Skip to main content
European Commission logo
EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice

Republic of North Macedonia

7.2.First-cycle programmes


Last update: 27 November 2023



  • 1 Branches of study  

The first cycle of academic study programs (undergraduate studies) lasts 3–4 years, offers 180 to 240 credits (60 ECTS credits for one year), and awards a bachelor degree. The studies are organized in the following seven scientific research areas of the International Frascati classification: 1) natural-mathematical sciences; 2) technical-technological sciences; 3) medical sciences and health; 4) agricultural and veterinary sciences; 5) Social Sciences; 6) Humanities; and 7) Arts.

The academic studies in the area of arts lasts 4 years. Duration of studies for regulated professions depends on the faculty – the study programs for nurses lasts minimum 3 years (180 ECTS credits), for medicine lasts 6 years (360 ECTS credits), whereas veterinary medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, and architecture last at least 5 years (300 ECTS credits). The First-cycle vocational degree programs last 3 years and offer 180 ECTS credits, but can also provide short-cycle study programs with 60 to 120 ECTS (see section 7.2.2)

A student that completes the academic undergraduate studies earns competences that corresponds to the level VI B for the three-year undergraduate program and VIA for the four-year undergraduate program from the National Qualification Framework (NQF) and level VI from the European Qualification Framework (EQF).


  • 2 Admission requirements

Admission requirements are set by the university /independent higher vocational school and for the first cycle of studies involves successful completion of secondary education (school grades) and   results from the passed State (or International) Matura exam. There is no state entrance exam, but according to the article 149 of the HE Law 2018, the HEIs has right to set the additional, field specific criteria for selection and enrolment of the candidates. Some of the HEIs organize qualification admission exam to check particular skills of students as part of their selection process (e.g. for the studies of applied arts and architecture).

Under the proposal of the public university/HEIs/Teaching-Scientific Council, the Government decides on enrollment and of the number of state-funded students and on the additional quotas for admission of minority students. Public Universities/HEIs decide on students’ enrolment outside this number. The total number of enrolled students depends on the maximum capacity determined with the accreditation of the public higher education institutions. The decision on the number of students enrolling in a private HEI is adopted by the Teaching Council, but cannot exceed the number determined with the accreditation of the private higher education institution (Article 151 from HE Law 2018).

Students enrollment is carried out through public competition announced by the university/HEIs with a prior Government consent. The competition provides the application procedure and selection criteria that guarantees equality of all candidates irrespective of race, colour, gender, language, religion, political or other belief, ethnic, national or social origin, property, birth, social status, disability, sexual orientation and age. Part time students are enrolled under the same conditions and criteria as the full time students, but are ranked on a separate ranking list. They additionally need to submit a written statement and /or a prove for the reason s/he applies for a part-time student status (employment, contract agreement for professional sport engagement, disability that unable the student to attend the courses, long-term illness, parenthood, maternity leave).

Article 148 of the HE Law 2018 enables transfer of credits from one to another equivalent, similar or different study programme within one university, or from one university/HEI to another.  The criteria and conditions for transfer of credits and conditions for transferring the study programmes are prescribed by the University Statute, or its done based on the agreements among the HEIs.


  • 3 Curriculum

All higher education institutions are autonomous to decide on the nature and structure of their education curricula, that is developed based on the minimum requirements for the study program prescribed with Article 140 of the HE Law 2018 and the Rulebook on the contents of the study programmes prescribed in and adopted by the National Council for Higher Education.

The study programs for the first cycle are adopted by the University Senate on the proposal of the Teaching-Scientific Council of the faculty, the Teaching Council of the Higher vocational school or the Scientific Council of the scientific institute within the university, the Teaching Council of the single higher vocational school. Accreditation and reaccreditation of the study programmes is carried out by the Accreditation Board and is issued for a period of five years. A university / HEI may also accept and conduct together with one or more universities / HEIs accredited in the country or abroad a joint degree study programme.

