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German courses for the University Preparation Programme (VWU)

The Language Center is one of the cooperating partners of the University Preparation Programme of the Vienna Universities (VWU) and offers German Courses within the Preparation Programme preparing students for their supplementary examination in German (EPD).

Summer semester 2021: online or offline courses

In the summer semester 2021, the preparatory “German courses for the VWU” are also available as online courses. In this way, we want to enable our students to study German despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Lessons will take place in virtual Zoom classrooms; otherwise everything is similar to a regular on-site course.

If you have to stay in your home country due to COVID-19, you can take advantage of your time in the best possible way.

  • To participate in our online courses you need a stable internet connection (10 MBit/s Download, 5 MBit/s Upload. If you are unsure of the internet speed at your specific location, please check your connection here: https://www.speedtest.net). 
  • You will need a device with microphone and speakers/headphones and a webcam. We strongly recommend using a device with an (external) keyboard so that you can also perform your written tasks in the best possible way. You will work with word documents and other word-processing programs.
  • As virtual classroom, we use the external provider Zoom.
  • Please note that the indicated course time corresponds to the local time in Vienna / Austria (CEST/UTC+2). Before registering, please check the time zone difference at your local time and register for the course schedule most convenient for your location. If you need assistance, click here
  • Special hygienic measures apply at all locations of the Language Center and in our classrooms to ensure healthy environment and comfort. 
  • This course is planned as an offline course on our premises on/near campus. However, please note that in case the government enforces another covid-19-related shutdown, we will have to switch this course to an online course.

Prerequisites for participants in the VWU German courses

VWU-German courses are only open to prospective students who have been granted admission to one of the Vienna universities listed below and who yet have to prove proficiency in German to start their degree programme. Students must show their admission letter (“Zulassungsbescheid”) or approval of the university when registering for a VWU German course.  

Registering for a VWU German course is required in order to get admission at your university. After successfully registering for the preparation programme at your university in person, you will be considered as a non-degree programme student. Your university will allow you four semesters at most to take the VWU-courses and pass the EPD.

Depending on your knowledge of German, you will take one or more VWU German classes. Your level of German will be determined by a compulsory VWU placement test.

You successfully complete the VWU German courses and the Preparation Programme of your university by passing the supplementary examination in German (“Ergänzungsprüfung Deutsch – EPD”). Then you may start your degree programme.

General information on course registration

The Sprachenzentrum prepares students for the supplementary examination in German (Ergänzungsprüfung Deutsch – EPD). Correct and complex language proficiency is needed to pass this exam. The course levels FG or WF focus on these aspects.

Please note: Subject to change if the current precautions concerning COVID-19 have to be maintained.

Preparing your stay

Please clarify questions on entry to and residence in Austria in due time (i.e. application, registration process, entry to Austria). Final responsibilities rest with the Austrian Authorities. The OeAD website (see Entry and Residence) provides helpful information.

Registration periods

Summer semester 2021

Online pre-registration: open from 07.01.2021
Registration period: 20.01.2021 – 04.02.2021
Personal admission at the university:

until 05.02.2021


  • Students with subjects other than German and who are taking a VWU course at the Language Center can register from 29.01.2021 (last day of the course) until 05.02.2021.
  • Students who are taking a VWU-course and do not pass the EPD in January can sign up for a course until 28.02.2021 (subject to availability). We reserve some spots for our students from Sprachenzentrum on a first come, first served basis.



Academic year 2020/21

Course fee: EUR 1,250 (including costs for additional material)

Text books: approx. EUR 100 each semester

Class reading material: EUR 10-15 each semester

The purchase of an additional dictionary (book) is recommended.

If you are eligible for the reduced course fee (depending on nationality or asylum status) you need to register directly at VWU, Sechshauser Straße.

