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Project-based learning (PBL) is a well-established concept, having been founded and propagated by early pioneers in philosophy – Aristotle, Confucius, and Socrates. To learn by doing is a discernible activity in several stages of learning today – pre-school, school, university, and even the professional workplace.

The origins of Project Based Learning
Project-based Learning has roots in Greek and Chinese philosophy

At CODE, we are big fans of PBL and how it has shaped our learning ecosystem since we first started in 2017.

In this article, we review the history of project-based learning around the world, how it has developed, and why it has endured.

The History of Project-based Learning

Origins and Early Advancements

The origins of project-based learning or PBL can be traced as far back as 551 BC. Notably used first in Chinese and Greek philosophy, it was not until 1592 when PBL was officially documented in the early modern age of education.

John Amos Comenius, a Czech philosopher and theologian (also referred to as the ‘father of modern education’), was a proponent of project-based learning. His belief was that education should be centred around the student, not the teacher. The student should learn through a combination of curiosity, questioning, and active participation.


Following the period of laying down the foundation for PBL in mainstream education, came the works of Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi, Friedrich Fröbel, and Henriette Goldschmidt.

Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi was a Swiss educator who encouraged students to embrace unfamiliar challenges in learning, and in turn, influenced a wave of project-based learning ecosystems in Europe and elsewhere in the world.

Take Friedrich Fröbel, next. A German educator, he coined the term ‘kindergarten’ – meant to denote children as individuals with different needs, talents, and learning styles. Henriette Goldschmidt was a German Jewish educator who revolutionized women’s education in Germany, and was a vocal proponent of Fröbel’s educational ideologies. 

Things took off soon after, with the frequency of new discoveries and theories in project based learning rising rapidly. John Dewey argued that active learning would generate better results for students not just in the context of learning, but also with regards to retention and application. William Heard Kilpatrick, one of Dewey’s students, developed the project model in the early 1900s – and formally defined that educators should serve more as guides than figures of authority to create a more holistic learning environment.

Some remarkable achievements during this time include the foundation of montessori schools for young children. Based on Italian child-development specialist Maria Montessori’s work and brainchild, montessoris became an internationally recognized educational institution for young children to learn through experience.

Montessoris are one of the most relevant examples of PBL being used to shape early development in children

Project-based Learning Today

It is important to emphasize that PBL or project-based learning is different to simply doing or working on a project. While project modules are increasingly common in schools and universities today, project-based learning indicates a separate learning ecosystem in itself – one that makes use of critical thinking, problem-solving, collaborative discussion, and other forms of communication. 

PBL is a fixture at CODE

Minerva University in San Francisco, California takes the concept of higher education with a purpose and turns it into a transformative experience across seven cities – Berlin, Taipei, Hyderabad, Seoul, London, Buenos Aires, and San Francisco – to allow students the chance to experience different cultures in an active learning environment.

A highly selective program, Minerva University observes a 2-3% acceptance rate, and focuses on preparing selected students for a global, dynamic career that can withstand the test of time. 

So, does this actually work? Minerva graduates say yes (The Guardian, 2020). 

At CODE, our learning model employs Learning Units (LUs) in place of traditional lectures – to allow students and faculty to select a mode of learning that best suits the objective of the day. There’s a variety of formats to choose from – group discussions, flipped classroom sessions, interdisciplinary brainstorming, one-on-one mentoring, etc.

I am really glad I had a chance to work in a cross- functional team. It has not been always easy, especially when you need to present and justify your ideas. However, this gave me a lot of insights into how the project work and roles are usually structured. I also learned to navigate expectations management and team communication better. And most importantly, how to align personal ideas with the global product vision.

– CODE Student, Interaction Design as Project-Based Learning: Perspectives for Unsolved Challenges (Piccolo et al., 2023)

University College Groningen is a university in the Netherlands that employs a similar concept. UGC endorses project-based learning as part of the curriculum through interdisciplinary project work at a Bachelor’s level. Maastricht University deploys a form of project-centred learning, while The London Interdisciplinary School focuses on two-week cycles of interdisciplinary engagement to tackle different questions.

Why, then, is project-based learning not as popular as it should be?

There are many potential reasons.

  1. PBL calls for smaller learning groups, which is practically, not always a realistic target for schools with larger cohorts.
  2. For project-based learning to ‘sustainably’ take off, there needs to be adequate investment into setting up systems that allow for the same.
  3. Project-based learning may not always be the right choice for more theoretical disciplines.
  4. Traditional learning models are heavily financed and endorsed by academics, researchers, and governmental bodies around the world – the same cannot be said for the discourse around PBL.

Project-based Learning in Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is part of the CODE DNA. 10% of our student body are already founders, with 60+ companies having been founded by CODE students over the years.

entrepreneurship at CODE
Entrepreneurship is part of the CODE DNA

Project-based learning actually plays more of a role in entrepreneurial endeavours than you’d presume. 

