General professional skills courses (Allgemeine Berufsvorbereitung, ABV)
Freie Universität Berlin introduced general professional skills courses (Allgemeine Berufsvorbereitung, abbreviated ABV) as a component of its bachelor’s degree programs in order to improve graduates’ career prospects. These courses help ensure that what students learn in their academic careers is grounded in practice and provide students with additional interdisciplinary skills and skills in related areas, which are becoming increasingly important factors in determining students’ later professional success, especially in light of the increasing internationalization of labor markets. An extensive centralized selection of courses on various topics – foreign language, information and media skills, gender and diversity awareness, organizational and management skills, and interpersonal, social, and communications skills – is open to all students enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs. Discipline-specific courses offered by individual departments and institutes, along with the required professional internship, also offer a wide range of opportunities to prepare students for professional activities in line with their qualifications once they finish their studies.
Academic program structure
The 180 credits that students are required to earn in the bachelor’s degree programs at Freie Universität Berlin comprise 150 credits earned in the topic of study (or the core subject and separate modules, as the case may be) and 30 credits earned in general professional skills (Allgemeine Berufsvorbereitung, abbreviated ABV) courses. The ABV courses include a mandatory professional internship and six specific skill areas. In addition to participating in an internship module worth five, ten, or 15 credits, students also have to take modules falling within at least two skill areas (Kompetenzbereiche). Students can earn five, ten, or a maximum of 15 credits in the individual skill areas. They can also complete an internship abroad for 20, 25, or 30 credits instead of enrolling in an internship module. If a student completes a 20-credit internship abroad, the student has the choice of earning the remaining ten required ABV credits in one or two of the six skill areas.
General professional skills (ABV) courses
Mandatory professional internship
(5, 10, or 15 credits)
Internship abroad module
(20, 25, or 30 credits)
Modules in six skill areas
(5, 10, or 15 credits)
Information and media skills
Gender and diversity awareness
Organizational and management skills
Interpersonal, social, and communications skills
Subject-related additional qualifications
General professional skills (ABV) courses are governed by Study and Examination Regulations (in German) and various amendments. Since the winter semester of 2007/08, the Department of Philosophy and Humanities, School of Business and Economics, and Department of History and Cultural Studies have also had department-specific study and examination regulations that apply to ABV courses. These supplement the provisions laid out in the central regulations and provide further detail.
Types of courses offered
• Foreign language
• Information and media skills
• Gender and diversity awareness
• Organizational and management skills
• Interpersonal, social, and communications skills
• Subject-related additional qualifications
• Professional internship
Advising and information
Each department has one or more people you can contact who will be happy to answer any specific questions you may have regarding general professional skills (ABV) courses. Please see the website of your specific department for details.