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Program of study

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The ZHAW School of Management and Law (SML) offers several Bachelor’s degree programs in business (various specializations) and business law. Students will be given specialist knowledge with a high level of practical relevance, oriented to the demands of the respective business sector. Together with studying general subject areas, students will also be fully prepared for entry into their chosen career.

Bachelor's degree

In addition to Bachelor's degree programs, the SML also offers many consecutive Master’s degree programs which focus on a specialization in business-specific and interdisciplinary subjects.

Master's degree

Program in English

To meet the needs of Swiss students who wish to study in English and to prepare them for careers in international business, the ZHAW School of Management and Law offers a broad range of courses that are taught in English. Incoming students at the ZHAW School of Management and Law study in either German, English, or a combination of both. Courses in English are open to all our students from abroad. They can study alongside their Swiss colleagues and take a full academic schedule in English.

The number of available courses in English is matched to the Bachelor's program in Business Administration and also contains components from banking and finance, business information technology, and business law. The range of courses in English is constantly being expanded and now includes more than 50 modules.

Semester dates and academic workload

A semester runs for 19 weeks and consists of 14 weeks of instruction, a two-week examination preparation period, and three weeks of examinations.

  • The fall semester begins in September (calendar week 38) and finishes at the end of January (calendar week 5).
  • The spring semester begins in February (calendar week 8) and finishes at the end of June (calendar week 26).

Semester overview & dates
(PDF 195,7 KB)

The regular academic workload is 30 ECTS credits per semester. One credit requires 25-30 hours of study. The lowest number of credits an incoming student must acquire is determined by the home university. However, the SML expects all incoming students to earn at least 15 ECTS credits during their stay.

Study Timetable

Your timetable can be put together on an individual basis from the full range of courses at SML. For modules taught in English, pre-registration is essential to guarantee you a place on the course. Where possible, you will be accepted for all the courses selected, however, depending on availability and any overlapping of course times, individual courses may have to be substituted. Your confirmed study timetable will be agreed together with the International Office during Orientation Week.

Orientation Week and classes

Incoming students arrive one week before the start of classes to attend an Orientation Week at the beginning of February (calendar week 7) for the spring semester or the beginning of September (calendar week 37) for the fall semester. Attendance at the Orientation Week is compulsory.

During the semester, a classroom lesson for any course lasts 45 minutes. Courses at the ZHAW School of Management and Law normally have 2-4 classroom lessons per week. In general, transcripts, case studies, and other course materials are provided. Course books can be ordered directly or in many cases borrowed from the library.

Grades and grading systems

Grades awarded by the ZHAW School of Management and Law use the Swiss school grading system, ranging from 6.0 to 1.0. 6.0 is the highest grade and a grade of 4.0 or higher is required to gain a pass mark for a module. For each course, an additional ECTS grade is also awarded.

The ECTS system awards six grades from A to F. The A-grade is awarded to the top 10% of students attending a course and an E-grade to the weakest 10%. An F-grade stands for a fail. ECTS points are only credited once a grade of 4.0 or higher has been awarded.

Credit transfers and transcript of academic records

The European Credit Transfer System ECTS facilitates international mobility by enabling students within Europe to transfer academic credits to their degrees at their home universities.

Students' home universities determine how credit points earned at the ZHAW School of Management and Law are converted, based on a comparison of student workloads at both institutes. Please ask the international office of your home university for more information.  At the end of the semester, the International Office prepares an official transcript of each student academic record, documenting:

  • The number of ECTS credits
  • The ECTS grade
  • The ZHAW School of Management and Law grade