The credit system (higher education credits, in short HECs or credits), is compatible with the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) credit system. 1 HEC or credits equals 1 ECTS. Under the Swedish system, one academic year of full-time studies is equivalent to 60 higher education credits. 60 HECs equals 60 ECTS credits.


The degree structure is organized in three levels of higher education – the First Cycle (bachelor, 3 years, 180 credits, HECs), the Second Cycle (master, 2 years, 120 credits, HECs), and the Third Cycle (doctor, 4 years, 240 credits, HECs); each with minimum requirements for entry.

To be accepted to courses in the Second Cycle (SC) you usually have to have a degree from the First Cycle (FC); a bachelor degree or equivalent. SC students are welcome to study FC and SC courses. Only doctorial students can be accepted to courses in the Third Cycle (TC). Sometimes SC and TC courses are synchronized. Most courses also have specific entry requirements.

Degrees awarded at each level are defined in terms of the expected results and abilities of students (“learning outcomes”). Also the objectives of each course are specified describing the student’s expected learning outcomes at the conclusion of the course.

The First Cycle and the Second Cycle replaced the former four under-graduate and master levels: Basic (A level), Intermediate (B level), Advanced (C level) and Specialized (D level). The Specialized (D) level was the master level.


A - Excellent
B - Very good
C - Good
D - Satisfactory
E - Sufficient
Fx = Fail, some additional work required
F = Fail, much additional work required

In addition to the seven grade system (A-F) there is a two grade system; G Pass and U Fail. G-U is used for minor course elements like participation in a compulsory excursion or a laboratory experiment but also for placement (work experience) courses.

The grades (A-F and G-U) are goal-related (criterion referenced grading); not group-referenced (norm referenced grading). Grades are given for tests and for courses. A course grade is based on one or more tests (one or more exams) within a course. A course module can include one or more tests. For each test grade there is a written criteria, distributed at the start of the course or module. Students who have passed (got A-E or G) can not be examined again to get a better grade. The final grade on each course is an outcome of the individual results of the tests. In order to receive an aggregated grade it is necessary to have obtained pass grades (A-E or G) for all tests included in the course.

In the Third Cycle (PdH Level) the grades are two: G Pass and U Fail.


In the First Cycle the language of instruction in all programmes and most of the courses is Swedish. In the Second Cycle the language of instruction in most of the programmes and courses is English. Second Cycle individual tuition is of course normally possible also in Swedish.

A good command of the English language is obviously necessary for students who would like to successfully study courses in English. Similarly, students who wish to study courses in Swedish must have a good command of the Swedish language.