Starting with the Academic Year 2007/2008 Swedish higher education institutions switched to a new degree structure that conforms to the Bologna Process, the Europe-wide standardization drive for higher education. The transform included the introduction of new levels and a new credit system. At the same time Stockholm University launched new grades.


The degree structure is organized in three levels of higher education – the First Cycle (bachelor, 3 years, 180 HECs), the Second Cycle (master, 2 years, 120 HECs), and the Third Cycle (doctor, 4 years, 240 HECs); each with minimum requirements for entry.

To be accepted to courses in the Second Cycle (SC) you usually have to have a degree from the First Cycle (FC); a bachelor degree or equivalent. SC students are welcome to study FC and SC courses. Only doctorial students can be accepted to courses in the Third Cycle (TC). Sometimes SC and TC courses are synchronized. In addition there are specific entry requirements for most courses.

The objectives of each course are specified describing the student’s expected learning outcomes at the conclusion of the course.


The credit system, “högskolepoäng” (higher education credits, in short HECs or credits), is compatible with the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) credit system. Under the Swedish system, one academic year of full-time studies is equivalent to 60 higher education credits. 60 HECs equals 60 ECTS credits.

The Academic Year contains two terms: the Autumn Semester and the Spring Semester. One semester runs for 20 weeks. Each semester is divided in four periods: A, B, C and D.

Nearly all courses run full-time (100% study tempo) during one semester or part of one semester. At a full-time course students are expected to study about 40 or somewhat more than 40 hours a week (including scheduled and individual studies). The number of hours of compulsory scheduled education in taught courses varies and the total quantity of study hours a week obviously differs a lot depending on the students individual study background, techniques and aim. A 50% study tempo course indicate that the rate of study is half compared to a 100% course; i.e. a 7.5 HECs course can run full-time (100%) during one semester period (25% of one semester, 22–23 workdays, approximately 5 weeks) or at 50% study tempo during two semester periods (half a semester). Most students study one full-time course during one period of time. Studying two full-time courses during the same period of time is not recommended; still sometimes it is doable to study one 100% course and one 50% course.


Grades at Stockholm University:
A Excellent.
B Very good.
C Good.
D Satisfactory.
E Sufficient.
FX Fail.
F Fail.

A, B, C, D and E are pass grades. In addition to the seven grade system (A–F) there is a two grade system; G Pass and U Fail. G–U is used for minor course elements like participation in a compulsory excursion or a laboratory experiment but also for placement (work experience) courses.

The grades (A–F and G–U) are goal-related (criterion referenced grading); not group-referenced (norm referenced grading).

Grades are given for tests and for courses. A course grade is based on one or more tests (one or more exams) within a course. A course module can include one or more tests. For each test grade there is a written criteria, distributed at the start of the course or module. Students who have passed (got A–E or G) can not be examined again to get a better grade. The final grade on each course is an outcome of the individual results of the tests. In order to receive an aggregated grade it is necessary to have obtained pass grades (A–E or G) for all tests included in the course.