The study of biology imparts knowledge of the fundamental processes on which life – from the simplest bacteria to the human being – is based. This includes development and behaviour of organisms, as well as their interaction with the environment. During the first academic year, students acquire the necessary basic knowledge (general biology, organism biology, biochemistry, chemistry, mathematics, physics). During the second and third years, students explore more specialised topics giving them a general knowlegde of the main themes in modern biology. In addition to lectures, the study programme contains exercises, practical training and seminars, as well as writing a bachelor's thesis in a research unit.
Profile of the study programme
The study programme in biology opens the door to a fascinating world. It imparts knowledge of the basic processes underlying the life of the simplest bacterial cell to the human being. Biology deals with the smallest molecular structures, such as genetic material or proteins, as well as with the architecture of entire cells and tissues that contribute to the development of complex organisms. In addition to the analysis of the structure, function and interaction of macromolecules, such as molecular networks and cellular interactions, the development and behaviour of organisms and their interactions with the environment are also studied. Biological research provides the foundations for genetics, molecular biology, cell biology, microbiology, biotechnology, evolutionary biology and environmental sciences. In the medical area, biological research imparts essential knowledge about the structure and functioning of the human body, based on which medicine can determine the causes and effects of illnesses and develop suitable therapies. With the help of biological knowledge, pharmaceutics can in turn produce indispensable drugs, such as insulin or antibiotics, from genetically altered microorganisms instead of from their natural biological source. The production of such drugs is more economical and much more effective. When it comes to farming, crops are equipped with resistance factors against pests and are made less sensitive to drought or a lack of nutrients. In addition, optimal conditions can be determined for the sustainable use of natural resources.
The first academic year is the same for all students and constitutes the scientific foundation for the higher semesters. It imparts the necessary and indispensable scientific basic knowledge for the study of biology, the so-called propaedeutic subjects (general biology, organism biology, biochemistry, chemistry, mathematics and physics). The bachelor programme consists of the major subject, plus one or two selectable additional minors. The major includes the propaedeutic subjects as well as many lectures, exercises, practical courses, seminars and a bachelor's thesis in a research unit.
Second and third year: environmental biology and organisms
Ecology consists of the study of living organism and their interplay with their biotic environment – the other living organisms – and the biologically dead environment. The understanding of this interrelationship is seen solely within the context of evolutionary theory.
These two aspects are thus closely linked to each other. The areas of ecology and evolution are encompassing and varied, ranging from the study of micro-organisms to the study of natural ecosystems, from the dynamics of populations to the understanding of the processes of species creation. Because of the global changes that are due to human activities, ecology has become a main issue in society. The protection of biological diversity, the study of biodiversity and the functioning of ecosystems are very active areas of research. Due to its diversity, the study of ecology and evolution calls for a solid basis in general and molecular biology, genetics, and knowledge of species, but also in chemistry, physics and especially mathematics and statistics. This orientation covers different areas, whereby theoretical lectures, laboratory courses, and field work are offered.
Second and third year: molecular topics
Other lectures are strongly focused on research projects within the field of zoology and plant biology conducted in molecular biology on animal and plant model systems (C. elegans, Drosophila, zebrafish, mouse, Arabidopsis and Petunia). In addition to the conventional strategies in molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics and cell biology, the spectrum of experimental methods also encompasses other modern techniques, such as fluorescence and confocal microscopy, «high throughput» DNA sequencing and analysis of results with bioinformatic methods, purification and analysis of protein complexes and mass spectroscopy, PCR and the production of transgenic microorganisms, plants or animals.
The courses of the bachelor in biology are held in German and/or in French, or on some occasions in English or bilingual French/German.
The biology studies at the University of Fribourg are thus suited for students who later wish to offer a broad range of skills on the job market in the areas of molecular and organismic biology.
Structure of studies
120 ECTS credits + 60 ECTS credits in one or two minor study programmes freely chosen, 6 semesters
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).
Minor study programmes to be chosen
The bachelor programme in Art History offers students the opportunity of learning about Art History over a broad time span, ranging from Art History and Classical Archaeology to History of Contemporary Art. Students can explore the periods which interest them most in greater depth.
