About the Study Program
Who is offering the Master in Precision Engineering?
The Master in Precision Engineering is a specialized joint master's degree program from the Faculty of Science at the University of Bern and the School of Engineering and Computer Science at the Bern University of Applied Sciences. The two universities offer and support the MSc jointly and equally.
What is the scope and duration of the master's program?
The master's program comprises 120 ECTS credits, and a full-time study comprises four semesters. The MSc Precision Engineering facilitates and supports part-time studies to accommodate employment, family, and other responsibilities.
When does the master's program begin?
The study program begins in the fall semester. Please find further important dates here.
Is study advice available?
Please contact the study coordination with any requests. We will forward the request to the responsible person depending on the subject.
What are the course fees?
The complete fee for all assessments amounts to CHF 300 and is due when the master's degree is issued. Please find more information here.
The Admission Process
What is this standardized interview mentioned in the admission process?
In a standardized interview, some of our students need to demonstrate their suitability for the study program. The interview is based on a guide and serves the directorate of studies as a further basis to assess personal and professional suitability. We focus on methodological, professional, and self-competencies. Two persons will conduct the interview – either the directorate of studies or an assigned person. The language is English, and the interview will be recorded.
Who has to do the standardized interview?
If you hold a bachelor's degree from a Swiss university with a minimum unrounded grade of 4.5 or grade D of the ECTS grading scale for a university of applied sciences degree in the studies and subjects listed here. Likewise, graduates of foreign universities may need to pursue our interview.
Which studies or subjects are eligible for application?
Please find the detailed list here.
What is the admission process?
For particulars, please see our factsheet.
Summarized: Admission is possible either with a Swiss or a foreign bachelor's degree.
Applicants need to hold a degree from a Swiss university in the studies or subjects listed here.
Foreign bachelor's degrees are verified for equivalence, and if the equivalence is not apparent from the submitted documents, the standardized interview will occur.
Depending on the unrounded grade, admission either does or does not require a standardized interview.
Other attainments up to 30 ECTS credits may be defined in any case to approach knowledge gaps of any previous education.
What are other attainments, and how are they defined?
Knowledge and skills not acquired in the bachelor's program may be required as other attainments, provided that they do not exceed the scope of 30 ECTS credits.
Two types are defined: First, other attainments in the form of admission requirements must be completed prior to the program of study; these must be fulfilled before admission to the master's program (Bedingungen). Second, additional attainments in the form of admission requirements that must be completed during the study program must be fulfilled within a time limit set by the study committee (Auflagen).
Are other academic attainments recognized?
Yes. The study committee decides on the recognition of external academic attainments. However, to receive the master's degree, a minimum of 60 ECTS credits according to the plan of studies, including the master thesis, must be earned in the master's program. In addition, the mandatory courses cannot be replaced. Please contact the directorate of studies via the study coordination to pursue your request.
The Studying Experience
Is part-time study possible?
Yes. The MSc Precision Engineering facilitates and supports part-time studies to accommodate employment, family, and other responsibilities. Thus, we offer a part-time curriculum for studying in six semesters.
What are the study objectives?
The plan of studies contains the complete list of study objectives (Art. 7). Summarized: Graduates understand the fundamental principles and concepts of precision engineering and apply as well as implement them in their practical work.
You will develop products and likewise plan, structure, and lead projects. Further, you will learn how to design, conduct and analyze experiments in different environments and work efficiently and effectively in interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary teams. Thus, you will collaborate and communicate with various stakeholders and prepare for future tasks.
Is participation in all courses unconditional?
No, since we have defined prerequisites for course participation.
The Creative Engineering Lab courses require one to attend the six basic courses' assessments and pass at least four of these assessments. It is mandatory to pass the basic courses on optics and ultraprecision, and lastly, no basic course assessment may be graded below 2.5.
Correspondingly, the advanced courses I and II must be attended in the same semester as or before the Creative Engineering Lab I and II courses, respectively.
Is an extension of the period of studies possible?
An extension is necessary if six semesters may be exceeded. The request must be submitted before the end of the last semester's time limit to the directorate of studies via the MSc Precision Engineering study coordination. The period of study may be extended for the coming two semesters. After that, a new request is to be submitted.
If the extension is granted, an individual timetable may be set.
What is needed for the completion of the MSc Precision Engineering?
Please contact the directorate of studies to initiate the completion procedure. The studies directorate will review if all study prerequisites have been met. The Dean's Office at the Faculty of Science then issues the relevant certificates (Diploma and Diploma Supplement) upon receipt of the fees.
The study program is completed if the weighted mean of the grades is at least 4.0, the master thesis has been awarded at least grade 4, and any additional attainments have been passed successfully.
The master's degree is issued in English with the signatures of the Dean of the Faculty of Science UniBE and the Head of the Department of BFH-TI of the BFH. The master's degree and the Diploma Supplement are produced according to the specifications of the University of Bern and bear the logos of the two universities, namely University of Bern and the Bern University of Applied Sciences. A translation in German is attached to the master's diploma.
