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

Foreign Language Didactics


This master programme, which is offered in cooperation with the Universities of Teacher Education (Haute Ecole Pédagogique [HEP]/Pädagogische Hochschule [PH]) of Fribourg and Zurich and with the University of Teacher Education and the University of Ticino, educates students about the various approaches and methods used to teach and learn foreign languages. By analysing these, students become skilled in evaluating, developing, and putting into practice teaching and learning concepts for the various levels (elementary to secondary II). In addition to regular classes, the programme also includes a teaching internship in a university of teacher education (HEP/PH). This one-of-a-kind master programme is taught bilingually (French and German), but students also choose their language of specialisation: German, French, English or Italian. Students in the English track spend a semester at a university in an English-speaking country or at the Universities of Teacher Education of Zurich.
Students also have access to the Research Centre on Multilingualism in Fribourg, where they can take part in research and in the regularly held lectures and workshops held by internationally renowned experts.

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Profile of the study programme

The master programme in Foreign Language Didactics at the University of Fribourg is offered in cooperation with the Universities of Teacher Education (Haute Ecole Pédagogique [HEP]/Pädagogische Hochschule [PH]) of Fribourg and Zurich and with the University of Teacher Education and the University of Ticino. It provides intensive theoretical and practical training in foreign language didactics. The programme educates students about the various methods and approaches for teaching and learning foreign languages so that they can put these into practice, develop them further, and assess their usefulness for the different school levels (elementary through secondary II).

– Languages of study: German and French, which means that students will need to attend classes in both languages; some lectures may sometimes be given in English;
– Languages to specialise in: choice between German, French, English and Italian.
Students opting for the English or Italian option must have a solid grounding in this language, as well as in French and German.

The programme includes courses on language learning and teaching, multilingual competence, the social and political characteristics of multilingualism, multi-language didactics, applied linguistics and general didactics. It also includes a teaching internship and an exchange semester (for the English and Italian options). Some optional courses make it possible to specialise in certain areas.

Fribourg profile
The bilingual University of Fribourg is the only university in Switzerland to offer a master programme in Foreign Language Didactics. Situated on a language border, the city of Fribourg is the ideal location to gain a deeper insight in the language situation in French- and German-speaking Switzerland.
Close contacts are maintained with the «Multilingualism Studies», «German as a Foreign Language/German as a Second Language» and «French as a Foreign Language/French as a Second Language» programmes as well as with the Institute of Multilingualism. Jointly organised by the University and the University of Teacher Education, this Institute hosts the Swiss Confederation's Research Centre on Multilingualism. Here, students can attend regularly held lectures and workshops in which internationally renowned experts discuss foreign language learning and teaching as well as individual and societal multilingualism.
In the Documentation Centre of the Research Centre on Multilingualism (which is part of our library dedicated to second and foreign language learning), students will find a large number of pertinent publications and magazines and can solicit expert advice on autonomous learning.

Learning outcomes and career openings
Graduates possess in-depth knowledge of the theories and research methods in the field of foreign language didactics and the related fields. They are also able to apply this specialist theoretical knowledge when developing and designing research projects as well as in practical settings. They are aware of the requirements for modern foreign language instruction, and they can analyse and assess language courses in their own or in a foreign language, and they can work out suggestions for optimising teaching/learning arrangements.

Some of the professional fields open to holders of a master's degree in Foreign Language Didactics are:

  • Training future foreign language teachers, especially at universities of teacher education;
  • Domestic and international language courses in adult education and at universities and universities of applied sciences;
  • Activities in connection with integration courses for migrants, exchange programmes and the promotion of multilingualism in professional environments, and more specifically in companies;
  • Development work or work as intermediaries in government agencies, NGOs and publishing houses;
  • Research and development work in the field of language teaching and learning;
  • After receiving the master's degree, graduates can enrol in a doctoral programme and go on to write a thesis in the field of foreign language didactics or multilingualism.

Note: Graduates are not automatically entitled to teach foreign languages at state-run schools in Switzerland, be it at the elementary or at the secondary I or II levels.

Studies organisation

Structure of studies

90 ECTS credits + 30 ECTS credits as an option in a minor study programme freely chosen or in a specialisation programme, 3-4 semesters


http://studies.unifr.ch/go/ikZzC (French)
http://studies.unifr.ch/go/IaFd2 (German)


A productive language level equivalent to level C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages in French or German (speaking and writing) is a minimum requirement to enrol in this programme. Very good receptive skills should be attained in the other language respectively. In general, the information in the application suffices for the admission jury to estimate this level, so no language certificates need to be included in the application (though they may). Should a student's language level in one of the languages prove to be slightly lower than this requirement, they will be requested to attend a language course at the Language Centre (see additional programme).


Master's degree programmes are built on the knowledge and abilities that were acquired when obtaining a bachelor's degree. The master programme in Foreign Language Didactics has specific admission requirements.

This study programme is aimed first and foremostat holders of a degree (bachelor's or master's) from a Swiss university of teacher education (or university). Holders of other degrees (for example a bachelor's degree in Language and Literature) may also apply, but internships cannot be guaranteed in these cases (see study plan). Under all circumstances, admission is based on academic record. A jury decides on the applicant's admission and the obligation to complete an additional programme (maximum 30 ECTS credits) or a prerequisite programme (maximum 60 ECTS credits).

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This study programme in sport sciences is based on the idea that to understand the issues of the future in relation to sports and well-being through motor activity calls for more in-depth knowledge, notably in the fields of movement and training, as well as in neuropsychology and sports education.
The master programme thus gives students the opportunity to increase the depth and scope of their acquired knowledge and to pursue the specialisation ( «Teaching» or «Health and Research» ) that they chose during their bachelor's degree.
The fact that this course of study is taught at the Medicine Section of the Faculty of Science and Medicine and the special emphasis on a «class-seminar/workshop» structure, as well as the partnership with the Swiss Federal Institute of Sports Magglingen (SFISM) mean that the underlying conditions for teaching and research in the field of sport sciences are extremely favourable.

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In the context of a state university, theology makes a specific contribution to research: an intellectual, scientific and rational exploration of the Christian approach to the question of God, in particular from the perspective of the Catholic tradition. The other fields of study extend the theological line of thought by juxtaposing it with other ways of perceiving reality.
The richness of theology as a field of study encourages students to continue for another two years after their bachelor's degree to complete a master's degree (complete study programme, 120 ECTS credits). The master's thesis gives students the opportunity to test their ability to produce a piece of personal academic research. Students are admitted to the degree of Master of Theology with Specialisation with a score of 60 of the total 120 ECTS credits in the chosen specialisation: 30 ECTS credits for the respective lectures and 30 ECTS credits for the thesis. Possible topics are, for example, the Christian Orient, interreligious dialogue, practical theology or the New Testament in its cultural and historical setting.

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