Part-time Law studies
Students opting for a part-time bachelor's degree in Law acquire knowledge in all key areas of law in this respect there is no difference between it and the full-time course. The part-time course is spread over four years and focuses on specific fields each year. Self-study accounts for a large part of the part-time course.
Teaching includes lectures as well as a selection of tutorials in which students receive guidance on the analysis, solution and critical aspects of concrete legal issues, interactively and in small groups.
In Fribourg, all the teaching sessions are offered in both French and German. The choice is left to students: they can follow all the lectures and tutorials in either French or German, but also have the possibility of upgrading their diploma with the distinction «Bilingual curriculum, French/German». Other important benefits are the small size of the Faculty and the personal mentoring students receive during the studies.
Profile of the study programme
Main features of the part-time course
Students studying part-time complete a bachelor's degree in Law in four years. This consists of teaching formats requiring students' physical presence, and self-study. Teaching is concentrated into two weekdays: for each subject, either lectures or tutorials take place on these days.
Students must study the content of the other classes on their own. It is recommended that you allow yourself enough time for this self-study.
The particular feature of the part-time course is its focus on specific fields each year. 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 programme.
Structure of the part-time course
To be a successful legal practitioner requires a broad, sound grasp of law and no compromises are made even in the part-time course.
- First year (Wed/Thur): Introduction to law, civil procedure/Swiss debt enforcement and bankruptcy law, Swiss constitutional law, administrative law (general/special section), European law and international law
- Second year (Wed/Thur): Criminal law (I/II), criminal procedural law, history of law, philosophy of law
- Third year (Mon/Tues): Roman law, law of persons, property law, family and inheritance law, code of obligations (general/special section and tort law)
- Fourth year (Fri/Mon): Commercial and business law, tax law and social 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 unprecedented 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 teaching sessions you need to attend to obtain the European law and Religious law distinctions do not necessarily take place on the same days of week as the part-time course.
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. Part-time 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)
If they have the time, students can also participate in theSwiss 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 them in good stead including in their subsequent career. To which extent this prolongs your studies depends on your learning achievements abroad that we can add to your record in Fribourg.
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, 8 semesters
Lectures and selected tutorials on two weekdays. The self-study concerns in particular the tutorials and lectures which do not take place on the two weekdays.
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.
We want you to be able to successfully complete your part-time studies. For this reason, we have attached special conditions to the admission to part-time studies. These conditions are met without further formality if you already have (1) a bachelor's degree in another field or (2) at least three years of professional experience (at a 100% rate) (automatic admission). Admission is also possible if (3) due to special circumstances, full-time studies cannot be reasonably expected from you, whereas the chances of success in the part-time programme seem particularly relevant. Such circumstances may be of economic or medical nature, but may also involve family work or an important activity in the fields of art, sport or politics. In the latter case, please indicate in your application the particular circumstances for which you wish to be admitted to part-time studies, so that we can examine your application in depth (admission on a case-by-case basis). Further information can be obtained from the Dean's Office.