Think of it as a founders’ bootcamp – a place to come together, brainstorm, network. Maybe something akin to On Deck – which is a week-long program that takes place in San Francisco, California.

Except, in this case, the ‘bootcamp’ is not just a week and comes with learning units and experienced mentors who aid you every step of the way to find your true calling, and develop the necessary skills you need to develop the founder mindset. And, as for the network, isn’t university all about meeting people and making new friends, anyway?

At CODE, it’s even easier – given our focus on interdisciplinary projects – we encourage you to foster connections and create professional and personal networks with peers. 

Final Thoughts

While this is in no way an exhaustive history of PBL and its impact on education as we know it today – we hope to have provided some enlightenment on the subject!

Fancy some additional reading?  

Head to our blog for more on PBL, the learning model at CODE, and how our students are making strides everyday into new realms of knowledge and application. 

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March 15, 2024, was all about the 7th Annual Edition of CODE students’ Unicon Conference.


‘No Bullshit. Just Insights.’ 

Unicon was founded in 2017 by a group of interdisciplinary students from CODE. A conference for students by students, Unicon brings together a diverse group of seasoned entrepreneurs each year for unfiltered sessions on professional and life experiences.

While Berlin is known internationally for its vibrant startup ecosystem, Unicon trains its focus on the most important commodity in the startup scene – students!

This event combines live discussions, keynote speeches, and interesting workshops – each designed to succinctly define the experience of becoming and growing into being a founder.

Unicon’s advent 7 years ago can be traced back to the need for a platform that allows students and industry leaders to come together and forge meaningful connections. The values of connection, diversity, and celebration form the core of Unicon.


The agenda for Unicon 2024 was chock-full of interesting topics laid forth by speakers from various corners of the digital economy in Germany. Topics such as health-tech, venture consulting, website development & design, and fintech were covered – among others.

Judith Dada, Venture Capitalist and General Partner at La Famiglia VC – as well as a member of CODE’s board – spoke about the founder mindset, and how to carve out an individual journey in a fast-changing global economy.

Lennard Schmidt, CEO of Langdock and an alumnus of CODE as well as Y Combinator, shared insights about his own journey in tech-driven entrepreneurship.

Diana zur Löwen, multi-hyphenate (influencer, investor, speaker consultant), shared her personal journey from content creator to finance expert with the audience.

Diana zur Lowen
Diana zur Löwen talks about her experiences as an angel investor

Lars Zimmerman, Co-Founder of GovTech Campus, brought a fascinating overview of the implementation of modern tech into public administration to facilitate improvement in civil society.

Johannes Schaback, CTO of SumUp, and Johanna Weber, Co-Founder at Blossom Design, were crowd favourites – each partaking in spirited sessions about the experience of heading a tech company.

Attendees got a chance to interact with speakers and set up short interviews with them. And of course, there was a dinner and after-party to follow.

Discover the full list of speakers at Unicon 2024 on their website.


For the first time, we happened to host Unicon 2024 in conjunction with the CODE Partner Day.

Partner Day at CODE is a day when our partners visit the campus and interact with students. There are usually introductory pitches, lively Q&A rounds, and individual interview sessions – in short, an excellent networking opportunity.

Thank you to Porsche AG, Deutsche Telekom, AVM GmbH, Forte Digital, CarByte, Delivery Hero, and 4cost for participating in the event!

Unicon 2024 Partners
AVM GmbH pitches at Unicon 2024

To Look Forward To

Unicon 2025! If this article piqued your interest and you’d like to attend Unicon next year: Keep an eye out for when the agenda and tickets for next year is live on the website.

Have specific questions you want answered in advance, or a great idea you’d like to pitch directly? Get in touch with Unicon directly here.

In the meantime, feel free to check out the CODE website for interesting insights into the ever-evolving world of curiosity-driven education!

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This article delves into the conceptual framework of active learning and its advent and evolution in Germany. Our primary focus is on the learning methods itself, and how they can be used to boost understanding and practical experience. This article is a must-read for those who wish to learn more about the subject, and assess if active learning is a good fit for them.

An Introduction to Active Learning

What is active learning?

To put it simply, active learning is a method of learning in which students are ‘actively’ or ‘experientially’ engaged in the learning process. Broadly speaking, active learning could apply to any form of learning where the student is NOT passively listening. 

A Harvard study (September 4, 2019) revealed that while students may feel that they learned more in a traditional lecture-based learning environment, they actually learn more when actively engaging in the classroom, and thereby, the learning process. 

Active learning, also referred to as self-directed learning, is implemented by developing systems that enable students to put theoretical knowledge to practical use, take part in discussions with peers and mentors, and figure out effective solutions to complex problems.

