The current university model focuses on students as the protagonists in the learning process and is measured in ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits. The Government of Catalonia has played an active role in the fact that all bachelor’s degree syllabi at Catalan universities include periods of practical training in businesses or institutions, alongside subjects that guarantee knowledge of a third language, preferably English.

The current structure of university degree courses sets three cycles leading to the obtaining of official university bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees.

In this context, the Spanish Qualifications Framework for Higher Education (MECES), aimed at enabling the classification, comparability and transparency of qualifications, establishes different qualification levels according to the results to which the course leads: bachelor’s degree – level 2; university master’s degree – level 3; and doctorate – level 4.

Bachelor’s degrees

These are the first degree courses studied when students are admitted to universities. The aim of these courses of study is to provide students with a general knowledge of their chosen field, to prepare them for their future professional careers. 

 

Master’s degrees

These are official university degrees that are intended to provide the student with advanced multidisciplinary training aimed at academic or professional specialisation, or to enable the student to embark on research projects.

Students must obtain between 60 and 120 ECTS credits, the equivalent of a period of one or two academic years, to be awarded a university master's degree.

University master’s degrees fall under one of the following branches of knowledge: Arts and Humanities, Sciences, Health Sciences, Social and Legal Sciences and Engineering and Architecture.

Doctorates

The aim of these degrees is for students to obtain specialist third-cycle training intended to prepare the student for professional practice. They enable the student to acquire the skills and abilities necessary for obtaining a doctorate and for producing high-quality scientific research. 

The characteristics of doctoral programmes and the variety of requirements and methods of training for research in each of the different branches of knowledge mean that a high degree of flexibility is advisable in the regulation of these studies. 

To gain access to a doctoral programme, students must have a Spanish official bachelor’s degree, or the equivalent, and a university master’s degree and must have obtained a minimum of 300 ECTS credits over the course of their official university studies. Each university may also include specific bridging courses as admission criteria. 

Doctoral programmes last for a maximum of three years, full time, from the admission of the PhD candidate to the programme to presentation of the thesis, or five years if the doctorate is studied on a part-time basis.

These begin following completion of a bachelor’s degree. University master’s degrees are intended to provide the student with advanced specialist or multidisciplinary training aimed at academic or professional specialisation, or to enable the student to embark on research projects.

Doctorates

Official university doctorates enable the student to gain the skills and abilities required for quality scientific research. The aim of doctoral programmes is to develop the different aspects of the doctoral candidate's training and to establish the procedures and the line of research to enable them to produce a doctoral thesis.

Official university doctorates enable the student to gain the skills and abilities required for quality scientific research. The aim of doctoral programmes is to develop the different aspects of the doctoral candidate's training and to establish the procedures and the line of research to enable them to produce a doctoral thesis.

Summer courses and university extension courses

The general study options offered by Catalan universities include summer courses, among other programmes. The aim of these is to strengthen intercultural relations and cooperation.

Throughout the summer period, university students, professionals and members of the public can combine leisure activities with the study, specialisation in or deepening of their knowledge of a wide variety of subjects.

Each year universities and other institutions publish the range of summer courses they offer. For information on these courses you can look at the university websites and also at the Guide to Summer Courses, produced by the Joan Lluís Vives Institute. This contains the courses organised by all of the universities in the Catalan-speaking world.

In addition, university extension courses aimed at the general public are also offered throughout the academic year. These courses are of a professional nature or educational or cultural interest, and they neither require nor lead to the obtaining of an official university degree. To find out about the courses on offer, see the websites of the universities themselves.

Centres authorised to provide courses of study in line with the education systems in other countries

Currently, there are series of centres in Catalonia that have been authorised by the ministry responsible for universities to provide courses of study in line with the education systems in place in other countries, within the framework of Royal Decree 557/1991, of 12 April, on the creation and recognition of universities and university centres, amended by Royal Decree 420/2015, of 29 May, on the creation, recognition, authorisation and accreditation of universities and university centres. Students of these courses do not attain official degrees or degrees that are officially recognised in Spain.

A list of the authorised centres is given below:

Toulouse Business School-Barcelona (TBS Barcelona)
Degrees: Bachelor's degree in Management/Master's degree in Management
Centre abroad: Groupe École Supérieure de Commerce de Toulouse (France)
Order EMC/153/2016, Official Journal of the Government of Catalonia (DOGC) no. 7142, of 15/06/16.
Resolution of 06/10/1997, Official Journal of the Government of Catalonia (DOGC) no. 2497 of 16/10/97, amended by the orders UNI/155/2006, of 28 March, ECO/327/2011, of 15 November, and ECO/299/2013, of 14 November.

ESERP Business School
Title: Bachelor of Arts (honours) in Business Administration
Centre abroad: Staffordshire University (UK)
Resolution of 06/03/1997, Official Journal of the Government of Catalonia (DOGC) no. 2359, of 26/03/97.

EDU España-Deutschland University Studies
Title: Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration
Centre abroad: Fachhochschule-Südwestfalen (FH-SWF) University of Applied Sciences (Germany)
Order ECO/267/2012, Official Journal of the Government of Catalonia (DOGC) no. 6217, of 20/9/2012.

Update:  10.05.2018