FAQ BFH diagonal

Here you will find answers to your questions:

What is the difference between a BFH optional module and an opened module?

BFH optional modules

BFH elective modules are specially tailored to students from different study fields. Thereby, they acquire interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary competences.

BFH optional modules are offered BFH-wide and coordinated by the BFH diagonal team.

BFH optional modules take place as follows:

  • During the semester on Tuesday or Thursday from 16:30 until the evening + on Saturdays (autumn semester week 38–51 / spring semester week 8–21)
  • as Winter School in week 7
  • as Summer School in week 28–30 (spring) or 34–37 (autumn)

Opened optional modules

In opened modules, degree programmes make additional places available in their existing programmes for interested students. However, the main target group of such modules are students in the original degree programme.

Opened modules are supervised by the offering department.

Opened modules take place at usual time slots in the host department and therefore often during the day. You will need to take extra care to cross-check if the timing of the BFH diagonal modules is compatible with your own timetable.

Where can I find information about the BFH diagonal programme?

You will find the entire BFH diagonal offer at www.bfh.ch/diagonal. You can filter the modules by time, place or topic or search for the module wanted using the module search function.

Where can I find the module description?

You will find the module description on www.bfh.ch/diagonal. Click on the button "Module description" and then search for the module code with the command "Ctrl F".

In your portal in IS-Academia you will find the module description in the enrolment window by clicking on the module code/title.

Are language modules sequential?

BFH optional modules or opened modules from the same departments usually build on each other. See overview of the language modules offered with information on the entry level.

How can I evaluate my language level for BFH diagonal language modules?

For information on the language level, please consult the module description or the person responsible for the module.

We recommend that you complete an online language test before registering.

Does compulsory attendance apply to BFH diagonal modules?

The module description states whether attendance is compulsory for the module.
We recommend that you attend the modules in presence and thus gain interdisciplinary experience.

May I also work through the module contents in self-study?

You can work on the module contents in self-study in agreement with the person responsible for the module. An important feature of BFH diagonal is the interdisciplinary exchange - we therefore recommend that you attend the course in presence.

Does the module I would like to enrol in take place every semester?

There are only a few modules that take place every semester. Most are offered once a year, and the semester can change from year to year. You can find the entire offer at www.bfh.ch/diagonal. The module factsheet indicates in which semesters the module takes place. The semester information in the module factsheet is updated before the first enrolment period is available.

How many ECTS credits from BFH diagonal may I take? How many of these can I have credited towards my degree?

You may take modules amounting to 16 ECTS credits in BFH diagonal.

Modules of BFH diagonal can be recognised (except students of the degree programmes Nursing, Midwifery and Physiotherapy) towards the Bachelor's degree to the amount of 6 ECTS credits. Further BFH diagonal modules amounting to 10 ECTS credits can be taken without being recognised towards the Bachelor's degree.

Master's students should clarify the possibility of credit transfer individually with the Head of their degree programme (with the exception of MA Design, where credit transfer is possible within the framework of the module group "Individual Courses"). In any case, Master's students may take modules amounting 16 ECTS credits as non-recognised towards the degree.

Grafik in blau und weiss. 174 ECTS Pflicht-, Wahlpflicht- oder Wahlmodule. 6 ECTS Auswahl. Enlarge image

What is the difference between creditable and non-creditable optional modules / ECTS credits?

Creditable optional modules or ECTS credits count towards the ECTS credits that you must acquire for the degree (180 in the Bachelor's degree or 90 or 120 in the Master's degree).

Non-creditable optional modules are to be taken in addition to the ECTS credits to be acquired for the degree. However, these are also shown in your Transcript of Records, and you can thus demonstrate the competences you have acquired to future employers.

Can a module be split between creditable and non-creditable ECTS credits?

No, the ECTS credits of a module cannot be split - either you can credit the whole module or you attend it as non-creditable.

Where can I have ECTS credits from BFH diagonal credited to my degree programme?

For Bachelor's students, the ECTS credits earned are often credited to an elective area already provided for in the curriculum. You can find out more details from your degree programme secretaries/student administrations.

For Master's students, ECTS credits from BFH diagonal are only credited towards the degree in agreement with the Head of the degree programme. In this case, you will have to discuss individually where the ECTS credits will be credited.

* In the MA Design, ECTS credits from BFH diagonal are credited in the module group "Individual Courses".

Which modules can I have credited to my degree programme?

As a Bachelor student, you can choose freely from the modules offered by BFH diagonal; it does not matter which modules you take to be credited. The exception is Social Work department, where no language modules are credited.

