Data Engineering

On this degree programme, you combine software engineering, machine learning and analytics and become a sought-after expert in software and data engineering.

You can complete the practice-driven degree programme either full- or part-time with a choice of German/English or French/English, which prepares you optimally for the fastest-growing job profiles on the digitalised labour market.

The head of the programme Prof. Dr. Erik Graf presents the BSc in Data Engineering

Start your studies in autumn 2024.


  • Title/Degree Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Data Engineering
  • Specialisations Applied Data Analytics
    Machine Learning Engineering
  • Mode of study Full-time (6 semesters)
    Part-time or work-study programme (8 semesters)
  • Start date 16 September 2023
  • Application deadline 31 July 2024
  • ECTS credits 180 ECTS
  • Teaching language German/English and French/English
  • Location Biel
  • School School of Engineering and Computer Science

Focus areas

Gain in-depth knowledge of software engineering and machine learning. Combining your skills will enable you to realise intelligent applications and data pipelines in all key application fields.

What you will gain with your degree

The degree programme offers an ideal foundation for the fastest-growing job profiles in the context of machine intelligence and software development.

You will learn to design and implement software in a practice-focused setting. From the very first semester, you will have the opportunity to combine these skills with your growing knowledge of machine learning, based on the Living Lab approach. The combination of these core areas opens up a ready, future-proof landscape of career prospects for you upon graduating.


The modular programme allows you to set the direction of your future career path from the midpoint of the course by selecting precisely the specialisations you need. Completing the bachelor’s thesis in your chosen specialisation means you get to implement exciting projects in practice, applying the skills you have acquired along the way.

The specialisations reflect the development in the use of machine intelligence in industry, focussing on the key areas where this technology is deployed. This allows you to add knowledge in machine learning and analytics to the software engineering skills you have already gained, with an eye on the career path you would like to pursue.

The Bachelor of Science in Data Engineering programme with a specialisation in Applied Data Analytics focuses on producing and presenting valuable findings based on data sources and analytical workflows. Your in-depth knowledge of statistical analysis and modelling enables you to select the right analytical approaches and apply logical processes to obtain data for business and society in established application scenarios. The range of applications is constantly expanding, and ranges from analysing and predicting customer behaviour, to the targeted optimisation and forecasting of logical processes, to modelling and knowledge acquisition in complex systems.


  • Implementing data lifecycles and analyses in application scenarios on business intelligence platforms
  • Advanced targeted processing and statistical analysis of data focusing on successfully established procedures in various areas of application
  • Development and user-oriented optimisation of data visualisation using modern, web-based platforms
  • Validation, evaluation and interpretation of observations and inferences based on domain-specific data


The following modules are available as part of the Applied Data Analytics specialisation and must be taken in accordance with the curriculum:

Bachelor’s thesis

The bachelor’s thesis and second project thesis are generally completed in your chosen specialisation.

In this specialisation, you will acquire specialist knowledge of the most relevant practical concepts for creating machine-learning solutions in productive systems. Machine Learning Engineering focuses on the successful, productive application of machine intelligence, distinguishing it from theoretical and future visions of artificial intelligence. The emphasis is placed on established capabilities based on machine intelligence and their application in a rapidly growing range of applications, ranging from the optimisation and improvement of industrial production processes and the automation of business processes,  through to the enhancement of optical and acoustic recognition in smart devices.

You will also obtain the skills required to design, test and maintain intelligent applications and develop an understanding of the specific challenges in the key areas of machine learning.


  • Extensive understanding of the specific algorithms and data structures in the computer vision and natural language processing areas of expertise
  • Design, planning and implementation of integrated (connected or autonomous) smart applications
  • Methods and best practices for testing, maintaining and updating intelligent systems
  • Resolving specific challenges in interaction between end users and machine intelligence


The following modules are available as part of the Machine Learning Engineering specialisation and must be taken in accordance with the curriculum:

Bachelor’s thesis

The bachelor’s thesis and second project thesis are generally completed in your chosen specialisation.

Combining theory and practice in research projects

Teaching, practice and research are all closely linked. You can gain research experience during the programme thanks to collaboration with our industry partners.

Our research institutes in the field of Data Engineering:

Career prospects

After successfully completing your studies, you will have excellent prospects on the job market as a Bachelor of Data Engineering. With your strong basic training in software engineering, you possess a high level of expertise in requirements analysis, planning and implementation, as well as the management of software projects.
Your in-depth knowledge of machine learning and data engineering guarantees you a job that matches your interests and career aspirations.

Ready for leadership and expert roles?

Our offer: a very high degree of practical application thanks to project assignments and your bachelor’s thesis in cooperation with industry partners.

