Education and certificates at UAS

Key terms: Accreditation of institutions for higher education / Bologna Process / European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) / Coordination in the higher education sector / Mobility and exchange

The universities of applied sciences offer more than 200 practice-oriented degree programmes in the following fields of study:

  • Engineering and information technology

  • Architecture, building engineering and planning

  • Chemistry and life sciences

  • Agriculture and forestry

  • Business, management and services

  • Design

  • Health

  • Social work

  • Music, theatre and other arts

  • Applied linguistics

  • Applied psychology

There are also teacher education programmes, which are mostly provided by universities of teacher education. Teachers are also trained at some universities of applied sciences.

Study at Bachelor level and Master level

Since autumn 2005, education at universities of applied sciences has been realised within a two-tier model with degree programmes at Bachelor level and Master level, in accordance with the Bologna Declaration. The previous university of applied sciences degree programmes (duration: usually three years) were replaced. Unlike the universities, the universities of applied sciences do not offer doctoral studies.

Bachelor's degree programmes
Bachelor's degree programmes (180 ECTS points) generally provide qualifications linked with a vocational field. They enable direct commencement of professional practice. The full-time study programme takes three years; part-time study in combination with occupational work generally takes four years.

Master's degree programmes
Since autumn 2008, the universities of applied sciences have been offering Master's degree programmes (90 to 120 ECTS points), which follow on from Bachelor courses. In Master's degree programmes, more in-depth, specialised and research-based content is taught, leading the students to an advanced professional qualification. The study programme lasts one and a half to two years. The range of Master's degree programmes remains limited, because the profession-related Bachelor's degree is generally the norm at the universities of applied sciences.

Degree programmes at Bachelor level and Master level lead to federally protected titles:

  • Bachelor of Arts BA or Bachelor of Science BSc (first tier of study)

  • Master of Arts MA or Master of Science MSc (second tier of study)

The protected university of applied sciences degrees obtained before introduction of the Bologna system remain valid. Holders of these degrees can also bear the corresponding Bachelor title.

Continuing education and training

Universities of applied sciences offer a broad range of continuing education and training, including various courses and degree programmes. Master's degree programmes in continuing education and training lead to the Master of Advanced Studies (MAS) degree or, in the field of business and management, to the Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) degree. For the shorter programmes, the universities of applied sciences award the Diploma of Advanced Studies (DAS) and the Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS).

Academic year

The academic year is split into two semesters. In the autumn semester, the courses begin in week 38; in the spring semester, they begin in week 8. Each semester lasts between 14 and 16 weeks.

This page in: Deutsch Français Italiano Rumantsch

Last update of this page: 16.11.2017