Degree Programs & Courses Language offer

Registration and conditions of participation

Conditions of participation

We offer you

  • language courses to help you improve your language skills for your university studies and academic work in German and English, which are the languages of instruction at the University of Bern.
  • a digital platform where you can find language learning partners for tandems in various languages (Uni Bern in collaboration with partner universities and the Forum for Bilingualism):

For the language courses, this means that

  • Our courses are open to all members of the University, regardless of their discipline. Our main target audience is students, including doctoral students.
  • We focus on developing language skills and competences that are beneficial for your studies and academic career.
  • The majority of our language courses are semester courses. They begin one week after the start of the semester and last until its end. You can only begin a course at the start of the semester, and regular attendance is mandatory. In addition, there are compulsory course assignments or tests, and you receive ECTS credits upon their completion.
  • Our courses are designed according to the language levels outlined in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. For German as a foreign language, we offer courses with the target levels A1, A2, B1, B2, and C1.  For academic English, courses are available for levels B1, B2, C1, and C2.

You can assess your language level here: GermanEnglishFrench

Information about course participation

These conditions of participation have been translated from German into English. The German version is authoritative

We welcome all full members of the University of Bern (BA, BSc, MA, MSc, PhD, including exchange students and staff members) and students of the partner institutions of the Language Center of the Uni Bern (Berner Fachhochschule and Pädagogische Hochschule). However, students enrolled in continuing education programs (e.g., LLM, CAS, DAS, etc.)  are not permitted to join our courses.

These rules apply to participation in Language Center courses:

  • Priority is given to students of the University of Bern, including exchange students, and the partner institutions of the Language Center. Employees may participate if places are available.
  • Students of the University of Bern do not have to pay course fees. However, employees are required to do so.
  • Students of the partner institutions of the Language Center should consult their institutions to determine whether their course fees will be covered or if they need to pay themselves.

Unfortunately, students from other institutions (including BeNeFri), auditors, and individuals from outside the university are not eligible to participate in the language courses.

Please check the range of courses available, and read the course descriptions: GermanEnglish

The course descriptions provide essential details about the course content, materials, assessment methods, schedule, and lecturer.

If you have any questions about the courses, please contact for the English courses and for the German courses.

No. The placement tests are solely intended for placement purposes and are not suitable for comprehensive certification of your current language level, as international language certificates are. The Language Center of the University of Bern does not conduct exams to certify language levels because it is not an international language examination center.

Which situation applies to you? Please select:

When you register on ILIAS, you automatically register for both course and assessment.

  1. To participate in a language course, you must be registered. Here is how to register for English and for German.
  2. With Academic English (AE) you may register for a second course at the same level if places are available.
    • Before registering, please consider whether you have enough time for the course. You need to consider the class time and devote at least the same amount of time to self-study tasks and course assignments. The lecturer can provide you with further information.
  3.  If the course you wish to register for is full, you should still register. The system will automatically assign you the next place available on the waiting list. (You will be notified if a course place becomes available, and your registration will then be changed from waiting to participating.)
  4. When you register on ILIAS, you automatically register for both the course and the assessment.
  5. If you decide not to participate in the course after registration, please deregister on ILIAS and inform the lecturer about your deregistration before the start of the second week of the course so that someone else can take your place.
    • After this period, deregistration is no longer possible. Failure to participate in the course will be recorded as “no show” (see below).




If you no longer wish to participate in the course for which you have registered, please cancel your registration before the start of the second course week. If you do not deregister and fail to attend the classes (“no show”), we reserve the right to ban you from the courses of the Language Center in the following semester.

It is important that your initial level corresponds with the course’s starting level so that we can create an optimal learning environment.

Therefore, the lecturer will assess your level at the start of the course. This means that they will observe your reading, listening, writing, and speaking skills in addition to your lexical and grammatical knowledge to ensure that your level is neither too high nor too low for the course.

If the lecturer decides that your initial level does not correspond with the course’s starting level, you may not be able to join the course. In such a case, we will try to offer you another course.

  1. We expect regular attendance (at least 80% attendance is mandatory) and active participation. If you miss more than 20% of the classes,* your course assignments and tests will not be assessed, and you will receive a grade of 1. In addition, you will not receive a certificate of course completion or ECTS points. In the subsequent semester, you will not be able to register for another course.
    • *except in cases of force majeure. In the case of illness, we require a medical certificate.
    • If you are unable to attend a lesson, please contact the lecturer. In justified exceptional cases, replacement tasks can be set. The lecturer will decide on the type of task you will need to complete.
    • To pass a course, you must complete all coursework. If you fail to complete all the coursework, you will receive a grade of 1. If you have completed all the coursework, you will receive a final grade.
  2. In addition to attending classes, you also need to devote time to assignments and self-study tasks to meet the workload required to obtain the ECTS points and/or achieve the target competencies. Merely attending classes is not sufficient to achieve the learning objectives. Please read the course information. At the beginning of the course, the lecturer will inform you about the course assignments, the self-study tasks, and any tests.
  3. It is compulsory to take part in the course assessment through submission of assignments or completion of tests. The results are recorded on your study profile sheet (KSL).
  4. It is not possible to attend the course without participating in the course assessment even if you do not need the ECTS points.
  5. Upon successful completion of the course assignments and/or tests, you will receive ECTS points from the Language Center. Whether these ECTS points are accepted for your BA/BSc or MA/MSc program is determined by your faculty, department, or institute. The Language Center has no influence over this decision.
  6. Upon successful completion of a course, you may participate in a course at the next target level in the following semester.


  1. If you do not complete a course successfully, meaning you fail the course assessment, you have the opportunity to repeat the assessment once.
  2. If you do not complete a course successfully, you can only repeat the course if places are available.
  3. If you wish to repeat the course assessment, you must do so at the next available occasion. The lecturer will inform you about this. Please contact them for the date and location of the next test.
  4. If you register for the course assessment and then fail to attend or submit the work required, we reserve the right to ban you from our courses in the following semester.
  5. If you fail the course assessment on the second attempt, you will receive a grade of 1. No further attempts or course repeats are permitted.

The Language Center’s courses support you in learning German and English. Our mission is to assist you with language learning. We offer high-quality courses designed and taught by language-teaching specialists.

Stable course groups, appropriate target levels, and consistent motivation are all key factors for your progress and success. Autonomous learning activities are integral to our learning and teaching concept. Your personal contribution is essential to making progress.