Overview of the types of studies
In addition to the classic full-time studies, there are a number of other types of studies that can be offered to all those who are limited in time or space. Regardless of which type of studies you choose for your study programme, the degrees are equivalent provided that the university is state-recognised and the programme offered is accredited. The following six types of studies are the most common.
Full-time studies, also known as attendance studies, is the classic type of studies in which you devote your full attention to your studies. This means that, depending on your timetable, you have to go to university five days a week and, as with a normal job, you have to spend about 40 hours a week, including preparation and follow-up. But do not worry – there is still enough time for partying and sleeping in, because honestly, it is usually less than 40 hours per week anyways, if you do not count the exam phase. As a full-time student, you usually need six to eight semesters (3–4 years) for a Bachelor's and two to four semesters (1–2 years) for a Master's degree. Depending on the course of studies and the university, the A-Levels (Abitur) or the Advanced Technical College Entrance Qualification (Allgemeine Fachhochschulreife) are usually a prerequisite for admission, but sometimes there are also other requirements such as language skills or passing an aptitude test.
Dual studies are also known as job-integrating studies. If you want to work and earn money during your studies, this type is just right for you. Here, theory and practice are combined, whereby you alternate between university and co-operating company in regular intervals, usually every two weeks. Dual studies are usually offered in economic, commercial, technical, or social subjects. It is important to know that you are applying for dual studies at the company of your choice and not at the university. You will then be given a training or internship contract with which you can enrol at the co-operating university. There are three forms of dual studies: the training-integrated, the practice-integrated, and the job-integrated dual studies.
– In training-integrated dual studies, you acquire two officially recognised degrees, your Bachelor's degree and that of a successfully completed apprenticeship.
– In the practice-integrated dual studies, you “only” earn a degree, but in addition to your studies you gain practical experience in a co-operating company, for example in the form of internships.
– Job-integrated dual studies are similar to the training-intergrated. The biggest difference, however, is that in job-integrated dual studies one already has a profession – or has completed vocational training – and in the end “only” receives an additional university degree.
Distance learning is particularly suitable for you if you have a lot of self-discipline and self-management and if presence studies are not possible for you due to private reasons. You will receive all documents either by mail or online on special platforms and have to teach yourself all learning contents. You do not have to go to university for this, but can study from anywhere. Of course there are mentors and tutors who will help you with any questions you may have. At some universities, attendance events are planned for certain projects or exams, which are held at regular intervals and usually on weekends. You can complete a distance learning course, like part-time studies, parallel to your job. However, you have to decide for yourself whether you can bear this double burden. A good alternative to this would be dual studies, as theory and practice are alternately taught here. If you decide to do a Master's after your Bachelor's degree or after a few years of work experience, distance learning would be a good option.