Product Development and Logistics (MSc)

Faculty: Mechanical Engineering

Degree: Master of Science (MSc)

Study mode: Full-time, classroom-based

Language of instruction: German

Start of programme: Winter term (early January)

Standard period of study: 1 year, 9 months (five trimesters)

Programme Description

The Master’s in Product Development and Logistics broadens and deepens the skills acquired in the Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering, thus providing access to higher-level positions in trade and industry, the service industry and public service. It allows for a higher degree of specialisation and teaches students to undertake scientific work independently. It comprises five trimesters (eighth to twelfth trimester) and ends with the completion of a master’s thesis.

The concept of the Master’s in Product Development and Logistics is to provide an integrated programme combining the study of new product development, which includes product development and manufacturing, and the study of logistics. This takes into account the fact that logistical aspects play an increasingly important role with regard to new product development and that efficient logistics depends on the development and production of technical assets. By covering a set of basic subjects, the programme offers students the possibility of specialising in one of the three areas of product development, production and logistics, as well as the possibility of taking a broader approach in their studies.

Irrespective of any specific product, the Product Development and Logistics programme focuses on the extended process chain, which starts with the processing of data derived from product management and marketing. Core elements of the process chain are development and design, the manufacturing and assembly of components as well as aspects of factory organisation, quality management and technical logistics. Beside applying detailed technical and organisational knowledge, engineers on this programme also apply basic knowledge of business administration. They master the necessary procedures, with the focus on applications, and the methods to be employed, with the focus on fundamental principles. Such procedures and methods are necessary for selecting the best procedures, technically and in terms of cost-effectiveness, in the new product development and product distribution process. In order to ensure this, students are involved at an early stage in research work in the various fields of expertise as members of research teams and are allowed to perform project-related tasks independently.

For Germany, with its scarce natural resources but high wages and salaries, improving the capability for developing and producing new innovative products is of crucial importance if the requisite standard of living is to be maintained in the long term. Inventions alone are not enough. These inventions must be transformed into marketable products within a short period of time while taking economic constraints into account. For this purpose, highly qualified engineers are required who have a knowledge not only of scientific and mathematical principles but also methods, processes and computer-assisted procedures and are able to develop them further.

Systematically optimising new product development requires coordinating product design, manufacturing processes and the selection and development of appropriate materials. New product ideas require adapted manufacturing processes and can often only be implemented by using new, customised materials. Conversely, innovative materials require designs and manufacturing technologies appropriate to the material being used. Sound knowledge in the field of materials science and the further development of modern materials with customised properties profiles are therefore of fundamental importance for the development of new, and the optimisation of established, products and technologies. Customised materials are revolutionising lightweight designs, are reducing the consumption of energy, are biocompatible and recyclable, and react intelligently to new operating conditions. Functional surfaces allow new combinations of properties and optimise the cost-benefit ratio of products.

Beside these traditional areas of activity for engineers, the field of logistics is increasingly gaining importance. With a workforce of more than 2.6 million, it has become the third-largest sector in Germany after the motor industry and the trade sector. Economic globalisation, for example, would hardly be conceivable without a highly efficient flow of goods facilitated by container shipping and a worldwide communication network. German industry’s strong focus on exports also requires efficient logistics. Technical logistics also plays a key role for Germany’s further economic development.

Admission Requirements

Anyone who has completed a course of university studies in a relevant subject and has obtained a bachelor’s degree with at least the overall grade of “good” (2.5 or better) may be admitted to the master’s programme. Students who have completed an intensive course of study are only required to achieve the grade “satisfactory” (3.0 or better). Further details can be found in the General Examination Regulations (Allgemeine Prüfungsordnung, APO) of Helmut Schmidt University (HSU) and in the Specialist Programme and Examination Regulations of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering (Fachspezifische Studien- und Prüfungsordnung der Fakultät für Maschinenbau, FSPO MB).

Civilian students may be admitted to HSU on request.

Skills and Interests

During product development, all of the important properties of a product are determined and the course set for the subsequent processes. About 70 % of a product’s life-cycle costs are defined as early as the design phase. Mastering product development processes is increasingly becoming a factor that determines competitiveness. The separation of product development and product manufacturing, including with regard to logistics, often leads to inefficient decision-making structures and interrupted information flows. Therefore, a comprehensive approach is required as this leads to new creativity and innovation – key factors for the future. For the Mechanical Engineering programme and the master’s programmes that build on it, a good knowledge of mathematics and especially an interest in scientific and technical challenges is expected.

An intensive course of study at Helmut Schmidt University requires good time-management skills as a considerable amount is taught within a relatively short period of time. Intensive learning is fostered by small study groups but it also requires commitment on the part of the student.

Programme Structure

In the 8th and 9th trimesters, students primarily study the compulsory subjects. These include advanced lectures on mathematics, numerics, mechanics, machine dynamics and control engineering. In addition, students must attend the lecture titled Principles of Product Development, which is intended specifically for this master’s programme, and they must also complete their first course in one of the optional subjects.

