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Studying in Spain: Some Useful Information You Need to Know

Studying in Spain:

There are three categories of universities in Spain: public, private and religious. Note that the state supports part of the tuition fees for students enrolled in public universities while there is no support for students in private and religious universities. Spain receives many foreign students, it is a very popular destination for Moroccan students, and it maintains close relations with South America.

The current education system makes it possible to choose the training option most suited to each situation, in order to obtain a qualification facilitating entry into the labour market under the best possible conditions.

The studies most in tune with the activity and the labour market are those of Vocational Training which currently ends up being a very attractive option with a high percentage of professional integration due to the diversity of the offer, its modular nature and the facilities to undertake them,

Vocational Training offers around 150 training cycles, with theoretical and practical content adapted to various professional fields. The diplomas are recognized throughout the territory, both academically and professionally.

Vocational Training is also in permanent contact in the various economic sectors and meets its needs, which has earned it recognition in all the countries of the European Union and its qualifications are increasingly in demand. This being the case, vocational training represents a very motivating, high-quality option which adapts to the needs of each individual in order to improve their professional career.

Vocational training in Spain:  

– Encourages lifelong learning

– Combines theoretical and practical contents, – learning “to do things” – without finding oneself only on the purely theoretical level.

– Guarantees the spirit of entrepreneurship with the objective of developing economic activities and initiatives.

– Teaches autonomy and teamwork.

– Learns to work in conditions of safety and health, as well as in the prevention of the inherent risks at work.

– Facilitates the international mobility of students and workers.

– Promotes equal opportunities between men and women in access to training promoting all types of professional options.

– Adapts to personal needs and interests.

– Higher Vocational Training Diplomas

– Specialization course.

The courses of Higher Vocational Training respond to a professional profile, they are composed of professional modules of variable duration and are organized in such a way as to allow the reconciliation of the learning of people with other activities and responsibilities.

Currently, there are around 150 diplomas which are organized around 26 professional categories.

Artistic teaching 

The aim of artistic education is to offer quality artistic training and to guarantee the qualification of future professionals in music, dance and plastic arts, design and the conservation of cultural property.

The artistic teachings are:

– Elementary music and dance lessons.

– Professional artistic education. Including those taught at intermediate and higher degrees of plastic arts and drawing.

– Higher artistic education. Higher studies in music and dance, courses in drama, courses in the conservation and restoration of cultural property, higher studies in drawing and higher studies in visual arts as well as higher studies in pottery and studies higher than glass, also have this condition.

The possibilities offered by artistic teaching are Music, Dance, Dramatic Art, Plastic Arts and Drawing and the Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Goods.

Higher grade vocational education in plastic arts and drawing

The higher grade in vocational courses in Plastic Arts and Drawing are structured in training cycles, grouped by professional categories, offering quality training in the various fields of applied arts and artistic professions.

The higher grade training cycles in Plastic Arts and Drawing last two years. They offer a training period in an educational center which includes an integrated project module and a practical training phase (internship) in a company, studies or workshops.

The passage of a cycle of higher grade gives the right to obtain a diploma of Superior Technician of Plastic Arts and Drawing in the corresponding specialty. This title allows direct access to the Degree in Drawing, Plastic Arts and the Degree in Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Goods. The Diploma of Higher Technician of Plastic Arts and Drawing also allows access to official university degree studies according to the admission procedures to Spanish public universities.


Teaching of sports professions.

The aim of the teaching of sports professions is to train students in professional activity in the field of sports professions in relation to a modality or sports specialty in the different levels of:

Initiation, technicality and high performance, and to facilitate the adaptation of trained technicians to the evolution of the world of work and sport and to active citizenship.

A fundamental characteristic of these courses is the requirement of a specific access test, by which it is necessary to demonstrate a sufficient level of mastery of the modality or the sporting specialty to be able to continue the courses profitably .

Higher-grade sports education prepares students for the exercise of training, team leadership and high-level sports, driving for routes with high levels of difficulty in the different sports modalities and specialties.

Education in Spain depends on the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport and the various Autonomous Communities that make up the Spanish State. The quality of Spanish higher education is recognized. Currently, there are 82 universities of which 50 are public and 32 are private. The oldest is the University of Salamanca, created in the 13th century. It should be noted that these universities issue all kinds of engineering and architecture degrees.
The National University of Distance Education (UNED) is the only public university that offers distance degrees (e-Learning) with the possibility of participating in tutoring courses. UNED offers a wide range of university studies, whether official studies of the European Higher Education Area (27 Undergraduate Diplomas, 53 University Masters and 44 Doctorates), or continuing education studies with more of 600 courses, language training courses and other initiatives such as university access for people aged between 25 and 45 or also UNED Señor courses for people over 55 years old. There are a multitude of Centers in different cities of the countries of Europe, Africa and America. Today, UNED is a large institution, the largest university in Spain with over 200,000 students.

University education, higher artistic education, higher professional training, higher professional education in plastic arts and design and higher education in sports professions constitute higher education. After adaptation to the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), Spain’s new structure for university studies is made up of three cycles: Grado, Master and Doctorado.

1st cycle: Grado

El Grado, which replaces the old titles and diplomas of higher studies, comprises 240 ECTS credits spread over four school years (including the end of study thesis). El Grado is structured as follows: Basic training course (minimum of 60 credits) – Compulsory subjects – Elective subjects – External internships (maximum 60 credits) – End of studies project (minimum of 6 credits and one maximum of 30) – Recognition of cultural activities (maximum 6 credits). The student must register for a minimum of 9 credits and a maximum of 90 credits per academic year.