Our graduates work in the following fields:

  • Data Engineer
  • Machine Learning Engineer
  • Applied Data Scientist
  • Data Analyst
  • Software Engineer with focus on Machine Learning
  • Software Engineer with focus on Applied Data Analytics
  • Consultant with focus on Machine Learning
  • Consultant with focus on Applied Data Analytics
  • Entrepreneur (in own start-up)

Further study options

By graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Data Engineering, you will lay the foundations for a subsequent master’s degree at BFH. Your options:

Depending on the specialisation chosen, you can also complete another master’s degree programme at Bern University of Applied Sciences. We will gladly advise you.

Duration + content

Choose the mode of study that suits you best professionally and personally. This bachelor’s degree programme is taught bilingually in German/English and French/English.

Full-time or part-time?

Full-time studies

You study in Biel for 6 semesters. Lectures are held during the day from Monday to Friday.

Part-time studies

You study in Biel for 8 semesters where you can take advantage of a flexible programme with some lectures held online: in-person tuition (during the first half of the programme at the Switzerland Innovation Park SIPBB) is only held one day a week, while the rest of the lectures take place remotely in the afternoon/evening.

Work-study Bachelor’s degree programme

If you hold a Swiss baccalaureate or equivalent qualification, but do not have any professional experience, you can combine the bachelor programme with a parallel vocational internship on the work-study bachelor’s degree programme (PiBS). The PiBS takes four years to complete. The practical application element accounts for 40% and is made up of the internship with a company, project assignments and the bachelor’s thesis. The programme’s structure is identical to the part-time study option.

All details on the work-study bachelor’s degree programme PiBS

Programme schedule

The programme comprises software engineering, the basics of data science and machine learning, specialist optional modules, basic mathematics modules, communication, specialisations, general optional modules in engineering and the bachelor’s thesis. You benefit from application-oriented training and produce your first project papers from the very first semester. The annual Special Week (block week) – where you tackle exciting, interdisciplinary challenges in a fun way as part of a team – is also very much application-oriented. The optional additional certificates in management, entrepreneurship and bilingual proficiency round off your profile.

The following chart provides an overview of the subject areas covered in the Data Engineering programme.

Download | curricula

Programme modules

The study programme is modular and consists of three types of modules in the basic training plus EVA complementary modules. Below is an initial selection that can be individually adapted based on specialisation.

A detailed overview of the modules that can be completed on the BSc in Data Engineering programme can be found here:

You may also attend any additional optional modules you are interested in, which can also be credited towards your degree. The decision as to which optional modules will run is based on the actual number of students enrolled.


Interested in taking on management tasks and leading a team?
The Certificate in Management, which is specially tailored to engineers, provides you with skills in investment appraisal, strategy and innovation management, and leadership. It increases your attractiveness on the labour market.


You have a business idea and want to start your own business? You want to contribute your know-how to a start-up or use your entrepreneurial mindset to bring companies forward?
Entrepreneurship has many facets. Above all, it requires entrepreneurial thinking and action. With us, you learn to outline and evaluate business models, and what a business plan should take into account, from idea to launch. In addition, you acquire skills in financing, risk management and marketing.

Certificate of Global Competence

With the ‘Certificate of Global Competence’, students have the opportunity to explicitly acquire intercultural and transcultural skills and to provide evidence of them to future employers.

To the description

Admission requirements

Many paths lead to the Bachelor of Science in Data Engineering. The work-study bachelor degree programme (PiBS) lets you study even if you’re coming straight from school or if you’ve completed your vocational training in an unrelated profession.
If you’re uncertain, there is the ‘sur dossier’ admission procedure. Please contact us about this.

Your academic requirements

Any one of the following qualifications satisfies the academic requirements:

  • Federal vocational baccalaureate
  • Matura (baccalaureate)
  • Specialised baccalaureate
  • Degree from a higher technical school (HF) in the field of technology or business (recognition of previous academic achievements may also be possible here. This would allow you to start in a higher semester or take fewer modules than in the normal curriculum.)
  • Swiss or foreign equivalent to the Swiss vocational baccalaureate (Secondary Level 2)

Your professional qualifications

One of the following professional achievements qualifies you for this bachelor’s degree programme at Bern University of Applied Sciences:

  • Completed vocational training in a profession related to the field of study
  • Completed vocational training in an unrelated profession plus a one-year internship completed prior to commencing studies
  • Specialised baccalaureate plus a one-year internship completed prior to commencing studies in a profession related to the field of study
  • Swiss baccalaureate plus a one-year internship completed prior to commencing studies, or start studying right away with the PIBS
  • Regulations on Related Professions, with list
  • Work-study bachelor degree programme (PIBS)
  • Passerelle Scheme

Supplementary information on admission

  • You are also welcome to apply if you hold a foreign degree (‘sur dossier’ admission procedure).

