Italian university education is today based on three main cycles of study, as follows:
- First Cycle (Primo Ciclo)
- Bachelor programme (Corso di Laurea - three years)
- Single-cycle Degree (Corso di Laurea Magistrale a Ciclo Unico - five or six years)
- Second Cycle (Secondo Ciclo)
- Master programme (Corso di Laurea Magistrale - two years)
- 1st Level vocational master (Master Universitario di Primo Livello)
- Third Cycle (Terzo Ciclo)
- Doctorate (Dottorato di Ricerca-PhD)
- Specialisation School (Scuola di Specializzazione)
- 2nd Level vocational master (Master Universitario di Secondo Livello)
The full list of offered programmes per Department is available at the following link:
Bachelor programme (LAUREA)
The 1st level degree course gives the student an appropriate knowledge of scientific methods and principles and provides a solid base for those who wish to continue their studies with a 2nd level degree or a 1st level master.
To be admitted to a 1st level degree course, the student must have a secondary school diploma or a suitable equivalent foreign qualification.
The 1st level degree course lasts three years.
To obtain the qualification (1st level degree) it is necessary to accumulate 180 credits (60 for each year of the course).
Single-cycle degree (LAUREA MAGISTRALE A CICLO UNICO)
Single-cycle degree courses do not draw a distinction between the initial three-year period of study and the subsequent two-year period of specialisation; the entire study cycle is structured over a single period of five or six years, at the end of which it confers a 2nd level degree (laurea magistrale).
The single-cycle degree provides the student with advanced education and training for professions in specific fields regulated by European directives that require a high level of qualification and for access to legal professions.
To be admitted to a single-cycle degree course you must have a secondary school diploma.
To obtain the qualification (single-cycle degree) it is necessary to accumulate 300 credits, in the case of five-year courses, and 360 credits, in the case of six-year courses (60 for each year of the course).
Master programme (LAUREA MAGISTRALE)
The 2nd level degree, also known as a specialised degree, provides the student with advanced education and training for professions in specific fields that require a high level of qualification.
To be admitted to a 2nd level degree course, you must have a 1st level degree or a suitable equivalent foreign qualification.
The course lasts two years.
To obtain the qualification (2nd level degree) it is necessary to accumulate 120 credits (60 for each year of the course).
The aim of a master course is to reinforce, broaden the skills and expertise of graduates and postgraduates, utilising and expanding upon previous training to meet the demands of the professional world. There are both 1st and 2nd level vocational master courses.
To be admitted to a 1st level master course, which is part of the second cycle of university studies, you must have a 1st level degree.
To be admitted to the 2nd level master course, which is part of the third cycle of university studies, you must have a 2nd level degree.
A vocational master course generally lasts from six months to one year.
To obtain the qualification (1st or 2nd level master) it is necessary to accumulate 60 credits.
Doctorate (DOTTORATO DI RICERCA) (PhD)
Provides the expertise necessary for high-level research activities in universities, public institutions and private associations.
To be admitted to a doctoral programme a Single-cycle degree or a Master degree must be acquired. Candidates must also pass a selection examination.
A doctoral degree is awarded after a period of study lasting three to four years.
Specialization school (SCUOLA DI SPECIALIZZAZIONE)
Provides the student with knowledge and skills required in specific professional fields. These courses may only be instituted by the application of specific laws or European Union directives.
To be admitted to a specialisation course you must hold a 2nd level degree.
The length of the course and the number of credits required to obtain the specialisation qualification are defined by the academic structure of each course.