Choosing the right course of study

Hello and welcome to my blog!

Bachelor’s degree, enrollment, NC, master’s degree, diploma, …what is all this?

The following articles will explain these terms and much more and are for all those who are considering whether they want to study or have always wanted to know what such studies really look like. Maybe it will help some to decide for or against a study. I myself studied international industrial engineering at the Emden/Leer University of Applied Sciences and can give you a few tips to help you on your way.

A few years ago, the diploma was abolished throughout Germany and the degrees were adjusted. After receiving the general entrance qualification for a university of applied sciences, you can start studying. This first degree is called a “bachelor’s degree” and is, in this sense, the basic degree. The standard period of study, i.e. the time provided by the university or university of applied sciences to obtain the degree, is usually seven semesters (3.5 years). One semester lasts approximately three to four months (not counting the lecture-free period). After the successful completion of the bachelor’s degree, there is the possibility to do the master’s degree. The master is actually the same as the former diploma and takes another three to four semesters. After the master, you can then do a doctorate.

University of Applied Sciences or University?

It was clear to me at the time that I definitely wanted to go to university. However, the question then arose: “University of Applied Sciences (UAS) or university? What is the difference between these two? First and foremost, of course, it depends on what you want to study. Some courses, such as psychology, can only be studied at universities. But in general, UAS are more practice-oriented and organized in a school-like way, while Universities give more freedom to choose courses and give students more freedom. But no matter what you decide in the end: the degrees of both institutions are equivalent. The education at the university is usually quite scientific and general and a very high degree of independence is required. At a university of applied sciences, the content is usually more practical and an internship semester is often mandatory. The courses there are much more subject-specific than at the university. In addition, the lecture times differ. While the winter semester at UAS begins in September and ends in February (although there are no lectures in February), lectures at universities do not begin until October.

The search for the right degree program

Probably the most important decision is choosing the right degree program. Since many universities and UAS have application deadlines that start up to 1.5 years before the start of the program, it makes sense to think about it at an early stage. Especially if you decide on a dual course of study. In addition, the selection, as well as the application procedures require a lot of time. Especially since every university and college has its own application procedure and deadlines. In addition, the sooner you are accepted and know where you will be studying, the sooner you can start looking for an apartment and the associated moving process. In many cities it is not that easy to find an apartment.

When looking for the right course of study, one should first decide on a field of study. The following important factors should not be ignored when choosing a field of study or a course of study:

  1. What opportunities are there on the job market after graduation?
  2. How relevant is my future profession?
  3. What are the entry restrictions?
  4. How much money will I be able to earn later in my job if I choose this course of study? (There are various salary tables on the Internet).
  5. Where are companies located where I can practice my desired profession?
  6. Do I like the subjects I need to know for my studies?

On the whole, the choice consists of the following subjects: Agricultural and Forestry Sciences, Social Sciences, Engineering/Math/Computer Science, Medicine/Health/Sports, Law/Economics/Administration, Language and Cultural Studies, Media and Communication, Natural Sciences, Music/Art and Design. In addition, there are various portals where you can search for courses and indicate your preferences. The three that helped me the most, I link here once (these links refer to studies in Germany but are in english):

After deciding on a course of study, the search for a suitable UAS/university takes place. For this it is quite useful to have a look at different rankings and evaluations of the institutions (e.g.

On the websites of the universities and colleges you should also take a look at the module handbooks and the study plan, as well as the BPO (Bachelor Examination Regulations). There you will find everything about the subjects, the learning objectives and requirements that you can expect. You can also find out which professors or lecturers hold the lectures and get information about them.


If you know students or have friends whose siblings are studying, ask them questions. Maybe they know someone who knows someone who knows someone who is studying exactly what you want to study. Also, don’t just ask about the pleasant things, but also about the exam periods and the subjects that are dry and not so exciting. In addition, it is always useful to talk to people who are already doing the job you want to do. You may even have the opportunity to gain some practical experience beforehand to help you make your decision. This refers to both studying and training. You can always use the comment function under my posts or write me an email via the contact form and ask me questions. I will try to answer as soon as possible.

Until then,

Your Patrizia.



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