Continuing Education at ETH Zurich

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University continuing education in Switzerland

In Switzerland, university continuing education is understood to mean further specialisation or interdisciplinary development of an initial higher education qualification that was achieved earlier. It is aimed at specialist professionals and managers with an academic background and requires them already to have a university degree (usually at Master’s level) plus professional experience.

University continuing education differs from initial academic qualifications in content, teaching methods and format. It normally takes place alongside employment, combines high academic standards with practical relevance and is based on the latest findings from research.

You can find more information about the positioning of university continuing education in Switzerland in the Description of the Swiss Higher Education System.

Continuing Education at ETH Zurich

ETH Zurich has a mandate “to educate students and specialists in scientific and technical fields and ensure continuing education and training” (Federal Institutes of Technology Act, Art. 2 paragraph 1).

It regards continuing education as being the transfer of knowledge and technology between the university and the outside world. Through its continuing education services, it contributes to the long-term development of society and the economy and helps strengthen the competitiveness of Switzerland as a business location. ETH Zurich alumni take up leading roles as specialists and senior managers working in business and for the state.

Strategic principles

In its continuing education provision, ETH Zurich is committed to the following principles:

  • It is research-based and focused on the university’s core competences.
  • It promotes specialisation at a high level or brings together different disciplines to create new interdisciplinary areas of competence.
  • It strives for exclusivity in both its content and its participants.
  • It meets the highest quality standards and measures itself against international competition.
  • It helps strengthen the reputation of ETH Zurich.

Courses and types of course

The continuing education portfolio at ETH Zurich currently comprises 19 MAS and MBA programmes, 7 DAS programmes, 18 CAS programmes and about 50 continuing education courses lasting 1-10 days. In addition, on request, ETH Zurich designs tailor-made in-house courses and offers customised solutions for private individuals (e-learning, MOOCS, auditors).

Stand-alone courses

Stand-alone programmes are developed specially for continuing education customers and are separate in their content, teaching methods and organisation from the basic Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes. The courses take account of the individual needs and prior knowledge of the participants and give them the opportunity to build up their specialist and personal networks. Often, these courses are created in close cooperation with professional associations, groups of companies or other universities. Some of the programmes are the only ones of their kind in Switzerland or even in Europe. Examples of stand-alone courses are the MAS ETH in Spatial Planning or the MAS ETH in Future Transport Systems.

Integrated courses

Integrated continuing education programmes such as the CAS ETH in Computer Science or the MAS ETH in Management, Technology, and Economics are largely based on the modules and courses of normal Master’s degree programmes. Participants may assemble their learning content from the wide range of available courses on a relatively individual basis.

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