This international master’s degree programme is based on the following two basic pillars:
- The study of a range of current topics within the field of human-computer interaction: usability, user-centred design and user interface testing and research, and innovative interface technologies such as virtual reality, mobile systems, adaptive systems, mixed reality, ubiquitous computing and graphic interfaces.
- Acquisition of key skills and competences through a project-based study approach including active training of scientific communication, presentation and written skills in small groups.
Further information on the curriculum can be found here.
The M.Sc. HCI was accredited by ACQUIN on March 31st 2016.
The programme comprises 120 ECTS, with the following compulsory, elective and research components:
- Four compulsory modules (Advanced HCI, Information Processing and Presentation, Virtual/Augmented Reality and Mobile HCI), each comprising 9 ECTS.
- Two research projects (15 ECTS each = 30 ECTS).
- Electives module (24 ECTS in total).
- The Master’s thesis module (30 ECTS).
In accordance with the Weimar model, research projects make up a large proportion of our master’s programme. The electives module allows students to incorporate a large variety of courses from other degree programmes and faculties alongside the general Computer Science for Digital Media course catalogue.
The fourth and final semester is dedicated to preparation of the master’s thesis, the topic of which may be selected from the suggested topics of the various professorships. Following successful defence of the master’s thesis, a Master of Science degree is awarded.
The standard duration of the Human-Computer Interaction M.Sc. degree programme is four semesters. Students can begin this programme in either the winter or the summer semester.
In accordance with the »Weimar Model«, research-oriented projects are a large and defining part of the Master’s programme. Most projects are done in groups, and some involve an interdisciplinary team of students. HCI projects focus on design, implementation and evaluation of software systems and interfaces or on designing, planning and running user studies.
Projects are conducted in close collaboration with supervising professors and their research assistants. They require considerable autonomy from students and train general transferable skills via group work and independent research.
Check out some of the projects run at our faculty:
Instrumentation of Public Space for Social Interaction. Multi-user interface for public space, using a self-built wireless input- and output-modules
Shoe me the Way. Mobile navigation via tactile feedback right in the user's shoe.
Exploring Interactive Theatre. Using interactive technologies on the stage - developed a 20 minute theatre piece.
Social Virtual Reality. 3D telepresence
The electives module allows for the inclusion of a range of courses from other programs, such as Media Studies, Media Management, Architecture and Urbanism, Media Art and Design, Product Design, Visual Communication, and others. It is recommended to partake in classes with at least 6 ECTS from arts-design oriented areas. An additional HCI-related project may also be incorporated with up to a maximum of 15 credit points.
Courses from Computer Science for Digital Media that have not already been calculated into the master’s programme may also be included. Furthermore, graded language courses worth a maximum of 6 credit points may be brought into the Electives module.
The electives module (along with projects and theses) enables students to create their personal profile and specialisation. So far, some of our current students have done a 3d project in Product Design, while others have decided to deepen their technological expertise in Computer Science courses. Many students take part in various Media Arts and Design or Arts/Design courses (Fachmodule) that mix creative work with lab-based practical skill acquisition. For German-speaking students there is also the option to attend courses in neighbouring Jena or Erfurt Universities (on request).
- Current research topics: The specialist knowledge taught in our courses is based on our ongoing academic research and provides solid theoretical foundations, complemented by current issues and research results. Students are regularly involved in research and development projects during their research projects, theses and as student assistants.
- Skills from project-based studies: The scientifically-oriented projects require a high degree of independent acquisition of scientific knowledge and provide career-relevant key qualifications. They further provide opportunities for students to propose, implement and defend their first independent research initiatives.
- Scientific Literature: Access to scientific literature (online / on-site) for students is good and the selection available in the library is continually updated by our academic staff.
- Excellent lab infrastructure: The labs of our groups offer an excellent infrastructure for the implementation of projects and theses. Specific examples of facilities available for student use include the Usability, HCI, Computer Graphics, Virtual Reality, Mobile Media, and Computer Vision labs, as well as a multi-user 3D and a visual analytics display as well as facilities for working with electronics (physical computing).
- The new research building ‘Digital Bauhaus Lab’ offers students a working environment of the highest standard.
- Staff-student ratio: The Faculty of Media funds two teaching/research associates per Professor, who are involved in teaching. Most groups further have project-funded research associates who also supervise projects and theses. This ensures an outstanding staff-student ratio and direct and intensive contact between academics and students. According to a official statistics of the Statistisches Bundesamt in 2016 comparing student-staff ratios across Germany, Thuringia ranks first with only 45 students per Professor.
- Research orientation and publications: Students are frequently actively involved in international publication activities, often resulting from student research projects and theses. A significant proportion of prior Master graduates have proceeded in doctoral programmes inside and outside of Germany, and work in academic or research-oriented environments.
The research-oriented master’s programme is taught by internationally renowned professors:
- Prof. Bernd Fröhlich
(winner of the virtual reality technical achievement award, co-founder of the IEEE Symposium on 3D User Interfaces)
- Prof. Eva Hornecker
(expert on innovative human-computer interaction concepts, user-centered design and museum installations, co-founder of the international ACM conference series 'Tangible Embedded and Embodied Interaction', back in Germany after 8 years residence in the UK and New Zealand)
- Professorship Usability (in process of being refilled for spring 2019): acting stand-in academic staff for summer-semester 2018 and winter semester 2018/19: Dr. Jan Ehlers
- Prof. Florian Echtler
(expert on tangible and multi-touch interaction and software-infrastructures for these)
- Prof. Charles Wüthrich
(Computer Graphics, collaborates with an educational TV production institution)
- Prof. Volker Rodehorst
(computer vision and photogrammetry expert)
The HCI Master was developed based upon our experiences with the long-standing Computer Science & Media Master program. CS&M graduates have all readily found employment in industry and academia, in R&D departments at large companies (e.g. Volkswagen, BMW), research institutes (e.g. Fraunhofer), as well as at universities, with many continuing into a PhD.
