Universität Fribourg Université de Fribourg Suisse | Universität Freiburg Schweiz Course offerings

Christianity and Religious Studies

Abstract

In the study of religions at the Faculty of Theology, multifaceted perspectives are taken into consideration: historical, philosophical, sociological, ethnological and also psychological. But the special feature of the prospectus from Fribourg lies in its access to religion as a faith. Here, the role of religions, especially in a pluralistic and multi-cultural society, is analysed with scientific methods and an interreligious dialogue is promoted in a constructive and critical way. Not only is knowledge imparted, but one's own position is also clarified and deepened in the dialogue between the religions.
This study programme can be pursued as a full major study programme or with minors, with a view to later providing a field of activities that is as wide as possible. In addition, the environment constitutes a great plus: The Faculty of Catholic Theology in Fribourg is the largest theological faculty in Switzerland and it is characterised by a cosmopolitan spirit.

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Profile of the study programme

In the modern age, religion, with its consolations and empty promises, was suspected of impeding the efforts of the enlightenment and humanity's social progress. Nowadays, we live in a «religion-friendly» society, which is characterised by a renewed interest in «religious phenomena». But the new role of religion in a pluralist and multicultural society is far from unambiguous. Religions carry a potential for conflict, yet they push for peace. They resist secularisation, yet at the same time they strengthen it, for they are the expression of a faith and therefore have a neutralising effect on public life.

The study of religions can be structured from many points of view: historical, philosophical, sociological, ethnological, social science, psychological, statistical, etc. The Faculty of Theology takes this diversity of methods into consideration, but at the same time, because of its character as a science of faith, it has access to religion as a creed. It also has scientific methods of analysis at its disposal and supports and promotes both a critical and constructive interreligious dialogue.
With this competence, the Faculty of Theology offers courses of study that not only convey knowledge, but also make it possible to clarify and deepen one's own standpoint in the dialogue between religions and with religions.

This Bachelor is offered as a full major study programme. Together with freely chosen minors, it can also be especially suitable for students who would like to work within a broader theological, religious or social field.

The Faculty of Theology of the University of Fribourg is the largest theological faculty in Switzerland and one of two Catholic theological faculties that are integrated into a state university. It is subject to state law, as are the other faculties of the university, but at the same time it has the recognition of church authorities and is supported by the Dominican Order and the Swiss Conference of Bishops.
The complete bilingualism of the Faculty is unique in Europe. More than half of the professors and almost half of the students are from abroad. The faculty and university life are characterised by the spirit of a cosmopolitan Catholicism, giving prominence and recognition to Fribourg as a place of study.

Career openings
School, adult education, child and youth work, advice programmes for students, academic careers, media work, the publishing industry, solidarity work, peace brokers.

Studies organisation

Structure of studies

180 ECTS credits, 6 semesters
or
120 ECTS credits + 60 ECTS credits in one or two minor study programmes freely chosen, 6 semesters

Curriculum

http://studies.unifr.ch/go/Ls2wE (French/German only)

Admission

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:

  1. First language (native language)
  2. Second language
  3. Mathematics
  4. Natural sciences (biology, chemistry or physics)
  5. Humanities and social sciences (geography, history or economics/law)
  6. 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.

Alternatives

Also offered as a minor study programme (60/30 ECTS credits).

Minor study programmes to be chosen

Art History

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The programme is composed of core modules and more specialised modules. The core modules, compulsory for all students, provide basic knowledge on all periods of Art History. The more specific modules enable students to broaden their education in three of the four periods of Art History and they can choose an «Archaeology» option with a specific set of classes and internships, which gives them the opportunity of later pursuing a Master's in Archaeology.

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Biochemistry

The Bachelor's programme in biochemistry is devoted to the study of fundamental chemical and physical processes in living organisms. It comprises molecular studies with a specific focus on enzymes and their role as catalysts in chemical reactions. A main interest is the study of cellular functions including the mechanisms involved in cell proliferation and development. Students also learn techniques for analyzing DNA and genetic information as an integral part of the study program. The biochemistry course thus gives students an opportunity to familiarize themselves with practical laboratory methods that are applied in several disciplines. It requires knowledge of the research tools used in chemistry and biology (microscopy, spectrometry, DNA sequencing, etc.). A command of bioinformatics tools is also essential to be able to store, manage and interpret the overwhelming volume of data provided by current analytical techniques.