VWU placement

New students (admission to the university for the first time):

  • If you have prior knowledge of German, you must take the VWU placement test. The result defines the VWU course level your will attend during the semester. Beginners do not have to take a placement test – please let us know when you register for the course.
  • You will get an appointment for a placement test when you register for the course; this appointment is binding.
  • The placement test includes writing (60 minutes) and speaking (max. 10 minutes). Grammar, Reading Comprehension, Writing and Speaking will be tested.
  • Your placement result and class assignment will be sent by e-mail shortly before the course starts.


Continuing students (students who have already taken VWU German classes):

  • Your course result is the placement for the next semester. It depends on your performance in writing (total results of all mid-term exams and/or the result of your written placement exam) and speaking (oral exam). It defines the VWU-course level you will attend in the next semester. Your teacher will inform you about your course result on the last course day of the semester.
  • There will be no placement test for continuing students after the February break; the course result (placement) of the previous course is valid.
  • Your placement result and class assignment will be sent by email three business days before the course starts.


Placement Test Schedule

The placement tests for new students can be taken online or offline on the following dates:

  • 27.01.
  • 29.01.
  • 05.02.
  • 12.02. (not for students with subjects other than German)



The registration for the summer semester 2021 is closed. Information regarding the registration for the winter semester 2021/22 will be posted shortly.


Course details

Course dates & holidays

Winter semester 2020/21

Course starts: 01.10.2020
Course ends: 29.01.2021


23.12.2020 – 06.01.2021 (Christmas holidays)

Course levels AN, AV, EV: additional holiday on 22.12.2020
Course levels FG and WF: additional holiday on 13.01.2021

Summer semester 2021

Course starts: 01.03.2021
Course ends: 25.06.2021


29.03. – 05.04.2021 (Easter holidays)

Class time

Daily lessons (Monday – Friday) for 3 hours and 40 minutes (20 minutes break incl.)

You will receive an e-mail regarding your course schedule three business days before course start. Let us know your preferred class time when you register for a course. The class allocation is organized centrally and unfortunately not all preferences can be met. Changing the allocated class is not possible.

Morning (V):

class time between 8:00 and 13:00

Noon (M):

class time between 11:00 and 17:00

Afternoon (N):

class time between 14:00 and 20:00

VWU course levels

Basic levels
AN – Beginners with no prior knowledge of German
AV – Beginners with little knowledge of German
EV – Students with extended knowledge of German

Courses preparing for the EPD-exam
FG – Students with advanced knowledge of German
WF – Students with further advanced knowledge of German

The five VWU course levels are overlapping – in almost every course level you will repeat and enhance some parts of the preceding level. You do not need to attend each level. Most students need three semesters from level AN (beginners with no prior knowledge of German) to successfully passing the EPD. Your university will allow you four semesters at most to complete the VWU German courses. The EPD exam, taken at VWU, Sechshauser Straße, must be passed to become a degree programme student.

VWU course levels do not refer to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). The result of the VWU-placement test determines your course level.

Figure: Overlapping course levels
Figure: Course system and the path to EPD


We work with authentic materials as well as coursebooks. Please find the books for the VWU courses listed below and note that different books are used in the winter and the summer semester.

The purchase of a dictionary (book) is recommended. For further details, please ask your teacher.

VWU course levels do not refer to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), even if the books used show these CEFR-levels.


Books in winter semester 2020/21:

  • AN: Schritte plus neu Österreich A1/1, A1/2, A2/1, A2/2
  • AV: Schritte plus neu Österreich A2/1, A2/2, B1/1
  • EV: Schritte plus neu Österreich A2/2, B1/1, B1/2
  • FG: Aspekte neu B1 plus Teil 1 & Teil 2, B2/1, B2/2
  • WF: Aspekte neu B2/1, B2/2, C1/1, C1/2

Books in summer semester 2021:

  • AN: Motive A1, A2
  • AV: Motive A2, B1
  • EV: Motive A2, B1
  • FG: Aspekte neu B1 plus Teil 1 & Teil 2, B2/1, B2/2
  • WF: Aspekte neu B2/1, B2/2, C1/1, C1/2

The textbooks are available at bookstores such as our cooperation partner Facultas am Campus, or as e-books on the publisher's websites worldwide. The textbook costs are not included in the course price.