The undergraduate study programmes are designed on the basis of learning outcomes and equip students with competencies and methodological skills in one or more scientific or artistic fields as well as ability to work autonomously in their profession. The content and learning outcomes of the first cycle study programs should:

  • Introduce the student in academic disciplines in one or several fields of science or art by including theories and methods so that a student can acquire broader academic knowledge and skills;
  • Provide the student with academic knowledge, theoretical and methodological qualifications to autonomously identify, formulate and solve complex problems within the relevant constituent parts of the subject areas and
  • Develop the capacity of the student to apply the necessary basic skills to practice the profession at certain vocational posts and to enter the second cycle of academic studies.

The study programmes in all study years of the undergraduate studies include compulsory and elective courses, except the study programmes for the regulated professions as well the study programmes for legal studies and for the initial teacher training study programmes. Elective courses comprise minimum 10% and maximum 30% of the number of ECTS credits in the study programme. The content elements of the study programmes are regulated in more details by the Rulebook on the contents of the study programmes adopted by the National Council for Higher Education and Research.

The workload of students is 1.500 to 1.800 hours annually within maximum of 40 weeks per academic year. The study programmes of the first cycle contain minimum 20 and maximum 30 hours of lectures, exercises and seminars weekly and 30 weeks a year. As an exception, if the study programme contains practical training, the total student's workload must not exceed 40 hours per week and 45 weeks per year and it includes lectures, exercises, seminars, individual classes and other forms of studies (practical training, internship, performances, fieldwork etc.), consultative-instructional classes, forms of continuous examination of knowledge and exams which are considered as contact hours, as well as individual study work (sporting activities, literature review, seminar work, project work), autonomous learning, as well as the preparation of the student final work/ graduate thesis (diplomska rabota).

Language of instruction is Macedonian. Members of the small ethnic communities, for the purpose of preserving and nurturing their identity, have right on higher education in language other than Macedonian (Article 144), in line with the Statute of the HEI. Teaching at the HEIs that educate preschool educators and primary school teachers, as well as the teaching of didactics-methodical subjects for the high school teachers may be offered at the languages of minority ethnic communities (currently being offered in Albanian and Turkish language). When teaching is delivered in the languages of the members of the communities that are not a majority in the country or in the world languages, the Macedonian language have to be studied as a separate subject and teaching is conducted in Macedonian language for at least two courses from the study programme. The state provides funding for higher education in Albanian language. The Law on HE also provides possibilities for higher education in some of the foreign languages. In order to encourage and support the internationalization, the Law stipulates a mandatory requirement for universities to organize teaching instruction for at least two first cycle study programs and at least two second cycle study programs in English language. 


  • 4 Teaching methods  

Teachers are free to choose their own teaching methods. Students teaching and learning is carried out in different forms-lectures, exercises, consultations; seminar papers, homework assignments, projects, practice, field work, clinical teaching, courses, etc. Teachers elected in the teaching-scientific title give lectures to provide students with latest knowledge in the field and theoretical knowledge needed to follow the practical teaching (exercises). Lectures are mainly held for large groups of students. The exercises are part of the teaching process in which the students master practical experiences in accordance with the lectures from the subject program and depending on the type/specifics of the study program are usually organized in smaller groups of students or even individually. Consultations are part of the teaching and educational process and they are obligatory to be offered/provided to students by every teacher and associate. Students also have seminars, homework assignments, essays and project tasks as independent work using literature suggested by the teacher. Teaching can also take place in a virtual environment for learning and teaching (e-learning).

Teachers are obliged to provide students with a list of compulsory and other reference literature (textbooks, articles and other teaching materials) for each study course. The list of materials is integral part of each accredited study program. These materials are not free of charge for students and they are expected to use when preparing exams. They are available at the National University Library (NUB) for the annual membership fee and available at other universities/ faculties libraries.