This study programme is taught partly in French and partly in German. Students must take modules in both languages, which will vary from course to course, but they can prepare their presentation, coursework and exams in the language of their choice (in either French or German).
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.
The bachelor 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 analysing DNA and genetic information as an integral part of the study programme. The biochemistry course thus gives students an opportunity to familiarise 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.More info
This bachelor's level minor study programme combines theory and practice in the fields of information and communication. The objective is to help students master the different communication skills needed in a variety of constantly changing environments and contexts.
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.
Business Informatics is an interdisciplinary field located between business administration/management and computer science. In addition it provides specific methods, for example for aligning business strategies with technical information processing. Graduates in business informatics dispose of profound knowledge of technical methods such as programming, software engineering, databases, the design of software architectures and systems and machine learning as well as sound skills in business administration, mathematics and statistics. Furthermore, they are proficient in conceptual modeling, the analysis and simulation of business processes and their implementation in software systems. A main task of business informatics professionals is the digitalisation of organisations, i.e. the alignment of business requirements and technical solutions for generating added value for customers, enterprises, employees, and the public administration.More info
In this study programme, students deal with the questions of why and how atoms combine to form molecules; they gain basic knowledge of the nature and diversity of chemical bonds and elements and how these are related to the external properties of the materials. But chemistry is not only knowledge; it is also a craft: the future chemists therefore spend much time in laboratories and learn to determine the structure of a material (analysis), synthesise a new material (preparative chemistry), measure the properties of materials with the help of instruments (physical chemistry) or understand and predict these properties with the help of theoretical methods (computational chemistry).
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.
This minor study programme, which is offered in French only, contains a broad variety of lectures: theory of communication and media, communication and media strategies, media and new media, public relations, communication and Internet law, surveys and analyses of qualitative data.
Compulsory classes are supplemented with optional classes in applied communication: on-line multimedia production, Web writing, television, written and oral communication, etc.
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.
Do you want to understand how media and communication work in the digital world? To develop new ideas and help shape the future of the media? Then our bachelor programme «Communication and Media Research» is just right for you. We offer you an in-depth examination of media, communication and the public sphere in the digital society. Our programme covers the entire range of communication studies. What effects does media use have? How do companies develop their communication strategies? What influence do the social media exert on political communication? What are the consequences of the online era for journalism? And what are the challenges for media policy? We provide you with the skills crucial for analysing and dealing with current problems in a rapidly changing media world. In addition to first-class academic education, the Fribourg programme also offers you numerous insights into media and communication practice.More info
Informatics studies at the University of Fribourg provide in-depth theoretical knowledge while placing a strong emphasis in relation to practice.
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.
This bachelor's degree can give access to the Swiss Joint Master in Computer Science offered by the universities of Bern, Neuchâtel and Fribourg.
A Bachelor's degree in Contemporary History this opportunity is open to you only at the University of Fribourg. The programme focuses on the 19th and 20th centuries in Swiss and European Contemporary History offering introductory survey courses accompanied by seminars elaborating on specific topics thereof. In addition you are introduced to the historiography of Contemporary History. You will acquire skills in analyzing and contextualizing historical sources, in reading and digesting secondary literature, in presenting an historical argument as well as in writing your own texts. Our large number of teaching staff offers you a broad range of topics and ensures that the students are closely mentored, thereby facilitating the compatibility of class room and work place. The degree can be taken in German, in French and as a bilingual degree in German and French.More info
For those who are interested in the structure and development of the earth, earth sciences is exactly the right subject to study. Students experience a virtual journey through time and space as they trace the development of the earth, the atmosphere and the oceans.
The bachelor programme places its main focus on the following questions: How did life develop, and under what environmental conditions (sedimentology, palaeontology and palaeoecology)? How do mountains and oceans form and disappear (tectonics)? What happens at the earth's interior (petrology, volcanology, geophysics)? Apart from these fundamental issues, there is also ample opportunity for practical applications, e.g. assessing building ground, processing raw materials or detecting natural hazards.
Earth sciences at the University of Fribourg places particular value on students acquiring personal experience of what they have learned. Accordingly, the study programme includes field trips and excursions (at home and abroad) and an introduction to the scientific use of technical instruments.