Key Principles of Active Learning

There are a lot of ways to learn ‘actively’. The key principles of active learning are a set of guidelines devised to maximize the impact of active learning.

  1. Driven by students – Active learning is a form of learning where the students decide what and how they want to learn, with the focus on them rather than on the educator. By having students be at the core and forefront of the learning system, active learning brings together the three paradigms of mindset, skillset, and toolset.
  2. Space for meaningful reflection – Active learning exists beyond the confines of time-bound tests and lectures. True learning lies in reflection post a learning experience, and in the comprehension of ideas and applications.
  3. Freedom of choice – People can have different perspectives on the same problem, object, or idea. Active learning allows just this — a learning ecosystem where students evaluate problems through unique viewpoints, and formulate individual ways of learning for themselves.
  4. Prospects for real-life applications – The concept of active learning rests on the basis of real-life complexities and application. When students are able to apply theoretical knowledge in practical situations, not only do they learn better — they also learn from their inevitable mistakes. At CODE, we believe that all failures are productive learning

Shift in Teaching Methods

While active learning does indeed shift the focus to students, educators have had an important role to play in the reshaping of traditional learning methods. 

Active learning, or self-directed learning requires a style of teaching that can support students in an effective but non-stringent manner. Traditional learning, for example, is defined largely by a ‘classroom’ structure. A traditional classroom is headed by a teacher or instructor, and students learn through listening, theoretical assignments, and memorization-based tests.

In the active learning ecosystem, this standard is flipped. Professors are more mentors than teachers, present in advisory capacity. They facilitate active discussion, implement student-centered activities, and draw focus to the ‘why’ rather than the ‘how’ of learning.

The Importance of Fostering Connections 

A crucial and quite revelatory aspect of active learning lies in its foundation in relationship-building. Learning is as much about an exchange of ideas, as it is about theory — and harnessing the power of connections to boost learning is exactly what makes it so interesting.

Active learning highlights the many benefits of peer-to-peer learning — where students learn from each other through conversation, interdisciplinary projects, group activities, and more.

Peer-to-peer learning
Fostering connections via peer-to-peer learning is a key facet of active learning.

Active Learning in Germany

Now that you have a better understanding of the concept itself, let us train our focus on Germany specifically and the advent and growth of active learning here.

‘The indispensable societal role of universities is defined by their function as educators of critical, creative thinkers capable of making a contribution and an impact in an ever-changing and “super complex”11 world. Graduates should furthermore embrace lifelong learning and see universities as a given option for continuous education.12  This requires, however, that learning in the 21st century develops into an active process. Traditional approaches to learning, mainly manifested through lectures, are not sufficiently effective in promoting ownership and application of knowledge, key to the development of understanding, but rather supporting the passive absorption of content.’(Promoting Active Learning in Universities, European University Association, 2019)

The above excerpt from a paper on active learning published by EUA in 2019 highlights clearly the need to invest in non-traditional methods of learning and teaching, and how there is tangible interest in learning that encompasses more than just the passive absorption of knowledge. 

Germany’s total student population is around 2.8 million, out of which 458,210 are international students according to latest data — making Germany a top global study destination. It only makes sense, therefore, that there are major strides being made in how education is being reshaped in public and private universities across the country.

The concept of active learning comes under the broader umbrella of non-traditional learning, which is a phrase that can be used to indicate any way, form, or method of learning that deviates from convention.

A sign of the growth of interest in Germany around active learning is evident from the research surrounding it in the last few years, an indication that there’s more being done to actively investigate how learning is sought from one’s physical and social environments. A 7-year long study conducted by the Max Planck Research Group iSearch on learning patterns in children, was built to test this very hypothesis. 

This study led the way for the assessment of ‘ecological learning’ — broadly defined as the ability to select active learning methods that amplify learning efficiency. 

Moving on to active learning in higher education, there is a rising number of institutions in Germany that are modelling their curricula on active learning methods, or offering courses that are founded in the principles of active learning.

Technische Universität Nürnberg (est. 2021) has adopted an active approach to learning design, and offers courses that are competency-based. The Munich Business School took to active learning methods in the wake of Covid-19, and has created a flexible learning environment with both offline and online components that focus on learner participation.

CODE University of Applied Sciences (est. 2017) is built on a peer-to-peer learning model that aims to furnish students with real-life skills and enables them to learn through participation and self-direction. The first university to pioneer the move towards active learning on an international scale, CODE champions the cause of students who are seeking knowledge borne out of curiosity.

Active learning in higher education, or more pertinently, successful active learning in higher education is a tough nut to crack. Part of the reason is pre-established learning methods that date back centuries. A student/learner is exposed to conventional forms of learning and assessment from a very early age. Switching suddenly to a completely new way of study in higher education can therefore be overwhelming.

