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Intelligent Interactive Systems (M. Sc.)

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Coordination of Study Programme

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Stefan Kopp

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The Master’s program “Intelligent Interactive Systems” provides the training of knowledge and skills that enable students to analyze, design and develop state-of-the-art cognitive systems. Such cognitive systems are characterized by their ability to perceive a complex or open environment and to interact with it intelligently. An essential feature of such systems is their ability to learn and thus to adapt to unknown or changing environments, tasks, or users. Such systems are relevant in many areas such as robotics, autonomous agents, assistive systems, recommender systems or web information systems. Students in the program will be increasingly enabled to work independently according to the scientific principles of machine learning and cognitive computer science. In addition to imparting knowledge, the Master’s program explicitly focuses on providing practical, professional skills as well as abilities such as interdisciplinary research methods, critical thinking, and teamwork.

The Master’s program is run by the Faculty of Technology at Bielefeld University, a center of interdisciplinary research on cognition-oriented Computer Science in cooperation with Linguistics, Biology, Psychology and Sports Science. The Faculty is home ground of several research institutes with many national and international co-operations, such as CITEC (Research Institute for “Cognitive Interaction Technology”), CoR-Lab (Innovation lab for human-centered automation), CoAI (Joint research center on “Cooperative and Cognition-enabled AI”), and CeBiTec (Center for Biotechnology). The strong interdisciplinary and research-oriented nature of this environment is also reflected in teaching. Early on, students of the M.Sc. programs get in touch with the research carried out in these institutes and are well prepared for study visits abroad.

Structure and contents of the study program

A master’s degree (120 credit points) deepens the skills and knowledge acquired in the bachelor’s degree and serves to establish the main thematic focus. The Intelligent Interactive Systems master’s program completes with a Master of Science (M. Sc.). The regular duration of study is four semesters.

Course Plan


The contents of the study program reflect the current developments towards modern intelligent systems that interact autonomously with their environment. To that end the program provides three thematic blocks in which students can specialize: Interaction Technology (INT)Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning (AI), and Autonomous Systems Engineering (ASE).

  • In each block, modules of three different types are offered: In the 1st semester, fundamental competencies can be acquired or extended in basics modules. In the 2nd and 3rd semesters, specialization takes place through advanced modules (theoretical-methodical contents) or applied modules (practical-applied competencies). Both module types can be studied either as standard (5 credit points) or in-depth (10 credit points) version. Students can choose from a variety of courses offered in the respective block for the corresponding module types (basic / advanced / applied).
  • In the 1st and 2nd semesters, students are required to take courses from a Scientific Research Methods (SRM) module that conveys techniques of scientific work necessary for successful completion of the Master's thesis.
  • In the 3rd semester, there will be a group project (10 credit points), which is intended to involve 3-5 students. During this project, students will independently structure and carry out practical work. The objective is to encourage collaboration among students with diverse specializations in the areas of INT, AI, and ASE. Assessment will consider both team performance and individual contributions separately, leading to an individual, non-graded module performance evaluation.

This course has an English-speaking branch in which courses are guaranteed for non-German-speaking students. A list of the modules taught in English can be found under “Service”. Knowledge of English at a proficiency level of B2 (CEFR) or higher must be proven prior to admission. This corresponds to a language test score of at least 87 points (TOEFL (iBT)) or 5.5 (IELTS), or a Cambridge First Certificate (CFE). The regular German high-school diploma (Abitur) qualifies for this, too.

International Exchange and Cooperation

Students are offered various opportunities to gain experience abroad and to acquire international competence. The Erasmus+ program brings them to universities in Europe. In addition, Bielefeld University maintains international collaborations and partnerships with universities on all continents. The International Office provides advice on all matters related to the choice of place to study, foreign scholarships and applications.

Since the winter semester 2015/16 there is a "Double Degree" programme with the University of Bologna, Italy. Each semester, up to five students per university can go on an exchange. The students visit the partner university in their third semester and have the option of adding another semester to write their master’s thesis there. In the end, they will receive a master's degree in "Intelligent Interactive Systems" from Bielefeld University and a master's degree in "Computer Science" from Bologna University. If you are interested in the "Double Degree Programme", please contact Prof. Dr. Philipp Cimiano for student advisory service.

The Central Webpages about Study Programmes of Bielefeld University (Dezernat Studium und Lehre) contain information about the programme of lectures for this course in the eKVV (lecture timetable), a link to an overview of the introductory and information events, about the course start, length and scope of studies, admission requirements, application, admission and enrollment, study and examination regulations, and subject-specific regulations.

More detailed informationen about Application, Admission, and Enrollment you will find on the webpages of the Student Office (Studierendensekretariat).

Prerequisites for admission

Prerequisite for admission is a bachelor’s degree grade of at least 3.0. In addition, the following knowledge is required to apply successfully:

  • Knowledge and skills in foundations of computer science (e.g. algorithms, data structures, theoretical or technical computer science, computer architectures) of 30 ECTS or an equivalent total workload.
  • Knowledge and skills in mathematics (e.g. analysis, linear algebra, stochastics) amounting to 10 ECTS or an equivalent total workload.
  • Knowledge and skills in basic technical methods for the development of intelligent systems.(e.g. machine learning, artificial intelligence, pattern recognition, robotics, image/language processing, human-machine interaction) to the extent of 30 ETCS or an equivalent total workload. Alternatively, knowledge and skills in interdisciplinary foundations of intelligent or interactive systems (e.g. from psychology, neurobiology, linguistics, philosophy) are recognized up to 10 ETCS or a corresponding total workload.
  • A further condition for admission is language competency in English at a proficiency level of B2 (CEFR) or higher. This corresponds to TOEFL 72+ points, IELTS 5.5+, or Cambridge First Certificate (CFE). The regular German high-school diploma (Abitur) qualifies for this too.

When applying, each applicant needs to provide a list of courses passed successfully during their qualifying degree (Bachelor) in each of the three areas, along with the ECTS or the overall workload for each course.

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