2nd cycle: Masters

Masters have a duration of ECTS credits between 60 and 120, spread over one or two academic years. Official Master studies are intended for the specialization of students in their academic and professional training. They are thus awarded a higher education diploma (EHEA), recognized by all the signatory states of the European Area. Students may be admitted to a master’s degree according to specific criteria specific to the chosen master’s degree and which allow merit to be assessed.

Universities have a coordination committee that defines the procedures and criteria for admission to the Masters cycle. More information on graduate studies in Spanish universities is available from the following link: email:

3rd cycle: Doctorate Doctoral 

studies in Spain are intended for the advanced training of students in research techniques. They are divided into two parts: The first consists of studying at least 60 credits, and the second includes a research work (a thesis) with defense before a jury. The duration of a doctorate is generally spread over three to four years. 

ECTS Credits: ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) is the standard adopted by all universities in the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), it guarantees a rapprochement between the different European higher education systems. ECTS credits are based on students’ personal work: School timetables, studies, research and practice. One ECTS credit corresponds to 25 hours of student work. One academic year is equivalent to 60 full-time credits.

The Spanish University System (SUE) is made up of 82 universities, spread over 236 campuses, face-to-face, and 112 remote and special ones. In the whole of the Spanish University System, there are approximately 2,500 “grados” (licenses), of which 80% are offered by public universities and 3,500 master’s degrees. For the studies of “Grado”, it is necessary to count for 60 credits, without repeating, approximately 1100 euros of tuition. However, the price varies between the Autonomous Communities: from the lowest 11.89 euros / average price credit in Galicia, to the highest 33.52 euros / credit in Catalonia. The price differences are unequal between the various communities: from Andalusia which does not establish any experimentation to its university degrees, and which sets a single price from the first registration of 12.62 euros / credits, to Catalonia which has a difference of 14.26 euros / per credit between the lowest and the highest. The average price of qualifying masters has remained constant (26.89 euros / credit), although the behaviour by autonomous community is very different.

A qualifying master’s degree is mainly a higher education university qualification that allows professionals to exercise regulated professions, only those that can be achieved when the conditions established by law, generally associated with the completion of studies at different levels. Currently in Spain there are 14 professions that require obtaining a master’s degree to enable workers to exercise it: Lawyers or Courts Prosecutors, Architects, Merchant Marine Captains, Agricultural Engineers, Bridge and Road Engineers, and Ports, Mining Engineers, Water and Forestry Engineers, Telecommunications Engineers, Industrial Engineers, Naval and Oceanic Engineers, Merchant Marine Machinery Manager, Secondary Education Teacher and Psychologist
The average price of non-qualifying masters was of 40.11 euros / credit.
For masters, we do not observe as much homogeneity in terms of prices for experimentation as for “grado”. A number of autonomous communities also set a single price for qualifying masters, and another for non-qualifying masters, without making any difference in experimentality between them.

Regarding the doctorate, it is also necessary to observe substantial differences between the autonomous communities, both in the price of registration and in the price of the right to examinations for the defense of a doctoral thesis. The average registration price for doctoral students is regulated by RD 99/2011 of January 28 and fluctuates around € 259.61, and the doctoral thesis examination is € 152.93.

Conditions of registration and admission.

The Spanish University is open to all foreign students who must meet certain admission requirements:
To access the Spanish university with a BAC, or other, it is necessary to:
1.Apply for the equivalence of diplomas, or other, by those corresponding to the Spanish diplomas.
2. Register for the entrance examination to the “Selectividad” University by the National University of Distance Education (UNED). Registration must take place in April and July.
3. Pass the “Selectividad” (you can only take this exam four times; however, to improve the mark obtained in the “Selectividad” exam, the candidate can take as many times as they want).
The Selectividad exam consists of two phases: general and specific.
4. These events will take place in several cities around the world.
5. After passing the Selectividad exam, you must pre-register within the deadlines established by each Spanish faculty.
6. Candidates can submit their application to the university of their choice. Each university will make public the procedure, deadlines and documentation necessary to be admitted to its establishments.
7. Some Faculties or Higher Technical Schools offer a very small number of places, moreover, they require the best qualifications in the “Pruebas de Acceso a la Universidad (PAU)”.
8. In the case of the studies of Plastic Arts, Translation and Interpreting, Sciences of Physical and Sports Activities and Teachings leading to a Double Spanish and Foreign Title, the universities can carry out specific tests which make it possible to evaluate the aptitudes of the candidates. for the plastic arts, for translation into one of the known modern languages. For physical and sports activities, oral and written communication skills of the chosen foreign language. For more precise information on everything related to Selectividad, please consult the official website:
Students from the European Union education system should consult the UNED web page:


Graduate studies require good oral and written expression as well as mastery of specific techniques such as rapid note-taking or the synthesis of a document. The success of studying in Spain depends mainly on the level of the Spanish language. In addition, some universities will require a certificate of your level of Spanish. It is therefore very important, even compulsory, to assess the level of the student.


Diploma of Spanish as a Foreign Language (DELE) are official accreditation diplomas of the level of competence and mastery of the Spanish language. It is granted by the Instituto Cervantes on behalf of the Spanish Ministry of Education. To apply for the Study Visa , you must check with the Consulate General of Spain corresponding to the applicant’s domicile.