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The bachelor’s and master’s degree programmes and continuing and executive education offered by universities of applied sciences (UASs) is wide-ranging and not always easy to describe. The academic advisors of the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts explain the most important concepts.
The bachelor's degree is the standard qualification awarded by UASs (with the exception of the Lucerne School of Art and Design, where the master's degree is standard). It qualifies holders to enter a profession directly.
The bachelor's degree programme is equivalent to Switzerland's earlier UAS diploma programme, which took three to three-and-a-half years to complete. Holders of an above-average bachelor's degree with an interest in applied research are eligible to continue their education by pursuing a consecutive master's degree programme. These take one-and-a-half to two years to complete, depending on the field of study.
There are two types of university-level institutions in Europe: universities of applied sciences, and traditional universities. They are equivalent to each other, yet different.
At its most simple, the focus at traditional universities is on academically oriented studies based on pure research activities. By contrast, the education offered by UASs is practically oriented and geared towards specific issues. UASs should not be confused with schools of further education (Höhere Fachschulen HFS): offering an education that is wholly practically oriented. The latter are not university-level institutions.
ECTS stands for European Credit Transfer System. ECTS credits are a unit of measure reflecting amounts of student work over certain periods of time.
Jede Aus-und Weiterbildung ist mit einer bestimmten Anzahl ECTS-Credits dotiert, je nach zeitlichem Auf-wand, der durchschnittlich benötigt wird, um das Modul zu absolvieren. Ein ECTS-Credit entspricht 30 Arbeitsstunden. Das ECTS ermöglicht die transparente Anerkennung von Studienleistungen.
Executive MBA, Master of Advanced Studies MAS, Diploma of Advanced Studies DAS and Certificate of Advanced Studies CAS are the labels attached to continuing and executive education programmes introduced since the Bologna reforms. They take anything between six months and three years to complete.
The title Executive Master of Advanced Studies in Business Administration EMBA applies to continuing and executive education programmes conducted on a work-study basis, which primarily impart business-related knowledge and know-how.
Admission to an EMBA is dependent on several years of professional experience.
A Master of Advanced Studies MAS is always completed on a work-study basis and generally takes between one-and-a-half years to complete. It corresponds to a workload of at least 60 ECTS credits.
The qualification is a Master of Advanced Studies. This should not be confused with the consecutive master's degree (see Education: Bachelor's and consecutive master's degrees).
A Diploma of Advanced Studies DAS is a work-study-based continuing and executive education programme corresponding to a workload of at least 30 ECTS credits.
It takes between one and two years to complete and concludes with the awarding of a diploma.
A Certificate of Advanced Studies CAS is a work-study-based continuing and executive education programme corresponding to a workload of at least 10 ECTS credits.
A CAS programme takes six months to complete and concludes with the awarding of a certificate. It is roughly equivalent to Switzerland's earlier post-diploma course (Nachdiplomkurs).