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Biology

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Business Communication

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The programme comprises a communication module and a specialisation module, chosen by the student, in management, economics or information systems. It then leads to a full Master's level programme in the same topics.
This study programme in Business Communication at the University of Fribourg is unique in its category and offers targeted and highly sought-after academic and professional prospects.

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Chemistry

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Chemistry is not an isolated science: It uses mathematical tools and has synergies with biology and physics that are becoming increasingly close. For this reason, during the first academic year, courses are also held in these subjects.

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Communication and Media

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Group work, classes and seminars with a limited number of students are also a feature of this module providing better supervision and more effective teaching.

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Communication and Media Research

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Computer Science

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Our approach to informatics is oriented towards problem analysis and solution; teaching takes place in a friendly atmosphere. Students carry out several one-semester projects in which they learn to apply their acquired knowledge successfully in a variety of contexts. Examples of current projects are programming of robots, controlling processes, working with various programming models, and developing multimodal applications for the Internet.
The major study programme in informatics is complemented by minors which can be freely chosen. It is also possible to choose programmes from other university fields of study.
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Contemporary History

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Earth Sciences

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This programme provides intensive student care and support.

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Environmental Sciences

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French

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The course begins with a series of introductory lectures enabling students to become familiar with literary analysis and the history of literature. Emphasis is then placed on acquiring solid methodological foundations including an introduction to critical writing. The course then covers medieval through to classical, modern and contemporary literature.
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French as a Foreign Language

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The course is delivered through lessons and seminars to consolidate various aspects of students' knowledge of French – linguistics, language acquisition, didactics, culture and interculturality – in relation to teaching and learning.
The Fribourg University's FLE/FLS Bachelor's programme is based on a multilingual approach in more than one way: the multilingual environment that is a feature of the city of Fribourg, the placing of FLE/FLS studies in the «Multilingualism and Foreign Language Education Domain», and the links with the research conducted at the Institute of Multilingualism.

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Geography

The study of geography provides students with a deeper understanding of processes in nature and society and their increasingly complex interrelationships. Geography is a discipline of great social relevance. For this reason, students are required to address current issues concerning the environment, such as climate change, urbanisation or scarcity of resources.
Students acquire knowledge in the three main branches of geography: human geography, physical geography and geographical information systems. In addition to this they have to write their own research paper.
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German

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In the Bachelor programme, students acquire knowledge in three fields of study: German Linguistics, which deals with the structure of the German language; German Medieval Studies, which focuses on all types of German texts during the Middle Ages; and German Literary Studies, which deals with German literature from the 16th century to the present day.
In Fribourg, special attention is paid to dialectology and research on language acquisition. Students also have access to interdisciplinary research in medieval studies as well as comparative literary studies.

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German as a Foreign Language

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The Bachelor's programme for German as a Foreign Language at the University of Fribourg is unique in Switzerland. Students, who are enrolled in a main programme at another Swiss university, can therefore apply to enrol in the study programme as guest students.
This study programme is also characterised by the close contact with the Institute of Multilingualism and with the Language Centre and profits from an ideal environment due to the multilingualism in Fribourg.

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German Literary Studies

The modern German literature study programme, called German Literary Studies, is ideal for students who enjoy reading and writing, and dealing analytically with language, texts and other media in particular. As a branch of German Studies, «German Literary Studies» is dedicated to German-language texts from the times of humanism and the Reformation to the present day. The programme is for those who have an interest in the historical and cultural interconnections of language. In this Bachelor programme, students acquire the skills needed to stylistically analyse texts of various genres and media and to place them in their historical context. Special features of literary studies at Fribourg are the opportunities available for comparative literature study engendered by our proximity to the language boundary, and the focus on the relationship between media and literature, and the debates on questions of poetics and literary theory.

