First of all, the bachelors’ degree courses in computer science are currently only taught in German at our faculty. The only international computer science degree is the (heavily mathematical) masters’ degree in Scientific Computing. So, if you plan on studying at Heidelberg University, you’ll have to consider learning at least enough German to understand spoken word lectures on Computer Science. However, we’ll be happy to help you with the formalities of German bureaucracy to the best of our abilities. But please consider that we are representing the student body in our free time and thus will have limited capabilities on those matters.
Hint: In this article the terms Computer Science and Informatics are used interchangeably.
Computer Science is everywhere. Finance, mobility, healthcare – hardly any field gets around it today. It’s influencing how we interact as individuals and has become an important factor in shaping our society. That’s why getting an Informatics degree is the right choice if you want to understand the interaction between hardware and software, develop machine learning algorithms and understand the impact on society of the all-present devices and software around us. At Heidelberg University, you will learn the mathematical and theoretical basics of these concepts and get started on some of the common programming languages before you specialize in areas like Machine Learning or Visual Computing. To acquire these skills you’ll have to bring along the ability to stick to a problem for a while and the interest to solve it by systematically modeling the problem itself and finding effective ways to handle it. Also, you should have or develop an interest in other subjects (application areas!) than computer science itself, like medicine or biology.
Computer Science is not…
…gaming, website development, hacking and so on. Sure, those concepts incorporate Computer Science. But those won’t be your focus in a bachelors’ degree course.
At Heidelberg University you can study Applied Computer Science (Angewandte Informatik) either as a single subject (100%) or in combination with a second subject (50%). Compared to other universities, the courses in Heidelberg are rather theoretical. The prefix applied (single subject) doesn’t actually denote practical relevance but rather that about a sixth of your courses have to be chosen from another faculty. That’s where you’re supposed to apply your abilities as a computer scientist. The bachelors degree at our university includes a substantial amount of mathematical education.
For students who choose another subject along with Computer Science (50%), those courses at other faculties are not relevant for their degree. With this 50-50-model, however, you will have the choice to opt-in for a teaching degree (links to German website) in both your chosen subjects or simply study both of them alongside.
There are three masters’ courses in Computer Science. Applied Computer Science and Technical Computer Science, both taught only in German, as well as the international masters’ course in Scientific Computing, which is taught mainly in English.