Current news

Changes to the General Examination Regulations as of Winter Semester 2021/22

New General Examination Regulations (RPO) entered into force in winter semester 2021/22. The RPO lays the foundation for most of the University’s subject-specific examination and study regulations, which means that a large number of degree courses are affected by the changes.

Please find below an overview of the most important changes for students. An overview of the changes relevant for members of teaching staff can be found here.

Central Examinations Office
Rubenowstraße 2
17489 Greifswald
Tel.: +49 3834 420 1278
Fax: +49 3834 420 1279

General Examination Regulations – which changes will affect students as of winter semester 2021/22?

Registration for Examinations and Resits of Examinations (§ 41 RPO)

(1) ‘Students must register for each attempt at an examination. [...]’

From winter semester 2021/22 onwards, all students must register themselves for each attempt at an examination, including resits of examinations. The Central Examination Office will no longer automatically register students for resits of examinations (in particular if an examination has been failed).

Registration for Examinations - Registration Deadline (§ 41 RPO)

 (1) ‘[...]. Registration for examinations is only permitted within the 5-week registration period (cut-off period) that will be announced in due course at the beginning of each semester. Registration is to be done in electronic form according to the procedures set by the University, in exceptional cases also in written form and submitted to the Central Examination Office. [...]’

The period in which students can register for examinations online will be increased from two to a total of five weeks as of winter semester 2021/22. The specific dates can be viewed here [de].

The previous splitting of the period into a regular registration period and a fee-based extended registration period has been dropped. This also means it is now no longer necessary to pay a fee of € 20.00 for registering during the extended registration period. From now on, it will only be possible to register for examinations in writing in special exceptional circumstances (e.g. when requesting the allocation of a topic for the dissertation, registering for additional courses, registering for module examinations if this is not possible online).

BUT: The five-week registration period which is valid from winter semester 2021/22 onwards has a cut-off date. This means it will not be possible to register for examinations after the registration period has ended!

Dissertations - Change of Topic (§ 28 RPO)

(3) ‘[...] Prior to submission of the dissertation, upon request from the student, the topic can be changed following consultation with the supervisors and approval from the chairperson of the examination board. This does not affect the length of the writing-up period for the dissertation. The chairperson of the examination board must pass his/her decision within three working days.’

Following approval from the examination board and consultation with the appointed supervisors of the dissertation, students can now request topics that have already been approved for their dissertation to be changed, for example if the subject focus of their work has shifted in a way that was unpredictable at the start. The request for a change of topic must be submitted in writing to the Central Examination Office in good time. A change of topic on the day of submission will not be considered ‘in good time’. However, corrections of spelling mistakes can still be made at any time.

Dissertation - Number of Copies (§ 30 RPO)

(2) ‘Two bound copies (only thermal or adhesive binding) of the typewritten undergraduate dissertation are to be submitted to the Central Examination Office by the deadline along with, if applicable, the summary required according to § 27(4); the time of submission is to be recorded.[...]’

From now on, students must only submit two bound copies of their dissertation, not three as previously. However, this only applies to dissertations, whose topics were allocated after 30/09/2021. Please therefore make sure you check the details in the notification received regarding the allocation of a topic. Failure to submit enough copies of the dissertation can lead to a mark of ‘insufficient’ (5,0).

Recognition of Achievements from Outside of Tertiary Education (§ 43 RPO)

(5) ‘Competencies and skills acquired outside of tertiary education are to be accredited to university studies if they are equivalent to the content and level of that part of studies that is to be replaced. Overall, no more than 50 percent of the studies may be replaced. The recognition criteria pursuant to sentence 1 are stipulated in the subject-specific study and examination regulations.’

From winter semester 2021/22 onwards, competencies and skills gained outside of tertiary education (e.g. during a previous occupation) can be accredited if they are deemed to be equivalent. This was not previously possible.

Termination of Enrolment due to Exceeding the Standard Length of Study - Extension of Permitted Exceedance (§ 37 RPO)

‘Enrolment can be terminated if the length of studies is more than twice as long as the standard length of study stipulated in the examination regulations and the student has not successfully passed all of the examinations required for successful completion of studies for the degree. This does not apply if the student has submitted a detailed plan for finishing studies within two semesters following attendance of an advisory session with the respective departmental advisory service. If the studies are not completed within four further semesters, enrolment shall be terminated subject to the provisions of § 38.’

