Passerelle scheme

Our Passerelle scheme provides a pathway between baccalaureate programmes and university studies in engineering, information technology or architecture. It consists of a three-month preparatory course and nine-month work placement.


  • Title/Degree none
  • Specialisations none
  • Start date August
  • Application deadline 30 June 2023
    Registering after registration deadline on request
  • ECTS credits none
  • Teaching language Engineering and Information Technology: German and French
    Architecture, Wood and Civil Engineering: only German
  • Location Engineering and Information Technology: Biel, Bern, Burgdorf
    Architecture, Wood and Civil Engineering: only Burgdorf
  • School School of Architecture, Wood and Civil Engineering
    School of Engineering and Computer Science

Structure + Content


Law requires that graduates of baccalaureate programmes complete a year-long preparatory work placement before being admitted to engineering, information technology or architecture programmes at any Swiss university of applied sciences. Our Passerelle scheme fulfils this requirement.

Practice-based training programme

The training consists of a three-month preparatory course and nine-month internship. This pathway programme is scheduled to make best use of the year between your baccalaureate graduation and beginning of studies. The window between your baccalaureate graduation and the start of the preparatory course gives you time to plan your internship. Our preparatory courses begin annually in August. The start of your internship may vary, but the earliest is November.


Universities of applied science are universities with an explicitly practice-based approach. A bachelor’s degree programme at BFH provides you with a foundation of both general education and theoretical knowledge. In the practical portion of your studies, which is greatly weighted, you will work in laboratories and workshops on applied research and development projects and learn to use standard methods, facilities and tools. This federally recognised bachelor’s degree prepares you to enter the professional world directly following graduation, and our Passerelle scheme is also designed with this end in mind.

A Passerelle scheme for the future

Our Passerelle scheme provides graduates of baccalaureate programmes with

  • the practical background required for admission to engineering, information technology or architecture programmes at universities of applied sciences;
  • individualised support and guidance through the preparatory phases leading up 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 consistent educational experiences on both sides;
  • develop training modules that best prepare you for everyday professional tasks.

Entry requirements

Preparatory course

The training modules in our Passerelle scheme are aligned with the BFH bachelor’s degree programmes in Architecture, Wood and Construction as well as Engineering and Information Technology.

A preparatory course to pave the way

The preparatory course comprises eight modules of 48 lessons each. Depending on what you hope to study, you will enrol in different modules. 

Instruction is either held in person (teaching theory) or takes the form of self-study to supplement your classroom learning (workshop and laboratory projects, problem-based learning). Modules are split into half- and full-day blocks to accommodate these approaches.

Compulsory attendance

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

Different preparatory courses, which must be visited bevore the Passerelle scheme.

Micro- and electrical engineering
Industrial engineering

Information technology and medical information technology

Mechanical engineering


Electrical engineering and metrology

Data and the Web

Mechanical engineering

Architecture in Switzerland

Electronics and E-CAD

Computer systems

CAD, construction and fundamentals of drafting

Structural engineering

Embedded system (project)


Production engineering


Workshop and project

Web programming

Workshop and project

Building materials

Introduction to computer-aided design (CAD)

Programming languages

Materials engineering

Construction and detailing



Mechanical engineering specialisation

Practical module on creating models and prototypes

Materials engineering

Work and student life experience

Electrical engineering

Digital modelling

Combines work and study experience


Work and student life experience

Image editing and layout

Restrictions: We reserve the right to cancel or modify certain courses if enrolment numbers are too low. We will refund your application fee if you are not accepted to the programme.

  • 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 5,600 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.

Sufficient language skills in at least one of the languages of instruction of the intended degree programme. Persons with foreign educational qualifications in a different language must prove that they have sufficient language skills in one of the languages of instruction of the intended degree programme. The B2 language level as defined by the European Language Portfolio is sufficient. Language skills must be documented with a recognised language diploma before entering our bachelor’s degree programme.

Work placement

The preparatory work placement in our Passerelle scheme transforms theory into practice and provides you with experience in your future professional field. Beside your preparatory coursework, we will help you search for an appropriate work placement. In cooperation with your employer, we will also continue to support you throughout your work placement.


Work placement prerequisites

Businesses that offer work placements

  • have both expert personnel and the facilities required for the desired degree course;
  • will assign a colleague experienced in working with trainees to serve as a dedicated mentor;
  • will reach an official agreement regarding the work placement experience with the trainee.


We are happy to help you design a work placement solution tailored to your company’s needs. Many thanks for your involvement.

Switzerland’s expert workforce provides the foundation for its businesses. Our goal at BFH is to work with these businesses to train the specialists of tomorrow. Our Passerelle scheme, which we have offered since 2009, lays the cornerstone for this future.

Specialised trainees

In our Passerelle scheme, graduates of baccalaureate programmes prepare for their studies in architecture, engineering or information technology at BFH. Our programme comprises a three-month preparatory course as well as a nine-month work placement in a business related to the participants’ desired area of study.

By providing work placements, you will help Passerelle scheme participants prepare for their bachelor’s degree programme and future career – possibly even at your company.

Business fields for work placements

At the Bern University of Applied Sciences, work placement is offered in seven areas.

Engineering and Information Technology studies

Architectural studies

Electrical Engineering and Information Technology 


Computer Science  

Mechanical Engineering

Medical Informatics   
Mechatronics and Systems Engineering  
Industrial Engineering and Management Science