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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice


7.2. First-cycle programmes


Last update: 11 April 2024

Fields of study

The first cycle study programmes – Bachelor study programmes correspond to the 6th level of the National Qualifications Framework/European Qualification Framework.  Bachelor degree can be obtained in 45 study fields divided into the following study field groups: 

  • Natural sciences, mathematics, and informatics
  • Technology
  • Agricultural and veterinary sciences
  • Medical sciences and quality of life-related study fields
  • Humanities
  • Social, economic, and legal sciences
  • Education
  • Arts
  • Security, defense, and military sciences

The standard length of bachelor study programmes including professional practice is 

  • a minimum of three and a maximum of four academic years for full-time study,
  • a minimum of three and a maximum of five academic years for part-time study.

Regular completion of bachelor study programmes with a standard length of study is conditional upon acquiring a minimum of 180 credits. Higher education institutions prepare a recommended study plan for each study programme. If studying according to the recommended study plan, students can complete their study programme duly at the standard length of study.

Admission requirements

All applicants have the right to study at a higher education institution in the selected study programme provided they meet the basic admission requirements for study and further requirements specified by the higher education institution. The basic condition for admission to Bachelor study is the completed upper secondary education or upper secondary vocational education (the education completed by the school-leaving examination). Higher education institutions can admit only applicants for accredited study programmes. The number of applicants to be admitted is determined by each higher education institution/faculty. 

The admission examinations are organised directly by faculties, which set the admission requirements in such a way as to admit only the candidates with the necessary abilities and skills. Faculties or higher education institutions shall announce the form, content, and the way of evaluation of admission examination results. In compliance with the Education Act (Školský zákon), further requirements must not exceed the knowledge content range of the complete upper secondary education.  The admission examination is held mostly in written form. Some schools also include oral examinations or interviews for selected programmes. They aim to evaluate the overall applicants’ prerequisites for the chosen study programme, language skills, etc. Higher education institutions or faculties may also admit applicants based on their upper-secondary education results. 

The admission procedure may entail a talent examination. The talent or practical examination is taken by applicants for teacher training programs that train primary education teachers (ISCED 1), or by applicants for teacher training programmes that train teachers of academic subjects in combination with physical education, music education, and art education. Talent or practical examination is also taken for sports, journalism, architecture study programmes, and all arts programmes. 

The dean of faculty decides on the applicant’s admission. If an applicant appeals against a decision, the rector of the higher education institution makes the final decision on the student’s admission. The result of the admission examination is usually published on the day the examination is held or the day after. Almost all faculties publish the results on their websites. A written statement on admission or non-admission is delivered to students within 30 days.

An applicant, who successfully passes the admission exams, becomes a student of the higher education institution. The requirements for the admission of foreigners to study at higher education institutions are the same as for the citizens of the Slovak Republic. The form and manner of the admission examination for applicants with special educational needs is determined with regard to their disability upon their request. Each higher education institution has a coordinator working with such students.

As regards State higher education institutions, the procedure may vary with respect to the limitations arising from their status. In some cases, the number of admissions is determined by the respective ministry, or the preference is given to applicants employed in the respective sector. Civilians cannot study in Bachelor study programmes at military higher education institutions. 

As regards study programmes in healthcare, admission to part-time forms of study is conditional upon having previous education in selected healthcare fields of study.


Higher education institutions and their faculties are autonomous in the study programme creation.

Legal regulations govern some basic requirements for study programmes, such as the standard student load (60 credits per academic year), the standard period of study, or the division of subjects into compulsory, optional, and elective. All students must complete all compulsory subjects, the required part of compulsory optional subjects, and the remaining number of credits is earned from elective subjects. Students pursue study programmes according to study plans that they compile themselves. The regular completion of the study is also conditional upon the defense of a bachelor thesis.

Most study programmes are organised in Slovak (the state language) but higher education institutions also offer study programmes in national minority or foreign languages. The study in a foreign language is offered for a fee. 

Teaching methods

The content and teaching methods within the framework of individual subjects are in full competence of universities and faculties in agreement with the fundamental rights and freedoms of higher education institutions.

The choice of teaching methods in higher education institutions is determined by the type of teaching and specific requirements of each subject. Lectures, seminars, proseminars (the combined form of teaching usually comprised of lectures and seminars), exercises, courses, consultations, excursions, practice teaching, and seminar papers are the main forms of teaching. Technical and science subjects also include laboratory work. The lecture component uses dialogue methods in combination with computer technology and other teaching aids.

