Frequently asked questions

UNIVERSITY MASTER'S DEGREE COURSES

What are they?
These are courses offering advanced training in a specialist area of academic or professional practice; alternatively, they provide students with the official research training they will need in order to complete their PhD in the doctoral program and so effectively form the first period of that program, known as the training period. Fees are government-regulated and have been tailored to comply with the requisites outlined by the European Higher Education Area.

Do I get to do practical classes?

Yes. The university master’s degree courses use the European system of ECTS credits to be able to bring together different kinds of teaching activity in the same programme, from theory to practical classes and other types of directed study.

How long are they?
The total number of credits available for one course ranges from a minimum of 60 ECTS credits to a maximum of 120, the equivalent of one and two academic years respectively. At the beginning of the course, the master committee decides how many credits each participant will need to complete, depending on the extent of their previous studies in the field. A student who enrols full-time can gain 60 credits in one academic year.

What exactly are ECTS credits?
The European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System of credits are the academic unit of measurement used by the master’s program to evaluate the student’s training process in the following types of learning activity:

  • lectures and practical classes
  • hours of study outside class
  • seminars, assignments, practical assignments and projects
  • preparation and completion of examinations or other evaluative tests

Each ECTS credit is worth 25 hours of student study.  

What are the interuniversity programs and where are they taught?
These are master’s programs that run simultaneously in two or more Spanish universities sharing a single curriculum, and each centre takes responsibility for a certain number of the class hours to be taught.

What about Erasmus Mundus programs?
Erasmus Mundus master’s programs are taught by a consortium comprising at least three universities, each from a different European country. To complete these programs, students will need to spend a study period in at least two of the three universities.

What about the language of instruction in the UB? What resources are there for international students?
The University of Barcelona’s institutional language is Catalan, and its official languages are Catalan and Spanish. International students will find a UB language resource program to help them make the most of their stay at the webpage www.ub.edu/sl/en/acollida. Beyond such questions, however, and given that these master’s courses are designed according to the regulations outlined by the European Higher Education Area, students are also recommended to have knowledge of other languages apart from Catalan and Spanish.

Who is responsible for each course, and how can I get in touch with the master committee of the course I'm interested in?
Details can be found on the UB's university master's degree webpage, which directs students to the faculties where the different courses are delivered, the particular secretary’s offices in charge of receiving applications and the master's committee to be consulted.

ADMISSION

What do I have to do to study a university master's degree course?
The first stage is pre-enrolment, where the master committee conducts its selection process. Each webpage description of the master’s program outlines the selection criteria and evaluation procedures implemented by the master's committees as well as the closing dates for pre-enrolment and enrolment; it also provides prospective students with the contact details of UB faculties and departments where they will be able to receive further information.

What qualifications do I need?
Applicants need ONE of the following qualifications:

  • an official Spanish university degree qualification;
  • a university degree certificate issued by a university regulated by the European Higher Education Area which would entitle the applicant to enrol in an equivalent master's degree course in any other EHEA-regulated institution;
  • a university degree certificate issued by a university outside the EHEA framework, although in this case applicants must have obtained either prior validation of their degree certificate, or the University of Barcelona's official, written recognition that their degree certificate adequately qualifies them for EHEA university master's degree studies.

The applicant's successful admission does not qualify as the recognition or validation of their previous degree certificate, and in all cases definitive admission will depend on the evaluation criteria set down by the University and the master's committee.

If I have a university qualification from outside Spain, how can I study?

  1. By having had your degree qualification officially accredited and recognized as being equivalent to its Spanish counterpart.
  2. By authorization from the dean of faculty where the course is being offered, by having been granted approval that the level of your academic studies corresponds to the level required of Spanish applicants, and by demonstrating  that your certificate would entitle you to go up to the next level of study in its country of issue.

Admission to a master’s course does not in itself grant accreditation of your previous studies, but once you have successfully completed the course the qualification you receive will be fully valid. As explained above, definitive admission will depend on the evaluation criteria set down by the University and the master's committee.


At the beginning of the course, would I have to do bridging courses or would the subjects I'd already studied be accepted?
Depending on your previous studies, the master's committee decides whether or not you need extra bridging courses and informs you of this when your acceptance is announced.

 

PRE-ENROLMENT

How does it work?
You can complete the whole process online. At the homepage of the university master’s degree courses, you’ll find the link ‘Pre-enrolment’, which leads to a list of the different courses on offer and  the pre-enrolment dates for each of these (remember that these dates will vary from one course to another). But before you pre-enrol, make sure you meet the requirements outlined in the course's webpage.

