How To: UNIcert ® III, English for Chemistry

How To: English for Chemistry, UNIcert ® III

Technical English courses that lead to C1 level are part of the SynCat curriculum. The courses conclude with the UNIcert® III certification examination (ASC-M CON). 

Admission requirement:

Successful completion of UNIcert® – level II, successful completion of level B2 (grading for C1) or the proof of equivalent language skills (placement test). Grading information can be found on the Language Centre’s website under the following link:

For SynCat students: no placement test required, since sufficient knowledge of the English language at level B2 CEFR is required for admission to the SynCat program


CoursesSem.No.Name of the Course, contact hours (CHs)
Course 1
(4 CHs)
Level C1.1 CEFR
winter sem.53115
Part I: Seminar „Modern Methods of Synthesis“, 2 CHs
- Understanding the main contents of current English research literature
- Scientific presentation and discussion of current research literature
- The participants present a summary of a current research paper in a short presentation and answer the questions of the auditorium. The participants attend scientific lectures of the authors of the research papers and discuss the chemical contents.
Level C1.1 CEFRwinter sem.

winter sem.

Part II:
Lecture "Organic Synthesis I", 2 CHs
In this lecture we will discuss modern methods of organic synthesis, emphasizing catalysis, with industrial relevance.


Lecture „Catalysis I“, 2 CHs
Discussion of asymmetric organocatalysis: general concepts and specific reactions.
- Covalent activation (iminium ion, enamine and NHC-catalysis)
- Non-covalent activation (via hydrogen bonding)
- Discussion of (retro)-synthetic questions
- Discussion of mechanisms
Course 2
(4 CHs)
Level C1.2 CEFR
winter sem.37055
English for Chemistry – part I, 2 CHs
- Planning of an experiment
- Analysis of an experiment / rules for clear, scientific English
- Academic writing - introduction and method
- Public speaking - presenting your BSc thesis or other research project
- Job applications in English
- How to read a patent
oral examination or presentation (15-20 min)
Level C1.2 CEFRsummer sem.
English for Chemistry – part II, 2 CHs
- Public speaking continued
- Writing style – advanced grammar
- Structuring an argument with an editor or patent examiner
- Applications and scholarship applications
- Academic writing – abstract, results and discussion
- Writing for a newspaper or speaking on radio about a scientific topic

100 minute written examination (listening comprehension, reading comprehension, writing skills are assessed in equal parts)

Total: 8 CHs

Notice: All courses are compulsory courses of the SynCat curriculum.

Acquisition of the UNIcert® III certificate:

The acquisition of the UNIcert® III certificate is carried out by an additional examination. This examination comprises:

  • Oral examination (listening comprehension): 30 minutes
  • Speaking skills: 30 minutes
  • Written exam (180 minutes): reading comprehension, writing skills, essay on a scientific topic, if applicable exercises in technical language
  • The four skills are evaluated separately.

The UNIcert® III certification examination is usually offered twice a year (end of winter semester, end of summer semester).

  • Registration: Consider the registration period (see website “Prüfungstermine”), fill in the registration form, enclose the certificates for each course (copy) and submit the registration to the head of examining board of the Language Center.
  • Costs: 30 Euros (no fee for SynCat students)
  • UNIcert examination regulations

Contact persons in case of questions:
Françoise Vergès, Language Center
Dr. Anja Stromeck-Faderl, Course coordination SynCat

Prof. Dr. Oliver Reiser