Joint Degrees and the Nordic Countries

Nordic Master Programme - Legal and administrative obstacles

image of Joint Degrees and the Nordic Countries

According to the strategy for Nordic co-operation in education and research the Nordic countries should remove obstacles for free movement for students and researchers in the Nordic region. One goal with this report has been to identify obstacles for organizing joint programmes on master level. The Nordic Council of Ministers has until now financed, in co-operation with universities, 23 Nordic Master Programmes. Minimum of three higher education institutions develop joint programmes, that will attract both Nordic and non-Nordic students. The report gives an overview of the legislation in relation to joint degrees in the Nordic countries. It also has recommendations for the Nordic Master Programme and offers separate thematic documents like a template for a joint diploma. The report will hopefully serve as practical guide book for those in the process of planning or building up joint master programmes. Hopefully, the report also makes a contribution to developing other international joint programmes.



Common principles for higher education in Europe – the Bologna Process

All five countries have implemented the action lines within the Bologna Process. The degree structure is divided into three cycles (levels). The first cycle corresponds to the lower degree, the second cycle corresponds to a higher degree, and the third cycle corresponds to the doctoral degree. Most second-cycle studies in all five countries are in English called master’s programmes, and the degree confers the title Master – however, under Danish legislation, the titles are normally specified as “Master of Arts (MA)” or “Master of Science (MSc)”, in order to distinguish them from the Danish master’s programme in adult higher education. In Norway, the English term is also used in the Norwegian language, and the title Master is protected by law.


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