfy these requirements?

  • Engineering practice: Which of the available technologies and design methods should be used in engineering practice during system design?

  • Management: How can the design, implementation and maintenance process be structured so that dependable systems can be developed in a cost-effective manner?

Career prospects

Thanks to the wide range of competencies taught in this area of specialisation, our graduates have excellent career prospects both in academia and in industry. They possess in-depth knowledge of technologies used in industrial practice like database languages, programming methodologies, security protocols, modelling languages and analysis methods.

You could work as a ...

  • project manager
  • system engineer
  • database, cloud or network architect
  • safety / security engineer
  • hardware or software architect


Compulsory and elective advanced courses

Available courses, offered on a regular basis:

  • XML technologies

  • Transactional information systems

  • Database system architecture and implementation

  • Data stream management systems

  • Model checking of software and systems

  • Functional safety for embedded systems

  • Advanced model checking

  • Logic in computer and software science

  • Software testing

  • Distributed software systems

  • Advanced network protocols

  • High performance systems and networks

  • Cryptographic components

  • Data management in the cloud

Research groups involved

Professor Marc Scholl: Databases and Information Systems

Professor Marcel Waldvogel: Distributed Systems

Professor Stefan Leue: Software & Systems Engineering

Area of application

As a systems specialist, you will be able to bring the skills you acquire in this programme to bear on a wide range of professional activities. You will be well-equipped to handle large data spaces (big data), to safely and sustainably maintain data in cloud-based network environments, to process data in real-time and to design safe, high-performing, embedded and cyber physical systems.

You will need these skills to design and implement safe, secure and efficient software systems. Systems such as social media, search engines, e-banking platforms or driver assistance systems are crucial in many respects, directly impacting our daily lives.

Contact persons and mentor recommendations: 

Professor Marc Scholl, Databases and Information Systems

Professor Marcel Waldvogel, Distributed Systems

Professor Stefan Leue, Software & Systems Engineering

Professor Michael Grossniklaus, Databases and Information Systems

pending, AG Information Science