Planning and organising your studies

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?

► offers a Modulübersicht for an module overview and a Studienverlaufsplan showing you the list of courses intended for each semester. With those Information at hand you can log into PORTA and register for the courses. The following video shows those steps.

More Information on how to use PORTA