The system of study at Charles University has been designed to maximize the University’s integration into the international community of higher education institutions (HEIs) and to support student mobility.
The system creates flexible learning pathways between different degree programmes – not only the programmes provided by Charles University’s faculties, but also programmes run by other universities (including institutions abroad). The system is organized in three tiers: Bachelor’s degree programmes, follow-on Master’s degree programmes and PhD programmes. The degree programmes and fields of study at Charles University draw on its long tradition in the humanities and in social, natural and medical sciences.
The quality of education at Charles University meets the highest European standards. All of the University’s follow-on Master’s degree programmes have been accredited in compliance with the requirements of the Bologna system of European education, which is reflected in the structure of the programmes as well as in the integration of the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).
Being a part of the international community of higher education institutions opens up a wide range of opportunities for student placements and mobility - for example under the EU’s Erasmus programme. The popularity of study periods abroad is increasing – in recent years up to a thousand students from the University have been taking part in themobility scheme each year.
With a wide range of courses taught in English, Charles University provides stimulating opportunities for students from abroad.
In recent years, Charles University has been offering programmes accredited in collaboration with universities abroad, namely Universität Regensburg, École des hautes études en sciences sociales (Paris), Universita degli studi di Catania (Italy), Roehampton University (London), University College London, University of Helsinki, University Higher School of Economics (Moscow), Université de Toulouse le Mirail, Université Catholique de Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium), and others. Such programmes are increasingly being made available. Graduates may receive one joint diploma, or they may receive double or multiple diplomas from the institutions where they have completed the programmes.
Thanks to its skilled academic staff, excellent facilities and state-of-the-art infrastructure, the University provides a wide range of study options and services to students. Its educational standards, and the way in which students are equipped for their life and careers after graduation, are reflected in Charles University's consistently high ranking in league tables of world universities.
Bachelor’s degree programmes at Charles University are designed to provide students with a broad knowledge base which can be further developed by studying in follow-on Master’s programmes; or students may acquire core knowledge and skills requisite for employment immediately after graduation.
Besides academically focused programmes, the University also offers vocational Bachelor’s degree programmes, providing training and qualifications for careers in specialist professions (for example nursing). This training is provided by top specialists in the relevant fields. Vocational Bachelor’s programmes can be followed up by a Master’s degree.
More than 50 Bachelor’s degree programmes, covering over 140 fields of study, open for applicants on a regular basis. The accreditation database contains an overview of Bachelor’s degree programmes at the University, listed according to the faculties. Some of the degree programmes in the database do not open for admission every year. Thedegree programmes opening in the current academic year, information on how to apply, and the academic calendar are posted on the Admissions web page.
Bachelor’s programmes are completed with the final State Examination including the defence of a Bachelor’s thesis. Graduates are awarded the academic title of “Bachelor” (abbreviated to Bc. and written in front of the holder’s name).
Charles University Master’s degree programmes are designed to follow on from Bachelor’s programmes. The standard length of a follow-on Master’s degree programme is two years. There are some Master’s programmes which are self-contained and do not follow on from a Bachelor’s programme; these last five to six years, and are known as “long-cycle” Master’s programmes.
More than 40 follow-on Master’s degree programmes, encompassing over 120 fields of study open on a regular basis. The pre-Bologna unstructured five-year Master’s programmes are currently being phased out, and no new students are being enrolled. The only long-cycle programmes that continue to run on a regular basis are the programmes of Catholic Theology, General Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Law and Legal Science, Primary Education and Psychology.
The accreditation database contains a list of Master’s degree programmes listed under the faculty running the programme. Details on the degree programmes openning in the current academic year, instructions on how to apply, and the academic calendar, are posted on the Admissions web page.
Master’s degree programmes are completed with the final State Examination including the defence of a diploma thesis. Graduates are awarded the academic title of “Master” (abbreviated to Mgr. and written in front of the holder’s name).
Doctoral programmes represent the highest level of formal education, distinguished from Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes by their individual focus and emphasis on independent research in a specific field in collaboration with an experienced supervisor and under the guidance of the subject-area board which is responsible for running the PhD programme. PhD studies prepare students for a career in research and/or for highly qualified work in a number of professions. PhD programmes are integrated with high-quality research activities. Charles University is one of the most important providers of doctoral studies in the Czech Republic – one in three doctoral students in the Czech Republic study here. Therefore, the University considers doctoral studies as one of its key long-term strategic priorities, and it has been strengthening this profile in doctoral studies by developing partnerships with other research institutions (particularly the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic).
To be admitted to a PhD programme, the applicant must submit evidence of a completed Master’s degree in the identicalor related field of study. Charles University welcomes applicants with Master’s degrees from any university home and abroad. Their success rate has been high; over 60% of PhD graduates for Charles University obtained their Master's degree elsewhere.
Charles University has been monitoring feedback from its doctoral graduates; around 85 per cent of them consider their PhD studies to have been a positive experience.
PhD studies can be pursued as as either full-time study or part-time study (also known as “combined” study as it offers a combination of face-to-face interaction and distance learning). The studies usually take 4 years (sometimes 3 years). There is a wide choice of accommodation options in the University's halls of residence; alternative accommodation is also available for parent students with families and their small children. Child care assistance to these students is also provided. PhD programmes are accessible to students with special needs, for whom the University operates a wide range of assistance services. Full-time doctoral students receive a scholarship, which is usually supplemented by other sources of income, e.g. by awards for participaton in grant projects or remuneration for teaching undergraduates.
For information on applications and the academic calendar see the Admissions website.
Doctoral studies are completed with a final State Examination and a dissertation defence. Graduates are awarded the academic title of “Doctor” (abbreviated to Ph.D. and written after the holder’s name).