Questions about credit transfer and final degree
In the case of surplus modules, are the faculty modules always credited before the non-faculty modules? (published on 06.02.2023)
Since the principle specified in § 48 para. 1 RVO RWF primarily applies, according to which surplus modules are not credited to the degree, it can happen that a faculty module is not credited to the degree, but a completed non-faculty module is.
This is the case if
- the faculty module is not a compulsory or elective module required for the degree,
- the non-faculty module has a larger ECTS credit volume than the faculty module,
- the crediting of the faculty module is not sufficient to achieve the number of ECTS credits required for the degree, and
- the crediting of the non-faculty module, on the other hand, is sufficient to achieve the number of ECTS credits required for the degree even without the additional crediting of the faculty module.
In this constellation, the result is that the faculty module is surplus in the sense of § 48 para. 1 RVO RWF, while the non-faculty module is not. The non-faculty module is therefore credited, but not the faculty module.
(cf. also the example on the website graduation, under the title "Changes in the crediting of non-faculty modules to the degree").
How exactly does the transfer of credit toward the final degree work if there are superfluous modules? Are final degrees with more than 180 ECTS credits possible in the Bachelor? And in the Master with more than 90 ECTS credits? (published 9 November 2021)
The procedure for the transfer of credit for recognized academic achievement toward the final degree is as follows:
1. Credit for academic achievement, which is required for the degree: compulsory modules, core elective modules
If more than the required modules were completed in a module group with core elective modules, the module that was completed first (if only one is required for the degree) or the modules that were completed first (if more than one core elective module in the module group is required) will be taken into account. The core elective modules that are not yet taken into account at this step are subsequently treated as equivalent to elective modules in law (see item 2).
2. Credit for further modules in law (elective modules and core elective modules not yet included in the first step)
If not all of these "further modules in law" are needed to reach the required number of ECTS credits for the final degree (Bachelor: 180, Master RWF: 90), they are considered for a transfer of credit in ascending chronological order. The decisive factor is the semester in which the modules were completed. If the most recently completed modules, of which not all can be taken into account, were completed within the same semester, students choose which of these modules are counted toward their final degree. Each of the chosen modules must be required to achieve the ECTS credits needed for the degree (see the example below).
3. Credit for modules from outside the Faculty, if applicable
Credit for modules from outside the Faculty of Law is only counted toward the degree if the modules from the Faculty are not sufficient to achieve the required ECTS credits. Again, the chronological order applies respectively the students choose (if there are modules completed within the same semester which could be considered for a transfer of credit).
If, in this way, the credit of the modules counted toward the degree reaches a total greater than 180 ECTS credits in the Bachelor's degree or 90 ECTS credits in the Master's degree, the final degree is awarded with more than 180 ECTS credits or with more than 90 ECTS credits.
In the Master's study program Rechtswissenschaft (according to the new regulations), in addition to the compulsory modules (42 ECTS credits [including the Master's thesis]) and the required core elective modules (12 ECTS credits from the Foundations of Law module group), students must complete further modules amounting to 36 ECTS credits to reach the required 90 ECTS credits. The student Y. has completed the following academic achievement in addition to the compulsory modules:
- 1st semester: core elective module A from the module group Foundations of Law (6 ECTS), elective module B from the Faculty of Law (6 ECTS)
- 2nd semester: core elective modules C and D from the module group Foundations of Law (6 ECTS each), elective modules E (6 ECTS) and F (3 ECTS) from the Faculty of Law, module G from the Faculty of Philosophy (18 ECTS), module H from the Faculty of Business, Economics and Informatics (6 ECTS), module J from the Language Center (2 ECTS)
- 3rd semester: elective modules K and L from the Faculty of Law (6 ECTS each)
Order of consideration for a transfer of credit toward the degree:
1. Credit of compulsory modules (42 ECTS credits)
2. Credit of core elective module A (6 ECTS credits)
3. Credit of core elective module C or D according to Y's choice. (6 ECTS credits) [In the present case, this choice is ultimately irrelevant and would therefore be omitted].
-> Intermediate total: 54 ECTS credits
-> Credit of further modules to the extent of 36 ECTS is required for the final degree.
4. Credit of further modules from the Faculty in ascending chronological order: core elective module B (6), core elective module C or D (6), core elective modules E and F (9), core elective modules K and L (12)
-> Intermediate total: 87 ECTS credits
-> Credit of further academic achievement in the amount of 3 ECTS credits is necessary for the final degree.