However, there is a growing number of students in Germany who now seek to explore alternative approaches towards acquiring knowledge. 

How to Find Out if Active Learning is the Right Choice for You

How do you know if active learning is the right choice for you? 

There are a few different touchstones of active learning, but the most important one is attitude towards learning. Active learning requires an openness of spirit that translates into curiosity, a sense of adventure, and a desire to apply, test, and iterate to boost understanding.

If you’re someone who prefers to learn in flipped-classroom, interactive, and interdisciplinary environments — active learning is definitely for you. 

Of course, that is not to say that you cannot learn to enjoy active learning, even if you do not fit all of the above criteria. Alternative forms of learning often need time to prove effective. 

At CODE, we believe that curiosity is capable of wonders – and is the first step on the road to effective self-directed learning. We do not expect you to know and understand all the facets of active learning. It is a journey of discovery, and we are happy to support you on the way.

Above all, learning is an experience – and one must enjoy it!

How to Begin your Active Learning Journey 

You might be wondering now, how you too can begin your active learning journey. Opportunities to pursue non-traditional means of learning in Germany are on the rise, and we definitely can be of help.

At CODE, we pride ourselves for housing and honing not the people with the best grades or test scores, but those who are the most ambitious, motivated, and talented. Our study programs are meticulously designed to allow our students complete agency over how they want to shape their academic journeys. 

Flipping the class at CODE
At CODE, lectures are replaced by lively group discussions.

CODE’s application process, like a lot of things we do, is unique. You will not be competing with other applicants for a spot. All applicants undergo the same process, regardless of their previous knowledge and background. We cannot enroll an unlimited number of students, but there is no fixed number of places to fill.

Think you’re a good fit? Learn all about our application process here.

Get in Touch

We are always happy to address your queries. Head to our FAQ section or get in touch with CODE here.

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The Vital Role of a Product Manager in Driving Digital Product Success

In the dynamic world of digital product development, the role of a product manager has emerged as a critical driver of success. As technology continues to shape industries, businesses require skilled professionals who can effectively navigate the complexities of product ideation, development, and launch. In this blog post, we’ll explore the importance of product managers, their core responsibilities, and why they play a crucial role in shaping and delivering exceptional digital products.

  1. Understanding the Role of a Product Manager: A product manager serves as a strategic link between various stakeholders, including customers, engineers, designers, and business teams. They are responsible for defining and executing a product vision, ensuring its alignment with business objectives, and driving its success throughout its lifecycle. Product managers possess a unique blend of technical knowledge, market insights, and leadership skills.Students playing with VR at CODE
  2. Core Functions of a Product Manager: 
    1. Market Research and Analysis: Product managers conduct comprehensive market research to identify customer needs, market trends, and competitive landscapes. They analyze data, gather user feedback, and translate insights into actionable product strategies.
    2. Product Strategy and Roadmap: Product managers develop a clear vision and roadmap for the product. They define goals, prioritize features, and align the product roadmap with business objectives, market demands, and technical feasibility.
    3. Cross-functional Collaboration: Product managers work closely with cross-functional teams, including engineering, design, marketing, and sales. They facilitate effective communication, manage dependencies, and ensure all stakeholders are aligned towards a common goal.
    4. Product Development and Iteration: Product managers oversee the development process, collaborating with engineering teams to ensure timely and quality product delivery. They iterate on features based on user feedback, market insights, and evolving customer needs.
    5. User Experience and Design: Product managers collaborate with designers to create intuitive user experiences that delight customers. They define user personas, conduct usability testing, and work towards enhancing the product’s overall usability and user satisfaction.
    6. Launch and Go-to-Market Strategy: Product managers develop go-to-market strategies, including pricing, positioning, and marketing plans. They coordinate product launches, monitor performance metrics, and gather feedback for further product enhancement.
  3. The Criticality of Product Managers in Digital Product Development: 
    1. Customer-Centricity: Product managers advocate for the customer, ensuring that product decisions are based on user needs and preferences. By incorporating user feedback and conducting market research, they help create products that resonate with the target audience.
    2. Strategic Decision-Making: Product managers possess a holistic understanding of the market, business goals, and technological possibilities. Their strategic decision-making abilities help align product development with the company’s vision, ensuring long-term success.
    3. Efficient Resource Allocation: Product managers prioritize features and allocate resources effectively, optimizing development cycles and ensuring efficient use of time, budget, and talent.
    4. Risk Mitigation: By conducting thorough market research, analyzing competitors, and gathering user insights, product managers minimize the risks associated with product development. They make informed decisions, reducing the chances of building products that do not meet market demands.
    5. Continuous Improvement: Product managers foster a culture of continuous improvement and iteration. They leverage user feedback and data analytics to identify areas for enhancement and guide product evolution, ensuring a customer-centric approach.


