FAQ Student Advisory Services

Information on the Study Reform 2021 can be found here (cf. also the FAQ on the Study Reform 2021).

The following information refers to the degree programmes of the Faculty of Law that will be discontinued at the end of spring semester 2021.

Bachelor of Law

1. What does the phrase "Six failed attempts are permitted at the advanced level of the Bachelor’s degree program" mean in Section 32 paragraph 1 of the Framework Ordinance 2013 (RVO 2013)?

It means that a total of six failed attempts are permitted at the advanced level of the Bachelor’s degree program. If you fail for a seventh time, you will be permanently excluded from studies in accordance with Section 38 paragraph 2 RVO 2013.
In accordance with Section 32 paragraph 2 RVO 2013, a failed attempt at the advanced level is any assessment that is not completed successfully (mark below 4.0) at the advanced level, with failed case studies and failed elective modules at different faculties not included.
A failed Bachelor’s thesis also counts as a failed attempt (Section 32 paragraph 2 RVO 2013 and Section 34 paragraph 2 RVO 2013).
Unauthorized absence from an examination counts as a failed attempt as well.

2. Is there a certain number of failed attempts that may not be exceeded at the assessment level as well?

If you do not pass the repeat examination for a compulsory module at the assessment level, you will be permanently excluded from studies (Section 38 paragraph 1 RVO 2013). Unlike the case at the advanced level, there is no maximum number of failed attempts at the assessment level. At the assessment level, case studies (assessment from the Academic Legal Writing and Legal Methodology module) can be repeated any number of times (Section 31 paragraph 2 RVO 2013).
The rules on repetition at the assessment level also apply to students covered by the Transitional Provisions if they choose modules at the assessment level. The fact that they may already be studying at the advanced level is irrelevant here.

3. What does permanent exclusion from studies under Section 38 RVO 2013 mean?

Permanent exclusion from studies means that you are no longer permitted to study law as a main subject at the University of Zurich and are barred from being admitted to study law at most other Swiss law faculties.
If you are permanently excluded because you have twice failed the Introduction to Law or Legal History modules, you are also barred from admission to any minor subjects offered by the Faculty of Law at the Bachelor’s level at the University of Zurich. This does not apply to students covered by the Transitional Provisions under Section 47 RVO 2013. If you decide to study in a different degree program at the University of Zurich and are considering studying a minor subject at the Faculty of Law, you should remain matriculated, but you must also contact Student Advisory Services at RWF UZH in good time, as your failed attempts must be taken into account in the admission process for a study program in a minor subject.

4. When and how can I enroll in a seminar?

The list of seminars is normally published at the beginning of March and the beginning of October for the following semester (under Seminars).
We recommend that you familiarize yourself with the list of seminars on the date of publication and obtain information on the enrollment procedure from the relevant department as soon as possible. The enrollment procedure varies from one department to another. In the interest of an efficient enrollment process, the deadlines are short. In addition, the submission of a letter of motivation or the like, or participation in a preliminary meeting, might be prerequisites for successful enrollment in a seminar. Please note: A failing grade for a Bachelor’s thesis counts as a failed attempt (Section 34 paragraph 2 RVO 2013). If you do not submit your Bachelor’s thesis despite being officially enrolled in a seminar, you can also expect it to count as a failed attempt.

5. At what stage in the program should I enroll in a seminar?

To avoid any delay in obtaining your Bachelor’s degree, it is important to register for a seminar in good time. The places available for each seminar are generally limited and you may need to make several attempts before being accepted to participate in a seminar.

6. May I write more than one Bachelor’s thesis?

In accordance with clause 3.4 of the program regulation for the BLaw 2013 (StudO B Law 2013), students must write one Bachelor’s thesis. Writing a second Bachelor’s thesis, however, is permitted. A second Bachelor’s thesis can count as an optional elective module worth 6 ECTS credits towards your Bachelor’s degree, provided you have not already earned the 6 ECTS credits from the elective pool elsewhere. Students covered by the Transitional Provisions should consult the FAQ on Transitional Provisions.