  • 5 Progression of students

The students progress in their studies by taking exams for the study courses(subjects)/ modules and by fulfilling all the obligations envisaged by the study program. Students in one semester can enroll a minimum of 21 and a maximum of 35 ECTS credits. Only the students with minimum GPA of 8.5 may be allowed to enroll in up to 40 ECTS credits. The student may enroll in new courses from the next semester, in accordance with the rules for progression established in the respective study program. The HEI can prescribe the number of previously earned credits, passed and /or attended courses, etc., as conditional criteria within the study program for enrollment in other courses/subjects. When registering the courses, the student first reregisters the failed compulsory and elective courses from the respective (summer / winter) semester, then the compulsory courses from the current semester and finally, the elective courses from the current semester, not exceeding the total number of ECTS credits determined with the HEIs’ Rulebook. When student failed an elective course, s/he can replace it with other from the list of elective courses offered in the next semester. Legal acts do not specify the maximum number of times students can attempt to pass examinations in a particular course/subject. After three successive exam failures, the student has the right to take the exam in front of the commission. There is no prescribed period within which students are obliged to complete their studies. The study program at the first cycle may foresee student final work/ graduate thesis (diplomska rabota).

A student enrolled under state funded quota loses the status of a state funded student and continues the studies in the tuition quota if s/he registers the study course/the subject for the third time and/or has not earned at least 50% of the registered ECTS in a certain semester until the beginning of the next relevant semester.


  • 6 Employability

In order to encourage continuous modernisation of study programmes and foster linkages and cooperation between the HEIs and the employers, the HE Law 2018 envisages one of the 15 members of the National Council for Higher Education and Research, of the Accreditation Board and of the Evaluation Board within the Quality Assurance Agency to be from the business community/ from the most representative organization of employers in the country. 

The undergraduate study programmes equip students with competencies and methodological skills in one or more scientific or artistic fields and qualify them to work autonomously in their profession. Some faculties (usually in IT, technical sciences and engineering) have close cooperation with the industry and businesses that offer certain number of internships and merit best scholarships and once they graduate, usually provide employment to students they have supported.

According to Article 86 from the HE Law 2018, the university is obliged to establish at least one carrier center that should keep records for alumni students, organize carrier fairs for each faculty where a carrier center exists. The purpose of the center is to ensure the links with the businesses and industry, reduce the gap between the labor force demand and supply and assist students transition from HEI to the labor market employment. As a result of this legal provision, most of the universities have established carrier centers. Besides carrier guidance and information on employment opportunities, the centers also mediate between the companies’ request for internships and the students' interest in conducting practical classes.

Some HEIs and universities make efforts to keep in touch with their alumni and track the employment of their graduates. For example, the public-private, non-for profit South East European University at Tetovo (SEEU) is preparing the annual Employability Report, which provides data on the employment status of its graduates. It is done for the University to determine what markets employ SEEU graduates, what percentage obtain employment, what positions they obtain, as well as to explore the market for future students. Those data also help university to improve its teaching to better meet the market needs for future graduates.


  • 7 Student assessment

Student’s assessment is determined by the subject teacher, included in the study programme and is implemented within the deadlines determined by the Statute of the HEI. The university/HEI prescribes the possible ways of assessment of student’s knowledge with a General Act adopted by the university Senate/ Teaching Council of the higher vocational school.

The acquired knowledge of the students is checked continuously during the classes and is expressed in points. A subject of assessment within one subject program may be:  colloquia; exercises / practical work / field teaching; seminar work; homework; projects; courses; essays; artistic performances, artistic teaching production, and other activities foreseen with the program. The study program can determine that some forms of teaching are conducted without assessment or that they are assessed descriptively.

The assessment of the students' knowledge is also done by taking exams. The exams are conducted in written and / or oral manner, as well as in another way determined by the study program. The student who has fulfilled all the obligations prescribed by the respective subject program has the right to take the exam within the winter, summer and autumn exam period. The grade from the exam can be formed from the points from the colloquia. The final (summative) assessment calculates the student's achievements during the continuous assessment, exams and other activities that are subject of assessment, and are envisaged with the subject program. The final assessment is recorded in the index or electronically.

