Academic System

Degree System 

All degrees require, at minimum, that international students meet the Higher Education Entrance Qualifications for foreign applicants.

  • Bachelor's Degree

A bachelor’s degree is awarded after three years of study and is equivalent to 180 ECTS credits. Of these, 90 ECT credits will be in the student’s major (a specialization within the programme). Please note that all bachelor’s programmes at UiB are taught in Norwegian. For more information, see our web site Admission to Bachelor's Degree Programmes

  • Master's Degree 

A master’s degree, equivalent to 120 ECTS credits, is obtained after two years of study. The master’s degree includes postgraduate courses with a high level of specialisation. Students at master's level are required to write a thesis. The thesis is generally equivalent to 60 of the total ECTS credits, but in some cases it is equivalent to 30 ECTS credits. A number of master’s level courses and programmes are taught in English. Please visit the web page Admission to Master's Degree Programmes for more information about application procedures and deadlines. 

  • Professional Degrees

The University of Bergen offers various professional programmes, all of which are taught in Norwegian. These programmes are of four to six years’ duration and cover disciplines such as law, medicine, dentistry, pharmacology, psychology and teacher's training. For more information, see our web site Admission to Bachelor's Degree Programmes

  • Doctoral Degree (PhD)

The Doctoral degree (PhD) is awarded after three or four years of study following completion of a master’s degree or a professional programme. In addition to completing a doctoral thesis under the supervision of an academic advisor or advisors, the candidate must complete obligatory training in scientific theory and method. At least one semester is dedicated to research training. In Norway, PhD positions are generally advertised as job openings alongside other vacancies at universities. Please note that a good command of the English language is recommended if you wish to attend classes on master's level or PhD level. For more information see PhD - Doctoral Education


Grading Scale


In general all faculties use the following grading scale:


SymbolDescriptionGeneral, Qualitative Description of Evaluation Criteria
AExcellentAn excellent performance, clearly outstanding. The candidate demonstrates excellent judgement and an exceptional degree of independent thinking.
BVery goodA very good performance. The candidate demonstrates sound judgement and a high degree of independent thinking.
CGoodA good performance in most areas. The candidate demonstrates a reasonable degree of judgement and independent thinking in key areas.
DSatisfactoryA satisfactory performance, but with significant shortcomings. The candidate demonstrates a limited degree of judgement and independent thinking.
ESufficientA performance that meets the minimum criteria, but no more. The candidate demonstrates a very limited degree of judgement and independent thinking.
FFailA performance that does not meet the minimum academic criteria. The candidate demonstrates an absence of both judgement and independent thinking.


The above scale is the Norwegian grading scale.  It is employed by all Norwegian institutions of higher education. It follows the ECTS letter grade scale, but is applied in accordance with nationally established grading criteria.

Each grade has a qualitative description. The scale is is a criterion-referenced assessment rather than a norm-referenced assessment. This means the grading scale assesses if students have achieved specific skills/understood certain concepts rather than ranking student performances against each other.

The use of the grading scale is monitored by a national group appointed by the Norwegian Association of Higher Education Institutions. The distribution of grades is evaluated in accordance with the ECTS grading scale.


Workload and Lectures

The academic year is divided into two semesters. Full-time coursework per semester is equivalent to 30 ECTS credits. The University of Bergen offers a variety of courses that involve different working methods and means of assessment. Some courses have compulsory assignments and attendance while others are less structured. Attending lectures is nonetheless an excellent way of becoming acquainted with course material.

In addition, some courses also offer opportunities to apply knowledge and develop skills via interactive lab work, field trips, seminars and discussions. Detailed course information, schedules, and curriculum will be published before semester startup at uib.no/education. Students admitted to a degree programme will receive regular guidance as well as an Individual Education Plan that details the student's and the institution’s mutual commitments. Study advisors are also available at each faculty/department.

ECTS and workload

One year of full-time study corresponds to 60 ECTS credits. This is the equivalent of 1500–1800 hours of study in all countries irrespective of standards or qualification type. ECTS credits are used to facilitate the transfer of credits between different European universities.

Students earn credits based on the overall workload, not on number of teaching hours or classes. The workload consists of several components. The primary component is the amount of required reading and study time. Study time is calculated as a combination of the number of classes and estimated hours of necessary self-study. A full-time workload corresponds to approximately 40 hours of work per week.



The University of Bergen uses a variety of examination methods, such as school examinations, assigned exam papers, take-home examinations, and oral examinations. The type of examination may differ depending on the subject. The use of digital examinations has increased rapidly; more than 3000 UiB students completed a digital examination in the spring semester of 2015.

Many courses require students to complete mandatory assignments (e.g. lab work or methodological assignments) or a term paper before being permitted to take examinations.

Many language courses offer continuous assessment throughout the semester.

All students are required to read UiB’s Instructions to the candidates before sitting for examinations.


The Seven Faculties

The University of Bergen (UiB) is divided into six faculties:

• The Faculty of Humanities
• The Faculty of Law
• The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences
• The Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry
• The Faculty of Psychology
• The Faculty of Social Sciences

The University of Bergen houses about 60 specialised departments, institutes, and centres, including several interdisciplinary centres. Some of these offer study programmes, such as the the Department of Health Promotion and Development and the Centre for International Health.

Still curious? Explore links to UiB's independent centres or search for faculties, departments and centres that meet your educational goals.  

Language of Instruction
The language of instruction at the University of Bergen is Norwegian, and a good knowledge of Norwegian is essential for the majority of degree programmes. However, UiB offers more than 30 master’s programmes and several courses for exchange students taught in English.