Course Modules and Grades

Students attending a lecture
Students attending a lecture

Make the Grade

Once students have successfully finished their degree course, they receive a bachelor’s or master’s title. In order to graduate, they need to have completed a number of study modules and a bachelor’s or master’s thesis.

A study module is a thematically self-contained unit, which is taught over one or two semesters and includes one or two different teaching methods such as lectures or seminars. For each completed module you receive ECTS points that count towards your degree.

You can generally only collect ECTS points by completing assessed assignments. These can include written or oral examinations, term papers (Hausarbeiten) or presentations (Referate). Sometimes you can also collect ECTS points by attending seminars regularly.

Details on the exact requirements can be found in the study guidelines and examination regulations (Studien- und Prüfungsordnung), in the information on your study module (Modulhandbuch) or on your university’s website.

The German Grading System

Exams and papers are marked using the traditional German grading system.

ScaleDescriptionUS/UK equivalents
1,0 - 1,3Sehr gut (very good)A
1,7 - 2,3 Gut (good)  B
2,7 - 3,3 Befriedigend (satisfactory) C
3,7 - 4,0 Ausreichend (sufficient) D
4,3 – 5,0Nicht ausreichend (fail) F

In addition to German grades, universities also use European ECTS grades.