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English Department

Fall Semester 2013: Important Information

This news item contains important information about the transition into the new Studienordnung, valid from the Herbstsemester 2013. Though we strongly recommend that all students read this so they are informed about the latest developments, it is especially important for:

  • Those who chose NOT to come to sign a transitional agreement this semester
  • Those whose agreement confirms their eligibility for a Bachelorarbeit Übergangslösung
  • Those who are eligible for other agreed Sonderlösungen in the HS 13 and/or FS 14
  • Those who fail or fail to complete a course in the FS 13 and therefore need to renegotiate the transitional agreement.

Please read the following in full before contacting us with any queries at:

(1) Students who did not sign a transitional agreement

(2) Übergangslösung Bachelorarbeit

(3) Sonderlösungen

(4) Studium generale (Bachelor 120 ECTS Fachformat only)

(5) Failure of or failure to complete modules booked in the FS 13

(6) Advising of Studies for signing and redrafting agreements (July and August 2013)

(7) Vorgezogene Mastermodule

(8) Wegleitung

(9) Students returning from study abroad

(1) Students who did not sign a transitional agreement

It is assumed that students who have not signed a transitional agreement thereby accept the full requirements of the new Studienordnung (valid from the HS 13), and do not wish to take advantage of any of the possible Sonderlösungen that can be offered to ensure that no student is at a disadvantage as a result of the transition. In other words, without a transitional contract, graduation will be possible only if all of the new requirements for the respective Fachformat in English are fulfilled. This applies also to students who already have the total number of ECTS required in English at the end of the FS 13; without an agreement, the requirements and regulations of the new Studienordnung are binding in full.

If, in the light of this information, you would now like to sign an agreement after all, please see section (6) below for information regarding the availability of the advising of studies team. It is not possible for alternative appointments to be made.

The last possible date for a transitional contract to be signed is therefore Tuesday, 27th August. After this date, all students without a signed agreement will be deemed to have accepted the new requirements in full. It will not be possible to sign an agreement retrospectively.

If you are registered as a student of English but have not yet taken any courses, then you do not need an agreement, but will be bound by all the regulations of the new curriculum anyway.

(2) Übergangslösung Bachelorarbeit

Students who have had their eligibility for the Bachelorarbeit Übergangslösung confirmed in their transitional contract will have a ‘dummy’ Bachelorarbeit module booked for them by Faculty. Students who have not signed a transitional agreement, irrespective of how many ECTS they have already completed in English, will not have this dummy module booked and will instead be required to write the Bachelorarbeit in order to be able to graduate.

The dummy Bachelorarbeit module is not graded. There is therefore no need to nominate a seminar paper to be linked to it: it will appear on the transcript as an ‘empty’ module.

(3) Sonderlösungen

If you discussed the option of a Sonderlösung in a particular course during your recent appointment, and your agreement states that you are eligible for any such arrangement, then please note the following:

  • As stated at the time and on the English Department website, the Sonderlösung options are offered only in the HS 13 and FS 14. If you do not take advantage of the offered solutions during this time, from the HS 14, you will be required to take the regular modules under the new requirements.
  • None of the Sonderlösungen will be openly bookable, but must be booked by Katherine Williams or Martin Mühlheim. The procedure is slightly different for the different types of courses, so please ensure you have noted the information below:

a) If you wish to take a Sonderlösung in a Pflichtmodul, please book the module yourself as normal in the booking period of the respective semester. This ensures that you get a place in the group of your choice. You should then immediately contact us at:, whereupon we will adjust the number of ECTS for that module booking as per your transitional agreement.

b) If you need to take one or more of the Sonderlösung lectures, you must send us a signed, written booking request with a copy of your Legi during the respective booking period. Alternatively, you may come to the English Department in person to speak to either Katherine Williams or Martin Mühlheim. We are not permitted to accept booking requests by e-mail or over the telephone for security reasons.

The lectures available for 2 ECTS in (A) Linguistics and (B) Literature for those who are eligible to have them booked are as follows:

Herbstsemester 2013

(A) “Multilingualism: Synchronic and Diachronic Perspectives”. Dr. Simone Pfenninger. Fr 10:15-12:00

(B) “The Star-Spangled Banners: Unit and Diversity in American Literature and Culture”. Prof. Dr. Martin Heusser. Do 14:00-15:45

Frühjahrssemester 2014

(A) “Language and the Media”. David Matley. Mo 16:15-18:00

(B) “Concepts and Ideas in Literature”. Martin Heusser. Time TBC.

The lecture details are subject to change. Please check the Vorlesungsverzeichnis nearer the time for confirmation.

NB: Please note the new booking period regulations and dates on the university website:

(4) Studium generale (Bachelor 120 ECTS Fachformat only)

It is not possible to use ECTS for study prerequisites as studium generale. Therefore, it will not be possible to include Sprachenzentrum courses in English or kleines Latinum ECTS as Studium generale points.

If you do wish to use courses from other subjects towards your total for English under the auspices of the Studium generale option, please note that these modules are not directly accredited to your English records during your studies. Instead, at the point of graduation, any shortfall in ECTS for your total in English is taken from additional courses that are left in other subjects (the selection of models for graduation is explained in section A of the new Studienordnung, p. A1.5, § 9.1.c). Therefore, there is no need to inform us of which courses you intend to use for Studium generale.

A maximum of 12 ECTS can be used for this purpose. There is no minimum requirement: it is possible to do all 120 ECTS in English if you so wish, without any Studium generale points at all.

(5) Failure of or failure to complete modules booked in the FS 13

The transitional agreement signed in the FS 13 is valid only if you successfully complete all modules booked in the FS 13. The grades for modules that end in the FS 13 will start to come in at the beginning of July. Students are urged to check their records regularly from the middle of July to learn their results. If a booked module has not been completed successfully, you should come to speak to an advisor. See section (6) below for details. Since all agreements must be finalized before the booking period for the HS 13 begins on Wednesday 28th August, the last possible date for a consultation (space permitting) is Tuesday 27th August.

(6) Advising of Studies for signing and redrafting agreements

On two days a week from 23rd July until 27th August, one or more advisors of studies will be available for the signing or re-drafting of transitional agreements. You must sign up for an consultation in advance via the Doodle address below. Please note that it will not be possible to arrange alternative appointments. The consultation will take place at Plattenstrasse 47, on the top floor. When signing up, please ensure that you include:

- your matriculation number,

- whether you are coming

  - - - to sign an agreement for the first time (1)

- - - to renegotiate due to the failure successfully to complete an FS 13 module (2)

Example: Bond, James. 12-007-666. (2)

Please sign up for a consultation time at:

(7) Vorgezogene Mastermodule

Many people have asked about the possibility to do Master modules if the Bachelor degree is not quite complete. This is possible only under very specific conditions. Details are available on the English Department website: and in part A of the new Studienordnung.

(8) Wegleitung

We will be re-writing the ‘Wegleitung’ (Guide to the Bachelor and Master Programmes in English) over the “summer”. This will be available on the website as soon as it is finished.

(9) Students returning from study abroad

If you were abroad or studying at another university in Switzerland in the FS 13, you should make an appointment with Christiane Schlote ( as soon as possible upon your return to initiate the accreditation procedure. You should also contact Katherine Williams (via: for further information about signing a transitional agreement.

Students returning from Study Abroad in the FS 14 or HS 14 can clarify any necessary Sonderlösungen upon their return as part for the standard accreditation process.