Among the various types of higher education institutions, universities offer the largest and broadest range of degree programmes. From social sciences or economics, to teaching or law, to medical or technical degree programmes – if you choose a university, you will find the largest selection of subjects. This is often linked to the size of the universities – several tens of thousands of students are not uncommon. University degree programmes are more research-oriented: This means that you will primarily be taught theoretical and methodological knowledge, but you will also learn practice-orientated qualifications for your future career. You will usually complete your studies with a Bachelor’s thesis before you can take up the option of a Master’s degree programme. You also have the opportunity to obtain an academic doctorate at a university. There are also universities that specialise in certain subject areas: At technical universities, for example, the courses on offer focus on technical engineering programmes such as mechanical or electrical engineering. Dual study programmes are rarely offered at universities.

Mechanical engineering

When studying mechanical engineering, you will not only learn how to construct, design and manufacture machines and systems, but also sales and management tasks and how production and manufacturing can be optimised to be as energy and resource efficient as possible. Over the course of your studies, you will expand your basic scientific knowledge and develop a feel for the development and functioning of technical devices and machines. There are numerous specialisation options, such as plant engineering, production engineering, energy and environmental engineering, lightweight construction or automotive engineering, which cover the entire spectrum of mechanical engineering. Depending on the university, some of the specialisation options are also offered as independent degree programmes. It is an advantage if you already enjoyed maths, physics, chemistry and computer science at school. Most universities of applied sciences and universities organise the mechanical engineering degree programme in such a way that you complete a practical phase as a student in the form of an internship in a company. As a trained mechanical engineer, you can then contribute to the technical development of our society – whether in the energy, food or automotive industries. After all, the production of all industrial and consumer goods requires the use of machines and systems, which you will design, plan and/or maintain.

Electrical engineering

When studying electrical engineering, you will learn how the generation, application and distribution of electricity works. You will also deal with the development of devices and processes based on electrical energy. Energy conversion and transmission as well as the development and processing of microchips also fall within the field of electrical engineering. During your studies, you will be able to expand your knowledge of mathematics and physics and also learn the basics of computer science. The degree programmes in this field include not only „Electrical Engineering“ and „Electrical and Information Technology“, but also „Computer Engineering“, „Electrical and Aeronautical Engineering“, „Communications Engineering“ and „Microelectronic Systems“, for example. In-depth knowledge of the school subjects maths, physics and computer science is an advantage. Most universities and universities of applied sciences also offer you a practical phase in companies on the Electrical Engineering degree programme, which you can and should use for your professional orientation and to expand your practical skills. The possible professions that you can pursue with a degree in electrical engineering are very diverse and you can choose between different industries: Electrical engineers are just as much in demand in mechanical and plant engineering as they are in the automotive, aerospace and telecommunications industries.

Computer science

In the computer science degree programme, you will deal with the structure and architecture of computers, operating systems, databases or entire computer networks. Computer science provides the theoretical and methodological prerequisites with which technical solutions can be created, systems built and products manufactured. In the computer science degree programme, you will learn how to develop your own software and how hardware can be further developed. In addition to your mathematical skills, you will often also develop your electrical engineering skills and learn the basics of engineering. Many universities also include a practical phase in their computer science degree programmes so that you can test your skills in practice. To study computer science, you should have the ability to recognise and understand problems and strive to find efficient solutions to them. You should also have an interest in maths and science. First-year students are often surprised at how much maths there is in a computer science degree course – the basics include analysis, linear algebra, logic, the basics of stochastics and statistics, as well as algorithms. Before applying to study computer science, find out whether the university has set a specialisation for the course, such as applied computer science. Once you have completed your degree, you will have a wide range of opportunities to enter the professional world. Computer scientists are needed in almost all companies and have good career opportunities in many different sectors. Many computer scientists are also needed in mechanical engineering as digitalisation progresses.


