Regulations, exams, tips

On this page you will find an overview of current regulations and procedures inherent to the BALET study plan in English language and literature. It covers issues of registration, examination, evaluation and contains details on some of the modules that compose this study plan. Please note that this webpage does not constitute a legal basis for any aspect regarding the BALET study plan. For official regulations and further relevant documentation, please refer to the following links:

Note on expected level of English: Students who wish to study English literature and linguistics are expected to have achieved a high level of English language competence in their Matura/Maturité/Maturita. We strongly recommend a level of C1 in English for students beginning their studies at the English Department.

  • 1. Important note on the registration procedure on MyUnifr

    The online system on MyUnifr operates with the concept of ‘teaching unit’ (unité d’enseignement / Unterrichtseinheiten). The teaching units that are part of our BA study plan are the following (note that the teaching units ‘seminar’ and ‘seminar paper’ are specific to the MA study plan):

    1. lecture
    2. module exam
    3. proseminar (intro)
    4. proseminar
    5. proseminar paper
    6. BA thesis
    7. Applied project
    8. Comprehensive oral examination

    Each teaching unit is worth a specific number of ECTS. These must be validated to complete your training. Importantly, the MyUnifr system considers by default that each teaching unit must be validated by an ‘exam’ (even if there is no actual physical exam), which is why, for each teaching unit, students must register separately both for the teaching unit and for its associated ‘exam’. The only way to gain all ECTS associated with a teaching unit (including attendance credits) is therefore to register for both options within the same teaching unit.

  • 2. Registration for classes and exams

    The following rules are formulated in accordance with articles 23 and 24 of the Règlement pour l’obtention du bachelor et du master à la Faculté des lettres et des sciences humaines / Reglement zur Erlangung des Bachelors und des Masters an der Philosophischen Fakultät, dated 8 March 2018, available here.

    • Students must register on MyUnifr both for a teaching unit and for the exam associated to that teaching unit before the official half-yearly registration deadline, which is found on the university calendar and on the Faculty’s website.
    • Students may drop a class they have registered for before the end of the registration period (also found on the Faculty's website). After this date, students wishing to drop a class can do so when both the following conditions are met: (i) they need to have explicit approval from the teacher of that teaching unit and (ii) they must not have registered for the exam of that teaching unit (or have unregistered from it within the deadline specified below).
    • Students may unregister from the exam associated to the teaching unit on MyUnifr up to 7 days before the exam. When that happens, the number of remaining attempts is the same as prior to the exam. However, the deadline of 4 consecutive exam sessions to validate a teaching unit is not extended, meaning that the total of two attempts remains valid for the – then – three remaining exam sessions.
    • If a student does not register for the exam associated to a teaching unit they have registered for within a timeframe of 4 consecutive exam sessions, the system will issue a definitive failure (échec définitif / Endgültiger Misserfolg) for that teaching unit, in accordance with article 73 of the above-mentioned official faculty regulations for BA and MA studies.
    • MyUnifr tends to refer to the exams associated to each teaching unit as exams ‘Hors session / ausserhalb der Prüfungssession’. When looking for exams on MyUnifr, it is therefore advisable to activate this session filter to get proper access to registration forms.

       

  • 3. Attempts, failure, resits, absences

    The following rules are formulated in accordance with article 15 of the Règlement pour l’obtention du bachelor et du master à la Faculté des lettres et des sciences humaines / Reglement zur Erlangung des Bachelors und des Masters an der Philosophischen Fakultät, dated 8 March 2018, available here.

    3.1. Validation timeframe

    • All teaching units must be validated within 4 consecutive exam sessions of the initial registration date.
    • Failure to validate any teaching unit within that timeframe results in a definitive failure (see 3.3 below).
    • Lecture courses are usually validated at the end of the semester. The deadlines for proseminar papers are specified by each teacher individually.

    3.2. Number of attempts

    • If students fail the exam of a teaching unit, they are allowed to take one resit, which is organised by the teacher (either the re-submission of an essay in the case of proseminars or the resit of an exam, for lectures or introductory proseminars).

    • These two attempts must take place within a timeframe of 4 consecutive exam sessions following the completion of a teaching unit. If students do not register for the exam associated to a teaching unit they have registered for within a timeframe of 4 consecutive exam sessions, the system will issue a definitive failure for that teaching unit.

