PhD students are required to take 13 courses during the first two academic years. This corresponds to a minimum of 39 credits, where the number of credits acquired with each of course depends on the course's difficulty and/or intensity.
In addition, 162 credits are assigned to the PhD thesis.
Students have to take five fundamental courses, e.g. Research Methods, Philosophy of Science, PhD seminar (conference-like system), Research and Career Planning for PhD Students, or Innovation Management.
Area Courses are research domain specific, following the faculty’s main research areas:
- Business Informatics
- Business Informatics at the TU Vienna has a strong background in information technology. Its main focus is on the design, development and controlling of information systems, with a spectrum ranging from advanced software engineering concepts (model engineering, services engineering, Web engineering, semantic technologies, integration technologies) to business-centered applications (business intelligence, business process management, electronic/mobile commerce, e-Government).
- Computational Intelligence
- Computational Intelligence at the TU Vienna focuses on logic, algorithms and complexity in computer science. Based on solid mathematical foundations, we focus on both applications and theory in databases, information systems, knowledge representation, artificial intelligence, hardware and software verification, semantic web, intelligent agents, optimization, natural computing, and other areas.
- Computer Engineering
Computer Engineering at the TU Vienna focuses on “Dependable Embedded Systems”, with a spectrum ranging from hybrid cyber-physical systems over network-coupled fault-tolerant distributed real-time systems to dependable systems-on-chip & VLSI architectures for mission-critical applications.
- Distributed and Parallel Systems
- Distributed and Parallel Systems at the TU Vienna focuses on Service-oriented Systems and Internet Computing. The spectrum ranges from Architectures, technologies and platforms for the development of distributed systems, to the development of tools and methods which are suitable to ensure optimal use of the Internet.
- Media Informatics and Visual Computing
- Media Informatics and Visual Computing at the TU Vienna focuses on virtual and augmented reality, computer supported cooperative work, computer vision, hypermedia information systems, information visualization, as well as real-time rendering.
- Click here for information about current courses and lectures.
Courses are offered from beginning of October to the end of June. Each activity allowing for the acquisition of credits is evaluated. Three types of courses are offered: advanced courses, PhD courses and outside courses.
The school organizes PhD courses covering advanced state-of-the-art and research topics whose goal is to…
- allow students to develop appropriate skills in a number of the faculty’s research areas – a primary and a secondary area (thus two areas),
- develop depth in their own research domain, and
- gain competences concerning fundamental methodological and epistemological research questions.
Visiting professor courses
The PhD School invites every year a serie of distinguished professors from international prestigious universities for each main research area of the PhD School. A complete list of our guest professors can be found here.
Advanced courses are taken from the faculty's master programme, they are chosen on an individual basis with the objective to bring all students to an equal level.
As a special form of PhD courses, a student can – upon approval by the Commission of the Vienna PhD School and his/her advisor – take courses at summer schools, or at other universities offering a PhD-level programme.
Such courses may also be specifically designed for exchange programmes with other universities. The courses attended abroad must either be within the framework of formalized agreements or approved in advance by the Commission of the Vienna PhD School. Also, they must assure a number of credits to the student.
Vienna PhD School students will have to pass three exams: the comprehensive exam, the qualifying exam and the final exam. Exams are administrated by the Commission of the PhD School and may consist of a written test, an oral test or other types of procedures defined by the commission and the lecturers.
- Click here to download material to prepare for the comprehensive exam.
The goal of the comprehensive exam is to assess the knowledge level of students in the Faculty of Informatics’ research areas. In principal, we assess if the student has broad knowledge in the scientific
areas of computer science.
One of these areas is designated as the Primary Area, e.g. the research area of the student. All other areas are regarded as a Secondary Area. Obviously, knowledge of a secondary area does not have to be as specific and deep.
The Commission of the Vienna PhD School prepares a list of subjects covering the required knowledge in order to successfully pass the comprehensive exam. Having passed the comprehensive exam is a rerequisite for admission to the second academic year.
Students’ progress on their research activities is evaluated through the qualifying exam, which is to be taken at the beginning of the second year. The qualifying exam is essentially the PhD proposal for an innovative research contribution with a clear and detailed description of the research directions and objectives as well as the methodological approach (approx. 10 pages). It includes:
- Problem description
- Expected result
- Methodological approach
- State of the art (incl. references)
- Work plan
- List of student publications (if already available)
This proposal is first assessed by the advisor, then by the Commission of the Vienna PhD School.
Students will be then invited to discuss their proposals.
At the end of their studies, students will have to defend their work, which is previously evaluated by the advisor and two external reviewers. Based on this evaluation a defense board of examiners will decide on the final mark.