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Academic record and transcript of records

The academic record is the final transcript issued upon completion of a degree. It lists all of the modules/coursework completed by the student.

The transcript of records is issued after completion of a semester and documents all the modules passed or failed during that semester. It lists the module titles, the number of ECTS credits earned, and the grades achieved. 


Any formalized, documented and standardized assessment method used to check whether students have achieved the predefined learning objectives for a module. Assessments should allow students to demonstrate the skills or knowledge acquired and can take various forms (e.g. oral or written examinations, presentations, papers, etc.).

Complementary Master’s study program

A complementary Master’s study program does not follow on from the content of a specific Bachelor’s study program. It is designed as a subject-specific or interdisciplinary complement to the major subject and can be studied by holders of a Bachelor’s degree in any subject.

Consecutive Master’s study program

A consecutive Master’s study program follows on directly from a specific Bachelor’s study program and aims to provide a more in-depth academic education. The large majority of Master’s study programs at UZH are consecutive.

Course (Lehrveranstaltung)

A planned event listed in the course catalogue which delivers teaching and learning (e.g. lectures, seminars, practical courses, eLearning content). Courses are components of modules and are combined in such a way as to ensure students can meet the learning objectives of the module.

Course catalogue 

The course catalogue contains all events such as seminars, lectures, classes and tutorials offered during a semester at UZH.

ECTS credits 

ECTS credits are awarded according to how much work is required of students to complete a module (class time, lectures, practical courses, writing papers, semester exams, self-study, etc.). Each module has a set number of ECTS credits which are awarded upon completion of the module. One ECTS credit is equivalent to roughly 30 hours of work.   

In a full-time study program, an average of 30 ECTS credits needs to be earned per semester. Students must pass a predefined assessment to be awarded ECTS credits.

European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS)

The European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System is a harmonized system for evaluating the workload involved in higher education courses across Europe. Course loads are measured in ECTS credits.


A module is a complete learning unit in terms of content and duration. Modules may consist of one or more courses. Modules are generally taught over one or two semesters. Upon passing a module, students receive a predefined number of ECTS credits. A module is deemed passed when the associated assessment has been completed successfully. Assessments may consist of written examinations, presentations, papers or other methods.  

There are different types of modules:    

  • Compulsory modules: required for all students in a study program in accordance with the program regulation  
  • Core elective modules: selected from a particular area in a predefined scope in accordance with the program regulation  
  • Elective modules: optional and selected from a defined area in accordance with the program regulation  

Part-time study

A study program is considered full-time if it is completed within the standard period of study. Part-time study means fewer modules are taken each semester than suggested in the standard curriculum of the program regulation. As a rule, both Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs can be completed part-time or full-time at UZH. Because part-time study means the individual duration of the program is extended, it is important that students check any applicable deadlines for the completion of certain study phases (e.g. the assessment level) and the maximum duration of validity of ECTS credits in their particular study program. Furthermore, extending the duration of studies may have consequences for possible entitlement to financial aid from the canton, the FOPH, etc.

Recognition of academic achievement

Recognition of academic achievement refers to the formal inclusion of academic achievements (modules/coursework) in the transcript of records. Academic achievements that are recognized but not counted toward a degree appear in the academic record under the category “non-credited achievements”.

Specialized Master’s study program

A Master’s study program that has no equivalent at the Bachelor’s level. For example, specialized Master’s study programs may be interdisciplinary, applied or research-based, and may be based on or highlight a university’s leading profile in a particular area.

Standard curriculum

The standard curriculum provides an example of a possible combination and sequence of modules which would enable students to fulfill the requirements of a complete degree program if studying full-time. Students who study part-time will earn fewer ECTS credits per semester than specified in the standard curriculum and their studies will accordingly take longer.

Standard period of study

Standard period of study refers to the length of time required to obtain a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree when studying full-time without interruption (six semesters for a Bachelor’s degree program, three to six semesters for a Master’s degree program). If a student studying part-time obtains fewer than 30 ECTS credits per semester, the length of time required is extended.

Transcript of records

See “academic record” and “transcript of records”.

Transfer of credits

The transfer of educational credits is when ECTS credits acquired at a different institution are credited to a student’s record for a program of study at UZH.