Standard degree programme or model degree programme in medicine? You have to consider this!

MUDr. Andreas Zehetner

MUDr. Andreas Zehetner

CO-Founder of futuredoctor

Reading time: 5 Minuten
Last updated: 21 March 2024

📖 Table of contents

If you want to apply to study medicine and have looked at the websites of potential medical universities in Germany, you have probably already come across the terms "model degree programme" and "standard degree programme". In this article, you can find out exactly what this means, what the differences are and which universities offer which type of degree programme.

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What are the differences between the standard degree programme and the model degree programme?

The medicine degree programme is offered in Germany as a standard or model degree programme. The degree is the same in both cases, but the structure of the degree programme differs between the two models.

Standard degree programme in medicine - structure, advantages and disadvantages

The standard medical degree programme is also known as the classic or original form of medical studies. It is divided into three sections:

  • Pre-clinical programme (1st-4th semester): Basic science subjects, completion: 1st section of the medical examination (Physikum)
  • Clinic (5th-10th semester): Theory of disease in various specialisations, completion: 2nd section of the medical examination (Hammerexamen)
  • Practical year (11th and 12th semesters): Rotation on hospital wards, completion: 3rd section of the medical examination

Here you can usually put together your own timetable. This has the advantage of increased flexibility, but often also means that you need more than 6 academic years. However, this flexibility is limited by the fact that you have to register early and bindingly for certain courses in order to get a place (e.g. for laboratory practicals or dissection courses).

The strict separation of pre-clinical and clinical study sections was also considered outdated by many faculties. Students only come into contact with patients in the third year. This strong focus on theory causes many frustrated medical students to drop out of their studies.

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Model degree programme in medicine - structure, advantages and disadvantages

As variants of the classic standard degree programme, many of the model degree programmes offered in Germany largely do away with the separation of preclinical and clinical studies. This resolves one of the main points of criticism and makes the content more practice-orientated. In some cases, the disciplinary separation of the programme content is also removed. Teaching takes place in learning blocks or thematic modules that summarise important organs and organ systems in a multidisciplinary way.

Problem: There is no standardised design of the model degree programmes. They differ from university to university.

What do I need to bear in mind when changing degree programmes?

The biggest disadvantage of the different systems is that it is almost impossible to switch between the model and standard degree programmes. Whoever Medical studies abroad If you are already planning to transfer to Germany, you should choose a degree programme abroad that corresponds largely or completely to the standard German degree programme in terms of curriculum. This usually makes the transfer less complicated.

Where can I find standard study programmes?

The following universities offer a standard degree programme in Germany:

  • University of Bonn
  • University of Duisburg-Essen
  • Friedrich-Alexander-University Faculty Erlangen-Nuremberg
  • Friedrich-Alexander-University Faculty Erlangen-Bayreuth
  • Goethe University Frankfurt
  • University of Freiburg
  • Justus Liebig University Giessen
  • Georg-August-University Göttingen
  • University of Greifswald
  • Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg
  • University of Heidelberg
  • Friedrich Schiller University Jena
  • Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
  • University of Leipzig
  • University of Lübeck
  • Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg
  • University of Mainz
  • Philipps University Marburg
  • Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich
  • University of Münster
  • University of Regensburg
  • University of Rostock
  • Saarland University
  • Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen
  • University of Ulm
  • Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

Where are there model study programmes?

A model degree programme in medicine is currently being offered at nine of the 37 medical faculties in Germany:

  • RWTH Aachen
  • Charité University Medicine Berlin
  • Ruhr University Bochum
  • HHU Düsseldorf
  • UKE Hamburg
  • MMH Hanover
  • UMM Heidelberg/ Mannheim
  • University of Cologne
  • Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg

Frequently asked questions

FAQs on studying medicine 

In the standard degree programme, the study sections are clearly separated from each other, whereas in the model degree programme this separation is abolished in order to strengthen the practical relevance.

The standard degree programme offers flexibility in the timetable, but also a strong focus on theory, which can lead to longer study times and drop-outs.

In the model degree programme, the separation of preclinical and clinical work is abolished, which leads to a stronger practical orientation, but the design of the degree programmes varies depending on the university.

It is often difficult to switch between systems, so it is advisable to choose a degree programme abroad that corresponds to the standard German degree programme.

Universities such as Bonn, Frankfurt, Heidelberg and Munich offer regular study programmes.

Model study programmes are offered at Charité Berlin, RWTH Aachen University and the University of Cologne, among others.

In the standard degree programme, teaching is traditional, whereas in the model degree programme, teaching often takes place in learning blocks or thematic modules.

A doctorate is generally possible after a model degree programme, but the requirements may vary depending on the university.

The evaluation of the model degree programmes is subjective and depends on individual preferences.

The choice between a standard and model degree programme depends on personal preferences and learning preferences. There is no clearly "better" model.

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