Can I pre-enrol for more than one course at the same time?
Yes. But it’s a good idea to consult each course’s webpage for specific guidelines and so be able to compare how well different courses suit your needs.

If I'm coming from abroad, how will I know when I have to attend the interview?
The master's committee will provide you with the details of when and where you are to be interviewed, as well as guidelines about the interview format.

If the degree course I'm studying now finishes in June or September, do I have to wait until it's over to do the pre-enrolment for the master's course?
There’s no need to wait, but if this is your case then you must make it clear when you pre-enrol online and in the application papers you present to the committee. And of course you'll need to have finished before you finally enrol!

Does the committee apply a first-come, first-served policy during pre-enrolment?
No. What the committee does is examine each application and evaluate it on the basis of the papers and documents prospective students have presented, which generally include their official degree certificate, their academic record, curriculum vitae and a covering letter in which they outline their reasons for wanting to enrol. The committee may also call the applicant to an interview.

Necessary papers.
Pre-enrolment: The information given for each master’s degree course describes what papers you have to present.  Enrolment: As well as the documents presented at the pre-enrolment stage, applicants should consult the Regulations for enrolment.

ENROLMENT AND FEES

Where do I enrol?
Once you have been admitted to the course, contact the Secretary’s Office for Students and Teachers in the UB faculty or school where the course is being taught and they will take you through the enrolment procedure. Instructions, forms and additional information can be found on the webpage containing enrolment information.

How much does university master's degree course cost?
All the fees have been officially regulated by the Catalan government (Generalitat de Catalunya) in its decree on fees, which is in turn supported by agreements made by the UB's Governing Council and Board of Trustees. Fees.

COURSE DURATION AND CALENDAR

Can I study one of these courses part-time?
The 60 ECTS-credit courses are designed to be studied in one academic year and the programs for 120 credits are designed for a two-year study period. However, it’s also true that each one offers different pathways with different conditions, so you should visit the webpage of the course that interests you to find out more. The UB's regulations allow you to enrol on a part-time basis if you enrol for a minimum of 20 credits.

Which courses begin in September and which in January?
Every year a calendar/link is posted announcing the days on which classes will start, which members of the teaching staff are responsible for classes and when the UB will call students to examinations. Any changes to this plan are posted on the individual course webpages of the courses affected.

UNIVERSITY MASTER'S DEGREES AND NEW REGULATIONS ON DOCTORAL STUDIES

 

What are doctoral programmes?
Doctoral programmes encompass a series of activities designed to help you acquire the skills and competences needed to complete a thesis and receive a PhD. The programmes stipulate the different activities each student will need to complete and the research areas and procedures for preparing the doctoral thesis.

How do I make the step up to doctoral studies? Will I need a specific master's degree?
As a general rule, to access a doctoral programme you will need to hold a bachelor's degree and a university master's degree. Specific selection criteria will also apply to individual programmes.

Once I've completed a bachelor's degree in one subject area, can I take a master's degree in another? If so, can I then access a doctoral programme in the new subject area?
Provided that you meet the general access requirements and specific admission criteria, you can take any university master's degree, irrespective of your previous studies. The same applies to doctoral studies; the only restrictions are the general access requirements and specific admission criteria for each programme.

What are 'UB-specific' master's degree courses?
In general terms, the phrase 'UB-specific'  (in Catalan, 'propi') means a degree that is official but only in the UB and not in other universities at a national level. Historically, and during the period in which there was no overall system, Spanish universities introduced their own master's degree courses which were endorsed by each university independently of the others and which were generally recognized in terms of their quality both by students and by employers in the professional world. Because of this, these university-specific courses continue to be offered alongside the university master's degree courses.

What's the difference between a university-specific master's degree and, simply, a university  master's degree?
The university master's degree provides students with advanced training qualifications in either specialized or multidisciplinary fields with pathways towards professional practice in companies on one hand, and institutional or academic research on the other, constituting the training period before the completion of a PhD. As described above, the university-specific degrees continue to be offered alongside the university master's degrees, but one important difference between them is that the university-specific courses are designed only to train students for work in companies and the business sector while the university master's degree has basically become the PhD training period ; the result, therefore, is that although these two kinds of degree courses are the same length, only the credits in the university master's course can subsequently form part of any doctoral program.

Can I jump from a UB-specific master's degree course to a university master's degree course?
Generally speaking you can't, because of the difference between the objectives of the two degree types.

Will the design of the specific courses be affected by the university master's degree courses?
No. they will continue to be offered as quality courses fully recognized in the professional world.

 

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