As a Master's student, you should clarify the accreditation of the desired module individually with the Head of your degree programme. The exception is the MA Design, where all modules from BFH diagonal are credited within the framework of the module group "Individual Courses".

Can I have ECTS credits from language modules credited to my degree programme?

Only in the Social Work department can language modules not be credited. However, you can attend them there in addition to your degree programme.

In the other departments, language modules also count towards the maximum number of ECTS credits that can be credited towards the degree.

Why can't I get diagonal credit for my degree programme at the BFH Department of Health? Will the modules I attended still appear on my transcript of records?

The Health Professions Act specifies the content of the degree programmes at the Health department. Currently, all ECTS credits in the degree programmes Nursing, Midwifery and Physiotherapy are allocated to compulsory modules and there is no elective area for crediting BFH diagonal modules. Nevertheless, you can attend modules from BFH diagonal in addition to the degree programme. They will be listed in your Transcript of Records as non-credited elective modules.

Can I attend classes of a BFH diagonal module if I am not enrolled?

No. You can only attend classes if you are officially enrolled in a BFH diagonal module.

I am currently doing an internship. Can I still enrol in a BFH diagonal module?

If you are doing an internship during your studies in "leave of absence" status, you may not enrol in BFH diagonal modules.

Otherwise, personal responsibility applies: you can enrol as long as the internship times do not overlap with teaching times. Your enrolment is binding.

Can I as a part-time student attend a BFH diagonal module?

In principle, yes. However, when enrolling, please note the maximum number of ECTS credits you can enrol for. Your enrolment in BFH diagonal modules is binding.

Do I have to fulfil special entry competences to attend BFH diagonal modules?

For certain BFH diagonal modules you need to fulfil specific entry competences. Please consult the module description that you are interested in before enrolling.

May I attend a BFH diagonal module more than once?

No. You can only attend the module a second time if you did not pass the competency assessment the first time.

May I attend a BFH diagonal module that is comparable in content to a module from my degree programme?

No. You will often find corresponding restrictions in the module description (see admission section). In particular, some comparable modules are offered in the departments Business, TI (language modules) and HAFL.

If in doubt, please contact your degree programme administration office.

Auflistung folgt

May I attend a language module for which I have already reached the level? (e.g. through language diploma, first language, etc.)

No. The aim of the BFH diagonal offer is always to build up competences.

I am completing a continuing education course at BFH or I am a BFH employee. Can I attend a module from BFH diagonal?

Currently, only students from the consecutive degree programmes can attend modules from BFH diagonal.

As part of the further development of BFH diagonal, we will examine the participation of other categories of persons such as employees/continuing education students.

Can I attend BFH diagonal modules as a student of another university as part of a mobility exchange?

You can register for BFH diagonal modules as part of your mobility semester at BFH or just for a single international Summer or Winter School.
Please send your request

  • in the case of an exchange semester: to the person responsible for mobility in your host degree programme,
  • if you are only interested in a winter or summer school, please contact the BFH International Relation Office (international@bfh.ch) or the BFH diagonal team (diagonal@bfh.ch).

When can I register for BFH diagonal modules?

You can enrol - for BFH elective modules and for open modules – in the following calendar weeks:  

  • Autumn semester (incl. Summer Schools weeks 34–37): weeks 29–30
  • Spring semester (incl. Winter Schools week 7 + Summer Schools weeks 28–30): weeks 51–02

The enrolment periods for BFH diagonal may therefore differ from the usual dates in your degree programme.

You can find the different enrolment links in the module factsheet (see overview). The enrolment is done online in IS-Academia or via registration form.

How can I register for BFH diagonal modules?

For BFH optional modules, please register in IS-Academia and for opened modules in IS-Academia or via a registration form, depending on the department offering the module. Further information on registration can be found at www.bfh.ch/diagonal in the respective module factsheet.

I am an EHSM student. How can I register for BFH diagonal?

As an EHSM student, you need to fill out a special student form for registration. Please apply for this form via our e-mail address diagonal@bfh.ch, indicating the modules you want to attend.

I am a Master's student. How can I register for BFH diagonal?

Clarify the possibility of participating in BFH diagonal with the Head of your degree programme. Please send us the confirmation of the Head of Degree Programme before the enrolment deadline to diagonal@bfh.ch so that we can enrol you for the desired module on time.

Are you studying in one of the following Master's degree programmes? Then you can register for BFH diagonal without further inquiry.

  • MSc Life Sciences (non-creditable optional module)
  • MA Design (creditable module in module group "Individual Courses")

When do I know whether a BFH diagonal module will be carried out?

