Master of Science in
Software Design

The programme

The 2-year MSc in Software Design programme is designed for students outside the field of IT looking to develop their IT skills and knowledge. Whether you hold a bachelor in arts and humanities (e.g. literature or music), in science (e.g. physics, biology or math) or in social sciences (e.g. political science, economics or business), we will show you how you may use computer science to compliment your established skill-set.

The programme focuses on business needs and you will work on projects concerning design, development, and maintenance of software. You will also learn about the organisational and managerial part of a development process. 

You will gain in-depth knowledge of software design, programming languages, distributed systems, algorithms, software development processes, requirements as well as organisation and management. The programme gives you opportunity to work with all phases of the development process: analysis, design, development, test and launch.

The Software Development (Design) programme is taught in English. Cases and examples from both Danish and international organisations will be used.

Non-curricular events at the university can be held in Danish.



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Is this programme for you?

As a student of Software Design, you hold a bachelor degree within arts, humanities, science or social sciences. You do not have an IT-related educational background. Rather, you enter Software Design in order to supplement your bachelor degree with software development skills in order to gain unique interdisciplinary competences.

You are ambitious, curious, and enthusiastic about acquiring and applying the technical skills of design and programming. Software Design and its application is a group effort, so there is a great deal of group work on this programme.

Study preparation for new students

Before starting your studies, you have the opportunity to participate in workshops where you can refresh your high school mathematics skills and receive an introduction to programming.

The two workshops are optional and precede the introduction days for new students, ensuring you don't miss out on social activities. You will receive more information about the timing and registration in your acceptance letter.


The BootIT workshop is tailored to new students without prior knowledge of programming, aiming to facilitate a smooth transition. In the workshop, you will be introduced to basic programming principles, starting from square one with concepts like constants, variables, operators, assignments, if-statements, and while-loops in Java. If these terms are unfamiliar to you, BootIT can provide you with a good start to programming.

Topics covered in BootIT will be revisited and elaborated upon during the programme.


The Software Design programme requires proficiency in mathematics and logical reasoning. If it has been a while since you last solved an equation, the BootMath workshop could be beneficial for you.

At BootMath, we revisit mathematical concepts from high school essential for your studies. We cover basic arithmetic rules (including logarithms and exponential functions), simplification of mathematical expressions, and equation solving.

Programme structure

Software Design is a technical programme, so you will learn to apply mathematical modelling and logical reasoning in your studies. The programme prepares you to work on application specific software development for end users in both private enterprises and the public sector. 

Your broad experience within software, which you acquire during the programme, and your expertise within your bachelor field of study, will position you very well to work with non-technical project members as well as with more specialised programmers.

See the curriculum for the MSc programme in Software Design.

Course of study for MSc in Software Design
1st semester Software Engineering 
7.5 ECTS
Discrete Mathematics
7.5 ECTS
Introductory Programming
2nd semester

Introduction to Database Design
7.5 ECTS

Algorithms and Data Structures
7.5 ECTS
7.5 ECTS
SpecialisationCourse 1
7.5 ECTS
3rd semester Research Project 7.5 ECTS Elective
7.5 ECTS
Specialisation Course 2
7.5 ECTS 
Specialisation Course 3
7.5 ECTS 
4th semester

Master Thesis 30 ECTS


Mandatory courses 

The mandatory courses (45 ECTS) of this programme form an intensive course in the basics of software creation, which allows you to explore topics in depth already in the second semester. The mandatory courses are:

  • Software Engineering and Software Qualities (7.5 ECTS) introduces you to professional software engineering, enabling you to competently act as a project member and to take over management responsibility for minor projects. Special focus is given to different software qualities and how to address them in the development process. The course addresses distributed software development explicitly.
  • Discrete Mathematics (7.5 ECTS) provides you with a basic understanding of the mathematical foundations of computer science. The course develops the necessary terminology and conceptual tools needed for later courses.
  • Introductory Programming (15 ECTS). This course introduces programming in Java and object-oriented programming in general, giving you practical experience through the implementation of a medium-sized software project.
  • Introduction to Database Design (7.5 ECTS) introduces you the basics of databases: how to efficiently store and retrieve large datasets in computers.
  • Algorithms and Data Structures (7.5 ECTS) introduces you to the science of efficient programming and data representation. This course enables you to design efficient and correct programs, while providing basic algorithmic tools indispensable for every software developer.



A specialisation is a 22.5 ECTS package of courses in which you explore a research topic in depth. This prepares you for writing your master’s thesis. You must complete one specialisation during your studies. The IT University offers specialisations tailored for your bachelor’s background. Alternatively, you may design your own specialisation.

