• Lectures: A lecture is held in a ‘Hörsaal’ and students attend to listen to the professor lecture on a specific topic. Discussion between the lecturer and student is not common, that is more the purpose of a seminar. Attendance is not recorded during lectures and marks are not usually given.
  • Seminars: Seminars, in which students must actively and regularly participate, provide academic discussion on specific fields of study. Often the number of participants is limited, so each student must first register with the professor or lecturer concerned. This may be done either by signing a list or by attending the lecturer’s ‘Sprechstunde’ (consultation hour). Requirements for obtaining a ‘Schein’ vary, and will be explained by the lecturer. At each stage of study, seminars are divided into ‘Einführungsseminar’ ‘Proseminar’, ‘Hauptseminar’, and ‘Oberseminar’.
  • Einführungsseminar: This type of seminar is offered at the beginning of the basic study period, though not in all subjects. At these introductory seminars students receive basic information on their chosen subjects, and this is usually tested later by examination. Participation in one of these seminars is normally a prerequisite for participation in a ‘Proseminar’.
  • Proseminar: A ‘Proseminar’ is taken by students during their foundation studies. Students may select from a range of ‘Proseminare’ and are required to demonstrate their knowledge of the specific topic by giving an oral presentation and/or by writing an in-depth paper. On occasion a written final examination is also given.
  • Hauptseminar: A ‘Hauptseminar’ is organized along the same lines as a ‘Proseminar’ but only for students who have already passed the ‘Vordiplom’ or ‘Zwischenprüfung’ examinations and now need to extend and deepen their knowledge. Academic levels and requirements are of course higher in these seminars.
  • Oberseminar: Sometimes also called ‘Examenskolloquium’ or ‘Diplomandenkolloquium’, these are courses for students about to take their final examinations. During these seminars, students in their last semesters, or students who have already graduated, discuss their dissertations with the lecturers and with each another. ‘Oberseminare’ can be taken in preparation for a first degree or by those continuing towards a second degree.
  • Übungen: ‘Übungen’ are offered mostly during the foundation period and give students the opportunity to learn and practice subject-specific techniques and methodologies or language skills. Students can receive a ‘Schein’ by, for example, giving an oral presentation. It is sometimes necessary to register for these courses.
  • Tutorials: In tutorials, which are usually offered by advanced students, called tutors, students have the opportunity to review and practice what has been covered in the seminar or lecture, and to ask all the ‘dumb’ questions. In this way, tutors help the students to prepare for the final examination. Unfortunately tutorials are not available in all subjects. The number and type of courses offered varies from subject to subject, depending on the subject itself and on the number of students. For example, in German Studies a student will attend more seminars than lectures, whereas in Business Studies more lectures are offered.

This information was provided by the AAA in Bamberg.