Degree structure and grading system

In 2003 a reform was carried out in Norwegian Higher Education. The Quality Reform introduced a degree structure, grading system and quality assurance system in line with the Bologna Process.

In 2003 a reform was carried out in Norwegian Higher Education. The Quality Reform introduced a degree structure, grading system and quality assurance system in line with the Bologna Process.

As of 2003 the degree structure consists of a three-year bachelor’s degree, a two-year master’s and three-year doctorate (PhD).

Exceptions
Exceptions are the old university college two-year degree (college candidate), five-year consecutive master’s degrees, six-year professional programmes, master’s degrees of one to one and a half year’s duration, four-year bachelor’s degrees in performing music and performing arts and four-year programmes in teacher education. 

Grading scale
The grading scale conforms to the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) rating scale with the letters A (best) to E for pass and F for failed.

Quality assurance agency
The reform also meant the establishment of a quality assurance agency, NOKUT, and a centre for internationalisation, SIU.
A system for institutional accreditation (voluntary for the private institutions) was also introduced, which had as a consequence that some university colleges launched efforts towards becoming universities.

Self-accreditation rights
The differences between the types of higher education institutions are mainly related to their self-accreditation rights. For example, universities can without external accreditation offer study programmes at all levels, while university colleges must apply for external accreditation (by NOKUT) for study programmes at master’s and PhD level.

Private institutions
There is also a wide range of private higher education institutions without any self-accreditation rights. These institutions provide study programmes that are accredited (by NOKUT).