Bachelor's degree programmes (ISCED 645) are intended to provide qualifications for performing a profession as well as for continuing in a Master's degree programme.
The standard length of studies including practical training is no less than three and no more than four years. One standard academic year corresponds to 60 ECTS. The overwhelming majority of programmes takes three years (180 ECTS). The longer four-year study programmes (240 ECTS) or study lasting three and a half year exist in some programmes, e.g. technical fields, building industry, engineering, economic or art fields (around 3,5 % from the sum of the accredited programmes). (Source: Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports)
In the supplement of the Higher Education Act, the 37 of so-called educational areas are set. It is the factually defined section of higher education where the study programmes of close or related content focus reflecting common theoretical and methodological basis of the particular educational area are being prepared, approved and realized.
Creation and provision of degree programmes belong to the recognised academic rights and freedoms of higher education institutions (vysoké školy). The study programme is subject to accreditation, which is awarded by the National Accreditation Bureau for Higher Education (Accreditation Bureau). In case, the Accreditation Bureau gives the higher education institution institutional accreditation for the particular educational area/areas, the higher education institution approves itself study programmes in an internal process. Study programmes approved by the higher education institution are considered as accredited according to the Higher Education Act. Newly, accredited/approved study programmes are not broken down into study fields. All study programmes, which were accredited as of 31 August 2016 (before the amendment No. 137/2016 Coll. came into force) stay valid for the whole period for which their accreditation has been awarded, and in its original structure given by the accreditation (including study fields).
The study programme includes:
name of the study programme, its type, form and aims of study; in the case of Bachelor's or Master's study programme also the information on the profile of the study programme
determination of the graduates' profile
characteristics of the subjects of study
rules and conditions for establishing study plans and possibly also the length of practical experience, which could also be carried out with other natural or legal person
standard length of study within the average study workload
conditions to be met by the student during in the course of the study programme and its successful completion
the awarded academic title
specification of educational area/areas the study programme is to be implemented in
Profile of the Bachelor's or Master's study programme can be:
professionally oriented with an emphasis on mastering practical skills necessary for performing a profession based on necessary theoretical knowledge or;
academically oriented with an emphasis on gaining theoretical knowledge necessary for performing a profession including its use in creative activity, and providing also the space for acquiring necessary practical skills.
Substantial attention is paid to the development of other than onsite forms of higher education studies. Almost all higher education institutions offer degree programmes in a form combining onsite and distance study (so called combined form of study) in all three cycles of higher education. There were only few study programmes purely based on distance learning, e.g. Bachelor's study programme “Applied informatics” at the University of Ostrava (Ostravská univerzita), and three study programmes: “Study of humanities”, “Theological doctrines” and “Territorial studies“ at Charles University (Univerzita Karlova). The establishment of so-called open universities is not considered. However, the distance teaching is developing rapidly at all higher education institutions, mainly due to the epidemiological situation caused in 2020 by covid-19, when objective external circumstances do not allow the study programme to be carried out in accordance with the on-site or combined accreditation.
Public higher education institutions can provide degree programmes in co-operation with other higher education institutions or tertiary professional schools (vyšší odborné školy).
Secondary education completed with a Maturita examination (maturitní zkouška, ISCED 344 or 354), confirmed by a Maturita examination certificate (vysvědčení o maturitní zkoušce) is the fundamental requirement for entering a Bachelor's degree programme. For fine arts degrees, applicants who have gained their graduate diploma (diplom absolventa konzervatoře) from a conservatoire (konzervatoře) may be admitted as well (they need not have the Maturita examination - maturitní zkouška). In special cases also students without graduate diploma in conservatoire or having completed secondary education with a Maturita examination may be admitted.
A higher education institution (vysoká škola) or a faculty can set other conditions of the admission requirements concerning certain knowledge, competencies or talents or the achievement in the previous required education. By the amendment to the 2004 Higher Education Act, a higher education institution or a faculty may set different conditions for admission not only of applicants who have completed a study programme or its part at a higher education institution – domestic or foreign, but also of applicants who have completed an accredited educational programme or its part in a tertiary professional school or who are studying an accredited educational programme in a tertiary professional school in Czechia or a corresponding institution abroad. This amendment was intended to improve transition in the tertiary education sector, especially in transition whether from a tertiary professional school, higher education institution or a faculty/programme.
