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Higher Education Qualifications Croatia

Higher education in Croatia is carried out through university and professional studies. University studies are conducted at universities while professional studies are organized at polytechnics and schools of professional higher education/college of applied sciences. 

University Studies

University studies enable pupils to work in the scientific field, business community, higher education, and public sector. Also, the university studies trains the students to develop and apply professional and scientific achievements.
University study comprise of three levels: 
  • Undergraduate
  • Graduate
  • Postgraduate

Undergraduate University Studies 

This is the first level of university study in Croatia. The undergraduate university studies prepares students for further education, i.e. either graduate study or specialist professional graduate study, or prepare them for the job market.
  • Duration: 3-4 years
  • No. of semesters: 6 to 8
  • ECTS credits: 180-240
Certificate awarded: Upon successful completion of the undergraduate studies, students are awarded a Bachelor degree (prvostupnik) with a mention of a specialisation that enables the pupils to go for a specialized job in science or art. 

Graduate University Studies 

The graduate university studies prepare students for postgraduate university studies, or for employment. 
  • Duration: 1-2 years
  • ECTS credits: 60-120 
Certificate awarded: Upon successful completion of the graduate university studies, students are awarded a Master's degree (Magister or Magistra) with a mention of a specialisation.

Students must obtain a total of 300 ECTS credits at the undergraduate and graduate study combined. 

Postgraduate University Studies 

Postgraduate university studies in Croatia are split up into two:
  • Specialist studies
  • Doctoral studies
Specialist studies: Universities in Croatia also organizes postgraduate specialist studies that lasts for 1-2 years, and after successful completion of the programme, university specialist (univ. spec.) title in a specific field is awarded.

Doctoral studies: This studies requires completion of  coursework and a doctoral thesis. 
  • Duration: 3 years
  • Certificate awarded: Upon successful completion of the postgraduate studies, students are awarded Doctor of Arts or Doctor of Science academic titles.

Integrated Undergraduate and Graduate University Studies

In some of the fields, such as dentistry, veterinary medicine, medicine, education, and law there is an integrated undergraduate and graduate university programmes.
  • Duration: 5-6 years
  • ECTS credits: 300-360
Certificate awarded: Upon successful completion of the studies, a diploma and a Master's degree with mention of the specialisation is awarded to the students. 
In the field of dentistry, veterinary medicine and medicine, academic title of Doctor (doktor struke) with mention of the area of study is awarded.

Professional Studies

Professional studies in Croatia provide knowledge and skills in a specific professional field, and prepares students for the job market.
Professional studies in Croatia comprises of two levels: 
  • Undergraduate professional study
  • Specialist professional graduate study

Undergraduate Professional Study

Short professional study programme: This study programme does not allow the students to pursue Master’s studies.
  • Duration: 2-3 years
  • ECTS credits: 120-180 
  • Certificate awarded: Upon successful completion of the professional studies, students are awarded a  stručni pristupnik professional title with a mention of a specialisation.

Professional study programme: Professional studies may last for 4 years also, provided approval of the National Council for Higher Education is taken.  In this 4-year programme, students can obtain up to 240 ECTS credits. 
  • Certificate awarded: Upon successful completion of the professional studies, students are awarded a Professional Bachelor (stručni prvostupnik) with a mention of the area of specialisation. 

Specialist Professional Graduate Study

This study allows students to continue their studies at graduate university study or enter the job market.
  • Duration: 1-2 years
  • ECTS: 60-120
Certificate awarded: Upon successful completion of the specialist professional studies, students are awarded a Specialist title with a mention of a specialisation.
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