Compulsory attendance

The rules on attendance are set out in §12 (6) of the examination regulations for the Geography B.Sc. and Geography M.Sc. dated September 7, 2020:

For courses in which achieving the qualification target requires active participation by students, the module structure may stipulate mandatory regular participation (compulsory attendance) as prerequisite to being admitted to the examination. Depending on the type of course, the following absences are permissible:

  • Field trips:     0 %
  • Field-based internships:  0%
  • Method-based internships: 0%
  • Field stays for project seminars: 0%
  • Seminars, project seminars: max. 30%

In individual cases, upon valid request by the lecturer, the examination board may set different maximum limits for absences and shall announce them pursuant to § 8, para. 7.

Studierende UNU_barbarafrommann_2017.jpg
© Barbara Frommann / UNU


What does “regular participation” mean?

  1. Participation will still be deemed to be regular if no more than 30 percent of teaching time is missed. For example, this equates to four sessions of a course with two course units per week. The same applies to block courses. For example, students may miss a total of one day if their block seminar is taught in two course units per week (i.e. five days of seminars).
  2. Needless to say, work that is missed should be caught up on.
  3. Full compulsory attendance applies to field trips, field-based practicals and field stays forming part of seminars, i.e. students are not allowed to miss anything at all.

Formalities regarding study achievements and examinations passed:

Affirmation in lieu of an oath:

For written work of any kind, students must provide a written affirmation that they have done the work themselves and have not used any sources or aids other than the ones indicated.

Note that this form is not intended to serve as an appendix to theses. Please use this template for theses.

Use of sound recording equipment:

As a basic principle, the use of sound recording equipment to record speakers on courses such as lectures or on field trips is only permitted with their consent. Otherwise, you will be violating § 53 para. 7 of the Copyright Act (UrhG):

“The recording of public lectures, productions or performances of a work on video or audio recording mediums [...] are only ever permitted with the rightholder’s consent.”

Notes on plagiarism:

“Science is the search for truth. It exists thanks to originality and autonomy. Science is not science if data, facts and intellectual property are not handled honestly. Plagiarism erodes the credibility of science.”

(http://www.hochschulverband.de/cms1/879.html, 24. August 2015)

The University of Bonn’s policies on good research practice state: “As a research university, the University of Bonn is committed to research and research-guided teaching. Good research work is based on the basic foundation of intellectual honesty, both towards oneself and others, and requires compliance with the fundamental principles of good research practice.” (The Rector of the University of Bonn (ed.): Policies for Safeguarding Good Research Practice at the University of Bonn, September 1, 2014, in: Official Announcements, 44th year (26/2014), p. 4).

In this respect, good research practice and techniques of academic work are key components of the academic training given to students. Honesty in dealing with the sources used is the primary foundation on which science and research are based and must therefore be demanded of all students from their first semester onward.

This handout contains important information for students about plagiarism and tells them what teaching and advice is available on the topic of good research practice and the basics of academic work.

What is plagiarism?
Plagiarism is understood to mean any attempt unlawfully to use texts, ideas, findings, etc. of another person, whether in whole or in part, and pass them off as your own academic work. In other words, any adoption of someone else’s ideas that is not precisely identified as such will be plagiarism as it does not tell the reader who the actual author was. It is irrelevant whether plagiarism is intentional or unintentional, i.e. as a result of imprecise academic work—it will always be deemed an offense, specifically that of deception.

Plagiarism can take various forms (the list below is based on an information sheet for students about plagiarism produced by ETH Zurich, issued in November 2008 by its Rector):

Full plagiarism: submitting the work of another author in your own name

Self-plagiarism: (repeatedly) submitting your own work (or parts of it) for multiple examinations

Translation plagiarism: a piece of work for which a text in a foreign language (or parts of it) is translated and not identified as another author’s work by citing your sources

Text plagiarism: using another author’s texts or passages of text word for word without citing your sources

Unacknowledged paraphrasing: reproducing the sense of another author’s texts or passages of text without citing your sources

Other forms of deception:

  • Ghostwriting: a piece of work that you commission another author to write and then submit under your own name
  • Data falsification: “tweaking” data and research findings that you or someone else has obtained to serve your own research objectives
  • Copying: from other students during a written examination
    Using banned aids: in written examinations, e.g. books, notes, electronic devices (unless stipulated otherwise by the examiner)

How can you avoid plagiarism?
To prevent yourself from running the risk of plagiarism in the first place, you will need to familiarize yourself with the basic principles of academic working right from the start of your studies. This includes learning the techniques of academic working and, in particular, the rules on citation, as they will help you distinguish other people’s ideas clearly and distinctly from your own.

You will learn the basics of academic working in the advanced modules B2 and B4.

You can find the Department of Geography’s rules on citation here. 

Students who are unsure about anything should always contact their lecturer and degree program management and ask for advice.

All examination regulations issued in 2020 provide clear instructions on the length of written work, including character counts (including spaces and notes). You can find the precise details in § 18 and § 20 of the respective examination regulations (B.Sc., M.Sc. and GeoRisk).