Electives and Master's Thesis

The electives and the master’s thesis offer further opportunities for shaping your own profile. You can choose between a number of courses offered at the IT University at master level for electives, or even take electives at a different Danish or international university. The master’s thesis can be completed in groups or individually.

See all courses offered at IT University.




Specialisations offered

A specialisation is a 22.5 ECTS package of courses in which you explore a research topic in depth. This prepares you for writing your master’s thesis. You must complete one specialisation during your studies. The IT University offers specialisations tailored for your bachelor’s background. Alternatively, you may design your own specialisation.

Customise your own specialisation

It is possible to apply for an individual specialisation. This means that you combine a package of 22.5 ECTS point of connected and for the programme relevant courses and/or projects. You might be inspired by looking at the specialisations offered by the other master programmes at the IT University. You can also obtain an individual specialisation at another university in Denmark or abroad.

We offer the following specialisations on the Software Design programme:

This specialisation is particularly relevant for students who hold a bachelor degree within social science such as political science and economics.

The specialisation in Business Analytics infuses data analytics and computational skills into students with a strong background in fields that emphasise data and data analytics. Upon completing the specialisation, you will on one hand have computational skills in the field of your bachelor degree, while on the other hand possess a field-specific understanding beyond what is available to computer scientists. The specialisation enables you to design database system for analysis of big data and to perform data mining using classification and prediction algorithms as well as clustering and rule association approaches.

The specialisation comprises the following courses:

  • Introduction to Artificial Intelligence (7.5 ECTS)
  • Big Data Management (technical) (7.5 ECTS)
  • Data Mining (7.5 ECTS)

This specialisation is particularly relevant for students who hold a bachelor degree within arts and humanities.

The specialisation in Technical Interaction Design concerns with interaction design from a technical point of view, allowing you to combine the mandatory courses of the programme with your knowledge and skills from your bachelor degree. Upon completing the specialisation, you will have unique skills in and perspectives on contemporary user-facing software development with technical skills and understanding beyond what is available on other UX-centric educations. Furthermore, you will have communication skills and understanding beyond what is available on traditional Computer Science educations.

The specialisation comprises the following courses:

  • Mobile App Development (7.5 ECTS)
  • Applied Information Security (7.5 ECTS)
  • Technical Interaction Design (7.5 ECTS)

This specialisation is particularly relevant for students who hold a bachelor degree within the natural sciences.

The specialisation in Software Development Technology emphasises programming and software development skills, with the aim of launching you on a career in software development. Upon completing the specialisation, you will have a unique combination of analytical skills afforded by your existing bachelor degree within science and understanding of cutting-edge software development technologies.

The specialisation comprises the following courses:

  • Functional Programming (7.5 ECTS)
  • Practical Concurrent and Parallel Programming (7.5 ECTS)
  • Applied Algorithms (7.5 ECTS)

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The teaching method alternates between lectures and project work, which depend on taking individual responsibility, on collaborative skills as well as on project management. Your professors and lecturers are world-class researchers at the IT University.

Software Design is developed in close cooperation with the business community, and the programme is designed to give you the opportunity to collaborate with private companies. This means you will always be working with current challenges, and you will have an opportunity to make a network in the business community even before you graduate.

The programme is taught in English. There will be used cases and examples from both Danish and international organisations.


You have the opportunity to complete part of your programme at a university abroad. This is a chance for you to further specialise your education and have the experience of working in a new environment in another country. The third semester is particularly well suited for an exchange stay. For students enrolled in Software Design, we recommend:

  • Australia – Queensland University of Technology
  • Australia – University of Technology Sydney
  • Czech Republic – Charles University
  • Iceland – Reykjavik University
  • Italy – Polytechnic University of Milan
  • Germany – Technical University of Munich
  • Japan – Kyoto University
  • Netherlands – Maastricht University
  • New Zealand – Auckland University of Technology
  • Norway – University of Oslo
  • Switzerland – Università della Svizzera italiana
  • Spain – Polytechnic University of Catalonia, Barcelona School of Informatics
  • Spain – Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
  • Taiwan – Taipei Technology University
  • Turkey – Koç University

Career opportunities

The competencies of Software Design and the global perspective of the programme prepares you for a career in both a Danish and a global context. Career opportunities include:

  • System Developer
  • Programmer
  • Software Architect
  • Database Manager
  • Quality Engineer
  • Project Manager
  • System Consultant

If you want to explore the possibility for a PhD at the IT University, please read more here.

Career portraits

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Are you interested in studying at the IT University of Copenhagen, and do you have questions about programmes, student life or the like, please contact the Study and Career Guidance.