    • Students are free to register for the exam session of their choice and are thus responsible for how they use their 2 attempts. However, the 4 consecutive exam session rule always applies, which means that if they choose to register only in the 4th session after the teaching unit, they will only have one attempt.

    • Students may not attempt to get a better grade in a resit if they earned a passing grade (4 or higher) in the first attempt.

    • Students must register on MyUnifr for lecture courses resits but not for proseminar resits (registration in this case is automatic).

    3.3. Failure

    • A definitive failure (échec définitif / Endgültiger Misserfolg) is defined in accordance with articles 15 and 73 of the above-mentioned official faculty regulations for BA and MA studies. The implications of a definitive failure with respect to the study plan are defined in accordance with article 15.6 of the same document.

    • A definitive failure is registered for a given teaching unit in any of the following cases:

      a) the student has failed to achieve a result of 4 or higher after two attempts at validating the teaching unit.

      b) the student has failed to validate the exam of the teaching unit for which s/he has registered within the timeframe of 4 consecutive exam sessions.

    • In accordance with section III of the current version of the BA study plan, dated September 2015, failure to validate a teaching unit under the conditions stipulated above in sections ‘Validation timeframe’ and ‘Number of attempts’ results in a definitive failure to validate the module to which the teaching unit belongs. This in turns results in a definitive failure of the English BA study plan, which means that the student is no longer allowed to pursue English studies at the University of Fribourg. This rule excludes Module 9 (Soft skills). The BALET study plan is available in French [pdf] and in German [pdf].

    • Failed exams cannot be compensated by other teaching units.

    3.4. Absences on exam days

    • Justified absences are defined as force majeure cases (cas de force majeure / Fall höherer Gewalt), following article 16 of the official faculty regulations for BA and MA studies.
    • Justified absences must be certified by appropriate documents (medical certificate, etc.). These must be made available within 7 days of the date of the examination both to the relevant tutor and to the staff member who is responsible for the study programme (Responsable de programme d’études / Studienprogrammverantwortliche). The latter will determine whether each case constitutes a force majeure case. The BA contact person details can be found here.
    • The staff member responsible for the study programme must be informed if a student has conflicting/overlapping evaluations at the latest one week before the evaluation takes place. When this happens, the student can re-schedule it in consultation with the teacher at a suitable date and time. Students can only request this once in order to cancel a particular evaluation.
  • 4. Module specificities

    4.1. Module 1

    • Students follow one lecture course in Linguistics (3 ECTS), one lecture course in Philology (3 ECTS), and one intro proseminar in either Linguistics or Philology (3 ECTS) – please note that the choice of proseminar in this Module will determine which proseminar the student will need to take in Module 4 (see 4.4 below).
    • What is called the ‘Module exam’ breaks down into three distinct components associated with each of the three teaching units that are part of the module. Each part of the module exam is taken separately at the end of the semester in which the teaching unit is offered.
    • Each validated teaching unit earns students 3 ECTS. Once students have validated all three teaching units of the Module (i.e., once they have earned their 9 credits and successfully taken the three parts of the Module exam associated with them), they automatically earn the remaining 6 credits to validate Module 1. This means that the Foundation Module exam (which appears at the end of Module 1 on the study plan) is not a separate physical exam; it is however validated upon completion of all three teaching units and the Module exam components associated with them.
    • When students validate the first of the three teaching units of the Module, our secretary enters this result as a comment under the teaching unit ‘Foundations Module exam’, which is where students can find out about their grade. Once the three teaching units of the Module are successfully validated, the average grade is entered on MyUnifr under ‘Foundation Module exam’ and the 15 ECTS are validated. Note that grades cannot be compensated within the Module.
    • Students must register for the lecture courses and for the proseminar on MyUnifr, without forgetting to register as well for the exam associated to each of these teaching units in order to gain the corresponding credits.
    • More than 2 unexcused absences (per course) disqualify a student from gaining credit.

    4.2. Module 2

    • Module 2 must be started in Fall term and must finish in Spring.
    • Students attend two survey lecture courses (3 ECTS each) and one intro proseminar to literary studies (3 ECTS).
    • Students must register for all three teaching units and for the associated exams to gain credits.
    • They must also register for the teaching unit ‘Module exam’ (6 ECTS) and for its associated exam, as this is in fact a physical exam. The evaluation is a written exam taking place at the end of the spring semester. The module exam is associated with the specific survey lecture courses that the students followed during the year.
    • More than 2 unexcused absences (per course) disqualify a student from gaining credit.

