The current structure of higher education at Barcelona's universities is adapted to the European Higher Education Area and based on three cycles: degree, Masters and PhD.
They are divided into 5 branches of knowledge: Arts and Humanities, Sciences, Health Sciences, Legal and Social Sciences and Engineering and Architecture.
The main objective of degree studies is to offer a general education, aimed at preparing students for work.The syllabus determines that a degree lasts for 4 years and is made up of 240 credits, divided into basic education, obligatory subjects, optional subjects, external practical experience and an end-of-course project.
In the first two years, students have to complete basic subjects in their chosen branch of studies which facilitates their mobility between different courses in the same group.
University Masters degree
Once degree studies have been completed, students can do a Masters, which aims to give students advanced education (as well as their academic or professional specialisation) or their initiation into research work.
The syllabus is made up of 60, 90 or 120 credits (one or two academic years) divided into obligatory subjects, optional subjects, seminars, external work experience, supervised work and end-of-masters project.
The final objective of official doctorate studies is for students to acquire the skills and abilities they need for high-quality scientific research, since the procedures and research lines for the development of a doctoral thesis are established.
In order to gain access to a PhD programme, students must have an official bachelor's degree qualification and a Masters degree (although every university has different admission criteria).
A full-time PhD course will take a maximum of 3 years including thesis presentation, while a part-time PhD course will take a maximum of 5 years.
There is also the possibility of enrolling in the Industrial Doctorate Plan. Anyone who wishes to undertake research within a company, but in collaboration with a university, can enjoy the advantages of this plan. This is a combination of the academic supervision of a doctoral thesis and the tutorship offered by the company as part of a 3-year work contract, at a minimum gross rate of €22,000 a year, with free enrolment and mobility grant.
For further information, go to the Industrial Doctorate website.
Higher studies: the other way
Barcelona's universities offer other types of studies, such as non-official masters, postgraduate courses, specialised courses, international programmes , etc., which complement the other available educational options.