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Greek Studies

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Special emphasis is placed on the reception of Greek classical antiquity during the imperial period, and on Greek culture and literature of Late Antiquity. In partnership with the Institute of General and Comparative Literature (Institut de littérature générale et comparée/Institut für Allgemeine und Vergleichende Literaturwissenschaft), students also study the influence of literary forms and classical mythology on modern literature.
This field of study enables students to acquire a command of the Greek language, as well as in-depth knowledge of Greek literature and culture. The programme concentrates essentially on the teaching of the Greek language and literature, with lectures, exercises and proseminars aimed at enabling students to hone their language skills, their knowledge of philological techniques and literary analysis skills.

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History

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The University of Fribourg is renowned for its extensive international cooperation, which includes a student exchange programme.
Courses are available in German, French, Italian and English. It is also possible, however, to follow courses solely in German or French.

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Information Systems

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Practical relevance is highly valued in Fribourg, both when teaching and in independent work. In addition, the students acquire valuable language skills by absolving the study programme multilingually.

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Italian

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This course mainly features seminars, which encourage active participation and learning. All lectures, seminars, exercises and exams are delivered in Italian.
At the University of Fribourg, this course follows the principles of the school of analysis founded by eminent researchers, such as Gianfranco Contini, Giuseppe Billanovich and Giovanni Pozzi.

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Latin Studies

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On completing their course, students will have acquired a command of Latin and in-depth knowledge of Roman literature and culture. This programme concentrates essentially on the teaching of the Latin language and literature, with lectures, exercises and proseminars aimed at enabling students to hone their language skills, their knowledge of philological techniques and literary analysis skills.

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Law

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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.

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Management

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Mathematics

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The major study programme in Mathematics is supplemented by minors that students can choose freely from other university fields of study.

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Musicology and History of Opera

This Bachelor's programme will have you studying the forms, functions and significances of musical expression in a variety of cultures, focusing primarily on European music from the Middle Ages to the present day. In coming to Fribourg to study Musicology and History of Opera, you will profit from the tradition of the oldest musicology teaching programme in Switzerland and one of the very first set up in Europe. We also serve as a highly active research centre in this field of study, both on a national and European scale.
This programme promotes studying music as a language, including its connection to codes used in other forms of expression and its role in complex systems such as opera, religious rites, cinema, and audio-visual broadcasting in contemporary societies.
While the courses and seminars are taught partly in French and partly in German, students are allowed to write their coursework and pass their exams in the language of their choice (French, German or Italian).

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Neurosciences Philosophy

The main characteristics of the Bachelor programme in philosophy at the University of Fribourg is – in addition to the diversity of its philosophical orientation – the possibility of bilingual studies (which is an option, not an obligation) and the structure of the Bachelor programme around two axes:
The courses taught in History of Philosophy includes antique, medieval, modern and contemporary philosophy and introduces students to the main authors, texts and currents of Western philosophy. The courses taught in Systematic Philosophy comprises complementary disciplines, such as philosophy of language, of mind and of human sciences, epistemology and metaphysics, ethics and political philosophy, and philosophy of culture and aesthetics, and introduces students to the central themes and questions discussed in the ongoing philosophical debates at an international level.
Another particular feature of studying philosophy at the University of Fribourg is the possibility to develop a specific profile thanks to a high number of optional courses around a common core.

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Physics

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The study plan encompasses basic subject knowledge and more advanced learning in several fields, such as mathematical methods, quantum mechanics, electrodynamics, modern optics and thermodynamics. Students also have the possibility of joining top-level research groups from their third year onward.
The physics course at the University of Fribourg offer great freedom in the choice of foundation courses and minor study programmes.

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Politics and Society

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To this end, various developments in Western and Eastern Europe are analysed from comparative perspective. Apart from autocratic «temptations» which can be observed in many places, increasing doubt has been cast on established democracy and the question of whether, and to what extent established elites are capable of solving major political problems, if at all. The programme is embedded in the discussion of specific sociological topics which complement the politologically oriented programme.

