The bachelor’s degree is the standard degree awarded by German and european higher education institutions. With a bachelor’s degree, you can apply for admission to a suitable master’s degree program practically anywhere in the world.
Bachelor’s degree programs in the sciences, economics, computer science, mathematics, and psychology at Freie Universität Berlin lead to the degree of Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.), while all other bachelor’s degree programs culminate in the degree of Bachelor of Arts (B.A.). The term “science” applies primarily to the sciences, while “arts,” as in the Magister Artium degree, follows the tradition of the “liberal arts” handed down from the Middle Ages. Today, this category typically includes all of the humanities and the social sciences.
Combination bachelor’s degree programs
The structure of a bachelor’s or master’s degree program varies according to subject (or subject combination) and by institution. About half of the bachelor’s degree programs offered at Freie Universität are combination bachelor’s degree programs, which comprise a core subject (typically 90 credits) and one or two separate modules (one 60-credit module or two 30-credit modules). The only exception is Judaistik with 120-LP + 30-LP. Students can choose their modules from a broad range of subjects unless a specific combination is required. Candidates are admitted separately to the core subject and module or modules (for modules: 80% depending on the quality of the average grade, 20% according to wait time), but students can only enroll for all of the components of the program together at the same time.
“Mono” (single-subject) bachelor’s degree programs
The other half of the bachelor’s degree programs offered at Freie Universität are “mono,” or single-subject, bachelor’s degree programs. In addition to the core subject applied for, students also study related areas or related modules, which, unlike the separate modules included in the combination bachelor’s degree programs, do not require additional admission. Students also take 30 credits of general professional skills courses in every combination and mono bachelor’s degree program; no application or request is required for this area.
Bachelor’s degree programs at Freie Universität typically last six semesters (exceptions: Italian Studies, French Studies, both of which last seven semesters and Japan Studies, Korean Studies wich last eight semesters). Almost all programs begin in the winter semester only.
All academic courses are combined into modules, which are generally completed when a student takes a graded module exam (which may consist of several sections). There is no single large final examination; instead, the module exams are automatically considered part of the bachelor’s degree examination (Bachelor-Prüfung), and all module exam grades are counted toward the overall grade on the bachelor’s degree exam. As a result, most courses in the bachelor’s degree programs are required courses that demand regular, active participation (for details, see the study and examination regulations).
Credits are awarded for the efforts a student has invested toward a module after the exam in that module is passed: One credit under the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) is equivalent to 30 hours of work on that subject by the student (class attendance, self-study, preparing for module exams, time spent taking exams, required professional internships, etc.).
A six-semester program always comprises 180 credits, which means students should plan on earning an average of 30 credits each semester. In this system, the amount of time a student needs is 30 x 30 = 900 hours over six months (no teaching activity, or vorlesungsfreie Zeit, is not the same as a semester break (Semesterferien), but instead is time set aside for exams, block courses, internships, etc.).
The sequence of classes (Studienverlaufsplan) is shown in the appendix to the study regulations for each discipline. This chart shows which modules should be completed during which semesters (many course sequences start only in the winter semester and are taken over two consecutive semesters).
In the core subject, the student writes a bachelor’s degree thesis, which is typically about 25 pages long and must be prepared within eight weeks; sometimes there is also a thirty-minute oral examination on the content of the student’s paper (details are also shown in the study and examination regulations).
Not all bachelor’s degree programs involve separate modules like in the combination type, but every program does involve modules of some kind.
Bachelor’s degree programs follow a modular structure, which means that the individual courses are bundled together into modules, each of which is completed with a module exam.
Separate modules, called Modulangebote, are components of the combination bachelor’s degree program. The core subject is combined with either one 60-credit module or two 30-credit modules.
Related areas or related modules (affine Bereiche, affine Module) can be components of a “mono,” or single-subject, bachelor’s degree program. The content studied in these areas should generally have some relation to the core subject and should supplement the subject-specific profile of the program in which the student is enrolled. If the study regulations allot 30 credits to related modules, the student may also be able to select a 30-credit separate module (Modulangebot); in this case, however, there must be space left for mono bachelor’s students who wish to enroll in the module after all combination bachelor’s students have been admitted. Mono bachelor’s students are also required to have met any necessary prerequisites (such as prior language skills).
Students apply to the appropriate department administration for admission to related modules; this should take place in coordination with the academic advising service for the core subject. Students are not generally permitted to attend individual courses without a written notice from the department regarding admission to the module.
All bachelor’s degree programs at Freie Universität include a mandatory 30 credits of general professional skills studies, which are available in two different types:
• General professional skills courses (Allgemeine Berufsvorbereitung, abbreviated ABV) and
• Teaching-related professional courses (Lehramtsbezogene Berufswissenschaft, abbreviated LBW).
Both types are subject to their own study and examination regulations.
Students who are enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs in combinations that permit them to keep the option of becomming a teacher and wish to do so are required to take teaching-related professional courses (LBW courses). In all other cases, students enroll in general professional skills courses (ABV courses).
Please note: Students are not eligible for the option to become a teacher if they take ABV courses rather than LBW courses in a combination of subjects that would be relevant for a teaching option. It is possible to switch from LBW to ABV courses by arrangement with the board of examiners for the core subject, since LBW modules are eligible for ABV credit. By contrast, it is not possible to switch from ABV to LBW, since the general professional skills profile of the teaching-related modules has no equivalent among the ABV courses.
Since students do not enroll separately for ABV and LBW courses, students must be careful to choose the right area and register on time for the appropriate modules.(choose the right keynumber on the Enrollment Application)
General professional skills (ABV) courses
General professional skills (Allgemeine Berufsvorbereitung, abbreviated ABV) courses include a mandatory professional internship and modules that can be chosen from the following skill areas or, if permitted under the study regulations, from additional qualifications related to the subject.
ABV skill areas:
• Foreign languages
• Information and media skills
• Gender and diversity awareness
• Organizational and management skills
• Communications skills
• Subject-related additional qualifications
• Professional internship
Teaching-related professional (LBW) courses
LBW courses introduce students to the fundamental issues of education, teaching, and schooling. Students enrolled in these courses should explore the school setting as a future career field and learn to reflect on their practical experiences with the guidance of theory. Students also learn the basics of how to teach and learn the specific content of the subject-specific academic modules.
Study and Examination Regulations LBW (in German)
Further information: "Bachelor's and Master's Degree with a teacher training component."
Students are generally required to register online for each module, and for each course within that module, within the time limit specified for registration. Online registration takes place via the Campus Management system of Freie Universität Berlin.
Registration for a module or a course is also considered, at the same time, to include registration for the exam for that module or course. As a result, students must be sure to promptly drop any modules and/or courses for which they have registered but are not attending.
There are also individual core subjects and separate modules for which module registration is not permitted via Campus Management. In these cases, please see the appropriate examinations office.
Students in “mono” (single-subject) bachelor’s degree programs who wish to take related modules should register for these modules with the administration of the department responsible for offering the modules.
For information, please see "Services for Students".
A wide variety of bachelor's degree programs is listed only in German at this moment.