Branches of study
The first cycle study programmes – Bachelor study programmes focus on the acquisition of theoretical knowledge and practical knowledge based on the current situation in the science or art and on the management of its use in practice or in the pursuit of further higher education study.
Bachelor study programme graduates achieve the higher education of the first level and receive the academic degree of Bachelor (abbr. “Bc.”).
The standard length of bachelor study programmes including the professional practice is
- a minimum of three and maximum of four academic years for full-time study,
- a minimum of three and 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 are able to complete their study programme regularly at the standard length of study.
All applicants for study have the right to study at a higher education institution in the selected field of study programme provided they fulfil the basic admission requirements for study and further requirements specified by the higher education institution.
The basic condition for the admission to Bachelor study is the completion of 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 determine the admission requirements in such a way as to admit only the candidates with 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 (SK), further requirements must not exceed the knowledge content range of the complete upper secondary education.
The admission examination is held mostly in a written form. Some schools also include oral examinations or interviews for selected programmes. Their aim is to evaluate the overall applicants’ prerequisites for the study programme chosen, language skills, etc.
Admission procedure may entail a talent examination. The talent or practical examination is taken by applicants for the first stage of primary school (ISCED 1) teacher training programmes, or applicants for teacher training for 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 programmes of artistic orientation.
Higher education institutions or faculties may also admit applicants based on their upper-secondary education results.
The dean of faculty decides on applicant’s admission in case of an appeal; the rector of the higher education institution makes the final decision on the student’s admission. The result of admission examination is usually published on the day when the examination is held or the day after. Almost all faculties, however, publish the results on their websites. A written statement on admission or non-admission is delivered to students within 30 days.
The form and manner of the admission examination for disabled applicants is determined with regard to their health disability upon their request. Each higher education institution has a coordinator for work with such students.
An applicant, who successfully passes the admission exams, becomes a student of the higher education institution. The requirements for the admission of foreigners to the study at higher education institutions are the same as for the citizens of the Slovak Republic.
In the case of study programmes in healthcare, the admission to part-time forms of study is conditional upon having previous education in selected healthcare fields of study.
As regards State higher education institutions, the procedure may vary with respect to the limitations arising from their status. The Number of admissions is determined by the respective ministry in some cases, or the preference is given to applicants who are employed in the given sector.
Civilians cannot study Bachelor study programmes at military higher education institutions.
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 division of subjects into compulsory, optional and elective. All students of a study programme 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 the study plans that they compile themselves.
At the same time, the regular completion of the study is conditional upon the defense of a bachelor thesis.
The content and methods of teaching within the framework of individual subjects are in full competence of universities and faculties in agreement with 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, seminar papers are the main forms of teaching. In technical and science subjects also include laboratory work. The lecture part uses dialogue methods combined 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. In case that a higher education institution teacher writes a higher education institution 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 institution textbooks.
Progression of students
The pace of study and order of subjects are determined by the student himself. However, the total period of study cannot be longer than by two academic years compared to the standard length of study of the given study programme.
The study order of a higher education institution and the study programme rules determine the number of credits which students must achieve to be able to progress to the next part of the study. The parts of the study are usually expressed by academic years, that means, at the beginning or at the end of the academic year it is assessed if the student fulfils the conditions for continuing the studies – to be expressed as a rule by a minimum number of the credits that should be achieved during the year.
A student may enrol in one subject at most twice during his study. In case that he fails to pass the subject for the second time, he is expelled from the study.
It is possible to transfer from one study programme to another at higher education institutions, provided conditions set out in study rules of faculties and universities are met. Students may also complete their study at a higher education institution other than that where they originally started.
Currently, no special tools are applied for placement of graduates of Bachelor study programmes at the labour market. The hitherto practice and possibilities of admission to the next level of education cause that a prevailing part of graduates of Bachelor study programmes continue in further higher education studies.
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 degree is sufficient for performance of certain healthcare professions and such graduates can be directly employed in practice (e.g. midwives, nurses).
Higher education institutions provide traineeship or practice for their students in many bachelor study programmes. Teaching practice is a compulsory and integral part of study programmes for teachers; it has to be taken in contracted schools that provide pre-primary, primary and secondary education.
Details on student performance evaluation over the course of students’ study are set up in study rules of higher education institutions and faculties. Procedures of evaluation of students 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 evaluation of student’s load connected with the completion of the study programme’s units in agreement with the rules of the study programme. 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.
The evaluation of student’s results within the framework of the subject study 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.
The subject completion is evaluated by a mark. The mark expresses the quality of acquisition of knowledge or skills in agreement with the aim of the subject. The result of the evaluation is recorded in the study book (index).
Evaluation by a mark 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 shall obtain credits for the subject if their results were assessed by any of the classification grades from A to E. To evaluate the overall study records of a student in a defined period, the course weighted average is used. It is calculated by summing up the products of the number of credits and numerical assessment in the period assessed and then dividing the result the total number of credits registered by the student for the given period.
In the case of healthcare study programmes, students keep books of records on clinical practice for recording each action they have performed during clinical workplace practice.
Completion of studies is conditional upon passing the State examination. In addition to the defense of the final (bachelor) thesis, there are usually also other State examinations prescribed. The State examination is usually a commissional examination of student’s knowledge and comprehension of the completed subjects in context.
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 contains detailed information on the completed study and the system of higher education in the SR. Higher education institutions award the academic degree of Bachelor (Bc.) to the graduates from Bachelor’s degree programmes.
In the case of academic recognition of documents on education (with the purpose of continuing the studies), the recognition of study in another higher education institution abroad falls within the competence of the higher education institution. The recognition of documents on education from abroad for professional purposes falls as a rule within the competence of the Ministry of education, science, research and sport of the SR. Documents issued in the SR, except for foreign higher education institutions, are valid in the SR without further recognition.
National Council of the Slovak Republic, 2002. Act No. 131/2002 on higher education and on the change and supplement to some acts (Zákon č. 131/2002 o vysokých školách a zmene a doplnení niektorých zákonov) (last accessed 21/12/2022).