Planning and organising your studies in winter semester 2021/22

Some general information in advance

  • You create your study plan for the semester yourself and decide how many courses you select each semester. While this may at first look complicated, the process is easy and you can do almost nothing wrong. It is important to note that Trier University does not conduct semester progress checks, which means that we do not check which and how many courses you take.
  • You do not need to have completed your semester planning before you begin your studies. There are plenty of opportunities to get detailed advice and enough time for planning during the orientation days and the subject-specific introduction at the beginning of your studies.
  • The workload for some courses is often greater than anticipated. After all, it is not only the mere attendance of lectures, but you also have to plan time for studying and assignments. Therefore, stay realistic and ensure that you do not overload your semester course load.

Modules und credit points

All degree programmes, with the exception of Law, are divided into modules. Modules are bundles of courses that have a certain content focus. For example, a module may consist of a lecture, two seminars and the corresponding exam.

If you have successfully completed a module, i.e. if you have attended all the lectures and also passed the examination, then you will be credited with a certain number of credit points (ECTS/Credit Points). Credit points are, so to speak, the "currency" of your studies and if you have collected enough credit points, then graduation beckons with the awarding of your academic degree.

What types of courses are there?


Lectures by instructors/professors on a specific topic, concludes with a written exam.

(Pro-) Seminar:

In-depth study of a topic in smaller groups. A presentation may be required and a portfolio or term paper submitted. Possibly concludes with a written exam.


In preparation for an exam, students form smaller groups undertaking in-depth study and practice exercises from a lecture/course.


Students in higher semesters explain lecture content and material and solve sample problems with students in lower semesters.


Excursions of one or more days in Germany or abroad on a specific topic. A presentation may be required and a portfolio or term paper submitted.

Please note: There might be other event types and not all of these event types occur in every degree programme.

Which courses should I take?

There are several ways to find out:

1. in some subjects (mostly the single-subject programmes), information about first-semester courses can be found on the website of your degree programme. Feel free to have a look there.

2. The study plans of the individual degree programmes offer an overview of which courses are intended for which semester. These study plans can easily be found on the homepage of Trier University. The following video (in German only) shows you where exactly.

How and where do I register for courses?

You use PORTA for this purpose. You receive the log-in data for Porta with your enrolment documents.

You can find step-by-step instructions on how to register for courses → here.

Please note: Students of the Psychology degree programme use a → separate system to register for seminars.


How does PORTA work?

Where do the courses take place?

In PORTA, each course is identified as to whether it is offered in person [präsenz], i.e. on-campus at the university, or online [digital] via streaming service. If a course is offered online, you will find the link to it on the Stud.IP platform.

Stud.IP is a "virtual seminar and event room." Here, students can find links to their online courses and course-related learning materials for download, and students can also upload materials such as papers or assignments. Stud.IP may also be used on mobile devices. Once you have registered for courses on PORTA, your data is automatically transferred to Stud.IP once you have been admitted to the selected course. This means that you do not need to register again for the courses on Stud.IP, but can access the lectures and seminars for which you are registered after logging in under "My courses". Furthermore, the login data for Stud.IP is the same as your ZIMK ID user name and password. If you have any questions regarding registration, please contact the → ZIMK Service Point.

How can I organise online lectures and in-person seminars?
When an in-person seminar is directly after your online lecture (or vice versa) and you are wondering how do I manage this logistically? The plan is to offer online lectures “on demand”, i.e. you can listen to the lecture at a time that works for your schedule. If however, the lecture is only streamed at a specific time, there will be places on across the campus, in the buildings, the PC pools and the library, where you will be able to virtually attend the online lecture using your computer/tablet other device with headphones and in peace.

How does Stud.IP work?

Further information on StudIP (→ link to external page)