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Faculty of Physics and Astronomy

Quality Goals of the Faculty

„Veritati“

Teaching from Research

Good teaching takes place in the unity of research and teaching as "research-based learning". New research results flow into teaching and prepare for research. The teaching content is authentically represented by active research personalities. Students gain early insights into current basic research. The aim is to teach them the pursuit of knowledge as a social value. Bachelor's and Master's theses are oriented towards current research topics and contribute to publications where possible. The principles of good scientific practice are already taught in the basic practical course. Since the winter semester 2012/13, exercises in the newly established tutorials have helped to deepen this.

Transparency and Learning Goal Orientation

The faculty offers numerous specialisation options in its degree programmes. The degree programmes are structured and organised in such a way that their content and learning objectives are transparent at all stages of the programme. Various contact persons (study advisor, study coordinator, service centre, ...) are available to students, who support them in achieving their individual educational goals.

a) Course timetables and module handbooks help to plan your studies.

b) For the Master's degree programmes, there are study guides that show paths to individual specialisation directions.

„Training and Education“

Competence Transfer

Graduates possess sound subject and methodological knowledge as well as the ability to think analytically and critically, to work scientifically and to solve problems. They have internalised the ways of thinking that make up physics and the strategies used to access it. Through this and through the acquisition of interdisciplinary key competences, they are able to independently acquire new knowledge and skills (lifelong learning) and to exercise their profession responsibly in different areas. 

a) Through research-based learning, students acquire the ability to analyse problems in new contexts, to formulate theses, to verify or falsify them and to develop solutions.

b) Student teachers receive practical training through courses and internships designed especially for them.

Support and Advice

The university and the faculties create framework conditions that offer every student an optimal teaching and learning environment at all stages of their studies. There are sufficient and easily accessible counselling centres. This includes support at the start of studies (preliminary courses), with subject-related (tutorials, mentoring) and organisational difficulties (service centre, mentoring) as well as support for particularly talented students.

a) Pre-semester courses tailored to the needs of first-year students facilitate the start of studies. This involves analysing the knowledge and requirements of first-year students before they start their studies in order to facilitate the transition from school to university.

b) Small study groups contribute to better supervision.

c) Particularly talented and high-achieving students are supported through the possibility of early study, specific study programmes (e.g. elite Master's programme MINT-Lehramt PLUS, etc.), as well as through individual offers.

d) Since the winter semester 2011/12, professors have been assisting students as mentors. In regular meetings in small groups or in private, they serve as contact persons and confidants for the students. The mentors report to the deans of studies about their experiences and the problems they have addressed.

e) Since the winter semester 2012/13, tutorials funded by the BMBF Quality Pact have been offered until the summer semester 2016 and then taken over by the faculty, which complement the existing preliminary courses and facilitate the entry into studies. Further aims of the tutorials are to compensate for different levels of prior knowledge of mathematics among first-year students and to reduce drop-out rates through individual support.

„Universitas“

Quality Aassurance

The "universitas" is committed university-wide to creating and maintaining the highest quality of teaching. It gives the faculties the opportunity, "facultas", to achieve this, taking into account the professional requirements. The achievement of quality objectives is ensured through regular review involving all stakeholders and communication between the different bodies.

a) Students are involved in the development of the degree programme through their representatives in the faculty's study commission.

b) Course evaluation has a long tradition at the faculty. The students, as the addressees of teaching, are significantly involved in this.

c) Students are an important part of the faculty. The faculty therefore supports the work of the student representative committee and maintains intensive and constructive cooperation.

d) Since the summer semester of 2012, the faculty has regularly conducted inter-faculty subject evaluations of all Bachelor's, Master's and Teaching degree programmes in close coordination with the student representative committee.

e) In student general assemblies, which take place regularly or on an ad hoc basis, there is an exchange between teachers and students on all aspects of studying and teaching.

In keeping with the spirit of "universitas", the expectations and inclinations of our students are very heterogeneous and the profiles of our graduates vary accordingly. It is the faculty's goal to maintain this diversity and to support each student individually. It is a driving force for new ideas and insights.

"Teaching lives"

Internationality and Mobility

Students have the ability and expertise to engage internationally in their field. The degree programmes promote the acquisition of competences within and outside Europe. The degrees are internationally recognised and comparable and enable graduates to enter a profession or further education abroad. Stays abroad are encouraged, and the degree programmes are open to foreign applicants.

a) Stays abroad are encouraged. Students are supported in their preparation and planning so that they can be easily integrated into their studies.

b) Study achievements made abroad are recognised according to transparent criteria based on competences. To this end, students are advised by the study coordinator in the run-up to and during a stay abroad. Students should be able to plan their stay abroad sensibly, adapt it flexibly if necessary and coordinate it with their further studies.

c) The lists of already recognised study achievements from abroad are recorded, regularly updated and supplemented.

d) Transfer students and external applicants receive individual counselling.

e) Final theses are carried out in working groups with international contacts.

f) The introduction of an international, English-language Master's programme with different thematic focuses, such as solid-state physics, particle physics, astronomy and/or imaging, is planned.

Good Teaching

In recognition of particularly good courses, the student representative committee has been awarding the "Golden Chalk" at irregular intervals since 2011. The winners are nominated by the student council and the award is presented at the annual academic celebration.