    4.3. Module 3

    • Please note that different conditions and guidelines apply to Module 3, which is contributed by the Language Centre. Please refer to the Language Centre website and the respective course descriptions for more information.

    4.4. Module 4

    • Students follow one lecture course in Linguistics (3 ECTS) and one lecture course in Philology (3 ECTS), and one proseminar in the field they had not selected for the intro proseminar they followed in Module 1 (6 ECTS). If they followed an intro proseminar in Linguistics in Module 1, they must follow a proseminar in Philology in Module 4, and vice-versa.
    • Both lecture courses are validated on the basis of regular attendance and participation. More than 2 unexcused absences (per course) disqualify a student from gaining credit.
    • The proseminar is evaluated on the basis of regular attendance and participation (3 ECTS) as well as a written paper (3 ECTS). Students must therefore register for two teaching units in this case (‘Proseminar’ + ‘Proseminar paper’).

    4.5. Module 5

    • Students attend two lectures and one proseminar in Literature.
    • The lectures are validated on the basis of regular attendance. More than 2 unexcused absences (per course) disqualify a student from gaining credit.
    • The proseminar is evaluated on the basis of regular attendance and participation (3 ECTS) as well as a written paper (3 ECTS). Students must therefore register for two teaching units in this case (‘Proseminar’ + ‘Proseminar paper’).

    4.6. Modules 6 and 7

    • Students attend 2 proseminars.
    • Both proseminars are evaluated on the basis of regular attendance and participation (3 ECTS) as well as a written paper (3 ECTS). Students must therefore register for two teaching units in this case (‘Proseminar’ + ‘Proseminar paper’).
    • More than 2 unexcused absences (per course) disqualify a student from gaining credit.

    4.7. Module 9

    • As the teaching units which compose Module 9 are to be completed within the study of another Department, applicable rules and regulations on how to earn the required 12 ECTS credits of the module are those of the offering Department.
  • 5. Capstone experience, Module 8

    In this Module, students choose only one of the following options: a BA thesis, a comprehensive BA oral exam, or an applied project. Before registering for either option, students must consult with their potential supervisor to see which option is best suited to their strengths and future requirements. Here are the 3 available options students may choose from:

    5.1. BA thesis (12 ECTS)

    • A BA thesis demonstrates students’ capability to undertake a sustained piece of independent work chosen in consultation with their supervisor. Students are expected to show wide reading and reflection, a clear, well-structured and convincing argumentation, as well as a high degree of skill and competence in research methods and critical evaluation. Students are required to consult potential supervisors before they actually register.
    • The first step in writing a thesis is to identify the research area of interest, to find a topic, and to contact an instructor about the latter. Students will then discuss details about the form and content of their project with him or her. A BA thesis is an independent piece of written work. Supervisors will be happy to help students when they face difficulties, but they will neither do the work nor send students reminders that they need to make progress within the agreed upon timeframe. It is advisable to contact potential supervisors in good time, e.g. at the end of the semester prior to the one in which work on the BA thesis is planned.

    5.2. Applied project (12 ECTS, only available in Linguistics and Philology)

    • Linguistics: This option is specifically designed for advanced students with a keen interest in linguistics who want to work on an empirical project involving data collection. This would typically require experimental or empirical methodologies. It involves a series of tutorials with the supervisor to plan the empirical design. The data collected that way will then be used towards the illustration/evaluation of a specific theoretical claim in linguistics. This option can only be selected with the agreement of the supervisor.
    • Philology: This option is specifically designed for advanced students with a keen interest in philology who want to work on a project with an application beyond the classroom. This would typically involve some element of creative realization of themes or ideas explored in medieval texts. It involves a series of tutorials with the supervisor to design the project. This option can only be selected with the agreement of the supervisor.

    5.3. Comprehensive Oral Exam (12 ECTS)

    • This is an oral examination. Students should contact their supervisor personally and early enough so that they can agree on a list of readings and topics which the student will discuss during a final oral examination (1 hour).

     

  • 6. Appeals

    Students have the right to appeal the decisions regarding exams and evaluations. The official regulations of the Faculty of Humanities for appeals is available here and here (art. 26).