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Chemistry

Abstract

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.

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Profile of the study programme

Motivation
Life consists of the transformation of substances; with the help of sunshine as a source of energy a plant transforms carbon dioxide into an almost unbelievable number of refined materials and assembles them into a beautiful flower or a practical grain of wheat. Chemistry is the science of the transformation of substances. The contributions by this science to the well-being of our society are immense – be it drugs, plastics or new materials. But the greatest challenges are still waiting for future generations, for you! We are looking for molecules that heal illnesses that were incurable up to now, molecules (or nano particles) that are able to transform sunlight into electricity or hydrogen in a way that is ecologically and economically acceptable, substances that light up our rooms with little energy and no mercury, or that allow us to have even more beautiful smartphone displays, and much more. Chemists are the magicians who have the knowledge and possess the skills to understand the structure and properties of materials and to connect atoms to form new materials.

Learning outcomes
In the bachelor's course you gain a decisive introduction to the knowledge and, more importantly, the skills mentioned above. You will learn why atoms join together to form molecules – about the nature and diversity of chemical bonds and the chemical elements, and how they are related to the properties of substances. In the laboratory you will learn to plan and realise chemical experiments, synthesise new materials and determine their structure. You will also learn to handle chemical substances practically, without danger.
Chemistry is not only knowledge; it is also a craft. You will therefore spend an important part of your time in laboratories learning to determine the structure of a material concretely (analysis), synthesise new substances (preparative chemistry), measure the properties of substances with the help of instruments that are more and more efficient (physical chemistry) or even understand and predict properties with the help of theoretical methods (computational chemistry).
Chemistry does not stand alone, it uses mathematical tools and has synergies with biology and physics that are becoming increasingly close. For this reason, during the first academic year, you will learn these subjects too, both theoretically and practically.

Academic and professional openings
The bachelor programme qualifies you for a number of professions. The majority of students, however, decide to pursue a master programme. In either case the most important employers are the pharmaceutical, chemical or food industries, companies that build, sell and maintain chemical, analytical or scientific instruments, and regulatory and administrative authorities. Some graduates pursue «non-classical» careers, for example, for an IT company. One highly competitive and interesting possibility would be to gain a master's degree and a doctorate and aspire to an academic career in research and education.

Studies organisation

Structure of studies

150 ECTS credits + 30 ECTS credits in a minor study programme freely chosen, 6 semesters
or
120 ECTS credits + 60 ECTS credits in a minor study programme freely chosen that corresponds to a teaching subject for baccalaureate schools (DEEM/LDM), 6 semesters

Curriculum

http://studies.unifr.ch/go/mjkY5 (French)
http://studies.unifr.ch/go/0fTFn (German)

Admission

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): https://studies.unifr.ch/go/fr-admission-swisscertificates; https://studies.unifr.ch/go/de-admission-swisscertificates
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, among other things, 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
  2. Second language
  3. Mathematics
  4. Natural sciences (biology or chemistry or physics)
  5. Humanities and social sciences (geography or history or economics/law)
  6. 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.
All guidelines are available at (only in French and German): https://studies.unifr.ch/go/adm-guidelines

The assessment of foreign school-leaving certificates is based on the «Recommendations for the Assessment of Foreign Upper Secondary School-Leaving Certificates» adopted by the Chamber of universities of swissuniversities on 11.11.2021 (https://studies.unifr.ch/go/swissuniversities21fr; https://studies.unifr.ch/go/swissuniversities21de). 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

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.

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Biology

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.

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Computer Science

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 projects in which they learn to apply their acquired knowledge successfully in a variety of contexts. Examples of current projects are programming of robots and controlling processes.
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.

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Contemporary History

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.

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English Language and Literature

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 medival 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.

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French

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.

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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 two main branches of geography: human geography and physical geography. 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.

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German

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 subjects: 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 Modern German Literature, 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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Greek Studies

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 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

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.

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Interreligious Studies

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».

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Italian

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.

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Latin Studies

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.

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Mathematics

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.

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Musicology and History of Opera

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).

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Pedagogy / Psychology

This bachelor programme has the special feature that half of it consists of the study of education sciences and half of the study of psychology. It is thus primarily aimed at those students who would like to use this as a basis for obtaining the «Diplôme d'Enseignement pour les Ecoles de Maturité (DEEM, French-speaking section)/Lehrdiplom für Maturitätsschulen (LDM, German-speaking section)» in the teaching subject «Pedagogy/Psychology».
In psychology, students deal with the cognitive and affective areas of human experience and behaviour, with diagnostic and clinical treatment procedures as well as research methods and tools. In the pedagogical parts of the programme, the focus is on social, economic and ecological conditions of children growing up, as well as on the theories, history and empiricism of learning, education and socialisation processes, both with regard to individual ages and to institutions and their political contexts.
Thus, the focus of this study programme is on both theoretical and empirical perspectives of both disciplines.

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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: 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 studyig 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.

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Physics

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 offers great freedom in the choice of foundation courses and minor study programmes.

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Religious studies

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.

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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 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.

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Spanish

The bachelor programme Spanish provides a sound and comprehensive basic qualification. It covers the diverse literatures of Spanish-speaking America and the Iberian Peninsula, both in terms of their own evolution and in relation to one another. At the University of Fribourg, particular attention is paid to the relationship between literature and the humanities, and to interdisciplinary studies.
Furthermore, in Hispanic philology students study the language, literature and culture of mediaeval and modern Spain. This orientation exists in none of the surrounding Swiss universities; it is a feature specific to Hispanic studies at the University of Fribourg.
This study programme enables students to improve their command of the Spanish language and to develop techniques of analysis and research. A knowledge of Spanish equivalent to the B2 level is necessary at the start of the course.

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Sport Sciences and Motor Control

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.

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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.
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

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