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Department of Computational Linguistics

Studies FAQ

In this FAQ we have tried to answer all the questions that we have been asked in the past and to answer them as best we can. However, we cannot guarantee the correctness of the answers. If your questions are not answered here or in the study pages and the relevant study guide, please contact our study advisor, Manfred Klenner.

Study time limit

Is the study time limited? Do I have to complete my studies within a certain period of time? How long is a proof of achievement, e.g. a passed module, valid?

Time limit for study: For subjects of the Faculty of Philosophy there is currently neither a time limit for study nor a limited validity of credits.


Computational Linguistics in the Faculty of Philosophy

I have heard that Computational Linguistics/Language Technology is a subject within the field of Computer Science. Do I have to have a permit to study Computational Linguistics/Language Technology as a student with a major in the Faculty of Philosophy?

No, "Computational Linguistics and Language Technology" is a regular subject of the Faculty of Philosophy.


Change of course

I re-registered and chose a different major. I would now like to make "Computational Linguistics and Language Technology" my main subject. Can I do that? If so, how?

Yes, you can. Contact the law firm.


Recognition when changing course of studies

I am (for the time being) registered for another minor/main subject. Can I still book modules in Computational Linguistics/Language Technology? Will my points be retained if I change my minor/main subject at a later date?

As soon as someone is enrolled in a programme with points, he or she can book modules without being enrolled in the corresponding minor subject. In the module booking tool, you simply have to select "all ECTS degree programmes and minor subjects" (or similar) before you can start the search. If you change your minor/main subject, your credits will be retained. 


Completion of major and minor subjects

Can I complete the minor subjects before completing the major?

In principle it is, but it should prolong your studies, because it is unlikely that the required credit points for a single subject will be offered in a shorter period than the minimum duration (6 semesters). If you still work part-time and therefore plan a longer study period from the outset, this can be an option.



What can be done if courses of major and minor subjects overlap?

First determine which are the compulsory courses in the subjects concerned, these have priority when booking. Then identify which of the courses in the subjects concerned must be completed in a certain order. The more other courses depend on a given course, the more priority must be given to this course.
Also consider the scores of the subjects concerned. Since it is usually possible, for example, to place the 30 points of a minor subject in one to two years, the subject with the higher number of points always has priority when taking the course in case of doubt.


First year

Which minimum courses should I take in the first and second semesters when studying Computational Linguistics/Language Technology?

The most important information is compiled on the page First Notes for Beginners. More detailed information can be found in the guidelines. There you will find a list of all relevant modules and a sample curriculum for each course, which will give you a reasonable idea of how you can organise your studies. Read the relevant guidelines carefully. If you still have unanswered questions, contact your student advisor.


Double module credit

Module X is a compulsory module in my subject Y. But X is also a compulsory module in "Computational Linguistics and Language Technology". Can I have module X double credited?

Credit points can only be credited once. If you have to take a compulsory module in the subject "Computational Linguistics and Language Technology", which you also have to take as a compulsory module in another subject you have taken, then this module must be substituted in the subject with the smaller number of credit points by a module not yet taken from the range of this subject. This applies in particular to modules that you have to take as part of the minor subject Computer Science. To be on the safe side in this situation, contact the student advisors of both subjects concerned.


Previous knowledge for courses

Can any CL student attend any CL course?

No, it depends on the type of course. You will need to check the study regulations to see which module group you can count courses from when choosing your major and minor subject.


Irregular Courses

What does it mean if a course is offered irregularly ("Date: irregular") or "by arrangement" in the electronic course catalogue?

  • irregular: These are usually block courses and the like, which are offered on a few dates during the semester, but often also in the evening and/or on Saturdays. The actual dates can then be found behind the link "irregular".
  • by arrangement: The date of the course (often an examination or similar, which is not linked to a course) must be negotiated bilaterally with the lecturer.

Recognition of semesters abroad

Can I get credit for CL courses completed abroad in Zurich?

If ECTS credit points have been earned for these courses: Yes. However, how many of the points are recognised can vary from case to case and is determined by the student advisor for Computational Linguistics.
If no ECTS credit points have been earned for these courses: Sometimes such courses can be recognised, usually as a special lecture. You should check this in detail with your CL student advisor.


Booking tool

Where can I find the booking tool?

Links to the booking tool and other important information can be found on the  information page of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.


Booking Deadlines

The booking deadlines for the events of the Department of Computational Linguistics and the Department of Informatics are different. Which ones apply to me?

