Technische Universität Berlin
© Lukas Gehrke

Human Factors, M.Sc.

Program overview

The master’s program in Human Factors is the only degree program of its kind in Germany. The curriculum teaches the technical knowledge and skills required for a better understanding and optimization of the interaction between humans and technology, thus enabling the safe, effective, and efficient control, monitoring, and use of technical systems. The core of the curriculum focuses on an intensive examination of the key areas of knowledge and methods of psychology as well as fundamental aspects of ergonomics and engineering. The program allows you to develop a knowledge and skills profile in the applied areas of vehicle engineering, aerospace, shipping, health management/medical engineering, or process management. It further allows you to deepen your understanding of fundamental principles and research in the areas of automation psychology, cognition psychology, neuroergonomics, virtual reality, and special methods.

DegreeMaster of Science
Standard period of study 4 semesters
Credit points120
Program start Summer and winter semester
Admission Restricted admission
Language of instruction German

Admission requirements

As for all master’s programs at TU Berlin, the master’s degree in Human Factors requires you to have a first university degree qualifying you for a profession. This first degree must be in the areas of either psychology/cognitive science, or engineering/computer science. Applicants have to have acquired at least 100 credit points in one of the two areas.

You can find detailed information in the application and admission regulations/study and examination regulations. Until legal validity of the application and admission regulations (estimated to start for the admission of winter semester 2019/20) the following rules apply: https://www.tu-berlin.de/?id=202036

The Human Factors master’s program is taught in German. If you are applying with a foreign school-leaving certificate, you must provide proof of German skills at a specific level. This is a prerequisite for admission. Knowledge of English is useful, as some courses/modules may be offered in English and much of the technical literature is published in English. However, it is not a condition for admission to studies. https://www.tu-berlin.de/?id=171766

You should be interested in, and have an understanding of interdisciplinary approaches as the master’s program in Human Factors addresses complex, interdisciplinary issues. It is also advantageous to be able to work independently and to be a self-starter, as the master’s program often requires you to work autonomously.

Program structure

There is a proposed course schedule for the degree program. This is a recommendation for how to complete the degree program within the standard period of study of four semesters. It provides an example of which modules to take in which semesters. While this proposed course schedule is ideal on paper, it is not mandatory. It’s simply an example of how to successfully schedule and shape your studies.

You can find the proposed course schedule in the study and examination regulations.

https://www.humanfactors.tu-berlin.de/fileadmin/fg193_hf-webteam/Downloads-2018/Exemplarischer_Studienverlaufsplan.pdf


Content and modules

The Human Factors master’s degree is made up of modules which group the content of the curriculum into specific topics and which often include various forms of study and teaching. A current overview of all modules is available in TU Berlin’s module transfer system (MTS). The MTS also provides an overview of which modules are mandatory for your degree program and which are elective. Detailed module descriptions provide information about the content, learning objectives, participation requirements, workload, types of assessment, and much more. The module list is based on the study and examination regulations. The latest version applies to applicants.

To module database

Internships

An internship is not a mandatory requirement of this master’s program. The curriculum is, however, designed to enable you to do an internship.

Stays abroad

Generally, parts of the program can be completed abroad, either as semesters abroad or internships. General information regarding stays abroad can be obtained from the TU Berlin International Office (studying abroad) and from the Career Service (internships abroad).

Acquired skills

The master’s program allows you to acquire a thorough psychological understanding of the social, cognitive, physiological, and biological processes and structures which play an important role in the interaction of people and technical systems. You further gain a thorough ergonomic understanding of the design of technology-oriented systems of work as well as advanced methodological knowledge, allowing you to conduct and evaluate empirical experiments. As a graduate of this program you will be able to identify and find solutions for flaws in technical systems, which hamper their control, monitoring, and use by human users. You will be able to anticipate possible human factor issues in technical problems and take specific measures to prevent their occurrence. An in-depth examination of ergonomics, aerospace, shipping, the automobile branch, usability, healthcare/medical engineering, neuroergonomics, psychological methods, automation psychology, and many other areas enables you to develop a professional profile and specialization. Additionally, you will acquire the skills to adopt an independent and interdisciplinary approach to practical issues through interdisciplinary project work with partners from business and industry.

After your studies

A number of career options are available to you in technically-related professions upon successful completion of the program. Careers can typically be found in the following areas:

•   Industrial research development: human-machine system design, the evaluation of technical equipment and dialogue interfaces, or software design in terms of its usability

•   Aerospace, shipping, rail transport companies or other technical organizations: security and risk management

•   The telecommunications industry, transport engineering and medical engineering, or education: web design, display design, e-learning, or other new information and communications media

•   Public authorities and technical control boards: technical control and inspection

•   Technology-oriented organizations: company personnel work in the areas of aptitude diagnostics, personnel selection, or personnel development

•   In research centers, at universities and universities of applied sciences: technical aspects of academic research and teaching

•   Setting up your own spin-offs, or involvement in interdisciplinary start-up projects

The master’s degree also qualifies you for a doctorate and the opportunity to pursue an academic career.

Further information & downloads

Guidance and choosing the right degree program: Academic Advising Service

Questions about the degree program: Course Guidance

General questions: Student Info Services

Application and enrollment: Office of Student Affairs - Graduate Admissions

Recognition of previously acquired credits: Examination Board