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Glossary P

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Polytechnic
Type of institution that combines the research, tuition and study activities of universities, art colleges and universities of applied sciences.

Postgraduate course
Course that builds on and supplements a first academic degree.

Postgraduate programme
Arrangement in higher education institutions to support postgraduate doctoral candidates through thematically-based research groups, in which candidates work on their thesis.

Practical semester
Practical work placement component of a course at universities of applied sciences.

Pre-study German course
Offered to prospective international students who have an appropriate entrance qualification but who do not yet have the necessary language proficiency to start a course of study. The pre-study German course is taken before starting a course in a particular subject and normally leads to the DSH (German language test for higher education admission). People who need to attend a preparatory course due to their previous education automatically complete the DSH there in conjunction with the assessment test. Attention: Not all institutions offer pre-study German courses.

Preliminary placement
Placement that must be completed before beginning a course of study.

Preparatory course
Course organised to prepare international students linguistically and in terms of subject knowledge, if their previous education does not entitle them to direct admission to higher education. Depending on the preparatory course, applications must either be made directly to the preparatory course, the responsible institution (via uni-assist where possible) or the responsible state authorities. Teaching on the preparatory course is based on main courses in specific subjects. Those attending the course are normally registered (enrolled) students of the institution to which the preparatory course is affiliated. Preparatory courses normally last for one year. This year is not counted towards subsequent subject study. The preparatory course ends with the assessment test. Passing the assessment test entitles a student to enter higher education to study a specific subject. At most institutions, it is necessary to apply for a place in the normal way after completing the preparatory course.

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