In today’s digital landscape, the role of a product manager is more crucial than ever. Their ability to understand customer needs, align business objectives, and drive product success is instrumental in creating exceptional digital products. By collaborating with cross-functional teams, defining product strategy, and facilitating effective communication, product managers play a pivotal role in shaping the future of businesses. Embrace the power of product management and leverage the expertise of skilled professionals to elevate your organization’s digital products to new heights of success.


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Are you passionate about innovation, technology, and shaping products that captivate users? A Product Management degree opens the door to a world of exciting career opportunities. In this exhilarating blog post, we will explore ten thrilling careers that await those who embark on the journey of Product Management. From revolutionizing the gaming industry to spearheading digital transformations, these careers will unleash your creativity, strategic thinking, and leadership skills.

Unicom Berlin CODE University

  1. Tech Startup Visionary: Imagine being at the forefront of the next big tech revolution. As a Product Manager, you can bring visionary ideas to life by leading product development, market analysis, and growth strategies for startups. Your expertise will shape groundbreaking products and disrupt entire industries.
  2. Digital Experience Architect: In the digital realm, user experience is paramount. As a Product Manager, you can craft immersive digital experiences by collaborating with design, development, and marketing teams. You’ll create user-centered products that leave lasting impressions and keep users engaged.
  3. E-commerce Mastermind: E-commerce is reshaping the retail landscape. With a Product Management degree, you can take charge of e-commerce platforms, driving strategies to optimize user journeys, enhance conversion rates, and revolutionize the online shopping experience.
  4. Mobile App Innovator: Mobile apps have become an integral part of our lives. As a Product Manager in the mobile app space, you’ll conceptualize, design, and launch innovative apps that solve real-world problems, cater to user needs, and disrupt the app market.
  5. Gaming Guru: Step into the world of gaming and unleash your creativity. As a Product Manager in the gaming industry, you’ll shape the next generation of gaming experiences. From console games to mobile gaming, your strategic vision will enchant players worldwide.
  6. Digital Transformation Leader: Companies across industries are embracing digital transformation. With a Product Management degree, you’ll play a pivotal role in guiding organizations through this evolution. You’ll identify opportunities, align technology solutions, and drive the transformation to unlock new business models.CODE University Students @Paula Pisarcikova
  7. Innovation Evangelist: Do you have a passion for exploring cutting-edge technologies and driving innovation? As a Product Manager, you’ll be the catalyst for change within organizations, championing new ideas, encouraging experimentation, and ensuring that innovation thrives.
  8. AI and Machine Learning Strategist: Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are reshaping industries. With a Product Management degree, you can specialize in AI-driven products, leveraging data-driven insights to create intelligent solutions that enhance efficiency, personalization, and automation.
  9. Product Marketing Maverick: Combine your strategic thinking with marketing prowess as a Product Marketing Manager. You’ll develop go-to-market strategies, identify target audiences, craft compelling messaging, and drive successful product launches that resonate with customers.Professor Joana Lemos teaching at CODE University
  10. Entrepreneurial Trailblazer: With a Product Management degree, you’ll have the knowledge and skills to embark on your entrepreneurial journey. As a founder, you’ll wear multiple hats, leading product development, driving growth strategies, and navigating the exciting and challenging world of startups.

A Product Management degree opens a gateway to an exhilarating array of career paths. Whether you’re dreaming of revolutionizing industries, shaping immersive experiences, or leading digital transformations, the possibilities are limitless. Embrace your passion for innovation, technology, and strategic thinking as you embark on one of these ten thrilling careers. Let your Product Management journey unleash your potential and shape a future that is both rewarding and exhilarating. Get ready to make your mark on the world!

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Revolutionize Your Tech Education at CODE University of Applied Science

Welcome to the official blog of CODE University of Applied Science, Berlin’s premier tech university! If you’re passionate about technology, startups, and innovative learning, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll delve into the unique features and offerings of our university, catering to aspiring entrepreneurs and tech enthusiasts with an appetite for growth, self-drive, and community engagement. Let’s explore how CODE University can empower you to unleash your potential and thrive in the digital world.

project-based learning at CODE


Embrace Progressive Education at CODE

At CODE University, we offer a forward-thinking approach to education. Say goodbye to traditional theory-based learning and hello to project-based studies! We believe in hands-on experiences that allow students to shape their own learning journeys. With our cutting-edge programs, you can choose how you study, what you study, and at your own pace. Emphasizing real-world applications, our curriculum equips students with the practical skills needed to succeed in the tech industry.

