Rethinking higher education

Our new and intensive programs require a new educational concept.
Or as we at CODE would say: This is how higher education always should be.

Curiosity-driven education

What does that actually mean? Our president Manuel gave a TED Talk about the need to transform education and explains the learning concept behind CODE. Check it out:

  • Projects

    Will be the core of your study experience.

  • Challenge-based Learning

    Helps you mastering your challenges in three steps.

  • Science, Technology & Society Program

    Encourages creativity and critical thinking.

  • Mentoring and lectures

    Offers guidance for your individual learning journey.

Projects represent the core of your study experience

That is why it is important for us to offer you a wide variety of interdisciplinary projects you can work on while studying at CODE.

Project ideas and suggestions are collected and presented on our online project platform. While we are establishing a network of companies as continuous sources of project ideas, we welcome every idea that our students or professors submit. Anyone can submit a project.

All projects need to be specified in terms of:

  • project goal
  • project duration
  • ideal team structure (number of software engineers, interaction designers and product managers) and the different roles and responsibilities available
  • level of competence required for the different roles and responsibilities
  • estimated workload for the different roles and responsibilities

Projects can but do not have to be specified regarding:

  • technologies and frameworks
  • preferred means of collaboration
  • means and intensity of interaction with the individual or company that submitted the project

Twice a year, our project committee will evaluate every project description that has been submitted for the coming semester. Only projects that have been approved by the committee will be unlocked for students.
As soon as the committee approves and unlocks a project, you can apply for one of the roles in the project as long as you have the required competence level.

I want to study at CODE because the learning concept is simply perfect for me. Through many practical projects, I will be able to gain skills which will actually help me realize my own ideas.Louisa Weyerhäuser, future student at CODE

Prepare for some intensive challenges

Once all students have been assigned to their projects for the coming semester, the challenge-based learning begins.

Preparing for your assignment

In the first step everyone starts preparing for their roles and responsibilities. Whether to rely on books, online classes, tutorials, moocs or some other learning resource for your preparation is a decision you have to make for yourself. Talk to your fellow students or get together with members from other teams with similar roles and responsibilities. Our teaching staff offers advice and you will find recommended learning resources on our online learning platform.

Discussing it with your mentor

Once a week the teams will meet with their project mentor, who is part of our teaching staff. His or her responsibility is not to give you technical advice or assist you in managing your tasks. Instead he or she will discuss with you the quality of your collaboration and communication as an interdisciplinary team, conflicts between team members and how to resolve them and how you can improve as a team. This is the second part of the challenge-based learning.

Attending expert meetups

During term time, students can attend weekly expert meetups, each one focussing on an important technology, framework, product-management topic or design aspect. Each meetup, which represents the third part of our challenge-based learning approach, has a designated expert who organizes and moderates their meetup sessions. The meetups do not have a fixed agenda or curriculum. Instead, students can present a case, a question or a problem they are facing with their project.

The meetup expert should be able to help with the majority of cases presented, but more often will be looking for other students who can contribute a possible solution before answering all questions themselves. By holding back with an answer the expert is trying to encourage peer-to-peer learning, the most important form of learning outside of the classroom.

At the end of each semester we will have a presentation week where all project teams present the product or solution they have been working on. Since most of the students, professors and lecturers will be at the campus, the presentation week is also an opportunity to come together and celebrate. We will invite founders, investors and company executives to attend the presentations so the presentation week is also a great chance to broaden and strengthen your network.

Fundamental questions, creativity and critical thinking

Our Science, Technology & Society Program (STS) focuses on the way in which advances in science and technology influence society and vice versa. It offers a variety of seminars and workshops each semester.

The program therefore takes an interdisciplinary perspective, encouraging approaches drawn from a variety of disciplines such as history, sociology, philosophy, economics, political science and international relations.

In the STS seminars and workshops, you will get a chance to study the works of writers, historians, and artists; to discuss fundamental philosophical, sociological and ethical concepts; and engage in theater, music and art performance. This will provide you with the opportunity to improve your critical thinking and creative abilities, to broaden your horizons, and to gain a deep understanding of the challenges our society faces today.

Each semester, you are expected to successfully participate in at least one seminar or workshop from our Science, Technology & Society Program.

Guidance and support from mentors and lectures

When you enroll, we will assign you a mentor according to your individual profile. They will offer guidance and advice on how you can make your individual learning experience at CODE as valuable as possible.

At the very beginning of your study program and at the end of each semester you will have a long talk with your academic mentor. Talk to them about where you stand in terms of competence and experience, what projects and roles to choose for the next semester and what internships to apply for. Towards the end of your studies you probably want to talk about what jobs you are looking for and how to optimize your Competence Profile accordingly.

Each semester, our professors will choose a topic that represents an important part of technology’s impact on society and organize a series of weekly open lectures around it. Each lecture will critically analyze a certain aspect of that topic. The lectures are given by members of our teaching staff as well as external experts. As a student you are expected to attend, ask intelligent questions, and join the discussion with the lecturer and the audience following the lecture.

Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.Benjamin Franklin, founding father of the USA