Education in Spain

6-celei-orig
Spain has implemented the legal measures for the adoption of the European credit and qualifications system, as well as the European qualification supplements. This facilitates the recognition of official Spanish qualifications in over 30 countries participating in the EHES project, as well as the official recognition of Spanish qualifications in other countries outside the European framework, such as the United States, Asia and Latin America.

University studies in Spain according to EHES are divided into three different stages, Grade degrees (undergraduate studies), University Master degrees (graduate studies) and Doctoral degrees (postgraduate studies).

Undergraduate studies, leading to Grade degrees

They are taught in a wide range of fields and sub-fields: Arts and Humanities, Sciences, Health Sciences, Social Sciences and Law, Engineering and Architecture. These studies require a total of 240 credits, to earn a Grade degree, consisting normally of three to four academic year programs.

Graduate studies, leading to University Master degree

These studies require 60 to 120 credits, to earn a University Master degree, consisting normally of one to two academic year programs, and the public defense of a thesis is required also, that will entail 6 to 30 credits.

Postgraduate studies, leading to a Doctoral degree

Earning a Doctoral degree requires the previous possession of a University Master degree. The postgraduate studies are divided into two cycles, one of study that requires 60 credits, and another of research. The public defense of a doctoral thesis, an original work of research in any field, is required. There is no time limit for doctoral programs, but they typically require three to four years of study and research.

Diagram of the Spanish University system

diagram
In addition to their official degrees, each University in Spain offers a wide range of unofficial Master degrees (Maestrias). The unofficial degrees are typically one or two years and usually require having attained an undergraduate or graduate degree and are widely recognized for their labor market value, as these qualifications are highly practical in scope and geared to specialized sectors of the different professions.

Universities in Spain cover the whole spectrum of higher education degrees offered in Spain, with the official recognition of its Ministry of Education, as well as a wide variety of non-official degrees in a large number of professional fields. In the area of business administration, the MBAs offered in Spain are among the most prestigious in the world.

The academic calendar in Spanish universities tends to be similar throughout the country: lectures begin in October and the academic year ends in June. Examinations are held at the end of the first semester, in February, and at the end of the second semester, in June. However, there are some variations between universities.

Teaching methodology includes lectures, seminars and practical work under the supervision of a tutor. Attendance, while not always obligatory for some tuition forms, is strongly recommended, as it constitutes a fundamental part of university education. Lectures last for 50-60 minutes and professors often use audiovisual materials as teaching aids.
Students are assessed through final examinations in February, in the case of one semester courses; or in June, in the case of courses that run throughout the academic year, or one semester courses run in the second semester. Students who do not pass examinations are able to re-sit in September.

In some cases, professors may choose to set various evaluative activities (exams, projects, etc.) throughout the year which, if successfully completed, can replace the final examination.