Master of Science

Innovation Engineering

to the study programmes

For the budding inventors

Innovation is when the right product and the right solution are developed. Our master's degree programme in IEM aims to do just that – our students can tackle and implement ideas to make the economy and society more sustainable with innovative solutions.

  • ECTS: 90 ECTS
  • Programme duration: 3 semesters
  • Campus: Furtwangen
  • Faculty: Business Administration and Engineering
  • Programme begins: summer semester (March), winter semester (October)
  • Application deadline: 15 January (summer semester), 15 July (winter semester)
  • Entry requirements: university degree
  • Teaching language: German
  • Accreditation: yes (accredited through the university system accreditation)
  • Strong positioning IEM is based on four pillars - product/business design, technology, management and a two-semester innovation project. The innovation project is an essential part of the course and enables you to apply what you have learned in a small team and in a start-up-like environment.
  • You choose The Innovation Engineering master's offers you two specialisations. Would you prefer to deepen your knowledge in the technically oriented "Product Innovation" focus or in the business-oriented "Business Innovation" focus?
  • Coordinate innovation After graduation you'll be actively involved in implementing the latest methods and technologies into business and product innovations. You'll coordinate innovation processes in the areas of product and service planning, development, production or business and organisational development.
  • Overview required As an innovation manager with a holistic mindset, you'll have a good overview of new technologies and methods as well as market changes after your studies. From this, you'll derive potential, plan solutions in advance and coordinate the development process through to market launch.

Details of the programme

Programme content and structure

From idea to innovation

A wide variety of experts are required throughout an innovation process – from marketing and development to production and service. 

You focus on one of two areas of specialisation:

Product Innovation focus

With a focus on "Product Innovation", you will specialise in innovating physical products. You should have a passion for technology and science, for trying things out and "tinkering".

  • 34 % Engineering
  • 22 % Product and Business Design
  • 13 % Management
  • 22 % Innovation Project
  • 9 % Electives

Business Innovation focus

If you see yourself more as a generalist and analyst and want to learn how to innovate business areas, then we recommend the "Business Innovation" specialisation.

  • 17 % Engineering
  • 30 % Product and Business Design
  • 22 % Management
  • 22 % Innovation Project
  • 9 % Electives

Entry requirements

The Master's in Innovation Engineering is a full-time, on-campus programme – the only way to adequately teach and work on the demanding content and the one-year innovation project. A small amount of part-time work is possible. The master's thesis in the third semester can of course also be completed in a company.

Product Innovation

The "Product Innovation" specialisation is a useful extension of the bachelor's degree programme in Business Administration and Engineering, but is also of particular interest to pure engineers, physicists or mathematicians who would like to enhance their technical or scientific training with organisational, planning and management skills! Prerequisites for success are basic knowledge of engineering or mathematics/natural sciences as well as computer science/programming skills. No previous knowledge of business is required.

Business Innovation

The "Business Innovation" specialisation is open to (industrial) engineers as well as graduates of computer science, business or media informatics, mathematics and physics as well as business administration. The increasingly important IT topics are further deepened in this programme, which is why this area of specialisation also requires basic computer science or programming knowledge.

IEM specifics

Master's with a knack for technology

With the IEM you gain the following specific skills:

  • use of highly efficient technical development tools such as CAx methods, smart factory and innovative manufacturing methods (Product Innovation focus)
  • modern business process development skills such as service methods, asset management or business process management (Business Innovation focus)
  • personal development through training in interdisciplinary methods such as design thinking or system cybernetics
  • strategic management and leadership skills
  • practical implementation based on a one-year innovation project and with the help of effective tools for data processing with and without AI

Both areas of specialisation are supplemented by compulsory electives (free electives or subjects from the other specialisation).

What's covered

Special features

Good reasons to take this master's

The Innovation Engineering programme scores highly on thanks to numerous excellent ratings from our students:

  • We teach holistic skills in the areas of innovative technologies, solutions and innovation management.
  • The course is characterised in particular by current areas of study that are in high demand in the economy.
  • Small groups enable personal and individual support.
  • Thanks to modern laboratories and cooperation with companies, the course is very practice-oriented.
  • Our students learn in a team-oriented way and conduct research in a one-year project with the possibility of subsequent further academic qualification.
  • Students benefit from the close links with the faculty's research activities and technology transfer.  
  • After graduation, our graduates can expect a very good starting salary and a wide range of career prospects.

You can view detailed evaluations directly on External link opens in a new window:Studycheck.

Your career prospects

Your career springboard

  • Goal-oriented and strong in implementation
    Our graduates are experts in goal-oriented product innovation based on interdisciplinary engineering expertise, typically in medium-sized companies. You are able to independently develop and implement new innovative solutions (products, services, processes) for technically oriented issues.
  • Plan and realise innovations
    The focus is on the holistic and goal-oriented planning, design and realisation of innovations. Areas of application include development, design, production, product planning and product management - especially at their interfaces. Our graduates are prepared to take on management responsibilities in the management of development groups and departments, technical management or management in the medium term.
  • Doctorate
    The master's gives you the opportunity to do a doctorate – at one of our partner universities or as a cooperative doctorate with us.
  • Potential career paths
    Our graduates work in the following professional fields:
    • Innovation management
    • Technology Management
    • Innovation Engineering
    • Technology Scouting
    • Idea Management
    • Process Management
    • Technology Advisory
    • Change Management
    • Service Management

Faculty of Business Administration and Engineering

When you study at the Faculty of Business Administration and Engineering (WING), you combine engineering with your interest in business! Our graduates are all-rounders who are therefore sought-after specialists and managers on the job market. Whether advertising or marketing, innovative design or process optimisation – our courses are all about developing and creating the products of tomorrow! With our master's degree programmes, we offer in-depth areas of specialisation that build on the bachelor's degree and qualify our students for management positions.

Find out more about the Faculty of Business Administration and Engineering (WING)

HFU is one of the strongest research universities in the country. Production technology and smart systems are among our main areas of research. Our students are involved in many research projects in these areas!

Internal link opens in the same window:To the current research projects

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