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Master System Design

  • 3 years
  • English
  • Master
  • Part-time
Starts September | Eindhoven

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Interested in a leading role in high tech system design? Do you want to learn more about high tech system design and see all technical interactions and interfaces in a system? Are you ambitious to develop systems that make the world a better place? Did you complete your bachelor's degree in engineering and do you aspire a career in a broader role? Then, the master System Design is the master for you!

About the Master

The part-time Master of Science (MSc) in System Design is a 3-year programme offered by Fontys University of Applied Sciences. Become the engineer, who crosses disciplines, who can think in conceptual and technical terms and controls interfaces of the technical disciplines in system design to ensure working effectively and efficiently. Deepen your knowledge in architecture and engineering, mechanics and design principles, dynamics and thermal mechanics, new technologies, modelling & simulation, sensors technology and control engineering.

Ambience photo Fontys

Why the Master System Design

  • This master's offers a direct entry for students with an Engineering bachelor's degree (Mechanical Engineering or Mechatronics) who wish to complete their MSc degree in 3 years (pre-master's is not required) and accelerate their career
  • The rise of intelligence in systems requires engineers to take an innovative approach towards system design
  • You are in the Brainport region, the largest high-tech region in the Netherlands. You will build up your experience and network in the Brainport from day one
  • The companies in the Brainport region call for engineers who can deal with high levels of uncertainty and complexity and understand the eco system. This new master is developed in close cooperation with international companies and research centers in Eindhoven Brainport

Professional Masters

There are two types of Master’s programs in The Netherlands: professional masters, offered by Universities of Applied Sciences, and scientific masters, offered by Academic Universities. Although both types of master’s programs train to the same level, there is a difference in orientation. Professional master’s programs have a focus on practice-based research, whereas scientific master’s programs are more focused on research in the academic world. A graduate is expected to be able to adapt to new knowledge and adopt an inquisitive attitude. Knowledge of a limited field of study is no longer sufficient. Innovations take place at intersections of different disciplines. Professional master’s programs deliver an increasing need for professionals who can operate at these system intersections.

What you will learn?

You will be prepared for a broader role as a T-shaped professional, with a special emphasis on professionalization skills such as leadership, business focus and risk management and innovation development. In essence, the T-shaped professional is both a niche specialist and a generalist with people skills. You will specialize in the design of high-tech systems. You will design, configure and monitor high-tech systems and oversee all technical interactions and interfaces. For example: system architecture and systems engineering, control, dynamics, modeling, innovation engineering.

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Student Jorn tells you all about the master

Click on the video to see how Jorn experiences the master.

What will your week be like?

You will be immersed into an environment of system design. Together with the other students and our staff we will dive into this constantly evolving landscape. We address the complex interactions between technology and business processes. 


As a system design engineer, you need to be on top of societal and global changes in your quest to shape the future. To achieve this, you’ll need a certain personal and professional attitude. As an individual, you already have many unique characteristics. From your cultural background, you can collaborate with others, utilizing your unique talents, and optimize your skills getting a key-role in developing high-tech systems for companies.

During the master, you will be guided in a process that pays attention to the development of your personal and professional identity as a system design engineer. You will reflect on your personal and professional development, and integrate knowledge, skills and attitude in a safe learning environment.

The Master System Design:

  • Top level 3-year master's programme (MSc);
  • With a solid and broad foundation in the field of high-tech system design;
  • Learn to think in conceptual and technical terms and have a holistic view on relevant technical disciplines;
  • Work on assignments for leading organizations in the Brainport region at large OEMs (ASML, Philips); medium-sized suppliers (VDL, NTS, Frencken) but also smaller sized industries;
  • Gain insight into your talents and what is needed in the industry, and enhance your career opportunities.

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One of the study locations: Brainport Industries Campus


Why study at Fontys?