The Course Structure
How is the master's program structured?
Please review the details of the study program here.
Summarized: During the first semester, you focus on the basics. In six introductory courses, you will learn new or consolidate established knowledge. We will focus on the Creative Engineering Lab courses in the second and third semesters, supplemented by advanced courses, elective courses, and complementary skill courses. The master thesis is conducted during the fourth semester.
All advanced courses will occur in the respective specializations, either Ultraprecision Engineering or Optical Engineering. Please note that you have to attend the advanced courses either in the same semester or before taking the Creative Engineering Lab I or II courses, respectively.
Four electives are mandatory; three courses out of the selection offered by the MSc Precision Engineering and one course offered by the MSc Biomedical Engineering.
In the complementary skills courses, you will acquire additional skills that prepare you for a career in academia, industry, or entrepreneurship.
What are the specializations, and how are they chosen?
There are two specializations: Optical Engineering and Ultraprecision Engineering, and they may be chosen until November 30th.
However, to ensure the proper implementation, the directorate of studies will assign the specializations, but your selection is taken into account whenever possible. Please be aware that the results achieved in the basic courses' assessments may impact your assignment.
A change of specialization is only possible upon request to the directorate of studies and only before the Creative Engineering Lab I courses.
In case of failure of one specialization, the choice of another is not possible.
Which courses are mandatory?
The master's program comprises compulsory and elective courses. The six basic courses, advanced courses in the chosen specialization, the Creative Engineering Lab courses, and the complementary skill courses are mandatory. The master thesis is likewise obligatory.
Only the electives are non-mandatory attainments. A total of four courses are chosen for the duration of the study program. Those consist of three courses out of the MSc Precision Engineering and one of the MSc Biomedical Engineering curriculum. Please find a comprehensive list here.
Assessments and Grades
Where can more information about assessments and registration be found?
The assessments' type, scope, and dates are announced in the electronic course catalog, and an overview is found here. In general, assessments take place before the start of the following semester, and registration is possible via the electronic course system.
Written assessments, oral assessments and presentations, and other assessments such as practical courses or project work are qualified — the language of assessments is English.
Please be aware that participation in the courses of the Creative Engineering Lab entails registration for the assessment. Deregistration requires a written request to the directorate of studies and is not granted without due reason.
What are the requirements in case an exam needs to be repeated?
Only inadequate assessments may be retaken. Typically, assessments may only be repeated one time. However, we involve the "Joker-Rule": Once during the master's program, one assessment can be repeated a second time, excluding the master's thesis and the Creative Engineering Lab I and II courses. Important to know that the second repetition has to be accomplished at the next possible time point.
Otherwise, repetitions are generally carried out in the following semester, at which the directorate of studies defines the time point of the repetition.
All repetitions are conducted in the same form as the corresponding regular assessments. Within two weeks' notice, a written assessment may also be converted into an oral assessment of a shorter duration. In any case, the content of an assessment is based on the immediately preceding course.
When and where are grades published?
The results of the written assessments are reported to the study coordination within the time limit set by the directorate of studies. Usually, this time frame is four weeks after the assessment has been completed. The results of each assessment are transmitted through the electronic exam administration system.
What is the "Joker-Rule"?
Once during the master's program, one assessment may be repeated a second time. The rule does not apply to the master thesis or the Creative Engineering Lab courses. In the case of the event, the second repetition has to be accomplished at the next possible time point.
The Master Thesis
Important information about the master thesis
The Master thesis consists of a written paper and a public oral presentation in the scope of 30 ECTS credits. The directorate of studies will document the beginning of the master's thesis in writing.
Before starting the written thesis, all ECTS credits from the courses should be acquired and any other attainments successfully completed. Exceptions may be examined and approved by the directorate of studies in justified cases.
Two supervisors are assigned to each master's thesis; one must be a lecturer in the master's program.
The duration of the thesis is six months. Prolongation may be possible for fundamental reasons and need to be requested in writing with the directorate of studies in consultation with the supervisors. If a student fails to meet the time limit for submitting the written thesis, the thesis will be graded with 1.
The thesis will be written in English and must contain the declaration of authorship at the end, including the date and a hand-written signature.
The written thesis will be graded within four weeks by the supervisors, and if the grade is sufficient, the oral presentation will follow.
If the grade is insufficient, the written thesis may be repeated once with a different topic and, if necessary, with other supervisors. Alternatively, the written thesis may be revised at the student's request with the unanimous agreement of the supervisors and resubmitted by a time limit determined by the supervisors.
The oral presentation may be repeated once. The oral presentation lasts 50 to 70 minutes and consists of a public presentation of 20 to 30 minutes, followed by a question and answer session. For confidentiality reasons, the question and answer session may be held in the absence of the public.
The final mark is calculated as follows: The written thesis accounts for 80% and the oral presentation for 20%.