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Acquiring key competencies at Göttingen University

When seeking gainful employment, university graduates must live up to high professional standards. Alongside sound knowledge in their scientific or academic field, university graduates should possess cross-disciplinary qualifications relating to their chosen profession (key competencies): These key competencies form the cornerstone of a goal-oriented curriculum and lay the foundation for sustainable success in a working career. At Göttingen University, these competencies are taught according to an additive and integrative method; every student enrolled in a Bachelor's or Master's degree programme must learn them as an integral and compulsory part of their professionalisation curriculum. Learning key competencies is even firmly anchored in the curriculum of many doctoral degree programmes as well. Göttingen University offers a broad range of key competency modules that enable students to individually shape their ability to perform in their chosen profession. Students can acquire additional qualifications that suitably match their customised educational profile in the following areas of competency:

Area of competency Examples of taught competencies
Language Foreign languages
Factual knowledge Orientation along the professional areas
Interdisciplinary subject modules
Methodological competencies Rhetorical skills
Data processing/information technology
Informational competencies
Presentation technology
Project management
Work organisation
Academic and scientific work
Publishing competencies
Personal competencies Time & self management
Personality building
Learning strategies
Social competencies Intercultural competence
Ability to work in a team
Moderation techniques / communication skills
Leadership competence


The key competency modules offered at the university are upheld by three pillars: 1) The intradepartmental and intrafaculty modules (described in the regulations governing each degree programme), 2) the cross-faculty key competency modules of many major subjects (go to link) and 3) the key competency modules offered by the central institutions (e.g. Central Institution for Languages and Key Competencies (ZESS) and the IT Service for Students. This setup gives students the option to acquire key competencies not only within their major subject but also independently of their major and across multiple disciplines.