The mechatronics degree programme is interdisciplinary – this means that mechatronics combines content from many different specialist areas in order to provide students with the best possible education. The mechatronics degree programme includes influences from electrical engineering, computer science, mechanical engineering and natural sciences. During the course of your studies, you will learn about the structure and function of mechatronic systems and familiarise yourself with their role in industrial processes. As you will be working at the interface of several engineering activities, you will also gain insights into the disciplines of mechanical and electrical engineering and be able to build up new skills in automation technology and robotics. If you want to study mechatronics, you should be interested in technical and scientific issues and have in-depth knowledge of the school subjects of maths, physics and computer science. Practical phases are also often integrated into this degree programme in order to strengthen your application-related knowledge. The broad spectrum of content covered by the degree programme opens up many different career prospects. As an engineer:in mechatronics, you can work in mechanical or plant engineering, for example, or find employment in the automotive and aviation industries.

Industrial engineering

Industrial engineering is also an interdisciplinary degree programme – it combines scientific and technical subjects with business and law content. In the course of your studies, you will first acquire basic knowledge in economics, natural sciences and engineering before you will deal with the processes in companies. You will focus on the production, manufacturing and marketing of the goods manufactured by a company. You will also learn how companies can improve their productivity and profitability and optimise their technical processes. If you would like to study industrial engineering, you should be interested in science and technology as well as business and have in-depth knowledge of maths, physics and economics. You should also have a basic knowledge of computer science and a good command of English. The industrial engineering degree programme can vary greatly from university to university due to the influence of many different contents and subjects. It is therefore best to find out about the structure of the degree programme before you apply. As an industrial engineer, you can later find employment in almost all technical and economic sectors and companies. And with a Master’s degree, you also have a good chance of quickly taking on a management position in a company.

Materials science and engineering

The degree programme in Materials Science and Engineering combines natural science and engineering content. As a materials scientist, you will initially focus on the structure of materials and material combinations and their physical, chemical and mechanical properties. You will also investigate how these materials can be used as efficiently as possible in production and thus improve the quality of the end product. Depending on your choice of degree programme, you can specialise in certain materials (such as metals, glass or textiles). Materials science is more natural science orientated and deals with analytical methods and fundamental issues, while materials engineering is more engineering orientated and focuses more on applications and processes. An interest in natural sciences and mechanical processes is of course an advantage when choosing to study materials science and engineering. Universities also often incorporate practical phases into these degree programmes so that you can improve and expand your skills in industrial processes. After completing your degree, you will have many different opportunities to enter the professional world: In addition to quality assurance and product development, materials scientists are often involved in research processes and laboratory analyses.

Process engineering

Process engineering is also an interdisciplinary degree programme. It combines content from mechanical engineering, physics, chemistry and maths. Process engineering focuses primarily on the conversion of materials into energy. You will observe how physical, mechanical and thermal processes take place and use this knowledge to optimise production processes and energy-generating processes. Knowledge of the natural sciences of chemistry, physics and maths is a great advantage when studying process engineering. You will also complete an industrial internship lasting several weeks at most universities to familiarise yourself with the practical work of a process engineer. You will be able to start your career in many different areas after completing your degree. At companies that operate process engineering systems, e.g. in mechanical and plant engineering, in technical environmental protection or in research and development processes – process engineers work in many different positions in various industries.

Economics/Business Administration

The degree programme in economics combines the two disciplines of business administration (BWL) and economics (VWL). While the latter examines economic processes and procedures with a view to society, in a business studies programme you will focus on the entrepreneurial sphere. You will analyse how companies function and are structured, how and which economic decisions they make and what influence these have on their future development. This is why many mechanical and plant engineering companies also employ economists who help to make economically sensible and sustainable decisions. If you would like to study business administration or economics, you should have previous knowledge of maths and economics. Economists don’t just find jobs in banks. Every company has to think economically and make the right decisions. That’s why more than 30 per cent of companies in the mechanical and plant engineering sector take the opportunity to offer a dual study programme in economics or business administration. As a student, this gives you the chance not only to learn the theoretical basics of economics, but also to gain practical experience in the professional world.