Master of Science in
Software Design

The programme

The 2-year MSc in Software Design is a programme for you who do not have an IT-related undergraduate degree, but wish to develop skills and knowledge within IT to combine with your undergraduate degree. 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 help you apply research level computer science to that bachelor.

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.

Software Design

Who studies Software Design?

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.

Programme structure

Software Design is a technical program, 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.

Specialisations offered on the Software Design programme:

  • Business Analytics
  • Technical Interaction Design
  • Software Development & Technology

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.

See all courses offered at the IT University.

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)

Thesis example

Mia Pontoppidan.


It was really exciting and motivating to be able use technology to solve an everyday problem.

Mia Pontoppidan, MSc in Software Development (Design Track)


Career portrait

Meet two graduates who have studied Software Design and hear what they do today.

Anna Kato Ipsen

Kristin Kaltenhäuser

Tanja Danner


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.


To apply for admission on Software Design, you need a university bachelor’s degree or a professional bachelor’s degree. Your bachelor should be from a non-software field. If you have a different education (e.g. an international education), which is comparable to a university or professional bachelor’s degree, the IT University (ITU) will make an individual assessment of the education in question. A prerequisite for admittance is a language requirement of level B English with a minimum of 3 in grade point average.

In order to be admitted, your bachelor’s degree must live up to the following education specific requirements:

  • A maximum of 30 ECTS in software courses.

If you have had courses that overlap greatly with the courses on Software Design, these courses will be replaced with electives if you are admitted. Up to 15 ECTS of the mandatory courses on the first or second semester can be replaced in this manner.

To apply, you need to upload the following documentation:

  • A copy of your bachelor diploma (in English or one of the Nordic languages), including a transcript of your courses and grades, or a preliminary transcript of your grades, if you complete your qualifying education from a Danish institution. If you have a foreign qualifying exam, you will also need to send in documentation for expected completion.

  • Motivated letter of application. The letter must not exceed one standard A4 page, and should be in English. Read this guide for writing a motivated letter.

  • Documentation for level B English or a language proficiency test. The documentation should be in English or in one of the Nordic languages.

  • If you have been enrolled on a higher education without completing it (in Denmark or abroad), you have to upload documentation for any exams you have passed on this education. The documentation should be in English or one of the Nordic Languages.

Make sure you have all the documentation ready before you start your application. You should also save drafts of your application in the application portal continuously. Read more about how to live up to the documentation requirements in the section on “Documentation” below.

You can only apply by sending a digital application through the application portal. It is your responsibility to make sure you complete the application procedure correctly, and that you send your application in by the deadline. The application portal opens in the middle of January. See application guide here.


Logon guide

It is very important that you read the Logon guide, tips and help before you begin your application.

The guide gives you step-by-step help with text and images throughout the application process, and we refer to the logon guide for help with any issues you encounter, before you contact ITU.

Confirmation of receipt of your application

You will receive an email from the application system, as documentation for having applied in time. You cannot speed up the processing of your application through personal inquiry.

Read more about what happens after you have sent your application.

ITU will review your application based on an overall evaluation, which in turn is based on:

Grade point average from your qualifying education (counts for 50%)

Where possible, ITU will calculate the grade point average from your qualifying exam as a weighted average, where each grade is included with the weight, or level, which that study activity has compared to the entire course of the education. This is also the case if your qualifying exam is a combination of various educations.

If you have not passed the qualifying education at the time of your application, but are expected to do so before study start, the weighted average will be calculated on the basis of the grades you have received at the time of your application.

If it is not possible to calculate the grade point average of your qualifying exam, the grade point average will not count in the assessment of your application. If your qualifying education is issued by a foreign university and includes grades, ITU will convert the grade point average based on the grading scale of the country in question.

Your background and your motivated letter (counts for 50%)

This includes:

  • Your motivation for choosing the programme you are applying to. The motivation covers, among other things, your individual motivation for choosing. Furthermore, it can cover the connection between the programme you are applying to and your qualifying education, and the connection between your overall and personal goals.

  • Your chances of completing the programme you have applied to with good results. This assessment will be based on your previous course of study, but you are welcome to expand on it in your motivated letter. Your course of study can include, among other things, the time spent on the education compared to the standard study time, suitability for participating in project work and professional relevance. Remember to draw attention to any extenuating circumstances that have affected your previous course of study (e.g. maternity or paternity leave, prolonged illness, starting your own company etc.)

  • We put extra, positive, weight on good accounts of how the applicants existing bachelor degree will be strengthened by our MSc in Software Design.

  • General impression of you as an applicant. This includes areas that are not covered in the above, such as the general structure and seriousness of your application, e.g. in terms of appendices and language.

  • The applicant clearly states his/her goals and motivation – this will appear in the depth of the motivation, reflections and a career plan that fits the programme in question. We prioritize applicants or students who, in our opinion, will have an important role in society (within which Software Design educates).

  • The applicant’s ability to communicate (preferably in English).

  • The applicant’s level understanding of the programme’s purpose and content, in which personal goals are considered.

  • We take into account any explanations of irregularities in the applicant’s documents, especially concerning longer than standard study time.

    1 March at 23.59

    You can apply from the middle of January. You will get an answer to your application no later than 10 June, and study start is in August.
    Note: the MSc programmes have restricted admission.

Documentation for level B English

You need to document an English language proficiency of at least level B with a minimum of 3 in grade point average (Danish high school levels) in one of the following ways:

  • You have passed a level B English exam in the course of taking a Danish high school exam (or through supplementary courses)

  • You have taken a relevant English test with a certain score. The test cannot be more than 2 years old
    Requirements for the English test:
    TOEFL paper-based test result: 560 minimum
    TOEFL IBT test result: 88 minimum
    IELTS (academic) test result: 6.5 minimum
    Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English: passed
    Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English: passed

  • You have taken an English-language high school exam or bachelor’s degree in Denmark, in another EU country, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, USA, Canada, South Africa, Australia or New Zealand.

