Solar Energy Engineering Continuing education

Choose between an Master of Science part time study program or a certificate course

Solar Energy Engineering

The continuing education program in Solar Energy Engineering provides profound insights into the physics, technology and system design of solar cells, photovoltaic systems and solar thermal devices. It enables students to develop, design and optimize devices and systems with respect to efficiency, cost and lifetime. Excellent researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE and the Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg provide courses based on the latest scientific and technological knowledge.

The continuing education program in Solar Energy Engineering includes two different options to study:

For more information please have a look at our video, meet our students and learn why they chose to study this international program to boost their careers as working professionals.


Master of Science, M.Sc.

Date: October 2018, Application deadline:
July 31st, 2018

Location: online and voluntary on campus phase at the univerity

Course fee: €12,500 – € 22,500 (depending on your previous degree




Date: April or October every year, Application deadline: April 1st or October 1st every year

Location: online, voluntary on campus phase at the univerity  

Course fee: €2500 each modul 

Master of Science in Solar Energy Engineering (M.Sc.)

Overview of the study program

Type of course Online course of study
Qualification Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Solar Energy Engineering
Course duration 4 – 6 semesters part time (depending on candidates’ academic background)
Course dates Start date: October 2017
Application deadline: September 31, 2017         
Language of instruction English
Course content Topics include semiconductor devices and semiconductor technology, material and solar cell selection, thin-film solar cells, photovoltaic electronics, fatigue analysis of photovoltaic systems, production and economics of renewable energy and solar thermal systems
Course structure Depending on the candidates' qualifications, a combination of preparatory courses, foundation courses and electives taken from a total of 25 subject areas
Admission requirements Candidates must have completed a university degree in a scientific or technical discipline and have one year of professional experience
Course fee €12,500 - 22,500 (depending on your level of experience)
Additional information ACQUIN-accreditation

Target Group

The Master of Science in Solar Energy Engineering is aimed at people who wish to expand their knowledge and skills in the field of photovoltaics and at companies who are looking to upskill their employees.

The program is designed for professionals in

  • Research & Development
  • PV Equipment Production & Automation
  • Technical & Business Consulting

Candidates are required to have a university degree in a scientific or technical discipline (physics, chemistry, electronics, mechanical engineering, material sciences, computer engineering) plus one year of professional experience. Candidates with an economic background (e.g. industrial engineering) or a broad technical background (e.g. environmental sciences) are asked to contact the Program Coordinator early and talk about their possibilities.


The Master of Science provides in-depth knowledge in all aspects of solar energy engineering. The program splits in preparation modules, research projects, mandatory modules as well as elective modules where a specialization in a specific field possible.

Hands-on experience at Fraunhofer ISE’s labs

The highlight of the program is a voluntarily campus phase offered at the end of each semester or certificate course. You will get the chance to meet teachers and fellow students personally and experience hands-on training in Fraunhofer ISE’s labs. Invited speakers from science and industry will bring you deeper into the photovoltaics community.


The program’s accreditation is granted by the agency ACQUIN.

Certificates Solar Energy Engineering

Overview of the Certificates

Type of course: Part-time course of study (online learning)
Certificate of the Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg, Germany, in collaboration with Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE)
Dates: April or Oktober every year
Duration: 6 months (total workload: 250 - 300 h), part-time
Course language: English
Course structure: Combination of e-lectures, online meetings, online forums, self-studies and voluntary workshops in Freiburg, Germany.
Final examinations either in Freiburg or in any Goethe-Institute in the participants country. Every module can be studied independently.
Admission criteria: Bachelor degree in math, science, engineering or any related subject; familiar with semiconductor physics, semiconductor devices and power electronics
Course fee: € 2500 each certificate (Discounts for students available)

Module 1: »Solar Cells and Photovoltaic Systems«

Module Overview

Solar cells and photovoltaic systems are high-tech devices, which directly convert sunlight into electricity. The underlying scientific principles of these devices have been researched for decades with even more to come. This module condenses the expertise gained over the years to enable a substantial scientific understanding of photovoltaic energy conversion.

Participants gain an overview of the overall system of photovoltaic energy conversion and a detailed scientific foundation of the underlying principles of solar cells. Experienced engineers will be qualified to design and optimize photovoltaic systems and newcomers will be able to understand and enter the photovoltaics sector. Participants will be proficient in explaining the physical and engineering principles, analyzing and assessing new solar cell concepts as well as latest trends in photovoltaics based on the fundamental principles.

Module 2: »Photovoltaics and the Renewable Electricity Grid«

Module Overview

Decentralized electricity generation and fluctuating availability pose a challenge on grid stability. This module provides comprehensive understanding of interaction between PV systems and the power grid. It is about control aspects of PV Systems and the integration of a huge amount of PV energy in the electricity grid. Furthermore, this module gives a wide overview on smart grid and renewable energy systems. Starting with basic issues of energy and efficiency, grid technology will be discussed to balance complex systems with available storage components.

Module 3: »Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics«

Module Overview

In this module the students will get an overview about the value chain of silicon solar cells starting from quartz up to the finished module. Students will learn how silicon is produced from quartz and how this silicon is purified, crystallized and cut into wafers. Based on this knowledge, students should be able to develop new and optimized processing sequences and design concepts for silicon solar cells. Finally, students will learn how modules are produced from silicon solar cells and which aspects are particularly important to ensure a long module lifetime. The module contains a laboratory course “Solar Cell Processing” in Fraunhofer ISE labs in Freiburg during the final Campus Phase.

Module 4: »Material and Solar Cell Characterization and Modelling«

Module Overview

Understanding prototype solar cells is key to further development. This module provides practical as well as theoretical insights into common characterization techniques used for solar cell characterization. The module also provides an advanced understanding of multi-dimensional effects in solar cell and material characterization. Students will also learn how a simulation package for solar cell
simulation works, by providing an insight into the numerical techniques to discretize the governing equations to describe solar cells. The module contains a laboratory course “Measurement Instrumentation” in Fraunhofer ISE labs in Freiburg during the final Campus Phase.

Module 5: »Non-conventional Cell Concepts and Advanced Processing«

Module Overview

This module provides understanding of photovoltaic devices which are not wafer based silicon solar cells. The module provides comprehensive fundamental understanding of the basics for Si-based thinfilm (crystalline, a-Si, a/μc-Si), CIGS, and CdTe thin-film solar cells, modules, and module production. It also covers III-V material and multi-junction concepts as well as concentrator systems. The module also gives a wide overview about existing concepts to overcome the thermodynamical limit for single junction solar cells, the so-called third generation photovoltaics. Different strategies to push efficiency further up will be discussed and it will be shown how they all try to realize one thing: to absorb more photons and/or to convert a higher fraction of the photon energy to electrical energy.


Target group:

Engineers, working professionals, decision makers in the field of photovoltaics


Certificate of the Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg in collaboration with Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE

Admission criteria:

  • Bachelor‘s degree in math, science engineering or any related field
  • Familiar with photovoltaics or semiconductor physics and devices