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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master structure


7.Higher education

7.4Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master structure

Last update: 2 February 2024

There are no official programmes outside the Bachelor and Master structure in Spain.

Universities, in accordance to their function as basic institutions for Lifelong Learning and exerting their autonomy, may articulate their teaching provision through different non-official university programmes which are issued as own degrees: master's (non-official), postgraduate diplomas (expert or specialist), certificates and university extension diplomas or certificates.

As a result, entry requirements and assessment criteria for each qualification are set by each university.

Due to the heterogeneity of provision, the Council of Universities has approved their regulation, endorsed by the General Conference of University Policy:

Own degree programmes Duration Access through university degree Evaluation1 Final dissertation
Master's A minimum of 60 credits (at least one academic year) Yes ECTS Compulsory
Specialised Diploma 30 or more credits Yes ECTS Optional (recommended)
Expert 15-30 credits Yes Credits No
Certificate Less than 15 credits Yes Credits No
University Extension Diploma More than 30 credits No Credits No
University Extension Certificate Less than 30 credits No Credits No

1Unless otherwise specified, these credits were the ones used for university programmes before the implementation of the ECTS credits.

Source: Drawn up by Eurydice Spain-REDIE (INEE, MEFD) from the 2010 Agreement of the Plenary Council of Universities. 

On successful completion of one of these programmes, students receive a non-official degree or certificate issued by the university. There is the possibility, however, of registering these non-official degrees or certificates in the Registry of Universities, Centres and Degrees (RUCT). This may be done as long as these degrees or certificates meet a series of criteria for their verification and accreditation.

Universities must avoid any confusion between the names of their own degrees and those of the official degrees established within the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) structure.