Fontys is situated in the center of the high-tech industry: The Brainport Region. The industry, in the field of equipment manufacturers to suppliers are heavily involved in the content of the master. Guest lecturers, project examples and graduation projects are provided by the Brainport industry. You will showcase your master skills and do research on new technologies. You will work on challenging topics, guided by a personal coach.


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As a system design engineer, you are responsible for the development of high-tech complex systems.



In the first two years, the theoretical substantiation takes place by means of 8 modules;

  • 4 hours per week lecture;
  • 8 hours per week self-study;
  • 8 hours per week projects.

Modules of the master:

Module 1
System Design: Architecture & Engineering You are mainly concerned with the technical aspects required to successfully run, manage, design and implement (large) complex high-tech systems.
Mechanics / Design principles Physical effects make it difficult to achieve predictability and reproducibility at high process rates. You will learn to analyze systems and manage these effects.
Dynamics / Thermo Mechanics You are able to change the structure of a system to make it less dependent on dynamic forces and thermal disturbances. You are able to find solutions to dilemmas in accuracy versus speed in the construction of high-technology systems.
Data & Image Processing You will gain an understanding of the way Neural Networks work. Neural Networks is covered within the domain of Artificial Intelligence.

Module 2
Modelling & Simulation This course focuses on modelling techniques to optimize designs of high-precision dynamical systems based on simulation results.
Measurement systems, Sensors & Actuators It is about designing a measurement system for high precision motion systems. The sensors data after being processed drive the active elements. The accuracy of this measurement data and the choice of the active elements and sensors define the capability and the performance of the whole system.
Innovation Engineering, Research Methods Innovation perception, creativity, patent development and research methods enhances your conceptual skills.
Control Engineering You can tune the structure of a system to ensure robust stability and performance by including knowledge of disturbances such as dynamic forces.

In the third year, you'll work on your final project, preferably at your company and write your Master's thesis. You also work on your professional skills as a t-shaped professional. For a system designer, leadership skills are essential for a system design engineer.

Project skills for a system design engineer:

  • Leadership skills
  • Product innovation
  • Developing a business plan & strategy roadmapping
  • Decision making, project communication


Diploma and language requirements

Diploma and language requirements:

  • A bachelor's degree in Mechatronics, Mechanical Engineering or equivalent. In case of a Bachelor's degree in another technical descipline, we can advise you whether it is doable for you to sign up.
  • Demonstratable experience in design and realization projects in your bachelor education.
  • You must have an appropriate English language qualification:
  • According to the Code of Conduct, students seeking admittance to an English-taught master’s programme must be able to prove that their command of the English language is at least equal to a score of 6.5 of the IELTS Test.
  • TOEFL iBT score of 90 (with minimum scores of listening 17, reading 18, speaking 20, writing 18).

We believe it is important to get to know our students personally prior to the final application. During a personal interview we determine whether the study is feasible for you. After the intake meeting you can apply for the master.

The master will start again in September 2024.

Code of conduct

Fontys University of Applied Sciences will act according to the Code of Conduct


    The tuition fees indicator helps you to determine the tuition rate for your situation. The information and tuition rates from this indicator are without engagement.

    Statutory tuition fees and institutional tuition fees

    A distinction is made between statutory tuition fees and institutional tuition fees. Only if you satisfy all statutory requirements regarding your nationality and if you have not yet been awarded a degree, will you be eligible for statutory tuition fees. Via the tuition fees indicator, you can secure an indication of the type of tuition fees that will be applicable in your situation. To do so, please make use of the indicator above.

    Distinctions are made between the following types of Institutional Tuition Fees:

    • Low institutional tuition fees
    • High institutional tuition fees

    Different types of tuition fees and Exemption Regulations

    These different types of tuition fees and the Exemption Regulations are fully detailed in the:

        The amount to be paid may vary in accordance with the following situations:

        • If you have enrolled in more than one course programme (at Fontys and/or elsewhere), it is possible that you may only be obliged to pay one set of statutory tuition fees.
        • If you believe that you may be eligible to pay only the statutory tuition fees on the basis of information that may be unknown to us, please report this to your Course Department.
        • If it later transpires that you do not meet the requirements for statutory tuition fees, you will be obliged to pay the (higher) institutional tuition fees and if this is the case, you will be notified accordingly.

