Professional practical phase and professional practical semester

The Bachelor 's program in Applied Mathematics includes a practical phase (BPP), while the Bachelor's program in Photonics and Machine Vision includes a practical semester (BPS). Both are described here and supplemented by the necessary documents - most of them in German only.

Vocational practical phase in the Applied Mathematics degree program

Professional Practical Semester in the Photonics and Machine Vision study program (information does NOT apply to the dual study program variant)

Field reports from graduates

Practical phase in the study program Applied Mathematics

The compulsory professional practical phase integrated in the Applied Mathematics program is prepared and supervised by the university as a compulsory module. Since this module is part of the degree program, students remain enrolled at the university.

The aim is to give students the opportunity to become acquainted with tasks from their future profession in a typical working environment. Specifically, the practical activity should provide the following:

  • Orientation in the intended professional field
  • Acquisition of practical knowledge, in particular of information processing and technology, as well as familiarization with typical professional working methods.
  • Familiarization with technical and organizational contexts that are typical for the occupational field
  • Participation in the work process in accordance with the level of training.

Practical work is carried out in suitable companies or institutions that provide the university with practical workplaces. The accompanying studies take place at the university.

Practical semester in the Photonics and Machine Vision program

General information about the practical module

The practical module (PM01) is part of the study program in the Photonics and Machine Vision bachelor's degree program and is located in the 5th semester according to the study program.

The prerequisites and conditions for the internship module are regulated by the internship regulations.

The educational goal of the practical module is to experience future work in an engineering environment through one's own active participation. The so-called practical phase takes place at a sponsoring institution under the guidance of a supervisor on site and a supervising lecturer of the department. Sponsoring institutions are relevant companies or industry-related research institutions of appropriate orientation.

The practical module is a course that consists of

  • the (at least) 90-day practical phase (net, i.e. without vacation days) at the sponsoring institution and
  • two seminars at the university


Since the practical phase module is a course, the student must re-register for the semester in question and take the practical phase module. The status remains "registered student".

The seminars are attendance events at the university:

  • The BPS seminar takes place as part of two block events at the h_da, both of which must be attended (see semester dates), namely:
    - in the last week of lectures of the practice phase of the previous semester (introduction to BPS)
    - in the last week of lectures of the practice semester (conclusion of BPS).
  • The GS seminar is part of the practical module and can be taken before the start of the practical phase (in the preceding semester) or directly after the practical phase (in the following semester). Admitted are courses of the GS department from the number range 29.33... (Work, Occupation & Self-Employment). Other events may be approved by the Internship Office on a case-by-case basis.

Attendance at these seminars is mandatory and a necessary prerequisite for passing the internship module.

The following must be completed as part of the internship module:

  • Practical activity for 90 full working days (net) in an engineering environment in a relevant institution, evidenced by an appropriate certificate.
  • Written internship report, evaluated by the supervising lecturer
  • Attendance of the introductory block / own short lecture in the introductory block of the BPS seminar
  • Attendance of the final block / own presentation in the final block of the BPS seminar, evaluated by the supervising lecturer
  • Successful participation with grading in the GS seminar

The practical phase can also be completed abroad. In the case of stays outside of Europe, contact must be made in good time (ideally 12 months before the planned implementation of the practical phase) with the Internship Office, the supervising lecturer and / or the foreign representative.

Prerequisites for the BPS

Prerequisites for the practical module are all module examinations from the first 3 semesters of study excluding the preliminary work of the Image Processing 2 module from the 3rd semester. These must necessarily be fulfilled BEFORE the start of the BPS seminar block at the end of the semester preceding the practical phase.

Practical procedure

Step 1: The BPS Moodle

There is a course on the Photonics and Machine Vision practical module on the Moodle learning platform. You can find out the enrollment key from the head of the internship office and/or from the Photonics and Machine Vision lecturers. Here you will find a variety of information about the practicum module. In particular, a selection of supporting institutions where you can carry out the practical phase will be suggested to you. Online information meetings on the practical module are also held regularly in this Moodle course.