We decide on the execution of the modules on the basis of the registrations in the official enrolment period. You will receive an admission or cancellation by e-mail no later than two weeks after the official enrolment period (by calendar week 04/32).

How will I know that I can participate in a BFH diagonal module?

If a module takes place, you will receive a confirmation of participation via e-mail no later than two weeks after the official enrolment period (by calendar week 04/32) or after any late enrolment period.

Can I register for BFH diagonal modules later than the enrolment period?

As a rule, late registrations are not possible.

If needed, the BFH diagonal team will announce individual optional BFH modules with a late registration possibility via e-mail after the enrolment period. In this case, a limited time slot after the official enrolment deadline (usually two weeks) is defined for late enrolment. Your late registration is binding.

In exceptional cases, we accept late registrations for opened modules in agreement with the Head of your degree programme and with the offering department. Please notify us at diagonal@bfh.ch no later than two weeks before the start of the course.

If there are too many registrations for BFH diagonal modules, is there a waiting list?

There are no waiting lists for enrolment in BFH diagonal modules. We will communicate possible late enrolment options to you via mail.

Why can I unenrol myself from modules in my degree programme even after the start of my studies, but not from BFH diagonal modules?

There are official enrolment periods and conditions in your degree programme that do not apply to BFH diagonal modules. Your enrolment for BFH diagonal modules is as a rule binding after the end of the official enrolment period*.

*Official enrolment periods: for the autumn semester calendar weeks 29–30; for the spring semester calendar weeks 52–02.

Can I unenrol from a BFH diagonal module if there are overlaps in my timetable?

Please check your timetable carefully before enrolling. You can only unenrol from a module after the registration period has elapsed if there is an overlap with compulsory modules. For unenrolment, we do not consider overlaps with other BFH diagonal modules or optional modules of your own department.

For late unenrolments (after the official enrolment period*), please notify us by email to diagonal@bfh.ch before the start of the course or at the latest by the end of March (spring semester), respectively by the end of September (autumn semester).

*Official enrolment period: for autumn semester calendar week 29–30; for spring semester calendar week 51–02.

Can I unenrol from a BFH diagonal module? And how?

Within the official enrolment period*:

During the official enrolment period, you can unenroll directly via IS-Academia. If you have registered via a form, please contact the relevant department by e-mail.
You will find the contact details of the responsible departments at www.bfh.ch/diagonal in the respective module descriptions.

Outside the official enrolment period*:
Your enrolment for BFH diagonal modules is binding by principle. You can only unenroll outside the official enrolment period in the following special cases:

  • Overlap with a compulsory module (overlaps with other BFH diagonal modules or with an optional module from your own department are not a reason for unenrolment).
  • illness or accident (doctor's certificate)
  • unforeseen care obligations
  • Leave of absence (confirmation by own department)
  • Dropping out of studies (confirmation of exmatriculation from studies)

We only accept withdrawals outside of the deadline at the latest by the end of March (spring semester) or the end of September (autumn semester). Please send us an email to diagonal@bfh.ch.

*Official enrolment periods: for the autumn semester calendar week 29–30; for the spring semester calendar week 52–02

What happens if I am enrolled and do not attend the module?

If you stay away from the classes or the competency assessment without an important reason, you will receive the assessment "not fulfilled".

In addition, due to limited number of participants, you will unnecessarily be taking a place away from other interested students.

Can I register for several BFH diagonal modules taking place at the same time and indicate a priority?

No. If your enrolment for a BFH diagonal module was rejected, you can subsequently enrol for modules that have been made available with a late enrolment.

If you still enrol for modules taking place at the same time, we will no longer be able to unenrol you. The module not attended will be assessed as "not fulfilled" in your Transcript of Records.

Where can I see when a BFH diagonal module takes place?

You can find the place and time of the module on the website (www.bfh.ch/diagonal) via the module search function.
If you are definitely registered for the module on IS-Academia, the module will also be displayed in your timetable.

When and where can I see in which building/room my optional BFH module will take place?

The person responsible for the module will inform you in advance of the building and room in which your module will take place. You will also find the room number in your timetable in IS-Academia.

Are BFH diagonal modules also offered online? If it is indicated, "online and in presence", am I able to choose?

You cannot choose between on-site or online lessons. If "Bern, online" is indicated as the place of completion, the module takes place on-site in Bern and individual lessons or accompanied self-study phases are planned online.

Do semester and holiday dates for BFH diagonal modules coincide with those in my degree programme?