Whilst up until winter semester 2021/22 it was decisive whether a module examination had been completed at the latest 2 to 4 semesters (depending on the examination regulations) after the regular examination date, it is now the standard length of study of the entire degree course that matters. This significantly extends the deadlines for taking examinations. In particular, it now makes it possible for the students to decide for themselves in which order they would like to complete their modules (apart from in cases in which there are certain admission requirements pursuant to the respective study and examination regulations [de]). However, we strongly recommend students complete their modules in the order defined in the sample study plans to make sure they complete their studies correctly.

Written Assignments - Submission of a Declaration of Authorship (§ 21 RPO)

(1) ‘[...] When submitting written assignments, students must declare in writing with signature that they have completed the work – if the work is being submitted as group work, the corresponding proportion of the written assignment completed by the individual – independently with no further aids or sources other than those listed.’

From now on, students must submit a written declaration for every written assignment they submit, in which they confirm that they have completed the work independently. The declaration is only valid if it has been signed by the student. If the declaration of authorship has not been submitted, the written assignment will be marked ‘insufficient’ (5,0).

Written Assignments - Request for the Extension of the Writing-Up Period (§ 21 RPO)

(2) ‘[...] If the request for an extension is submitted on the day of the submission deadline and is lacking a note of approval from the responsible member of staff, the extension will not be granted.’

A request for an extension of the writing-up period for a written assignment must be submitted in good time prior to the submission deadline. From now on, it can only be requested on the actual day of the submission deadline, if the student has already obtained verifiable approval from the responsible member of staff. The approval must then be submitted to the Central Examination Office together with the request. The request must be denied if it is submitted on the last day of the writing-up period without corresponding approval.

Withdrawal from Examinations Proven by Certificate from a Public Health Officer (§ 44 RPO)

(3) [...] ‘If the student withdraws again due to an illness or from a last attempt at an examination, a medical certificate from a public health officer must be submitted to the Central Examination Office.’

If a student withdraws from an examination due to health-related reasons, a medical certificate from a public health officer - different to previous regulations - is only required if the student has withdrawn again due to illness or if the examination in question is the student’s last possible attempt at an examination. Previously, a medical certificate from a public health officer was required for every withdrawal from any attempt at a resit of an examination.

Attempted Cheating - Helping Others to Cheat (§ 44 RPO)

(4) [...] ‘The preceding regulations apply correspondingly to students that help fellow students to cheat.’

From now on, examination papers submitted by students who have helped fellow students to cheat will also be marked with ‘insufficient’, even if they have not cheated themselves.

Part-time Studies - Requirements (§ 16 RPO)

(1) ‘Up to four weeks before the start of a semester, students may declare to the examination board that in the following four semesters they will only be able to work for half of the amount of time foreseen for the degree course in the study regulations. [...]’

Previously, part-time studies were only permitted for students who were able to prove that they were unable to complete the regular course of studies due to employment or family responsibilities such as looking after or supervising children or caring for relatives. These requirements have now been dropped, enabling all students to complete at least some of their studies part-time.

Obligation to Use the Examination Management System / Self-Service Portal (§ 54 RPO)

(1) ‘On their own responsibility, the students use existing user login details to log into the electronic examination management system, with which the examination data, the registration and deregistration for module examinations as well as the examination marks are managed electronically.’

(2) ‘The students are obliged to check the correctness of the entries in the examination management system to the best of their ability regularly, but at least once every semester; entry errors must be reported immediately.’

(3) ‘The results of the assessed and non-assessed coursework are announced in the electronic examination management system. The students are thus obliged to use the examination management system.’

From now on, all students are obliged to use the self-service portal to manage their examinations, e.g. registration/deregistration from examinations, viewing examination results, checking entries (e.g. address details or telephone numbers). Students are now responsible for any disadvantages caused by not having accessed the data.

Retaking of Examinations - Number of Attempts at an Examination (§ 40 RPO)

1) ‘A failed examination or examination that is considered to have been failed can be retaken three times. [...]’

The maximum number of examination resits has been raised from two to three attempts. However, this does not apply to dissertations or examinations, in which the student had previously tried to cheat.

Additional Courses - Recognition of Study Achievements Completed at the University (§ 32 RPO)

(4) ‘Only assessed and non-assessed coursework that has been completed at the University of Greifswald can be recognised as additional courses.’

Study achievements that have been completed at other universities in Germany and abroad can only be recognised if they correspond to the study content of the subject being studied at the University of Greifswald or their content is to be recognised as equivalent (curricular study achievements). The recognition and recording of a non-curricular study achievement that has been completed externally as an additional course is therefore not possible. The decision regarding the recognition of assessed and non-assessed coursework is made by the responsible examination board upon request.