"A magic dwells in each beginning..." – but most likely it is paired with a certain degree of nervousness and uncertainty about all things new and unknown. To help you ease into your new endeavours at the University of Konstanz and to clarify some burning questions, we've compiled an overview of relevant topics for your Bachelor of Psychology!
Programme structure in Konstanz
How is the Psychology programme in Konstanz structured?
Our bachelor's programme in Psychology usually takes 8 semesters, i.e. 4 years. This period includes a 6-month internship (normally during the 5th semester). Depending on your interests, you can choose from a range of specialisations in "Clinical Psychology" or "Work and Health Psychology". The bachelor's degree ends with the final bachelor's thesis. If you plan on doing the consecutive master's programme in Konstanz, this will take another 2 semesters, i.e. 1 year. It is not possible to do a master's programme in Konstanz with a 3-year bachelor's degree.
Studying Psychology in Konstanz is a full-time affair. We do not recommend to try and do this while also working full-time.
Seminars, exams, schedule
Which seminars and lectures do I need to attend during the first semester?
Our bachelor's programme in Psychology has 8 semesters. This includes a 6-month internship and 1 semester for your bachelor's thesis. Lectures and seminars are usually offered either during the winter or the summer semester, as opposed to all year round. We therefore recommend that you follow the exemplary study plan as closely as possible.
During the 1st semester, you usually attend the following courses:
- What is Applied Psychology? (lecture, 2 ECTS, 2 SWS*)
- Biological Psychology (lecture, 6 ECTS, 2 SWS*)
- Advanced subject-specific training in Biopsychology (seminar, 3 ECTS, 2 SWS*)
- Social Psychology (seminar, 3 ECTS, 2 SWS*)
- Methods 1 (lecture and practice tutorial, 5 ECTS, 3 SWS*)
- Practical Training in Empirical Research 1 (3 ECTS, 2 SWS*)
- Statistics 1 (lecture and practice tutorial, 6 ECTS, 4 SWS*)
*SWS = weekly teaching hours
You can also choose "Transferable Skills" courses and start with your "non-psychological optional subject(s)"; note that the ECTS for these two parts of your studies do not need to be completed before the 6th semester, so you can take some time for this.
We recommend that you start acquiring "test subject hours" during your 1st and 2nd semester, as you need to accrue a minimum of 20 hours of participation as test subject to get the required credits and many experiments are only offered to students of the 1st or 2nd semester. You can find offers for test subject opportunities on the notice boards throughout the University or on SONA (see "Student portals"). The Student Council Psychology also sends out emails with offers.
How do I compile my course schedule?
The examplary study plan gives a good overview of which courses you can take during which semesters. ZEuS provides information on when and where the course are held. It lets you search for the title of a course or look it up in the course catalogue. Under "Courses - Course Catalogue - Bachelor's Courses - Major Subject - Psychology" you will find all courses in the respective modules.
You'll also absorb a lot of information at our "Erstihütte" event!
How do I register for seminars and lectures?
At the beginning of each semester, you need to register for each course you want to take.
Every Psychology student is guaranteed a place in the Psychology lectures. For access to the course material you need to join the respective group in ILIAS. You will receive the necessary details for this during the 1st lecture. In order to take the exam for a lecture, you need to register via StudIS/Examinations during the registration period.
As there are different dates for the seminars and the practical training in empirical research, you need to register for these courses seperatly via ZEuS. The course catalogue for an upcoming semester is released shortly after the end of the lecture period of the previous semester – you will receive a reminder email! Detailed instructions on how to register for the seminars can be found on our homepage during each current registration phase. Once you have received a seminar place, you will be registered in the corresponding group in ILIAS. You will also automatically be registered for the seminar on StudIS/Examinations!
You can find the exact dates for the registration periods on our welcome page.
How do I register for performance assessments and exams?
For seminars in the Psychology department, you are automatically registered for the respective performance assessment when you've been allocated a place. To take exams for lectures and non-psychological optional subjects, you need to register via StudIS/Examinations. Go to "Administration of exams - Registration/deregistration exams" to find an overview of the registration periods for all degree programmes. You need to accept the conditions at the end of the page before you can register for any exams. After selecting the right course, you need a so-called TAN to register for the exam (more on TANs in the answer to the next question). The registration period for lectures is different from the registration period for seminars and each department has its own registration period! It is very important to adhere to these deadlines!
What is a TAN list?
A TAN list is a list of 50 transaction numbers. These TANs are needed to register for and deregister from exams in StudIS/Examinations.
You can either pick up the TAN list at the Student Service Centre or generate it online in StudIS.
How do I register for a tutorial/a practice tutorial?
Usually, you will receive details on tutorials or practice tutorials, such as dates, teachers and how to register, during the first lecture of a semester. In the 1st semester, tutorials and practical tutorials are offered for the lectures Statistics 1 and Methods 1 to help with exam preparation.
