Study masters in Spain: rankings and how to apply

Study masters in Spain: rankings and how to apply

The Master's program in Spain is the main type of postgraduate education in Spanish universities. The advantages include low prices for master's courses and strong programs in specific areas. The Spanish Master's program is one of the most popular destinations for French, Italians, Portuguese, as well as students of Spanish - speaking countries-Argentina, Colombia, the Dominican Republic and Ecuador.

The specifics of obtaining a master's degree in Spain

A master's degree in Spain is the first stage of postgraduate education, usually referred to as the second cycle within the framework of the Bologna process. In Spain, master's programs are very popular among local students - more than 45% of Spanish people continue their studies after obtaining a bachelor's degree at the master's level.

The duration of the master's program at Spanish universities depends on the program of study. In the Humanities, Precision and engineering programs, the master's program is designed for 60 European credits and lasts 10 months, while some programs in the faculties of Psychology, Medicine and Biology offer master's programs that require from 90 to 120 ECTS, which corresponds to 3-4 semesters.

One ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credit is equal to 25-30 academic hours. It is determined based on the work performed by the student:

  • hours of lectures and seminars attended;

  • hours spent on independent study of the material;

  • results of practical and control works, educational projects;

  • grades obtained on exams.

The largest number of credit units is issued for the implementation of a master's research work.

Master's programs in Spain consist of modules that are divided into three groups: the main one is a block of subjects common to students of a wide direction, the profile one is a block of mandatory subjects in a narrow specialty and the optional ones are subjects that can be chosen based on the student's academic interests. The ratio of modules in the course depends on the degree of flexibility of the program.

The format of classes and the educational process

Studying at the master's level at Spanish universities includes lectures, seminars and a research project under the guidance of a mentor. There are no strict attendance requirements for some forms of education, but it is strongly recommended not to miss classes so as not to fail the semester exam. Lectures last 50-60 minutes on weekdays. In general, 4-5 lectures a week are held at the master's level.

Students ' academic performance is assessed at the final exams either in June-if the course is designed for a full academic year, or in February for courses lasting one and a half semesters. Students who have not passed the exams can retake them in September.

In addition, the teacher can choose the format of testing the student's knowledge-it can be a written assignment, an interview, a home mini-project, etc. Successful passing of tests in the learning process can be counted as a final exam.

Preparation for admission to the Master's program

If you decide to continue studying for a master's degree in Spain, the first thing you need to do is choose a university and a postgraduate education program according to your profile. At the same time, it should be borne in mind that some universities accept applications for education  even if the applicant does not yet have a bachelor's degree. In this case, a full set of documents is submitted, to which, instead of a diploma, an application is attached with information about the conditions for obtaining a diploma and a future specialty.

Since it is necessary to speak Spanish or English for admission to the master's program, foreign applicants are given the opportunity to take preparatory language courses (Spanish, Catalan or English). Such programs are available in almost all universities in Barcelona and other major cities, and distance learning is also provided.

At the end of the preparatory program, the student will need to pass an exam and receive a certificate of knowledge of Spanish DELE at the level of B2, C1 or in some cases B1-when passing a language school.

For those master's programs where knowledge of English is required, an IELTS or TOEFL certificate with a score of 6.0 or 90, respectively, is required.

The tuition fee

The cost of a master's degree depends on the chosen specialty. The most expensive is studying at the law, economics and political faculties, obtaining an MBA degree (Master of Business Administration, Master of Business Administration). It is cheaper to get a master's degree in natural sciences or humanities.

It will not be possible to study for a master's degree at Spanish universities for free, but with good academic performance, a student can try to get a scholarship or a grant to study both at the university itself and in third-party organizations.

Prospects after obtaining a master's degree in Spain

1. Job 

Spain is notorious for an incredibly high unemployment rate: over the past decade, the share of the unemployed population has reached 25%. There are many reasons for this: immigration, the mentality of Spaniards, the real estate crisis, shadow markets and other economic indicators. Needless to say, there are a lot of problems with employment in the country for foreign graduates. There are much more chances to succeed in neighboring countries - France, Italy and Portugal. However, for a particular graduate, statistical indicators are not so important: a student with excellent academic performance, teacher recommendations and excellent professional skills can always apply for a starting position in foreign corporations. Masters of scientific specialties have the opportunity to enroll in doctoral studies.

2. Next level education

Students of master's programs who have proven themselves well in the learning process have the opportunity to stay in doctoral studies at the university. To do this, it is necessary to prepare an appropriate research project and find a supervisor who will agree to conduct it together with the student. The Spanish Ministry of Education offers a number of scholarships to fully cover the costs of studying under the doctoral program, and the options for financial assistance to doctoral students are several times higher than the amount of scholarships for masters and bachelors. After receiving your doctorate, you can apply for a teaching position at a university not only in Spain, but also throughout Europe.

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