Bachelor's and master's degree programs
In 1999 the European Ministers of Education passed the implementation of the BA/MA degree system in Bologna, Italy. The ensuing process is thus called "Bologna Process." Starting in winter semester 2005/6 and in accordance with the Bologna guidelines, Universität Hamburg has adapted its degrees. Only a few Diplom and Magister programs remain, so that the introduction of the BA/MA system can be considered complete.
Which subjects do not offer BA programs?
The following subjects currently offer no BA degree programs, but continue the degrees Diplom/Magister/Bakkalaureat/ecclesiatical examination/Staatsexamen an:
- protestant theology and divinity studies; ancient Hebrew studies
- medicine and dentistry
What is a bachelor's degree?
Most first degrees take three years. Exceptions are BA programs of the Department of Language, Literature and Media that require the acquisition of a new language - these take three and a half years; our international BA programs at the Asia-Africa Institute with an integrated year abroad even take four years. All programs are divided into an introductory phase (first year), an in-depth phase (second year) and an advanced phase (third year). The final phase is dedicated to writing the BA thesis. A BA qualifies you to pursue certain careers; it also allows you apply for graduate programs.
What kinds of bachelor’s degrees are there?
Your choice of subject determines your degree: subjects in the humanities generally award a Bachelor of Arts, subjects in the natural scientists award a Bachelor of Science and two interdisciplinary law programs offer a Bachelor of Laws. For a precise overview of subjects and degrees, you can see our elektronische Studienführer .
Teaching programs also award a bachelor's degree. You can find more about the organization of these programs in our information sheets on teaching programs.
Bachelor of Arts (BA) - program structure
A bachelor's program consists of:
a major (constitutes about 50% of a student's academic committment or 90 achievement points)
a minor (25% or 45 achievement points)
the ABK courses ("General professional skills" courses, 15% or 27 achievement points)
and elective courses (10% or 18 achievement points).
BA programs in sign-language and sign-language interpreting; political science; social economics and the economy and culture of China constitute an exception to the rule: these subjects do not require students to study a minor subject. Students commit roughly 75% of their time to their major, 15% to ABK courses and 10% to elective courses.
Bachelor of Science (BSc) und Bachelor of Laws (LLB) - program structure
Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Laws programs consist of:
a major (75% or more of a student's committment)
ABK courses ("General professional skills", 15% or less)
elective courses (10% or less).
There are no minors.
What are ABK and elective courses?
ABK courses (or general professional skills courses) include: academic writing, computer skills, foreign languages, law and economics, communication skills, career orientation and internships.
Electives are courses in other subject areas. These provide some insight into unfamiliar subjects. Students can also pursue a so-called studium generale to create a broad subject foundation or to deepen their knowledge of their own major and minor subjects.
Please note: Individual subjects have room to structure programs accordingly, particularly with regard to the exten and incorporation of ABK and elective courses. You can find details in the subject-specific regulations (FSB).
What are modules?
Bachelor's programs are organized into modules. A module contains several types of thematically-related instruction (lectures, seminars, labs). Each module ends with an exam (e.g. an oral exam, a report, a term paper). Exam results in major and minor subjects count towards your final graade. The number, extent and content of a module and module requirements are detailed in each subject's subject-specific regulations (FSB). There are mandatory modules for all students as well as mandatory electives which you can choose from a catalog. There are also electives which students are entirely free to choose.
What are credit points (CP) and workloads?
For every module which a student has passed, the student receives a certain number of credit points (CP) corresponding to workload. Calculations include attendance hours, private study and prep time for the module's final exam. One credit point stands for 30 hours per week (the so-called workload). Bachelor's programs contain a total of 180 credit points, which means that students should select their modules such that after three years, they have acquired 180 credit points. In the four-year bachelor programs, there are a total of 240 credit points. This makes 60 credit points per year or 1,800 hours of work. In weekly terms, this would mean 40 hours per week for 45 working weeks and 7 weeks of vacation per annum.
What do I need to know when choosing a minor in a bachelor’s program?
If you choose a subject conferring a Bachelor of Arts, you need to state your minor when you apply. You do not have to provide information about ABK and elective courses. You can also state an alternative minor when you apply as well as change your minor at a later date.
In principle, all subjects offered at Universität Hamburg can be chosen as a minor, including majors in Bachelor of Science programs or programs which do not offer a bachelor’s degree. There are, however, a few exceptions.
What is a master's?
Graduates of bachelor's programs can pursue a Master of Arts or a Master of Science either immediately following their studies or later. As a rule, it takes a total of five years to complete bachelor and master studies, or as long as it used to take to complete either a German Diplom or Magister program. Consecutive master programs can be pursued immediately following completion of a bachelor's program and are offered to deepen or expand extant knowledge and can be either interdisciplinary in nature or based on another subject. Continuing study master's programs require professional experience of at least one year. The content of these programs should be related to and should advance existing professional skills. They have the same requirements as the consecutive master's programs and confer the same qualifications and right.
Master's programs may also have admission restrictions. Individual subjects have different admission requirements. You can find more information about master's programs in our information sheet Master- und Aufbaustudiengänge (PDF—German only!) or in the electronic guide to academic programs.
What will become of the Diplom and Magister programs?
Students who have already commenced studies in a Diplom or Magister program will complete their studies accordingly. Please find out about final deadlines from your department. You can find an overview of phase-out dates here. Since the introduction of bachelor and master degrees, academic programs are no longer admitting first-semester students to Diplom or Magister programs.