The bachelor programme «Eastern European Studies» is a multilingual interfaculty, interuniversity programme. The Universities of Fribourg and Berne have combined their diverse Eastern European competences to produce this unique offer.
Students attend classes in Fribourg as well as in Berne. The languages of instruction are German and Frnch. Some lectures are also held in English. The syllabus consists of lectures on contemporary history, cultural studies (Slavic studies and cultural philosophy), political science and social anthropology. The focus is on the 20th century and on current issues. Students learn at least one of the region's languages during their course of study, with a choice of Russian, Polish, Czech, Croatian/Serbian/Bosnian, Slovenian or Bulgarian.
This programme provides intensive student care and support.
The bachelor programme provides an in depths training in economics, and additionally covers the fundamentals of business administration and quantitative methods. The focus is on solving economic and societal issues in companies, households, government institutions and markets. The approach is based on the analysis of human decision-making processes as well as the optimal use and the effect of economic resources, e.g. labour and capital. Some questions addressed in this programme relate to broad economic relationships: What determines prosperity and the distribution of wealth in a country? What influences the exchange rates and trade flows between nations? How do firms acquire market power and should when should the state regulate them? But there are also more specific questions that are addressed: What effect does education have on income, health and crime? Because of what characteristics are some companies more successful than others? Which kind of interventions work in developmental aid? To answer such questions, the programme provides theoretical concepts as well as data-based (i.e. empirical) methods and puts students in a position to understand economic problems, to analyse them autonomously and to derive advice for action for companies or politicians. The inclusion of real life cases makes it possible to practically implement the knowledge that has been acquired, and the excellent student-to-teacher ratio allows for interactive teaching styles.
The bachelor programme in economics combines modern teaching and research with the humanistic tradition of the University of Fribourg.
The unusual feature of this bachelor programme is that it is made up of equal parts of the psychology and educational sciences programmes. It is aimed first and foremost at students wishing to teach the elective «Education/Psychology» in academic upper secondary schools.
In psychology, you will first of all study the aspects of cognition and emotion, with an introduction to clinical diagnostic and treatment methods, as well as research methods and tools. In education, you will study issues of learning, performance and pupils' behaviour, as well as education in the family.
This course is geared towards teaching and the emphasis is placed first and foremost on the historical and theoretical aspects of these two disciplines. You are advised to choose another subject in addition to this.
How do children, adolescents and adults learn? And how do they develop in a given social environment? It is to these educational questions that the educational sciences deliver a response.
At the bachelor level, the students acquire all-round theoretical knowledge of academic and social education, socialisation theory and educational psychology. They also learn quantitative and qualitative research methods and, through practical research and workshops as well as seminars geared to the professional context, how to apply the theoretical bases.
The study programme is specially designed to place equal importance on theoretical and systematic, historical and empirical approaches to educational research. The course is taught in collaboration with the teacher training department, which gives students additional knowledge of school teaching.
The study programme covers all major fields of Anglophone literature from England and the United States, English linguistics, and the historical forms of the English language from Beowulf to the English we use today. Writing skills and an interdisciplinary approach are key aspects of the study programme. Students have an opportunity to learn about medieval women, act in plays, do linguistic fieldwork on contemporary forms of English discourse, study the relations between English literature and other media or its links to technology, discover the rich intellectual world of the English and European Renaissance, and investigate the American Western or meet contemporary American poets. Students in Linguistics may work on English as a world language or as the language of social media. Students in Literature are invited to cross-enroll in classes offered by the Institute of Comparative Literature. Scholars of international acclaim are regularly invited to give talks. There are also exchange partnerships with universities in Nebraska, Mississippi, Arizona, and Southampton.More info
Anthropogenic climate change, natural degradation, and loss of biodiversity but also sustainable energy production, resource depletion, and waste disposal demand immediate action and governance. The management of these environmental challenges has already caused and will increasingly engender ethical concerns, dilemmas, and conflicts. The bachelor minor study programmes in Environmental Sciences complements the competences acquired in the main studies with special knowledge in the environmental sciences and humanities as well as in environmental ethics. It equips students with the competences for resolving governance challenges in the fields of the environment, sustainability and climate change. The unique knowledge accomplished in these bachelor minor programmes is an integrative and comprehensive sensibilisation on how to analyse environmental conflicts and to propose ethically sound solutions to environmental challenges.More info
The bachelor programme in French offers students a broad foundation, in terms of French and French-language literature, linguistics and the history of the French language. This course opens the way to other disciplines, such as history, philosophy or art history.