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Psychology

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During the three-year study programme, they become acquainted with the fundamental professional knowledge, the working methods used in research, the various areas of application of psychology and the basic competencies of psychological diagnostics and counselling. Two months of internship and a written thesis crown the bachelor studies.
In addition, the bilingualism of the course of studies is a unique feature of the studies in psychology at the University of Fribourg: Here, graduate school programmes are offered in German, French or in a combination of both languages.

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Religious studies

If you are interested in the specifics of religions in their historical, social and cultural contexts, this Bachelor's programme will introduce you to religions outside of Europe and to the main historical religions. You will study the central role they play in past and present societies, how they affect individuals, interactions between social groups and relationships between men and women. This programme focuses on issues specific to sociology in fields such as religion, politics, law and education, as well as societal phenomena, such as Islam in Switzerland.
In addition to learning scientific research and presentation techniques, you will become familiar with historical and empirical research methods in social sciences, such as survey methods (interviews, observation) and methods of analysis. In addition, you will be given opportunities to visit religious communities and attend certain religious festivals.

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Rhaeto-Romance

The Rhaeto-Romance course is devoted to the varied linguistic forms in the Romansh-speaking area of the canton of Grisons. Who uses Rhaeto-Romance in today's society, and how and when? What is the position of Romansh people in the trilingual canton of Grisons and in quadrilingual Switzerland? What are the subjects and traditions which shape Rhaeto-Romance literature? These and other questions are covered by Rhaeto-Romance students. At the University of Fribourg, the emphasis is on linguistics, but literature is an integral part of the course.
Students acquire the broad basic knowledge required to pursue a career in Rhaeto-Romance institutions, the media or teaching and/or to continue their studies to Master level.
The Bachelor programme requires thorough knowledge of at least one variant of Rhaeto-Romance (idiom or Rumantsch Grischun). Some classes are taught in German.

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Slavic Studies

The Slavic Department of the University of Fribourg places a particular emphasis on Russian and Polish culture. At Switzerland's oldest academic chair for Slavic studies, students get to know the literary and cultural history of these two countries in the context of philosophy, religious thought, visual arts, film and popular culture. They learn at least one Slavic language: Russian, Polish or Bosnian/Croatian/Montenegrin/Serbian. Fribourg offers optimum student care and support, as course groups are small and students benefit from the accessibility of their teachers.
Apart from close cooperation with the Institute of Slavic Languages and Literatures in Bern, where students have free access to linguistic programmes and language courses in particular, well-established partnerships exist with universities in Russia and Poland. This makes it easy to organise semesters abroad. There is also the opportunity of attending Russian summer courses in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Seminars and lectures in Slavic studies are held in German and French, language courses in Russian or Polish.

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Social Anthropology

Anthropology is the science of man in society. Through analysing local communities and studying social relationships, this Bachelor's programme will provide you with the means to understand transformations in society, regardless of whether the society is exotic, traditional, Western or contemporary. The analysis of current anthropological debates will allow students to understand new forms of organisation, co-operation and conflict, migration phenomena, urban life, health systems, religious movements, tourism, and the use of new technologies.
The teaching is nourished by research carried out by teachers in Europe and Asia. In addition, you will be taught by sociologists and political scientists and partake in various activities with external experts and students, such as summer schools and excursions.

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Social Work and Social Policy (DE)

This Bachelor programme is unique in Switzerland. As an academic programme this combination is offered only at the University of Fribourg. Social work and social policy are fields of action and research, in which social problems are identified and efforts take place to tackle them.
The topics studied focus on people, their objectives, organisational structures and methods of communication when dealing with their social environment. Students learn to recognise and understand the numerous local, national and transnational dimensions of social problems. Social problems do not have one single cause; they are always embedded in a complex fabric of milieu-specific, socio-cultural, political or economic structures.
Empirical social research forms an integral part of the programme. In the second and third years, the students apply what they have learned in an empirical research project.

