A bachelor's degree in Law provides students with round knowledge of all key areas of law. The full-time course is spread over three years and is progressive in that the individual areas of law are discussed in at least two years.
Teaching comprises lectures as well as numerous tutorials in which students receive guidance on the analysis, solution and criticism of concrete legal issues, interactively and in small groups.
In Fribourg virtually all the teaching sessions are offered in German and in French. The choice is yours: you can follow all the lectures and tutorials in German or in French, but you also have the possibility of upgrading your diploma with the distinction «Bilingual curriculum, French/German». Further important benefits are the small size of the Faculty and the personal mentoring you receive during your studies.
Profile of the study programme
Main features of the programme
Students studying full-time complete a bachelor's degree in Law in three years. As far as possible, lectures and tutorials are kept to four weekdays. This leaves students time for personal study of the coursework, as well as for additional study options.
One particular feature of this full-time course is its progressive structure, in that individual areas of law are addressed several times. The result is a clearly structured curriculum, which guides you through the wide range of subjects and helps you develop an understanding of the basics of law and sound knowledge of the different areas.
Each year of study ends with examinations to enable you to get an idea of how your studies are coming along periodically. The bachelor's degree in Law entitles you to apply for the master's degree programme.
Structure of the full-time course
To be a successful legal practitioner requires a broad, sound grasp of law.
- First year of study: Introduction to law, civil procedure/Swiss debt collection and bankruptcy law, Roman law, personal rights, Swiss constitutional law, criminal law (I), European law and international law
- Second year of study: Property law, code of obligations (general section), administrative law (general section), tax law, criminal law (II) and criminal procedural law and history of law
- Third year of study: Family law, inheritance law, code of obligations (contracts and tort law), commercial and business law, administrative law, labour and social security law, and philosophy of law
Our teaching sessions are designed to teach you the skills you need to be able to navigate the legal system with confidence and ease. You are consistently encouraged to critically analyse legally relevant texts (first and foremost laws and court rulings) in the context of the legal system, to recognise legal issues and develop viable solutions. Student participation in teaching is welcomed and students are encouraged to express themselves in writing and tutored in doing so. By the time you complete your studies, you will have acquired the knowledge and methods to allow you to address even new and new kinds of legal problems.
Acquiring in-depth knowledge of specialist areas with distinctions and special credits
Even at the bachelor level, you can acquire more in-depth knowledge of certain areas of law by obtaining distinctions and special credits.
The distinctions add prestige to your degree certificate. You acquire these with achievements over and above the required curriculum. The following special distinctions are currently available:
- European law
- Religious law («Utriusque iuris»)
- Bilingual curriculum, French/German
The special credits are added to the ECTS credits required for the master's degree. You can obtain these by taking advantage of the wide choice of supplementary courses that are open to you already after successfully completing your first year of study.
International networking and student exchange semester (Erasmus)
Since its beginnings, our Faculty has placed great value on international networking and practises exchanges with a large number of Faculties abroad. Students also benefit from this. The exchanges that we offer in cooperation with partner universities include:
– Centre for Transnational Legal Studies (CTLS) in London; student exchange in Shanghai (China);
– «Galatasaray (Turkey) Fribourg» and «Craiova (Romania) Fribourg» international seminars;
– Summer university of the Institute of Federalism at the University of Fribourg;
– «European Private Law» summer school at Salzburg University (Austria)
However, you can also participate in the Swiss European Mobility Programme, which is a one or two-semester international exchange at one of more than 100 European law Faculties, and acquire experience that will stand you in good stead, including in your subsequent career. This does not necessarily prolong your studies; what counts is your learning achievements abroad that we can add to your record in Fribourg.
Particularly ambitious students can take advantage of the «Double diplôme de bachelor Fribourg/Paris II» programme, in which they study for abachelor's degree at the University of Fribourg and at the same time at the University Panthéon-Assas (Paris II).
Students also have the opportunity of attending another Swiss university for a semester or a year.
Learning outcomes and career openings
The bachelor's degree at our Faculty gives students a solid grounding in law. We do not believe in early specialisation, as specialised knowledge becomes rapidly obsolete. Students who have a thorough understanding of the core fields of law are much better equipped.
Many students who have obtained their bachelor's degree here opt to continue with a master's degree, making use of the strong practical focus and interdisciplinary nature of the courses on offer in Fribourg. A career as a lawyer is only possible with a master's degree, but a wide variety of careers are open to our graduates.
Structure of studies
180 ECTS credits, 6 semesters
Lectures and tutorials on at least four weekdays.
Our well-structured full-time course provides an outstanding opportunity to graduate in law by the most direct means possible. However, some questions may arise before the course starts and others when you have already taken up your studies. For this reason, the Faculty offers a study advisor service to prospective and current students. More information is available from the Dean's Office.
The following Swiss school-leaving certificates grant admission to bachelor programmes at the University of Fribourg:
- Swiss academic Maturity Certificate
- Federal vocational or specialised Baccalaureate + supplementary examination of the Swiss Maturity Commission (passerelle)
- 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 recognised Swiss school-leaving certificates is to be found on the webpages of swissuniversities (in French and German only): http://studies.unifr.ch/go/en-admission-swiss-certificates
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 or chemistry or physics)
- Humanities and social sciences (geography or history or economics/law)
- Elective (computer sciences or philosophy or 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: http://studies.unifr.ch/go/en-admission-countrylist
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).