What are the different types of courses?

You will come across different types of courses as you progress through your studies.

A distinction is generally made between courses that are concluded with an examination and courses that are subject to continuous assessment.

  • Lecture course (German abbreviation VO): These are courses in which the instructors convey knowledge by lecturing. The examination takes place in the form of a one-off (written and/or oral) examination. Lecture courses are concluded by passing the examination and course attendance is not mandatory.

Courses with continuous assessment (mandatory attendance)

  • Lecture with exercises (German abbreviation VU): These courses combine a lecture part and integrated exercises, closely linked in terms of the teaching. The two parts are assessed jointly.
  • Exercise (German abbreviation UE): Exercises are courses in which concrete assignments are completed in order to consolidate the content of the associated lecture course.
  • Practical class (German abbreviation KS): Practical classes serve the acquisition, development and consolidation of both scientific and practical competences and involve instructors and students jointly working on specific questions.
  • Introductory seminar (German abbreviation PS): These are preparatory courses preceding the seminar which serve to teach and advance academic discourse; they address core topics in the field by means of presentations, discussions and concrete analytical work. As a rule, students must complete a written assignment as part of the introductory seminar.
  • Practical placement/internship (German abbreviation PR): Research and industrial placements are designed to support the practical-professional objectives of the degree programme, complementing the academic education and pre-vocational training. Special attention is given to the work on specific tasks and projects. In practical project work, students carry out small-scale applied research or development work, preferably in a team, taking into account all the necessary operational steps. The completion of a written assignment to document the project progression and project outcomes is an inherent part of the practical placement.
  • Seminar (German abbreviation SE): Seminars are research- or theory-oriented courses aimed at advanced students and serve the purpose of reflection and discussion of specific scientific problems. As a rule, students must complete a written assignment as part of the seminar.
  • Excursion (German abbreviation EX): Excursions are courses that essentially allow students to explore the course content off-campus in collaboration with the instructors. Students must complete at least one written assignment corresponding to the length of a proseminar (portfolio).
  • Interactive lecture (German abbreviation VI): This is a form of course with continuous assessment that initially has the character of a lecture, but in which content is also developed by the students themselves on the basis of interactive forms of learning (especially via blended learning approaches) and in which teachers and students interact via an e-learning platform. The share of e-learning as part of the workload of the course amounts to at least 30 per cent.
  • Lecture with course (German abbreviation VC): These courses consist of a lecture part and a course part which involves the application of what has been presented in the lecture.