Complementary Subject Area Digital Science

The Complementary Subject Area Digital Science (Ergänzung Digital Science), with a total of 30 ECTS credits, is offered to bachelor's and master's students from a wide range of backgrounds. 

Goal: The Complementary Subject Area Digital Science is designed to augment the students’ skill set and open the door to new career opportunities in the age of digitalisation. It provides a solid foundation in digitalisation relevant to students’ disciplines. It conveys generic skills required for automated data analysis and offers a selection of courses on specific technologies, methods, and aspects related to students’ majors. Finally, it offers the opportunity to conduct a complete data-based decision-making process under the individual supervision of our teachers. To assure high effectiveness of learning, interdisciplinary groups are kept small and vary from 20 to 40 students.

Expected learning outcome: Upon successful completion of the Complementary Subject Area Digital Science, students are capable of applying fundamental methods in the field of digital science. They understand methods and techniques from the fields of programming, data management, and data analysis. They are aware of the broad context of digitalisation. They are able to apply techniques of digital science to their field. 

Structure and content overview 

The Complementary Subject Area Digital Science combines information technology skills and mathematical and statistical knowledge all embedded in the substantive expertise from students’ majors. 

  • Information technology skills are required to manage data, to automate processes, and to make them replicable. 
  • Mathematical and statistical knowledge is necessary to understand and meaningfully apply statistical models and machine learning methods. 
  • The substantive expertise is needed to be able to find sources of data and meaningfully interpret results obtained from the analysis of data.

The package consists of five modules with, in total, six courses of 5 ECTS credits each. Half of the courses focus on generic skills (1-3.a) and half on domain-specific skills and applications (3.b-5). 




The following learning outcomes are expected upon the successful completion of the particular modules.

Module 1: Introduction to Programming: Students understand the basics of a programming language used in the field of data analysis. They have acquired the ability to use the most important control flow and data structures in the programming language in order to develop their own programmes.

Module 2: Introduction to Data Management: Students understand the basics of data management used in the field of data analysis. They are able to deal with data and metadata systematically and have the ability to organise and manipulate data. In addition, they have learned selected aspects of conversion, quality assurance, reuse, and retention of data.

Module 3: Data Analysis: Students understand the basics of data analysis. They have acquired the ability to apply selected methods of data analysis and are capable of interpreting data and presenting it verbally and visually.

Module 4: Aspects of Digitalisation: Students know selected topics relevant to digitalisation in their discipline. These topics include, but are not limited to, aspects related to humanities, social sciences, and economics but also more general ethical and legal aspects. Students have acquired the ability to apply the methods related to the topics they learned to their discipline.

Module 5: Data Analysis Lab: Students apply the methods of data analysis they have learned within individual projects. They lead an exemplary data-based decision-making process from inquiry through data analysis and data interpretation to the evaluation of data-based decisions. They are able to conduct a similar process in their field of study.

Admission and References

30etcs-creditsThe Complementary Subject Area Digital Science can be taken within bachelor's and master's programmes without any restrictions as to students’ backgrounds or prior experience. It offers flexibility in content and structure to meet the needs of diverse academic programmes. Moreover, the courses are offered mostly at off-peak hours. 

There are two options to take courses:

  • as the complete package of 30 ECTS credits if a major incorporates complementary subject areas, 
  • as individual courses (5 ECTS credits each) within the module Non-disciplinary/Interdisciplinary Skills and the module Individual Choice of Specialisation.

It is possible to initially take individual courses and have them accredited later when a student's major incorporates complementary subject areas. Deans of study may provide information about future integration plans. 


For more information please check the following resources:

  • The list of the current and upcoming courses given by DiSC’s teachers can be found in the course catalogue, our books can be accessed via DiSCDown.
  • For study-related issues, please subscribe to DiSC@OLAT, which was created as an information exchange platform for students interested in courses related to digitalisation. There, we provide a list of currently open and planned courses, suggested studying order, news, a discussion forum, and more.

  • A comprehensive article (in German) about the launch of the Complementary Subject Area Digital Science was published in January 2020. Additionally, check the press section for more articles about teaching.

Nach oben scrollen