Bachelor and Master
The standard period of study for a Bachelor’s degree at Heidelberg University is six semesters. Students study one subject at 100%, or two subjects at 50% each, or one subject at 75% and the other at 25%. Generally, subjects can be combined freely in a Bachelor’s programme. Some subjects can only be taken at 50% if selected as a second subject; this is indicated by the sequence “50%(2)” next to these subjects in the overviews to be found on this website. A Bachelor’s programme consists of the theoretical part and additional professional training, the so-called key qualifications. Students receive credit points for their participation in individual modules, where they have to complete tests, write papers, etc. Every programme has a “relative structure” and may encompass a certain amount of practical training. In the course of the final examination a thesis must be submitted, called the Bachelor’s thesis. The degree earned is called Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in the Humanities and the Cultural Sciences, and Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in the Sciences.
The Master’s programme is an advanced programme which usually follows the completion of a Bachelor’s programme, or of another basic programme. Its usual duration is four semesters, but may be as short as two or three semesters. The degrees most commonly awarded are the Master of Science (M.Sc.) or Master of Arts (M.A.) degrees. A Master’s degree is similar to the current German Diplom and Magister degrees with regard to the holders’ qualifications. The programme usually focuses on a single subject; the degree thesis deals with this subject. With some Master’s programmes students are required to earn 20 credit points in another subject. Admission to Master’s programmes is restricted; individual admission requirements vary. A substantial part of a programme may consist of lectures held in English. Payment of special fees may be required in some cases (see below). There are three kinds of Master’s programmes: consecutive, non-consecutive, and continuing education. Consecutive programmes are the rule: they immediately follow a prior Bachelor’s programme. A non-consecutive programme is a programme for which there is no matching Bachelor’s programme at Heidelberg University. Continuing education programmes require at least one year of professional experience as a prerequisite for participation.