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The most important questions concerning the dual studies

What is a "dual course"?

The curriculum consists of a combination of theory and practically learned know-how. This knowledge is transmitted at two different locations: During the practical terms the student is learning in a company, during the theoretical terms at a university / academy. This change of practical and theoretical terms lasts during the whole study, that's why a dual course is different to a normal course in terms of higher practical reference. Dual courses can be attended at universities of cooperative education (UCEs), universities of applied sciences (UAS'), and sometimes, if also very rarely, at universities.

What is a university of cooperative education?

UCEs are institutions which only offer dual courses. Even if they don’t exist in all provinces they are approved as a fix component of the german educational system. There are stately UCEs in the provinces Baden Württemberg, Sachsen, Berlin and Thüringen; in Hessen, Niedersachsen, Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein and Saarland they are financed by private investors. The degree you receive at a UCE used to be a UCE-diploma, but in the meantime several UCEs give the opportunity to attend dual-courses with the bachelor's degree (e.g. in the provinces Baden-Württemberg and Niedersachsen). These diplomas are accredited and therefore accepted by the educational law. In case of doubt you should check which rules are applied in which province.

Which courses are offered in the dual system?

The courses cover the areas of technique, economy and welfare. The offers range from engineering, mechatronics and economical engineering to the building industry, real estate industry, tourism management, social management and social work. Artistic courses and the humanities don’t exist in the dual system.

What are advantages, what are disadvantages?

Students of a dual course are in contact with the practice from the beginning on; that means that a student disposes of a perennial work experience. Financially the student is more independent because he already earns money during the study. But on the other side he has lesser time than his colleagues of the "classical" courses. With which we are at the disadvantages: a dual study demands lot of work und the time is organized rigidly. There are no holidays but counted leave days.

What admission requirements do I need?

Normally the high-school diploma or a restricted university entrance qualifications needed for attending a UCE. For attending a UAS you need a advanced technical college entrance qualification. Further on you need to have an indenture at a company. For this reason one can say that the companies are the ones choosing the students. Because the college places are very appreciated, you should begin as early as possible with you apply. Depending on the company you have to pass exams, interviews and assessment-centers.

Where do I find a cooperating company?

Normally you get a list of the cooperating companies at the course guidance of the UCEs. It is also possible to contact companies by yourself and to talk with them about the possibility of dual study. They can take advice at the universities then.

What means "apprenticeship-integrated course"?

As is tells the name it is a course after which the student not only receives the bachelor's degree or a diploma, but also an accredited diploma of the IHK (Chamber of commerce and industry) or of the HWK(Chamber of commerce). The cooperating company is the company of apprenticeship which pays the salary. Many UAS' offer apprenticeship-integrated courses.

What is a composite course?

This course is only offered at UAS' in Nordrhein-Westfalen and is one example of in-service studies. It is a special form of distance-study that is mainly made for working people. Next to educational terms where you have to learn by yourself there are periodical terms of practically orientated education. Study and work can be combined by this.

, Editor in Chief