Project-based learning in progress at CODE

Explore a Range of Programs:

We offer three diverse and exciting bachelor’s programs to suit your interests and ambitions:

    1. BSc Software Engineering: Dive deep into the world of programming, software development, and computer science. Develop your coding skills and create innovative solutions for real-world challenges.
    2. BA Product Management: Learn how to transform ideas into successful products and lead teams to deliver exceptional user experiences. Gain expertise in strategic planning, market research, and project management.
    3. BA Interaction Design: Combine your passion for creativity and technology. Master user-centric design principles, prototyping, and interactive media to craft immersive digital experiences.

Our  Admissions:

Our university is perfect for individuals who possess an entrepreneurial mindset, curiosity, and a desire to empower others. While high school graduation is the primary requirement, we also welcome university students looking to switch their majors and embrace a more hands-on approach to learning. Our target audience includes both international and domestic students, with a focus on Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, and the UK


Group of students sitting at a table at CODE University of applied sciences


Foster a Supportive Community:

At CODE University, we foster a supportive and inclusive community. Students feel a sense of belonging and have ample opportunities to contribute to the community in various ways. Collaboration and knowledge sharing are at the heart of our approach, allowing you to grow both personally and professionally.

What makes CODE unique: 

    • Learning by Doing: Gain practical experience and work on real-world projects, ensuring a smooth transition from academia to industry. 
    • Tech-First Education: Stay at the forefront of technological advancements and acquire skills that are in high demand. 
    • Higher Salaries for Graduates: Our graduates are well-equipped and sought after by top companies, commanding higher salaries in the job market. 
    • Empowering Others: Embrace our mission to empower others through knowledge sharing, community engagement, and collaborative projects.

Our brand identity is built on empowering, progressive, engaging, intelligent, honest, and fun values. While our main competitors include renowned tech universities such as WHU, TU Munich and Berlin, and Minerva, CODE University stands out with its unique learning-by-doing approach, professional treatment of students, higher graduate salaries, and a thriving supportive community.

CODE University of Applied Science is your gateway to an exciting and progressive tech education. Join our vibrant community of like-minded individuals and gain the skills you need to innovate the future


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Foto: Prof. Dr. Peter Ruppel (President), Thomas Bachem (Founder & Executive Chairman), Verena Pausder (University Council), Dr. Reimar Müller-Thum (CEO & Chancellor)

Berlin, July 5, 2023 – CODE University of Applied Sciences appoints Dr. Reimar Müller-Thum as the university’s CEO and Chancellor. Müller-Thum brings extensive experience in education and technology.

Reimar Müller-Thum is a renowned expert in the field of higher education and has made a name for himself through his innovative approaches and leadership skills. Prior to CODE, he spent ten years as managing director of Macromedia University of Applied Sciences and Macromedia Academy, as well as Galileo Global Education Germany.

Müller-Thum will continue to develop CODE’s strategic direction and drive the institution’s growth. His commitment to excellence in teaching and his focus on hands-on learning will help students develop their skills in technology.

CODE is excited to welcome Reimar Müller-Thum as its new executive director and is confident that his experience and vision will take the university to new heights. With his strong background in higher education and commitment to innovation, he will help establish CODE as a leading institution for innovative technology education.

Commenting on his appointment, Müller-Thum said: “For me, CODE is one of the most innovative educational initiatives of the last decade and a diamond in the rough. I am excited about what the founding team has built and look forward to using my experience to help CODE reach its full potential.”

Thomas Bachem, founder and previously sole Managing Director of CODE, is proud that with Reimar Müller-Thum joining, CODE won over one of the most interesting and high-profile personalities in Germany’s private education business. In his new role as Executive Chairman, Bachem will work in close coordination with Müller-Thum and will be responsible in particular for the areas of entrepreneurship, corporate partnerships, network, brand and public communications.

About CODE:
CODE University of Applied Sciences is a private, state-recognized university for the digital pioneers of tomorrow, based in Berlin. Its unique learning concept and its three English-language degree programs in Software Engineering, Interaction Design, and Product Management are focused on skills that will be needed in the working world of the future. In July 2017, CODE was granted state recognition by the state of Berlin. Approximately 600 students are now enrolled at CODE. Since then, CODE has been funded and supported by more than 30 prominent digital entrepreneurs, such as e-commerce pioneer Stephan Schambach, Rolf Schrömgens (Trivago), Florian Heinemann (Project A), Benjamin Otto (Otto), Verena Pausder (Fox & Sheep) or Ijad Madisch (ResearchGate).

Royalty-free photo material can be found here.

Contact CODE: Thomas Bachem · +49 173 3446888 · media@code.berlin
Contact Media: Tower PR · +49 30 25762644 · code@tower-pr.com

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Interaction Designers Create Meaningful Digital Experiences

Interaction Design plays a pivotal role in shaping intuitive and meaningful digital experiences. If you’re captivated by the fusion of human behavior, aesthetics, and cutting-edge technology, a career in Interaction Design is a pathway worth exploring. If you’re keen to dive into this exciting field and explore its diverse career opportunities especially when it comes to creating tech for good, CODE’s Interaction Design program might be for you. 

