Teaching load

In German-speaking countries, teaching load is typically expressed in hours per week per semester (Semester Wochen Stunden, or SWS). This is the amount of hours dedicated for teaching activities negotiated between the instructor and the University. 

1 SWS corresponds to 2.25 working hours per week, for 15 weeks (a total of 33.75 astronomic working hours per semester)

These 3 working hours per week include:

  • 0.50 hour preparation (course planning and organization, preparing teaching materials, exams, etc)
  • 0.75 hour (45 minutes) active teaching (direct interaction with students, including synchronous online format)
  • 1.00 hour follow-up (grading assignments, exams, feedback to the students, organizational issues, etc).

Please notice that your teaching load includes not only hours of direct interaction with the students, but ALSO preparations for class (planning and organization (such as booking course venue, training tutors, etc), announcing course information, preparing materials for online and on-site teaching, preparation of exams, etc) AND follow-up activities (grading assignments, homework, exams, providing feedback to the students). While SPL and SSC offices will support you with organization of courses and exams, it is ultimately your responsibility as a University employee.

The negotiated teaching load (in SWS) is indicated on your employment contract with the University. Teaching beyond the negotiated SWS load is compensated through additional contracts. All teaching employment contracts are administered through the University Department of human resources and gender equality.

The employment contracts at the University are subject to the Collective Bargaining Agreement for the University Stuff, which regulates provisions related to working hours, salary, insurance, paid leave and other issues.