University Study at the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics

Academic year 2013/2014

General rules for Bachelor's and extending Master's Programmes

Welcome to the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics at Charles University in Prague. Our faculty offers bachelor's master's and doctoral degree programmes, given in either Czech or English. This document is dedicated to the bachelor's and master's programmes in English, namely to those leading to:

  • Bachelor of Computer Science
  • Master of Computer Science
  • Master of Mathematics.

In this introduction we provide the basic information you will need in order to study at our faculty. For supplementary information we refer to the Code of Study and Examination of Charles University in Prague, to the Rector's Order for the Organization of Study at the Faculty (No. 19/2006), and to the Dean's Directive for the Organization of Study (No. 7 2010), and to their Amendments. The subsequent chapters of this document describe the academic calendar for 2013/14 and the curricula for our programmes.

Duration of Study

The standard period of study for a bachelor's programme is three years and for a master's programme two years. The standard period of study for a degree programme is the period of time in which it is possible to successfully finish the respective degree programme if one follows the recommended course of study. The course of study is concluded with a state final examination and its successful completion leads to the degree of Bachelor of Computer Science (Bc.) for a bachelor's degree programme and to the degree of Master of Computer Science or Master of Mathematics (Mgr.) in a master`s degree programme. The maximum period of study in a bachelor's degree programme is six years and in a master's degree programme five years.

Study Sections

Each academic year consists of a winter (October – January) and a summer (February – June) semester. In each semester there are typically 13 weeks of teaching and an examination period of 5 weeks. A study programme is subdivided into sections so that progress and compliance with conditions for registration for the next study section can be regularly monitored; each study section in the programmes described in this document correspond to an academic year. At the end of each academic year there is an Annual Evaluation of Study, whose purpose is to establish whether the results of your study hitherto qualify you to register for the next year of study. You are entitled to register for the first year of study if you have successfully completed the admissions process. You are entitled to register for later years of study if you meet the requirements of the Annual Evaluation (see below). Registration is a confirmation that you are continuing your study at the faculty.

Degree Plan

Study in a degree programme is guided by a degree plan. A degree programme is divided into study branches and possibly further divided into specializations. The degree plan specifies the following for each degree programme, for each study branch and, where applicable, for each specialization:

  • Obligatory courses (you have to complete these before the state final examination),
  • Elective courses (you have to complete the prescribed part of these before the state final examination),
  • State final examination – its parts and requisite knowledge needed for them,
  • Recommended course of study (for some programmes) – assignment of obligatory and some elective courses to specific

years of study; in some cases also provision of supplementary information on the curriculum.

The recommended course of study is not binding. However it is advisable to follow it because it is put together to satisfy the requisites (see below), considers the relationships between the courses, takes into account the schedule, and leads to timely graduation. All courses other than the obligatory and elective that are offered at the university are considered as Optional courses for the corresponding curriculum; it is up to you whether you decide to take some of these.

In all tables, obligatory courses are printed in boldface, elective courses are printed upright, and optional courses in italics.

Here is a small example:

Code Subject Credits Winter Summer
NPRG030 Programming I 6 3/2 C ---
NDMI012 Combinatorics and Graph Theory II 6 2/2 C+Ex ---
NMAI069 Mathematical skills 2 0/2 C ---

The course code is given in the first column. The number in the „Credits“ column specifies the number of ECTS credits for completion of the course. The Winter and Summer columns specify the semester in which the course is offered, the scope of the course (i.e., the number of hours of lectures and classes per week), and finally how mastery of the course is confirmed (i.e., by a course credit – C, by an exam – Ex).

Course Enrolment

At the beginning of each semester there is a period of several weeks during which you should choose and then enrol in courses that you plan to take that semester (see Academic calendar). Enrolment is performed electronically through the Student Information System (SIS). It is up to you which courses to enrol in, subject to the requirements of your curriculum and to the number of credits required in the Annual Evaluation. If your interests are wider than specified by your curriculum or if you decide not to follow the recommended course of study exactly, then you can enrol in additional courses; there is no upper limit to the number of courses in which you enrol. Course enrolment may be restricted by certain conditions (requisites), of which the most common are the following:

  • Prerequisite – A prerequisite to Course X is a course that must be successfully completed before you can enrol in Course X.
  • Corequisite – A corequisite to Course X is a course that you have to enrol in at the same time as Course X, or that you have already successfully completed.
  • Prohibited combination (or incompatibility) – Courses X and Y constitute a prohibited combination if it is impossible to enrol in Course X when you have already completed, or you enrol in, Course Y.

In some cases, it is specified that completion of Course Y is equivalent, with respect to the requirements of the curriculum, to completion of Course X; these two courses are called equivalent or interchangeable. Information about these relationships among courses are described in the Student Information System in the module Subjects and in the List of Courses of the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics (electronic edition). Please note that the prerequisites and corequisites for a course X, as specified in SIS and in the List of Courses, apply to study programmes and study branches in which the course is compulsory or elective (see Dean's Directive No. 5/2012). We recommend giving due attention to these conditions as missing a course that is a prerequisite for another course in which you intend to enrol may result in an unfavourable extension of study.