In literature, the course begins with a series of introductory teaching sessions to familiarise students 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 covers the history of literature starting with the modern and contemporary period and gradually works back through classical literature as far as the texts of the Middle Ages.
The course in linguistics is very thorough, ranging from enunciation and the contrastive study of the spoken/written language to lexicon description and text linguistics, including of course the history of language from its origins to modern time.
This programme is open to students for whom French is not their mother tongue, but who have sufficient command of spoken and written French.
The bachelor programme «French as a foreign language» (FLE) provides theoretical and practical training for teaching FLE to a range of target groups, including children and adults.
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 bachelor 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 studies in the «Multilingualism and Foreign Language Education» Domain, and the links with the research conducted at the Institute of Multilingualism.
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.
The geography course at the University of Fribourg pays particular attention to the relevance and concrete applications of the knowledge students have acquired. The study programme provides them with scientifically-grounded, practice-oriented qualifications which open the door to appropriate career opportunities.
At the University of Fribourg, students of German language and literature have access to the entire scope of the field of study, from the historical stages of the German language to today's standard language and dialects, from German-language literature during the Middle Ages to that of the present, from literary theory to literary media studies and its relevant educational theory.
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.
This study programme teaches the student, in theory and practice, how German as a foreign language is taught and learned. The basics of the description, planning, designing, analysis and evaluation of the language learning processes are thereby deepened. This programme also provides insights into intercultural communication, cultural studies and the use of literature in teaching foreign languages.
The bachelor 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 visiting 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.
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.More info
This bachelor programme covers the study of Greek antiquity from Homer to the Byzantine period. It focuses on the acquisition and consolidation of Greek language skills, as well as the interpretation of literary texts in the broader context of Greek culture.
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 languag, 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.
How did people in the past shape and perceive their lives? What scope did they have for making decisions? How did the economic, political, social and cultural environment in which they lived change? What impact has what they did or did not do had on the structures of the present day? These and similar questions are at the core of the History programme. In Fribourg, this course is based on close cooperation between the four subjects of ancient, mediaeval, modern and contemporary history. In a series of joint, coordinated, introductory teaching sessions, students are taught from the outset to take a multi-perspective, comparative and culturally informed look at history. A broad choice of specialisations is also available, ranging from economic history, social history, political history, the history of ideas and mentalities and legal history, right through to gender history and cultural history. The programme is taught in German and French. Of course, it is possible to study solely in German or French in Fribourg, but we also promote bilingualism, offering bilingual teaching sessions and collaboration with international partners. Numerous, highly popular and well-supported national, European and global exchange programmes round out the study programme.More info
Interreligious Studies approaches theology from the viewpoint of the religions. In Europe, the history of non-Christian religions is closely bound up with Christianity. Taking this as the starting point, the central questions are, for example, those arising from interreligious dialogue or dealing with current concepts of Islamic theology or religious law. Special attention is focused on Christianity, interreligious and intercultural dialogues, and self-reflection in other religions, particularly Islam.
The main programme is currently being offered in German or as part of the bilingual course (German and French), in which case the resulting degree will carry the distinction «Bilingual curriculum, French/German».
If you have an interest in Italian language and literature, acquiring methods for analysing poetry, narrative and theatre texts will help you appreciate all the more masterpieces of the Italian language by Dante and Petrarch through to Leopardi and Montale, as well as contemporary language and literature. This bachelor programme provides also an introduction to Italian philology and to the history of the Italian language, while specific lectures on literary history focus on the key moments of the all tradition, from Middle Ages to 20th century. Armed with this knowledge, you will be able to critically analyse all Italian literary texts.
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, Giovanni Pozzi and Aldo Menichetti.
This bachelor programme covers the study of Roman antiquity from the beginnings of the Republic to the humanist period. It focuses on the acquisition and consolidation of Latin language skills, as well as the interpretation of literary texts set in the broader context of Roman culture. Special emphasis is placed on Latin culture and literature of Late Antiquity, the Latin Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Students also study the influence of literary forms and classical mythology on modern literature.
