The range of general electives on offer at the Nuremberg Institute of Technology includes the humanities and social and natural sciences, and subjects are arranged into various thematic groups.

These courses are intended to supplement our degree programmes. The following learning objectives will be achieved:

  • The general subjects provide you with an additional qualification for your professional life (e.g. foreign languages). Lectures in philosophy, literature, history, and politics provide general education and boost your power of judgement.
  • Insights into subjects outside your area of study broaden your horizons and prepare you for subsequent teamwork, during which you may be working with experts in a wide variety of fields.
  • Lectures in the field of law and business provide training for future managers in the areas of labour law, personnel management, and business creation.
  • The seminars offered in the area of personal development cover presentation techniques, conflict management, leadership, and how to work in a team and, in doing so, also teach soft skills.
  • The range of technical and social subjects on offer includes topics relating to holistic thinking. We investigate the connections between ecology and the economy. We also offer courses in modern, engineering-relevant areas of mathematics and physics (e.g. computer algebra systems, astronomy, optoelectronics, laser technology, etc.).

Click here for further information on our current range of general elective and required elective subjects (AWPF).

Since the professorship for Social Studies with a focus on gender & diversity was established at the Faculty during the 2010 summer semester, this subject area has been represented by Prof. Renate Bitzan.

What is gender? – It covers gender relations in our society: how are the circumstances of men and women shaped? What has been done in the areas of role models and equality and what is still to be done?

What is diversity? – This is about diversity in our society and how we deal with it: Do we view differences in age, origin, gender, physical abilities, sexual orientation, religion, etc. as positive potential or a problem?

Whether they realize it or not, these are topics that students must deal with at the university, in their everyday lives, and in their later professional life – regardless of the industry that they find themselves in – so it is better to do so in a conscious and competent manner!

Courses on topics such as “Introduction to Gender Studies in Social Studies”, “How society handles diversity, differences, and inequality”, “Migration and integration in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany”, etc. are offered as general required elective subjects at the Faculty of Applied Mathematics, Physics and Humanities. In addition, Prof. Bitzan teaches individual modules within the Faculty of Social Sciences (Basics of Politics, Cultural Diversity, Gender-sensitive Concepts) and the Faculty of Business Administration (Diversity Management, Gender in Business and Society).

Together with Prof. Laila Hofmann (Faculty of Business Administration), she has also been acting as head of Nuremberg Tech’s Competence Center for Gender & Diversity (KomGeDi), which was founded in 2011.

Mathematics in technical and economic degree programmes.

From 1833-1849, Georg Simon Ohm worked as a mathematician and physicist at the predecessor institution to today’s Nuremberg Tech, which has borne his name since 1983 (Technische Hochschule Nürnberg Georg Simon Ohm).

On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Ohm’s death, his life’s work, and in particular the work that he carried out in Nuremberg, was honoured during a memorial colloquium held on 6 July 2004 as part of the Mathematics and Physics Colloquium held by the Faculty of Applied Mathematics, Physics and Humanities.

During his time in Nuremberg, Ohm primarily worked on acoustics using mathematics as a basis in the form of Fourier analyses (see figure), which were emerging at that time.

Thanks to its namesake, the university has a strong mathematical profile. This is becoming increasingly important at a time when the ever-increasing use of mathematics in various fields of application is giving rise to technical, scientific, and economic innovations.

The special role that mathematics plays in science, technology, and the economy has gained fresh momentum in recent decades thanks to the rapid development of computer hardware. Increasingly powerful computers can be used to extract previously inaccessible information from huge amounts of data through the use of mathematical methods. Tangible technical and economic processes are represented in mathematical models and simulated on computers. This allows the scope of (expensive) experiments to be reduced and supplemented. In addition, it is now possible, in many cases, to simulate phenomena that are difficult to study via experimentation.

However, it is not enough to simply keep building and using increasingly powerful computers. The development of fast and stable mathematical algorithms and the resulting progress in software development is just as important, if not more so.

The interactions between engineering science or economics, computer science, physics, and mathematics for numerical simulation (scientific computing), and solutions provided by technical and business processes are illustrated in the following overview.

This overview illustrates the interactions between engineering science or economics, computer science, physics, and mathematics for numerical simulation (scientific computing), and solutions provided by technical and business processes.

Numerical simulation, which is based on theoretical knowledge from various mathematical fields, will continue to be a key asset for technology and business, and is expected to be used more often by a collective of engineers, economists, computer scientists, physicists, and mathematicians.

A mathematical education should therefore be especially important for future engineers and economists. It must be geared towards future developments and not just aligned to short-term needs. The importance of sound mathematical knowledge is recognized around the world and confirmed by industrial associations such as VDI, ZVEI, and VDMA, which recommend that future-oriented engineering studies include a 30% share of basic mathematical and scientific training. To ensure the international comparability of courses and degrees, care must be taken to ensure that a robust basic scientific education is provided, taught by qualified mathematicians.

