Overview on the Course Types at the Law Department until 2014/15
Most classes take place as lectures in big lecture theatres. Lectures are classes primarily held by the lecturer giving a presentation and encouraging independent further study.
Prior registration is not required in order to participate in a lecture.
If the lecture is accompanied by a practical or a reading class in the same semester, then the practical or the reading class should be attended in addition to the lecture.
Lectures end with a written exam or with an oral exam. The type of exam for exchange students is often different from the exam for regular (German) students. Which type of exam is provided to exchange students, is at the lecturer's discretion.
- Should the lecturer decide that students from abroad write the same exam as regular (German) students, then exchange students will also have to sign up for the exams of the first, second, and third semesters. Registration for the examinations should be completed at the Examinations Office by 15 December for the winter semester and by 31 Mai for the summer semester. The date and place of the exam will be announced by the Examinations Office.
- If the lecturer is offering a special written exam to students from abroad, they will have to sign up for this exam at the lecturer's Secretary's Office. The date and place of the exam will be communicated to the exchange students by the lecturer.
- If the lecturer decides to organize oral exams, all exchange students need to register for this exam at the lecturer's Secretary's Office. Students will be informed about the date, time and place of the exam by the lecturer's secretary.
During practical classes the subject matter learned during the lecture is repeated and complemented through the mediation of case solving techniques and active student participation. Practical courses can take place in the form of small group classes with academic staff, they can also be offered in the form of case talks by professors in the lecture theatre.
Practical courses cannot be attended without attending the relevant lecture, and must always be completed in conjunction with the relevant lecture.
There are no examinations for the practicals, as they serve the purpose of complementing the lecture. Students can obtain credit points in practicals by regularly attending class sessions and by passing the exam in the relevant lecture.
If there are multiple practicals available that are complementing the same lecture, students must sign up for one of the practicals. The online-registration for the small group classes takes place during the first week of the lecture period (the third week of October and April). The registration process is explained on the following website: http://www.jura.fu-berlin.de/studium/anwendungskurse/index.html
If there is only one practical offered for a lecture, students are not required to register for this practical.
During reading classes an area of the subject matter learned during the lecture is repeated and consolidated using academic sources or other literature. Reading classes can take place in the form of small group classes with research staff, they can also be offered by professors within the context of the lecture itself.
Reading classes cannot be taken separately from the relevant lectures, they must always be completed in conjunction with the relevant lecture. There are no examinations for the reading classes, as they serve to deepen and consolidate the learning undertaken during the lecture. Students can obtain credit points in reading classes by regularly attending class sessions and by passing the exam in the relevant lecture.
If there are multiple reading classes available that are complementing the same lecture, students must sign up for one of the reading classes. The online-registration for the small group classes takes place during the first week of the lecture period (the third week of October and April). The registration process is explained on the following website: http://www.jura.fu-berlin.de/studium/anwendungskurse/index.html
If there is only one reading class offered for a lecture, students are not required to register for this reading class.
Exercises in specialized subjects (Schwerpunktbereich)
Exercises are classes for advanced students, and are offered by professors in the form of lectures in the lecture theatre. They require considerable prior knowledge of the subject matter and usually build upon a lecture. During exercises case solving techniques are taught and trained.
To participate in exercises previous registration is not required.
Exercises on specialised areas of study prepare the regular (German) students for the five hour examination on an area of specialisation. Students from abroad are not allowed to take part in this examination, as it is designed as a part of the final examination for German students. Exchange students are recommended to ask the lecturer of the exercise for a special oral or written examination.
The registration for this exam takes place in the lecturer's Secretary's Office. The date and time of the exam will be communicated to the students by the lecturer or by his/her secretary.
Project groups are small group classes in which a practical problem is examined. Participants at these classes learn to practice their abilities to communicate and negotiate in practical situations.
Participants are required to prepare a presentation and then present this to the class. Instead of presentations there may also be some other form of practical activity such as role plays, case simulations, or group discussions.
As these classes consist of small group work, registration in advance is generally required. Interested exchange students should inform themselves about the registration procedure through the course descriptions before they arrive in Berlin.
The students' performance in project groups is often not graded, but only assessed by a pass/fail option. Exchange students who would like to complete a project group with an examination in order to obtain a grade, have to speak to the course instructor and write a paper. The deadline for the paper will be set by the course instructor.
Colloquia are small group classes in which the participants actively participate in discussing legal problems. Therefore it is generally expected that the students have a wide prior knowledge in the relevant area of law.
Previous registration for colloquia is not required.
Regular (German) students are not required to take an examination for colloquia. Exchange students, who require a grade as proof for their home university can ask the course instructor if they can do an oral or written examination. The date and time for such an examination will be communicated to the students by the course instructor or by his/her secretary.
Model United Nations / Model European Union
The Model UN and the Model EU are organised games, in which the participants, with the assistance of an authentic simulation, seek to further the work of multinational diplomacy. The participants take on the roll of an ambassador and negotiate current global problems.
Due to large student interest in these events, an application procedure is carried out for every conference. Interested exchange students should find out about the current projects before travelling to Berlin. Current information can be found on the following website: http://www.fu-berlin.de/sites/mun/index.html
The students' performance in the Model UN / Model EU will not be graded automatically. Successful participants will be awarded a certificate instead. The course will then be listed as 'passed' on the students' transcripts. Exchange students who would like to complete a Model UN / Model EU with an examination in order to obtain a grade, have to speak to the course instructor and write an additional paper. The deadline for the paper will be set by the course instructor.
Moot Courts include simulating court proceedings with the assistance of fictitious facts of the case. After a written round, in which the pleadings for both sides are finalized, there is an oral negotiation, in order to advocate the facts of the mandate as convincingly as possible in front of a fake panel of judges. Whoever has the best arguments or can simply better sell themselves, wins.
Due to our students large interest in these events, an application procedure is carried out for every Moot Court. Interested exchange students are recommended to contact the Moot Court Administrator for the application procedure before travelling to Berlin. Presentations for each Moot Court are available on the following web site: http://www.jura.fu-berlin.de/international/mootmodelunsummerschools/index.html
Grading will be based on the students' oral and written performances.
Exercises in civil, criminal and public law
In the tutorials for civil, criminal and public law, students learn how to use the law in a practical manner. They concentrate solely on case resolution. Assignments are on a scale of at least 15 pages and written examinations, which must be passed, are several hours long. The tutorials are solely designed for German students who wish to complete their first legal examination (erste juristische Prüfung).
Seminars are small group classes in which legal questions on a specific topic and at an exam level are discussed and examined in depth. German law students prepare themselves for their thesis related to their area of specialisation during these seminars. Every participant produces an assignment and defends this in an oral presentation in front of the seminar group.
Seminars are solely offered to German students and are only available to exchange students in exceptional circumstances.
Revision and Examination classes
These classes serve to prepare German students for the first legal examination and as a result are solely designed for German students.