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FAQ Bachelor of Science in Applied Law


Before Starting the Program

1. Why is the BSc in Applied Law program at the ZHAW School of Management and Law right for me?

By completing the Bachelor’s program in Applied Law, you will receive a scientifically based degree tailored explicitly to the requirements of practicing law. You will learn from experts in the worlds of science and practice, and you will work on tasks and cases directly related to the lecturers’ everyday work.

The Applied Law degree program provides a generalist basic legal education covering the core areas of Swiss law. Particular emphasis is placed on legal language and methodological skills. The program is aimed at people who want to take on responsible legal activities in the spheres of private, public, and criminal law.

The ZHAW School of Management and Law (SML) is one of Europe’s leading business schools. It places high demands on its lecturers, who have extensive practical experience and are skilled at imparting new knowledge related to legal practice. Because the program has such a high practical orientation, you will be able to apply what you learn to your work directly after graduation. This degree program prepares you for versatile and challenging legal tasks in all branches of business and administration.

2. How can I be admitted to this program?

The admission requirements for students with a Swiss or a foreign educational background can be found here.

3. Is there a limit to the number of students admitted?

There is no limit to the number of students admitted to this program. You will be given a place on the program if you register by the deadline and meet the admission requirements (see Question 2).

4. When does the program start?

The new course begins in the fall semester in calendar week 38, mid-September. It is not possible to start in the spring semester in mid-February.

5. What prior knowledge is required or would be an advantage for this program?

The program builds on students’ knowledge as part of the commercial vocational baccalaureate.

Language is the most important tool for lawyers, so a particular affinity for language is indispensable. You will learn how to use German effectively in a professional context during your studies.

6. What personal qualities are an advantage in this program?

As an Applied Law student, you need motivation and curiosity to explore new topics. For example, you will receive many reading assignments that you will have to deal with on your own to expand your knowledge constantly. Self-study requires self-discipline, which will also help you during the exam preparation phase. Your ability to grasp the essential problem areas, work out pragmatic solutions, and engage in networked thinking will be targeted as part of the program.

7. How can I prepare for this degree program?

You should obtain the books and materials needed for the first semester in plenty of time. You will find information on compulsory reading in the module descriptions. The module descriptions can be found on the online module tables.

Enrolled students regularly benefit from discounted textbook prices at various bookstores or dealers specializing in reselling used teaching materials. For more information, please contact the respective providers directly.

From a practical perspective, you should equip yourself with the necessary tools, especially a laptop computer (see Question 8).

8. What tools do I need to get before I start the program?

You will need a mobile computer (laptop, tablet, etc.) to study. Communication outside the lecture halls takes place via the online learning platform Moodle, which is used to give assignments, share documents, and provide further information. The program is, therefore, “paperless.”

These are the minimum requirements for your device:

Minimum requirements with Windows

Minimum requirements with Apple

Enrolled students regularly benefit from discounted prices for hardware offered by various electronics dealers. For more information, please contact the respective providers directly.

ZHAW offers its students Microsoft Office (including Word, PowerPoint, and Excel) free of charge. You can find more information here (in German).

9. How much does this program cost? Is it possible to apply for a scholarship?

For information on the cost of the Bachelor’s program, click here.

For information on scholarships awarded by the Swiss cantons, click here (in German).

For advice on financial and other issues in the context of your studies, click here.

10. What is the Campus like?

The SML campus in Winterthur is spread over various locations in the city center. For details, click here. Most classes in the Business Law program take place in the Volkart Building at St.-Georgen-Platz 2 in Winterthur.

For a 360° view of the various ZHAW campuses, click here.

Doing the Program

11. What is the difference between studying full-time and part-time?

The full-time option takes six semesters (three years) to complete. Classes usually take place between three and five days a week. The part-time option allows students to work part-time (up to 60 percent. For an overview of the attendance requirements for part-time students, click here(PDF 88,1 KB).

12. To what extent can I work part-time (or even full-time) while studying?

Part-time study allows you to have a part-time job of up to 60 percent. You will take modules worth an average of 22.5 ECTS credits per semester, which corresponds to a workload of 675 hours of study per semester (38 hours per week). 1 ECTS credit represents 30 hours of study, which includes class attendance.

A job while studying full-time is not recommended. You will take modules worth 30 ECTS credits per semester, corresponding to 900 hours of study per semester (50 hours per week).

You will have time to work during the semester break in the summer.

13. How much studying do I have to do? Do I still have free time besides my studies?

In addition to on-site classes (approximately 24 weekly lessons for full-time study or about 18 lessons for part-time study), 26 hours of self-study per week for full-time study and 20 hours per week for part-time study must be expected. This includes preparation, follow-up (reading assignments, revision), and exam preparation.

The time and effort required varies depending on you as a learner and the achievement level you aim for. Planning a generous amount of time for self-study is advisable, especially at the beginning of your studies.

14. How does a “flipped classroom” work?

The Applied Law program uses a teaching concept called the “flipped classroom.” Students acquire their basic knowledge independently of time and place through self-study. Classroom sessions are primarily for exchanges; for example, cases are worked on together, content is deepened, and matters of understanding are discussed. Flipped classrooms demand a high level of personal responsibility and self-organization from all students. The fact that the basics are acquired through self-study means that the strengths of classroom teaching – interaction and discussion – can be utilized to a greater extent than in the traditional lecture format.

15. What does the curriculum look like? What characterizes it?

The Applied Law program provides a generalist basic legal education covering the core areas of Swiss law. Particular emphasis is placed on legal language and methodological skills.

The Bachelor’s program consists of two parts – assessment and the main study section. In both cases, legal expertise accounts for two-thirds, and legal language and methodological skills account for one-third of the curriculum.

