FAQ

Is there any possibility to write more than one Bachelor's or Master's thesis after Spring Semester 2021? (published 20 April 2021)

As of Fall Semester 2021, the Bachelor's thesis is a compulsory module of the Bachelor degree program, the Master's thesis is a compulsory module of the Master degree program (§ 38 para. 1 RVO RWF, § 43 para. 1 RVO RWF).

It is not permitted to take a compulsory module twice in one semester. A passed compulsory module cannot be taken a second time.

Since the recognition of a Bachelor's or Master's thesis not completed at the University of Zurich is excluded (cf. § 45 para. 2 lit. b RVO RWF), it is furthermore not possible to have a Bachelor's or Master's thesis written at another university credited to the degree of the Uiversity of Zurich.

As of Fall Semester 2021, it is consequently the case that there is no possibility to write more than one Bachelor's and one Master's thesis at the Faculty of Law of the University of Zurich. A Bachelor's or Master's thesis written at another university will not be recognized and will therefore not appear in the final transcript of records.

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 on 13 April 2021 [The answer published 9-13 April 2021 has been replaced.])

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.

How does it exactly work with the "deletion" of failed attempts?

Due to failed attempts that are/were obtained in Spring Semester 2021 and earlier, definitives exclusions from studies are made according to the Framework Ordinance valid up to and including Spring Semester 2021 (cf. e.g. § 38 RVO concerning the Bachelor's and Master's Degree Programs).

Failed attempts obtained in Spring Semester 2021 and before will no longer be taken into account from Fall Semester 2021 onwards if they do not lead (or have already led) to the permissible number of failed attempts being exceeded, the repetition options have been exhausted in the case of a compulsory module, or the requirements of an core elective pool can no longer be met.

The fact that failed attempts are no longer taken into account means that students start the Fall Semester 2021 without failed attempts and thus have all repeat options available to them for completing the modules based on the new regulations. With respect to the failed attempt maxima established under the new regulations, the count starts at zero.

(Students who are tackling an assessment in Spring Semester 2021, where failure would result in a definitive exclusion from studies, will of course not know until the result is available whether the definitive exclusion will occur or they can continue their studies).

For all those students who continue their studies in Fall Semester 2021, only failures of examinations for modules based on the new regulations will be counted as failed attempts. Consequently, failure of an examination for an assessment-level module based on the old regulations offered for the last time in Fall Semester 2021 (cf. below) will not be taken into account.

Will I lose the ECTS credits I’ve already earned as a result of the Study Reform?

No, ECTS credits will not be lost as a result of the reform. Modules that were completed successfully before the changeover will be credited toward the revised degree program on the basis of the number of ECTS credits received in accordance with the provisions of the old program regulations.

Example: Students who have successfully completed Criminal Law I in accordance with the old regulations will receive 15 ECTS credits even if the module will only be worth 12 ECTS credits under the new regulations. Conversely, students who have successfully completed Public Law I under the old regulations will receive 15 ECTS credits even if the module is worth 18 ECTS credits after the reform.

Are examinations for modules based on the old regulations offered again in Fall Semester 2021?

The Faculty Assembly has decided to offer examinations for the following modules based on the old regulations for the last time in Fall Semester 2021:

  • Legal History
  • Private Law I
  • Criminal Law I
  • Public Law I

Thus, students who attended the courses for these modules during the 2020/21 academic year, but who did not pass an examination in Spring Semester 2021, may repeat the examination in Fall Semester 2021. The examinations are also open to students who chose not to take the examination in Spring Semester 2021. Any failed attempts will not be considered.

For all oher modules based on the old regulations, (repeat) exams will no longer be offered beginning in Fall Semester 2021.

If I do not pass an examination in Spring Semester 2021, do I need to attend all of the courses for the new module again as of Fall Semester 2021 in order to be properly prepared for the examination in Spring Semester 2022?

In principle, it cannot be assumed that a course offered based on the new regulations under the same name will have the same content as the course offered under the old regulations. It is therefore beneficial to prepare for examinations that take place from Fall Semester 2021 by attending courses offered from Fall Semester 2021.

(Regarding examinations for modules at the assessment level, please also refer to the previous answer.)

I have not yet completed the assessment level. Do I first need to do so before I can register for advanced level modules under the transitional regulations?

No. Students who have registered for the Bachelor of Law UZH by the end of Spring Semester 2021 and who have not yet completed the assessment level will automatically be registered in the advanced level as of Fall Semester 2021 and may register for all assessment and advanced level modules accordingly. From Fall Semester 2024, modules of the advanced level can only be booked if all modules of the assessment level except one have been completed. Before the last module of the assessment level has been completed, advanced level modules of up to 18 ECTS credits can be booked.

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.

