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The Italian university system provides different types of educational programmes, divided into three levels. Each level requires different entry qualifications and allows a different degree to be obtained.

Three-year degrees 

The three-year degree is the first level of university education. It is a three-year degree programme which, after 180 credits have been obtained, leads to the award of a doctor's degree in the discipline studied. The bachelor's degree allows access to master's degree courses, with or without supplementary credits depending on the course chosen.

A high school diploma or an equivalent foreign qualification is required for admission to a bachelor's degree.

Professionalising degrees

A professional degree is a first-level degree that provides highly technical and practical training aimed at creating professionals capable of entering the world of work immediately. For this reason, the curricula include numerous practical activities, which complement the classroom activities. The degree in the discipline obtained at the end of the programme does not give direct access to subsequent levels of university education, except after completion of supplementary activities.

A high school diploma or an equivalent foreign qualification is required for admission. 

Master's degrees

The master’s degree is a second-level degree that can be accessed after completing a first cycle of university studies. As it is a second-level degree, the master's degree allows for an in-depth study of what was learned during the three-year degree programme and, often, even greater specialisation.

Upon completion of the course of study, one is awarded the title of master's degree in the chosen discipline.

Single-cycle master's degrees

Single-cycle master's degree programmes are programmes that, upon completion of a five- or six-year course of study, lead to the award of a master's degree in the chosen discipline. These degree programmes are therefore longer than the three-year degree courses but lead directly to a second-level degree. 

First-level master's degree

First-level university master's degrees are programmes in advanced scientific studies and permanent and recurring higher education, which can be accessed following the award of a three-year degree or equivalent qualification. The duration may vary but must be at least one year.

A high school diploma or equivalent foreign qualification is sufficient for admission to the degree course.

Second-level Master's courses 

Like first-level master's degree programmes, second-level master's degree programmes are further training programmes and permanent and recurrent advanced training programmes. Admission to a second-level master's degree is possible if one holds a master's degree or single-cycle master's degree, or an equivalent foreign qualification.


The PhD is a high-level study programme that aims to provide those taking part in it with the skills to undertake advanced research and, consequently, subsequently enter the academic world. Access is permitted if you hold a Master's or Combined Bachelor and Master's degree; there is a selection procedure. 

At the end of the programme, one is awarded the title of PhD in the chosen discipline.

Postgraduate schools

As in the case of the PhD, the specialisation school is a high-level postgraduate programme that, unlike PhD, aims to train highly specialised professionals in the specific field of the specialisation school.

The University of Cagliari offers this level of training both in the medical field (around 40 schools) and in other fields (4 schools). 

At the end of the training course, a specialisation diploma in the chosen field is awarded.

For further information on courses, please visit the Italian website.