The University System

The University System

Home > Study in Italy > The University System

Italian university system

 
First phase
Degree Course
The aim of this course is to ensure that students acquire sufficient knowledge of general methods and scientific content. These degree courses last 3 years, equivalent to 180 CFU (ECTS). Students are admitted if they have a high school diploma or another qualification taken abroad and recognized in Italy. This Degree corresponds to the Bachelor of Science in the European university system as defined in Bologna in 1998.
 
Second phase
Master’s Degree
The aim of this course is to provide students with a high level of education in order to be able to work in specific environments requiring high-level qualifications. These courses last 2 years, equivalent to 120 CFU (ECTS). Students are admitted with a degree or a qualification taken abroad and recognized in Italy.
There are Master’s Degrees available in some universities and for some subjects (Medicine, Pharmacology) to which students can be admitted with a high school diploma or another equivalent foreign qualification, which last for 5 or 6 years and require 300 or 360 CFU (ECTS).
The Master’s Degree corresponds to the Master of Science in the European university system as defined in Bologna in 1998.
 
Some universities also offer a specialization or post-graduate degree course aimed at increasing students’ professional education: this is a 1st level university Master’s Degree. This qualification is not part of the European university system as defined in Bologna in 1998.
 
 
Third phase
Research doctorate
This aims to provide the skills necessary for carrying out research at high levels. This course lasts 3 years. Applicants must have an Italian or foreign post-graduate / Master’s degree to be admitted and they have to do an admission exam.
 
Post-graduate Diploma Course
This course aims to provide the knowledge and skills required for carrying out the functions required by particular professional activities. It qualifies people to work in such professions and aims to train specialists for certain professional sectors. These courses last at least 2 years.
 
[1]Specialist Master’s Degree
The Specialist Master’s Degree is a postgraduate university education course which students may apply to do on finishing a Master’s Degree. It requires students to complete at least 60 CFU (ECTS).
 
 
 
 
Italian qualifications
 
credits
years
First phase
Laurea
Bachelor of science
180
3
Second phase
Laurea magistrale
Master of Science
120
2
 
Master universitario di 1° livello
Specialist Bachelor
≥60
 
 
Laurea magistrale ciclo unico
Master of Science
300-360
5-6
Third phase
Dottorato di ricerca
PhD
 
3
 
Specializzazione di 2° livello
Postgraduate diploma course
 
2
 
Master universitario di 2° livello
Specialist Master’s Degree
≥60
 
 
 


[1] The name given to this course in Italy may cause confusion as it has nothing to do with the Master’s qualification used internationally, since it is actually a higher level of qualification.