Human-Technology Interaction and Communication B.Sc.

 

Key Info

Basic Information

Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Start of Studies:
Winter Semester
Standard Period of Studies:
6 semesters
ECTS Credits:
180Mehr Informationen

What does that mean?

ECTS are credit points that measure the workload of one's studies.

Language:
German and English

Admission Requirements

  • Abitur or equivalent HZB Mehr Informationen

    What does that mean?

    General higher education entrance qualification (Abitur), subject specific university entrance qualification, or an equally recognized university entrance qualification (HZB)

  • Proficiency in German and English --- Mehr Informationen ---

    What does that mean?

    --- Zur Einschreibung in diesen Studiengang muessen Sie Kenntnisse in allen Unterrichtssprachen nachweisen. Details regelt die Pruefungsordnung. ---

Admission to First Semester

Open
No NC

Admission to Higher Semesters

Open
No NC

Enrollment Requirements

  • SelfAssessment --- Mehr Informationen ---

    SelfAssessment

    RWTH Aachen self assessments are online advising processes for deciding what to study. Participation in one (rarely two) of these self assessments is mandatory. You can find which self assessment you need to take for this subject in the course of study description under "Prerequisites". You will need to show proof of participation in a subject specific self assessment in order to enroll (not to apply). You can print out the participation certificate yourself.

  • Pre-Program Internship --- Mehr Informationen ---

    Pre-Program Internship

    Only for Human-Technology Interaction and Communication with "Fundamentals of Mechanical Engineering": a six week pre-internship before the start of studies in accordance with the guidelines in the appendix of the exam regulations

Dates and Deadlines

 

If technical advances are to live up to their potential and actually benefit people, then highly complex technical content must be made comprehensible and viable with target group-appropriate communication.

The quality of human-technology interaction and communication when it comes to technical products and technological innovations will, in the future, be one of the most important benchmarks with regard to measuring the quality of technical advances. That which is not geared towards users and is not understood by them won't be bought, supported, or accepted, and it won't receive political representation. In short: Whatever is not user-friendly will not be used!

This fact is immediately understood when considering those technical developments whose advantages are not entirely obvious at first glance or are perceived as risky. For instance, the German energy transition plan is certainly viable from a technical point of view, but only specific target group-appropriate communication can lead to its general acceptance and to the political will to make it happen. Knowing all about and fully understanding how technology is perceived, communicated, and accepted by different target groups in all their diversity is thus becoming a decisive factor in our society.

This crucial junction, where technology and people come together, is the workplace of professionals with technical and communication science know-how. Since problems with technology-related interaction and communication can only be solved in interdisciplinary dialog, these specialists have to be well-versed in both worlds of thought – humanistic and technical/scientific – to be able to act confidently. They use their knowledge and skills to better understand human-technology interaction in all its facets and to prepare technical content for different target groups, media, and tasks in a user-friendly way.

Unique throughout Germany, RWTH's Human-Technology Interaction and Communication course of study offers students an interdisciplinary degree program that delivers an excellent education by combining the humanities on the one hand with engineering aspects on the other. The structure and orientation of this course of study is based on giving the two subjects Communication Sciences and Technical Science – equal weight, the latter being subdivided into two different disciplines:

  • Fundamentals of Computer Science: The subject Fundamentals of Computer Sciences provides students with the skills to analyze, design, and implement information processing systems.
  • Fundamentals of Mechanical Engineering: As a classical form of engineering, Fundamentals of Mechanical Engineering focuses on the development, production, and operation of technical facilities and products on the basis of physical fundamentals.
 

Degree Content

The bachelor’s program is oriented toward teaching fundamental technical principles and methods. Alongside this, students can choose specializations with their particular career goals in mind. Interdisciplinary courses are integrated into the program, interlocking the two subjects studied.

Curriculum

Communication Science

Introduction to Linguistics, Introduction to Communication Science, Oral Communication, Grammar, Semantics, Pragmatics,Textual Linguistics, Empirical Research Methods, Risk Communication in Professional Contexts, Engineering and Society, Social and Cognitive Psychology, (Academic) Work in Human-Technology Interaction and Communication (MTIK), Interdisciplinary Perspectives in MTIK, Research Internship, English.

with Computer Science

Details

Introduction to Programming for Data-Based Sciences, Principles of Computer Science, Differential and Integral Calculus, Linear Algebra, Algorithms and Data Structures, Computer Engineering, Discrete Structures, Practical Computer Science, Operating Systems and Systems Software, Formal Systems, Automata and Processes, Software Engineering, Designing Interactive Systems, and Computer Science Electives.

with Mechanical Engineering

Details

Differential and Integral Calculus, Linear Algebra, Mechanics, Machine Cesign, CAD, Computer Science in Mechanical Engineering, Metrology lab, Communication and Organizational Development, Thermodynamics, Quality and Project Management, Business Engineering, Engineering elective module and career-oriented topic modules.

You can find details about the program layout in the current examination regulations.

Foreign Language

As part of the Human-Technology Interaction and Communication course of study English classes are offered right from the first semester of studies. Participation is mandatory, even if students already posess excellent English language skills. Coursework will not be graded, however.

Practical Experience

Only the combination with Fundamentals in Mechanical Engineering requires documentation of having completed a pre-internship in order to register for the course of study. In Communication Science studies, all students must complete an internal 4-week research internship at an institute or in a research project at RWTH.

