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 Onboard Space Systems and is developing a Mars-laboratory within the research subject Atmospheric Science. The lectures are in English and guest speakers from the aerospace industry and academia participate.


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. During the first year of the course you acquire knowledge about the space environment, which the spacecraft shall operate in, and how it travels and orients itself in space. 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 that are required and learn how the on-board computers work. You also get an insight into typical payloads that a satellite may carry. The second year you are working on a computer design of a spacecraft, fit to carry the instruments that are constructed by you and your colleagues. Here, a large part of the education and work is done in project form and as group work. As a student you have the opportunity to evaluate satellite instruments with balloon flights to the stratosphere or e.g. perform shaking tests in a shaker machine. Your master thesis work is performed at a space technology company, space organization, or academic department, in Kiruna or other parts of the world.

Labour market

There is a shortage of engineers within the space industry in the western hemisphere. Space activity is often to a high degree international. Some of the major European space players are ESA and EADS/Astrium. In Sweden major players are SSC, OHB Sweden AB, RUAG Space AB, and Omnisys Instruments.

Kiruna, Normal, Autumn 2018

Startdatum 2018-09-03, v.36 2018
Daytime, 100%
Entry requirements

Successful completion of a basic engineering program or a Bachelor´s degree with a minimum of 180 ECTS in the areas of space technology, aerospace, aeronautics, mechatronics, space physics, physics, electronics, mechanics or equivalent. Course work at university level must include electronics or mechanics, and a minimum of 22.5 ECTS in mathematics at university level is required. Course work must include linear algebra, multivariable calculus and ordinary differential equations.

Documented skills in English language.

More information about English language requirements»


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

Closed for application

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For detailed questions about the programme please do not hesitate to contact us

Johnny Ejemalm

Johnny Ejemalm, Senior Lecturer

Organization: Atmospheric science, Space Technology, Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering
Phone: +46 (0)980 67533
Room: 1086 - Kiruna»