IAS Modules

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As one of the few computer science programs in Germany that are taught completely in English, the Master course „Intelligent Adaptive Systems“ prepares students for international research and professional work.

Following a balanced approach, it is placed in between programs with a purely technical, low-level hardware focus and programs that offer a general computer science curriculum. Its curriculum is focused on the area of smart technology and intelligent adaptive systems and provides in-depth training in this area. The selected modules provide a comprehensive overview including technical aspects and state-of-the-art algorithms and methods. Students are introduced to current research in the corresponding fields and have the opportunity to deepen the acquired knowledge by participating in international research projects.

The Master in Intelligent Adaptive Systems is a 2-year and full-time research-oriented program that is taught in English. Students, both national and international, can profit from an international environment and improve their grasp of the English language and knowledge on cultural differences. The inter-student exchange is fostered in seminars and workgroups and extended in extra-curricular discussions and activities. Through the proximity to current research projects, students have the possibility of a smooth transition into collaborative research environments and continuing education and study. Part-time is permitted but not advised as courses are during the day. For the Project, Group Work, and Master thesis students are expected to study full-time.

IAS Curriculum [120 CP]

The Master’s program is comprised of 120 credit points that are distributed between compulsory core lectures, selectable focus and extending lectures, and project work:

  • Core Modules (39 CP)
  • Focus Option (24 CP)
  • Extension Option (15 CP)
  • Project (12 CP)
  • Thesis (30 CP)

As a general rule, 1 ECTS credit corresponds to 25–30 hours of work. This is an example curriculum for students: one row stands for one semester and comprises 30 CP. The first row stands for the first winter semester:


Core Modules [39 CP] compulsory

Core lectures are compulsory for all students. This set of lectures conveys an in-depth understanding of different types of intelligent adaptive systems and introduces students to the most current research in different areas. All core modules consist of a combination of lecture and seminar/tutorial to foster student participation and constant application of learned concepts. In the following sections, you can find direct links to the internal websites of the modules with information on content and organization. Following the links to the STiNE platform - please check and adjust the years and winter semester/summer semester on the left menu - as not every course is held in both semesters. Prospective students should use "old" semesters to receive information about courses offered for the IAS program!

[InfM-SWA, 6 CP] Software Architecture (SA)

[InfM-BAI, 6 CP] Bio-Inspired Artificial Intelligence (BAI)

[InfM-IR, 6 CP] Intelligent Robotics (IR)

[InfM-RM, 6 CP] Research Methods (RM)

[InfM-NN, 6 CP] Knowledge Processing with Neural Networks (NN)

[InfM-ML, 6 CP] Machine Learning (ML)

Focus Option [24 CP]

Focus choice slots provide students with the opportunity to strengthen their background in a chosen field or deepen their knowledge in a field that complements the core modules. Focus modules will be chosen in consultation with an assigned advisor and can be selected from a list that was put together to align well with the overall focus of the master. This list will contain single modules that supplement core lectures as well as suggested sets of lectures that together form a coherent focus area. It will be reviewed on a regular basis to reflect current research and to include newly emerged and complementary teaching areas. The following list shows the modules currently available for focus option slots in the winter or summer semester.

[InfM-WV, 6 CP] Knowledge Processing in Intelligent Systems (WV1)

[InfM-LT, 6 CP] Language Technology (SV)

[InfM-RT, 6 CP] Robot Technology (RT)

[InfM-CV 1, 6 CP] Computer Vision I

[InfM-CV 2, 6 CP] Computer Vision II

[InfM-DIS, 9 CP] Databases and Information Systems

[InfM-SSV, 6 CP] Speech Signal Processing

[InfM-UIST, 6 CP] User Interface Software and Technology

[InfM-IS/IAS, 3 or 6 CP] Independent study

The IAS program is designed for research-oriented, self-thinking, and independent students who like to choose their field of research on their own. That is why the IAS program offers a special module, the Independent study.

Here the student can define with a supervisor (a 3 or 6 ECTS worth) small project on their own. The student looks for a supervisor, picks a field of research/interest, defines a learning agreement with a supervisor, and then starts his/her own project. It is a perfect way to practice working on the "big" master's thesis.

A student is allowed to register 2 Independent studies - 1 for "Focus Choice" and 1 for "Extension Option".

Extension Option [15 CP]

15 credit points can be selected from a range of informatic courses taught on English and lectures (in German) taught at the Department of Informatics or from other lectures taught at other departments. These lectures need to be on the Master's level. In comparison to the focus options, these modules can be used to gain knowledge in fields that go beyond the scope of this program, but are linked to its contents, e.g. Psychology or Biology. The lectures are again chosen in consultation with your academic adviser, to guarantee a meaningful choice in alignment with the student’s background and aims. Students can also choose to do a second: InfM-IS/IAS, 3 or 6 CP Independent study.

Master Group Project [12 CP] compulsory

After lectures and seminars, where the focus is usually on individual work, the student has to participate in a group project, before undertaking a research project that finally leads to the Master’s thesis. In the group project, the focus is on teamwork and scientific exchange and defense of ideas, to prepare students for a collaborative scientific environment. Students are encouraged to choose projects in preparation for their research project and to actively take part in research projects of a chosen area. Students are expected to work as an independent group with a supervisor from the corresponding area.

Projects can stretch over 1-2 semesters. Have a look at the descriptions in STiNE.

Master Thesis (Thesis + Seminar + Defense) [30 CP] compulsory

A master's thesis is a research project which students need to organize for themselves. Students have 6 months time to work on their project and write a thesis. Research groups at the Department of Informatics suggest research fields in which master theses are possible. Students are also allowed to organize a collaboration between a company and professors at the Department of Informatics in order to write a thesis in a company. Some research groups offer a seminar, which provides students with the opportunity to present their work to a wider audience of peers, in an environment comparable to a scientific conference in order to practice the thesis' defense. In the last term, students should work full time on their research project which ends with the submission of the final Master’s thesis.

Course Catalog

There various pages where a student can get some information about the courses offered for IAS:

  • and on STiNE (where you will register for you modules:) https://www.stine.uni-hamburg.de - Click on course catalog – choose a semester – click on Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics and Natural Sciences - Department of Informatics - K. Master of Science Intelligent Adaptive Systems – there you will see the categories and modules listed above. Once you register for courses please remember you have to register for entire modules = lectures and seminars separately!