Ergonomics – Human Factors Engineering

Master of Science (M.Sc.)

The master’s program in Ergonomics – Human Factors Engineering offers graduates with a bachelor's degree interdisciplinary training, enabling them to create, implement, and evaluate future concepts for interaction between humans and technology in various applied fields.

TUM School of Engineering and Design

Application for this program will be possible again for the summer semester 2023 at the earliest.

Key Data

Type of Study
  • Full Time
Standard Duration of Studies
  • 4 Semesters (Full Time)
Credits Main Locations
Admission Category Start of Degree Program
  • Possible for both winter and summer semester

Information on Degree Program

Modern technological products and processes distinguish themselves by supporting a person as efficiently as possible, being simple and convenient to apply, and having no deleterious effects on the user in the longer term.

Achieving this is complicated by the trend towards technological products and processes that are more and more powerful and involve an ever greater range of functions. In the process, society and the modern user place ever greater demands on technology where comfort, security, and health are concerned. Against this background, no single scientific discipline can still claim to be able to deal with the complex interplay of demands that, in some cases, compete with one another. It is necessary to bring together contributions from engineering, informatics, psychology, medicine, and mobility and health sciences – to mention only the most important disciplines.

The Ergonomics – Human Factors Engineering (HFE) program is intended to train experts who are able manage this collaborative process.

For a comprehensive description of the program, please refer to the degree program documentation:

  • The duration of the program is four semesters.
  • The first three semesters deal with fundamentals in the areas of workplace ergonomics, experiment design, and statistics, as well as product and production ergonomics.
  • These are complemented by elective modules in which students can create an individual competency profile. Specialties on offer during the degree are:
    • system ergonomics and interaction design
    • anthropometry and biomechanics
    • sports engineering
  • The program concludes with the master’s thesis in the forth semester.

As a graduate of the program, you possess knowledge of the methodologies in several of the disciplines mentioned, and are highly interdisciplinary in your approach. You are trained to conduct integrated research, able to combine scientific and practical knowledge, and to reflect upon the interplay of technology and social systems. You have at your disposal an extensive specialist knowledge relating to the development, implementation, and evaluation of concepts for the interaction between humans and machines in automotive, aerospace, sports equipment, production, and software sectors. You are able to purposefully apply various interaction principles and interaction technologies, to incorporate levels of automation into designs in a targeted manner, and to plan, carry out, and evaluate associated safety experiments (usability, controllability) in a hypothesis-based manner. 

You are able to assess and discuss the risks, possible side effects and, above all, the social effects of different interaction concepts and products, as well as to cooperate with other disciplines in the planning and carrying out of needs analyses, and in completing associated target processes. Further, you understand the significance of adaptive, cooperative, and automated concepts for mobility, production, work processes, and leisure activities. You possess a broad and detailed understanding of technology, methodologies, and social science. You are familiar with the latest technological developments on an international level, and are able to develop solutions in the international context. 

At the end of the program, you are able to analytically describe human-machine systems, and to create solutions to existing usage problems or for innovative technologies, as well as to discuss their social consequences. You are able to take a constructive and interdisciplinary approach to the analysis of conflicting aims (costs vs. safety, efficiency vs. acceptance), and carry out associated assessments objectively, as well as to provide solutions that are justifiable from multiple perspectives (with regard to technology, sociology, aesthetics).

Graduates are able to find opportunities in numerous professional fields where there is a technological element. These include the development, design, and evaluation of technical products, consumer goods, sport and leisure equipment, or of software and websites. Further potential fields of occupation include consultancy roles relating to workplace design or the development of complex human-machine systems such as control rooms, production machinery, or airplane and vehicle cockpits. 

Application and Admission

Minimum requirements to apply for a Master's program at TUM are a recognized undergraduate degree (e.g. a bachelor’s) and the successful completion of the aptitude assessment procedure. Aptitude assessment allows the TUM school or department to which you are applying the opportunity to evaluate your individual talents and motivation for study.

During the application period, you must apply through the TUMonline application portal and upload your application documents.

If you receive an offer of admission, you will additionally have to submit individual documents as notarized hardcopies by post to be enrolled.

Generally, applicants with a qualification for postgraduate studies (e.g. a bachelor’s) obtained outside of the EU / EEA must have their documents reviewed in advance through uni-assist.

In detail:

    • We may require additional documents depending on your educational background and your country of origin. Complete the online application to receive a comprehensive list of the required documents. 
    • Please note that you may enroll in this degree program, as long as you submit the required graduation documents (transcript & diploma) within one year.

    Selection takes place through an aptitude assessment procedure. Aptitude assessment is a two-part procedure after the submission of an official application to a program. In this procedure, the TUM school or department determines whether you meet the specific requirements for its master’s degree program.

    In the initial stages, the grades you obtained during your bachelor's program, as well as your written documents, will be evaluated using a point system. Depending on the amount of points accumulated, applicants are either immediately admittedrejected or invited to an admissions interview

    This degree program does not encompass a compulsory internship nor is an internship a requirement for admission. However, it is recommendable, as a rule, to gain practical experience as soon as possible.

    A completed internship in the field of Ergonomics will be taken into account in the aptitude assessment procedure.

    What are my options after earning this degree?

    You have earned your master’s degree and are ready to start your career? TUM Alumni & Career can assist you with questions regarding professional orientation, job search and job application.

    If you are interested in continuing your studies, you will find information of doctoral studies at TUM, here.