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Higher education structure of Ukraine

ComponentLevelDegree, qualification or education levelScope of the program (ECTS1 credits), period of studyNational qualification framework
Pre-school education
Complete general secondary education Primary education - 4 years 1 level
Basic secondary education - 5 years 2 level
Profile (field-specific) secondary education - 3 years2 3 level
Out-of-school education - - 1-3 level
Specialized education
Vocational (Vocational-Technical) Education and Training3 1st (initial) VET level Working qualification; Qualified worker; Junior Specialist Regulated by standards of professional (vocational) education 2 level
2nd (initial) VET level 3 level
3rd (upper) VET level 4-5 level
Professional prehigher education3 Professional prehigher educationProfessional Junior BachelorEducational-professional program: 240 credits based on basic secondary education; 120-180 credits based on complete general secondary education (field-specific secondary education) 5 level
Higher education Initial level (short cycle) of higher education Junior Bachelor4 Educational and professional program – 120 credits 5 level
The first (Bachelor) level of higher education Bachelor Educational and professional program – 180-240 credits 6 level
The second (Master) level of higher education Master Educational and professional program – 90-120 credits 7 level
Educational and scientific program – 120 credits (scientific component - not less than 30%)
Master of Medical, Pharmaceutical or Veterinary field5 Educational program – 300-360 credits
The third (educational and research /educational and creative) level of higher education6 Doctor of Philosophy Preparation in aspirantura (adjuncture) – 4 years, educational component of the educational and scientific program – 30-60 credits 8 level
Doctor of Fine Arts Preparation in creative aspirantura – 3 years, educational component of the educational and creative program – 30-60 credits
Adult education, including postgraduate education Partial qualifications -

1 – European Credit Transfer System

2 – In accordance with the Law of Ukraine “On Education” (items 3-4 item 3 section ХІІ) learning the pupils on twelve-year full-time secondary education programs begins:

For primary education is from September 1, 2018;

For basic secondary education is from September 1, 2022;

For profile secondary education is from September 1, 2027.

By 2027 the introduction of educational programs of a three-year profile school is possible by the decision of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine

3 – Programs can be integrated with profile secondary education programs

4 – A Diploma on higher education of the educational qualification level of Junior Specialist (primary higher education) equals to a Diploma on higher education of an educational and professional degree of Junior Bachelor's degree. The last admission for obtaining higher education at the educational qualification level of Junior Specialist is conducted in 2019

5 – Training for Master's degree in Medical, Pharmaceutical or Veterinary fields on the basis of complete general secondary education or the educational qualification level of Junior Specialist is considered simultaneously as obtaining the Bachelor's and Master's degrees (integrated programs)

6– The Candidates of Sciences studies commenced before September 1, 2016, continued within the time frame stipulated by the legislation. The Candidates of Sciences degrees and diplomas were awarded based on the results of the theses defense before December 31, 2020. This time could be extended in cases of academic or social leave, military service, or long-term illness.

The educational system of Ukraine is under active reformation. In 2014 with the adoption of the Law of Ukraine "On Higher Education" from 01.07.2014 № 1556-VII there have been changes in the structure of higher education. The structure gradually deduces the educational qualification levels of the junior specialist and specialist, as well as the scientific degree of the candidate of sciences.

In September, 2017 the Law of Ukraine "On Education" was adopted and it came into force on 09/28/2017. This law, in particular, provides for changes in the system of complete secondary education and professional (vocational) education. Also, laws on general secondary education and vocational education are expected to be changed.

After 30.03.2021 Doctor of Sciences` degree is not included in the system of higher education of Ukraine. The awarding of the Doctor of Sciences` degree is regulated by the Law on Scientific and Scientific-technical Activities.

Correlation between the degrees in new structure and the previous ones

(according to the Law of Ukraine “On Higher Education” from 01.07.2014)

Junior Specialist DiplomaJunior Bachelor Diploma
Specialist DiplomaMaster Diploma
Candidate of Science DiplomaPhD Diploma

Updated: November, 2023.

This information has been produced with the financial assistance of the Council of Europe. The views expressed herein can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the Council of Europe.