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Language Center of UZH and ETH Zurich


ECTS credits
Our courses are designed and run on the basis of ECTS principles. All our language courses contain assessments as a means of evaluating course participants' learning progress. 

Each language course consisting of a double period (90 minutes) a week during one semester represents a workload of approximately 60 hours, made up of 21 hours (or 28 45-minute lessons) of tuition and around 39 hours of self-study. 1 ECTS credit is awarded for a workload of 30 hours, so students who successfully complete a one-semester language course typically receive 2 ECTS credits.

ECTS credits are awarded only if there has been a formal assessment of a course participant's performance.

Recognition and accreditation of ECTS credits towards courses of study
The recognition and accreditation of ECTS credits to a course participant’s degree is not the Language Center’s responsibility. For more information about recognition and accreditation and of course results, please go to the document entitled "Accreditation of ECTS credits towards courses of study":
UZH (PDF, 58 KB)
ETH (PDF, 70 KB)

Allocation of ECTS credits 
The Language Center awards ECTS credits when a course participant has

  1. Successfully completed the required course assessments, and these have been appropriately recorded
  2. Actively participated in class

ECTS credits are awarded only once for any given course. Participants can repeat a course only if they did not complete all the requirements of that course or failed the course.

The assessment of participants’ progress is based on the skills participants are expected to gain and the learning goals set at the start of a course. The forms of assessment and other requirements for each course are listed in the online course descriptions. The lecturer will provide additional information about the assessment of the course (with deadlines) at the start of the course.

Grades are assessments of the quality of particpants’ learning outcomes. Participants in Language Center courses for which ECTS credits are available receive a grade based on the Swiss education system scoring, where 1 is the lowest grade and 6 the highest. Grades below 4 are considered unsatisfactory, and no ECTS credits are awarded for achievements below a 4. Half and quarter grades are possible.

Substitute exam dates 
Under extraordinary circumstances, and after consultation with the lecturer/head of unit, an alternate date for a final test can be agreed. Alternate dates must fall in the same semester as the course.

Resits of assessments
Where a participant fails a course, they can only get credits for the course if they re-enroll in that course and re-do all the assessments. If a participant fails a final test, an exception can be made in consultation with the head of unit if there are extenuating circumstances (e.g., if the credits are needed for the completion of a degree). Resit exams must take place in the same semester as the course. Tests and other assessments cannot be repeated for the sole purpose of improving a passing grade.

Certificate of Achievement
Participants who successfully complete one of our language courses, receive a Certificate of Achievement from the Language Center. Certificates state the number of ECTS credits gained and a final grade. 

Certificate of Attendance
Participants who do not need ECTS credits or who do not meet the conditions for gaining them but who wish to receive a Certificate of Attendance for a course must attend at least two-thirds of all course sessions. This equates to 18 lessons in courses with a total of 26-28 lessons, 36 lessons in courses with 52-56 lessons; and 9 lessons in courses with 14 lessons in total.