What is a study at FSV UK like?

What is a study at FSV UK like?

This is a brief overview of the organization of academic years, content of study, the credit system, evaluation of courses, exams GPA and grading.

How is the study organized?

  • The study is organized in academic years that always start at the beginning of October and end at the end of the following September. 
  • Each academic year is split in two halves, the winter and the summer semester. There are 13 weeks of classes per semester, followed by an exam period that lasts approx. 6 weeks. 
    Classes are not held during Christmas break and summer break (July 1st - August 31st).
  • In September, the second part of the summer exam period concludes for approx. 2 weeks, during which you can still take or retake exams for your summer semester courses.
  • All students start their study in October; it is not possible to join a degree program from the summer semester. 
  • The Bachelor programs are designed for 3 academic years, the Master programs for 2 academic years. However, it is very common for students to prolong their study by a year or two due to exchange programs or simply because they need more time to write their thesis. There is no extra charge for additional academic years. Bachelor students can take maximum 6 years to graduate, Masters can take maxmimum 5 years.

You can check out the current academic calendar here.



What does the study look like?

Each student's study consists of three types of courses: Mandatory courses, Elective courses and Optional courses. 

  • Mandatory courses form the foundation of the program. These are the introductory courses that will give you an overview of methodology, terminology, basic concepts and topics of your field. You have to take and pass these courses in order to graduate from your program. If you happen to fail the course, you can retake it one more time.
  • Elective courses allow you to tailor your study to your needs, as each program offers a wide selection of electives for you to choose from. These courses are a lot more specific and allow you to specialize in your field, but also to try out topics you are curious about on a small scale to see if it interests you. You have to take a certain number of electives, but the specific courses are not mandatory, so if you happen to fail the course, you can take a different one instead. 
  • Optional courses are where you can truly spread your wings. Every program gives you a certain amount of choices that are completely up to you. You can pick a course offered by a different FSV program, or even another one of CUNI's 17 Faculties. Students often use these optional courses to sign up for sport or language classes, too. Like Electives, they are not mandatory, so you have to take a certain number of them, but you can replace them if you fail. 

The ratio may vary from program to program, but the general structure remains the same. If you want to see the curriculum and structure requirements check out the Karolinka website that includes all current curricula of our programs, including the selection of electives. 


What is the credit system and how does it work?

During your study, you will obtain credits (ECTS) for each passed course. The number of credits differs depending on difficulty and time commitment. Mandatory credits are often awarded with the most credits, while optional sports classes only earn a few. 

  • In order to graduate, Bachelor students must obtain 180 credits and Master students need 120 credits
  • The credits need to reflect the amounts required by the particular program - check the Karolinka website for your program's required numbers. You will see the breakdown on top of each program's curriculum. 
    (E.g., the program may require 180 credits in total with 97 credits from mandatory courses, min. 63 credits from electives and max. 20 credits from optional courses)
  • If you studied courses related to your current program at different insititution (e.g. during your previous study), you might be able to transfer them to your current study. Read more about this process here.

Organization of courses

  • Courses can either be one semester long or two-semestral (many mandatory courses are two-semestral, while electives are usual shorter).
  • Some (mostly mandatory) courses are designed as a more advanced follow up, which is usually marked by a roman numeral. These courses require you to pass the previous course first (e.g., you must pass 'Economics I' before signing up for 'Economics II')
  • Generally, courses consist of a Lecture part and a Seminar part. The Lectures are mostly more theoretical and attended by the whole program, while the Seminars are split into smaller groups and focus on applying the theoretical concepts learned in Lectures and practicing new tools. In the Karolinka curriculum, you can see the indication of this in the "Hours per week" column (The first number indicates lectures, while the second number mentions seminars. This is expressed in 45min increments, so 2/2 means 90 minutes of lecture and 90 minutes of seminar per week.  
  • The shorter Elective courses often don't have two parts and only do a lecture or a seminar. 

How are the courses evaluated?

  • The evaluation during the course depends on the teacher - you will learn this from the syllabus and during your first lecture. Some teachers put more emphasis on coursework and several smaller assignments, while others place more value on the final exam or paper. 
  • At the end of the semester, the course can end with one of two types of evaluation:


  • This means that a course is not ended with an exam, but a different way of obtaining the credit, e.g. an essay, a project, written analysis, etc. 
  • The grading system is two tier - Pass/Fail. In the system, you will see this as Z, which means "Zápočet" or Pass.


  • The course is finished with an oral or written exam. 
  • Faculty of Social Sciences uses an internationally recognized A-F grading system, often referred to as ECTS grading. 

Understanding the Grading

  • The grading may be a little different than what you are used to in terms of value. Our teachers do use the ECTS grading, but we recommend checking the Grading scale here before your first exam period in order to understand the system better. 
  • The GPA is calculated on a scale of 1.0 to 4.0 where 1.0 is the best possible result. We explain more about this here.
  • You will have 3 attempts per exam - if you fail, you can retake the exam two more times. You cannot retake an exam that didn't result in an F.
  • The final grade does not affect the number of credits you obtain. You will always receive the full amount of credits for a passed course.