The booking deadlines of the course provider always apply. The courses offered by the Department of Computational Linguistics are subject to the rules of the Faculty of Philosophy and those of Computer Science to those of the Faculty of Economic Sciences (and if you attend courses from a third faculty, you must also observe their rules).


Notification Grades

When and where can I find out whether I have passed a performance test? Where are the grades for performance certificates published?

As soon as the grades or the information as to whether you passed or failed have been recorded electronically, you can view them with the help of your UZH login data via the link .


Requirements for learning events

I registered with the booking tool for a course, visited it regularly and successfully completed a series of exercises. But now the lecturer claims that I don't meet the requirements for attending this event.

The booking tool does not check whether a module booking is permitted. It is possible to book a module for which you have not fulfilled the admission requirements. But the points you earn in a module booked in this way will not be accepted by the points management system and will therefore be lost in the long run. It is therefore the sole responsibility of the individual student to ensure that his/her module bookings are admissible.



I cancelled a booking in due time. The university claims that I never cancelled this event, so I didn't pass the performance test. However, the booking tool had accepted my cancellation.

Experience shows that the cancellation is often not carried out correctly to the end without the student realising it. It is therefore strongly recommended that the cancellation confirmation generated by the system be printed out and stored carefully. Without this document you will not be able to prove that the module booking has effectively been cancelled. If such a confirmation has not been generated, the cancellation has not taken place and must be repeated!


Book a watchlist

I have collected all the courses I have to attend and put them on my watch list in the electronic course catalogue. How do I get them into the booking tool?

Use the small print symbol in the upper right corner to print/save the notepad and then enter everything manually in the booking tool. Since you only have to click on one button per selected module in the booking tool, this is a small additional effort (compared to an automatic transfer of the data which is conceivable in itself).


Deregistration from modules or assessments

Can I deregister from a module? What happens if I do not deregister?

Modules with place restrictions and modules without place restrictions can be cancelled within the deadlines set by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. You can find these deadlines here or in the course catalogue for the corresponding module. After the deadline, you can only deregister from a module with a verifiable reason for not being able to attend, such as illness (according to § 24/ 25 RVO PhF).

For a justified deregistration after the deadline, you must carry out these two steps:
1. you must immediately inform the responsible persons (lecturer/module supervisor) of your deregistration.
2. you must also submit a deregistration request in the Student Portal via the app "My applications". This justified deregistration request contains the relevant confirmations such as a doctor's certificate and you must submit it no later than five working days after the date of the  assessment.

Otherwise - and even in the case of a module booking made only in error - failure to provide assessment will be permanently noted in your credit journal as "not fulfilled".


Term paper

How do I design a term paper?

The most important notes and rules are summarised here.



What is OLAT?

OLAT is the LMS (Learning Management System) of the University of Zurich. As a rule, for each module there is an OLAT course in which all documents are made available, tasks can be submitted and a forum is hosted. The lecturer can send e-mails to all course participants and follow the progress of the students. 



Is it possible to do a doctorate in CL in Zurich?

In principle, if certain prerequisites are met. Further information can be found here.


Is it possible to habilitate in CL in Zurich?

Absolutely. But please note the following conditions:

  • Requirements: Anyone with a doctorate can submit a habilitation application in CL (to the Dean's Office of the Faculty of Philosophy). It is strongly discouraged to submit a habilitation application without prior consultation with the subject representative.
  • The written habilitation can be in the form of a habilitation thesis or a selection of individual papers already published (cumulative habilitation) specified by the candidate.
  • Oral habilitation performance: A rehearsal lecture of (maximum!) 25 minutes with subsequent colloquium of (maximum) the same duration in front of the assembled faculty represents the oral habilitation performance.
  • Guidelines for Habilitation and more information can be found here.

Weiterführende Informationen

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Student Consultation

For questions that are not answered in the guidelines and study regulations, read the FAQ first. Please also consult the site Student Services of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

If a question remains unanswered, please contact the Student Advisor for Computational Linguistics.

International students

Information for International students: International Scholars Center

For detailed information on what you need to take into account upon relocating to Switzerland, please refer to  Before and After Arrival.

Open Topics for BA/MA theses

... are listed here.


Download guidelines and other important documents here.

CL Mailing List

Information (important announcements, excursions, courses, vacancies for tutors, job offers) is distributed to our students via our mailing list.


We collect web-based demos of different applications. Try out what language technology systems can do!