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 awarded only following a formal assessment of a course participant's performance.
ECTS credits are awarded only once for any given course. Participants can repeat a course only if they have previously failed to meet the requirements of a given course or if they have previously failed a course.
Participants whose language level is clearly higher than that of a course cannot receive ECTS points for the course. ECTS points are awarded only to participants who demonstrate progress in their learning in connection with a course and whose progress has been assessed as part of the course.
UZH: Guidelines on the design of streamed course programs with ECTS points at the University of Zurich, revised version of 22 June 2005
ETH Zürich: Guidelines on the ECTS point system of 17 December 2003
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, or 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
The assessment of participants’ progress is based on the skills participants are expected to gain and the learning goals set at the outset of the course. The forms of assessment and other requirements for each course are given in the online course descriptions. Your lecturer will provide additional information about the assessment of the course at the beginning of the course.
Grades are assessments of the quality of your learning outcomes. Participants of 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 attained an unsatisfactory grade, they can only redo the assessment once they have attended the course a second time.
Recognition and accreditation of language course results at the University of Zurich
At the University of Zurich, all successfully completed modern language courses are listed on students’ Transcripts of Records.
When students graduate, all successfully completed modern language courses are listed on their Academic Record. The Academic Record states which course results have been accredited towards the final degree and which have not.
In some UZH Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs, the ECTS points from successfully completed language courses can be accredited towards the elective or compulsory elective requirements of the degree. The ECTS points that a student attains from our language courses are assessed by each faculty, and the faculties decide whether the points can be accredited according to their framework regulations and program regulations.
Courses taken as part of a study program with compulsory language acquisition requirements at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
The language modules for students of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences with compulsory language acquisition requirements are subject to the framework ordinance of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (RVO PhF). For this reason, all data related to a student’s results in these (compulsory) modules – regardless of whether he or she passed or failed – will be transferred. Each module can be repeated once. If a student fails a course a second time, he or she is deemed to have irrevocably failed the course.
A maximum of 6 ECTS credits can be accredited to each study program with compulsory language acquisition. Therefore, students can attend a maximum of 2 courses of 3 ECTS credits each for each study program. For the Basic Latin module, Part 1 and Part 2 must be completed in order for the ECTS credits to be accredited. For all other modules, students can take only Part 1 or only Part 2. Courses not included in your study program cannot be accredited to your degree.
Transfer of course results by the Language Center – UZH
Since spring semester 2016, the Language Center has been transferring all data related to participants’ achievements in successfully completed Language Center courses electronically to UZH faculties. This includes participants’ results and ECTS credits gained. The protection of data during the transfer is assured.
Please note that we also transfer course results for compulsory PhF language modules and now also for modules in Latin and Ancient Greek.
The Language Center will continue to issue printed certificates of achievement to UZH students and PhD candidates at the end of each course. The certificates list the results and ECTS credits gained, learning goals, course content, learning methods, and types of assessment.
All decisions regarding the recognition and transfer of final achievements in Language Center courses to a degree lie with the individual UZH faculties. Thanks to the electronic transfer of data, UZH students and PhD candidates are no longer required to present their printed Language Center certificates of achievement to their UZH faculty in order to have their grades and ECTS credits recorded.
Recognition of language course results at ETH Zurich
At ETH Zurich, all successfully completed courses in modern languages, both in the D-GESS Science in Perspective (SiP) study program and in other accepted categories, are listed on students’ current transcript (Leistungsüberblick) and on their Academic Record. In addition, several degree programs allow students to have additional language course results listed as a mobility subject in their Diploma Supplement. For details, please contact the administration office of your program.
D-GESS mandatory program:
Many of our language courses can be completed as part of the D-GESS study program Science in Perspective (SiP). SiP courses bear a D-GESS course-number in addition to the course-number assigned by the Language Center .
It is important that you register for such courses at both the Language Center and the ETH if you wish to receive D-GESS credits. You are only officially admitted to a course when you have received a confirmation email from the Language Center.
For more information about the recognition of language course results under the Science in Perspective (SiP) program of the Department of Humanities, Social and Political Sciences (D-GESS), go to:
Rector's Directive on “Science in Perspective” (SiP) programme of the Department of Humanities, Social and Political Sciences (D-GESS (PDF, 94 KB))
Regeln für die Aufnahme von Veranstaltungen in das Kursprogramm Science in Perspective (SiP) (PDF, 44 KB)
- Strategy Paper on on “Science in Perspective” (SiP) programme of the Department of Humanities, Social and Political Sciences (D-GESS) (PDF, 166 KB)
Courses as electives in degree program:
For more information about the recognition of language courses as electives in your degree program, please contact your student administration office.
Conditions for the issuing of Certificates of Attendance
Participants must attend 2/3 of the course.
- In courses with a total of 26-28 lessons, you must attend at least 18 lessons.
- In courses with a total of 52-56 lessons, you must attend at least 36 lessons.
- In courses with a total of 14 lessons, you must attend at least 9 lessons.