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Language Center of UZH and ETH Zurich



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

ECTS credits are awarded only once for any given course. Participants can only repeat a course if they have previously failed to meet the requirements of a given course or if they have previously failed a course.

ECTS points are only awarded to participants who demonstrate progress in their learning in connection with a course and whose progress has been assessed as part of the course.


Awarding of ECTS points

Each language course that has a double period (a total of 90 minutes) in class each week for a full semester represents a workload of approximately 60 hours: 21 hours – i.e. 28 45-minute lessons – take place in the classroom, and around 39 additional hours are self-study. Since 1 ECTS point is awarded for a workload of 30 hours, students who successfully complete a one-semester language course typically get 2 ECTS points.

In most of our courses, language acquisition is closely linked to interactive classroom learning processes. Consequently, participants' achievements depend on attendance of lessons and active participation in the classroom.


Requirements for the allocation of ECTS points and the issuing of Certificates of Achievement:

  • Successful completion of assessed and documented course assessments
  • Active classroom participation

For information about accreditation of ECTS points, please go to the document entitles "Accreditation of ECTS points towards courses of study":
UZH (PDF, 62 KB)
ETH (PDF, 70 KB)


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



Grades are assessments of the quality of your learning outcomes. Participants in courses for which ECTS points can be gained are also given a grade based on the Swiss education system, where 1 is the lowest grade and 6 the highest. Grades below 4 are considered unsatisfactory, and no ECTS points are awarded for achievements below a 4. Half and quarter grades are possible.

Substitute exam dates/Resits

Under extraordinary circumstances, and after consultation with the lecturer, an alternate date for a final test or other type of assessment can be agreed.

Tests and other assessment types cannot be repeated for the sole purpose of improving a passing grade. Where a participant has gained an unsatisfactory grade in a course, they must attend the course again if they wish to reapeat the assessment.


Conditions for issuing Certificates of Achievement

On successful completion of your language course, you will receive a Certificate of Achievement. This lists the ECTS points you have gained and your grade for the course. The conditions that need to be met for the successful completion of your course are listed in the detailed online course description.


Conditions for issuing Certificates of Attendance

If the conditions for gaining ECTS points and the issuing of a Certificate of Achievement have not been met, we can issue a Certificate of Attendance. To receive a Certificate of Attendance, participants must fulfill the following criteria:

Participants must attend 2/3 of the course.

- In courses with a total of 26-28 lessons, this equates to at least 18 lessons.
- In courses with a total of 52-56 lessons, this equates to at least 36 lessons.
- In courses with a total of 14 lessons, this equates to at least 9 lessons.