You can buy an e-book or a hardcover book (we recommend buying a hardcover book). Please search for your book with the respective ISBN number.

Users of e-books will find handbooks for the e-book activation here:

A1-B1 → Hueber-Verlag
B2 and above → Klett-Verlag

Additional learning materials and exercises will be supplied as handouts or accessible via the Moodle platform of the Language Center of the University of Vienna.

Class rules at the Language Center

Students of the VWU German courses must accept the class rules (English Version on Page 2) at the Language Center.

Attendance, exams, course results

  • Attendance:

Regular course attendance (active participation and dedication) is important and can be relevant for your course confirmation (MA 35)! Attendance will be recorded on a daily basis. Arriving late or leaving the classroom count as missed class if the class work is not handed in until the next course day.

  • Exams:

All exam dates will be provided on the first day of your course, additionally, we will send them to you via e-mail. Your class time may vary on exam days.

There are three written exams (mid-term tests) each semester. You will receive all relevant dates at the beginning of your course. If you pass the mid-term exams, you do not need to take the written placement exam at the end of the course. So even if you fail the mid-term exams, the result of the written placement exam will allow you to obtain a written result.

There will be a compulsory oral exam at the end of the semester in order to advance to a higher course level.

  • Disability-friendly exams

You can find further information regarding exams for people with disabilities, impairments and/or chronical diseases here: Barrierefrei (in German) or via e-mail barrierefrei@univie.ac.at

If you have an acknowledged certificate, please contact us within the first week of the course: sprachenzentrum@univie.ac.at. Please note that we cannot consider later announcements for organizational reasons.

  • Absence at the exam

If you do not take the exams as explained above, you will have to repeat the same course level in the following semester.

If you are absent on the day of a mid-term exam, your test will be marked as failed (5). It is not possible to repeat an exam nor will there be an alternative date set.

  • Course result (placement for the next semester)

Your course result includes your performance in writing (total results of all mid-term exams and/or your written placement exam) and speaking (oral exam). It names the VWU course level which you will attend in the next semester. Your teacher will tell you your placement result on the last course day of the semester.


A confirmation of attendance (needed for MA 35) will be provided at the main office of the Language Center three business days after your course ends. It certifies either a successful completion, an unsuccessful completion with acknowledged efforts or an unsuccessful completion.

A certificate (with grades) for an attended VWU German course is not available. Upon passing the EPD you will receive your EPD-certificate at VWU, Sechshauser Straße. After having passed the EPD-exam, the Preparation Programme will be completed and you may start your degree programme.

Entry into your degree programme

Details on the EPD (supplementary examination in German)

Continuing students (Students who have already taken VWU-German classes)

After passing the EPD, you must register as a degree programme student at the university. Attending another VWU German course will not be possible anymore.

The EPD is held at VWU, Sechshauser Straße, where you will receive further details about registration, fees and certificates. If you attend the courses FG or WF, you will receive details about the exam date at the end of your course from the Language Center. Please note that it is your own responsibility to register for the EPD.

If you do not register for the EPD or do not pass the EPD, you will have to register for another VWU German course in order to keep your status as a student of the university. Please register immediately after you have received your negative EPD results. The cancellation terms keep valid (see 4.e), however, an extended registration period applies. We will send further information by e-mail at the end of the semester.

There are additional exam dates for the EPD. These, however, do not correlate with the course dates at the Language Center.


You have not registered for the Preparation Programme at your university yet?

You can take regular German courses at the Language Center. Some of the Vienna universities accept the Language Center’s course certificates when registering at the university for the first time. For other German courses please click here: German courses