The Bologna Agreement introduces a 3-level system of higher education with specific content, relevant teaching methods and duration appropriate to these conditions:
First degree – is a 3-year course of study, upon completion of which students receive a bachelor’s degree;
- teaching methods in this degree include: lectures, exercises, independent preparation, project development; compulsory and elective courses.
- content in this degree acquires basic knowledge necessary for mastering the profession, and practically acquires skills to apply this knowledge in solving and performing more basic professional tasks.
Second degree – is a 2-year course of study, which is an upgrade for students who have obtained a bachelor’s degree, and which they complete with a master’s degree – awarded upon successful defense of a master’s thesis:
- teaching methods include theoretical courses, seminars, assignments, internships, research projects, development of a diploma thesis; compulsory and elective courses
- while bachelor’s programs due to their basic nature are more uniform, monolithic, master’s programs offer a wide variety of content and forms:
– master’s programs that logically follow directly from the bachelor’s degree are called integrated master’s programs;
– for a small group of specialties, first and second degree are compulsorily bound and merged (medicine, veterinary medicine, law, architecture, etc.) and end directly with a master’s degree.
– there are also master’s programs aimed at working professionals, called executive master’s degrees, which allow a wide variety of different flexible modes of study: entirely online, evening and weekend hours, part-time.
– for various reasons, almost all master’s programs accept candidates with bachelor’s degrees from fields other than the master’s degree in order to: add additional content to the bachelor’s degree; or be used as a springboard to move in a new direction.
Third degree – a 3-year course of study, which students complete after successfully defending a dissertation with a doctoral degree:
- dominant cognitive methods for mastering the profession in this educational form are: independent work, literary reviews, research and experimental methods;
- a distinctive feature of the third degree is the contributory nature of the dissertation in an academic and professional context, technological, social or cultural, for the progress of a knowledge-based society.
Common feature of the curriculum:
The academic curriculum must cover all curriculum components provided for in the Bologna Declaration. However, there may be differences in emphasis on fields of study and/or types of educational objectives.