Specialisation in the Key Technology Field of CFRP

Lightweight Engineering & Composites, Master of Science

Professor Dr.-Ing. Wilm F. Unckenbold
Professor Unckenbold ist Dozent an der PFH Göttingen und unterrichtet im Lightweight Eingineering-Studium an der PFH, er trägt ein helles Hemd und einen dunklen Anzug.
Studierende im Master-Studium Lightweight Engineering diskutieren über ein Modell von Windkraftanlagen im Studium an der PFH Stade.

Engineering with lightweight structures

The demand for lightweight constructions and fibre-reinforced composite materials is growing. Lightweight engineering is about achieving weight reduction in materials, components, and constructions without compromising on safety, durability, or other essential characteristics. It is an essential part in industries such as automotive, marine, e-mobility, wind energy, and machine construction. Benefits of lightweight constructions include fuel efficiency, increased payload capacity, enhanced performance, or lower environmental impact.  

The particular focus of the study programme is on both carbon fibre-reinforced plastics (CFRP, informally known as "carbon") and glass fibre-reinforced plastics (GFRP). Such materials can be found in consumer electronics, satellite components, semiconductor manufacturing and sporting goods to name a few. Especially the CFRP branch is forecasted to grow at 10% each year. The study programme Lightweight Engineering & Composites is for engineers who like to develop in this area - one which has a high demand in the labour market.  

The study programme will prepare you for the German and international lightweight engineering industry. Our campus in Stade is at the heart of the Stade Technology Centre, where companies like Airbus, EADS, and the Fraunhofer Institute, offering you unique networking opportunities. 

If you are already employed and wish to pursue the studies part-time, that option is also available. Further information can be found below. 

All facts about the programme


Master of Science
60 ECTS (Part-Time)
90 ECTS (Triple-Award)

Entry requirement

Degree in engineering or mathematical science with above-average marks and at least one year of field-related professional experience

Length of study

3 semesters (1,5 years)

Tuition fees

€7,200 per semester (Tripe-Award);
€1,000 admin and enrolment fee (one-time fee)
€1,000 examination fee (one-time fee)

Study location

Stade (near Hamburg)

Start dates

October 1st each year

Study content

We want to equip our students with the knowledge and skills that will provide a smooth transition into the German industry. Today's industry, expects engineers to have more than just technological expertise. In addition to lightweight engineering and composites, our program includes courses in management, automated manufacturing processes, digital factory planning, and circular economy. On the technical side, you will learn about the production of composite materials and their applications in constructions.  

Because we believe that theoretical knowledge is good, but understanding why you need it is just as important, we create a good balance between theory and practice. This means that the theory that we cover has a connection to its practical application. That way, you will also have the oppurtunity of being directly employed in the field.  

Studierende sitzen in der Vorlesung und lernen die Inhalte im Studium

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

Am I eligible for the Lightweight Engineering & Composites Master's programme?

Admission requirements

  • A bachelor’s degree in engineering or mathematical science with above-average grade
  • At least one year of field-related professional experience


Language requirements

  • TOEFL iBT 86
  • IELTS 6.5
  • Duolingo
  • i.e. other English language
    confirmation certificate
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Would you like to know more?

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

    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.

  • Product Development

    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.

  • Entrepreneurship

    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.

  • Mechanical Engineering

    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.

Karriere Lightweight Engineering Technologie 2

Job Guarantee

Since there are plenty of job openings in the German job market, we are confident our students will find jobs quickly after they finish studying. That's why we're offering a 20% refund on full tuition fees if they don't land a job within 9 months of graduating.


To be eligible for the refund, the student must have:

  • successfully completed their studies within the regular study period.
  • shown proof of a B2 level German language proficiency in form of a certificate.
  • defended their Master’s thesis in German.
  • achieved a minimum thesis grade of 2.5.

Choose your path

Triple-Award Programme (full-time) 

This is the general full-time study programme (90 ECTS), designed for international students. Today’s engineers are expected not only to possess technological knowledge but also to bridge the gap between business and engineering. Due to the fact that we aim to equip our international students with the necessary skills and knowledge to meet the demands of the German industry, the triple award programme includes additional courses in management and intensive German language courses. Because German is the main language for internal communication in German companies, we highly encourage you to gain at least basic German language skills. 

Part-time programme 

The part-time programme in Lightweight Engineering & Composites is designed for engineers who are currently working in Germany and wish to specialise in this field. This version of the study is carries 60 ECTS. You will have four lecture blocks, each with a duration of 16 days as well as a weekend course ending with assignments and tests. You will finish your studies with a Master’s thesis and oral defence. The study content of the part-time programme is the same as the core content of the full-time programme. 

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FAQ – the most frequently asked questions

At PFH University, you can apply at any time.

  • Application form via our website
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Letter of motivation
  • School leaving certificate (University Entrance Certificate)
  • Bachelor's degree certificate (or provisional certificate, if not yet awarded)
  • Transcript of records for your Bachelor's degree
  • Proof of English proficiency (minimum B2 level)
    • English language certificate: TOEFL iBT 86, IELTS 6.5, Duolingo, or equivalent.
    • Document stating that the medium of instruction of your Bachelor’s course was English.
  • Proof of one year of work experience, such as an official written statement from the company.
    • For applicants of Lightweight Engineering & Composites: at least one year’s work experience in Engineering or Engineering-related fields is mandatory
  • Copy of passport
  • Digital photo for your university card

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:

  1. STIBET-Programmes
  2. DAAD Prize
  3. 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.

International students coming to Germany have two options when it comes to accommodation: student halls of residence and private accommodation. For more information, you can visit the Accommodation Finder from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research or contact our international office.

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).

Questions - always welcome

Do you still have questions about your studies? We are by your side! Our consulting team can be reached under the following contact options.