        Some Fontys study programmes offer the NL scholarship to their students. Check out the link to see if this study programme participates and for more information.

        You might also be eligible for other scholarships not provided by Fontys. These can be found on the Study in NL website.

        Paying in instalments

        Collection will occur in a maximum of ten equal instalments on or around the 26th of the month. Depending upon the processing time required after your enrolment, the direct debit may need to be moved to the following month. If so, the amount outstanding will then be divided and added to the remaining instalments to be executed until and including the June instalment.

        If paying the full sum in a single payment

        If you commence your studies on 1 September, the direct debit pertaining to your Tuition Fees will be executed on or around 25 September. If you commence your studies after 1 September, the direct debit will be executed on or around the 26th of the month in which you commence your studies.

        Non-EU students

        Incoming non-EU students will receive a payment letter from their study department, which must be paid before the deadline. In the following academic years, payment can be made by direct debit.


        If you have a Bank account number of which the bank is not situated in one of the SEPA countries, and you are a national of a country outside the EEA without an address in The Netherlands, then you will receive a payment letter from Fontys via your course department.

        The Dutch currency unit is the Euro (i.e. abbreviated to ‘EUR’ or ‘€’).

        The average living expenses per month for a foreign student living and studying in Holland are between EUR 1,100 and EUR 1,500 per month. These living expenses cover rent, insurance, food, public transportation, books, clothing and other general costs. 

        Dutch Immigration Service (IND) requires non-EEA students to proof they have access to € 14.641 per year (€ 7.320 per semester)

        Costs within the first months upon arrival will be higher than all other months due to a housing deposit, intro week and books. Study books are usually bought at the start of the semester and therefore it is wise to reserve and have direct access to an amount at the start of the semester which can cover the price of all study books and the living expenses for the first two months. 

        Before starting your study at Fontys, you must find suitable housing. Unfortunately, it is not easy for international students to find accommodation in the Netherlands due to the housing crisis. Start your accommodation search early. Please be aware that finding a place to live is your own responsibility. However, we are happy to assist in any way we can.


        Career opportunities

        The role of the system design engineer varies within companies. In large companies, you may become involved in the development of multidisciplinary modules. In smaller companies, the systems design engineer is often responsible for overall product development. Career opportunities also exist in the extended supply chain of large companies and high-tech engineering firms. System design engineers envision, configure and control the system engineering of high-tech systems such as:

        • Processing machines (ASML, Thermo Fisher, Philips, several smaller equipment suppliers);
        • Instruments (e.g., satellites, telescopes, measuring systems, electro beam microscopes and medical systems);
        • Factory automation systems ( high pick and place machines, process machines, production lines).

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        How ceo's think about technical programmes at Fontys

        How to apply

        All applications for our programmes have to be conducted via www.studielink.nl. Studielink is an online portal that allows applicants to apply and maintain their registration whenever they want to.

        Application deadlines

        February intake 15 November
        September intake 15 May

        Start your online application

        • Log in to Studielink: www.studielink.nl.
        • Submit your personal details (please ensure that you enter your names as stated on your passport and/or identity card), ensuring that all details are entered correctly, i.e. capital letters where required.
        • Add 'New Enrolment Application': mind you choose the correct intake (February or September 2024).
        • Add your previous education and answer the supplementary questions.
        Educational institution Fontys Hogescholen
        Location of educational institution BIC 1, Eindhoven
        Programme Fontys Master System Design



        Sign up for one of our events. There's no better way to find out if this study programme is right for you! Visit a webinar from the comfort of your home or meet us live on campus. Whichever you choose, we hope to meet you soon.

        There are currently no activities planned for this study programme. Please contact us if you have any further questions.