International Programmes 2020/2021

MSc Data Analytics and Decision Science (DDS) MSc Data Analytics and Decision Science (DDS)

RWTH Aachen University • Aachen

Master of Science
Teaching language
  • English

Courses are held in English (100%). Additional German language courses are provided at no extra cost.

Programme duration
4 semesters
Winter semester
More information on beginning of studies
October of each year (Welcome events start in September.)
Application deadline

Non-EU applicants: 1 March of each year for the following winter semester
EU applicants: 15 July of each year for the following winter semester

Tuition fees per semester in EUR
Additional information on tuition fees

30,000 EUR for the entire programme

Combined Master's degree / PhD programme
Joint degree / double degree programme

Algorithm economy, data-driven decision making, industry 4.0, deep learning, artificial intelligence, optimisation, data analytics, decision science – these are just some of the phrases that we read in the headlines with increasing frequency. The world is on the brink of a new industrial revolution, one in which data, algorithms, and analytical thinking will be the key ingredients of value creation, ingredients that global leaders now recognise as their most valuable assets.

Enterprises tackling the challenges of tomorrow need to develop new data-centric strategies and leadership, and crucially, must ensure that they attract the most qualified personnel at all levels in the organisation, personnel who have the skills to put data-driven approaches into practice and create value for business from data.

Innovation springs from the brightest minds. Become a leader of tomorrow by joining our new Master of Science in Data Analytics and Decision Science (DDS). The DDS is positioned at the intersection of data analytics and operations research. Our courses bring together expertise from a wide range of fields: mathematical optimisation, machine learning, heuristic algorithm, design and simulation. Electives and domain specialisations will give you a competitive advantage in your chosen field. Designed for professionals with a STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) background, the DDS begins with the fundamentals and takes you right up to the cutting-edge of data analytics and decision science as well as exact and heuristic optimisation. A practical analytics project will give you hands-on experience tackling real-world problems. Electives and the chosen specialisation will allow you to develop comprehensive domain knowledge and subject matter expertise in engineering and a range of application areas and industry sectors.

Course organisation

The MSc Data Analytics and Decision Science programme offers a comprehensive programme of cutting-edge courses and is designed as a full-time experience over the course of two years (four semesters). It consists of seven key building blocks, some of which can be customised to meet your individual needs and interests.

DDS Essentials (10 CP to be completed in semester 1) The “DDS Essentials” consist of two courses that cover and refresh relevant essentials in mathematics, statistics, algorithms and data structures.

Data Analytics (10 CP to be completed in semesters 1 and 2) The “Predictive Modelling” module covers the fundamentals of data handling and data quality issues, predictive modelling and validation of business and use cases as well as evaluation of predictions. The “Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence” course will focus on the fundamentals and cutting edge developments in machine and deep learning.

Decision Science (15 CP to be completed in semesters 1 and 2) This block consists of three modules: The “Optimisation Models” module introduces the concepts behind building state-of-the-art decision models. The “Design and Analysis of Algorithms” module focuses on modern methods to solve these optimisation models. The “Heuristic Optimisation” module covers the fundamentals of metaheuristics and the challenges encountered when designing high-performance heuristics for complex planning tasks in different domains.

Analytics Project (10 CP to be completed in semester 2) The analytics project is a practical exercise that complements the lectures from the Decision Science and Data Analytics blocks. Teams of three to six students work together on an analytics project with a practical orientation and go through almost the entire analytics process using machine learning and optimisation techniques.

Management Electives (10 CP to be completed in semester 2) You will choose from a pool of elective courses to deepen your managerial competences.

Technology Electives (5 CP to be completed in semester 2) You will choose from a pool of elective courses to deepen your technological knowledge and skills.

Internship or Study Abroad (15 CP to be completed in semester 3) You will apply your skills in an industry work placement at a global enterprise, such as Deutsche Post DHL, PTV Group or others, or deepen your knowledge by studying at an international university.

Application Areas (15 CP to be completed in semester 3) Gain detailed insight into the following domains: Digital Operations and Supply Chain Management, Optimisation of Logistics Systems, Energy & Climate

Master's Thesis (30 CP to be completed in semester 4)

German Language Courses (one course to be completed in semesters 1 or 2) As an extra offer within the DDS programme, we give you the option to complete a German language course (either in semester 1 or 2) to broaden your cultural understanding and enhance your career options. The costs for the course are covered by your tuition fees.

(Preliminary curriculum, might be subject to change)

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International elements
  • Language training provided
  • International comparisons and thematic reference to the international context
  • Projects with partners in Germany and abroad
Integrated internships

An internship is to be completed in the third semester. Apply your skills in an industry work placement at a global enterprise, such as Deutsche Post DHL, PTV Group or others.

Course-specific, integrated German language courses
Course-specific, integrated English language courses
The course of study can be taken entirely online
Digital learning and teaching modules
  • Virtual classrooms
  • Video learning
  • Online seminar
  • Chats with lecturers
Description of e-learning elements

Although our DDS programme is planned to take place completely on-campus, we are nevertheless able to adapt the delivery mode to current situations (e.g. like with COVID-19) using digital learning and teaching formats. We will offer you a safe start of your studies – be it on campus or online depending on future developments. As we have been working with blended learning in most of our courses already, we are quite experienced with video lectures, screencasts or interactive online seminars. We are prepared to offer the programme entirely digital – at least for as long as the situation demands it. Check out our website for recent news and updates.

