Faculty of LawLaw – Staatsexamen

Students of law work methodically to build solid knowledge of current law (legal dogmatics), and learn how to apply this to legal cases. The degree programme in law equips students with skills required to work systematically and conceptually to understand and apply legal concepts. The course also covers the relevant historical, philosophical and theoretical foundations of law.

Facts & Formalities

DegreeState Examination
Type of programmeUndergraduate
Start of programmeWinter semester only
Standard period of study10 semesters
Language(s) of instructionGerman
Fees and contributions171.75 € / Semester
Application procedureSubjects with admission restriction in the scope of the dialogue-oriented services procedure
Application deadlinesInformation about deadlines can be obtained after you have put together a degree program.

Course Content

The degree programme in law equips students with knowledge of current law, and the ability to systematically assess and critically reflect on legal cases. Students do not simply learn norms and court rulings, but gain understanding of structures and methods. Students gain analytical skills, the ability to present precise arguments, and make accurate and academically informed statements. The degree programme therefore also covers subjects including the philosophy of law, the history of law, the sociology of law, legal methods and comparative law, as well as practical elements such as courses and lectures taught by practicing lawyers, work placements and moot courts (simulated court processes). 

Students consider the most important aspects of civil law, criminal law and public law, and develop a specialism in relation to either international, European or procedural law. 

  • Civil law (private law), which focusses on civil rights, concerns the legal relationships between individuals (e.g. contracts, compensation, family, inheritance and employment law).  
  • Criminal law considers the development and enforcement of punishment by the state.  
  • Public law concerns laws imposed by the state as a sovereign body, and in particular, governs relationships between individuals and the state (constitutional law and administrative law). 
  • Students select a specialism in an area of law in which they gain specialist knowledge. Specialisms might include criminology, taxation law, commercial law or international law. 

Throughout the degree programme, students also consider subjects including the history of law, philosophy of law and methodology. 

The degree programme prepares students to embark on in-service training (Referendardienst), and for subsequent training in a legal profession. Graduates of law might also pursue a career in politics, business, the media, in associations and international organisations.

Course Structure

In the first three semesters (foundation degree), students attend lectures, practice classes and working groups in which course content is applied to legal cases from within the three main areas of law: civil law, criminal law and public law. Students also study another foundational subject. After completing the intermediary examination, students further their knowledge in the three areas of legal dogmatics over the following three semesters (stage 2 studies). They also study a minimum of two additional foundational subjects. Alongside this, they also develop a specialism. Students select this from the twelve subjects offered. These include: 

  • SB 1:History of Law and Historical Comparative Law 
  • SB 2: Criminal Sciences 
  • SB 3: Institute for German and European Administrative Law 
  • SB 4: Employment Law and Social Law 
  • SB 5a: Taxation law 
  • SB 5b: Commercial Law 
  • SB 6: Commercial Law and European Law 
  • SB 7: Civil Procedure Law 
  • SB 8a: International Private and Procedural Law 
  • SB 8b: International Law 
  • SB 9: Medical and Health Law 

The Faculty of Law encourages students to spend a period of study abroad, with a duration of one to three semesters. Students are generally advised to spend this period abroad in the middle phase of their course. This lengthens the total period of study, but serves to build students’ understanding of law and gives them the opportunity to gain an extra qualification which is viewed positively in a professional context.  

During the final two semesters, students prepare intensively for the examination. During this period, students are supported by the exam preparation course “HeidelPräp!“, as part of which lectures are repeated, students attend courses in small groups, sit marked mock examinations, and take a mock oral examination. The “Villa HeidelPräp! – Haus der Examensvorbereitung” is a designated area where students who are preparing for the examination can study, concentrate and access supervised learning. The first law examination consists in the University’s areas of specialism (30% of the final grade) and the compulsory state examination (70% of the final grade). After successfully passing the examination, students are able to complete their in-service training (Rechtsreferendariat) in any of the sixteen federal states.