Programs Abroad

The Human-Technology Interaction and Communication course of study offers a great variety of study abroad programs, because students can profit from the international cooperations of the different faculties. With the help of the EU-mobility program ERASMUS students can take part in subject specific offers at partner universities all throughout Europe. Furthermore, students can visit universities worldwide – in particular with the help of different faculties' own partnership agreements. Many students complete their company internship during their master studies within an international context.

In addition to the exchange programs coordinated by the faculties, students at RWTH also profit from the university's strategic partnership programs with other international universities. They can complete some of their course work during short stays at an IDEA League university, for instance. The UROP Abroad-Program, which is unique in all of Germany, offers the opportunity to take part in research projects at international universities during the bachelor stage of studies already. RWTH promotes and partly funds these stays abroad.

You can find all of RWTH's partnership programs on the website for Study Abroad.

 

Prerequisites

Personal Prerequisites

The willingness to engage in both the world of technology and the world of language/communication, is an essential prerequisite for success in the Human-Technology Interaction and Communication course of study.

Prospective students should have very good math and speaking skills, as well as very good German skills – both oral and written. They should be interested in working with texts and analyzing (socio-) technical as well as communication-theoretical problems. An independent and egaged work style is expected. Particularly with regard to the technical areas of the course of studies, a thourough refresher in the fields of mathematics and the natural sciences is well-advised. In order to help complete or further step up your knowledge, RWTH also offers a bridge course at the beginning of your studies.

Language Requirements

The courses in this degree program are offered partly in German and partly in English. Therefore, before taking up studies, students must prove that they have English language skills at level B2 according to the “Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).” As a rule, this proof is provided by the German Abitur certificate.

Enrollment Prerequisites

1. Two RWTH Self Assessments:

  • "Humanities, Linguistics, and Communication Studies"
  • additionally, for the combination with Fundamentals of Mechanical Engineering, the "Mechanical Engineering" Self Assessment
  • additionally, for the combination with Fundamentals of Computer Science, the "Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, and Computer Engineering" Self Assessment
  • additionally, for the combination with Fundamentals of Materials Engineering, the "Georesources and Materials Engineering" Self Assessment

2. Pre-internship only for "Fundamentals of Mechanical Engineering"

Six week internship in accordance with the internship guidelines. Detailed information is available from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering Internship Office. There you can also find out, what to do if you cannot fulfill the pre-internship requirement.

 

Media Library

Do you want more ideas and impressions? Use the diverse ways of getting information! You can find our recommendations in the media library.

 

Career Prospects

Experts in human-technology interaction, user-friendly technology design, and teaching technical content possess a dual qualification in high demand in industry and economy. Since these experts are competent in both linguistic communication skills and technological know-how, they work where language and technology intersect and where they can function as transfer specialists.

RWTH graduates are particularly active in the areas of conceptual design, organization, and consulting. They plan and regulate the transmission of information on several different levels – from expert to expert or expert to layperson. They manage the information and communication processes surrounding technical products or projects. Within companies, they are positioned at the junction between departments with diverging specialized knowledge – for instance, between production and development of production and sales – or they design and conceptualize materials for continuing education or other training courses. In public relations, they develop internet portals and communicative web services or they prepare trade-show materials.

In the area of user experience/user interface design, they analyze the user-friendliness of software programs or user interfaces and, on the basis thereof, develop quality standards. For instance, they conduct so-called usability tests to find weaknesses in the design of user interfaces and then advise product developers about them.

Communications experts are also employed in the fields of technical documentation and specialized journalism.

 

Master's Degree Prospects

After completing a bachelor’s degree, it is possible to build on it with a master’s in Human-Technology Interaction and Communication at RWTH. Here, the proven combination of communication science and a technical subject also plays a predominant role. The field of specialization chosen during bachelor studies is carried on through the master studies. Students can also choose to pursue a master’s degree in the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology. This faculty offers a program that builds on the bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and Information Technology.

In the technical subjects, students get to choose between different concentrations; in communication science, they can focus on individual subjects. In this way, the particular design of the course of study allows the students to build their own specific career profiles.

 

Module Handbook and Examination Regulations

The module handbook provides a description of all modules of a degree program and offers a comprehensive insight into the program contents.

The examination regulations are comprised of legally binding provisions on learning objectives, prerequisites for study, the course structure and processes, and examination procedures.

Regulations that generally apply to all Bachelor's and Master's degree programs, including information on language proficiency requirements, can be found in RWTH's General Examination Regulations. These general regulations are further specified and complemented by the subject-specific examination regulations.

If two examination regulations are valid for a degree program during a transition phase, the most current version shall apply to students enrolling in the program for the first time.

Please note that only the German examination regulations are legally binding. The English translations of the examination regulations are intended solely as a convenience to international students.

Module Handbook - not yet published
Subject Specific Exam Regulations
RWTH’s General Examination Regulation

 

Faculties

The course of study in Human-Technology Interaction and Communication is offered by the Institute of Linguistics and Communication Science of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities in cooperation with those faculties that offer the technical fundamentals:

Faculty of Mechanical Engineering

Faculty of Mathematics, Computer Science and Natural Science

The Institute of Linguistics and Communication Science at RWTH is an institute with an interdisciplinary approach to studies in that it combines the expert knowledge from the two different areas of linguistics and communication science. In both research and in teaching, the focus lies on the particular processes of communication and interaction in the context of technology and society.

Areas such as design, use and usability of electronic media, or the perception of technology, its acceptance, and its communication are at the core of a great number of research projects, which are executed with partners from the engineering sciences and manufacturing.