The structure of the curriculum can be found in the online module tables

16. How are the modules structured?

You can view the module content via the module descriptions. The module descriptions can be found in the online module tables.

The teaching phase lasts 14 weeks per semester. 6-ECTS modules generally correspond to four lessons per week, and 3-ECTS modules correspond to two lessons per week.

17. What does the class schedule look like?

If you have chosen the part-time program option, you will have classes on a maximum of two working days per week. To enable you to plan ahead, the days when you have classes are already predefined for your first three years of study. For an overview of the attendance requirements for part-time students, click here(PDF 113,1 KB).

The class schedule in the first semester of the part-time program option might look like this:

The class schedule in the first semester of the full-time program option might look like this:

The class schedule is created each semester for each class. Accordingly, the modules may fall on different days of the week and be arranged differently.

18. Can I commute to Winterthur from where I live? Is student accommodation available?

Thanks to its central location, Winterthur is easy to reach by public transport from all over German-speaking Switzerland. From Zurich or St. Gallen, it takes just under 20 and 30 minutes, respectively, to get here. The travel time is usually less than an hour from the neighboring cantons. From Basel, Bern, and Lucerne, you can reach Winterthur in less than 1.5 hours.

For information on student accommodation, click here.

19. Do I have to attend every classroom session?

As a rule, attendance is not compulsory. You are personally responsible for working through the module content, and although it is highly recommended, it is up to you whether you take advantage of the classes for this purpose.

Some modules have performance assessments that must be completed during the semester. These may require compulsory attendance.

20. What are the exams and the exam period like?

The end-of-module (EOM) exams take place at the end of each semester over a period of about three weeks (usually from mid-January and mid-June). The EOM exams test the entire material covered in the previous semester. Most are one- or two-hour written exams. However, you may also have oral exams taken individually or in pairs. The design of the EOM exam varies and may consist of a case, questions about theoretical concepts, multiple-choice questions, or a combination of different question types.

21. What is the best way to prepare for the exams?

Exam preparation is crucial if you want to succeed in your studies. The 14 weeks of classes (for which you prepare and do follow-up work on an ongoing basis) are followed by two weeks of exam preparation. You need to use this time to review and consolidate what you have learned during the semester. It would be best if you did not do any other work during this time to concentrate fully on exam preparation.

You need to find the learning method(s) that suit you best. You could, for example, use flashcards, write summaries, read the literature, or form a study group. A combination of different methods can be very effective.

22. What are the requirements for completing the program successfully?

To pass the first-year period (Assessment), you must achieve an average of at least 4.0. No module grade can be a 1.0, and you can have no more than 12 minus ECTS grade points. Minus ECTS grade points are calculated as the difference between an unsatisfactory grade and a 4.0, multiplied by the module’s ECTS credits. Example: A final module grade of 3.5 in a 6-ECTS module will result in 3 minus ECTS grade points (0.5 x 6 = 3).

To pass the main study period (Hauptstudium), you must achieve at least a 4.0. No module grade can be a 1.0, and you can have no more than 18 minus ECTS points. After completing the first year (Assessment), the minus ECTS grade points start at 0 once again. The module “Integration” and the Bachelor’s thesis must both be passed; compensation for unsatisfactory grades is not possible in these two cases.

Grade calculation templates for the assessment and main study periods can be found on the Intranet.

23. What facilities can I benefit from at ZHAW?

PC workstations, copiers, scanners, and printers are available to students on the SML campus in Winterthur. The main building of the SML (St.-Georgen-Platz) houses a Cafeteria (Mensa) with approx. 180 seats.

The ZHAW University Library in Winterthur gives students access to a large selection of literature, book scanners, research stations, PC workstations, and approximately 700 study (individual or group) spaces, as well as a cafeteria.

For the university’s sports infrastructure, please refer to Question 24.

24. What sports are offered at ZHAW?

The ASVZ Sport Center in Winterthur has a spacious weight training and cardio area, three gyms for group fitness, BodyMind, and dance courses, and a dojo for martial arts. A total of 34 sports, from badminton and kickboxing to Pilates, are offered through ASVZ (Academic Sports Association of Zurich) in Winterthur.

For general information about the sports offered by ASVZ, click here.

25. Can I do a study semester abroad, and what are the criteria?

The SML has an extensive network of more than 190 partner universities in 52 countries where you can spend a semester abroad or attend a summer school. A study exchange is uncomplicated, inexpensive, and possible almost anywhere.

An interactive map with all partner universities of the ZHAW School of Management and Law can be found here (under Partner Network).

After Completing the Program

26. Can I enter the working world directly after graduation?

The Bachelor’s degree in Applied Law qualifies you for a career in the legal profession.

Even during your studies, you can receive active support from Career Services if you have questions about starting your career. You can also benefit from a job database, consulting services, and CV checks.

27. Where (in what fields and job roles) can I find employment after graduation?

With a BSc in Applied Law, you have very good career opportunities with companies in highly regulated markets, public administration (federal, cantonal, or municipal), insurance companies, or associations.

For more information on your career opportunities with a Bachelor’s in Applied Law, click here.

28. What does the ZHAW Alumni program look like?

The SML Alumni Service is open to current and former students. It organizes regular events such as the Alumni Homecoming Day, sports tournaments, and “Töggeli” (table football) tournaments.

On the myCampus platform, you will find news about the ZHAW School of Management and Law - regardless of whether you are a current or former student.

Alumni ZHAW is the alumni organization for all ZHAW schools, uniting an extensive network of former ZHAW students and organizing events.

29. What continuing education opportunities will I have after completing this program?

- Master: For information on continuing education opportunities regarding Master’s programs, click here.