OST is offering even more degree programs

Press release dated December 18, 2023

OST – Eastern Switzerland University of Applied Sciences is starting the fall semester 2024 with three new degree programs. The Buchs campus is now offering a Bachelor's degree program in occupational therapy, Rapperswil-Jona has a new degree program in digital design and in future, students at the St.Gallen campus will be able to study for a Master's degree in architecture.

«OST is keeping its promise of growth by providing new, attractive and cutting-edge degree programs for the next generation of students in Eastern Switzerland,» says President Daniel Seelhofer. We are a practice-oriented educational institution for Eastern Switzerland, which expands the specific offers at its three campuses, while keeping the students in focus and staying tuned to the needs of society and the economy.


Bachelor in Occupational Therapy

«Occupational therapy supports and accompanies people whose ability to act is restricted or at risk of being restricted,» says Birgit Vosseler, Head of the School of Health Sciences at OST – Eastern Switzerland University of Applied Sciences. The Bachelor's degree program in Occupational Therapy at the Buchs campus relies on synergies created by the Schools of Health Sciences and Technology – for example in the areas of robotics and medtech. The Valens Clinic is involved in the program as a practical partner. The occupational therapy will be a fitting addition to the broad range of programs in the fields of nursing, physiotherapy, therapy and nursing science available at the School of Health Sciences. The degree program has been developed to meet the needs of vocational and technical school graduates, as well as high school graduates, who are interested in a health profession with supplementary content in social sciences and health technologies, but also caters for professionals from the health and social services sector. The Bachelor's degree program lasts six semesters.

Bachelor in Digital Design

The new Bachelor's degree program in Digital Design is an opportunity for anyone who is keen on designing the interface between people and technology. The program trains interdisciplinary-thinking bridge builders who can find connections between disciplines. The new course is based at the School of Computer Science and invites people with training in the visual field (e.g. graphic design, mediamatics) to its computer science-related program. This focus on a broad target group of vocational school and high school graduates is intended to counter the shortage of IT specialists.

The program uses innovative educational methods such as inverted classroom and project teaching. The learning content is reinforced in up-to-date, interdisciplinary and practical projects, for example by participating in the development of assistance products for people with care needs with the involvement of the School of Health Sciences.

«The Digital Design program not only provides expertise in the design of intuitive human-machine interfaces, but also enables graduates to implement the concepts themselves,» explains Frieder Loch, Head of the Digital Design program. The degree program focuses on user-centered design, web engineering, ideation & workshops and ethics & sustainability. The Bachelor's program will be offered at the Rapperswil-Jona campus starting from fall 2024. The part-time program lasts eight semesters, which corresponds to a workload of 80 percent and thus allows students to pursue their careers, better reconcile study and family commitments or, if they have a more visual professional background, to acquire computer science skills through self-study.

Master in Architecture

The Master's program at the ArchitekturWerkstatt in St.Gallen reinforces the foundations laid in the Bachelor's program according to specific, scientific and contemporary issues. It is offered as a dual study program which spans six semesters. As a rule, students attend classes at the OST three days a week. This makes it possible for them to meet their work commitments for 40 to 60 percent of the calendar year. «By immersion in the other specialist areas of the School of Architecture, Civil Engineering, Landscape Architecture and Spatial Planning (ABLR) at OST – Eastern Switzerland University of Applied Sciences, the Master's program at the ArchitekturWerkstatt covers the entire range of all relevant disciplines in the planning and construction industry in an interdisciplinary manner and can be used as a knowledge repository for finding the specific answers in one's own work,» says Anna Jessen, Head of the Architecture Workshop at the St.Gallen campus.

In addition to the existing focal points of the ArchitekturWerkstatt, the Master's program takes advantage of the fact that the composition of the specific individual disciplines of the ABLR School is a unique selling point throughout Switzerland. With architecture, civil engineering, landscape architecture and spatial planning, the ABLR School brings together all the key disciplines of the planning and construction industry in one organizational unit. «The high level of specialist expertise gathered here is directly incorporated into the specific semester projects in the Master's degree program in Architecture through the joint approach based on the project work, student and interdisciplinary collaboration, subject-related support and input events,» says Jessen.

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