Master of Science Autonomous Systems

Autonomy, adaptability and network integration are characteristic features of complex IT systems. Conventional control systems and architectures are no longer adequate to realize the potential of these technologies completely, nor are they sufficient to master the complexity of such systems. The solution is to design selected components as 'autonomous systems' which can act mainly on themselves without external control most of the time. In this context, autonomous mobile and biomimetic robots form the forefront of development.

The international program 'Autonomous Systems' offers multi-faceted training in the fields of artificial intelligence and robotics, spanning a whole range of issues involved in the field.

The four-semester program aims to challenge talented, motivated and dedicated students and involves coursework as well as project work. A large portion of the program, including the preparation of the master's thesis, involves research and development projects.

The project work portion takes the form of a 9-month R&D project and a final thesis project. The program's affiliation with the Fraunhofer Institute, one of the leading research institutes in Germany and the largest organization for applied sciences in Europe, provides an unparalleled opportunity for students to pursue extensive practical training in projects at the cutting edge of the field. These projects may also be carried out in a number of other broader research efforts at the university. This helps to ensure a high-quality education in the field, and also offers problem-oriented training in soft skills such as project management and presentation.

Presentations by leading international guest speakers are scheduled regularly and help to further expose the students to the state of the art in a wide variety of robotics-related fields. The number of seats per semester is limited to only 25 candidates, thus ensuring the admitted students a high-quality education. An extraordinary level of commitment, pro-activeness, self-discipline and the ability to work well under pressure is expected of candidates.

This program is fully accredited by ASIIN, the German accreditation agency for study programs in engineering, informatics, and natural sciences. ASIIN is a member of the Washington Accord for the international recognition of accredited degree programs and, as such, the program's accreditation is recognized worldwide.

The Master's program in Autonomous Systems is offered by the Applied Sciences Institute at the Bonn-Aachen International Centre for Information Technology (B-IT) which is based on cooperation between two renowned German centers of excellence: the Fraunhofer Institute for Intelligent Analysis and Information Systems (IAIS) and the Department of Computer Science of the Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences (H-BRS).

Program goals

The goal of this course of studies is to provide students who have an initial university degree the opportunity to learn scientifically founded concepts, methods, and techniques to enable them to both develop these further and to apply them towards the solution of practical problems. The focus of the course of studies is on questions and the principles of the design of distributed, interacting autonomous systems.

Course features

  • The course of study is conducted in English
  • Multidisciplinary study enhances existing skills and knowledge of students
  • Internationally accredited Master of Science degree
  • Preparation for PhD
  • Special mentoring program from faculty members
  • One on one support (study buddies) for incoming international students
  • Free German language classes offered to international students
  • Opportunities in high-profile research projects
  • Opportunity to become involved in the program's award-winning RoboCup team
  • Opportunity to spend a semester at one of the program's partner-universities
  • Opportunity to live and study in Bonn, Germany, and to learn a new foreign language


For admission to the program, a professional academic degree (Bachelor or equivalent) is required in the areas of computer science, mathematics, natural sciences, or engineering.

Another requirement is sufficient knowledge of concepts, methods and tools in the field of computer science. Such knowledge is usually acquired in a four-year computer-science course with at least 65% computer-science content. Program applicants who have already graduated from a first level degree course in mathematical/scientific subjects or engineering can be admitted to the program provided that the course had a computer-science content of, as a rule, at least 50%. They must also perform additional assignments, to be specified on an individual basis, worth up to 30 ECTS credits.

Finally, as the program is taught entirely in English, the TOEFL or IELTS for English language proficiency is required (for all those who do not have English as an official language in their country). A minimum TOEFL score of 557 paper-based, of 220 computer-based, or of 83 internet-based, or equivalent, is accepted. The TOEFL code for the university is 7977 ("Fachhochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg"). Alternatively, a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 is accepted. No German language skills are required for the program.

Admission is based solely on credentials and academic excellence.


For applicants requiring a visa:

  • For the Winter Semester: January 15th the same year the semester starts
  • For the Summer Semester: July 1st the year before the semester starts

For applicants who do not require a visa:

  • For the Winter Semester: August 15th the same year that the semester starts
  • For the Summer Semester: February 15th the same year that the semester starts

The application window for winter semesters opens October 15 the year before the winter semester. For the summer semester, the window opens on April 1, the year before the summer semester.

Program taught in:
  • English

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This course is Campus based
Start Date
Oct 2019
4 semesters
No tuition fees
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