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Austrian Student Union Representatives

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The academic year is regulated by law (§ 52 of the Universities Act 2002): “The academic year consists of the Winter Semester, the Summer Semester and a lecture-free period: the academic semester begins on October 1 and ends on September 30 of the following year.”

Typically the Winter Semester concludes at the end of January; there are no courses offered in February (“semester break”), the Summer Semester begins on March 1 and ends June 30. June, July, August and September are considered the main summer vacation period and no courses are offered in the summer.

During the course of a semester, full-time students are expected to complete approximately 10 courses in each concurrent semester. As students are typically not inclined to study continuously and consistently, this sometimes leads to a relatively high workload at the end of the semester where students must then simultaneously take and pass ten examinations. From experience, after Christmas - when the workload begins to increase - many students will drop courses. This is not only a waste of resources and time on the part of the students who, in general, have attended more than half of a course since the beginning of the semester, but also a squandering of university resources as these course spots were filled by students who have taken spots away from other students.

Step by Step
As noted in the module schedule, MuSSS will offer modules in the smallest units and, if possible, block these modules in half semesters. Modules in block form would therefore be completed in one semester half (=2 months); and the next block form module will begin after that. Students will receive feedback quickly on whether or not there is enough capacity to complete the course and then they can then decide on attending the next course after completion and feedback from the first course.

„Extended“ Semester
In order to distribute the workload consistenly throughout the year, the MuSSS program will incorporate holiday periods, which professionals and persons with home care responsibilities normally do not have anyway, in order to alleviate the “maximum workload”. The start date of a module, which usually serves as an introduction to the syllabus as well as the course development and content, will take place before the beginning of each (half) semester, including informing students of how examinations will be given. In this way, the complete, legal, and designated period for a semester can be used in maximum benefit for the course.

Part-Time Students
The workload for full-time students is, by definition, comprised of 5 modules.
Considering that approximately 20 hours per week is available for private study, a student could theoretically complete three modules per (“extended”) semester. This could, for example, be achieved by completing a standard module and 2 block format modules. Students with more time available to them - perhaps just temporary in times of minimal workload – could also complete additional course modules or, respectively, if there is less capacity, correspondingly fewer courses. If you possess basic knowledge for a certain course, for example due to professional experience, this will reduce your time expenditure in a course and could also allow you to complete more modules than the recommended average in accordance to ECTS study program estimations.

“Acceleration” Through Summer Courses
Both missing modules from a full-time workload in the course of a semester may be repeated in the summer period. § 54, Sec. 8 of the Universities Act 2002 allows parallel courses to be offered during the lecture-free periods if the parallel courses are necessary due to high demand and necessity.

A “part-time student” with the equivalent of 20 counted hours a week for the entire year will - over a period of three years (the length of a bachelor program) - have a total deficit of 36 ECTS credits; this can then be easily made up with an additional year. It is therefore possible for part-time students to complete a three-year bachelor program in four years.