Foreign Language Didactics
This master programme, which is offered in cooperation with the Universities of Teacher Education (Haute Ecole Pédagogique [HEP]/Pädagogische Hochschule [PH]) of Fribourg and Zurich and with the University of Teacher Education and the University of Ticino, educates students about the various approaches and methods used to teach and learn foreign languages. By analysing these, students become skilled in evaluating, developing, and putting into practice teaching and learning concepts for the various levels (elementary to secondary II). In addition to regular classes, the programme also includes a teaching internship in a university of teacher education (HEP/PH). This one-of-a-kind master programme is taught bilingually (French and German), but students also choose their language of specialisation: German, French, English or Italian. Students in the English track spend a semester at a university in an English-speaking country or at the Universities of Teacher Education of Zurich.
Students also have access to the Research Centre on Multilingualism in Fribourg, where they can take part in research and in the regularly held lectures and workshops held by internationally renowned experts.
Profile of the study programme
The master programme in Foreign Language Didactics at the University of Fribourg is offered in cooperation with the Universities of Teacher Education (Haute Ecole Pédagogique [HEP]/Pädagogische Hochschule [PH]) of Fribourg and Zurich and with the University of Teacher Education and the University of Ticino. It provides intensive theoretical and practical training in foreign language didactics. The programme educates students about the various methods and approaches for teaching and learning foreign languages so that they can put these into practice, develop them further, and assess their usefulness for the different school levels (elementary through secondary II).
– Languages of study: German and French, which means that students will need to attend classes in both languages; some lectures may sometimes be given in English;
– Languages to specialise in: choice between German, French, English and Italian.
Students opting for the English or Italian option must have a solid grounding in this language, as well as in French and German.
The programme includes courses on language learning and teaching, multilingual competence, the social and political characteristics of multilingualism, multi-language didactics, applied linguistics and general didactics. It also includes a teaching internship and an exchange semester (for the English and Italian options). Some optional courses make it possible to specialise in certain areas.
The bilingual University of Fribourg is the only university in Switzerland to offer a master programme in Foreign Language Didactics. Situated on a language border, the city of Fribourg is the ideal location to gain a deeper insight in the language situation in French- and German-speaking Switzerland.
Close contacts are maintained with the «Multilingualism Studies», «German as a Foreign Language/German as a Second Language» and «French as a Foreign Language/French as a Second Language» programmes as well as with the Institute of Multilingualism. Jointly organised by the University and the University of Teacher Education, this Institute hosts the Swiss Confederation's Research Centre on Multilingualism. Here, students can attend regularly held lectures and workshops in which internationally renowned experts discuss foreign language learning and teaching as well as individual and societal multilingualism.
In the Documentation Centre of the Research Centre on Multilingualism (which is part of our library dedicated to second and foreign language learning), students will find a large number of pertinent publications and magazines and can solicit expert advice on autonomous learning.
Learning outcomes and career openings
Graduates possess in-depth knowledge of the theories and research methods in the field of foreign language didactics and the related fields. They are also able to apply this specialist theoretical knowledge when developing and designing research projects as well as in practical settings. They are aware of the requirements for modern foreign language instruction, and they can analyse and assess language courses in their own or in a foreign language, and they can work out suggestions for optimising teaching/learning arrangements.
Some of the professional fields open to holders of a master's degree in Foreign Language Didactics are:
- Training future foreign language teachers, especially at universities of teacher education;
- Domestic and international language courses in adult education and at universities and universities of applied sciences;
- Activities in connection with integration courses for migrants, exchange programmes and the promotion of multilingualism in professional environments, and more specifically in companies;
- Development work or work as intermediaries in government agencies, NGOs and publishing houses;
- Research and development work in the field of language teaching and learning;
- After receiving the master's degree, graduates can enrol in a doctoral programme and go on to write a thesis in the field of foreign language didactics or multilingualism.
– This study programme is equivalent to the modules «Educational work with adults», «Foreign and second language education» and «Migration and interculturality» of the Swiss «Certificate for language teachers in the field of integration» (cf. https://www.fide-info.ch/en/zertifikat).
– Graduates are not automatically entitled to teach foreign languages at state-run schools in Switzerland, be it at the elementary or at the secondary I or II levels.
Structure of studies
90 ECTS credits + 30 ECTS credits as an option in a minor study programme freely chosen or in a specialisation programme, 3-4 semesters
A productive language level equivalent to level C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages in French or German (speaking and writing) is a minimum requirement to enrol in this programme. Very good receptive skills should be attained in the other language respectively. In general, the information in the application suffices for the admission jury to estimate this level, so no language certificates need to be included in the application (though they may). Should a student's language level in one of the languages prove to be slightly lower than this requirement, they will be requested to attend a language course at the Language Centre (see additional programme).
