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University Scrum training

Combining academic and practical knowledge will complete the university Scrum training, a case study of a Swiss university's experience.

By combining academic and practical knowledge, the university Scrum training will be complete, during which up to Scrum Master (PSM I) Certification can be obtained.


A university implementing Scrum training  

Located in the middle of the Swiss Alps, the University of Western Switzerland (HES-SO Valais-Wallis) is made up of nine research institutes and five schools: engineering, management, social work, health and arts. It currently has 2800 students, who can choose from eleven bachelor programmes. An important feature of the university is that it integrates real-world practical issues into its study programmes. Project-based learning, the mirrored learning method (a learning management solution where students can watch a lecture prepared by the instructor at home and individually study recommended teaching aids and online resources related to the course material) and coaching sessions are just some examples of the innovative pedagogical methods widely used to prepare students for the professional world after university.


Theoretical and practical knowledge with a degree - University Scrum training 

Among the different schools, the School of Management offers a bachelor's degree in Business Informatics, which is open to full-time and evening students. During their studies, students will acquire a wide range of IT skills (software development, databases, IT security...), encounter economic and management knowledge (economics, IT law, ethics, brainstorming) and business IT skills (ERP, business intelligence, applied machine learning). The multidisciplinary nature of the curriculum opens up a wide range of career options, such as Business Analyst, IT Developer, Scrum Master, Product Owner, SAP Consultant. 

Based on their more than 20 years of experience in project-based education, the Business Informatics professors have developed project modules to introduce the Scrum framework to students through academic and real-world examples. As the course is delivered in English, the bachelor's degree can be attended by English-speaking students of any nationality. The English curriculum also promotes interaction between students and encounters between different cultures.


An exam that pays off in real life too

The theoretical module prepares students to take the Professional Scrum Master I (PSM I) assessment, after successfully passing which they can obtain the PSM I certification, which demonstrates their basic knowledge of Scrum. In addition to the academic materials prepared by the instructors, students will also have unlimited access to articles and studies on


"In addition to the guidance provided by the Scrum Guide, the collection of resources such as articles, blogs and videos are very useful as they provide practical examples for students," said Alexandre Cotting, Professor of Computer Science at HES- SO Valais-Wallis. 

At the end of the module, students will take a personal exam. They can choose between an exam prepared at university level or the official Professional Scrum Master I (PSM I) exam of For those who choose the exam, a conversion table will align the score to the university grading system.

In the hands-on module, students work in groups of 4-5 people for 8 weeks with an external Product Owner on a real software development project. When choosing the composition of the teams, the professors make sure that the groups are mixed Swiss-French, Swiss-German and non-Swiss students, so that students can experience multicultural collaboration. The Scrum teams appoint a Scrum Master and during the 8 weeks they put into practice the Scrum events: Sprint Planning, Sprint Review, Daily Scrum, Sprint Retrospective. The professors act as agile coaches for the students, helping them during the projects and guiding the product owners if they are not well versed in Scrum.

​​"Scrum makes the relationship between the client and the developers much easier. This allows the project to evolve faster and especially to fix bugs as quickly as possible," said Dr. Alex Gnaegi, Product Owner of the student project AppRent, GRIMM's Medical Equipment Associate.


Results of the university Scrum training so far 

Launched in 2019, the course is open to both evening and full-time students and enrols an average of 30 students per year. By fully integrating Scrum into the university curriculum, students acquire theoretical knowledge and are able to apply their newly acquired competences in a real-life environment. Three quarters of them also earn an internationally recognised certificate on (PSM I) in addition to their official university degree. Local companies, including start-ups, have the opportunity to work closely with students and find their future employees.

"The HES-SO combines the core lessons of Scrum theory with practical application to real projects, so students learn all aspects of the Scrum framework. I believe that this approach, together with the tools and knowledge materials provided by, perfectly prepares us, students to obtain the PSM I certification", said Ekaterina Aymon, 3rd year student, on the faculty of Business Informatics.



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