Space Systems Engineering - Study line

Learn to design, develop, and qualify scientific space instruments and spacecraft systems for space research and geophysics.

Study line: Space Systems Engineering

Learn to design, develop, and qualify scientific space instruments and spacecraft systems for space research and geophysics.

Measurements and observations from space are of fundamental importance for physical sciences such as geophysics and astrophysics. As such, the development of scientific instrumentation and space-based systems is essential to provide high-quality data to increase knowledge about our world.

Students following the study line 'Space Systems Engineering' will learn how to design, develop, and qualify scientific space instruments and satellite systems and how to use advanced analysis methods and physical and mathematical modelling to ensure that these complex systems are compliant with mission requirements. Furthermore, these instruments and support systems (e.g. navigation, communication) need also to operate and perform efficiently in the harsh conditions of space for which verification techniques before launch into space are essential to be implemented.

Graduates will be able to contribute to the development of state-of-the-art instruments and support systems for use in extreme environments like space. Graduates may, for example, become key employees for commercial companies working with hi-tech systems like aerospace applications or space agencies such as ESA or NASA.

Academic focus

The academic focus of this study line is design, development and testing of scientific instrumentation and support systems. These include both space, airborne and ground -based instruments and systems.

Possible specialization

Within the study line 'Space Systems Engineering' it is possible through the choice of specialization courses to further specialize primarily in one of the following areas:

  • Instrumentation
  • Data processing
  • Physical and mathematical modelling.

Requirements for the study line

If you - in addition to the general requirements for the education - meet the following more strict requirements for the selection of courses, the title of the study line 'Space Systems Engineering' will be on the diploma in addition to the title of the general programme: 'Earth and Space Physics and Engineering'.

To obtain the MSc degree in Earth and Space Physics and Engineering with the study line in 'Space Systems Engineering', you must fulfil the following requirements:


The study line have all the same requirements as the general curriculum regarding the Polytechnic Foundation and Programme-specific Core competences, including ”Innovation course II”. Each study line only varies from the general curriculum by the specific lists of programme-specific courses and Recommended Elective Courses.

Programme-specific courses in Measurement Technology

To meet the requirements for the programme-specific courses in Measurement Technology  for the study line 'Space Systems Engineering', students must take the following two courses, which are mandatory to the study line:

30300 Introduction to Satellite Systems 10 point Autumn E5 (Wed 8-17)
30310 Space Systems Engineering 5 point Spring F5A (Wed 8-12)

In addition, students must choose courses corresponding to at least 10 ECTS from the following list:

30320 Spacecraft Instrumentation Systems 10 point Spring F2 (Mon 13-17, Thurs 8-12)
30330 Image Analysis with Microcomputer 10 point Autumn E1A (Mon 8-12) and Autumn E1B (Thurs 13-17), Autumn E2A (Mon 13-17)
30340 Radar and Radiometer Systems 10 point Spring F3 (Tues 8-12, Fri 13-17)
30350 Remote Sensing 10 point Autumn E4 (Tues 13-17, Fri 8-12)

Programme-specific courses in Physical Large Scale Structures and Processes

To meet the requirements for the programme-specific courses in Physical Large Scale Structures and Processes for the study line 'Space Systems Engineering', students must achieve least 5 ECTS from one of the following courses:

30720 Space Physics - Physics of the space environment 5 point Autumn E2A (Mon 13-17)
30745 Earth and Planetary Magnetism 5 point Spring F3A (Tues 8-12)
30752 Cryosphere physics and observation 5 point Autumn E5B (Wed 13-17)
30790 Observational X-ray Astrophysics 5 point Autumn E3B (Fri 13-17)

TS courses beyond 30 ECTS will count as elective courses.

Recommended Elective Courses

Any course classified as MSc course in DTU's course base may be taken for credit as an elective course. This includes programme-specific courses in excess of the minimal requirements. Master students may choose as much as 10 credit points among the bachelor courses at DTU and courses at an equivalent level from other higher institutions.

We recommend that you use some of your ECTS points for elective courses on either more of the above-mentioned programme-specific courses, but to meet the requirements for the study line 'Space Systems Engineering' you are required to take courses adding up to at least 10 ECTS from the list below:

30545 Analysis of spatial and temporal data within geoscience 5 point January
30552 Satellite Geodesy 5 point Autumn E2A (Mon 13-17)
30554 Global Navigation Satellite Systems 5 point Spring F2B (Thurs 8-12)
30755 Climate change - physics and observations 5 point Autumn E2A (Mon 13-17)

You may be able to find other relevant elective online courses in the EuroTeQ Partner Universities' course catalogue

Topic of 30220 Synthesis Project and Master's Thesis

The topic for both course 30220 Synthesis in Earth and Space Physics and the Master's Thesis must be within the study line's focus area.