The recommended course load for German students is approx. 20 contact hours (1 contact hour = 45 minutes) per week or 30 ECTS (European Credits) per semester.
Depending on your course of study you will attend the following types of classes:
A professor presents a certain topic; supplementary reading is expected. Lectures aim at giving a broad overview of a certain topic. Dialogue or discussions between professor and students are not customary, although there is usually time for questions at the end of each class.
Übung (Exercise / Project Course)
Students actively participate in dealing with and working on a specific topic. A short presentation, introducing a text or chairing a discussion is sometimes expected from the students. Exercises are often offered as a supplement to a lecture.
Einführungsseminar (Introductory Seminar)
Usually the first courses of basic studies, in which students are introduced to the basic questions, methods and work theories of each respective subject. Students are encouraged to participate actively and practice independent scientific research, a key qualification for studying successfully. This type of seminar often includes a written test and a short paper.
Topics are established in dialogue with a professor or lecturer or in small groups. Students are expected to work on specific topics individually, demonstrating their ability to work independently in a scientific manner. A common practice of the seminar is the oral presentation, which each student is expected to deliver once during the semester. Sometimes a research paper, which has to be written in the lecture-free period at the end of the semester, is required.
Exkursion (Excursion / Field Trip)
Field trips can be compulsory in a full-time study programme. The number of participants is limited – exchange students can only participate in certain cases.