From fall 2024, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts will be offering Switzerland’s first Bachelor’s degree course in immersive technologies. Graduates will be able to use innovative approaches such as virtual reality in a variety of ways - whether to accelerate product development, visualize construction projects or support behavioural therapies.
In future, the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU) will train young talents who can effortlessly merge virtual and real worlds: At its meeting on September 29, 2023, the HSLU Concordat Council approved the introduction of a "Bachelor of Science in Immersive Technologies". The new course will start in fall 2024 on the Zug-Rotkreuz campus. The aim of the English-language course is to train specialists in the fields of augmented and virtual reality, serious games and immersive media production. These technologies are "immersive" because they make it possible to immerse oneself in virtual or fictional worlds - merging the physical world with digitally augmented or simulated reality. After graduating, students can design and develop immersive solutions, products and services for numerous industries. Professional fields of application include development and research departments of companies, educational institutions, research laboratories or creative agencies.
Unique offer in Switzerland
With this degree course, Central Switzerland’s university scene will be enriched by an offer that complements existing fields of study and does not yet exist anywhere else in Switzerland. This is despite the fact that the demand for specialists is high: "The fusion of reality and virtuality offers companies a wide range of potential," says course director Prof. Nathaly Tschanz. The use cases are already becoming more and more diverse." For example, augmented and virtual reality can be used to simulate production processes and implement cost-effective prototypes. For surgeons, this opens up the possibility of training operations virtually in order to gain confidence; in urban planning, three-dimensional visualizations improve the basis for decision-making. So-called "serious games" are also on the road to success: in a playful way but with a serious goal, they are used, for example, in the treatment of anxiety disorders or rehabilitation after a stroke.
Studies for creative technology enthusiasts
The target group for the Bachelor’s degree is creative people with an affinity for technology who are interested in computer science as well as visual and creative implementations. "Immersive technologies are user-centered: they appeal to those who want to work at the interface between man and machine," adds Tschanz. The course is practical and strongly project-oriented - in line with the principle of "learning by doing". In terms of content, the focus is on specialist skills in augmented, virtual and mixed reality, game design & development and 3D modeling. Students also acquire a basic understanding of related subject areas such as human-computer interaction, immersive storytelling and agile project management. Cooperation with internationally active companies and university partners plays a central role in the curriculum. This allows students to gain international experience early on and acquire intercultural skills. The English language of instruction also contributes significantly to this.
Immersive technologies at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts
With this course, the Department of Computer Science at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts is expanding its wide range of courses in the field of immersive technologies. These competencies are bundled at the Immersive Realities Center. It covers the areas of research, services, training and further education, is also a networking hub and has a showroom for interested SMEs and vocational schools.