If I complete the assessment level based on the old regulations, can I skip the Roman Private Law module?

No. The Roman Private Law module is a requirement for the Bachelor’s degree. Although the module has been moved from the advanced level to the assessment level, it must be completed even if the assessment level has already been completed based on the old regulations. Students enrolled in the Bachelor’s degree program before Fall Semester 2021 can book advanced level modules during the transitional period, even if they have not yet fulfilled the assessment level based on the new regulations. Consequently, they may continue their Bachelor’s degree program up to and including Spring Semester 2024, irrespective of whether they have already completed the Roman Private Law module.

Do I have to complete the Swiss Code of Obligations Special Section module (transitional module) as part of the Bachelor’s degree?

Students who have completed the Private Law I module, but not the Private Law II module based on the old regulations, have the option of completing the Swiss Code of Obligations Special Section module (transitional module) before or during Spring Semester 2024. If this module is completed, the Private Law II module does (and may) not be completed additionally based on the new regulations. However, the affected students may complete the Private Law II module based on the new regulations instead of the transitional module.

If I complete the Public Law I module based on the old regulations and the Public Law II module based on the new regulations, have I completed a lecture on fundamental rights?

Fundamental rights are treated as part of the Constitutional Law II lecture offered in the Public Law I module (based on the old regulations). However, there is no supplement or specialization in the fundamental rights treated in this course, as is currently the case in the Fundamental Rights lecture (Public Law II module) and, from Spring Semester 2022 in the Fundamental Rights II lecture (Public Law I module), because the content in these compulsory modules has been moved. Students wishing to avoid the resulting gap may complete the Fundamental Rights II elective module (3 ECTS credits) offered expressly for this purpose in Fall Semester 2021. The content of this module corresponds to that of the course of the same name based on the new regulations and can be credited toward the Bachelor’s degree if the Public Law I module is completed based on the old regulations and the Public Law II module based on the new regulations.

I plan to complete my Bachelor’s study program after the new regulations enter into force and would like to avoid having to complete the Civil Procedure Law and Tax Law modules twice. Can I book additional modules in place of these two Bachelor’s degree modules before Fall Semester 2021 that will be credited toward my Bachelor’s degree?

Yes. (The answer to the following question contains information about which modules can be completed instead of these two modules.)

How can I fulfill the workload of 180 ECTS credits if I have already completed all the modules required for the degree but these add up to fewer than 180 ECTS credits?

The following modules can be completed toward the missing ECTS credits before and during Spring Semester 2021:
- other elective modules
- additional advanced level case studies
- additional core elective modules that have not yet been completed
- additional Bachelor’s theses

From Fall Semester 2021, the following modules can be completed for missing ECTS credits:
- other elective modules
- “proseminar” module
- additional advanced level case studies
- additional core elective modules that have not yet been completed

Non-faculty modules worth up to (a total of) 6 ECTS credits can continue to be completed during the transition.

No modules equivalent to modules previously completed under the old regulations may be taken (see transition tables).

Core elective modules that include courses for a module that has already been completed still cannot be booked. This exclusion also applies for core elective modules based on the new regulations that include an (equivalent) course for a core elective module based on the old regulations. For example, booking the “Philosophy of Law (BLaw)” module based on the new regulations is not allowed if the “Philosophy of Law & Legal Theory” module has already been completed based on the old regulations. Only one module per core elective pool may be booked per semester.

Students who are unable to earn at least 180 ECTS credits in this manner because of the composition of the modules completed can contact their academic advisor.

After completing all of the required modules, I still do not have 180 ECTS credits after finishing my program (Bachelor’s degree). Will enough modules be available for me to complete the remaining ECTS credits?

Yes, enough modules will be available. In Fall Semester 2021, the Faculty of Law offers five elective modules in the Bachelor's program (in addition to the Proseminar [cf. next FAQ] and the Volontariat; cf. course catalogue). How many there will be in Spring Semester 2022 has not yet been definitively determined, but there will probably be more. When making plans, it is a good idea to assume that there will be less freedom of choice if more modules must be selected from the current offering. (Example: If there are six modules to choose from, the freedom of choice is greater if only one module must be selected from this offering than if five modules were required.)

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.

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.

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).

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?

The current Guidelines on Transfer of Credits no longer apply to assessments completed after the Spring Semester 2021.

New Guidelines on Recognition of Academic Achievement and Transfer of Credits are currently being developed and will be in effect beginning in Fall Semester 2021.

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.

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?

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.

Will my academic achievements be credited in accordance with the new regulations if I switch from the minor to the major program of study?

Yes. Modules that have been successfully completed in the minor program of study will be credited toward the completion of the major program of study (starting in Fall Semester 2021: single major program of study). The modules will be credited even if they have already been credited toward the completion of a major program of study in another faculty.