A Bachelor's degree in law provides students with basic legal knowledge in all key areas of law. The subjects covered over a period of three years are public law, Roman law, criminal law, European and international law, civil law, history of law, code of obligations, business and commercial law, social law and philosophy of law.
In addition to the lectures, there are also practical exercise sessions in which students learn to interpret laws and court rulings, find solutions to fundamental legal problems, and recognise the significance of current legal discussions for everyday legal practice.
In Fribourg, students have the option of taking almost all their lectures in French or in German. This allows them to upgrade their diploma with the distinction «Bilingual curriculum». Further benefits are the personal care and support given to them during their studies, and the wide array of exchange offers with partner universities in Switzerland and abroad.
Profile of the study programme
Thanks to the well-designed curriculum of compulsory subjects, students can complete the Bachelor of Law in Fribourg in three years. They receive guidance in navigating the wide range of courses as well as individual care and attention. Most lectures and courses are held in French and in German – students choose which language they want to do a subject in. The clear syllabus structure helps students to plan their studies and makes it possible to combine study, work and family life.
The title Bachelor of Law is confirmation of the successful acquisition of basic knowledge in law and is the admission requirement for the Master's degree programme.
In the first year of studies, students acquire an overview of the individual areas of law and learn how these interact with one another. They become familiar with central concepts and methods of law, and gain an understanding of the essential characteristics and functions of law as a social system. They acquire basic knowledge in lawmaking, legal finding and law enforcement. Subjects studied in the first year are public law, Roman law, criminal law, European and international law and civil law.
In the second year, students acquire a deeper knowledge of public law, civil law and criminal law. They gain an insight into the history of law, the basics of the code of obligations and tax law. They are able to put the development of legal history in its political, economic and social context, and compare it with prevailing law. At the end of the second year they have developed the necessary skills to solve minor legal problems independently and apply what they have practised during the numerous training sessions.
In the third and final year of the Bachelor's programme students complete the courses in public law, civil law and code of obligations. New subjects in the third year are business and commercial law, social law and philosophy of law. At the end of the course of study students have a sound basic knowledge in all the key areas of law. Lectures are always accompanied by practical exercises. The title Bachelor of Law is proof that graduates know how to interpret laws and court rulings and find solutions to all fundamental legal problems. They have learnt how to form a critical opinion on current legal discussions and are aware of the significance of these issues for everyday legal practice.
Enhancing areas of specific interest with extra classes and special credits
Even at Bachelor's level there are possibilities of treating particular fields and current legal issues in greater depth. After successfully completing the IUR I examination, students can enrol in various supplementary courses which earn them special credits. Students who are particularly highly motivated can upgrade their diploma by acquiring a special distinction in one of the following areas:
- European Law;
- Religious Law (Utriusque Iuris);
Since its very beginnings, the Faculty of Law of the University of Fribourg has placed particular value on national and international networking. Students also benefit from this: Fribourg is linked to law faculties in Switzerland and abroad via numerous exchange agreements and offers a number of joint programmes with partner universities such as:
- Centre for Transnational Legal Studies (CTLS) in London;
- Student exchange in Shanghai (China);
- International seminars «Galatasaray (Turkey) – Fribourg» and «Craiova (Romania) – Fribourg»;
- Summer University of the Institute of Federalism at the University of Fribourg;
- Summer School «European Private Law» at the University of Salzburg (Austria).
Even at Bachelor's level it is possible to spend one or two semesters studying at another Swiss university or take part in the Erasmus programme. After successfully completing the IUR II examination, students can study abroad at one of over 100 European faculties of law. These exchange programmes allow periods of study abroad without prolonging the duration of the Bachelor's programme. Exactly which achievements are recognised is evaluated and decided by the equivalence committee.
Highly ambitious students can attain a degree at the University of Fribourg and at the same time at the University Panthéon-Assas (Paris II) by taking advantage of the challenging cooperation offer «Double diplôme de Bachelor Fribourg/Paris II».
Learning outcomes and career openings
Fribourg law graduates are specialists who are in great demand – not just in Switzerland but also abroad. Graduates of our faculty have a firm grasp of all fields of law. Fribourg is unparalleled in equipping its students with a diverse spectrum of legal skills and providing goal-oriented preparation for an international career. With the Bachelor of Law in your pocket you will get off to a flying start in your first professional venture. It paves the way to a career as legal adviser e.g. with banks, insurance companies and other service providers.
Structure of studies
180 ECTS credits, 6 semesters
Commencement of studies in the Autumn Semester (September) is recommended.
The following Swiss school-leaving certificates grant admission to Bachelor programmes at the University of Fribourg:
- Swiss academic Maturity Certificate
- Swiss professional Maturity Certificate in conjunction with the supplementary exam certificate from the Swiss Maturity Commission
- Bachelor Degree from a Swiss university, from an accredited Swiss university of applied sciences (HES/FH) or from a Swiss university of teacher education (HEP/PH)
A complete list of all further recognized Swiss school-leaving certificates is to be found on the webpages of swissuniversities (in French and German only): https://www.swissuniversities.ch/en/services/admission-to-universities/schweizerische-ausweise/
Foreign upper secondary school-leaving certificates are recognised only if they correspond substantially to the Swiss Maturity Certificate. They must qualify as general education. Foreign school-leaving certificates are considered to be general education if the last three years of schooling include at least six general education subjects, independent from each other, in accordance with the following list:
- First language (native language)
- Second language
- Natural sciences (biology, chemistry or physics)
- Humanities and social sciences (geography, history or economics/law)
- Elective (an additional language or an additional subject from category 4 or 5)
The general admission requirements to the Bachelor programmes at the University of Fribourg for holders of foreign school-leaving certificates as well as the admission requirements for individual countries are to be found on the webpages of swissuniversities: https://www.swissuniversities.ch/en/services/admission-to-universities/countries/
In addition, foreign candidates must present proof of sufficient language skills in French or German.
The assessment of foreign school-leaving certificates is based on the «CRUS Recommendations for the Assessment of Foreign Upper Secondary School-Leaving Certificates, 7 September 2007» (http://studies.unifr.ch/go/crus07en). The admission requirements are valid for the respective academic year. The Rectorat of the University of Fribourg reserves the right to change these requirements at any time.
Also offered as a minor study programme (60/30 ECTS credits) to students from the other faculties of the University of Fribourg