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.
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.
This bachelor programme provides the essential basis for understanding business management tools for companies and nonprofit organisations such as hospitals, associations and international organisations but also for public administration. Students are equipped with methodological, professional and social skills. Future graduates are trained in making decisions in a changing and complex economic environment, and acquire specific methods for analysing and understanding socioeconomic phenomena. A wide range of courses provides a solid knowledge and allows students to develop their skills in the different areas of management. In synergy with other subjects in the Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences, courses are also provided in economics and information management.More info
This study programme is the first step in the training of professional mathematicians. The methods, ways of thinking and content that, according to international standards, all mathematicians should be proficient in are imparted in an intense and demanding programme. During the third academic year, students can attend advanced lectures that correspond to their interests and preferences. Thanks to close cooperation with the Universities of Bern and Neuchâtel, these courses are also open to students in Fribourg.
The major study programme in Mathematics is supplemented by minors that students can choose freely from other university fields of study.
This bachelor 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).
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: History of Philosophy and Systematic Philosophy.
History of Philosophy includes ancient, medieval, modern and contemporary philosophy and introduces students to the main authors, texts and currents of Western philosophy. Systematic Philosophy comprises complementary disciplines, such as philosophy of language, of mind and of human sciences; epistemology and metaphysics; ethics and political philosophy; aesthetics and philosophy of art, and introduces students to the themes and questions inherent to present philosophical debate.
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 based around a common core.
This study programme teaches general physics and physics' methodology and provides a broad vision of the discipline. By studying complex natural phenomena, their interactions and the laws which govern them, students of this subject are able to develop critical discernment, creativity and sound reasoning.
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.
The bachelor programme «Politics and Society» has both a politological and a sociological orientation. It focuses primarily on subjects related to the political system of society. This includes analysis of systems of government and their states as well as discussion about the central actors of the political system. It further addresses questions of political sociology: what are the social prerequisites of political power? How autonomous are the political system and its state? How should the problem resolution and governance capacity of the state be evaluated, particularly in times of political crises?
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.
Students who are interested in the human experience and behaviour are on the right track with a course of study in psychology. Here, we study how feelings, experiences, education and motivational factors affect us and what role the cultural and social environment plays. At bachelor level, particular emphasis is placed on always letting the students confront their theories of everyday life with the insights of scientific psychology.
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, the programmes are offered in German, French or in a combination of both languages.
If you are interested in the specifics of religions in their historical, social and cultural contexts, this bachelor 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.
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.
The Slavic domain 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.
Social anthropology analyses social and cultural phenomena in today's world in order to understand and explain them in all their diversity and complexity. This discipline examines socio-cultural practices, beliefs and institutions, which are intertwined in different ways at the local, national, regional and global levels. Concerning the methodology, social anthropology is characterised by long-term ethnographical research. This kind of research typically involves acquiring the local language, observing and participating in the daily life of the group being studied.More info
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.
This bachelor 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.
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.
Are you interested in the functioning of contemporary societies and current events affecting them? Do you want to follow a scientific training which answers your questions, develops your critical appraisal of the world and equips you for your future career?
The objective of the bachelor programme in Sociology is to train students to analyse social, economic and political processes in contemporary societies across a range of themes. It examines the consequences of structural changes on individuals' daily lives by familiarising students with sociological theories and by training students to use scientific analytical tools. In a stimulating study environment, students gain professional skills to observe specific social processes and competences to elaborate projects and social intervention in public and private institutions. Professors, teaching staff and researchers are on hand to promote the quality of exchanges and the pursuit of ambitious goals.
The programme includes sessions from other fields of the social sciences.
This bachelor 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.
If you want to familiarise yourself with special education without making it your main discipline at bachelor level, this minor study programme will enable you to enrich, expand and diversify the knowledge acquired in your major study 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 programme in special education.
This bachelor 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.
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.
A many-faceted discipline, Theology is taught across five departments. The objective of the first three years is to gain the bachelor (180 ECTS credits) degree and to familiarise the students with theology by introducing them to its different fields