As the information on page counts in the 2015 bachelor’s examination regulations and 2014 master’s examination regulations leave significant scope for interpretation in terms of actual character counts, we have set out below how to convert pages to characters for your written work. This serves merely as a guide for you; the abovementioned examination regulations continue to apply:


  • One page corresponds roughly to 2,700 characters (including spaces and notes)
  • Conversion for 2015 BSc and 2014 MSc examination regulations (always excluding the front cover, structure, figures, bibliography and appendix)
    • Term papers/project reports/other reports 15,000 to 40,000 characters including spaces (5 to 15 pages)
    • Internship report: 15,000 to 20,000 characters including spaces (5 to 8 pages)
    • Bachelor’s thesis (12 CPs, 3 months to write): 70,000 to 100,000 characters including spaces (25 to 40 pages)
    • Master’s thesis (30 CPs, 6 months to write): 100,000 to 200,000 characters including spaces (40 to 80 pages)

ToR in German:

You can create and print off your transcript yourself from your Transcript of Records (ToR) by logging into BASIS with your Uni-ID and password. Proceed as follows:

  1. Funktion ("Function")
  2. Notenspiegel ("Transcript")
  3. PDF-Übersicht: Leistung (“PDF overview: achievements”)

 If you need a signed and stamped copy, please bring an up-to-date printout to the Examination Office during its office hours.

ToR in English:

Course titles in English have been added to the course catalog since the 2015/16 winter semester. You can produce your ToR in English yourself by following the steps above and then clicking on the flag symbol in the top right-hand corner.

If your ToR is not displayed fully in English, you can complete this form instead and hand it into the Examination Office (please only list those modules you have completed in full).

Rules for field trips/field-based internships

100% attendance and a piece of writing (usually a report) will be required in order to get field trips and field-based internships recognized as study achievements. Examination registration is only required for the M.Ed. field trip module.

The note “nicht erschienen” (“absent”; see below) will only be recorded in the ToR but will not have any further impact on how field trips are allocated in the future.

Please note that, since accommodation, travel, etc. for field trips and field stays are usually booked not long after allocation is complete, specific withdrawal rules apply in respect of the costs incurred. When you register for a field trip or field stay, you automatically declare that you accept these rules.

Bachelor’s degree programs

allocation takes place in October following the orientation week; you can only deregister without facing any consequences a week following allocation by contacting the relevant lecturer. After that, “nicht erschienen” (“absent”) will appear on your ToR. Registration is required to participate in B2 and B4.

allocation takes place in July; you can only deregister without facing any consequences a week following allocation by contacting the relevant lecturer. After that, “nicht erschienen” (“absent”) will appear on your ToR, and you will need to cover any costs incurred.

allocation takes place in January; you can only deregister without facing any consequences a week following allocation by contacting the relevant lecturer. After that, “nicht erschienen” (“absent”) will appear on your ToR, and you will need to cover any costs incurred.

allocation takes place in March/April; you can only deregister without facing any consequences a week following allocation by contacting the relevant lecturer. After that, “nicht erschienen” (“absent”) will appear on your ToR, and you will need to cover any costs incurred.

  Master’s degree programs

allocation takes place in November; you can only deregister without facing any consequences a week following allocation by contacting the relevant lecturer. After that, “nicht erschienen” (“absent”) will appear on your ToR, and you will need to cover any costs incurred.

allocation takes place in January; you can only deregister without facing any consequences a week following allocation by contacting the relevant lecturer. After that, “nicht erschienen” (“absent”) will appear on your ToR, and you will need to cover any costs incurred.

If you are ill

If you can provide a medical certificate covering the period of the field trip, “nicht erschienen” (“absent”) will not be entered in BASIS. However, you will still need to cover any costs incurred. It is therefore a good idea to take out travel cancellation insurance that will cover the costs if you are ill.

Safety in the field

Eine Wissenschaftlerin und ein Wissenschaftler arbeiten hinter einer Glasfassade und mischen Chemikalien mit Großgeräten.
© Friederike Pauk/GIUB

The flyer "Sicherheit im Gelände" (safety in the field) was created in cooperation with GeStein e.V. and GeoDACH e.V. and provides information about the correct behavior in the field - during excursions, field internships or project seminars. It gives many helpful tips for preparation and equipment.

Carbon offsetting

Eine Wissenschaftlerin und ein Wissenschaftler arbeiten hinter einer Glasfassade und mischen Chemikalien mit Großgeräten.
© colourbox.de/kritchanut

As some field trips abroad involve flights, the departmental student body would like to take this opportunity to encourage you to think about the CO2 emissions that this will generate and offset them. There are various ways to do this.

Semesters on leave

You are entitled—but not obligated—to take a leave of absence for a semester. All the information you need about leaves of absence at the University of Bonn is available here.

Refunds for your student transit pass

If you spend one or two semesters abroad without taking a leave of absence, you will be able to get back from the General Students’ Committee what you paid for your student transit pass (as you will be spending time outside the area it covers for reasons related to your studies). Incidentally, this also applies to longer internships outside North Rhine-Westphalia.

...on an internship

You can take a leave of absence if you will be completing the compulsory internship or a longer voluntary internship in Germany or abroad. However, you will not be able to do any other work or examinations at the University of Bonn during the semester in question.

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© Colourbox.de


...during a semester abroad

If you have taken a leave of absence to spend a semester abroad, you will be able to do work and take examinations in your chosen foreign country but not at the University of Bonn. The number of semesters you have completed will be increased in the following situations despite you taking a leave of absence:

  • 1 semester abroad and 1 semester on leave of absence: number of completed semesters increased by 1 if more than 20 credit points are recognized.
  • 2 semesters abroad and 2 semesters on leave of absence: number of completed semesters increased by 1 if between 21 and 40 credit points are recognized and by 2 if more than 40 credit points are recognized.
  • 2 semesters abroad and 1 semester on leave of absence: to be discussed with the International Coordinator.

Internship

The compulsory internship on the Geography B.Sc. and M.Sc. lasts at least six weeks (full-time) and is not registered in BASIS. You can find all the necessary information as well as a lot of tips and FAQs under “Internships and careers.” An internship marketplace is also organized every May where you can get some fascinating insights into various career paths in geography.

(The following pages are only available in german)

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