Master´s Program Human Factors Engineering

The Master´s Program Ergonomics - Human Factors Engineering (HFE) traines students in the interdisciplinary field of human factors engineering so they are are able to design and evaluate human-machine-interfaces in different technical domains.

The master's program concisting of 120 ECTS is completed by the Master of Science degree. Under curriculum you can find a detailed list of all modules Further information for those interested in the program are listed below and you can find further information in the course documentation (in german). Here you will find information on the application, the prerequisites and the assessment procedure.

Objective of the Study Program

Modern technical products and processes are characterized by the fact that they

  • support people as efficiently as possible,
  • are simple and convenient to use and
  • have, even in the long term, no harmful effects on humans and the environment.

To realize this is made more difficult by the trend towards ever greater functional diversity and performance density of the technical products and processes. At the same time, society and the modern human being place ever greater demands on comfort, safety and health in the handling of technology. No scientific discipline can still claim to be able to handle this complex interplay of partial competing requirements on its own. An interdisciplinary network of engineering sciences, computer science, psychology, medicine, movement and health sciences - to take only the most important - is necessary. The Master´s Program Ergonomics - Human Factors Engineering is designed to train experts who are able to accomplish this combination.

Graduates are trained for integrative research, able to combine scientific and practical expertise and to reflect on the interactions between technology and social systems.

The demand for people with expertise in the discipline of human factors is increasing steadily. Graduates of the Master's in Human Factors Engineering can find a multitude of tasks needed in professional technical fields, such as:

  • Research and development in the field of man-machine interaction and work science (e.g. in the form of computer modeling and simulation of man-machine systems transfering its findings)
  • Development, design and evaluation of technical products, consumer products, sport products, software and website (ergonomics/usability) in forwarding functions as well as concept development and product leadership (e.g. drive simulators and usability labor)
  • Consulting work in regards to the design of work space or the development of complex man-machine systems (e.g. control room, production machinery, industrial machinery, capital goods, airplanes and cockpits) in concept and design departments
  • Setting a interaction layouts for mobile terminals, including media for information and communication
  • Security management for organizations with a high risk of hazards (e.g. power plants, flight operations, chemical plants, hospitals) in the area of liability, work safety and occupational safety
  • Standardization work
  • Expert reporting on product and system certification


Positions in which HFE alumni work

In general (various industries, e.g. automotive/trucking)

  • Human Factors Consultant
  •  Human Factors Manager
  • Trainee
  • Doctoral student at different departments (different branches)
  • Self-employed (different branches)
  • Agile Coach

Focus on usability software / products

  • Usability Specialist
  • Junior / Senior Ergonomics Researcher
  • System Ergonomist

Focus on User Experience Software / Products / Services

  • Junior / Senior User Experience Researcher
  • Junior / Senior User Experience Designer
  • User Experience Consultant
  • Team Manager Design & User Experience

Focus on IT

  • Technology Consultant / IT Consultant
  • Software Developer / Software Engineer
  • Data Analyst
  • Application Engineer
  • Developer

Focus on Aviation

  • Cockpit Designer
  • Data Analyst

Focus on medical devices

  • Medical Device Developer
  • Medical Device Approval Tester
  • Medical Device Specialist

Focus on Sports

  • Sports Device Developer
  • Sports Device Tester


Application period for Winter Semester: April 1st - May 31st

Application period for Summer Semester: November 1st - January 15th

The application is initially made electronically via TUMonline. After that you will be requested to submit your documents in hardcopy via postal service.

After completion the online application, you will receive a list of the requested documents. Here you can see, among other things, whether these documents are relevant for admission or for enrollment.

Submit your signed application form and all documents relevant for admission until the end of the  application period until 31.05. for Winter Semester and until 15.01. for Summer Semester

All documents relevant for enrollment have to be submitted until 15.08. for Winter Semester and until 15.02. for Summer Semester.

If some documents relevant to enrollment are missing until then, they can be submitted 5 weeks after the lectures begin. You will only be enrolled once all documents are submitted.

You need to hand in a motivation letter (in German) (max. 1-2 DinA-4 page) and the resumé of your Bachelor's Thesis (max. 1 DinA-4 page). The assessment criteia are described in point and of the Annex 2 FPSO of the study program HFE. Please take note of these criteria before you write the texts. Only the permited number of pages will be taken into consideration for the application.