5. Credit of modules from outside the Faculty of Law: Since credit of all modules from the Faculty is counted toward the final degree, credit of modules form outside the Faculty is taken into account. These were all completed in the 2nd semester. The credit of module J from the Language Center (2 ECTS) alone is not sufficient to reach the 90 required ECTS credits. However, it cannot be counted together with module G or H either, since it is not required to be taken alongside one of these modules in order to reach the 90 ECTS credits. Thus, Y. has the choice between module G (18 ECTS) and module H (6 ECTS). If module G is chosen, the Master's degree will be awarded with 105 ECTS credits, if module H is chosen with 93 ECTS credits.
The modules completed at the UZH for which credit is not counted toward the final degree can be seen in the Academic Record together with the grade; they appear under the title "Academic Achievement Not Counted toward Degree".
Is there a significant change in practice regarding credit transfers from coursework completed outside of the Faculty of Law? (published 13 September 2021)
The following change applies to coursework that have already been credited toward another degree: Only credits that can be allocated to a compulsory module of the corresponding study program can be transferred. This applies to modules of the Faculty of Law as well as to externally earned credits. It is no longer possible to credit coursework that has already been credited toward another degree and cannot be allocated to a compulsory module.
Exceptions to this rule are general transfers of credits toward a Master's degree and credits when changing from a minor program of the Faculty of Law to a single major study program. In these cases, coursework that have already been credited toward a degree can still be credited as core elective modules or elective modules.
This new policy applies to all students beginning their studies at the Faculty of Law in Fall Semester 2021 or later. (Addition from 14.09.2021: Concerning the time of the beginning of the studies, the enrollment in the study program is decisive, to whose degree a study achievement is to be credited).
Do the Guidelines on Transfer of Credits and the information on the RWF website regarding transferring credits from studies at a different university still apply or are they also affected by the study reform? (updated 25 Juni 2021)
The current Guidelines on Transfer of Credits no longer apply to assessments completed after the Spring Semester 2021.
On 20 April 2021 the new Guidelines on Recognition of Academic Achievement and Transfer of Credits were adopted, which will apply from Fall Semester 2021. Information on the credit transfer can be found on this website, which also contains links to the current and the new guidelines.
In principle, only assessments that are at a comparable level and no more than 10 years old will be considered for credit transfer.
The new Study Regulations approved by the Faculty Assembly contains the provision that academic achievements completed at other universities will only be recognized if they can be given credit for the final degree. Academic achievements that are not recognized do not appear in the Academic Record.
In which cases do I still have a choice regarding transfer of credit for degrees from Fall Semester 2021 onwards? (published 18 June 2021)
In advance, the credits of program-relevant compulsory modules and compulsory elective modules from a compulsory elective area, from which no further module has been completed, are transferred to the degree.
If more modules have been successfully completed than are necessary for the degree (so-called superfluous modules), the principle then applies that credits of modules completed outside the Faculty of Law are only transferred if the faculty modules are not sufficient to fulfill the degree requirements and modules completed earlier precede modules completed later.
Thus, in the case of superfluous modules, the following constellations arise in which students must make a choice regarding credit:
- After taking into account all modules to be credited according to the above criteria, there remain several faculty elective modules of the same elective area that were completed in the same semester.
- After taking into account all modules to be credited according to the above criteria, there still remain several faculty elective modules and/or faculty elective modules not yet taken into account that were completed in the same semester.
- After taking into account all modules to be credited according to the above criteria, there remain several modules that were completed outside the Faculty of Law in the same semester.
Of the selected modules, each must be required to achieve the ECTS credits required for the degree.
Example Bachelor: A. has not completed any faculty elective module, but has completed the module "Financial Accounting (L + E)" of the Faculty of Business, Economics and Informatics (6 ECTS credits) and the module "Soziologische Theorie" of the Faculty of Arts an Social Sciences (9 ECTS credits) in HS21.
If A. has not already completed modules of 6 ECTS credits or more prior to HS21 outside the Faculty of Law, whose credits have not yet been transferred to a degree, A. can choose which of the two modules is to be taken into account for the transfer of credit.
Example Master (1): B. has completed faculty modules totaling 102 ECTS credits. In the last semester of the studies, B. has completed the (faculty) elective modules "Datenschutzrecht", "Nebenstrafrecht" and "Migrationsrecht" (6 ECTS credits each).
