Study Guide for the Bachelor’s Degree in Cybersecurity (FAQ)

Based on the examination regulations of 2 July 2015.

Admissions, Organization and Program of Study

Organizational information

Before you begin your studies, you must enroll (matriculate) at the university. For this purpose, you must fill out the application for enrollment, which can be obtained online or in the student secretariat (Building A4 2).
In addition to this application, you need proof from your health insurance company that you are insured, and a university entrance qualification (Abitur or similar). As well, the semester fee must be paid. Further information is available here.

If enrollment is successful, you will be sent with your proof of enrollment to the university’s card office (Building C 3 1), where you will receive your student ID. This must be validated in order to be used as a bus and train ticket (semester ticket) for the duration of the respective semester.

Each semester, you must re-register. For this purpose, the semester fee has to be paid within a specified period. Shortly afterwards, it is possible to re-validate your student ID so that it can continue to be used as a semester ticket.

All organizational information can also be found on the websites of Saarland University and the Department of Computer Science. There is also information on housing accommodations. Information about the BAföG (study grants/loans) can be found on the website of the University or the Studentenwerk (Student Union), as well as the official BAföG site. There is a BAföG calculator here.

What is the standard length of study for the bachelor’s degree program?
The regular study period is six semesters. Within these six semesters, students must obtain a total of 180 credit points.
Does the cybersecurity bachelor’s degree program have restricted enrollment?
No. The cybersecurity study program is unrestricted. Therefore, it is not necessary to apply for enrollment: you can enroll directly. Everyone who wants to study computer science is guaranteed a place.
What do the performance assessments look like?
Performance assessments are part of each course. They can occur in different forms. For example, they can be based on oral or written exams, or project work. Details can be found in the examination regulations. If the performance checks are passed, the student acquires the CP corresponding to the course. The result of each graded exam is therefore reflected in a student’s final grade.
Can I choose my lectures freely?
The lectures are divided into different categories. The following courses must be completed by the students in order to attain the bachelor’s degree:

Programming 1 & 2 (required, 18 graded CP)
Mathematical foundations (required, 18 graded CP)
Additional foundations of computer science (required, 36 graded CP)
Foundations in the field of cybersecurity (required, 42 graded CP)
Software design practicum (required, 9 ungraded CP)
Undergraduate seminars on topics of cybersecurity (choice of electives, 5 graded CP)
Advanced lectures in the area of cybersecurity (choice of electives, 18 CP)
Seminars on topics of cybersecurity (choice of electives, 7 graded CP)
Bachelor’s seminars (9 graded CP) and bachelor’s thesis (12 graded CP)
In addition, at least 6 more CP must be obtained through the following courses:

Any courses from the bachelor’s degree in computer science
Soft Skill Seminar
Supervision of tutorials (as a tutor)
Language courses (max. 6 CP, only living languages)
Any courses approved upon request by the Examination Board

Credit Points and Exams

What are credit points?
Credit points (CP), which can be obtained through a lecture, indicate the lecture’s workload. A credit point corresponds to 30 hours’ study effort. For example, a basic lecture with 9 CP has an average workload of 270 hours.
How many credits do I have to earn per semester?
In general, 30 CP should be earned per semester. The minimum requirements are 9 CP after one semester, 18 CP after two semesters, 60 CP after four semesters, 105 CP after 6 semesters and 165 after nine semesters. If a student fails to meet these minimum requirements, he or she is informed in writing that the achievement of the study objective is at risk, and is also offered a consultation. If a student does not meet the minimum requirements for a second time, he or she loses the right to examination at each university in the Federal Republic of Germany. This will be communicated to the person concerned by a written notification from the Examination Board. The student has the possibility to give a statement.
What is the Examination Board?
The Examination Board is made up of five elected members and their respective elected alternates. One of these five members presides. The tasks of the Examination Board include, among other things, the processing of applications from students and the monitoring of progress after each semester. In addition, the Examination Board ensures that the provisions of the examination regulations are complied with.
Is there a final exam for the bachelor’s degree program?
The bachelor’s program comprises in-course examinations and a thesis (the bachelor’s thesis). This means there is no single final examination; instead, every course includes its own performance checks. Therefore, the student has the opportunity to actively shape his or her degree every semester.
What happens if I cannot participate in an exam?
If a student cannot participate in an examination, he or she must provide a valid reason. In the case of illness, a medical certificate must be submitted to the lecturer of the course without delay. If a candidate misses an examination and does not give proof of a valid reason, he or she is deemed to have failed. The same applies if a student tries to influence the test results by cheating or using non-approved aids.
Can I count my tutorial activites toward my studies?
For the supervision of a tutorial group as a tutor (“Bremser”), four non-graded CPs are given. If several groups for different courses are supervised, it is possible to obtain these points several times.

Bachelor’s Thesis and Completion of the Degree

When do I receive my bachelor’s degree?
Students who have fulfilled the requirements of their study regulations will receive their bachelor’s degree. It will reflect the results of their performance assessments and the bachelor’s thesis.
What is the bachelor’s thesis?
The bachelor’s thesis reports on a project that is developed under guidance. It is intended to show that the candidate is able to solve a computer science problem under guidance and to document the results within a predefined period. The work can be written in English or German, or on request also in another language. The working time for the bachelor’s thesis is 3 months. Details can be found in the examination regulations.
Why is the bachelor’s seminar required?
The bachelor’s seminar is a type of research colloquium, in which the student must present the topic of his or her bachelor’s thesis to the faculty of the chair where he or she wishes to write a thesis. This seminar must be completed before registering with the examination secretariat, and serves as a way to receive feedback from the faculty and to evaluate how well the student has understood the topic. The bachelor’s seminar provides 9 CP. No later than the semester after the bachelor’s seminar, the student must register his or her bachelor’s thesis; otherwise he or she has to do it again.

Other Information

What is the Computer Science Students’ Representative Council?

The Computer Science Students’ Representative Council (“Fachschaft”) represents the students in this course of study. It is made up of elected members who are concerned about the interests of the students and is, so to speak, the students’ “voice”. The Council ensures, for example, that the students’ proposals for the use of the study fees are passed on to the right places.
The homepage of the Council provides much more information about its work.