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German and French Law

What is the degree programme about?

In both politics and economics, France is Germany's closest and most important partner in Europe. In light of this, the German and French Law degree programme aims to train legal professionals who do not just speak both languages but are also familiar with both legal systems. For this reason, in addition to a standard German law degree, you also have the opportunity to gain a full French degree (Master Droit européen – spécialité juriste franco-allemand).

To be awarded the second degree you must spend three semesters studying at FAU's partner university Université de Rennes 1. Particular emphasis is placed on cultural exchange and an exchange of specialist knowledge with the French students, as the German and French students in each year group spend a total of six semesters studying together. You will also gain in-depth knowledge of European and international law.

In addition, there is a mobility grant of 300 euros per month available for the stay abroad, provided by the Franco-German University (DFH – www.dfh-ufa.org). Students also complete a work placement in France.

What can I do with this degree?

Firstly you will receive a German law degree. This means that as a student of the German and French Law degree programme you are not at a disadvantage compared to other law students and have exactly the same opportunities.

However, the degree programme has many additional benefits. The close economic and political relationships between the two countries create a need for legal professionals who can effortlessly switch between the two languages and legal systems. To meet this demand there are specialist Franco-German law firms who specialise in areas such as commercial law, employment law, tax law, inheritance law and family law. Many other companies are also interested in having employees with international experience who are aware of intercultural issues. Public authorities and institutions also require employees with knowledge related to both Germany and France. Alongside English and German, French is one of the working languages of the European Union and if you are aiming for a career there you should concentrate on acquiring the required skills as early as possible.

While you are in Rennes you will learn about certain topics that are directly or indirectly related to European and international law, meaning that if you choose to study these areas of law in Germany at a later date you will already be familiar with them. It is worth considering that almost all aspects of the law are at least partly influenced by EU legislation, so it is always useful to have knowledge in this field.

Even if you are not particularly aiming for a career where knowledge of both German and French law is required, you will still have real advantages compared to other applicants after you graduate. Experience studying abroad, as well as a degree from another country demonstrate perseverance, flexibility, intercultural skills and an interest in international issues – qualities that are highly sought-after in the modern-day job market.

In light of this, studying abroad always pays off.

What qualities and skills do I need?
  • an interest in studying law
  • a desire to spend an extended period of time in France
  • good proficiency in written and spoken French
Good reasons for choosing to study at FAU
  • The programme is designed in such a way that the German and French students spend a total of six semesters together, starting with the fifth semester which is spent in France. It promotes an intense exchange between the students from the two countries and students stay in contact after returning to their home universities.
  • The degree programme includes special courses and tutorials designed to prepare you to study in France.
  • The partner city of Rennes is a great city in Brittany which is close to the sea. The partner university Université de Rennes 1 is well known for its excellent law faculty.
  • Year groups are not too large, making it possible for a friendly atmosphere to develop and meaning that students from different year groups are able to help each other.
  • Graduates are awarded three qualifications:
    • German qualification: Erste Juristische Prüfung (first examination in law) along with the title Diplom-Jurist (Univ.)
    • First French qualification: Licence en droit – juriste franco-allemand (the French equivalent to a Bachelor's degree)
    • Second French qualification: Master Droit européen – spécialité juriste franco-allemand ('Master 2') [lease note: The French 'Master 2' refers to Master's degree programmes with a duration of two years, distinguishing them from 'Master 1' degree programmes which are completed after only one year. Accordingly, 'Master 2' degrees involve more in-depth study]
Potential challenges
  • This degree programme takes slightly longer than standard law degree programmes in Germany. In addition to the standard law lectures, you will also attend additional programme-specific courses – block courses sometimes take place at the weekend, on bank holidays or outside of the lecture period.
  • The degree programme is very demanding. The three-semester stay abroad at the partner university where you will need to adapt to a completely new environment with a different language is especially challenging and requires perseverance and flexibility, as well as a certain amount of curiosity and composure.
  • The degree programme is a law degree programme. Although the exchange between France and Germany is a key part of the programme, the main focus is on law. Some students realise part way through their studies that they are interested in France but not necessarily in studying law – a subject which requires a particular way of thinking and working.
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Degree programme start date and application deadlines

Start date of degree programme: Winter Term

The FAU website provides an overview of the current application deadlines as well as information on the selection process and how to apply.

Would you like to get a better idea of the topics, questions and methods you can expect in a degree programme? If so, you can take a short test here with example questions about your chosen degree programme and studying in general. The test will help you to see how interested you are in the subject and whether the content of the degree programme is right for you.

Sample Exercises in German and French Law

Please note: To complete the test, you will be redirected to StudOn. StudOn is FAU’s official teaching and learning platform which you will be using during your future studies.

Location/Map

Please note: Despite careful checks, we cannot rule out errors or omissions. For this reason, all prospective students are advised to seek detailed information from FAU's Student Advice and Career Service (IBZ) before commencing their studies.

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Degree type: State Examination
Type of study: State Examination
Location: Erlangen, Rennes
Standard duration of study: 10 Semester
Start date of degree programme: Winter Term
Language: French, German
Early entrance programme: no
Part-time study: no
Faculty: Faculty of Business, Economics, and Law

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