Lectures and Classes

Courses are mostly given in the form of lectures and/or classes. A lecture is an oral presentation intended to teach students a particular subject. Typically accompanying a series of lectures are classes, in which a tutor helps a small group of students assimilate material from lectures and is able to give students individual attention. Classes for programming-related courses typically take place in computer labs. The schedule of the faculty is given as 45-minute periods with 5-minute breaks, and most lectures and classes are organized as 90 minute long blocks of two such periods, taking place once or twice a week. Attendance of lectures and classes is usually not required, but is strongly recommended. Information about course locations and times is available in the Student Information System in the module Schedule. Lectures are mostly given by senior faculty members, whose academic ranks are professor (in Czech profesor) or associate professor (docent). Classes are usually conducted by junior researchers and Ph.D. students. Apart from lectures and classes, another significant component of a student's timetable is private study.

Exams and Course Credits

Mastery of a course is confirmed by a course credit and/or by an exam. A course credit (usually for classes) is awarded at the end of the semester. The conditions for obtaining a course credit differ according to the nature of the course, for example involving the completion of a test, programming an application, or writing a survey. The possible outcomes are Pass (in Czech Započteno) and Fail. Exams are taken during the examination period at the end of the semester and may be oral, written, or a combination of the two. Examination dates are announced by the lecturer at the beginning of the examination period. There are four possible outcomes for an exam (the corresponding numerical value and the Czech equivalent is given in parentheses):

  • Excellent (1 – Výborně),
  • Very good (2 – Velmi dobře),
  • Good (3 – Dobře),
  • Fail (4 – Nevyhověl).

You pass an exam if you obtain a grade of Excellent, Very good or Good; otherwise you fail. You have up to three attempts to pass an exam (provided there are still dates available) but we strongly recommend preparing as well as you can for the first attempt. If you do not succeed in passing the exam for a course, you are allowed to take the course again in the next section of study, but a course can be followed at most twice. For each successfully completed course you obtain a certain number of ECTS credits that is specified for each subject in the curriculum (and also given in SIS and the List of Courses of the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics).

Annual Evaluation of Study

Progress is monitored at the end of every year of study. The Annual Evaluation of Study consists in a check of your credit total, that is, the number of credits received for your completed study sections. If you have attained in previous study sections in total at least the normal number of credits (the number of completed study sections multiplied by 60, corresponding to the sum of the credits in these sections in the recommended course of study), or if you have obtained at least the minimum number of credits (see below), then you have the right to enrol in the next study section.

If you have not received the minimum number of credits, then this is considered as a failure to fulfil the requirements of the study programme and results in exclusion. The normal and minimum numbers of credits required for registration in the next study section are given as follows (normal number of credits is followed in parentheses by minimum number of credits):

Normal and minimum number of credits

Bachelor's degree programmes

  • 60 (45) for enrolment to the second study section,
  • 120 (90) for enrolment to the third study section,
  • 240 (180) for enrolment to the fifth study section,
  • 300 (225) for enrolment to the sixth study section.

Master's degree programmes

  • 60 (45) for enrolment to the second study section,
  • 120 (90) for enrolment to the third study section,
  • 180 (135) for enrolment to the fourth study section,
  • 240 (180) for enrolment to the fifth section study.

For the purpose of the Annual Evaluation of Study, all the credits for completed compulsory and elective courses are counted, and credits for optional courses are counted up to the following limits (in parentheses we specify to what percentage of the corresponding normal number of credits the maximum number corresponds):

Maximum number of credits for optional courses

Bachelor's degree programmes

  • 9 credits (15 %) for enrolment to the second study section,
  • 26 credits (22 %) for enrolment to the third study section,
  • 86 credits (48 %) for enrolment to the fourth study section,
  • 146 credits (61 %) for enrolment to the fifth study section,
  • 204 credits (68 %) for enrolment to the sixth study section.

Master's degree programmes

  • 30 credits (50 %) for enrolment to the second study section,
  • 60 credits (50 %) for enrolment to the third study section,
  • 180 credits (100 %) for enrolment to the fourth study section,
  • 240 credits (100 %) for enrolment to the fifth section study.

You are allowed to enrol in and complete optional courses with a larger number of credits than the maximum specified above, but then some of these credits will not be considered in the Annual Evaluation of Study. Although you technically only need the minimum number of credits to register for the next study section, we strongly recommend attaining the normal number of credits, otherwise you most likely will not be able to complete your study programme within the standard period of time.

State Final Exam

Study is concluded with a state final examination. This examination consists of several parts (two or three depending on the corresponding curriculum), one of which for bachelor's degree programmes is always the defence of a bachelor thesis and for master's degree programmes the defence of a master (diploma) thesis. If a student fails a part of the state final exam, only the failed part is repeated. Each part of the state final exam may be repeated at most twice. Each part of the state final exam is graded separately and from these an overall grade is awarded.

A necessary condition for taking the state final examination is in bachelor's degree programmes the acquisition of at least 180 credits and in master's degree programmes at least 120 credits. The knowledge requirements for the state exam are specified in the degree plans of the respective study programmes and branches of study, and are described in detail in the following chapters of this document.

More detailed information about study

More detailed information about study is published in Rules for Organization of Study at the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics and in Study and Examination Rules of Charles University in Prague.