  • You have a qualifying bachelor’s degree from a Danish university (not a professional bachelor’s degree).

It is possible to apply before you have completed any necessary language proficiency test or supplementary courses. Instead, you must then upload documentation for being called to the test or being admitted to the course. No later than one month before study start, you must upload the results of the test or supplementary course in the application portal. If your result does not comply with the admission requirements, your admission will be annulled. Applicants who are not EU/EEA (EØS) citizens and who have to pay tuition fees will need to upload the results of the language proficiency test or supplementary course no later than 3 weeks after the application deadline.

The university code for TOEFL is 9015. You will need this code when you sign up for a TOEFL test. No code is needed for IELTS.

Copy of diploma, including transcript of your grades, from your qualifying education

If your qualifying education is a combination of several educations, you will have to send a diploma and transcript of your grades for each separate education. A combined education could for example be a multimedia design or a computer science education as top-up degrees from a bachelor’s degree.

Documentation for having passed elements of a master education

If you have previously been enrolled on a higher education on a master level, without completing it, it is your duty to upload documentation for any elements of the education that you have passed. This documentation will be used to assess whether to give you a starting credit for some of these elements.

Have you previously passed a Danish education on an equivalent or higher level?

If you have previously passed a Danish full-time master-level education, or another Danish full-time education on an equivalent or higher level, you will, as a rule, not be admitted to a new full-time master level education.

You can apply for an exemption from this rule if: 

  • A minimum of 6 years have passed between the completion of your previous education and study start on the new education
  • We assess that, for health reasons, you cannot use your completed education on the work market
  • We assess that your previously completed education has changed drastically or no longer exists

If you have not yet completed your qualifying education

If you have not yet completed your qualifying education, you will need to upload an updated transcript of your grades. If you are missing more than 60 ECTS to complete your education, you will also have to give an account of how you expect to complete the education before study start at ITU. If you are taking a foreign qualifying education, and if ECTS are not shown on the transcript, your institution will also need to confirm your expected completion time.

Only for non-EU/EEA (EØS) citizens with permanent residence permit in Denmark

Non-EU/EEA (EØS) citizens who reside in Denmark, and who wish to be exempt from paying tuition fees on their master level education, must send in documentation of their permanent residence permit or their residence permit with the possibility of permanent residence.

Foreign qualifying education

Foreign diplomas that are neither in English nor in one of the Scandinavian languages must be translated into Danish or English by the educational institution, an authorized translator or a public authority. If you are admitted, you must also show your original diploma at study start.

Further information?

If you have questions concerning the application procedure, please contact Student Affairs and Programmes.

It is also always a good idea to contact the Study and Career Guidance before you apply, if you have any unanswered questions or other doubts.

Which students are NOT charged tuition fees?

The following groups of students are not charged any tuition fees at the IT University of Copenhagen:

  • Students from countries within the EU/EEA 
  • Students on bilateral exchange programmes (e.g. Erasmus. Check with the international office at your own university) 
  • US students with a Fulbright scholarship
  • Students, who started studying at the IT University January 2006 or earlier

Which students are charged tuition fees?

Students from countries outside the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA) are charged tuition fees.

How much is the tuition fee?

The tuition fee for a two years full study is 200,000 DKK. The tuition fees are payable by biannual instalments in advance of each term, i.e. DKK 50,000 per term.

If you start your MSc programme after 2012 the price of a full two years of study may have changed. Keep an eye on this website - we update our information on tuition fees every January.

Note that the IT University grants a scholarship to three or four exceptionally talented MSc applicants from non- EU/EEA countries. See more under Scholarships below.

Demonstration of funds

The Danish Immigration Service will ask students from outside the Nordic countries and EU/EEA countries to demonstrate funds before issuing a residence permit.

Please find further information about residence permit.

Exemptions from paying tuition fee

You may be exempted from paying a tuition fee if you have one of the following two residence permits in Denmark:

  • Permanent residence permit ("Permanent opholdstilladelse")
  • Temporary residence permit with the possibility of achieving a permanent residence permit ("Midlertidig opholdstilladelse m.m.f. varigt ophold")

However, having a student visa does NOT under any circumstances exempt you from paying a tuition fee. Please contact the Study Administration for further information. 

If you have one of the above residence permits, it is very important that you submit documentation for this to the Study Administration. We accept the following documentation:

  • A certified copy of your residence permit letter from the Danish Immigration Service
  • A certified copy of your residence permit card
  • A certified copy of the page in your passport showing your residence permit.

Based on the documentation submitted, the Study Administration will grant or deny exemption. If you are exempted from paying a tuition fee, you must meet the deadlines applicable to EU/EEA applicants.


The IT University of Copenhagen offers state scholarships to three or four exceptionally talented MSc applicants (full-degree students) from outside EU and EEA every year. The scholarships will be offered to the applicants who achieve the best scores according to the criteria in our admission rules. The state scholarships consist of free tuition and partly covering of living expenses.

Applicants cannot apply for the scholarships. The IT University considers all admitted MSc students for the scholarships and informs the students chosen for the scholarships in their letter of admission.

Please note that if you receive a scholarship, you will have to follow and pass full time studies.

To see information about living and accommodation in Denmark, see here.

Career prospects

The competencies of Software Design and the global perspective of the programme prepares you for a career in both Danish and global context, working as e.g.:
  • 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 see here.


Are you interested in studying at the IT University of Copenhagen, please contact The Study and Career Guidance.