Coursework, credits and grading


1. Registration for credit and grade allocation on QISPOS

Normally, all our course credits and grades are administered on the online system QISPOS. To enable credit and grade allocation for their courses, students normally need to complete a QISPOS registration for each of their courses. (Please note: This is a separate registration from the course registration on HIS-LSF – the two platforms look very similar, but they still need two separate registrations!). Some types of assignment (e.g. some of the written exams, and certain self-study options) also need a separate registration in addition to the registration for the course they are connected to. Other assignments (e.g. term papers) are already covered by the general registration for the course they are part of. You should be able to infer this from the options that show up on your QISPOS registration interface after log-in. When in doubt, you may also ask your course teacher or the English Department’s Student Advisory Service.
For information of how failed coursework and registration for second or third attempts is handled on QISPOS, please see point 5 (“Repetition of failed assignments”) below.


2. New regulations concerning course attendance

Whereas module descriptions previously required regular attendance in seminars and many other courses (monitored via attendance lists), these regulations have changed since the summer semester 2016:
Now, in most courses taught at the English Department regular attendance is no longer mandatory.

The only exceptions (where regular attendance remains mandatory) are:

• In the BA programmes:
       o Integrated Language Skills
       o Spoken English
• In the MA programme “National & Transnational Studies”:
       o “Advanced Language Course”

The reason why these 3 courses are exempt from the new rule is that they are primarily concerned with language practice, for which attendance is particularly important. If a student is absent more than 3 times in those classes, he/she will not obtain any credit for the course, which is thus graded as ‘failed.’


3. Types of assignment: Studienleistungen and Prüfungsleistungen

There are two different types of assignments: Type 1 is known in German as “Studienleistung” (which roughly translates as ‘required coursework’); type 2 is known in German as a “Prüfungsleistung” (which translates as ‘examination’ or ‘assessed coursework’). The main differences are:

A Studienleistung is ungraded; i.e. it is only classed as “pass” or “fail”, without any further distinction between “pass” grade levels (e.g. “very good”, “good”, etc.). Depending on the course, different kinds of coursework can count as a Studienleistung, such as ungraded (pass/fail) written exams, presentations, reading assignments, etc.

A Prüfungsleistung is graded; i.e. it is not only classed as “pass” or “fail” (grade 5), but there are also different kinds of “pass” grades: a simple “pass” grade (“sufficient”, grade 4), “satisfactory” (grade 3), “good” (grade 2) and “very good” (grade 1). Depending on the course/module, a Prüfungsleistung can be a sit-in written exam, but it can also be a term paper, a shorter essay, a presentation, etc.

For information on what happens if a student fails a Studien- or Prüfungsleistung, please see point 5 (“Repetition of failed assingments”) below.


4. Plagiarism

Plagiarized coursework is generally regarded as failed.


5. Repetition of failed assignments

Grades for failed assignments (both Studienleistungen and Prüfungsleistungen) are immediately entered in QISPOS, but it is possible to repeat a failed assignment and change the status to “passed”.

A failed Studienleistung (see point 3 above) can be repeated up to two times (i.e. three attempts altogether) within the same course. After a failed third attempt, the student can register for a new course of the same course type (e.g. another seminar) and then has another three attempts there.

A failed Prüfungsleistung (see point 3 above) can also be repeated up to two times (i.e. three attempts altogether), but here there are only three attempts in total, i.e. these can all be done within the same course, or the second/third attempt can be done in a different course of the same type, but after a failed third attempt there are no further attempts, even if the student wishes to choose a new course. Instead, the student can no longer continue on this particular degree programme.
If a student decides to repeat individual required coursework (e.g. a term paper), he/she can make individual arrangements for a second or third attempt with the same teacher in the same course; in this case there will be no need to do a separate QISPOS registration for the second/third attempt, but the teacher will simply keep it on file and then, once the new attempt is graded, the teacher will ask the exams office to add the new grade to the student’s QISPOS account.
The procedure is different in cases of sit-in written exams taken by a larger number of students (e.g. in an introductory course or a lecture): here there will be fixed re-sit dates for all, and a new QISPOS registration is necessary (for which there will again be a specific registration period, usually during the semester break). If a student fails a second attempt, s/he may register for a third attempt during the next general QISPOS registration period. In case of periodically repeating courses (e.g. the Grundkurse), the date of the re-sit exam will coincide with the regular exam dates of the respective course in the following semester.
If a Studienleistung or Prüfungsleistung is failed due to plagiarism, it is not possible to repeat it in the same course. Instead, the student must start afresh in another course of the same course type (e.g. if it was a seminar, do another seminar).
If a student passes the Studienleistung or Prüfungsleistung in a second or third attempt, the new grade will be added to the student’s QISPOS account, and the status of the course/module will be changed from “failed” to “passed”.