The ability to design complex systems and interfaces with regard to usability and appropriateness for the usage context increases in importance. HCI graduates can work both in software development, in particular in conception and development of novel interface technologies, and in the area of usability and user research, which both grow in demand on the job market. Our unique project-based study approach provides graduates with a skill set that qualifies them both for research and industry careers.
Some graduates also develop startups. BUW offers support for this via the startup hub neudeli incubator, which consults and trains in entrepreneurship and has office spaces and an uni-internal pre-seed funding program.
Human Computer Interaction always interested me. I first started CS&M at BUW, where HCI subjects are included. When the new HCI program started, I switched. During my masters, I worked on various interdisciplinary projects where I enhanced my knowledge in interaction design, user-centered design, statistical analysis, usability engineering and testing. In one project, I did research on interactive costumes for the theater stage and developed one in teamwork. This gave me a lot of insight on how and where to start research from, how to organize and face challenges in a project.
The HCI faculty is always open to new ideas and I took the opportunity to suggest ideas for my theses. My thesis was on “Comparison of Interactive and Non-interactive advertisement in public displays”. Doing this I met many helpful people inside and outside University, with full assistance of my professors and the whole department. I could successfully conduct my experiments with the available resources and a comfortable place. With the support of HCI staff, an academic paper was written for a conference, and if it is accepted, it will be my first ever paper published.
The HCI master encourages students to participate in projects and lectures from other departments. In a course from Media Art I learned about generating electronic music. I developed an interactive music installation where users can generate and control music on a table. I worked on the LightWalk project from Media Architecture, and programmed its interaction using Kinect sensors. This was exhibited at the Jena City Light festival and thousands of people experienced the installation. I have done two other projects in my interdisciplinary electives.
Weimar, besides of its rich cultural heritage, has a fairly relaxed study environment, being a non-crowded city. I could focus on my studies and projects anywhere, working undisturbed in the lab, the park or my dormitory. I met so many people from different countries and cultures. Now I have many international friends and have good personal contact with them even when I leave Weimar.
If you would like to have an excellent educational background, good study conditions, a multi cultural environment and a good career, then you should not miss the opportunity to join the HCI program.
Coming from a Human Factors background and with experience of working in IT-companies, the Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) Master’s program was a great opportunity to learn the essence of user-centered design and ubiquitous computing, as well as to build a practical skill set for application of HCI research methods.
The program had several serious advantages. First, it is possible (and you are encouraged!) to take courses from virtually any other program or department at Bauhaus University and other universities in the region. Second, during my studies, I had a chance to participate in two semester-long research projects. Results of one of these were shaped into an academic paper, which was accepted for publication at the MUM conference. Third, my Master’s thesis had interdisciplinary nature, combining HCI with product design and performance art; furthermore, it was done in cooperation with respectable German theaters.
Some of the mandatory courses can be considered challenging, as they expect in-depth course content understanding and demonstration of technical skills. The challenge is fair, and I am glad that I’ve acquired this knowledge and skills.
All in all, I believe that the HCI Master's program was a jump-start for my career in the academic field and a solid preparation for my current PhD studies.
Preetha Moorthy (India)
Starting as an Engineer in Computer Science, I began my studies in the Computer Science and Media Master’s. Having only a little experience in the IT industry, I wasn’t satisfied and ready to work in front of a screen all day! Hence, when I attended the first lecture in HCI, I knew this was my calling. With much inspiration from Prof. Dr. Eva Hornecker, today I am proud to say that I am a Master’s Graduate in HCI. The HCI program provided various opportunities to not just learn about Usability of devices or prototyping systems based on user-centred approaches, but also other fields, ranging from Architecture to Product Design.
The program allowed me to think outside of my comfort zone to explore other fields from an HCI perspective, which enabled me to understand that HCI is not just limited to building prototypes but also evaluating it. Along with the two semester projects, I had the chance to do a semester project in Product Design, which later proved advantageous for my Master’s thesis. My thesis was based on the integration of electronics and fabrics by creating an interactive touch and feel book for children. An interdisciplinary approach combined designing the product and its evaluation.
Though courses can be a bit challenging, persistence and attainment of in-depth skills and knowledge made the climb to the top of the mountain (finishing my Masters!) worthwhile. I believe the Master’s program in HCI has nurtured me for a career in academic research and enabled me to pursue a PhD.
|degree||Master of Science|
|standard time of studies||4 semesters (2 years)|
|start of studies||Summer Semester and Winter Semester possible|
Please first check out our responses to common questions: FAQ Applications HCI
Prof. Dr. Eva Hornecker, Course Guidance Human-Computer Interaction, Master of Science
Bauhausstraße 11, room 123, 99423 Weimar
|degree||Master of Science|
|standard time of degree||4 semesters (2 years)|
|start of study||summer semester, winter semester|
For students studying from winter semester 2017/18