The compulsory subjects are designed to reflect the way that master’s programmes offered at universities allow subject specialisation as well as the opportunity to deepen the basic knowledge acquired at the level of a bachelor’s programme. Students are taught the methods needed to tackle more complex tasks and challenges. This lays the foundations for a challenging career, including in research and development. Moreover, the basic subjects provide the necessary preparation for students to specialise in the various areas of New Product Development and Logistics. Specialising involves choosing optional subjects, in accordance with the student’s individual interests, from the areas of Product Development, Production and Logistics. Three principal subjects (covering two trimesters) and four subsidiary subjects (covering one trimester) must be studied. The optional subjects are:


  • Automation of Logistic Processes
  • Technical Logistics
  • Automation Methods in Logistic Processes
  • Computational Planning of Material Handling
  • Logistics of the Federal Armed Forces


  • Machine Tools
  • Robot Systems
  • Welding Technology
  • Micro-Production Engineering
  • Automation of Production Processes
  • Factory Organisation
  • Engineering
  • Methods for Quality Assurance
  • Value Creation Taxonomy
  • Automation Methods in   Production Processes

Product Development:

  • Virtual Product Development
  • Characterisation of Materials and Surfaces
  • Surface Technology
  • Product Planning
  • Quality Management
  • Automation Technology in Production and Logistics
  • Patent Law

The Interdisciplinary Studies are an obligatory component of all programmes offered at Helmut Schmidt University. On these courses, students are taught general professional skills. These skills, which are interdisciplinary and supplement the student’s specialised study, are necessary for an officer’s career and in civilian occupations later in life.

Details of the programme, as well as a description of all compulsory and optional subjects, can be found in the Module Handbook of the four master’s programmes offered by the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering:



Students who successfully complete the master’s programme are awarded the academic degree of Master of Science (MSc). The master’s degree is the general requirement for admission to doctoral studies in accordance with the relevant doctoral regulations.

Job Profiles

Two main fields of activity are open to graduates of the Master’s in Product Development and Logistics. They are employed, for instance, in the field of developing and producing manufacturing facilities and systems. This includes the machine tool industry, among others.

Germany must maintain, and if possible increase, its lead in the field of manufacturing technologies and manufacturing processes in order to be able to manufacture products in a competitive way, despite certain unfavourable factors regarding its location compared with other countries. Highly qualified engineers with a relevant educational profile are therefore required for this field as well. This branch of industry ranks third among the relevant branches in mechanical and vehicle engineering. Without qualified engineers, accelerated technological development, which is necessary in this field, will not be possible. In particular, it would not be possible to ensure the high export rate of more than 50 %, which forms the basis for the success of this branch.

Graduates of the Master’s in Product Development and Logistics can generally be employed in all companies of the producing industry. In Germany, more than 20 % of graduates of such a programme work in this industry. The other graduates work in the trade sector and the service sector. Graduates of this master’s programme work in challenging fields due to the increase in globalised manufacturing. Germany is able to continue increasing the effectiveness of production compared to other international suppliers as a result of the customised tools it produces as well as its advanced manufacturing procedures and production processes. The country is thus also able to maintain the added value of production as the basis for its high gross domestic product.

Rapid development in logistics is primarily based on technical innovations. Economic globalisation, for example, would hardly be conceivable without a highly efficient flow of goods facilitated by container shipping and a worldwide communication network. German industry’s strong focus on exports also requires efficient logistics. Over the next 20 to 30 years, the progressive mechanisation and automation of logistic processes is expected to create an increased demand for engineers who have sound knowledge and skills in the three areas of logistics, product development and production.

Further Information

On career paths and assignment opportunities in the Bundeswehr:

On educational and employment opportunities:

On studying at German universities:

The University

On the basis of the autonomy guaranteed by the Bundeswehr in its capacity as an employer and the legal supervision exercised by Hamburg’s Ministry of Science and Research, Helmut Schmidt University / Bundeswehr University, Hamburg carries out the same teaching and research tasks as public universities.

The four faculties of HSU offer a total of nine bachelor’s programmes and 16 master’s programmes in eight specialist fields. All programmes were accredited by the Accreditation, Certification and Quality Assurance Institute (ACQUIN) in 2007 and reaccredited in 2012 and 2013. Given the favourable conditions for studying at HSU, all programmes are intensive courses of study in which students can acquire up to 75 credit points per year.

Helmut Schmidt University campus is located in Wandsbek, a borough in the east of Hamburg. It is easy to reach both by public transport and by car. It takes approximately 20 minutes to travel to the centre of Hamburg.

All education and research facilities are situated close to one another and can be reached on foot in just a few minutes (main campus). About 80 % of the students live in student accommodation situated in the nearby campus areas Stoltenstrasse and Jenfelder Allee.

Advisory Services / Contact Information

Advisory services are provided by designated members of the academic staff of each faculty.

Dean of Studies

Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Karsten Meier
Phone: +49 (0)40 6541–2735
E-mail: [email protected]

Students who wish to study at HSU as part of a cooperation agreement with an enterprise, foundation, agency or other partner institute, and soldiers who wish to study at HSU within the framework of Bundeswehr Vocational Advancement, are asked to contact University Marketing:

Astrid Strüßmann
Phone: +49 (0)40 6541-3855
E-Mail: [email protected]

Susanne Killus
Phone: +49 (0)40 6541-3652
E-Mail: [email protected]


Letzte Änderung: 18. January 2021