Study Outcomes and Competencies

Table of Contents 

Study Outcomes

The content of this Master's program lie primarily in the field of computer science and in this case specifically the Internet technologies and information systems as well as related areas. Thereby, ITIS has a significantly stronger research focus in comparison to the other master's degrees in computer science offered at the participating universities. It can be particularly characterized by the appeal on international students and their direct involvement in (mostly also internationally minted) research groups. This is also reflected by the implementation of all courses held in English, as well as by the specific introduction to a subsequent PhD phase.

In detail, the objectives are:

  • By focusing on Internet technology and information systems, a depth of technical knowledge and a degree of specialization will be reached, which cannot be provided in the broader programs of the participating universities. To prevent “over-qualification”, this specialization will be achieved in a strongly growing market segment with an excellent job potential for highly qualified applicants.
  • In practice, ITIS aims to classify the in-depth technical content in an economic informatics and law context. Clear goals are the provision of mechanisms from the e-Business such as digital product design, demand planning or evaluation of business models, but also the assessment of legal consequences in the field of telecommunication and informational self- determination.
  • To strengthen practical research, the goal in both the module selection and the research project is the understanding and practical use of "cutting-edge" technologies from the computer science research. While the technical modules will focus more on the current methodology in research, e.g. protocol engineering, algorithm engineering, machine learning or data mining algorithms, the research project practices those applications on real existing problems.
  • The scientific goals of ITIS are targeted in an introduction to a PhD thesis or subsequent academic work. Of course, each master's degree program in principle, allows a subsequent PhD thesis; however, important academic skills are mostly not foregrounded there. The ITIS research project firmly aims at the preparation of a technical report to, if possible, participate in first publications including the important processes: academic team work, peer review, experiment planning or structured knowledge transfer. Through downstream PhD theses offered by the participating institutions, graduates can even continue their research work from the Master's program.

These objectives are achieved through a particularly intense and close integration of students at the participating institutions plus in their research projects. Especially during the module "Research Project" students gain valuable life experiences of university research and ‘hands-on’ learn many of the soft skills and abilities graduates of most other study programs would not learn before their PhD period.

However, due to the different target groups and thematic conceptions there will be no competition with the existing computer science master's degree programs; rather than that, extraordinary students are to be obtained, which would otherwise have opted for an internationally oriented degree program at another university.

Study Competencies

Through close integration into current research projects graduates of this Master's program are supposed to learn the stand-alone as well as the collaborative scientific work in international teams. In this way, in addition to the in-depth expertise the necessary social and intercultural skills are taught which are nowadays necessary for advanced research in computer science. Supportive, the course offers soft skills modules for scientific communication and scientific writing.

The thematic focus on Internet and information technologies provides students with special challenges because of the high relevance of topics and strong penetration of the related technologies in all areas of both the economic and social life. It requires a strong integrative discussion of the relevant technical and theoretical problems, especially with the social implications of technologies and research results.

To this end, computer science related courses are offered in three groups of modules: "Theoretical Foundations", "Data and Information" and "Networking and Communication". The learning contents consist of both an introduction to the current technologies and procedures that form the basics of the Internet, as well as in project-oriented practice of the skills which are necessary for the successful development of Internet-based systems.

The learning objectives of these three module groups are:

  1. With essential Theoretical Foundations (such as modules over formal languages, foundations or principles of efficient algorithms distributed algorithms), especially specific problems from the Internet are addressed, such as the distribution or efficiency aspect.
    • Due to the solid theoretical training, students can analytically evaluate important properties such as efficiency of algorithms or parallel programming models.
    • In addition, students can abstract the essential parameters of real problems and model them formally.
    • Students can evaluate solution strategies and heuristics, and thus develop promising solution approaches.
  2. Another essential topic is the processing of and interaction with Data and Information, such as the extraction, indexing, manipulation and search of data on the Web (covered by modules on information retrieval techniques, web search engines and multimedia databases).
    • Students know current procedures and methods in data and information processing and can link them together as well as adapt them to different problems.
    • Students can critically discuss and present the solution proposals with regard to the underlying data base.
    • Students can create individual coordinated relationships (such as data or user models) on demand and develop it for a technical implementation.
  3. The third necessary topic Network and Communication is formed by basic technical components and procedures (such as multimedia networks, peer-to-peer networks and mobile communications).
    • Students know technological basics as well as current practices, methods and standards for communication within or between technical systems.
    • Students can critically reflect and discuss strengths and weaknesses of communication protocols and appropriate standards.
    • Students can further adapt and (self-) develop communication protocols and standards.

