New to the University

On this page, we answer frequently asked questions about studying in Bamberg, our programmes, and your rights. You will also find contacts who can help you in special situations. We also provide a few useful tips for everyday student life.

As a result of the Bologna reforms, study programmes are defined by the so-called "ECTS points", which measure (more or less appropriately) the amount of time spent studying. Depending on the degree programme and form, a certain number of points must be earned within the standard period of study. For a full-time degree programme, 30 ECTS credits per semester are generally assumed, which should correspond to a workload of 32-39 hours per week. In reality, however, this system has some problematic assumptions.

For example, one ECTS point is defined as 25 to 30 hours of work. In module handbooks, this often becomes a flat rate of 30 hours. The workload usually also varies between different modules. With a bit of bad luck, multiple modules with assignments end up in the timetable and the workload is higher than expected. If you also have to brush up on the basics or work part-time, you may reach your workload limit.

Another problem is that the workload is calculated over the entire semester. With 30 ECTS, this would mean 30×30=900 hours, spread over 26 weeks, i.e. approx. 35 hours per week. In reality, however, the majority of the work is done during the lecture period, which only takes up about half of the semester. This means that the workload is often much higher during the lecture period.

So it's not necessarily down to you if you find the semester very stressful. In the next section, we will look at a few ways to reduce your workload.

If you study full-time and gain fewer than 30 ECTS credits in a semester, it will logically take longer. But don't panic! The maximum duration of study is one to two semesters to catch up. Completing your degree programme in the standard period of study is absolutely not a must - and due to the problems with the points system mentioned above, it is also more difficult than it looks on paper.

Working alongside your studies is not part of a full-time degree programme. However, as housing and other living costs still need to be financed somehow and BAföG is not an option for everyone, some students switch to part-time study. This doubles the study time and only a maximum of 18 ECTS (roughly, see the regulations) can be taken per semester. However, the rest of the time can be used for a part-time job, voluntary work or other activities.

Almost all degree programmes can be studied part-time. You can switch to a part-time degree programme (and back again) during a full-time degree programme without giving a reason. It is important that you inform the Registrar's Office before the start of the semester. All information on part-time study and a list of degree programmes and subjects that can be studied part-time can be found in the regulations for part-time study in Bachelor's and Master's degree programmes. In addition to full-time or part-time study, there are other types (modular, double, guest or early study). You can find more information here.

Before switching to part-time study, it can be helpful to take advantage of the university's counselling services. This includes psychotherapeutic counselling, for example. Individual advice on specific degree programmes can be provided by the academic advisors. The student councils are also always happy to help. A guidance system from the anti-discrimination officer shows you the various counselling centres.

Anyone who has children knows that they can turn your whole life upside down. Studying is no different. Studying and the timetable with a child need to be carefully planned, but also whether to study full-time or part-time. Parents-to-be also have questions about parental leave and maternity protection. It helps to obtain information on these topics from the "Family-friendly university".

You can obtain a lot of important information from the Parents' Service Office. You can also visit the university's dedicated website, which provides an initial overview for parents who are studying and those who want to become parents. The social counselling service of the Studierendenwerk Würzburg can also be helpful in this situation.

The University of Bamberg has its own contact point for students with impairments such as disabilities (even without a severely disabled pass), chronic illnesses (e.g. mental illness, ADHD, epilepsy, ...) or acute illnesses/disabilities due to an accident, for example. On their pages you will find a lot of information about, for example, compensation for disadvantages, leave of absence, structural and technical conditions, etc..

You can also make a personal appointment with the relevant contact person there. Your concerns will always be treated confidentially. There are also several financing options for students with disabilities.

Studying (unfortunately) costs a lot of money. Exactly how much a degree programme costs per month or year varies greatly from person to person. There are many different ways to finance your studies. Fortunately, however, since tuition fees were abolished throughout Germany in 2013, it has become possible for many people to finance their studies.

If your parents are in a position to do so and you are unable to support yourself, parents are generally obliged to pay maintenance to their adult children during their education (i.e. also during their studies). However, there are some exceptions to this rule. You can find more detailed information on this on the website of the Deutsches Studierendenwerk.

In addition to your parents, BAföG (funding in accordance with the Federal Training Assistance Act) is one of the main sources of funding for most students. BAföG is basically based on your parents' income, your own assets and the number of siblings (in education). In order to receive BAföG for the entire duration of your studies, you often have to complete a certain number of ECTS per semester! Unfortunately, there is no uniform regulation for all degree programmes as to how high this number must be. It is therefore essential that you find out about your particular degree programme and its regulations. You can find information about BAföG, in particular how to apply for it, on the website of the Studierendenwerk Würzburg, the Deutsches Studierendenwerk and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Applying for BAföG may be incredibly stressful and nerve-wracking at times, but be patient - generations before you have had to deal with similar problems and have somehow managed to do so.

