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Course choice and course catalogue

Students at the University of Vienna are creating their own timetables for each semester and are accustomed to working independently.

Course types

There are different course types: lectures (Vorlesungen, VO) are f.i. courses where regular attendance is not mandatory. There usually is a written or an oral exam at the end of the semester in order to obtain a grade.
Training courses (Übungen, UE), proseminars (Proseminare, PS) and seminars (SE) are for example courses with compulsory and regular attendance. Assessment criteria are active course participation, presentations, midterm-tests, papers and written and/or oral end-term tests.
Grades are awarded within a five-digit grading system ranging from 1 (excellent) to 5 (unsatisfactory).

As an exchange student you do not have to take courses from the STEOP module (“Studieneingangs- und Orientierungsphase“ i.e. “Introduction and Orientation Phase”); you are normally even recommended not to take any of these courses. 

Advanced students who have been nominated for the Bachelor programme may also attend courses from the Master's programme if they have sufficient knowledge on the subject. 

Course Catalogue

The course catalogue (or course directory) u:find contains all courses offered at the University of Vienna and is only available online. Moreover you can search for staff and organisation units.

The course catalogue lists details for each course such as units per week, beginning and end dates, amount of ECTS, language of instruction etc. in the respective course descriptions. Some departments use an annotated course catalogue (Kommentiertes Vorlesungsverzeichnis - KoVo) that contains more detailed information regarding the field of study in general and the individual courses. The annotated course catalogues will be available shortly before the start of the semester in question at the secretary's offices of the respective departments, from the student's representations of the Student's Union (Studienrichtungsvertretungen der ÖH) or on the departments'/faculties' websites.

The course catalogue for the upcoming semester will be available online approximately in August and January. It will, however, still be updated and new courses can still be added until the beginning of the semester. If you need to know what kind of courses are offered in your field of study in order to fill your Learning Agreement before the new course catalogue is published, please use the one of the previous winter or summer semester, which will give you an idea of the course offer. Please keep in mind, however, that not all courses are offered every year/semester.

How to find courses from your field of study

Choose the course directory on u:find under the option “Browse”. The following page lists all the directorates of study (Studienprogrammleitungen, SPL), where you can find your field of study. Sometimes one Directorate of Studies (SPL) lists several fields of study (e.g. SPL 4 Business, Economics and Statistics, which lists Business Administration, International Business Administration, Statistics and Economics as fields of study).

Once you have chosen your field of study, all the courses are listed structured by study cycle and modules. If you click on a certain course you will be directed to the detailed course description with information on the course's programme as well as the link to the course registration (in case of courses where registration is compulsory).

Further tips on how to use u:find.

Courses not taught in German

Courses taught in other languages than German are marked with a blue button and an ISO-shortcut for the respective language in the course directory u:find. The ISO-shortcut for courses taught in English for example is "en". List of ISO-shortcuts of other languages.

You can also find courses not taught in German by entering the following command in u:find  (without brackets, with blank characters):

  • "lang:[ISO-Code of the language] SPL [XX] [year][W or S]"
    ("SPL no.": can be found by clicking on "Browse - Course Directory" in u:find)
    Example for courses held in English from Social and Cultural Anthropology in the winter semester 2016:
    lang:en SPL 24 2016 W

Sometimes one Directorate of Studies (SPL) lists several fields of study. In this case, you can filter courses taught e.g. in English of your field of study by entering the following command: 

  • „[year] [W or S] lang:en +sge:[field of study]“
    Example for courses from Statistics taught in English in the winter semester 2016:
    2016 W lang:en +sge:Statistik

This command is only available searching for "courses" and the field of study must be entered in German (no English terms available).

Course Registration

The course directory ("Vorlesungsverzeichnis") for the winter semester will usually be published online sometime in August; the course catalogue for the summer semester will be made available in January. However, the page will be continuously updated until the start of the semester and new courses added; you are therefore advised to check it regularly at:


You can search the course directory ("Vorlesungsverzeichnis") by keywords.

The deadlines for course registration depend on your field of study. The course registration period for the winter semester usually opens at the beginning of September, course registration for the summer semester starts at the beginning of February. The registration periods are listed in the course catalogue u:find in the course details. During these registration periods, the first-come-first-served principle is not applied. Please note that course registration is absolutely necessary, even if you are only interested in taking a course. Students who have not registered for a course with mandatory course registration in due time will not be able to attend it. Even the professors cannot admit them.

In order to be able to register for a course, you will need a valid u:account. You will get more information on how to activate your u:account, when you receive your student ID number by e-mail in August/January.
In most cases, you will be able to register online via u:space. In some cases, course registration must take place via e-mail or in person. You will find the relevant information in the course directory ("Vorlesungsverzeichnis").

Additional information on how to register for courses via the u:space can be found here.
Ways of enrolling for courses will also be discussed during the Orientation Session.

Mandatory presence in the first course session

Registration for the courses, however, is not enough: If you do not attend the first course meeting at the beginning of the semester without prior notification , you will be deregistered and your spot will be given to a student from the waiting list. Therefore contact the course teacher IN ADVANCE if you are not able to attend the first class. Otherwise you will lose your spot even though you had registered correctly. 

Deregistration from courses

Should you decide not to attend a course with obligatory course registration during the semester, you will have to deregister from the course. You can usually do this via your u:space account within the first two weeks after the course has started. Students who do not deregister from classes in time will receive a negative grade (5). 

Please note that students of the University of Vienna are generally expected to actively take responsibility for their studies. In addition to the course registration and deregistration, you are expected to read information that is provided on the university's website thoroughly and to listen to your teachers' announcements at the beginning of the semester carefully.


At the University of Vienna, the workload of an individual course is measured in ECTS credits. The use of ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) at European universities should ensure the possibility to transfer credits from one university to another (also across borders) and enhance the level of transparency.

Austrian full-time students usually enrol for courses that will yield a maximum of 30 ECTS per semester.
The University of Vienna sets no minimum requirements as to the number of ECTS credits that exchange students must obtain per semester. How many ECTS credits you are able to obtain will also depend on whether you take your courses in English or in German. Most exchange students average 20 to 25 ECTS credits per semester.


At the University of Vienna there are two types of exams:

  1. exams which cover all the material treated in the course during the semester (usually "lectures"): = course exams
  2. courses (e.g. seminars, training courses) where your performance is evaluated during the semester by means of presentations, mid-term and end-term tests, your participation in discussions, etc: courses with continous assessment ("prüfungsimmanente Lehrveranstaltungen").

In courses where your performance is evaluated during the semester, you usually have to complete different tasks in the course of the semester which together make up your final grade. Opposed to these kind of courses, there are courses where you take a single course exam at the end of the semester in order to obtain your final grade.

Course exams are usually held at the end of the semester or shortly afterwards. Exam dates are usually communicated during the first course session at the beginning of the semester; they often also are listed in the course directory u:find at the beginning of the semester. If you want to sit an exam, you will have to register for it.

Online registration for exams

The registration for exams is conducted via u:space (>> account > studies > course and examination registration system). Only students who have registered for exams in due time are allowed to sit them. Please do not mix up the registration for exams with the voluntary registration for lectures at the beginning of the class.


Deregistration from exams

Should you decide not to take an exam after you had registered for it, you have to deregister. Students who are registered for an exam and do not show up without prior notice to the teacher will not be allowed to take part in the next sitting.

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