These learning objectives are enhanced by economic informatics and legal aspects (Business and Law, such as Cooperate Communications, E-commerce, and Multimedia and Telecommunications Law). Namely these aspects are becoming more important within the increasing penetration of different areas of life through the Internet, as discussed above. This module group contains the following learning objectives:

  • Students are able to assess given application scenarios or technical implementations in terms of legal risks.
  • Students are able to reflect and discuss given application scenarios or technical implementations and their economic and social consequences.

The overall competence objective of the Master's program "Internet Technologies and Information Systems" is to prepare the students for future employment in academic or industrial research in the relevant areas of the Internet or information industry. In particular, students are empowered as follows:

Technical skills

ITIS students are introduced to a wide range of existing technologies and solutions in the field of Internet technology and information systems. They are able to understand, question, adapt and develop these ones especially in their technical context, as well as competently and independently develop new solutions and systems. These competencies can be differentiated as follows:

  • Formal, algorithmic, mathematical competence: ITIS students have a broad-based training in Internet and information technology relevant theoretical and mathematical foundations. They have the basic tools for the design, evaluation and differentiated assessment of algorithms and system solutions in a professional and formally correct form.
  • Analysis-, design- and realization competencies: Analysis skills primarily include the ability to rapidly incorporate into new application areas. This capability is especially trained by the exemplary insight into different areas of application as well as by the familiarization of context and solution patterns. Design competencies extend the analysis skills. Here, students will learn the independent modeling and designing of strategies to previously analyzed problems. The realization competencies ultimately allow students to turn the designed solution strategies into a usable product that solves the posed problem comprehensively and in all relevant requirements.
  • Technological competence:The technological competencies cover a wide range of expertise and underlying scientifical and information technology principles and methods from the field of Internet and information technology. This mainly includes various problem areas of information and Internet technology as well as the explanation of these technologies, their functions, principles and underlying paradigms.
  • Methodological competencies: The methodological competence is highly pivotal to the research orientation of the ITIS course and includes the independent elaboration of problem areas under application of scientific principles. Especially, the transfer of knowledge and concepts and the independent development of unknown problem areas are emphasized.

Vocational qualifying competencies:

ITIS students acquire a wide range of interdisciplinary, in particular vocational qualification skills that will allow them to responsibly develop information technology linked results in science, industry and society. However, the degree program is targeted at the solid acquisition of research-related skills, particularly through conveyance of:

  • Project management skills: ITIS students are particularly trained to work cooperatively in international teams and to take over planning and minor management tasks at an early stage. This includes the planning of projects and their follow-up and implementation, but also the solving of social conflicts and dealing with colleagues and superiors. This is primarily done during the research project, in which students are part of a diversely-staffed scientific working group.
  • Scientific and social skills: ITIS students are able to work and publish independently in the field of computer science. This is generally achieved by the theoretical, technical and social foundations, which are mediated in the degree program. In addition, all particularly important soft skills will be promoted that are necessary for a successful scientific career. Primarily, these are the ability to work in a team, communication skills (both within the research team as well as for the presentation and defense of scientific results to professional audiences), the ability to prepare scientific elaborations and publications as well as general knowledge of the research enterprise in industry and academia. ITIS students learn the correct and critical research of relevant literature, the construction and analysis of research problems and the development of strategies for their solution as well as the ability to critically evaluate solutions. Skills for both written elaboration of scientific problems and their presentation will be imparted.

ITIS students can be integrated in industrial and academic research teams with little effort and work independently. However, this competency goal is not primarily anchored in the research project, but also in the seminars/lectures and in the Master's thesis.

  • Self-competence: Self-competencies describe the personality development. They mainly include teamwork, but likewise communicative and language skills in various forms. These skills are needed to variedly solve problems, to create and present solutions plus to discuss them actively and critically. The teaching of these skills is also largely anchored in the research project and the integration into an existing project group.
  • Economic, legal and ethical competence: Internet technology has far-reaching effects on the state, economy and society. Through the modules in "Business and Law", ITIS students are equipped with important basic knowledge in law and economic theory, have critically studied the positive and negative effects of new technologies and are able to question current trends in technology in terms of their social impact. It thus creates the basis for qualification on civil society engagement in the modern internet age.

Moreover, graduates who decide (before or after a possible PhD thesis) to pursue a career in commerce, present a valuable asset due to their acquired professional and self- organizational skills (especially in international companies).