Arrange your schedule

The first steps are always the hardest – even at a university. Here you will find information about the way the studies in Göttingen are organised.

Academic Calendar

The academic year is divided into winter and summer term, with each period lasting six months. During these terms there are periods when lectures are held, and periods when examinations are taken, as well as breaks and public holidays. Courses usually run over 14 weeks, followed by a two-week examination period. Students are expected to use the time between these periods for independent studies. Many students, however, also take on jobs, complete internships or travel abroad during semester breaks.

Course of Study

Your studies are divided into modules, which are study units that consist of thematically-related courses. Modules normally consist of several courses of different type during the lecture period (e.g. lectures and seminars). Each module involves a workload of two to ten hours per week. The workload needed to successfully complete a module is measured in credit points, according to the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS). Students receive credits for modules that they have successfully completed.

Some modules are offered as block courses.

Types of Courses

The University of Göttingen offers different types of courses. Each of these courses focuses on different skills and has a particular approach to learning and to disseminating information.

Lectures (Vorlesungen)

In lectures, university professors generally speak on a specific topic. They provide a comprehensive overview on, or an in-depth knowledge of, one topic. Upfront teaching is the most common teaching style. Students receive credits for attending lectures and often have to present what they have learned in written exams at the end of the semester.

Seminars (Seminare)

Seminars are an interactive form of learning and require active student participation. Usually, oral presentations and/or papers are provided by students and followed by a discussion with peers and a review by the lecturer.

Students earn credits if they present a paper, hand in assignments, and/or pass a written exam. To ensure that you can attend a certain seminar, you might have to sign up prior to the beginning of the lecture period since the number of students per seminar is limited. Please ask the academic advisor of your programme for the procedure of registration in your subject.

Tutorials (Tutorien)

Tutorials are headed by advanced students (tutors) and deepen the knowledge taught in lectures and seminars. The groups in tutorials are often small and the atmosphere is personal.

Problem Sessions (Übungen)

Problem sessions are held by university teachers, lecturers or research assistants and have a similar approach to tutorials. They are common in the natural sciences.

Colloquium (Kolloquium)

In colloquia, students present their current scientific research (e.g. Bachelor’s, Master’s, or doctoral thesis) and discuss it with their peers and interested scholars.

Excursions and field trips (Exkursionen)

Excursions are trips organised by a group of students which are made for educational purposes. They are often an adjunct to a longer journey or visit to a place, e.g. to observe natural or geographical phenomena or features. Short excursions are called field trips.

Laboratory work (Laborpraktikum)

Particularly in the natural sciences, students work in laboratories, applying appropriate procedures and using the necessary equipment. In this way, they learn how to conduct scientific practices (e.g. analyse chemical substances or use tests).

Online teaching modules

Online teaching, also called E-learning, is a type of course in which web-based or online-education plays a major role. It might, however, also involve face-to-face interaction. Often, students take lectures or seminars via the Internet and contribute to this class through blogs, emails and chats.

Types of Examinations

Examinations are usually taken within the first two weeks after the last day of lectures. Failed exams can be retaken at a later date. At the University of Göttingen, failed examinations can be repeated twice. Bachelor's and Master's thesis that are graded or qualify as “non-sufficient” may only be repeated once.

The framework and details of a particular assessment as well as examination types are introduced and explained by the responsible lecturer at the beginning of the semester.

Oral exams

During an oral exam, an examiner asks you questions in spoken form. Students have to answer the question in such a way as to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the subject in order to pass the exam. Oral exams can range from a straightforward question and answer format, to more problem-based, or hypothetical scenarios which may evaluate not only academic knowledge but also your interpersonal communication, diagnostic and/or creative abilities.

Written exams

Exams frequently last between 30 minutes and several hours, and are intended to test a student's ability to recall, assimilate and apply the knowledge gained from a seminar or lecture course. Many examiners will test the students by requiring a mixture of both short and long answers, and/or multiple-choice questions.

Giving a presentation / Presenting a paper

During oral or written presentations, students present reports on a project or particular topic and summarise scientific publications. They often evaluate other scholars’ approaches and classify them according to state-of-the-art knowledge in a particular field. The correctness and appropriateness of content, structure, and style are assessed, as well as the way in which a discussion is led following a presentation.

Project work

Project work is a way of introducing real and practical problems as well as independent study to education. Two or more students collaborate and identify a problem or question they wish to solve or explore. The workload is then shared in the group and carried out independently. The outcome, however, is the result of the collaboration and presented as a project report and/or a paper.

A Note on Cheating

The Rules and Regulations for studying at the University of Göttingen (Allgemeine Prüfungsordnung/APO) state that if a student attempts to influence examination results to his/her own, or somebody else’s, advantage through deception or by using material that is not permitted, then the relevant examination results are considered “not satisfactory” (5.0) or as a “fail”, respectively.

eCampus Student Portal

eCampus (electronic campus) is a portal for students in Göttingen and the central access point for online services relevant to studying. Logging on to the eCampus portal automatically triggers a login onto the systems, so that most services (self-service functions; FlexNow; Stud.IP; UniVZ and email account) can be used immediately.

UniVZ

UniVZ, the course and people’s directory, answers the following questions:

  • What courses are offered?
  • Who teaches the class?
  • Where and when is the class being held?

Stud.IP

Stud.IP is an Open Source Learning Management System that helps you to manage and participate in your classes. Stud.IP also documents courses available in the current course catalogue (exception: University Medical Center). Through this platform you can download and share learning material, discuss course contents, or create your own content.

To be able to make use of Stud.IP’s full set of features, you have to register and login to the system. For this purpose, the university provides a username and password for each student. This username and password is the same one you use for your student email-account or when you register for examinations through FlexNow.

FlexNow Exam Management

FlexNow is used to administer exam assessments for all Bachelor and Master degree courses. It allows you to register up to seven days prior to the exam date and cancel your registration 24 hours before your exam, view your grades and credits, and to create a summary (PDF file) of your attainments to date.

You can register for your exams online from wherever you are, without visiting the examination office. Confirmation of your registration is sent to you by email. Also, you receive an email as soon as the exam results are released by the examination office.