Master's degree programmes are built on the knowledge and abilities that were acquired when obtaining a bachelor's degree. The master programme in Foreign Language Didactics has specific admission requirements.
This study programme is aimed first and foremostat holders of a degree (bachelor's or master's) from a Swiss university of teacher education (or university). Holders of other degrees (for example a bachelor's degree in Language and Literature) may also apply, but internships cannot be guaranteed in these cases (see study plan). Under all circumstances, admission is based on academic record. A jury decides on the applicant's admission and the obligation to complete an additional programme (maximum 30 ECTS credits) or a prerequisite programme (maximum 60 ECTS credits).
Minor study programmes to be chosen
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In the master programme, students can concentrate on key aspects of German language and literature corresponding to their interests within the three fields of study: German linguistics, German medieval studies and German literary studies.
In linguistics they gain insight into current research through project-oriented seminars; the main topics are research in language acquisition and variation, as well as a dialectology that is oriented toward sociolinguistics and perceptual linguistics.
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The bilingual University of Fribourg is the only university in Switzerland that offers this master programme. Moreover, the study programme benefits from the close contacts with the Research Centre on Multilingualism.
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The master programme in History at the University of Fribourg combines comprehensive historical knowledge with a focus on individual eras and themes. Students specialise in two of the following eras: ancient history, the Middle Ages, modern times and contemporary history. They write a thesis based on these two chosen periods as a result of their independent research.
The programme is rounded off with survey courses covering more than one era which serve to consolidate methodical skills. Students are also invited to attend application and career-orientated events, which focus on work in archives, libraries, companies, political and legal institutions and non-profit organisations.
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The main programme is currently being offered in German or as part of a bilingual programme (German and French), in which case the resulting degree will carry the distinction «Bilingual curriculum, French/German».
The master programme in Italian applies the didactic approach characteristic of the Fribourg school, using methods of philological research and formalist and stylistic criticism, combined with the advantages of literary history. Two areas of study are available: - advanced literature studies taking into account both textual research and the historical dimension of literature; - the study of various aspects of Italian culture, which are well represented in the range of courses offered by the Faculty of Humanities. Particular emphasis is placed on the texts and themes of mediaeval and Renaissance literature on the one hand and those of the modern and contemporary periods on the other.
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The study programme consists of a common core made up of a literature course, a reading course and two seminars on Latin language and culture. A practical workshop gives students the opportunity to learn the basics of scientific research and do hands-on training in areas such as papyrology, palaeography, codicology and text edition.
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Medieval Studies, an interdisciplinary minor study programme in the master's degree course, is aimed at students majoring in a subject that focuses on the medieval period who wish to gain complementary or more advanced knowledge and skills in other, interdisciplinary fields of medieval civilisation. This course is run by the Medieval Institute of the University of Fribourg.
This master programme proposes an investigation of the techniques, methods and functions of historical and critical approaches to music in an interdisciplinary perspective. It is concerned with the relations between music and texts, between music and the stage, and music and the visual arts, particularly in the case of film music and opera production. The study programme also offers themed courses and seminars on musical analysis as related to different periods in the history of Western music.
During their master's studies, students will follow courses and seminars partly in French and partly in German. They are encouraged to take an interest in the research and popularisation activities which are organised by the Department. The various examinations can be taken in one of three languages: French, German or Italian. Students also have the possibility of writing their master's thesis in one of the three languages.
The master programme in philosophy allows students by its rigorous approach to deepen their understanding of the main issues and currents of Western philosophical tradition, from Antiquity to the contemporary period. An advanced programme is offered in the fields of Systematic Philosophy (epistemology and metaphysics; philosophy of language, of mind and of human sciences; ethics and political philosophy; aesthetics and philosophy of art) and History of Philosophy (ancient philosophy; medieval philosophy; modern and contemporary philosophy).
This programme is unique in Switzerland due to the richness and diversity of its methodological approach, to its broad systematic scope, to the optional possibility of bilingual studies and due to the particularly close ties existing at the Department of Philosophy in Fribourg between teaching and research activities.
Each semester, several international colloquia are organised and well-known philosophers from other Universities and countries invited to present their work. These activities allow students to get directly acquainted with central issues discussed in the ongoing international debate and to get into contact with researchers belonging to the international philosophical community.
At master's level, this study programme in physics provides students with advanced courses and starts the process of specialisation. About half of the courses are compulsory and of general interest, the other half consists of more specialised elective courses.