  • Do you have a degree from a traditional Swiss university, ETH or another university of applied sciences in a related discipline? Provided you have not been exmatriculated for unsatisfactory performance, you can continue your degree with us and parts of your previous academic achievements may be recognised (application after successful matriculation). Depending on your professional experience in the field of your degree, you may be required to obtain additional practical experience through a vocational internship or work-study bachelor degree programme.

You can complete your studies bilingually in German/English or French/English in Biel. It is not possible to study purely in English in this degree programme.

A language level of B2 is required for either German or French, and a B1 for English.

The language of instruction is stipulated in advance for each course and will appear on your diploma. With the exception of the language modules, about half of the modules are taught in German/French only; the other half, especially the specialisation modules, in English only.
All documents are normally made available in both languages. You may provide proof of proficiency (exams, graded assignments, etc.) in the language of your choice (German, French or English).
A reference to the successful completion of the bilingual degree programme will appear on your Bachelor’s diploma.

Bachelor modules in English

Overview 2024/25

Preliminary courses

Thanks to our preparatory courses, you are optimally prepared for your studies and can refresh what you have learnt previously. Details can be found in the descriptions of the preparatory courses:


Secure your place early.
You can always submit any missing documents later.

Application deadlines

Application deadline: 31 July 2024
Start date: 16 September 2024

Start your studies in autumn 2024.

Brief explanation of online application

You can only apply online.
Our Online Application Guide explains how it works, step by step.

Online Application Guide

Application documents

You will need to make PDF or JPG copies of the following documents:

Mandatory requirements:

  • ID or passport
  • Passport photo that meets international passport requirements

Other documents (certificates, etc.)

  • Diplomas and university entrance certificates (e.g. vocational baccalaureate/specialised baccalaureate with grades, baccalaureate, Abitur or equivalent)
  • Swiss federal VET diploma with grades
  • Employer references and/or internship certificates
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Additional documents may be required, depending on your educational background

The costs for the degree programme include registration, study and examination fees as well as contributions for course materials and trips.


At BFH, different fees apply for programmes and examinations.

Application (per application)*

CHF 100


CHF 100

Tuition fees (per semester)

CHF 750

Tuition fees for international students*** (per semester)

CHF 950

Examination fee (per semester)

CHF 80

Fee for social, cultural and sport offerings (per semester)

CHF 24

Membership fee for the Bern University of Applied Sciences Student Association (VSBFH) (per semester)

CHF 15

* plus CHF 10 processing fee if paying by paying-in slip/paper invoice.
** If the application leads to matriculation, the matriculation fee is covered by the application fee.
*** International students are defined as persons of foreign citizenship who at the time of obtaining their university entrance qualification were domiciled under civil law neither in Switzerland nor the Principality of Liechtenstein. This rule applies as of the 2018/19 autumn semester.

Loans and grants can help finance your studies.

Information page on support options

The following foundations offer funding specifically to BFH students and students at universities of applied sciences:

Advice + information

Still have questions about the programme? The head of the degree programme, lecturers and students will be able to answer your questions at one of our information events.


Choosing a degree programme is an important decision. We will be happy to arrange a face-to-face chat to answer your questions and advise you on the requirements for your chosen programme.

Please reach out by sending an e-mail to if you have any questions or want to schedule an online meeting.

Information event

Visit one of our information events and find out all about the degree programme, the admission requirements and your career prospects.

The next information events for this degree programme will take place in autumn. You can register for one of our information events here from the end of August at the latest.

Location + facilities

Full-time studies

The lecture rooms and laboratories are located at Höheweg 80 in Biel, a five-minute walk from the main building on Quellgasse.

The laboratories provide realistic conditions for the four specialisations and boast state-of-the-art facilities.

Part-time and work-study programmes

You complete the core programme in Biel at Aarbergstrasse 46 in the new Switzerland Innovation Park Biel/Bienne (SIPBB).

The attractive building and environment is the perfect place for you to study: the SIPBB is a setting where people from innovation, entrepreneurship and research backgrounds come together, while start-ups, SMEs and researchers work in the new building. This means you benefit from exciting networking opportunities and a state-of-the-art infrastructure.

The SIPBB is just a two-minute walk from Biel railway station, providing great transport links. There are no parking spaces on site, but parking is available elsewhere, including at the Coop car park.


Data Engineering Hub

Our Data Engineering Hub is the programme’s platform for virtual and on-site interaction with industry and research centres, allowing you to engage with Swiss and global companies leading the way in the application of machine intelligence. The team of lecturers on the programme have vast experience in implementing successful intelligent applications but also conduct research on the development of new applications with successful Swiss start-ups, SMEs and large corporations. The ongoing research activities offer you  insights into the very latest research developments as well as opportunities to work on such projects.