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Master Programme in Spacecraft Design

120 Credits, Programme, master's level
This two-year program is focused on an exciting and prestigious area - design of a spacecraft. This includes integration of complex technical systems that must work in an extreme environment - space. The course is given in Kiruna, the “space capital” of Sweden.

A space research environment, unique for Europe, has been established in Kiruna. Here you find the Swedish Institute for Space Physics, which builds satellite instruments for distant travel to other planets. Sounding rockets and stratospheric balloons are launched from Esrange. The university has developed a laboratory environment for nanosatellites within the research subject Space Systems. The lectures are in English and guest speakers from the aerospace industry and academia participate.


This program is a modern and focused program that aims at the rapid development in the space industry towards smaller spacecrafts with short development times. First year courses are necessary for second year studies as you develop a spacecraft in a computer environment.
A spacecraft, which also is called a satellite if its orbit is bound to a celestial body, is designed around the payload instruments it shall carry and the environment it shall function in. You learn about the various subsystems which make up the spacecraft and how it communicates with the surrounding world. Furthermore, you get an understanding for the specific space electronics and typical space materials that are required and learn how the on-board computers and the propulsion work. Orbit and attitude dynamics as well as control of these are necessary for a successful mission.

During the first year's spring term, you begin a project work that will continue during the second year's autumn term. In this project you will in collaboration with other students physically build some instrument that maybe will be launched with rocket or a high altitude balloon to the stratosphere. You will also work on a computer design of a spacecraft in collaboration with other students during the second year's autumn term.
Your master thesis work is performed at a space technology company, space organisation, or academic department, in Kiruna or other parts of the world.

Labour market

The program attracts ambitious students with high academic performance. Students who have completed the program have continued with research studies or continued within space industry or  space organisations.
Space activity is often to a high degree international. Some of the major European space players are ESA, DLR, CNES and EADS/Astrium. In Sweden major players are SSC, OHB Sweden AB, RUAG Space AB, and Omnisys Instruments.

Master Programme in Spacecraft Design
Kiruna, Normal teaching, Autumn 2023

Startdatum 2023-08-28, w.35 2023
Day-time, 100%
Entry requirements

Successful completion of an Academic degree with a minimum of 180 higher education credits in the areas of space technology, aerospace, aeronautics, mechatronics, space physics, physics, electronics, mechanics or equivalent. Courses at university level in electronics or mechanics, as well as at least 22.5 credits in mathematics at university level are required. The mathematics skills must include linear algebra, multivariable calculus and ordinary differential equations.

Good knowledge in English, equivalent to English 6

More information about English language requirements


The selection procedure is based on academic qualifications, quality and quantity aspects

Open for late application
Apply here

Do you want to know more about the programme?

The programme syllabus includes a description of the programme structure and its courses. The study schedule shows the order in which the courses in the programme are carried out. The qualification descriptor includes local and central requirements that must be met for a particular degree.

Frequently asked questions

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Questions about the programme

For detailed questions about the contents of the programme, please do not hesitate to contact us. For questions about application, admission, eligibility, and fees, please see information above.

Thomas Kuhn

Thomas Kuhn, Professor

Organisation: Atmospheric science, Space Technology, Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering
Phone: +46 (0)980 67538