Higher education institutions are autonomous in the selection of textbooks or educational software as well as in their creation. If a higher education institution teacher writes a higher education textbook, this output is partially considered when determining subsidies for the given higher education institution. There is no special system of central-level support for the development of teaching materials or higher education textbooks. 


Progression of students

The pace of study and order of subjects is determined by the students themselves. However, the standard length of study can be exceeded by two academic years at most.

The study rules of a higher education institution and the study programme rules determine the number of credits necessary to progress to the next part of the study. The parts of the study are usually expressed by academic years, i.e. at the beginning or the end of the academic year it is assessed if the student meets the conditions for continuing the studies – usually expressed by a minimum number of credits to be obtained during the year.

Students may enroll in one subject at most twice during their study.  If they fail the subject for the second time, they are expelled from the study.

It is possible to transfer from one study programme to another at higher education institutions, provided conditions set out in the study rules of faculties and universities are met. Students may also complete their studies at a higher education institution other than the one they originally started in.


Currently, no special tools are applied for the placement of graduates of Bachelor study programmes in the labour market. The hitherto practice and possibilities of admission to the next level of education cause a prevailing part of graduates of Bachelor study programmes to continue in further higher education study.

Higher education institutions are legally obliged to provide their students with career guidance and help them find employment. Selected workplaces at higher education institutions and faculties provide professional and methodological counselling. Higher education students can also access career guidance in counselling and prevention centres until they finish their professional training.

Based on the dialogue between the higher education institution and the practice (automotive industry in particular), a modification of bachelor study programmes in some fields of study occurs in relation to the practical needs and to the increase of employability of the bachelor degree graduates. A bachelor's degree is sufficient for the performance of certain healthcare professions and such graduates can be directly employed in practice (e.g. midwives, nurses, physiotherapists). 

Higher education institutions arrange traineeships or practice for their students in many bachelor study programmes. Teaching practice is a compulsory and integral part of study programmes for teachers; it must be taken in contracted schools that provide pre-primary, primary and secondary education. 


Students assessment

Details on student performance assessment throughout students’ study are set in the study rules of higher education institutions and faculties. Student assessment procedures at higher education institutions vary.

The organisation of all levels and forms of higher education study is based on the credit system. The credit system of study enables the assessment of a student’s study load connected with the study programme’s units in compliance with the study programme rules. The standard load is expressed by the number of credits as follows: 60 for an academic year, 30 credits for a semester, and 20 credits for a trimester. Each subject in a study programme is assigned some credits, which students obtain after they complete the subject.

The student assessment in subjects is carried out, in particular, by

  • continuous monitoring of study results during the teaching part of the given period of study (examination questions, written tests, tasks for individual work, papers, coursework, etc.),
  • examination for the given period of study.

Completion of a subject is assessed by a grade. The grade expresses the quality of knowledge or skills in relation to the aim of the subject. The result is recorded in the student's record book (index).

Assessment by a grade is carried out according to the system of grading composed of six grades:

  • A – excellent = 1
  • B – very good = 1,5
  • C – good = 2
  • D – satisfactory = 2,5
  • E – sufficient = 3
  • FX – fail = 4

Students obtain credits for the subject if their results are assessed by any of the classification grades from A to E. To assess student's overall study results in a defined period, the weighted average is used.

In healthcare study programmes, students keep books of records on clinical practice to record each action they have performed during clinical practice at a workplace.

Each study programme must be completed by a state examination or state examinations. A state examination is held in front of an examination commission and it verifies students’ knowledge and contextual understanding of the subjects taken. The study also entails writing and defending the final thesis; the final thesis defense is one of the state examinations.  


Graduates from Bachelor’s degree programmes are issued

1. Diplomas indicating

  • the study field and study programme, 
  • academic degree, 
  • identification of the higher education institution and faculty and the graduate (name, surname, date of birth), 

2. Certificate on the state examination and

3. Diploma Supplement. 

The diploma supplement also includes information on the higher education system in the Slovak Republic that was created and published by the ministry. The supplement gives information on the qualification level according to the National Qualifications Framework and the qualification level according to the European Qualifications Framework achieved by the graduate. 

Higher education institutions award the academic degree of Bachelor (Bc.) to the graduates from Bachelor’s degree programmes.

As regards academic recognition of documents on education for the purpose of continuing the studies, the recognition of study in another higher education institution abroad falls within the competence of higher education institutions. The recognition of documents on education from abroad for professional purposes falls as a rule within the competence of the Ministry of Education, Research, Development, and Youth of the SR. Documents issued in the SR, except for foreign higher education institutions, are valid in the SR without further recognition.