University preparatory course

The 15-month university preparatory course consists of a language and a specialist preliminary course as well as an internship. It provides refugees with suitable preliminary education to bridge the gap to a university of applied sciences degree programme at the School of Engineering and Computer Science.


  • Title/Degree Course attestation (preliminary language course; preliminary specialist course) + attestation of internship (company)
  • Specialisations none
  • Mode of study Two preliminary courses + internship; coaching and mentoring support
  • Start date April (language course), August (specialist course)
  • Application deadline 15 March 2023
    Later registration is possible subject to request.
  • ECTS credits none
  • Teaching language German, French, and English
  • Location Biel or Burgdorf
  • School School of Engineering and Computer Science

Contact Engineering and Computer Science

Structure + Content


In addition to a federal academic or vocational baccalaureate, a one-year vocational internship is also required for admission to the BSc degree programme. Successful completion of BFH’s university preparatory course for refugees meets these requirements.

Application-oriented preparatory course for a university of applied sciences degree programme

The course consists of a three-month language course, a three-month specialist preliminary course and a nine-month internship. The university preparatory course provides preliminary language and specialist education over a 15-month period for admission to a university of applied sciences degree programme. The time between the language course and specialist preliminary course is used to arrange the internship. The preliminary language courses start in April and the preliminary specialist courses start in August. The starting point of the internship can vary, but may not be earlier than November.

Preliminary courses

The course modules are geared towards the bachelor’s degree programmes of the School of Engineering and Computer Science. Coaching is provided for the full duration of the university preparatory courses.

Preliminary language course

The language course is provided for German and consists of a combination of classroom-based teaching and self-study.

Preliminary specialist course

The preliminary course is made up of eight modules of 48 lessons. Various modules can be attended depending on the intended degree discipline. The course is made up of classroom-based teaching (theoretical knowledge) and guided self-study (workshop and laboratory, problem-based learning). The modules are divided into half-day and full-day blocks.

Graphic: University preparatory course procedure (coordinated with ‘Passerelle’ scheme for school leavers with the academic baccalaureate)
Graphic: University preparatory course procedure (coordinated with ‘Passerelle’ scheme for school leavers with the academic baccalaureate)


  • Data and web
  • Computer systems
  • Databases
  • Web programming
  • Programming languages
  • Project
  • Combined work and study experience


  • Mechanical engineering
  • CAD, construction and fundamentals of drafting
  • Production engineering

  • Workshop and project
  • Materials engineering
  • Mechanical engineering specialisation
  • Electrical engineering

  • Work and student life experience


  • Electrical engineering and metrology
  • Electronics and E-CAD
  • Embedded system (project)
  • Workshop and project
  • Introduction to computer-aided design (CAD)
  • Construction
  • Materials engineering  
  • Combines work and study experience


BFH reserves the right not to hold individual courses in the event of low participant numbers or to change their implementation. The registration fee will be refunded in the event of cancellation.


After completion of the preparatory courses the theory is put into practice, enabling you to take your first steps in your future professional environment. In parallel with the preliminary courses, BFH also assists you in the search for a suitable internship and supports you – together with the company – during the internship.

Requirements + Admission

Admission conditions

Candidates with an academic or vocational baccalaureate or equivalent foreign qualifications who successfully pass the assessment interview may be admitted to the university preparatory course. Due to the limited number of places available, admission cannot be guaranteed even if the requirements are met.

Academic requirements

Academic or vocational baccalaureate or equivalent foreign qualifications. Admission based on your academic background and performance is possible (‘sur dossier’). Applicants must possess sufficient language skills (see ‘Language skills’).

Professional requirements


Language skills

A language level of B1 in German or French and A2 in English with a recognised certificate or language diploma is required.

Qualification + Career prospects

Bachelor’s degree programmes at Bern University of Applied Sciences are application-oriented and enable direct entry into the world of work. They provide a foundation of general education and theoretical knowledge. In the heavily application-oriented part of the programme, students work in laboratories and workshops on applied research and development projects and learn to use common methods, equipment and tools.

Future-oriented university preparatory course

The preparatory course offers refugees with appropriate qualifications:

  • The language and specialist skills and practical background required for admission to a university of applied sciences degree programme in the field of engineering and computer sciences.
  • Tailored support and assistance during the preparatory phase for admission to the bachelor’s degree programme.

We focus on close collaboration with commercial enterprises, in order to

  • offer you work placement opportunities tailored to your studies, and to create consitend educational experiences on both sides;
  • develop training modules that best prepare you for everyday professional tasks.

Compulsory attendance

Attendance in classes is a requirement for passing the preparatory course.

Organisation + Registration

The three-month language course begins in April 2022. Online registration can be completed until mid-March 2023.

  • Registration deadline: 15 March
  • Preliminary language course: Mid-April – Mid-July
  • Preliminary specialist course: August – October
  • Internship: November – July
  • Preliminary course in maths (if required): August
  • Start of bachelor’s degree programme: Calendar week 38
  • Registration fee CHF 150 *

  • Course fee CHF 1600 (for students from the Canton of Bern, i.e. for scholarship purposes, the Canton is Bern**)

* The registration fee is not deducted from the course fee.
** Students from other cantons or from abroad pay the RSA/CSR cantonal contribution of CHF 5600 in addition to the course fee. The cantons of Basel-Stadt and Basel-Landschaft assume the RSA/CSR contribution in its entirety. Other cantons on request.

The university preparatory course is being run as a pilot scheme. Language skills are evaluated in an assessment. Upon successful completion of the assessment, you will be registered for the university preparatory course by our contact person.

Information for companies with internship places

Qualified specialists are the backbone of Swiss industry. BFH – together with companies – aims to train the specialists of the future. The university preparatory course gets refugees with a suitable educational background ready for admission to a degree programme in engineering or computer science at BFH.

Specialised trainees

In addition to two preliminary courses (a language course and a specialist course each lasting three months), the university preparatory course also includes a nine-month internship at a company in an industry relevant to the intended degree discipline.

By providing an internship, you will help participants on the university preparatory course to prepare in the best possible way for their bachelor’s degree programme and to obtain qualifications for their future career path – and you may also inspire them to join your company as budding specialists. You will also be making a contribution to the integration of refugees.


Companies providing internships:

  • Possess the infrastructure required for the intended degree discipline as well as the necessary expertise.
  • Provide the intern with a supervisor who has experience in dealing with trainees.
  • Enter into an internship agreement with the intern.

Business areas for internships

Internships are available in the following areas at Bern University of Applied Sciences:

  • Computer Science
  • Data Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering and Information Technology
  • Industrial Engineering and Management Science
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Medical Informatics
  • Mechatronics and Systems Engineering


We would be pleased to create a solution tailored to your company. Thank you for your support.

Your contact person