Specialisation in lightweight construction
The Master's degree in "Lightweight Engineering & Composites" is intended for engineers and graduates of mathematics and natural sciences with professional experience, who would like to gain a qualification in the area of composites via the professional development route. The particular focus of the study programme is on both carbon fibre-reinforced plastics (CFRP, colloquially known as "carbon") and glass fibre-reinforced plastics (GFRP).
A Master's qualification will open up the best possible career prospects, with the CFRP branch of the economy alone being forecast to grow by 10 percent a year. The high demand for specialists in composites is therefore bound to continue to increase in future.
Master of Science
60 ECTS (Part-Time)
90 ECTS (Triple-Award)
Degree in engineering or mathematical science with above-average marks and at least one year of field-related professional experience
Length of study
7,200 euro per semester (Tripe-Award);
1,000 euro admin and enrolment fee (one-time fee)
1,000 euro examination fee (one-time fee)
Stade (near Hamburg)
October 1st each year
Whether practical projects, varied focal points or exciting modules - in the degree programme you will be comprehensively trained for your career.
Module 1: Business administration
Internal Accounting & Controlling, Strategic Management
Module 2: Deepening mathematical and scientific basics
Calculation Methods of Structural Mechanics, Material Mechanics and Material Behaviour
Module 3: Structural design of the composite materials
Damage Tolerant Structural Design, Nonlinear Structural Design Methods
Module 4: Partially automated and fully automated manufacturing processes
Assembly Logistics of Automated Manufacturing Processes, Quality Assurance Methods in Manufacturing and Service
Module 5: Sustained process optimisation
Industrial Production Technologies for Composite Structures, Digital Factory Planning, Deterministic Assessment of Production Processes
Module 6: Design of multifunctional composite structures
Design of Composite Structures, Hybrid Construction Methods, Adaptive Composite Structures
Module 7: Master Thesis and Disputation
About the programme
Part-Time Programme: You will complete a total of four block units, each of 16-days' duration, and a weekend course. In addition, blended-learning units accompany the study programme. The study content of the four Lightweight Engineering & Composites blocks does not differ from those of the Triple-Award programme. The third semester is reserved for the Master's thesis and oral defence. This split ensures that you can optimally coordinate your studies alongside your job.
Tripe-Award Programme: The heart of the MSc programme consists of four 16-day blocks of lectures and workshops/lab sessions, between which you take intensive German language and Management courses. The first two semesters are dedicated to theoretical consolidation of the engineering science content, focusing particularly on the conceptual and structural design of fibre composites, partially/fully automated manufacturing processes and process optimisation. You will also obtain extensive knowledge about designing multi-functional composites and implementing intelligent fibre composite structures. Business Administration content, such as Internal Accounting & Controlling (in the context of a business simulation game), and Innovation and Strategic Management, are also integrated into the first semester. Finally, in the third semester, you will work on your Master's thesis.
After graduation - your career begins
The Master of Science in Lightweight Engineering & Composites will give you a cross-industry qualification enabling you to undertake management tasks in activities related to fibre composites. It will, for example, open up excellent career prospects in aircraft construction, automotive engineering, machine construction, ship and yacht building, railway vehicle and wind turbine construction.
Fibre Composite Engineering / Lightweight Construction
During the Lightweight Engineering & Composites programme, you will get in-depth knowledge of carbon fibre. This is referred to as the “black gold” among materials: it is light, stable and resilient at the same time. As an engineer in fibre composites/lightweight construction, you can then participate in the development and design of components and lightweight assemblies across different industries.
Aerospace engineering is an engineering discipline that uses, among other things, principles from materials engineering - for which you will be an expert after studying Lightweight Engineering & Composites. As an aerospace engineer, you will develop aeroplanes, helicopters or spacecraft. Your task will be to create the lightest possible aerodynamic aircraft and optimise it using the most modern materials. You can work in the specialised field of construction and product development, among other things.
As a product developer, you design technologically oriented products from the consumer and capital goods industry. From the product idea to the market launch, you will guide and accompany the development process. You will also work with existing products by improving or adapting them. Product developers find employment in different industries. In addition to engineering expertise, you should also bring creativity, business know-how and the ability to work in a team.
With this master’s degree, you will qualify for managerial positions in companies. Or maybe you have an idea for your own start-up? Maybe you want to use your materials science knowledge to develop a concept for a super light bike? Specialisation in lightweight construction and carbon fibre engineering could help you here.
As an engineer specialising in composites, you can find a job in mechanical engineering. This engineering discipline deals with the design and production of machines. As an engineer for materials technology, you can work in the field of mechanical engineering in the research, development, production and optimisation of materials that are required for the construction of machines, systems and devices. Classic areas of application are plant and mechanical engineering, metal construction as well as electrical and vehicle construction.
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Experts at PFH
Among other things, Wilm Unckenbold was the managing director of INVENT and is currently a freelance engineer. At PFH, Unckenbold is Vice President for Technology and Continuing Education.
Marc Siebert founded SPIN Siebert & Schörner GbR for the development of ultra-light bicycle frames and components made of fibre-reinforced plastics. He has been a professor at PFH since 2008.
Nikolay Avgustinov, born in 1960, began his scientific career studying mechanical engineering at Sofia Technical University. He graduated as an engineer in 1985 and was subsequently employed as a research assistant at Sofia Technical University.
After completing his doctorate, Richard Degenhardt worked as a structural engineer. In addition to his professorship at PFH, he is currently working at the Institute for Composite Structures and Adaptive Systems at the DLR.
FAQ – the most frequently asked questions
- Application form via our website
- Curriculum vitae
- Higher education entrance qualification
- Copy of passport
- Digital photo
- Letter of motivation
- Employment references
- Letter of recommendation
Yes, you will need proof of advanced English language skills, e.g. Bachelor’s taught in English, TOEFL, IELTS, ESOL CAE or BEC Higher.
If you are a citizen of a country in the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you do not require a visa or other documentation to enter Germany and study here. However, once you arrive and find accommodation, you must register with the local residents’ registration office.
If you are coming from a country other than the ones named above, you will require a visa. For more information specific to your home country, please visit the Federal Foreign Office website.
At PFH University, we offer international students three types of scholarships:
- DAAD Prize
- Deutschland Stipendium/Germany Scholarship
For more information on each of the scholarships, click here.
During your studies, you are generally allowed to do 120 full days or 240 half-days of paid work and take small student jobs. In exceptional circumstances, your local foreigners office may impose further restrictions.
When you compare Germany to other European countries, you’ll find that it’s not very expensive. The living costs are just slightly higher than the EU average, with rent being the largest expense. On average, students in Germany spend around 850 EUR per month (750 EUR in Göttingen for the management degree).