B. may choose one of the three modules.
Example Master (2): C. has completed faculty modules totaling 84 ECTS credits. In the last semester of the studies, B. has also completed modules outside the Faculty of Law with the following ECTS scope: one 12-credit module, one 6-credit module, one 5-credit module, and two 3-credit modules.
C. can choose between the following options:
- only the credits of the 12-credit module will be transferred
- only the credits of the 6-credit module will be transferred
- the credits of one 3-credit modul and the 5-credit module will be transferred
- the credits of the other 3-credit module and the 5-credit module will be transferred
- the credits of both 3-credit modules will be transferred
I am completing my studies after the new regulations come into effect. If I have completed superfluous modules, the transfer of their credits to the final degree therefore depends on when I completed these modules and whether they are modules completed at the Faculty of Law or outside. When I booked these modules, it was still the case that it was possible to choose which elective (compulsory) modules are counted toward the final degree. Will I now be worse off compared to students graduating up to and including Spring Semester 2021? (published 3 June 2021)
It is correct that the new regulations apply to degrees from Fall Semester 2021 onwards, so that in the case of superfluous modules, the Faculty of Law modules take precedence over the modules from outside and modules completed earlier are given priority in the transferring of credit process. Only when deciding between two Faculty of Law modules completed within the same semester or between modules from outside the Faculty of Law completed within the same semester, students can choose which module is counted toward their final degree (if there are superfluous modules).
If in the Bachelor's degree program a module from outside the Faculty of Law is completed in addition to an elective Faculty of Law module worth 6 ECTS credits, the faculty elective module is counted toward the final degree (for degrees from Fall Semester 2021 onwards). The outside the Faculty of Law completed module will nevertheless be listed in the Academic Record (unless it is a module that was completed at another university and is not recognized). It is merely not taken into account when determining the overall grade. A module worth 6 ECTS credits has a very small influence of a maximum of one tenth on the overall Bachelor grade (which is rounded to one decimal place).
In the Master's degree program, too, all successfully completed and recognized modules are listed in the Academic Record, thus also the superfluous modules which are not counted toward the final degree. In the Master's degree, the grade of a module worth 6 ECTS credits - if it deviates significantly from the average of the remaining grades - can influence the overall grade by two tenths.
If more modules are completed than can be credited toward the degree, the modules that have been completed will be credited in ascending chronological order based on the new regulations. Does this apply for degrees starting in Fall Semester 2021?
Yes, these regulations apply for degrees starting in Fall Semester 2021. If there are surplus modules, first the Faculty of Law modules will be credited in ascending chronological order. Only after this will any non-faculty modules be credited (also in this order).
Questions concerning the transition from the Bachelor's to the Master's degree program
If I intend to complete a Master’s degree module in advance, by when must I do so in order to have the freedom to choose my courses in the Master’s program during the transition phase? Do Master’s theses also count toward this?
Advance Master’s degree modules must be completed by no later than Spring Semester 2021 in order for them to appear on the corresponding transcript of records. Master’s theses count as well. In contrast to Master’s degree modules, a Master’s thesis can be started before 162 ECTS credits have been earned toward the Bachelor’s degree. At the end of Spring Semester 2021, a review will be conducted to determine if a Master’s degree module has been completed or a Master’s thesis successfully written and 162 ECTS credits have been earned toward the Bachelor’s degree.
Do students who complete the Bachelor of Law in Spring Semester 2021 have to complete the Civil Procedure Law and Tax Law modules again in the Master of Law?
In principle, yes. Students can avoid having to do so by earning 162 of the ECTS credits that count toward the Bachelor’s degree and completing a Master’s degree module in advance by the end of Spring Semester 2021. Students who do so will not have to complete the Civil Procedure Law and Tax Law modules for the Master’s degree.
Questions concerning the Master's degree program
I have registered for a Master's seminar in Fall Semester 2021 and intend to complete my Bachelor's degree in Spring Semester 2021. Now I have learned that the Master's thesis may only be started in the Master's degree program. Do I now have to deregister from the Master's seminar again? (published 13 April 2021, supplemented 29 August 2021)
No, you do not have to deregister and you can write the Master's thesis in Fall Semester 2021 as scheduled. However, due to the new regulations, credit ist only transferred to a Master's degree for the Master's thesis when you are enrolled in the Master's degree program in Fall Semester 2021. It is not possible to transfer credit for the thesis at a later date.
