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What type of master’s and postgraduate degrees are there?

marzo 31, 2021
masters com What type of master's and postgraduate degrees are there?

What type of master’s and postgraduate degrees are there?

The postgraduate studies They are studies aimed at academic or professional specialization within a specific field. The purpose of these teachings lies in deepening knowledge, updating or acquiring new skills or promoting research activities.

The offer of these studies is very wide, from official master’s degrees, own master’s degrees, and postgraduate diplomas, to university specialization courses, university expert courses and doctoral programs.


Graduate studies can be official or unofficial. The official ones are recognized by all the countries belonging to the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), while the non-official ones are endorsed by the center that imparts that degree.

Official postgraduate studies

Official Masters

University or official master’s degrees have a duration of between 60 and 120 ECTS credits, are accessed with a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) and the degree obtained is official and valid throughout the Spanish and European territory.

Among the official master’s degrees are those that prepare for access to doctoral studies, those that qualify you for the exercise of a regulated profession or other university master’s degrees that offer you a academic or professional specialization in a certain sector.


Doctoral programs are official studies. These offer you specialized third cycle training geared towards research and professional practice. These studies end with the preparation and defense of the doctoral thesis.

To access these studies it is necessary that you have a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) and an official master’s degree, having passed a minimum of 300 credits in all these studies. Universities may include other criteria for the admission of students to their programs.

The duration is a minimum of three years, if you do it full-time, and five if you do it part-time.

Unofficial graduate studies

Own master

Own or unofficial master’s degrees are programs with a minimum duration of 30 credits.

To access it, you need to have a university degree such as a degree, a bachelor’s degree, an engineering or an architecture, but in certain cases exceptions are made for graduates, engineers and technical architects, or people who prove extensive work experience.

Unlike official studies, these have no external quality assessmentRather, it is the university itself that controls and evaluates the quality of its studies. The prestige of the university or its position in the rankings National and international can be indicators of the quality of your studies. Although this is not the only criterion you have to use to choose this type of study, there are other aspects that will help you in your choice, such as the study plan or the teaching staff that teach the master’s degree.

What is the difference between an official master’s degree and an own master’s degree?

Postgraduate / Postgraduate Diploma

The postgraduate course is aimed at developing competencies for a concrete professional domain, because with them a high domain is assumed at the level of specific and global training. To access you have to be in possession of a university degree. Its duration is shorter than that of master’s studies, it is generally one academic year and has between 30 and 60 ECTS credits. Some graduate programs may be part of a master’s degree.

Some graduate degrees allow access to people without a university degree. In these cases, the qualification obtained at the end is a diploma of achievement.

University specialization courses

They are aimed at professional development and specialization. They are short courses and each university establishes the duration of each course. The access requirement also varies depending on the university, but, in general, it can be accessed without having a university degree.

University Expert Courses

They are courses aimed at professional improvement and specialization. To access it is necessary, at least, that you have a university degree or prove work experience in the sector.

Find the training offer for master’s and postgraduate degrees and know the criteria that will help you choose a master’s degree.