ERASMUS-Office des Instituts für Volkswirtschaftslehre

Studying in Germany

Bachelor and Master

The traditional German Diplom degrees have been replaced by a three-year bachelor degree followed by a two-year master degree. Bachelor-level exchange students may take master-level courses if course prerequisites are fulfilled. Please check with your home university whether they accept master-level courses on your learning agreement.

Course Types

A normal course in economics or business administration consists of lectures that may be complemented by review sessions and tutorials. Seminars are an alternative course type to familiarize students with current research and research methodology.

Lecture (Vorlesung)

Lectures are held by professors. Attendance is not mandatory but regular attendance is strongly recommended.

Review Session (Übung)

Review sessions are normally held by doctoral students. The goal of review sessions is to provide a better understanding of the material introduced in lectures and to prepare for the exam. Review sessions are interactive - students prepare answers to questionnaires which are presented and discussed.

Tutorial (Tutorium)

Tutorials are part of some, mostly fundamental courses. Run by advanced students, the goal of tutorials is to provide a deep understanding of the material introduced during lectures in an informal setting.

Seminar (Seminar)

Seminars are advanced courses for which prior registration/application is necessary. A typical seminar consists of 15-30 students and has a defined subject. Every student has to write a paper (about 15 pages) on an individual topic related to the broader seminar subject. Papers and results are presented and discussed either during weekly meetings or during one weekend. Participation in seminars might be difficult for exchange students because availability may be limited and seminars usually have to written before the start of the semester. Exchange students interested in participating in a seminar are therefore advised to participate in a seminar during the second semester of a year-long stay in Kiel. This way, the first semester can also be used to take courses required for specific seminars. Some advanced courses do not require students to write paper but instead focus on other independent work such as programming, modelling or empirical analysis.



The grade for normal courses is usually determined by single exam at the end of the course. These exams can be 60-120 minutes long and cover the whole course material so that sufficient preparation is necessary. Exams are held at the end of the semester and a second exam opportunity is usually offered at the start of the next semester. Seminar grades depend on the quality of the seminar paper, the presentation of results and the participation in discussions. 

Grading scheme 

The following grade scheme is used in Kiel:

1,0-1,3 sehr gut (very good: an outstanding achievement)

1,7-2,3 gut (good: an achievement, which lies substantially above average requirements)

2,7-3,3 befriedigend (satisfactory: an achievement, which corresponds to average requirements)

3,7-4,0 ausreichend (sufficient: an achievement, which still meets the requirements)

4,3-5,0 nicht ausreichend / nicht bestanden (not sufficient / failed: an achievement, which does not meet the requirements)



ECTS Credit Points

ECTS credit points are awarded if the course exam is passed.

The amount of ECTS credit points per course depends on the required workload. Required workload may differ between courses so that ECTS credit points per course may also differ.

Each bachelor or master course is worth 4 to 10 Kiel credit points depending on the workload. One Kiel credit point is equivalent to 1,5 ECTS credit points so that a normal course in Kiel earns you 6 to 15 ECTS credit points. Please check the UnivIS system to find the credit points of courses you are interested in.

Kiel University also awards ECTS credit points for language courses. Language courses are graded and listed on your transcript of records. Your home university ultimately has to decide whether to accept ECTS credit points earned for language courses so check with your home university. The standard workload per semester is 30 ECTS credit points. We accept learning agreements with less credit points if you are unable to find suitable courses. However, your home university has to decide whether to accept the reduced workload. Please check with your home university beforehand.