Participation in the e-learning course elements is compulsory
Can ECTS points be acquired by taking the online programmes?
Can the e-learning elements be taken without signing up for the course of study?
Tuition fees per semester in EUR
Additional information on tuition fees

30,000 EUR for the entire programme

Semester contribution
All students at RWTH Aachen University are subject to the current semester fee of approx. 290 EUR per semester. It includes, among other benefits, a semester ticket covering public transport in the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
Funding opportunities within the university
Description of the above-mentioned funding opportunities within the university
The RWTH Business School offers several partial scholarships of up to 2,500 EUR to be awarded for academic excellence, leadership and entrepreneurship in the field of technology and social engagement. The scholarships have been designed to support highly qualified students in pursuing a Master's degree programme at RWTH Business School and cover up to 2,500 EUR of the tuition fees for the DDS programme.

Application requirements:
- reference letter from a professor/adviser (maximum one page)
- application form
Please submit your application online together with your application for the Master's programme.

Additionally, we will assess your previous academic performance and award the partial scholarships to the best applicants. Please note that the committee's decision will be final and is not subject to legal recourse.

For more information, have a closer look at:
Academic admission requirements

RWTH Business School is looking for applicants who have a background in a technological area and at least a Bachelor's of Engineering or Science degree in a STEM field (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

Applicants need at least:

  • 125 credit points in mathematics and/or natural sciences (e.g., physics, chemistry, computer science, or similar)
  • 15 credit points in the fields of higher mathematics or statistics, database and information systems, programming, algorithms and data structures, complexity theory, quantitative methods / operations research
  • twelve months of professional work experience

Please refer to our step-by-step application guide on our homepage for further details.

Language requirements

Certified proof of your competence in the English language is required through the completion of one of the accepted examinations listed below:

  • TOEFL Internet-based minimum of 90 points
  • IELTS test, minimum overall band 5.5
  • Cambridge Test - Certificate in Advanced English (CAE)
  • First Certificate in English (FCE), completed with a B
  • Placement test of RWTH Aachen University's language centre (B2)

For German applicants: English at level B2 (can be proven by the "Abiturzeugnis", please check our homepage.)

Application deadline

Non-EU applicants: 1 March of each year for the following winter semester
EU applicants: 15 July of each year for the following winter semester

Submit application to

Possibility of finding part-time employment

International students may take up work in the private sector during the semester or the semester break for up to three months without having obtained a work permit. Therefore, students may take up full-time work for 120 days or part-time positions for 240 days. This regulation is also stated on the residence permit. During the semester, students are allowed to take up jobs with working hours of up to 19 hours a week.
Student assistants are more flexible regarding working hours.


Availability of university accommodation in Aachen is limited. Therefore, participation in individual allocation procedures is usually required. Because of the demand for university accommodation, it can be necessary to switch to the private accommodation market.
Especially family and couples apartments are very high in demand, so that accommodation from the private market is seemingly mandatory. The majority of RWTH Aachen University's students are committed to the private accommodation market.
There are a number of options for finding private accommodation in and around Aachen. Accommodation on the private market is priced between 290 EUR and 550 EUR per month, of course depending on the size and the number of rooms.
For short-term accommodation, there are many hotels, a few youth hostels, and a boardinghouse located in and around Aachen (reservation is recommended).

The International Academy and the RWTH Business School provide some rooms for international students in a flat-sharing community.

Career advisory service

Our Career Service offers support in the form of advice, events or contacts. For instance, it gives students access to a broad network of business contacts and co-operation partners in all sectors of the economy – from start-ups to SMEs and global players – both nationally and internationally.

For more information, check out our homepage.

Specific specialist or non-specialist support for international students and doctoral candidates
  • Accompanying programme
  • Specialist counselling
  • Visa matters
  • Welcome event

RWTH Aachen University

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RWTH Business School’s leitmotif, “The Technological Edge”, stands for unique graduate and executive education that is made in Germany as well as for outstanding programmes at the intersection of management and technology. RWTH Business School provides management education for executives and young professionals and builds on the academic excellence of RWTH Aachen University and its School of Business and Economics. Located at the heart of Germany’s leading university of technology, we offer programmes that focus on developing technology leaders and entrepreneurs who are able to leverage emerging technologies into viable and socially responsible business models. 

Key facts:

  • year founded: 2016 (first programmes offered in 2004)
  • number of students: more than 250
  • percentage of international students: 75
  • number of degree programmes: 4 (Executive MBA, MME TIME, DDS, TENT)
  • number of certificate programmes: up to 30
  • alumni: 220
  • number of staff: 12

University location

One of the highlights of our Business School is its location on the RWTH Aachen campus. Research and teaching in Aachen are first and foremost application oriented and targeted at finding practical solutions to real-world challenges. Visible evidence of this is the RWTH Aachen campus, which is being developed in close cooperation with industry and will form one of the largest research parks in Europe.

The RWTH Aachen campus creates a unique symbiosis between the world of research and the world of business. On the campus, interdisciplinary teams of researchers work closely with industry consortia in state-of-the-art buildings that have been explicitly designed and constructed for that purpose. The companies involved share resources with university institutes, exchange knowledge directly on site, and collaborate on innovations for the future. More than 280 companies are currently represented on the RWTH Aachen campus.

Research activities on the campus are structured into long-term clusters, with each cluster located in a different building. A total of 16 clusters are under development, the six initial clusters include the Bio-Medical Engineering cluster, the Sustainable Energy cluster, the Photonics cluster, the Production Engineering cluster, the Heavy-Duty Drives cluster and the Smart Logistics cluster.

The campus project at RWTH Aachen University expands the traditional sphere of pure academic research and provides an ideal environment for innovation. The university will therefore be able to face future global challenges on a much broader scale.

All central facilities and most classrooms of the Business School are located on the RWTH Aachen campus, allowing students to experience the exciting intersection of management and technology first-hand and on a daily basis.