The 2016 Amendment stipulates also the conditions for applicants who acquired foreign upper secondary education. The higher education institution which obtained the institutional accreditation and has no doubts on the quality of the upper secondary school, can recognise the completed upper secondary education confirmed by:
a certificate recognising the equivalence of a foreign certificate;
the certificate of European baccalaureate;
a foreign certificate on foreign upper secondary education, if it is, according to international agreements, equivalent without further proceedings;
a foreign certificate on foreign upper secondary education in upper secondary educational programme entitling to enter Bachelor's or Master's study programme in a country in which the studies were completed.
When necessary, the higher education institution can ask for further information. For more see Recognition of education and qualifications in school education in Chapter 13.
Recognition of achievements of previous formal, non-formal and informal education has so far not been set down in a systematic way, no standards and requirements for procedures in recognition of previous education achievements in relation to the quality of study were determined. Recognition of prior learning outcomes is mentioned in the new Strategic Plan of the Ministry for Higher Education for the period from 2021, where under Priority objective 2 (Improve the availability and relevance of flexible forms of education) the MEYS should create a set of recommendations for the procedures for recognising prior learning and to support the exchange of good practice between various higher education institutions.
In general, admission to studies at higher educational institutions is limited primarily by the capacity of each institution. The number of students at public higher education institutions which will be funded in the academic year is limited at the central level by the amount of money allocated to the school through formula funding. A particular higher education institution decides on the number of students in individual programmes and forms of study. In 2022/23, approx. 34.7 % of population cohort entered Bachelor's degree programmes. (Source: Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports)
Choice of HEI
An applicant is free to choose any higher education institution. Admission to a specific programme is dependent on the student's achievement in the admission proceedings and is limited by local conditions and the number of places in some programmes.
People may apply for admission to several degree programmes at one faculty or a higher education institution or at several faculties or higher education institutions at the same time; The Higher Education Act makes it possible to study on more than one programme at more than one higher education institution either in parallel or successively.
The higher education institution can collect fees for acts related to the admission procedure.
Students need not go on to higher education immediately on completing their secondary schooling. There is no legal age limit for commencing higher education studies.
An entrance examination can be part of admission proceedings at higher education institutions; it helps to select the ablest applicants and to establish a list determining the order in which they are to be admitted depending on conditions set in advance. The content and the form of the examination are entirely upon responsibility of the relevant higher education institution. It normally consists of written examinations (tests) that aim to assess the applicant's knowledge. Tests of study skills (student's abilities – e.g. verbal thinking, analytical thinking, and spatial visualisation ability) may also be included; exceptionally, tests of study prerequisites are the only criterion for admission. Some higher education institutions organise admission interviews with applicants. Some higher education institutions use average results of the previous study as a criterion for admission. Due to the decreasing number of students in upper secondary schools, some higher education institutions are beginning to feel student shortage in certain study programmes (e.g. in some technically oriented programmes), thus passing the upper secondary Maturita examination is sufficient for admission.
Tests of artistic talent are used by higher education institutions, usually for admission to performing and fine arts programmes and for primary school teacher training. They help to determine the applicant's artistic talent. Talent examinations usually precede examinations in theory.
In case the nature of the study programme requires it, a precondition for admission to studies can also be medical fitness of the applicant. In such case, the higher education institution or the faculty publishes requirements on medical fitness for the particular study programme in the announcement of the admission procedure.
Decisions on admission
A report on the result of the admission proceedings is made public within 15 days of the final day of the proceedings. If an admission examination is included, basic statistics related to all its parts are released. Decisions on admission or non-admission must be issued within 30 days and delivered to the applicant, possibly via the electronic information system of the higher education institution (the applicant has to give consent to such delivery). If the decision is not successfully delivered, it is delivered by public notice. If a course is offered by a faculty, the dean decides on admission. If it is taught at a university, the decision is upon the rector. A decision on non-admission may be appealed against within a set time limit. If a dean refuses the appeal, the rector may change a decision that was issued in conflict with the law, with an internal regulation of the institution or with conditions set by the university or the faculty itself. At private higher education institutions, admission is decided on by a body which is established and based on internal regulations.
When applicants are accepted for a degree programme, they have the right to be enrolled in the institution. On the day of enrolment, the applicant becomes a student.
