Spanish university system

  • Hi! I'm thinking of studying in Spain for a year, but have no clue about the Spanish university system. Any advice?

    07 jun 2007, 06:45 Bernd
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  • Spanish university system

    Here's some basic info I found, although it's not too much:

    1. Spanish University degrees.

    In general, the Spanish university educational system offers accredited degrees at two levels: undergraduate and postgraduate.

    1.1 Undergraduate Studies.

    Diplomas, Engineering or Architectural Technician. These are undergraduate degrees (first cycle) which usually entail three years of study.
    Bachelor’s Degrees, Engineering or Architecture. These studies, pursued after having finished the first cycle of studies, are comprised of a second cycle of studies dedicated to in-depth study and specialization in the corresponding field as well as preparation for working in the professional world. These degrees usually entail 4 or 5 years of study.
    La Universidad Carlos III offers the following undergraduate degrees:


    1.2 Postgraduate.

    Master’s degrees. These advanced studies are designed for further academic or professional specialisation or as an initiation into research work.
    Doctorate (PhD) degrees. The advanced doctoral training programs focus on techniques in research which include writing and presentation of a Doctoral Thesis.
    University Master’s programs and postgraduate courses for specialization have a clear professional orientation designed to enable the student to advance in or redirect his/her professional career.
    Carlos III University offers the following Postgraduate programs:

    2. Degree study plans.

    The study plan is composed of an area of studies organized by the University, which when successfully completed, entitles the student to an accredited University degree.

    The credit is the unit used for evaluating university studies. It corresponds to ten hours of theoretical or practical class hours. Obtaining credits is dependent on verification of knowledge obtained- generally by written or in some cases oral exams, which are established by each university.

    The course subjects included in the study plans can be:

    Core required courses (Asignaturas troncales): Compulsory material for all study plans leading to official university degree. They represent 30% of the course load during the first cycle and 25% in the second cycle.
    Required courses (Asignaturas obligatorias): These subjects are those designated as required by the University for the student within the corresponding study plan.
    Elective courses (Asignaturas optativas): The University establishes this group of courses from which the students may choose.
    Free choice material (Materias de libre elección): All of the study plans must also include 10% of their total credits from this type of material, which the student can choose from subject courses, seminars or other activities offered by his/her University or an outside University with which there is a corresponding joint agreement.

    3. The Academic Year.

    In Spain the academic year begins the first week of October and ends the first week of June. During the academic year, there are two vacation periods, Christmas, from December 21st to January 8th, and a week long Easter break during either March or April

    In the

    In Carlos III University all of the study plans are structured into two semesters. The first semester begins the first week of October and ends the third week of January. The second semester begins the third week of February and ends the first week of June.

    Exams in the first semester are given during the last week of January through the middle of February, while second semester exams are given during June. In September there is an extraordinary exam session for students who have not passed their February and June exams.

    4. The Grading System.

    The grades that Spanish University students can obtain, which correspond to the number grade in parentheses, are as follows:

    Outstanding (Matrícula de honor) (10) - This is the highest grade given, awarded to a reduced number of students who have displayed outstanding academic achievement. This grade then entitles the student to study a future subject course without charge.
    Very Good (Sobresaliente) (9) – This grade is given to those students who have performed very well academically.
    Good (Notable) (7-8) – This grade is awarded to students with a medium/high level of academic performance.
    Satisfactory (Aprobado) (5-6) – This grade indicates that the student performed sufficiently well so as to pass the course.
    Fail (Suspenso) (0-4) – This grade is given when the student has not passed the course and must therefore, re-take the exam. (However, the number of times he/she can do so is limited.)

    Charles 07 jun 2007, 06:46 - Denunciar
  • Universities in Spain

    ... what this doesn't tell you is that most Spanish universities are pretty bad - at least compared to the US. If you just want to have fun there, go ahead, if you seriously want to learn something, better go somewhere else!!!

    Ted 07 jun 2007, 06:47 - Denunciar
  • I don't think it...

    The universities in Spain aren't bad, but in some degrees there are many students by class. If there are many students, much is valued the examination, and not the practice, and that is a problem after finishing. I have studied in another country of Europe, and is easier that in Spain. If you surpass the examination, you surpass the subjet, in Spain, and in other sites he's worth plus the daily work.

    Many Spanish students decide to make the most difficult subjets outside Spain, in Erasmus, because it's much more easy.

    Pau 23 jun 2007, 01:28 - Denunciar
  • is there a centralised place to apply to study in spain for foriegners

    hi i too am planning to study in spain this coming semester as written above in oct , i was unaware as to when the academic year began , would you know of an organisation or centralised office one could write to for applying to universities in spain

    manmeet 25 jun 2007, 10:20 - Denunciar
  • Barcelona Managment Institute

    You guys should check out Barcelona Managment Institute. Its an MBA school in Barcelona, its a one year program and they teach in English. My friend will be starting there in January.

    Grace 23 ago 2007, 11:58 - Denunciar
  • ask your university

    Hi, I am planning on studying in Spain for the 08/09 academic year. I have been doing tons of research before making my decision. I have been reading many books on Spain, and keeping in close contact with my international programs office on my campus. You should see if your university has a Study Abroad Program. You could also check out ISA ( That is who I will be through. As with any university system there are two sides. There are some great schools in Spain that come along with a rich cultural experience. Good Luck with your search. I hope you decide to study abroad, it will be a fantastic experience.

    Nikki 04 dic 2007, 03:31 - Denunciar
  • mpla mpla

    hey! ciao im also thinking of going to spain for a year,im now studying sculpture in prague, and i want to pause me studies for a year and do something diffrent,like photography,film,animation..anyone knows any universities of fine arts or other that i can do this for a year?

    raissa 05 feb 2008, 12:50 - Denunciar
  • hi

    i want to study in spain how i can know about that ???? tha's my mail please answer me on it .... [email removed] or [email removed]

    thanks .....

    muoaiad abbas 09 mar 2008, 01:14 - Denunciar
  • istruzione

    esistono accademie di belle arti in spagna?

    claudia 26 abr 2008, 12:04 - Denunciar
  • About Universities in Spain

    It`s true what Ted says.... but not all of them are bad. You may think that big universities, (normaly public ones) such as complutense de Madrid or other ones in Spain, have to many students and they don`t care anything about the students. while in the Spanish colleges, the education is more practical...more like the American or british education style. Do not think that because you are not going to a big one is gonna be worse, just the oposite!!! much better.

    Look at this site it is quite a good place for international students. Take care everyone!!!

    Marius 15 may 2008, 06:57 - Denunciar
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