Step 2: Contacting the supervising lecturer and procuring a practical placement

According to the study regulations, the task of procuring a practical placement is the responsibility of the student. At the beginning of the semester preceding the practical phase, the possible supervising lecturer should be contacted and, in consultation with him/her, contact should be made with possible sponsoring institutions. Subsequently, the student must actively apply to the sponsoring institution for an internship position. If the application is successful, the student will receive a confirmation and a written internship contract (for 90 full working days, net). Sample contracts can be found here. However, the respective internship contracts of the sponsoring institutions also apply.

Step 3: Registration for the internship module

Only students can be admitted to the internship module who, BEFORE the start of the BPS seminar block at the end of the previous semester

  • fulfill all requirements for the internship module (see above)
  • can present a signed internship contract with a sponsoring institution for at least 90 full working days (net)
  • have a commitment from a university lecturer to supervise the practical phase.

At the latest BEFORE the start of the BPS seminar block at the end of the preceding semester, students submit the application for admission to the internship module, including all relevant documents, to the head of the internship office or the supervising lecturer and, after review, receive admission to the BPS.

Step 4: Start of the internship module

After admission to the internship module and submission of the BPS run sheet, the student starts into the internship module by attending the BPS seminar block at the end of the semester preceding the internship phase.




Alexander Siebert:

This internship was a super experience for me. It gave me a good insight into the working structures of a large company. It also broadened my horizons in terms of applied mathematics. I really enjoyed doing operations research on such a large scale and with such importance. I got to know how weekly meetings and discussions work. My supervisors were available to me at all times, which made the internship very pleasant. I also learned how to read, understand and implement a mathematical model outside of customized exercises. I also learned a lot about the clarity of the code structure. I now also understand how important working with a mathematical model is for the correct implementation of an optimization problem.

[Alexander Siebert about his internship at Deutsche Telekom Technik GmbH, Darmstadt, 2022]

Jan Wiebe:

I didn't have to make coffee. Not even once. But that's not the only thing that excited me about my internship. The department and my activities were a perfect fit for my studies. [...] Of course, I was able to make the most of the programming knowledge I had acquired in the first three semesters, but the knowledge from technical optics (for the liquid lens) and especially from image processing also served me well. [...] The basic knowledge that you acquire in your studies is only expanded into useful expertise in your day-to-day work. Above all, I was able to greatly expand my programming knowledge during the internship. I was thrilled that I was allowed to work on real smart camera software that is then actually sold and used. I was not only able to expand my programming knowledge, but also the practical experience that a small programming problem can take two weeks to be solved or that some seemingly huge problems can be solved unexpectedly quickly and the joy about the software working again is an important lesson for me. About the sample tests I could experience practical image processing. What can be detected by image processing, what is beyond the capabilities of a camera? Such questions are answered above all with the extensive use of image processing in practice, and this practice was provided by the many sample tests I performed. [...]

[Jan Wiebe in his final report on the BPS in the winter semester 2012/13 at the company Pharmacontrol Electronic GmbH Zwingenberg (PCE)].

Ellen Moritz:

[...] At the end of my interview I already learned that I would probably be allowed to support the company in the development of new optical systems for their defect inspection devices for wafer edges. [...] In fact, I was assigned to analyze and improve the illumination of the KA1.2. I created the necessary measurements and experimental setups first under guidance, later in consultation with my supervisor. I was largely responsible for the execution and evaluation of the measurement results on my own. My studies in optotechnology and image processing prepared me very well for the requirements in the company. Since I had already come into contact with lenses, photodiodes, filters, LEDs, sophisticated software, high-quality cameras and much more, I was able to apply my knowledge of optical design, camera technology and image processing well. Especially the handling of optical components practiced in the labs was very helpful to my internship. [...] I found the trust placed in me very positive. There was nothing that I was not allowed to do independently or at least under guidance. [...] My practical semester at Rudolph Technologies Germany GmbH was very instructive for me; it allowed me to gain good experience. It gave me a lot of pleasure and once again strengthened my choice of studies.

[Ellen Moritz - in the winter semester 2012/13 in the BPS at Rudolph Technologies Germany GmbH Mainz]