The importance of mathematics is underpinned by the fact that the subject is represented by a dedicated Faculty. The Faculty of Applied Mathematics, Physics and Humanities – which all universities of applied sciences in Bavaria must have by law, along with the associated departments of Mathematics, Physics, Humanities, Social Studies (Gender, Sustainability, Technical Journalism, etc.), and Linguistics – therefore plays a key role in providing students with a sound education in all of the disciplines on offer at the Nuremberg Institute of Technology. Since 1985, the Faculty has also developed the Computer Science degree programme, the substance and quality of which is characterized by a high proportion of mathematics, and which has now evolved into an independent Faculty of Computer Science in one of the fastest growing areas of the university.

At present, the proportion of mathematics-based required courses in Computer Science is around 20%; whereas, in other subjects, these only account for around 10-13% of the degree programme as a whole.

This proportion of required courses is relatively small when compared with the above-mentioned recommendations by VDI, ZVEI, and VDMA, which means that students must take personal responsibility for ensuring that they acquire adequate mathematical knowledge for their studies and to meet future requirements. The mathematicians at the Faculty of Applied Mathematics, Physics and Humanities offer a broad range of mathematics courses to help them to achieve this.

The compulsory components during the first academic phase are tailored to the various specializations and areas for which time has already been set aside, such as Complex Numbers and Functions, Differential and Integral Calculus for Real Functions of One or More Variables, Linear Algebra, Ordinary Differential Equations, Vector Analysis, Fourier and Laplace Transformations, and the Use and Application of Computer Algebra and Numerical Systems as Important Modern Mathematical Tools for Engineers and Economists.

Other subjects offered in the form of lectures and seminars are:

  •     Statistics
  •     Numerical Mathematics
  •     Operations Research
  •     Statistical Methods for Evaluating Software Quality
  •     Use of Computer Algebra Methods to Resolve Engineering Issues
  •     Algorithms on Parallel Computers
  •     Fourier and Wavelet Analysis
  •     Monte Carlo Methods
  •     etc.

Students undertaking any of the various fields of study at Nuremberg Tech are invited to take these courses as general elective and required elective subjects in order to gain the mathematical skills that they need in the form of one of the most future-oriented key qualifications for the engineers of tomorrow.

Physics as part of technical degree programmes

Physics forms the basis for technology. Physics examines all processes in inanimate nature and attempts to identify the laws that govern them. If we as humans understand these laws, we are able to use natural processes for our own benefit. This makes physics the most important foundation for technology, since progress in this area is almost always based on knowledge gained via physics. The engineer’s task is to put this knowledge into practice. Many of our modern technological achievements would not have been possible had the necessary basic knowledge not been acquired by physics.

In the various technological disciplines, the most diverse fields of physics serve as an indispensable basis for engineering sciences. The physics education we provide takes this into account such that, rather than offering a standard foundation module in Physics, the lectures for the individual degree programmes are tailored to the needs of the individual curricula. As is characteristic of universities of applied sciences, a great deal of importance is attached to practical relevance.

Practical Physics Course

The practical Physics course offered by the Faculty of Applied Mathematics, Physics and Humanities serves both as an introduction to experimental work and as didactic support for the accompanying Physics lectures during the first year of study.

Specializations for Engineering Physics (examples)

Building Physics

When compared with the traditional branches of physics, building physics is a relatively new discipline. It essentially only arose after the Second World War when an increase in structural damage was observed following the construction boom that sought to address the significant shortage of residential and commercial buildings. This damage could often be traced back to the fact that, although the rules of architecture had been complied with in relation to building materials and static requirements, etc., insufficient account had been taken of the basic laws of physics, such as water vapour transport in particular.

Today, building physics is a recognized and useful field of knowledge that is a crucial part of the education of architects and civil engineers. Building physics breaks down into the following individual areas, which are briefly described below:

The Faculty of Applied Mathematics, Physics and Humanities provides building physics courses for the Architecture and Civil Engineering departments, as well as for the Building Services Engineering degree programme. With the exception of fire protection, all of the above-mentioned topics are covered and supplemented with demonstration experiments and building physics measurements. The department has special building physics measuring equipment for this purpose, and this is supplemented by our extensive physical collection.


The fundamentals of geometric and wave optics are taught during our Physics lectures for all technical degree programmes. Optics is becoming increasingly important for research and technology and has developed into an important branch of the economy. It is therefore necessary that each student acquires at least the fundamentals so that they can benefit from them in their later working life.

The traditional fields include imaging optics (lens optics) and applications for interference phenomena, e.g. in spectrometers and optical test equipment. The development of laser technology and fibre optic cables for communication has given optics an enormous boost.

Analogies in technical acoustics such as the focusing of ultrasound waves in lithotripters or the use of interference phenomena in communications technology or in modern astronomy make optics an indispensable part of a student’s education.

A large number of optics experiments are available for selection for the practical Physics course offered by the Faculty. This will allow students to deepen the knowledge that they gained from the lectures. They will also learn how to evaluate and interpret the results of experiments and how to perform error analyses.

In various degree programmes, special lectures build upon fundamental knowledge. More in-depth knowledge can also be gained via general elective and required elective subjects.

Detailed information can be found on the webpages of the Language Center (LC).

Contact:  Prof. Volker Markus Banholzer (Chair of the Special Committee)

You can also find some interesting information on the webpages of the Journalism of Technology bachelor’s degree programme.