Italian degrees

Laurea (triennale)

It is a first level degree equivalent to a bachelor's degree. It lasts 3 years and you must accumulate 180 ECTS-credits (60 per year) to earn it.

A “laurea triennale” gives you a good command of general scientific methods and principles, even when the programme is oriented toward the acquisition of specific professional knowledge and skills, and provides a solid base for those who wish to continue their studies with a 2nd level degree.

You must have a secondary school diploma or a suitable equivalent foreign qualification to be admitted to a laurea triennale course.

Laurea (magistrale)

It is a second level degree equivalent to a master’s degree. It can be earned in a 2-year programme after a laurea triennale and with additional 120 ECTS-credits (60 per year).

It provides you with advanced education and training for professions in specific fields that require a high level of qualification.

To be admitted to a "laurea magistrale" course, you must have a 1st level degree or a suitable equivalent foreign qualification.


Laurea magistrale a ciclo unico

If you choose to study Medicine, Law, Pharmacy, Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Technology, you have to enroll to a Laurea magistrale a ciclo unico. This is a five- or six-year second cycle master's degree (300 or 360 ECTS) which does not require a previous first cycle degree for admission (like an Integrated Master's degree in the UK).


Master di 1°/2° livello

The so-called “Master” of the Italian Education System should not be confused with the Master's degree of the English-speaking countries.

It is an advanced degree programme (similar to a Postgraduate diploma in UK), whose aim is to reinforce, broaden and hone the skills and expertise of graduates and postgraduates to meet the demands of the professional world.

To be admitted to a 1st level “Master” course (Master di 1° livello), you must have a 1st level degree (laurea triennale). It generally lasts from 6 months to 1 year. You have to accumulate 60 credits to obtain the qualification.

To be admitted to a 2nd level “Master” course you must have a 2nd level degree (laurea magistrale or laurea magistrale a ciclo unico).  This “Master” course generally lasts from 6 months to 1 year and you have to accumulate 60 credits. Normally you have to pass an admission test to be enrolled in these programmes.


Dottorato di ricerca

It icorresponds to PhD and is the highest academic title awarded by Italian universities at the end of a course lasting no less than three years.

It provides you with the expertise necessary to carry out high-level research activities in universities, public institutions and private entities.

Admission is based on an entrance examination. Doctorate courses are open, without age or citizenship limits, to all those who already hold a laurea magistrale or a similar equivalent degree awarded abroad. The number of places are set out in the examination announcement.


Scuola di specializzazione

It is what you call a postgraduate school in English-speaking countries. It provides you with the knowledge and skills required in specific professional fields (mainly medical studies). 

To be admitted to a "scuola di specializzazione" you must hold a 2nd level degree. The length of the course and the number of credits vary from school to school.


Corso di perfezionamento

It is an advanced course, mainly a refresher or a permanent training course that allows you to further develop your expertise and pursueyour professional career.

Unlike a “Master”, with a "corso di perfezionamento" you don’t obtain an academic qualification,  but only a certificate which details the skills that you have acquired in the course.

To be admitted you must hold a 1st or a 2nd level degree. The length of the course may vary.