7. When and how can I register for a case study?

The registration process for case studies can vary depending on the department. We recommend that you consult the course catalogue at an early stage in order to find out which case studies will be offered in a particular semester. It is also advisable to check the websites for the departments in question regularly, as they normally contain information about the registration process and subject matter.
Possible ways of registering include via OLAT, by e-mail, or by handing in a case study to the relevant department in good time. A case study must be written as an assessment item for the Academic Legal Writing & Legal Methodology module (assessment level) as part of the exercises in Civil Law I, Public Law I, or Criminal Law I. The number of participants and the group of eligible participants may be limited for case studies.
The case studies offered at the assessment level can also be found in the online course catalogue.
For case studies with a limited number of participants, students must register as soon as the case study is announced, since experience shows that slots are rapidly booked. Students are never entitled to be assigned a specific case study.

8. When do I need to book a module?

Modules must be booked during the semester in which the corresponding examination will be taken.
You should pay close attention to this rule for booking modules if the module in question is a two-semester module. If this is the case, the lectures (or the first part of the lecture series) usually take place in the Fall Semester and the exercises (and/or the second part of the lecture series) and the module examinations take place in the Spring Semester. Consequently, you should only book two-semester modules in the second semester, i.e. in the Spring Semester.
It is not necessary to register for or book the module simply to attend the lectures.
You should not use the module booking tool to register for either Bachelor’s theses or case studies. Information about registering for Bachelor’s theses and case studies is available at the website of the relevant department (see: Courses and the answers to questions 4 and 7).

9. When do the examinations take place?

Modules must be booked during the semester in which the corresponding examination will be taken.
For modules at the assessment level, examinations are held at the end of the Spring Semester (mid-June) and the end of the Fall Semester (early January – see the program regulation).
For modules at the advanced level, examinations are held at the end of the Spring Semester (mid-June). For compulsory and core elective modules at the advanced level, an alternative examination is offered following the normal examination period (i.e. mid-July). The alternative examinations are only for those students who were unable to take the examination on the normal date due to urgent, unforeseeable, and unavoidable reasons.
For the supplementary OR AT examination, there is no alternative examination, because no standard module at the advanced level is examined. However, the examination is offered every six months.

10. What counts as an elective module and how many can I take?

At the advanced level of BLaw, elective modules worth a maximum of 6 ECTS credits can be transferred to the BLaw degree. This includes all Bachelor modules from other faculties at UZH, all Bachelor modules from other universities and universities of applied sciences, and all Bachelor modules from the Faculty of Law at UZH that do not have to be taken as compulsory modules. This means that a (second) Bachelor’s thesis, additional case studies, or optional elective modules (such as Forensics) may be completed as elective modules. Superfluous elective modules that were completed successfully while a student was enrolled in the Bachelor of Law program will be shown on the student’s Academic Record, but not taken into account for the Bachelor’s degree.
Elective modules do not need to total exactly 6 ECTS credits. You may also take elective modules that earn you a total of 8 ECTS credits, for example. The elective pool can also be made up of several smaller modules.

11. Can I do a mobility stay at a different Swiss or foreign faculty of law during my Bachelor’s degree program?

Stays at other Swiss universities are possible after you have passed the assessment level. Stays at foreign universities are possible from the fifth semester of the Bachelor’s degree program. You can find further information on the Mobility website: Link

12. Which assessments appear in my summary of credits?

During your studies, all assessments, regardless of whether they resulted in a passing or failing grade, are listed in your transcript of records, with the exception of failed case studies.
Your Academic Record will only show assessments that resulted in a passing grade. No details are given of failed assessments. In addition to the assessments that count toward your degree, superfluous assessments are listed on your Academic Record as "assessments not transferred to the degree," and the grade is provided as well (Section 41 paragraph 4 RVO 2013).
Your degree certificate will show your Bachelor’s (or Master’s) grade (Section 43 paragraph 1 RVO 2013 in association with Section 40 paragraph 2 RVO 2013). In accordance with Section 40 paragraph 1 RVO 2013, this grade is the average, weighted by ECTS credits, of all modules that were graded and whose credits were transferred to your Bachelor’s degree (or Master’s degree).
The grade point average is rounded to one decimal place.