Deciding about the content of studies and the design of degree programmes is one of the academic rights and freedoms of higher education institutions (vysoké školy) in Czechia. There are only general provisions concerning study programmes contained in Articles 44-27 of the Higher Education Act. However, all study programmes are subject to accreditation which is granted by the National Accreditation Bureau for Higher Education (Accreditation Bureau) or the programmes in the areas for which the higher education institutions acquired institutional accreditation are approved by the higher education institutions themselves. For both the accreditation of a study programme and the institutional accreditation, a higher education institution is obliged to complete and submit a written and by law specified application for which general minimum requirements including the focus of the study programme content exist. Conditions to be met by students during their studies and upon the regular completion of them are determined in the curriculum, according to the study and examination regulations, and further by the content and scope of the final state examinations.
Curriculum (studijní plán) is part of the application for accreditation. The basis of individual subjects is formed by a list of compulsory references. For compulsory subjects and those which are compulsorily optional, a short summary is required to define objectives of the courses, their specialisation – that is, in the terminology of the Bologna process, learning outcomes. Rules for inclusion of study subjects or their parts into the curriculum are required in terms of their content and chronological succession or methods and conditions of study control according to the curriculum. For the professionally oriented Bachelor's degree programme (for academically oriented profile as needed), it is necessary to meet the prescribed scope of professional practice in the on-site form of study.
Study in a foreign language
All study programmes include study of one or more foreign languages (in case of structured study mostly in the framework of the Bachelor's study programme).
If the conditions are favourable (e.g. a foreign teacher is available), the instruction of some subjects may be conducted in a foreign language.
At several faculties (e.g. medicine, but not only there), foreign students may, for a certain fee, undergo entire studies in a foreign language. The list of these programmes is available at the website Study in. Individual higher education institutions make their offer of accredited programmes in a foreign language public on their websites.
One-year courses of Czech are offered to foreign students who express their interest in studying in Czech language before commencement of their studies (for more see the website Study in).
In the line with the Higher Education Act, teaching is realised through the form of:
practice (e.g. clinical practice of medical students, teaching observation of student-teachers in schools etc.)
Attendance at lectures and other forms of teaching is determined by the higher education institution (vysoká škola) itself. Participation in seminars is usually obligatory.
The fact that most higher education institutions (including halls of residence) are equipped with computer technology makes it possible for students to opt for self-study, working independently with information, study materials, laboratories and computer technology.
Due to autonomy of higher education institutions, they have free choice of teaching aids and equipment in accordance with their budget capacity. Higher education institutions present space, information and equipment assurance of the degree programme and the basic study literature and aids of individual subjects in the application for accreditation.
Progression of students
Students may be enrolled in a higher year of a higher education institution (vysoká škola) after passing the prescribed examinations, possibly other types of study assessment (hereafter only examinations) or after achieving the prescribed number of credits.
In case of failure, the study and examination regulations of a higher education institution allow for exams to be retaken as well as whole years can be repeated. However, in such case the student draws a standard period of study (plus one year), during which public higher education institutions do not require fees from students under the Higher Education Act. If the standard length of studies is exceeded by more than one year, the student becomes liable for fees. However, at first the recognised parenthood period is deducted from the total study time. Student older than 26 also loses certain social advantages such as a scholarship or social allowances or a higher education institution may decide to abolish the right for accommodation in a hall of residence etc.
Students can choose to interrupt their studies on terms set by study and examination regulations which define the longest possible period for interruption of the study.
Generally, higher education institutions set so-called "maximum length of study in a degree programme" (e.g. at Charles University, it is the standard length of study programme plus 3 years).
If students discover that the choice of a study programme or a study programme does not suit them, they may transfer to another study programme at the same faculty or higher education institution or at another faculty or higher education institution. If a part of the study programme he /she has already completed is sufficiently compatible with the newly chosen study programme, the results achieved are counted either in the original programme or in the new programme. If this is not the case, it is recommended that they bridge the gap by taking special examinations for transferring among courses. Transfers from one study programme to another or from one institution to another are also possible if the student later finds out that he / she does not have sufficient knowledge or abilities to master the programme originally chosen. Recognition of the previous study depends on the accepting institution. The previous study length is counted in the standard study length of the new study programme. This is important especially for calculation of fees when a student exceeds the standard length by more than one year.
