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Foundational Year

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The starting point of your LAS studies at University College Freiburg is the Foundational Year. It provides students a broad and structured entry into the academic world and establishes a shared basis of skills and knowledge. The Foundational Year has four parts: 

  1. Academic Key Skills (LAS Core)
  2. Perspectives on Knowledge (LAS Core)
  3. Responsibility and Leadership (LAS Core)
  4. Introductions to Majors (LAS Major)


Infografik LAS Foundational Year

(Please note that the Foundational Year is slightly different for students who
follow German language classes to achieve the A2 level.) 


1. Academic Key Skills

In the modules "Research and Presentation" and "Written Expression" students develop and sharpen their academic key skills, learn how to independently research and work with academic literature and sources as well as how to present a topic to a particular audience. The starting point for these courses are complex real-world topics such as

  • Technological Transformations of Body and Mind
  • Internationalism
  • Natural Resources and Sustainability
  • Transformations of the Public Sphere

Students also improve their academic English skills ("English for Academic Purposes") and – in the Summer Semester – learn how to use numerical data for both scientific and non-scientific work ("Dealing with Numerical Information").

2. Perspectives on Knowledge

As a basis for academic and scientific work across disciplines, first-year students take two modules that focus on theories and contexts of knowledge. Here, students are introduced to questions of objectivity, reality, and truth and analyze knowledge in its historical, social, political, and practical contexts. 

3. Responsibility and Leadership I

This part of the curriculum helps students develop their capacities to act responsibly in academic, professional, and personal contexts. It combines academic contributions from a variety of disciplines with personal reflection. 

4. Introductions to Majors

In the Summer Semester of their Foundational Year, students are required to follow the Introduction to three of the four LAS Majors. The LAS program at UCF offers the following Majors:

  1. Earth and Environmental Sciences
  2. Life Sciences
  3. Governance
  4. Culture and History

The Introductions familiarize students with the breadth of academic fields and enable them to make a well-informed choice of their own Major.