In addition to the money from your parents or BAföG, many students work alongside their studies to supplement their own money or to gain experience for their professional life. As is so often the case, there are various options here: Low-paid and short-term jobs (mini-jobs), working as a student trainee or working during the semester holidays. In Bamberg, for example, it is relatively easy to get a job in the catering industry. The various chairs also often offer jobs as student assistants - check the notices or circulars from the chairs. If you have any questions about part-time jobs or legal matters, you can also consult the website of the Deutsches Studierendenwerk or write to the university group of the German Trade Union Federation at the University of Bamberg.

Some students also finance their studies with scholarships. These are often intended for students who have already studied a little and have very good grades. In addition to grades, voluntary or socio-political commitment is often a decisive factor in whether you are accepted onto a scholarship programme. The sometimes early deadlines for applications and the different requirements (e.g. lecturer assessment) are particularly important. You can find a list of some scholarships online. In addition to financial support, scholarship programmes often offer you other services such as seminars to improve your soft skills or support for studying abroad.

A few students have told us that they are financing their studies with a student loan. There are a number of providers with whom you can conclude a contract. Unfortunately, we cannot recommend a specific provider.

Experiences of this kind are taken very seriously at the university. The conflict management system identifies the anti-discrimination office as the first point of contact in such cases. The women's representatives of the faculties also provide support in such cases. If you would prefer to turn to fellow students, the student councils are the best people to contact. Pastoral care is provided by the Protestant University Community (esg) and the Catholic University Community (khg), among others.

Your Rights

As students, we have various rights that are sometimes ignored. We answer the most frequently asked questions in this section. In general, it is advisable to read the General Examination Regulations (APO) and the Study and Subject Examination Regulations (StuFPO) for your degree programme. If something seems strange to you, the student representatives will be happy to help – provided they receive complaints or similar.

According to Article 3, Paragraph 4, of the (now superseded) Bavarian Higher Education Act, the freedom to study includes the free choice of courses. This means that compulsory attendance is only permitted in well-founded exceptional cases. Experience has shown that there are hardly any such exceptional cases at the University of Bamberg. If a lecturer nevertheless imposes attendance requirements or even makes participation in an examination dependent on your presence in the course, please contact us and we will take care of it. You don't have to be afraid that your complaint could put you at a disadvantage in the seminar - if in doubt, we will contact the lecturer(s) on behalf of the student representatives and not mention your name.

Students have the right to view their exams. Photos may be taken. At the end of the lecture-free period, the date for the central examination inspection will be announced on the website of the Examinations Office. If you are not able to view your exam, please contact us and we will speak to the relevant departments.

It happens time and again that lecturers knowingly or unknowingly break their own examination or study regulations - usually to the detriment of the students. As student representatives, we are here for you - you can contact us at any time and we will work out together how to deal with the situation and, if necessary, enter into dialogue with the responsible chair.

Article 81 of the Bavarian Higher Education Innovation Act clearly regulates this: The number of participants in seminars may be limited, but not if this means that students would have to study longer than six semesters.

Unfortunately, it is very common for students in their first semester not to get the course place they wanted. Although this is annoying, it is also permissible if the demand exceeds the total available capacity. This also applies to space problems. However, it must be ensured that students can complete their studies within the standard period of study for the respective degree programme. If a course of the same type is offered, students may be allocated to the courses.

This means that the selection procedure depends on the number of semesters of study. Applicants who have already failed the course or the associated examination once are considered first if the examination and study regulations stipulate that they must repeat the course at the next possible date. Students are then admitted depending on the number of semesters they have studied. For part-time students, the respective number of subject-related semesters is converted into full-time equivalents (two part-time semesters correspond to one full-time semester). In the event of equal ranking due to the same number of semesters, a lottery procedure will be used. Semesters on leave do not count as semesters of study. If a difficult situation should really arise, please contact us.

There are degree programmes in which a previous professional activity, training or FSJ/FÖJ can be credited in the form of ECTS or as a substitute for the internship. Unfortunately, this does not always work smoothly. If an application for credit for your work is rejected, you can request a review by the university management in accordance with Art. 63 of the Bavarian Higher Education Act - we can help you with this if you contact us. Please note: This does not apply to degree programmes that lead to a state examination!

At the University of Bamberg, there are some exams in which up to 30% of students fail, and in some 70% or even 100% of all participants fail. In principle, lecturers are free to organise the examination, but they must give students a fair chance of passing. For example, there are often violations of the examination regulations or the Higher Education Act during the examination - we can also take legal action here. If in doubt, please contact your student council. If you notice that you are suffering from exam anxiety, the Studentenwerk Würzburg in Bamberg offers psychotherapeutic counselling by a trained psychotherapist.

No. As soon as you reach the age of majority, you can have self-determination over your data. This applies in particular to your grades at university - you can keep them to yourself. Above all, you may not have your maintenance reduced because of supposedly poor grades. If you have any problems in this regard, please contact us and we will try to help you. The Studierendenwerk Würzburg can also help you here.