This page gives you a brief overview of how modules are organised at the University of Passau. If you have any more detailed questions, please contact the Academic Advice Service. You should also attend the information event for new international students, organised by Academic Advice Service staff during the Orientation Weeks at the end of September or the beginning of October.
Lectures and seminars are usually designed to take up two contact hours per week each. A contact hour lasts 45 minutes. The German word for contact hour is 'Semesterwochenstunde', often abbreviated 'SWS' in module lists and timetables.
Exchange students can attend any lectures they wish, regardless of their own chosen subject. The number of attendees is not restricted. A lecture usually lasts for 1 – 2 contact hours per week.
Tutorials ('Übungen') and seminars ('Seminare')
While these are also open to all students, the number of attendees is normally restricted to 20 or 30 students, and you may need to register for some tutorials and seminars. Please check the notice boards for more information.
Preparatory, introductory and foundation courses (FC)
You will usually start your studies with these modules, which serve as a prerequisite for participation in a seminar. Please note that individual subject areas may use different terms for their foundation or introductory modules.
Lectures are usually given by professors; a discussion between the lecturer and the audience is unusual.
Unlike lectures, seminars are all about two-way discussions between the instructor and the students. Active and regular contributions by students are encouraged. Students are required to give a presentation (Referat), write an essay/paper (Hausarbeit) or sit a written exam (Klausur) at the end of the semester; a module certificate is issued.
Advanced seminars (AS)
Seminars for students at an advanced stage in their studies, who are able to tackle more specialised topics.
Smaller, seminar-style courses in which the topics treated in lectures are repeated in more detail.
Revision courses (R)
Courses for guided revision of the curriculum.