The master's thesis will be supervised by an active researcher and initiates students to the frontiers of research, in the following subjects: Atomic physics, Electrons in solids, Soft matter and photonics, Theoretical interdisciplinary physics, Collective quantum phenomena and Nanosciences (Nanomaterials).
At the end of the programme, students will have learned how to apply their knowledge to do research projects and how to work independently or integrate into an interdisciplinary research team.
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The master programme in Slavic studies at the University of Fribourg offers the opportunity of intensive analysis of cultural developments and traditions in Russia and Poland. The emphasis is on the period from the 19th to the 21st century. Students examine literature, philosophy and cultural criticism with regard to their relevance for contemporary social constellations and current political tendencies. The languages of instruction are German and French. Seminars are also regularly held in Russian. There are frequent visits from guest lecturers from the Slavic region.
The University of Fribourg offers a wide range of Eastern European exchange programmes, research projects and academic and cultural events organised by various institutes. This gives our students the possibility of interdisciplinary exchange and a chance to broaden their academic and their personal horizons.
Two core themes form the focus of the programme «Social Work and Social Policy»: social inequality and welfare production. Social inequality studies social mechanisms, such as the redistribution of personal opportunities and the concomitant systematic privileges and disadvantages. Social and cultural differences (such as education, income, gender or nationality, ethnic group, religion) play a central role in social inequality. With the core theme of welfare production, an additional focus is placed on the question of the differences between welfare regimes, whereby social work and social policy are seen as an institutional response aimed at preventing or dealing with social problems and conflicts. The study programme provides students with an essential knowledge base for social work from the local level right through to the international and transnational levels.More info
This master programme aims to develop a critical and scientific understanding of social and health issues and the conditions for their reasoned analysis. It teaches students how to draft appropriate action plans and implement more effective response programmes, training them to become analysts and stakeholders able to grasp complex social realities in the field of social and health policy. There is currently a worrying lack of experts, against a backdrop of a redefinition of social policies and, more broadly, of social cohesion mechanisms in each of the Swiss cantons to varying degrees.
Teaching is based both on sociological theoretical approaches and empirical contributions presented by specialists from various fields (politics, administration, business). The course is rounded off by a three-month (full-time) internship designed to immerse students in the professional reality of social and health work.
Sociology as a minor or special study programme of the master's degree takes a primarily global and comparative approach as it examines various sociological issues and themes. What challenges are arising from the growing internationalisation of business, politics, culture and other aspects of society? How to deal with the growth of the world population and people's increasing longevity? What inequalities and inter-relationships exist between the rich countries of the Global North and the poor countries of the Global South? What is the role of social players in these processes? This minor or specialisation programme teaches students the skills to be able to analyse social inter-relationships and developments.More info
This master programme allows students to acquire knowledge in the four following fields: different types of Hispanic literature in their historical and cultural context and in terms of their mutual relationships; study of the Spanish language in its historical development and in its current varieties (Spain and Latin America); analysis of literary and linguistic modernity; documentation and research techniques.
Fribourg's specific teaching has an inter-cultural focus and a dual linguistic and philological perspective. It is the only university specialised in the latter.
The programme comprises four compulsory modules, two of which concern the historical perspective and two of which concern modernity.
This study programme in sport sciences is based on the idea that to understand the issues of the future in relation to sports and well-being through motor activity calls for more in-depth knowledge, notably in the fields of movement and training, as well as in neuropsychology and sports education.
The master programme thus gives students the opportunity to increase the depth and scope of their acquired knowledge and to pursue the specialisation ( «Teaching» or «Health and Research» ) that they chose during their bachelor's degree.
The fact that this course of study is taught at the Medicine Section of the Faculty of Science and Medicine and the special emphasis on a «class-seminar/workshop» structure, as well as the partnership with the Swiss Federal Institute of Sports Magglingen (SFISM) mean that the underlying conditions for teaching and research in the field of sport sciences are extremely favourable.
In the context of a state university, theology makes a specific contribution to research: an intellectual, scientific and rational exploration of the Christian approach to the question of God, in particular from the perspective of the Catholic tradition. The other fields of study extend the theological line of thought by juxtaposing it with other ways of perceiving reality.
The richness of theology as a field of study encourages students to continue for another two years after their bachelor's degree to complete a master's degree (complete study programme, 120 ECTS credits). The master's thesis gives students the opportunity to test their ability to produce a piece of personal academic research. Students are admitted to the degree of Master of Theology with Specialisation with a score of 60 of the total 120 ECTS credits in the chosen specialisation: 30 ECTS credits for the respective lectures and 30 ECTS credits for the thesis. Possible topics are, for example, the Christian Orient, interreligious dialogue, practical theology or the New Testament in its cultural and historical setting.