Master Basis Module (MBM)

The Master Basic Module (MBM) is intended to enable an early consolidation of the selected major (Studienrichtung). Pre-defined literature and an oral exam (25 min) delimit the MBM. Thus, the following three sections outline the process of getting started and concluding an MBM successfully.

1. Process

The process of organizing an MBM is simple and follows the regulations of the department (Lehrbereich für Informatik).

The optimal steps as follows, are required to obtain from Prof. Dr. Burkhard Stiller a MBM.


1. By asking Ms. Karin Sigg. for a response on your MBM intention with Prof. Stiller via e-mail, only your UZH e-mail address being used will lead to legally binding process/outcome, add to that request: 

a. Your plan of studies (lectures and term-based timing) in the Master program of the IFI in an XLS sheet, cf. below for instructions on how to complete the template provided. 

b. Determine one of the standard topics below to be taken.

c. Download the formal MBM registration form (Anmeldeformular) (DOCX, 52 KB) and complete it with your personal data, but leave all exam-related information empty, but include the planned for start date and sign it with an "electronic" signature (scan).

d. Generate a PDF of that MBM registration form to be sent.

2. The secretary will get back to you via e-mail with a first check and may, in case all is in order, inform Prof. Stiller on your request.

3. Prof. Stiller will get back to you via e-mail in app. one week's time with either an acknowledgment (ack) or refinement requests and comments.


E-Mail Exchange or On-line Meeting
4. The discussion about the plan of studies will result in a final plan for the student and the confirmation of the topic
5. The time frame for exam will be sketched, while the final date will be fixed via e-mail app. 2 weeks before the student plans to finish his/her MBM.
6. The formal registration form (Anmeldeformular) filled in and the plan of studies will be kept by Prof. Stiller and forwarded to the IfI department (Studiensekretariat Informatik).

How to Complete the Study Plan
7. An example study plan (XLSX, 11 KB) shows an example for each and every column as well as many rows.
8. Adapt columns A to C with respect to the classes you plan to take per term and add its planned for ECTS
9. Note that columns D and E will be calculated automatically on data added to column C
10. Use the "Vorlesungsverzeichnis - UZH/Courses - UZH" by going into past terms, too, and locate your classes chosen and place them into the respective terms (column A - and relabel correctly) to come by adding its name (column B - and relabel correctly) and their ECTS (column C - and relabel correctly)
11. Finally, replace in the XLS' file name "X" with your initial of your first and "Y" with your full last name.

2. Standard Topics

The following list of topics is considered standard for the Communication System's Group area of teaching and research:

a) Communication Systems - Tanenbaum Book: Computer Networks (5th Edition, 2011)

b) Network Security - Stallings Book: "Network Security Essentials" (5th Edition, 2011 or 6th, 2016) or "Cryptography and Network Security" (7th Edition, 2017)

c) Blockchains and Bitcoin - based on a list of papers and book(s) from 2016-2020

d) Cloud Computing - Antonopoulos/Gillam Book: Cloud Computing: Principles, Systems, and Architectures (2010)

e) Mobile Communications - Schiller Book: Mobile Communications and selected papers (2000-2017)

In case of other topics of interest, the personal meeting with the supervisor may determine that it is suitable or not. Please make sure to have the relevant material in form of a book with you.

3. General Hints

All relevant regulations of the IfI Department can be found at Master Studies IFI. An important Note: Registrations to an MBM are binding. Until four weeks after the formal meeting a cancellation is possible. For later cases the Section 4.2 of the regulation of studies (Studienordnung) do apply. E.g., a later cancellation can only be allowed in case of a formal doctor's certificate of health, which needs to be handed in three days after the exam date has been determined (including the exam date itself). Otherwise, the exam will be marked as failed.

The basis for the exam is defined by the books listed above and/or the detailed list of references negotitaed during the meeting.

On the exam timing: Exams will be run regularly during term and teaching times. Otherwise, an early pre-planning is required and has to be mentioned during the meeting. Note that the exam's date need to be before the end of the lectures of the second term. In case of a second go, the exam needs to be passed before the start of the third term.

Concerning the preparation time, we cannot determine a full-fledged plan. But based on experiences made in the past, some 3 month are needed to get the content well settled and understood.

In case your may be unsure about any of those steps above, please contact the department (Lehrbereich für Informatik) at an early stage.

The MBM exam will be run via MS Teams on-line in a face-to-face setup, where besides the student and Prof. Stiller a minutes taker will be present. The examination will take app. 25 mins.

It is essential to communicate via your UZH e-mail address with us at the CSG to ensure a binding registration. The same applies to all e-mail-based communications with the study secretaries of the IfI department.