The BA in Applied Languages is designed primarily for full-time students, but it can also be completed part-time. The standard duration of the programme for full-time students is 6 semesters.
In their first year (known as the ‘Assessment’ level), all students study the same curriculum. In their second and third years (known as the main study period), the curriculum is divided into a core programme and a specialisation programme. The core programme is the same for all students, while the specialisation programmes focuses on one of three fields: Multilingual Communication, Multimodal Communication or Technical Communication and Information Design. In their fifth semester, students have the chance to spend a semester abroad at one of our partner universities or to complete an internship.
A semester consists of 14 weeks of classes, two reading (exam preparation) weeks and two weeks of exams. The autumn semester always starts mid-September (calendar week 38) and the spring semester mid-February (calendar week 8). Students can only begin the programme in the autumn semester. There is a semester break between the end of the exam weeks and the beginning of the following semester; during this time, students are not usually expected to complete any assignments.
During your first year, you consolidate your language and communication skills. You examine the issues related to linguistics and translation from the theoretical and practical point of view, and you acquire a knowledge of specialist subject areas (such as IT, marketing, law and technology) that will be relevant to you in your future profession.
The main study period is divided into a core programme, which is the same for all students, and a specialisation programme. In the core programme, you continue to advance your language and translation skills, and you deal with practice-related scientific issues in the field of language and communication. You also focus on topics such as understandability, visualisation and terminology.
Spending a semester studying abroad gives you the chance to gain more intercultural experience, to establish an international network and to improve your career options on the job market. Every year, about two thirds of the students on the Applied Languages programme take advantage of this opportunity and spend their fifth semester at one of our partner universities abroad or in a different language region of Switzerland. You can find their reports about their experiences abroad and further information on our blog.
If you have opted for the specialisation in Multilingual or Multimodal Communication, you can spend your fifth semester completing an internship. As an intern, you work for a company or organisation for several months and gain valuable professional experience.