A change of a programme during the course of studies is possible. However, there is an effort to prevent this by ensuring that students choose an appropriate programme Different types of guidance and counselling services are set to prevent the student turnover from one programme to the another programme. Preparatory courses also help to avoid students changing their study programme.
Higher education institutions (vysoké školy) are highly autonomous in setting the content of their courses.
According to Government Regulation on the Accreditation Standards in Higher Education, in the case of professionally oriented Bachelor's programmes, the higher education institution (vysoká škola) is required to manifest cooperation with practice. The study programme is drawn up to enable the students to manage practical skills needed for the profession. The study plan of the professionally oriented programme shall include practice in the length of at least 12 weeks.
Otherwise, the HE legislation does not set any specific rules for work placements and practical training. Although, in case of regulated professions (presented in Communication to Directive 2005/36/EC and Communication of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (SK23/2015) of 11. 8. 2015, Issuing the List of Regulated Professions in the Czech Republic (2015)), some programmes might be influenced by other legislature, see also Database of Regulated Professions (in Czech).
The Government is not allowed to oblige HEIs to include certain forms of education in their programmes but it can support them namely by financial incentives. In this respect, HEIs are recommended to develop a system supporting work placements for students to improve the employability of graduates and increase the relevance of tertiary education. Strengthening the link between study and practice is also emphasised in the new Strategic Plan of the Ministry for Higher Education for the period from 2021 within the framework of Priority objective 1 (Develop competencies directly relevant to life and practice in the 21st century).
Employers should be members of Board of Trustees of public HEIs as according to the Higher Education Act the representatives of public life, professional associations, employer's organisations or other persons or bodies performing, supporting or taking advantage of educational or creative activities of higher education institutions or their results, representatives of municipality as well as state administration and graduates of the particular institution should be adequately represented. At least one third of the members of the Scientific Board of public HEIs or their faculty must be from outside the academic community of the particular higher education institution. Therefore, employers can be the members also of the Scientific Board. One of the tasks of the Scientific Board is to approve degree programmes of the HEI. The representation of these members in the above Boards is not common, but is much more usual in technically oriented HEIs.
Information for students in looking for a job is offered by e.g. career centres established at individual higher education institutions, there are many websites on the internet with links to jobs or internships (see also Career Guidance in Chapter 12).
Reports on employability are carried out in the Education Policy Centre, Faculty of Education, Charles University in Prague (Středisko vzdělávací politiky Pedagogické fakulty Univerzity Karlovy (SVP PedF UK)), which deals with the overall situation and the status of tertiary/higher education in the labour market in Czechia and other developed countries in terms of economic activity and employment/unemployment, wage levels, participation in individual economic sectors and occupational groups, demand for tertiary education by employers, etc.
The database created by the SVP should provide different target groups with access to information on unemployed graduates. A user can create various sets and comparisons concerning continuation of studies and employability of graduates with regard to the different time span after completing the study. There are specific data on unemployment of graduates of particular higher education institutions and faculties included.
SVP was also the main researcher of the project Graduate 2018, which examined the employability and employment of higher education graduates in the labour market and the evaluation of the achieved higher education, and which builds on similar national and international projects carried out in the previous years in the area of research of employment of higher education graduates.
Unemployment rate of Bachelor's degree graduates at all public higher education institutions in Czechia, 2010–2022 (data collection in April of the given year)
Source: Database of the SVP PedF UK – data extracted on 28 August 2023
Study outcomes at higher education institutions (vysoké školy) are assessed mainly by a system of credits. All public higher education institutions and most private higher education institutions have implemented the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) or a system compatible with ECTS. Between 2009–2011 ECTS Label certificates and DS Label certificates were granted to higher education institutions (the awarding has been ceased with the end of the Bologna Experts Project).
Basic conditions for the student assessment are set by the Higher Education Act. Organisation of examinations is legally embedded in study and examination regulations (studijní řád and zkušební řád), which are part of internal regulations of a higher education institution and are approved by the academic senate. Results of the assessment are recorded in a report on studies (výkaz o studiu) and can also be provided by the electronic information system of the higher education institution or faculty.
