Course Classifications

In general courses at the University of Vienna can be distinguished by their type of assessment: continuous assessment, or non-continuous assessment. Most of the course types, such as e.g. seminars (SE) or exercises (UE) belong to the former category, and require registration and regular attendance. The latter type mainly encompasses lectures, for which registration and regular attendance are not mandatory. 

Below you can find an overview and an explanation of some of the most common course types found at this institute. 


Courses with continuous assessment (pi LV)Courses with non-continuous assessment (npi LV)

Courses (Kurs, KU) or

University Courses (Universitätskurs, UK)

Lectures (Vorlesung, VO)
Exercises (Übung, UE)
Seminars (Seminar, SE)
Practical Courses (Praktika, PR)

Courses with continuous assessment (Prüfungsimmanente Lehrveranstaltung, pi LV)

In courses with continuous assessment, partial achievements, either in written or oral form, are required throughout the course. Therefore, attendance at these courses is compulsory. The oral and/or written partial achievements form the basis for assessment. Students who did not successfully complete a course with continuous assessment have to take the course again. Students can take courses with continuous assessment four times in total.

From the winter semester 2019/20 onwards, registration for the fourth and a last attendance of a course with continuous assessment (“prüfungsimmanent”) cannot be completed through the online course registration system. If you try to register, you will receive an error message asking you to contact the SSC. Within the registration period, please send an e-mail requesting registration for the fourth attendance, including your name, matriculation number as well as the title and course code of the class, to The SSC will then pre-register you for the course and will send you a confirmation e-mail. After receiving this e-mail, you have to allocate the desired number of points and at the end of the registration period the places will be allocated as usual.

Courses with non-continuous assessment (Nicht-prüfungsimmanente Lehrveranstaltung, npi LV)

For these courses attendance is not compulsory. A student’s performance is assessed via an examination. Students have the opportunity to re-take each examination three times. The fourth and last examination attempt is held before an examination committee. This means that the student’s performance is assessed by an examination committee.

Examinations take place at the end of the semester, as well as at the beginning, in the middle and towards the end of the following semester and in the middle of the following semester. 

Lectures (Vorlesung, VO)

Lectures serve to present contents, methods and applications of a specific subject. Continuous assessment is not applied in lectures. Contents are presented in the form of presentations delivered by the lecturer or in a similar form. The lecture is completed with an oral or written examination. As attendance is not compulsory, students do not have to register for lectures, nor is attendance taken. To take the respective exam, however, registration is mandatory and has to be completed within a certain registration period (individual to each exam, but at least 2 weeks long). For each lecture 4 exam dates will be offered, one at the end of the semester, and usually one at the beginning, in the middle, and towards the end of the following semester. 

Courses (KU) or University Courses (UK)

In courses or university courses, continuous assessment is applied. On the one hand, contents, methods and applications of a given subject area are taught. On the other hand, students complete tasks independently, such as giving presentations, coming up with solutions to given tasks, etc. Mostly academic, practical or instruction-based teaching formats, but also case-based learning.

Exercises (Übung, UE)

Exercises serve the purpose of acquiring, expanding and thoroughly working through course contents as well as practising relevant skills. Students are expected to actively participate in activities as deemed appropriate and to solve tasks independently. Students must generally complete these tasks outside of the designated course hours. During class, the lecturer comments on, evaluates and adds to the solutions provided by the students. Attendance is compulsory. 

Seminars (Seminar, SE)

Seminars serve as a setting for academic discussions. Participants are expected to independently work on a topic and present the insights gained in the form of independent oral and written contributions, such as presentations and seminar papers. In seminars, continuous assessment is applied.

Practical Courses (Praktika, PR)

Practical Courses focus primarily on the applications of study contents and students have to work on relevant problems independently. Attendance is compulsory.