If, contrary to expectations, you do not meet the requirements to enroll in the Master's degree program in Fall Semester 2021, please inform the chair conducting the seminar. This will not result in a failed attempt.
Until when can I write a Master’s thesis worth more than 12 ECTS credits?
According to Framework Ordinance 2021, Master’s theses have a fixed value of 12 ECTS credits. Students who have already successfully completed a Master’s thesis cannot write any further Master’s theses. This rule is valid for all students from Fall Semester 2021.
Master’s theses completed by the end of Spring Semester 2021 can be credited toward the Master’s degree up to and including Spring Semester 2024 (even if they are worth more than 12 ECTS credits).
Thus, Master’s theses worth more or less than 12 ECTS credits can be agreed for Spring Semester 2021. However, these theses must be registered in Spring Semester 2021, which means the evaluations must be submitted to the Faculty of Law Service Desk in good time (no later than 10 July 2021).
If it is agreed with the chair that a Master's Thesis worth more than 12 ECTS credits, which should have been written in Spring Semester 2021, is not to be handed in until Fall Semester 2021, it can only be credited to the extent of 12 ECTS credits.
Do I still need to write a Master’s thesis after the deadline?
All students who complete the Master’s program after the start of Fall Semester 2021 must have successfully completed one or more Master’s theses worth at least 12 ECTS credits. Starting in Fall Semester 2021, only Master’s theses worth this many credits will be offered. It will no longer be possible to write more than one Master’s thesis.
As a result, the following scenarios are possible during the transition phase:
- I have written one Master’s thesis worth 6 ECTS credits:
The ECTS credits will be credited. Another Master’s thesis worth 12 ECTS credits must still be written.
- I have written two Master’s theses, each worth 6 ECTS credits:
The two Master’s theses fulfill the compulsory module requirements under the new regulations. Another Master’s thesis does not have to be written.
- I have written one Master’s thesis worth 18 ECTS credits:
The ECTS credits will be credited and the compulsory module requirements under the new regulations have been fulfilled. Another Master’s thesis does not have to be written.
Is it possible to write an additional Master’s thesis after the deadline?
All students who have written one or more Master's theses totaling 12 ECTS credits or more by the end of Spring Semester 2021 have fulfilled the Master's thesis, which is considered a compulsory module according to the new RVO, and cannot write another Master's thesis.
Before Fall Semester 2021 I have written a Master’s thesis worth more than 12 ECTS credits. How will the “surplus” ECTS credits be applied if I complete the degree after Spring Semester 2021?
For Master’s theses worth more than 12 ECTS credits, a correspondingly lower number of elective modules need to be completed. The agreed number of credits for the Master’s thesis will be shown in the final records.
Questions about the Minor Study Programs
What happens if I have already met the requirements for a minor program of study in the Faculty of Law, but I have not yet completed the major program of study by the end of Spring Semester 2021? Do I need confirmation or the like to attest that the minor program of study has already been completed in accordance with the old regulations? (supplemented 20 August 2021)
No confirmation is necessary. If the prerequisites for the completion of the minor program of study have been met by the end of Spring Semester 2021, it will be credited toward the subsequent completion of the major program of study. In this case, the new regulations regarding the minor program of study can be disregarded. This also applies if the major program is not completed until after Spring Semester 2024. However, it should be noted that coursework completed more than 10 years ago cannot be transferred to the degree.
I meet the requirements to have freedom of choice in the minor study program during the transition period according to the transition table. What if I have successfully completed all the required modules according to this transition table up to and including Spring Semester 2024, but do not complete my major study program until later? Do I then fulfill the graduation requirements or do I have to fulfill the requirements according to the new regulations? (published 20 August 2021)
If students who have freedom of choice under the transitional regulations meet the requirements for completion of the minor study program applicable in the transition by the end of Spring Semester 2024 (see transition tables), this will also be counted toward a later completion of the major study program. Of course, there is also the restriction that only coursework that was not completed more than 10 years ago can be transferred to the degree.
Will my academic achievements be credited in accordance with the new regulations if I switch from the minor to the single major study program?
Yes. Modules that have been successfully completed in the minor program of study will be credited toward the completion of the single major study program. The modules will be credited even if they have already been credited toward the completion of a major program of study in another faculty.