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Social Work and Social Policy (FR)

This Bachelor's programme will equip you with the necessary skills and critical perspective to assess socially problematic situations, institutional environments in which you will take action and the particular types of actions you will be expected to roll out. As the programme is based on the analysis of social issues and the consideration of possible solutions, you will gain an understanding of the far-reaching changes that affect social policy and will master the conditions of social work. You will also gain knowledge of existing social policy measures in Switzerland and abroad, and their role in society and the economy.
The methodological and method training provided is based on three key pillars: the analysis of social issues (e.g. poverty, exclusion, drug abuse), the study of social policies (e.g. family and health policies, and social insurance) and the situational practice of the research methods studied, in relation to the analysis of social issues and/or social policies.

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Sociology (DE)

The Bachelor programme gives students an overall view of sociological theories, methods and analysis and teaches them the relevant analytical, research and decision-making skills. Besides general sociology and social research, the themes treated also include diverse, specific branches of sociology (e.g. political sociology, family or development sociology, or criminal, business or occupational sociology).
Students are taught the basic theoretical and methodological knowledge (concepts, theories, classic authors, philosophy of science) while receiving broad training in quantitative and qualitative methods. At the same time, this is placed in the context of current social problems and the ensuing debates. In the second and third years, the students apply what they have learned in an empirical research project. The study programme can be taken in German or as a bilingual programme in German and French.

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Sociology (FR)

The Bachelor study programme in sociology aims to train students in the analysis of social, economical and political processes taking place within contemporary societies. It focuses on the impacts of these global trends on the everyday live of individuals, especially on their relationships, their habits, their practices and their vision of the future. In order to achieve this, it familiarizes students with the theories and tools of sociology. The programme therefore allows students to acquire knowledge in diverse specialized sociological fields as well as practical skills in qualitative and quantitative research methods as well as in communication activities related to contemporary social issues.

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Spanish

This Bachelor's programme covers the diversity of styles of literature from Latin America (and America) and the Iberian Peninsula, not only in terms of their own evolution but also in terms of their mutual relationships. At the University of Fribourg, particular attention is granted to the relationship between literature and human sciences, and to the contribution of interdisciplinary studies.
This methodology places emphasis on teaching codicological description and textual history, with Fribourg being the only university in the BENEFRI network to offer this speciality. Subjects cover the study of the language, literature and culture of medieval Spain, on the one hand, and the study of the manuscript tradition of works and their position in the history of the language on the other.

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Special Education

If you want to familiarise yourself with special education without making it your main discipline at Bachelor level, this secondary studies programme will enable you to enrich, expand and diversify the knowledge acquired in your main studies programme.
This programme consists of two parts: an introduction to the theoretical foundations of special education, with courses in general special education and differential special education; and an introduction to the theories of development, with courses introducing you to factors, mechanisms and conditions that influence individual typical and atypical development.
This programme does not lead to a professional diploma in special education and social pedagogy, which requires opting for studies in special education and social pedagogy as a single discipline. However, it may be of value later in your training, for example in order to join the Master's programme in special education.

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Sport Sciences and Motor Control

This Bachelor's programme enables students to acquire practical know-how and scientific knowledge about the impact of motor activity on the development and maintenance of the individual's physical, mental and social life. It not only looks at subjects such as anatomy, the principles of training and sports psychology, but also the technical aspects of practice in a variety of fields, notably games, corporal expression, and water and snow sports. The teaching concept, which places the emphasis on the relationship between theory and practice, is based on a «lecture-seminar/workshop» structure and fosters the practical application of theoretical knowledge.
Students also have the possibility of specialising in teaching physical education and sports at secondary school level.

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Theology

In contrast to other university fields of study, theology has a guiding perspective of its own: it is fundamentally concerned with God and doctrine and thereby reflects its own position and that of the church in society. The critical work of theology is aimed at contributing to keeping the issues of value and truth alive in public discourse. The Faculty of Catholic Theology in Fribourg is the largest theological faculty in Switzerland and is characterised by a cosmopolitan spirit.
The core of the theological education consists of the courses of study for training future priests and pastoral assistants as well as teachers at secondary level.

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