If you do not meet the qualification requirements due to missing achievements in three of the above mentioned subject groups, we recommend that you attend these courses already during your bachelor´s program degree or during a module study program. For further information please contact the contact persons for Human Factors Engineering.


As a prerequisite for applying for the course of studies, the following is necessary:

  • A Bachelor's degree of at least six semesters, obtained at a German or foreign university at least a comparable degree from Mechanical Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Informatics, Architecture, Sports Sciences, Educational Sciences, Psychology or comparable study programs and proof of the second section of the medical examination in medicine
  • successfully passed modules from at least three of the following with a minimum of 4 Credits each: Research methodology, mechanics, construction, mathematical basics, fundamentals of programming, cognitive sciences. (Within the Ergonomics Program, the performance in a fourth of the above-mentioned subjects is to be demonstrated, if there is nothing corresponding.)

Assessment Procedure

All applicants who meet the qualification requirements participate in the two-stage assessment procedure.

First Stage

In the first stage of the suitability procedure, an assessment is carried out on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Average score of the best 140 credits within the bachelor's program (Attention: bachelor's thesis is not taken into account here)
  • Bonus for the best 10 or 20%
  • Short summary of the bachelor's thesis (max. 1 DinA-4 page, only the permited number of pages will be considered for aplication)

      The Bachelor's Thesis abstract will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

1. The work was executed in a scientific and structured manner.
2. The linguistic level is appropriate for a scientific paper and has a factual neutral style. Scientific terms are used correctly. The work has a common theme, which supports the argument.
3. The student comprehensively analyzes their own work and interprets the results with the necessary care. They relate the results of the work to the problem and the researched literature, and they draw apt conclusions (discussion). The arguments are factual and scientifically supported. They also include and discuss opposing positions.
  • Practical experience in ergonomics
  • Letter of Motivation (max. 1-2 DinA-4 page, only the permited number of pages will be considered for aplication)

      The letter of motivation will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

1. The application is formatted in a factual yet appealing manner.
2. The connections between personal interests and the contents of the program are presented in a clear and structured fashion.
3. The particular suitability of the candidate and the candidate’s motivation for the master’s program is convincingly justified through arguments and meaningful examples.
4. The appropriate language is used to highlight the key justifications.
5. German spelling and grammar are used correctly.


Candidates with clear results are admitted directly or rejected directly.

Individuals for whom no clear result can be determined in the first stage will go through the second stage of the suitability procedure.

Second Stage

In the second stage of the suitability procedure, an assessment is carried out on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Average score of the best 140 credits within the bachelor's program (Attention: bachelor's thesis is not taken into account here)
  • Bonus for the best 10 or 20%
  • Short summary of the bachelor's thesis (here the evaluation focuses on scientific criteria and not on experimental or theoretical character)
  • Assessment Interview

Assessment Interview

In the second stage of the assessment test procedure, applicants are invited for a personal interview of minimum 20 and maximum 30 minutes per candidate with a professor at Campus Garching.

The interview is obligatory and will be communicated to the applicant at least one week in advance by e-mail. The interviews for the application for the winter semester 2020/21 will be conducted using a video conferencing service. If candidates do not attend the interview without notice of the above mentioned grounds, the application will be rejected.

Applicants are strongly advised to regularly check their e-mails (possibly also spam folders) as the invitations are sent electronically.

For the summer semester interviews will take place in February and March, for the winter semester in June, July, August and beginning to mid September.

Application Documents

After completion the online application, you will receive a list of the requested documents. Here you can see, among other things, whether these documents are relevant for admission or for enrollment.

The documents have to be submitted timely. Please make sure that you supplement your online data with hard copy documents after admission into the Master course (in particular the signed application form and the certified copies of your diploma and transcript of records).

Student voices

Students' voices on the choice of study program Human Factors Engineering

"Ich habe mich für HFE entschieden, da der Studiengang perfekt zu meinem Bachelorstudiengang Ingenieurpsychologie passt. HFE vereint die Interdisziplinarität, die ich mir für den Master gewünscht habe. Durch die Nähe zur Automobilindustrie mit Fahrsimulator etc. bin ich besonders davon angetan."



