FAQ on the dual study program


After repeated interested enquiries from various sides, we would like to provide you here with detailed information on the dual bachelor's degree program "Smart Building Technologies". As it is the first study program of its kind at the MCI, but also in the province of Tyrol as well as in the European region "Tyrol – South Tyrol – Trentino", we would like to elaborate on the special character of the "dual" form of study. We are always happy to receive further questions in order to expand this list and make the idea of "Smart Building Technologies" (even) more accessible to everyone. Feel free to contact us, we look forward to your suggestions: office-sbt@mci.edu

"Smart Building Technologies" is the first dual study program at MCI, in the province of Tyrol and in its form also in the "European Region (Euregio) Tyrol - South Tyrol - Trentino".  In Austria, a total of 13 dual study programs were offered in Austria from the winter semester 2021 on, when "Smart Building Technologies" began - a model that is also growing continuously in Austria, if you look at the range of courses on the dualstudieren.at platform.

This type of study program is also becoming increasingly attractive for companies in Austria, as they can train students from the outset and deploy them in their companies. This is also an absolute win-win situation for the students: on the one hand, their studies are financed, on the other hand, they receive a regular salary for their practical work and can concentrate fully on their profession thanks to the close interlinking of theory and practice.

"The Smart Building Technologies dual study programme is co-financed by the partner companies.
Our dual study program’s students receive a fixed monthly salary throughout the year - regardless of whether they are currently in a study phase at MCI or in a practical phase at the company.
Students from EU and EEA countries only have to pay the tuition fee of EUR 363.36 per semester, the statutory ÖH contribution in Austria (approx. EUR 20 per semester) and their own expenses (photocopying costs etc.).

In addition to the education contract, which the MCI concludes with each student before they start their studies, dual students also receive a training and employment contract with one of our partner companies. This contract includes the exact salary, areas of responsibility and duration of employment. A minimum gross salary is set by the MCI, but this can be adjusted individually in the case of advanced professional experience, etc. An optional bonus can also be paid out for particularly good academic performance. The individual partner companies are responsible for granting this bonus.

No, this is not a prerequisite for your application. If you are already working for one of our partner companies and are interested in the program, please contact your supervisor. If, for example, you work in a company whose industry has points of contact with the study program (e.g. HVAC, lighting technology, sun and weather protection technology, automation, measurement and control technology), please talk to your employer and point out the possibility of receiving ongoing information about the cooperation from our team.

The employment relationship corresponds to a flexitime model on a part-time basis. Accordingly, the salary amounts are divided equally and paid out in each calendar month – regardless of whether you are currently in a practical phase at the company or in a study phase at the MCI. This means that students enjoy financial security throughout and are also covered by insurance as a result of their employment for training purposes. This means that it is not a classic internship – that is a very important difference! In the "Smart Building Technologies" degree program, students are given a part-time employment relationship and thus with insurance entitlement, which lasts for the entire duration of the degree program (3, or 4 academic years if repeated once).

The precisely coordinated combination of theory and practice through employment with a renowned company in the intelligent building construction sectors is what makes the dual system so special. Each semester is divided into a study and a practical phase in order to anchor the theoretical study content in the practical work phases. In addition, representatives of our partner companies are involved by name as training supervisors in the company on the one hand, but also in teaching at the MCI on the other. Thanks to the even closer cooperation with our corporate partners, which is integrated into the course of study, our students can immediately put into practice the practical knowledge of the trades involved in intelligent building construction that is taught in theory within each semester.

Our students do not have to worry about their financial security even during their studies: from the first semester onwards, they are contractually employed by one of our partner companies for a period of at least 3 years –1 academic year can be repeated if necessary. This means that they already have a very attractive and future-oriented job offer in their pocket when they start their studies. In addition, our students have the prospect of being regularly taken on by the company after their studies: In the training and employment contracts, the individual companies can stipulate with the students that the training relationship will be followed by a regular employment relationship if both sides agree to this prospect.

The winter semester begins on September 1 and ends on February 28 or 29, the summer semester begins on March 1 and ends on August 31. In the continuous study program, 2 study or 2 practical phases follow each other in order to enable students to deepen their knowledge more intensively in the respective phase. In the study phase, this is particularly useful for preparing the Bachelor's thesis; a coupled practical period of approx. 24 weeks enables students to be involved in longer-term projects in the company.

Each semester is divided into two phases, during which the students are either at the MCI or in the company.

  • Study phase (14 weeks): Students attend courses at the MCI, complete assignments and exercises, work on smaller projects and take exams.
  • Practical phase (approx. 12 weeks): In our partner companies, students are involved in project planning and get to know the individual departments that they will later connect and coordinate as trained building technicians in order to plan the smart building of tomorrow. Depending on the focus of the company, this can be an intensive exchange with the sales departments or hands-on support for the technical staff on the construction site.

The dual students can plan their free time more flexibly than traditional students: the holiday entitlement generated by the part-time employment relationship can be consumed by the students during their practical phases, which is why these phase durations of 12 weeks are given as "approximate".

This means that students can enjoy paid study and work experience from the very first semester – and can flexibly arrange their holidays (in consultation with their respective employers, of course). Thus, classic holidays can still be consumed if they fall during a practical phase in each case – one has the choice.

Students are supported by a training tutor at MCI and a company tutor at their respective partner company for the entire duration of their program. This mentoring relationship should enable them to gain valuable practical experience in their first year and to apply the knowledge they have learnt to the company in a correct, innovative and motivated manner. If they have any questions or uncertainties, they also have a specific contact person at the MCI and in the company. This eliminates any long bureaucratic processes and ensures fast and competent communication with the students.

"Smart Building Technologies" is a study program that takes up content from apprenticeships, but does not replace them. In this dual study program, students learn about the individual trades involved in smart building construction. Since they can apply this knowledge immediately in the company during the practical phases, the study program enables them to acquire the essential knowledge already gained during the theoretical training. "Smart Building Technologies" thus offers an in-depth academic education that spans several trades and qualifies students for management positions. In the degree program, the focus is on an overview of all trades in smart building technology; the specific prior knowledge acquired through an apprenticeship (for example in the area of installation or electrical engineering) forms a valuable additional qualification.

In practice, our students learn to work together with all the trades involved in the networked building of tomorrow and to plan, keep track of and be able to coordinate their respective tasks. Thus, the study program exceeds a single apprenticeship diploma in the sense that the focus is set on the overview of all trades of intelligent building technology. Students bring with them competences from planning and project work, receive English lessons at native speaker level and can also demonstrate entrepreneurial skills through key competences for economic thinking and action. This portfolio of competencies qualifies them for management positions.

In the final year of training, a discussion is scheduled between the company partners and the respective students, whereby it is determined whether the work and training contract will become a regular employment contract. This is aimed for by all parties from the outset and allows everyone to benefit: The students can contribute in many ways to the very future-oriented field of smart, intelligently linked, networked building technology, and the companies can gain motivated people as employees and train them individually according to the respective company requirements – and integrate them into the company on a regular basis after graduation.