Passing the exam is a condition to obtain the required number of credits prescribed by the subject program. The numerical grading system is compared with the ECTS grading system. The percentage scale is determined by the study program. The student receives a grade expressed in numbers from 5 (five) to 10 (ten) for passing (part or whole) exam. The grade 5 (five) marks a failure. The average achievement of the student is the arithmetic mean of the grades awarded in the final assessment in all subjects during the studies of the study programme, including the final exam if required in the study programme.

A student who has not passed the exam in the 3 exam terms, re-enrolls the same subject in the next academic year in the respective semester. The student has completed the studies from the first cycle when s/he will pass all the exams, will fulfill all the obligations provided by study programs and will develop and successfully defend a diploma thesis in accordance with the accredited study program.


  • 8 Certification

The student who has fulfilled all obligations according to the study program in the first cycle earns title graduate [in respective area], internationally recognized as bachelor or baccalaureus and is issued a diploma in relevant profession by the university/HEI based of the records it keeps of the student. The diploma confirms that the student has completed the study program of the first cycle and has acquired the appropriate professional or academic degree. Integral part of the diploma is the Diploma supplement that is provided at the student’s demand free of charge.

The diploma and the diploma supplement are signed by the rector and the dean/the director of the HEIs and contain the grade average of the student. The joint diploma and the diploma supplement are signed by the authorized persons of the higher education institutions that have organized the study program for obtaining a joint diploma. The student who fulfills all obligations only for part of the study program is issued a certificate for the completed part of the study program containing data about the level, nature and content of the studies as well as the achieved results.

Diploma supplement offers all data needed for the nature, degree, content, the status of the studies completed and the results achieved and provide for international “transparency”, for academic and professional recognition of qualification and greater mobility. It is issued in Macedonian, English language and in Albanian language for the students that completed the studies in Albanian language. If determined by the university Statute, the Diploma and Diploma supplement for members of the community that speaks an official language other than Macedonian, spoken by at least 20% of the citizens, and whose language of instruction is other than the Macedonian language are issued in Macedonian and in Cyrillic script and in the language and alphabet of that community (Article 154 (9) of the HE Law 2018).

The ENIC-NARIC center operates within the Ministry of Education and Science with the role of the Information center for recognition of foreign higher education qualifications, considering the provisions of the Convention for recognition of academic qualifications, the National Qualification Framework (NQF), and the European qualification framework (EQF).



Правилник за условите, критериумите, правилата и постапката  за запишување  и студирање на прв циклус на студии (додипломски студии) и втор циклус студии (постдипломски студии) на Универзитетот „Св. Кирил и Методиј“ во Скопје, Универзитетски гласник бр. 417, 29 јануари 2019


Правилник за условите, критериумите, правилата и постапката  за запишување  и студирање на прв циклус на студии на Универзитетот „Св. Климент Охридски“ Битола,%20%D0%BA%D1%80%D0%B8%D1%82%D0%B5%D1%80%D0%B8%D1%83%D0%BC%D0%B8%D1%82%D0%B5%20%D0%B8%20%D0%BF%D1%80%D0%B0%D0%B2%D0%B8%D0%BB%D0%B0%D1%82%D0%B0%20%D0%B7%D0%B0%20%D0%B7%D0%B0%D0%BF%D0%B8%D1%88%D1%83%D0%B2%D0%B0%D1%9A%D0%B5%20%D0%B8%20%D1%81%D1%82%D1%83%D0%B4%D0%B8%D1%80%D0%B0%D1%9A%D0%B5%20%D0%BD%D0%B0%20%D0%BF%D1%80%D0%B2%20%D1%86%D0%B8%D0%BA%D0%BB%D1%83%D1%81.pdf