Higher education in Sweden

Higher education at Swedish universities is divided into bachelor's studies, master’s studies and doctoral studies.

More information regarding The Swedish Higher Education Authority.

Academic culture

The relationship between students and teachers can be described as informal. Students do not use their teachers’ title, and they are also encouraged to ask questions both in and out of the classroom, as well as to comment on things that they disagree with. It is, however, inappropriate to interrupt the teacher or a fellow student when they are talking. The dress code at the University is informal. Most students tend to wear something casual but reasonably smart and the most typical attire would be a pair of jeans or trousers and a T-shirt.

Teaching methods and examination

Higher education in Sweden is academic and practically oriented. The education is carried out in various forms, such as lectures, seminars, group work, laboratory work and independent studies. This way of studying stresses the student’s responsibility and individual performance. And the grades obtained generally reflect the performance in the entire course, and not only in the final examination.

Lectures are given to both smaller and larger groups and students are always encouraged to ask questions. Attendance in lectures is highly recommended but not always compulsory. Students are expected to put a great deal of individual work into their studies. Usually it is not enough for the students to just take notes at the lectures in order to pass the examinations - the course literature needs to be studied quite thoroughly.

Examinations are given throughout the semester, and are usually in written form. Students who do not pass the initial examination are given an opportunity to retake the examination at a later date. The examination can sometimes be oral, or in the form of an essay/assignment presentation. In many courses the students work with fellow students in group projects that are to be presented at seminars.

Attendance

If the student plans to be absent from classes for a longer duration of  time or from compulsory lectures, the teachers expect to be informed. Attendance is not always mandatory at Swedish universities, but it is expected.

Schedule

The schedules of different courses may overlap, especially if you choose courses from different subject areas or faculties. They are available from the schedule web page and may be subject to changes during the semester. The students need to regularly check their schedule in case there are changes.

Credits and Grades

The duration and extent of study programmes and courses are expressed in a system of higher educatíon credits with 1.5 credit point corresponding to one week of full-time studies. Full-time studies require at least 40 hours of work per week, of which a great deal is devoted to individual study or group work outside the classroom.

One successful academic year yields 60 higher education credit points. Swedish higher education credit points equal ECTS (European) credits.

Grades are normally awarded on a basis of either:

  • pass with distinction, pass or fail
  • 5, 4, 3 or fail.