BFH optional modules take place continuously (see factsheet) and do not take into consideration the periods without courses which are determined by individual departments.  The persons responsible for the modules determine whether there are self-study phases at certain times. Other time slots also apply to opened modules. The person responsible for the module will inform you about the detailed module programme at the beginning of the module.

Where do BFH diagonal modules take place?

BFH diagonal modules take place at different BFH locations or elsewhere. You will find the location and schedule in the module factsheet on the website (www.bfh.ch/diagonal).
The person responsible for the module will inform you of the precise location and room before the module starts.

How do I obtain an access authorisation for a BFH building where a BFH diagonal module is taking place?

If there are access restrictions, the persons responsible for the modules will inform you of the access authorisation (e.g. door code). If you still have problems with access authorisation, please contact the responsible facility manager. You will find the contact details on the website.

Can I opt out of competency assessments?

Yes, for important reasons such as illness, accident, unforeseen care obligations or decease of a close person, you can unenrol from a competency assessment.
Please inform immediately the person responsible for the module and the administration responsible for the module. In case of illness, please enclose a doctor's certificate or, in the case of Covid, a positive test result.

Have you attended the lessons and only need to postpone the competency assessment?

Then the person responsible for the module will arrange an individual reassessment date with you or register you for an official reassessment.

How are BFH diagonal modules evaluated?

All modules attended on BFH diagonal - both opened modules and BFH optional modules - are graded "fulfilled" or "not fulfilled".

If you stay away from the lessons or from the competency assessment without being excused, you will also receive the grade "not fulfilled".

Who can I apply to for compensation for disadvantages and how?

Compensation for disadvantages can also be granted for BFH diagonal modules. Please inform the person responsible for the module if a generally applicable regulation already exists or apply for a new disadvantage compensation from the person responsible in your department.

Can I improve an insufficient competency assessment?

If there is a possibility of improvement, this is indicated in the module description. The person responsible for the module specifies the form of the improvement and the deadline.

When will I see the modules I have attended and the assessments in the Transcript of Records?

You will see the evaluation for BFH optional modules in the normal Transcript of Records for the semester. As different administrative processes and deadlines apply in the individual departments, evaluations of opened modules may only be included in your Transcript of Records for the following semester.

Do I also see non-credited modules in the Transcript of Records?

Yes, all modules attended appear in your Transcript of Records with the ECTS credits earned. Thus, you can show future employers the competences you have acquired in these modules. In this case, however, the ECTS credits are not counted towards the degree.

Do I have to repeat the module if my assessment was insufficient?

No, you are not obliged to repeat the module. If you do not repeat the module, however, the evaluation "not fulfilled" will remain in your Transcript of Records.

Does failing a diagonal module affect my degree programme?

Usually not - unless you have to obtain the ECTS credits for your degree or there are rules in your degree programme regarding the number of unsatisfactory grades or ECTS credits to be earned in the area to which the module was assigned. Please clarify such rules with your degree programme administration office.

However, an insufficient grade for a BFH diagonal module will remain on your transcript of records even after graduation.

I do not agree with my grade. Who do I appeal to?

After the evaluation has been disclosed in your Transcript of Records, and after a discussion with the person responsible for the module, you can request an appealable decision from the Head of your degree programme or the Head of Teaching within the specified period of time. You can then appeal against this decision to the Appeals Commission of the BFH.

Can I see the evaluation and corrections of a competency assessment?

In principle, you have the right, after the evaluation has been disclosed, to ask for a discussion and to consult the correction. The person responsible for the module may specify certain times for this. It is best to discuss this directly with that person.

What makes BFH diagonal different from my degree programme/department?

For BFH diagonal, the same regulations apply BFH-wide (cf. also guidelines BFH diagonal). They differ from the usual procedure in your department/degree programme in the following points:

  • different timetable
  • other semester time slots
  • other enrolment periods
  • different evaluation form and time slot for competency assessments

BFH optional modules are furthermore tailored to students from different subject areas: they will acquire interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary competences.

Who can give me advice on BFH diagonal?

Depending on the topic, different people and offices are available to you:

  • Contents and level of a module - the person responsible for the module
  • Administration BFH optional modules - the BFH diagonal team at diagonal@bfh.ch
  • Administration of opened modules - the administration of the module-offering department (see contacts in the next question)
  • Rules & crediting in the degree programme - your Administration Office/Student Administration or the Head of your degree programme
  • General questions about BFH diagonal - the BFH diagonal team at diagonal@bfh.ch

Where can I address queries about the administration of opened modules (mail addresses)?

Opened modules are administratively supervised by the offering department. The e-mail addresses are:

If you do not know which department is responsible, you can find the information on the website under module offer in the factsheet of the corresponding module.