Three students in laboratory

Norway's education system

Norway’s higher education institutions keep high standards and deliver quality education. In some fields, Norwegian institutions or academic communities are even considered to be in the absolute world class.

Education system

Since 2003 Norway has been following the objectives of the Bologna process in the European higher education. The Bologna Process and the European Higher Education Area | European Education Area (

  • A bachelor’s degree is awarded after three years of study and is equivalent to 180 ECTS credits.
  • A master’s degree is equivalent to 120 ECTS credits and is obtained after two years of study, following completion of a bachelor’s degree. The exception are professional degrees within certain disciplines, like medicine, law, and psychology - these are usually six-year programmes.  
  • Doctoral Degrees (PhD) are awarded after three or four years of study, following completion of a masters or a professional degree.

Read more Facts about the Norwegian Education system from Statistics Norway (external link).

Credit system

Norway uses the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS). This system helps students to move between countries and to have their academic qualifications and study periods abroad recognised. A year of full-time studies at university level is generally worth 60 ECTS credits and defined as equal to 1,500 - 1,800 hours of study work. This means 1 ECTS is equal to between 25 to 30 hours.

European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) | European Education Area (external link) 

Grading scale

Grades for undergraduate and postgraduate examinations are awarded according to a graded scale from A (highest) to F (lowest), with E as the minimum pass grade. A pass/fail mark is given for some examinations.