General conditions

Placement and registration

We try to allow a maximum number of students to take advantage of our courses, and are therefore sometimes forced to limit the number of modules s/he may apply for. The number of places available will determine whether a student may be registered in more than one group.

Currently, the following limitations exist:

  • You may register for 3 different languages. However, you will be placed in a maximum of 2 groups and assignment to a group cannot be guaranteed as it will depend on both the timetable and the number of classes opened.
  • You cannot register for more than one module per language; however, it may be possible to change modules if you are not placed in your chosen module. To explore other possibilities, it is necessary to come to the Language Centre as soon as you receive the email stating you were unable to be placed.

In other respects, we can only open a limited number of modules; if the demand for a particular module is too high, not everyone interested might be able to be placed. Those not placed will be put on a waiting list.

Circumstances permitting, you can join a group module that has already started during the first 2 to 3 weeks.

Registration procedure

During the registration procedure, you will be asked to compile a dossier giving details on the following:

  • previous history of learning the language you wish to study
  • your objectives for the module you have chosen
  • a self-assessment (This is done using the CEFR self-assessment grid and is purely indicative)
  • a test to assess your level in the language you wish to study. This test is several pages long and must be completed in full. It is obligatory except for total beginners and those who have completed it recently
  • if you plan to follow a semester module, please mark all times when you are able to come to class as group are formed according to student availability

All this information concerning your level, your objectives and you availability is required so that you can be placed in a group which is best suited to you. For this reason, please compile you dossier carefully and as requested.

Dates of the modules

Our modules last one semester and start 1 week after the beginning of the academic semester (the first week of the semester is used for placement testing, registration and setting up the timetable).


Our modules are offered during the day between 8:00 and 20:00.

Your personal timetable can also be consulted on the Internet using the same procedure as for online registration. You should receive an email with all necessary information.

We open a group module when there are enough participants registered at the same level at the same time. When a group module is full, a waiting list is opened.


For all EPFL students and doctoral candidates, the language modules at the Language Centre are financed by the EPFL.

All other members of the EPFL community (members of personnel and other authorised persons, (see Who is eligible for our program), must obtain an authorisation from their superior and/or by the Staff Training Service (STS) in order to take part in the language-learning program.

Participants are responsible for getting the course books that will be indicated as well as paying for any registration fees for external examinations.

Attendance and attestations

We expect regular attendance in the group modules. Please inform us of your absence in advance by email (

Those participants who have two unexcused absences in a row will automatically be excluded from the group.

Those participants who have had at least 80% attendance during their module will be awarded an attestation of attendance. Those participants who have fulfilled all the ETCS credit requirements will be awarded an attestation with a credit mention (see Assessment and promotion of the courses).

Module fees

For all information on who is authorised to enrol at the Language Centre and who is / is not entitled to follow modules without charge.

Module fees
  • EPFL and PHD students
→ free
→ personal contribution of CHF 130.- or free if required by the unit
→ personal contribution of CHF 520.-
→ CHF 650.-

Warning: plagiarism and illegal copying

Plagiarism and the fabrication and falsification of results are serious offenses and are subject to sanctions and even legal proceedings. Recourse to such practice is incompatible with the UNIL Charter, which stipulates that the university ‘aims to produce and communicate knowledge validated by collective processes of verification and which imply honesty, independence, debate and transparency.’ (UNIL Management Directive 0.3: Code of ethics regarding citation and use of sources)

Definition: Plagiarism is the taking of another’s (even partial) text and presenting it as one’s own by failing to quote the source(s). It includes both isolated cases (ie occuring once only) and the rewording of texts. (UNIL Management Directive 3.15.1)

In addition, the copying or pirating of computer software, books or other available material (especially in the Multimedia Centre) is forbidden.