In 2016 for the first time we will use the increasingly popular KiCad for learning PCB design.
Finding and managing the parts for your board is often the biggest headache. When you work on your board, it's good to collect the part datasheets for later reference.
Some distributors are
There are many board manufacturers. We have used http://www.pcbpool.de and http://www.multipcb.de. It is especially easy if the fabrication house accepts the CAD software design file (e.g. from Eagle) rather than insisting on a set of industry-standard but arcane Gerber files with many options for output.
Costs of board fabrication vary depending on the size, number of layers, and turnaround time. A small 2-layer board with 2 week turnaround can cost less than 50 EUR, while a 150x300mm^2 4 layer board with 1 week turnaround might cost 300 EUR.
Before 2016, the course used the very popular freeware version of the Eagle PCB (=Printed Circuit Board) software. See http://www.cadsoft.de for support information, libraries, etc. For fancier boards and a more powerful autorouter, ETH can license Altium Designer to you at a cost of 300 CHF/year per seat.
See the eagle tutorial in the doc folder when you install Eagle (here is an online copy from V5.1.1 in English and German).
Cadsoft hosts a massive assortment of user-contributed parts libraries: Eagle libraries (German)Eagle libraries (english)