Assessing study results
Usual forms of assessing study results:
monitoring the study of a subject
continuous assessment of study
state final examination or its part
Monitoring the study of a subject
Successful completion of the courses is usually monitored in the form of:
final examination project
combination of all of these
The frequency and methods of assessing students' achievements differ among higher education institutions and faculties. In some cases, a system of partial examinations taken after each semester has been introduced, in other cases there is one comprehensive examination after each completed part of the studies – most often at the end of a certain module. Higher education institutions offering arts programmes use students' exhibitions, musical performances etc. as a basis for assessment. In both cases, however, considerable emphasis is also placed on continuous assessment of the students' work, mostly in the form of tests of knowledge or independent work (on computers, graphic work, laboratory work or seminar work) or independent artistic work.
In general, examinations are taken during an examination period at the end of each semester. Examiners are the teachers of individual subjects. The relevant examiners set dates of individual examinations and the dates of all examinations are announced by the management of the institution (faculty). In some cases, it is possible to take an examination before the agreed official date. A failed exam may be retaken several times.
Final examinations are taken in front of boards of examiners. In order to increase the level of objectivity, external examiners from other higher education institutions or scientific establishments are invited to sit on the boards and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports can also appoint other significant specialists in the given field to the examination boards. Special care is taken to authorise only the most qualified academic staff.
The Bachelor's thesis, if prescribed, is part of the final state examination.
A Bachelor's degree programme generally finishes with a final state examination (státní závěrečná zkouška), which usually includes defence of a Bachelor's thesis (bakalářská práce). Studies are considered to be completed on the day when the last part of a state examination is taken.
A higher education diploma (vysokoškolský diplom) and a supplement to the diploma (dodatek k diplomu) are documents confirming completion of studies and the right to use the appropriate academic title. The level of educational attainment is ISCED 645. Higher education institutions have the right to award a higher education qualification (diploma) only in accredited degree programmes (Bachelor's, Master's and doctoral). Accreditation to a particular higher education institution is granted by the independent National Accreditation Bureau for Higher Education (Accreditation Bureau) either in the form of institutional accreditation for an educational area or for a particular study programme. On the basis of the institutional accreditation for an educational area, the higher education institution obtains a permission to approve its study programme within this educational area.
An overview of higher education diplomas in Bachelor's degree programmes
|most programmes||bakalář (Bachelor)||Bc.|
|in art 1)||bakalář umění (Bachelor of Art)||BcA.|
1) For graduates of degree programmes in arts who were admitted without having completed upper secondary education with a Maturita examination, the title is awarded after they have attained upper secondary education with a Maturita examination or tertiary professional education in a conservatoire.
Note: Both titles are used before the name.
Successful completion of the Bachelor's degree programme is a prerequisite for admission to a Master's degree programme.
Recognition of qualifications
Regional Authorities are competent bodies in assessing an upper secondary qualification that enables access to higher education, based on the Education Act and the Decree on Equivalence and Validity of Foreign Certificates Issued by Foreign Schools. Newly, the foreign certificate on completing upper secondary education for the purpose of admission to study can also be recognized by a higher education institution with institutional accreditation for at least one educational area. At the same time the higher education institution has no doubts about the sufficiency of the level, scope or content of the previous foreign education of the applicant, supported by a foreign certificate (Section 48, paragraph 6 of the Higher Education Act). The higher education institution can set a fee for the activities connected to the document appraisal.
The Convention on Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region is the guiding document on recognition of higher education degrees. While submitting the request for recognition of the foreign higher education and qualification according to the Section 89, the applicant has to pay a fee (Section 90a of the Higher Education Act). The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports is administering a Register for managing the recognition of foreign higher education and qualification according to the Section 89, which is an information system of the public administration (Section 90b of the Higher Education Act). It proceeds according to the Decree on Submitting Data to the Register for Managing the Applications for Recognition of Foreign Higher Education and Qualification. Public higher education institutions carrying out, as for the content of the study, similar study programmes are competent bodies for recognition of higher education or its part. The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports can issue a decision on recognition of the study or its part if this is authorised by a contract between Czechia and the country where the foreign higher education institution is established and recognised. In other cases, it is the public higher education institution that provides a similar study programme in respect of its content which issues the decision. When in doubt, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports decides about the appropriate public higher education institution or makes the decision itself.
For more information, see Recognition of education and qualifications in school education in Chapter 13.
Important services, particularly in terms of information and guidance, are provided by the Czech ENIC-NARIC operating within the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, which is part of the European networks of information centres ENIC and centres NARIC.