13. What is the significance of the sample curriculum (standard curriculum)?

The sample curriculum is a recommendation from the Faculty of Law that shows how a study program in law as a major can be structured for full-time students (earning 30 ECTS credits per semester). Variations from this are also possible, however.
Since the planning of lectures and examinations is based on the sample curriculum, diverging from the sample curriculum may result in lectures or examinations overlapping.

14. Does it matter which member of the teaching staff’s lecture I attend?

Members of the teaching staff may be chosen on the basis of personal preference, but the choice should be in line with the current rules on lecture groups (i.e. last names from A to O and P to Z). Please note that the material for examinations is normally not taken only from lectures – i.e. it is just as important to study the recommended textbooks thoroughly before and after the lectures.
The material for examinations is based on the specifications in the course catalogue (descriptions of courses and modules) and any further guidelines from the relevant departments.

15. Can I participate in the Bachelor’s degree program part-time – and what do I need to know about this option?

Part-time study is possible. Part-time students book fewer modules, take fewer examinations, and collect fewer ECTS credits per semester. This means that the degree program takes longer. As a guide: The Bachelor’s degree program (180 ECTS credits) consists of the assessment level (60 ECTS credits) and the advanced level (120 ECTS credits). A full-time student (six semesters) will earn about 30 ECTS credits per semester. This corresponds to study time of about 42 hours per week, 20 hours of which consists of class time at the University.

Planning your study program:

Students can consult the course schedules to determine the extent to which participation in courses can be combined with professional commitments, family responsibilities, etc. The course schedules for full-time students in the Bachelor of Law program can be found here. The sample curriculum can be found in the StudO BLaw (see p.18 ff. of the program regulation for the Bachelor of Law 2013). The assessment level does not necessarily have to be completed in one year. Examinations at the assessment level are held in both the Fall and Spring Semesters. In this context, please note Section 15 of the Framework Ordinance 2013: "Students who have successfully completed all modules at the assessment level except one can book modules at the advanced level. However, until they have passed the last assessment module, they can only book modules worth a maximum of 18 ECTS credits." This means that students cannot go on studying at the advanced level if they are missing more than one module at the assessment level. At the advanced level of the Bachelor’s degree program as well, students can decide for themselves (through the modules they book) how much time they want to spend studying. However, please note that examinations at the advanced level are only held once a year, in the Spring Semester.

Limitations on the period of study:

There are no limitations on the period of study at the Faculty of Law. However, according to Section 11 paragraph 3 RVO 2013, ECTS credits can only be transferred to a degree for a period of up to 10 years after the semester in which they were earned. After 10 years, the corresponding assessments must be repeated. This applies to both the degree programs in law (BLaw, MLaw) and to law as a minor subject.

Workload:

Because of very big differences in individual learning efficiency and the ability to deal with workloads etc., no general statements can be made about the extent to which it is possible for students to take on employment alongside their studies.

Beginning your studies in the Spring Semester:

In principle, it is possible to begin your Bachelor of Law studies in the Spring Semester. However, it should be pointed out that most lectures begin in the Fall Semester and continue in the Spring Semester. If you are interested in starting your studies in the Spring Semester, we recommend that you have a telephone or face-to-face consultation with Student Advisory Services to discuss your study plan.

Master of Law

16. Can law modules at the Bachelor level that did not count toward a Bachelor’s degree (because they were superfluous to the requirement) count as an elective module for the Master’s degree program?

Master’s students who did not count all their Bachelor modules at the Faculty of Law for their Bachelor’s degree cannot count them toward their Master’s degree. 
Note: In the elective pool for the Master’s degree program, non-faculty modules can be credited to the extent permitted. These non-faculty modules can also be modules from the Bachelor’s curriculum at other faculties.