"Während meines Bachelorstudiums Maschinenwesen habe ich ein tiefes Verständnis von Technik und ihre Funktionsweise vermittelt bekommen. Aber Technik wurde meist nur im Zusammenhang der Entwicklung betrachtet, dabei ist sie in Interaktion mit dem Menschen besonders interessant. Ich freue mich auf ein interdisziplinäres Studium, in dem ich meinen Horizont erweitern und mehr über Technik im Kontext mit uns Menschen lernen kann."



"Während meiner gesamten Entwicklung bin ich gerne und oft im Kontakt mit Menschen gewesen, die verschiedenste naturwissenschaftliche Studiengänge abgeschlossen oder angestrebt hatten, war selbst interessiert an Mechanik, Informatik und fasziniert an Luft- und Raumfahrt, und wollte „später“ unbedingt in eine Rolle schlüpfen, in der ich nicht nur im engen Kontext einer Disziplin wirken würde, sondern am besten zukunftsweisend neue Schlüsseltechnologien und deren Integration in unsere hochkomplexe Welt erforschen oder erarbeiten könnte. Dass mein ursprüngliches Ziel eines AOW-psychologischen Masters diese Ansprüche nicht optimal erfüllen würden könnte, war mir früh im Studium klar. Glücklicherweise bin ich auch früh auf den Begriff der Human Factors gestoßen.

Human Factors Engineering ist, das ist für mich nach eingehender Orientierung ganz klar, einer der wichtigsten paradigmatischen Ansätze für die angemessene Bewältigung momentan stattfindender Entwicklungen. Automatische Komponenten aller Systeme werden zunehmend komplexer und autonomer, die vierte industrielle Revolution will hochdynamische und vernetzte Fertigung möglich machen und AI-Technologie steht nur am absoluten Anfang ihrer Möglichkeiten. Die Passung dieser Technologien an uns, das unabdingbare Element des Menschen, ist nicht selbstverständlich. Das holistische Menschheitsbild und ergo anfängliches Systemverständnis, das ich während des Psychologiestudiums bilden konnte, hilft dabei, diese Problematik zu erfassen, und in diesem Bereich will ich wirken."



"Nach mehrjähriger Tätigkeit als Ingenieurin in der Industrie kann ich bestätigen, dass Mitarbeiter- und Kundenzufriedenheit und somit Unternehmenserfolge signifikant gesteigert werden können, wenn Ingenieure interdisziplinär denken und nutzerzentriert Produkte entwickeln. Ein Bedarf an Experten, die diese Fähigkeiten und ein umfangreiches Methodikwissen mitbringen, steigt meiner Einschätzung nach stetig. Der Masterstudiengang HFE bietet mir die beste Möglichkeit, um mich auf dem Arbeitsmarkt als Human Factors Experte positionieren zu können."



"Als Bachelorabsolventin des Studiengangs Automotive Systems Engineering hat mir in meinem bisherigen Studium der Faktor Mensch gefehlt. Deshalb freue ich mich, dass ich mit dem Human Factors Engineering Master im Rahmen vieler Wahlmöglichkeiten meinen Automobilschwerpunkt beibehalten und trotzdem interdisziplinäre Kompetenzen erlangen darf. Ich möchte zu meinen erlernten technischen Fähigkeiten nun vor allem Psychologie-Kompetenzen aufbauen, um die Mensch-System-Interaktion in Hinblick auf das Automobil noch besser untersuchen und verstehen zu können. Ich freue mich außerdem auf einen spannenden Austausch und Diskussionen mit meinen Kommilitonen aus den unterschiedlichen Fachrichtungen."



"Bereits für mein Bachelor-Studium User Experience Design habe ich mich aus dem Grund entschieden, dass die Interaktion zwischen Mensch und (technischem) Produkt hier aus vielen verschiedenen Blickwinkeln, also sehr interdisziplinär, betrachtet wird. Dass die TUM mit dem Master in Human Factors Engineering eine wahnsinnig breit gefächerte Auswahl an Disziplinen und Modulen abdeckt, hat mich dann motiviert, mich für genau diesen Master zu bewerben. Ich habe das Gefühl, in diesem Studium das "Handwerkszeug" zu erlernen, um menschzentrierte Produkte zu entwickeln, die einen großen Mehrwert für Nutzer bieten können. Besonders begeistert mich der Mobilitätssektor, daher finde ich es toll, dass dazu mehrere Vorlesungen und Seminare angeboten werden, wie z.B. Fahrerassistenzsysteme im Kraftfahrzeug oder Human Factors of Automated and Cooperative Driving."