Defining Interaction Design

Interaction Design is the art and science of shaping the way people engage with digital products, services, and systems. It involves understanding user needs, conceptualizing interactive experiences, and designing interfaces for seamless interactions. Interaction Designers merge creativity, empathy, and technical skills to bridge the gap between humans and machines. That in itself excites a lot of students, and it’s no wonder why students are opting for studying Interaction Design at top technical universities

Diverse Career Opportunities

A career in Interaction Design offers a range of interesting pathways. Whether you dream of working in specialized agencies, dynamic startups, or prominent corporations, the demand for skilled Interaction Designers is soaring. 

Roles in the field include but are not limited to UX/UI Designer, Product Designer, and Interaction Architect. These professionals collaborate with diverse teams, including researchers, developers, and project managers, to create innovative digital solutions.

CODE offers an immersive Interaction Design program that equips students with the necessary skills. Our curriculum covers human-centered design, usability principles, prototyping techniques, and industry tools. Project-based learning is the future of tech education and by working on practical projects, CODE prepares students for success in the field.

Designing for a Better Future

Interaction Designers bear the responsibility of shaping technology to positively impact society. By placing users at the core of their design process, they strive to create tech for good. Accessibility, inclusivity, and ethical considerations are integral to their work, ensuring that designs enhance lives and tackle real-world problems.

Interaction designer at work

For instance, Interaction Designers may focus on creating intuitive interfaces for healthcare applications, improving the patient experience and facilitating communication between doctors and patients. They might also design sustainable platforms that promote eco-friendly behaviors, encouraging users to adopt environmentally conscious habits.

Moreover, Interaction Designers actively contribute to the development of assistive technologies, fostering inclusivity and accessibility for individuals with special needs. By empathizing with users and understanding their needs, they create digital experiences that empower everyone to participate fully in the digital world.

Interaction Designers at CODE

Interaction Design is an exhilarating field that combines creativity, technology, and empathy to shape the future of human-computer interactions. As technology advances, the demand for skilled Interaction Designers will continue to grow. With a career in Interaction Design, you have the power to make a meaningful impact, enhancing how people engage with digital products and services.

If you’re passionate about crafting user-centric experiences, CODE’s Interaction Design program is a top choice. Gain the knowledge, skills, and hands-on experience necessary to create tech for good.


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Project-based Learning Is Disrupting the Future of Tech Education

Project-based learning is gaining traction and showing immense potential, especially in tech education. With project-based learning methods, students are not expected to sit passively and listen to lectures, they’re expected to dive right in and solve real life problems. So is getting a traditional education a thing of the past? 

project-based learning at CODE

As we move towards a rapidly changing world, it is becoming evident that traditional education methods need to adapt to meet the demands of the future. 

When it comes to accelerating the careers of students wanting to get hands-on experience on the tech scene, project-based learning plays a key role. Let’s take a look at the difference between project-based learning and traditional education. 

Project-based Learning is “Learning-By-Doing” 

Project-based learning flips the script on passive learning by actively involving students in hands-on projects. Students become active participants in their education which leads to increased motivation and engagement. With curiosity-driven education and real life projects, students adopt a sense of ownership and pride in their work.

Real Life Projects Are Equivalent to Real-World Challenges

Project-based learning provides students with opportunities to apply their knowledge to real-world challenges. By working on projects that simulate authentic scenarios, students gain practical skills, problem-solving abilities, and a deeper understanding of how their education relates to their future careers. It’s no wonder that students are choosing tech universities with a practical approach

This approach bridges the gap between theory and practice, preparing students for the complexities of the professional world.

Project-based learning in progress at CODE

Project-based Learning Encourages Collaboration and Teamwork

Project-based learning environments mirror the collaborative nature of many modern workplaces. Students work in teams, develop communication skills, empathy, and the ability to work effectively with diverse perspectives. These skills are crucial for success in today’s interconnected and globalized society.

Customizable and Flexible Learning

CODE recognizes that every student is unique, possessing different strengths, interests, and learning styles. Therefore, our Bachelor degrees are designed to be customizable and flexible. Students have the freedom to choose projects aligned with their interests, allowing them to explore their passions while developing a strong foundation of skills and knowledge.

Lifelong Skills and Adaptability with Project-based Work

Project-based learning nurtures a mindset of lifelong learning and adaptability. By engaging in projects that require continuous learning and adaptation, students develop the ability to acquire new knowledge and skills independently. They become adaptable problem solvers who can navigate the ever-evolving landscape of the future.

Students at CODE gathered around their laptops learning and interacting

How Project-based Learning Compares to Traditional Education Systems

Traditional education systems have their limitations, and as we look toward the future, it is crucial to embrace innovative approaches such as project-based learning.