What are Non-Psychological Optional Subjects?
You can choose from a wide range of courses as non-psychological optional subject/s. You need to acquire a minimum of 9 ECTS credits in total. It doesn't matter if you are doing 3 courses with 3 ECTS credits each or 1 course with 9 ECTS credits. Please follow the link for further details on non-psychological optional subjects.
What are Transferable Skills courses?
Transferable Skills include a wide range of courses, such as language courses, seminars on Excel or PowerPoint as well as communicative, social and personal skills or the Service Learning (Nightline, theatre, "Balu & Du"). All credits earned in courses organised by the Language Institute, the Communication, Information, Media Centre (KIM) and the Centre for Transferable Skills (SQ) are recognised. The Department of Psychology also offers seminars that can be credited towards Transferable Skills.
You can find the respective course catalogue in ZEuS ("Courses" -> "Course Overview" -> "interdisciplinary Courses").
Department, student assistants, student council
Where can I find out more about the lecturers?
The Department of Psychology comprises a range of working groups or so-called chairs. Each working group is chaired by a professor who heads the group. Here is an overview of all the different working groups. The individual websites of the working groups also provide information on group members and research specialties. Student assistant positions ("Hiwis") are often advertised here as well.
What is a student assistant ("Hiwi")?
A good way of earning money during your time at university is a job as a student assistant (aka "Hiwi"). Keep an eye on the homepages of the different working groups for job adverts.
What is a "student council"?
The departmental student council represents the interests of the student body of a department. The Student Council Psychology is located in C 501. For details on office hours and more, have a look at their homepage. They provide important information, scripts, help before exams and information on upcoming events. To stay tuned, simply sign up for their mailing lists.
Study material, academic articles
Where can I find study materials?
Do I have to buy every book?
Most lecturers base their lectures and exams on one book or various articles. Most of the time, you can find these books in the university library or buy them from older students. Sometimes, the lecturer will provide the mandatory literature free of charge via ILIAS. In order to find academic articles on the internet, the so-called VPN Client is of great help. The VPN Client gives you access to the University's network and thus to a great number of scientific articles that would otherwise cost money.
What is the VPN Client?
The VPN Client (Virtual Private Network) enables you to connect any computer with the network of the University. To do so, you need an account at the University of Konstanz (email account; first name.family name). Some pages, offers or databases are restricted to computers from the university network and are not freely available. Information on how to install the VPN Client can be found here. Please follow the instructions on virus protection (Sophos Anti-Virus)!
Where can I find academic articles?
In order to find academic articles on the internet, the so-called VPN Client is of great help. The VPN Client gives you access to the University's network and thus to a great number of scientific articles that would otherwise cost money.
Sickness, holidays, attendance policy
What do I do when I'm sick?
At the beginning of each course, the lecturer will announce the maximum number of times you are allowed to stay away and whether or not a doctor's note is required. Especially in small groups (seminars, practice tutorials, tutorials) it is often requested to report in sick via email. Attendance lists are quite common.
When do we have holidays?
There aren't as many holidays at university as there are in school. Twice a year, there are long semester breaks – i.e. a lecture-free period between two semesters. Nevertheless, sometimes you have exams during this period or you have to finish assignments! To find out the exact dates of the semester break for each semester, take a look at "Semester dates". This page also tells you the exact dates of the lecture-free period over Christmas.
How long is one semester?
In Germany, a semester is 6 months – i.e. there are 2 semesters per year. The winter semester runs from 01 October – 31 March, the summer semester from 01 April – 30 September. Since the lecture period begins some time after the official start of the semester, it is worth taking a look at the page Semester dates to see the dates of the orientation week and lecture period.
What's the attendance policy?
You are required to attend the courses that you registered for. Many lecturers, especially in small groups and seminars, keep an attendance list and announce at the beginning of the semester the maximum times you can miss the course. Attendance policies for lectures are usually not that strict. Please note that attendance is compulsory in the lecture "What is Applied Psychology?"! We advise that you attend as often as you can to ensure that you will pass the exam.
Internship, semester abroad
When do I need to start organising my internship or semester abroad?
The compulsory 6-month internship is usually scheduled for the 5th semester, so you don't need to start organising it until about a year ahead of time. Visit the internship page for more details. If you want to do an additional short internship at an earlier time, e.g. during the semester break, it is advisable to make arrangements several months in advance (especially if you want to do it in a clinic).
You can do a semester abroad in any semester. If you are interested in spending one of your early semesters abroad, you should start organising as soon as possible. Visit our Outgoings page for details on application deadlines and partner universities. The Department of Psychology also offers open consultation hours on all things Erasmus. Please contact Filipa Goncalves.
Chip card for the canteen & for copying
Where do I get a chip card for the canteen and to make copies?
Your student ID card includes the chip card function for the canteen and to make copies as well as the semester ticket for the ÖPNV public transport (if purchased). Visit the UniCard page for further details.