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


Human Medicine


Students on the master programme gain the skills required to work as medical residents after passing the Swiss Federal Examination in Human Medicine (Eidgenössische Prüfung in Humanmedizin/Examen fédéral en médecine humaine). In order to achieve this, the University of Fribourg offers an innovative study programme that focuses on practical training with patients. Students are introduced to the challenges of the medical profession through interactive teaching formats, mentored self-study time and immersion in a clinical environment. They actively participate in their learning process by analysing and improving their own progress. The key themes are family medicine, professionalism and needs-oriented local medical care that is guided by social accountability.

The study programme is based on the national criteria laid down in PROFILES (Principal Relevant Objectives and Framework for Integrated Learning and Education in Switzerland).

Show the study programme profile

Profile of the study programme

Competent physicians possess a broad range of expertise. A sustainable doctor-patient relationship is important to them, and they align their actions with the well-being of the patient. They are resilient, willing to take on responsibility and make decisions, but are also aware of their own limits. Furthermore, they have a very high willingness to learn. The master programme in Human Medicine of the University of Fribourg prepares its students to meet these manifold challenges of the role of a physician, taking into account the expectations of the population and its demographic changes. The study programme is based on the general requirements for all medical schools in Switzerland, which are set out in PROFILES (http://www.profilesmed.ch/), a catalogue of competence-driven learning objectives.

The master's degree course in Fribourg focuses on themes that consider the dynamic environment of tomorrow's medicine, such as: family medicine, the role of physicians, social accountability and the application of reflective medicine.

The master's degree course consists of 3 phases that build on one another:

  • Phase 1 facilitates the transfer of the basic skills obtained during the bachelor's degree to clinical practice. The focus is on disease models, patient presentation as an introduction to different pathologies and patient needs in different stages of life;
  • In phase 2, students pass through the departments of the associated clinics in several rotations, acting as part of the team. In regular one-day stints in a family practice, students also learn about the specific nature of ambulatory medicine throughout the year;
  • In phase 3, students are in their elective year (clinical clerkships) and expand their clinical skills with stays of several weeks in clinics in Switzerland or abroad.

Students must also write a master's thesis. This is a piece of independent, personal academic research, undertaken and documented by the students.

The study programme uses formative assessment methods. Students gain an overview of their knowledge and acquired skills by means of multiple choice tests, self-reflections, OSCEs, project work and direct observations. The information thus acquired is compiled in an electronic portfolio, like a personal diary. The individual training progress can then be analysed with the help of a learning advisor. The evaluation system also includes self-reflection and the development of individual learning objectives by the students.

Fribourg profile
The master programme in Human Medicine at the University of Fribourg is characterised by the following particularities:
– With a strong focus on practical teaching and the exploration of current issues of human medicine, students receive a broad medical training to Swiss national standards. Unique features are the emphasis on family medicine and people-oriented medicine, as well as the teaching concept that includes formative assessment and requires the active participation of students;
– Admission to the master programme is restricted to 40 students. A small cohort offers a personal learning environment and guarantees students individual support during teaching units and work placements;
– Human Medicine at the University of Fribourg is taught bilingually. Students have the opportunity of communicating with health professionals, team colleagues and patients both in German and French. This offers them the chance to apply and expand their medical terminology in both languages.

Learning outcomes and career openings
The master's degree is required for admittance to the Swiss Federal Examination in Human Medicine (Eidgenössische Prüfung in Humanmedizin/Examen fédéral en médecine humaine) (http://studies.unifr.ch/go/fr-medicine-federal-examination). After successfully passing this exam, graduates receive the Federal Diploma in Human Medicine and can start their training as medical residents. This training lasts for at least 5 or 6 years. Its structure, duration, content and completion are set out in the postgraduate training programmes for the relevant disciplines. Postgraduate training is compulsory for independent medical practitioners.

The most common career options are:

  • Independent medical practitioner in general internal medicine or another specialisation;
  • Employed medical practitioner, usually in a hospital;
  • Doctor in research (university, industry, etc.).

Studies organisation

Structure of studies

180 ECTS credits, 6 semesters


http://studies.unifr.ch/go/xZPll (French)


The number of places on the master's degree course in Human Medicine is limited to 40.


Admission to the master programme requires a bachelor's degree in Human Medicine. Applicants who completed their bachelor's degree in Fribourg have priority. Places on the programme are allocated in accordance with the admissions procedure directive.
See http://studies.unifr.ch/go/fr-medicine-admission-master (French) and http://studies.unifr.ch/go/de-medicine-admission-master (German)