* Passive Learning: Traditional education often relies on getting students to memorize information. This approach fails to engage students actively in the learning process, which can result in reduced retention and application of knowledge.

* Lack of Real-World Relevance: Traditional education tends to prioritize theoretical knowledge over real-world application. This results in a gap between what students learn in the classroom and the skills they need in practical scenarios. Students often struggle to understand the relevance of their education to their future careers.

* Limited Collaboration and Problem-Solving Skills: In traditional education, students primarily work individually, limiting their opportunities to develop critical collaboration and problem-solving skills. These skills are vital in today’s interconnected and complex world, where teamwork and innovative thinking are highly valued.

* Fixed Curriculum: Traditional education systems follow a fixed curriculum that leaves little room for flexibility and customization. This one-size-fits-all approach fails to cater to individual student interests, strengths, and learning styles, inhibiting their potential for growth and creativity.

CODE’s Project-Based Approach

We at CODE understand the importance of active, relevant, and collaborative learning. By incorporating project-based learning into our curriculum, we empower students to become active learners, fostering essential skills for success in the modern world. As we break the mold of traditional education, project-based learning paves the way for a future where education is transformative, engaging, and empowering. 

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Computer Science and Software Engineering in Tech Education

In tech education, software engineering and computer science are used interchangeably. Of course, this leads to some confusion. There is a clear difference between the two and understanding it is crucial for aspiring tech professionals. 

We hope to shed some light on the disparity between software engineering and computer science by highlighting the unique characteristics, career paths and educational considerations.

Computer Scientists vs. Software Engineers

Computer scientists are essentially scientists who rely on rigorous analysis, well-defined concepts, and proven facts. They possess expertise in mathematics, information science, and computational theory, enabling them to develop complex algorithms and contribute to scientific advancements. 

In contrast, software engineers adopt an engineering mindset, applying their technical knowledge and problem-solving skills to design, develop, and document software. They focus on crafting robust, user-centric solutions that meet specific requirements.

Computer Science or Software Engineering: What to Expect from Your Degree

Studying computer science revolves around theoretical concepts, mathematical algorithms, and advancing scientific research. It equips professionals with a deep understanding of information science and enables them to tackle intricate problems. 

On the other hand, studying software engineering emphasizes practical implementation, creating software solutions for real-world challenges. It involves designing comprehensive, user-friendly applications with limited resources in a constantly changing environment. More and more students are opting for technical universities to teach them these skills

Students at CODE gathered around their laptops learning and interacting

Creativity and Multi-disciplinary Thinking

While computer science leans heavily on theoretical frameworks, software engineering incorporates creativity, vision, and multi-disciplinary thinking. Successful software engineering encompasses more than technical proficiency; it necessitates the ability to communicate effectively, understand user needs, and design solutions that people enjoy using. This blend of technical expertise and creative problem-solving is crucial for driving innovation and delivering meaningful software applications.

Computer Science or Software Engineering: Choosing the Right Study Program

Understanding the distinction between computer science and software engineering is crucial when selecting a study program aligned with one’s abilities and career aspirations. Some individuals possess the aptitude for software development but may lack the mathematical inclination required for computer science. 

Discouraging such talents from pursuing software engineering careers would be counterproductive. It’s important to recognize that learning to program is akin to acquiring a new language rather than solving math problems, emphasizing the practical nature of software engineering.

Students at CODE using technology creatively

Managing Expectations

While computer science programs often focus more on applied mathematics, individuals seeking to become software developers may find themselves disappointed with the lack of hands-on coding experiences. 

High dropout rates in computer science programs further underscore the need for clear differentiation between these disciplines, enabling students to make informed choices based on their career goals.

Bachelor of Computer Science vs. Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering

Computer science students tend to think they will learn programming, however, programming is not as big a topic as it is in a software engineering degree. Computer science students expect to understand how to utilize and understand the infrastructure of the internet, although this is mostly taught in a software engineering program.

While the two degrees do cross over, software engineering students may have less in depth knowledge of how computers really work, but are more focused on practical applications. 

Addressing the Digital Skills Gap

Clearly defining the distinctions between computer science and software engineering is not only essential for students but also for policymakers, institutions, and employers. 

This clarity facilitates the development of effective educational programs, closes the digital skills gap, and ensures that future graduates possess the competence profiles necessary to succeed as software developers. 

Employers benefit from understanding where to find candidates who can drive digital transformation and support their organizational growth.

Differentiating Computer Science and Software Engineering for a Thriving Tech Industry

Computer science is crucial for digital innovation and research, but it should be distinguished from software engineering. The job market needs more than just computer science expertise; it requires creative problem solvers with communication skills who can use scientific innovations to make an impact. Understanding the differences between these fields helps individuals choose the right study programs for their skills and career goals, leading to a thriving tech industry.