Polish Education System

Higher Education Institutions in Poland

The Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in Poland are divided into state (public) and private (non-public) institutions. There are two main categories of higher education institutions: university-type and non-university institutions. In the university-type institutions, at least one unit is authorized to confer the academic degree of ‘doktor’ (PhD), namely, it offers at least one doctoral programme. AGH University of Science and Technology is a state (public), university-type higher education institution. It operates under the provisions of the ACT of 27 July, 2005 – Law on Higher Education (Dziennik Ustaw No. 164, item 1365, as amended by subsequent legislation).

Polish Education System and the European Higher Education Area

In the process of harmonising Polish higher education with the recommendations of the Bologna Process the following changes have been introduced:

  • three – cycle studies,
  • diploma supplement (as of January 2005 compulsory in all HEIs),
  • the system of ensuring quality and issuing accreditation (State Accreditation Committee),
  • ECTS.

Polish Education system fully conforms with the Bologna Process, therefore, it is easier for students to obtain recognition of their qualifications in other countries.

Degree classification

First-cycle studies leading to the professional title of 'licencjat' (length of programme: 6 to 8 semesters) or 'inżynier' (length of programme: 7 to 8 semesters). Both titles are equivalent to a 'Bachelor's degree'. This degree is required for acceptance into Master’s degree programmes. To obtain this degree, students must earn 180-240 ECTS credits. First-cycle studies are offered by the Department of Computer Science in Polish only.

Second-cycle studies – Master’s degree programme (1.5 to 2 years) following the first cycle studies and leading to the professional title of a Master ('magister', or an equivalent degree depending on the study course profile). The Master degree holders may enter a doctoral programme (third-cycle studies). To obtain Master's degree, students must earn 90-120 ECTS credits. Second-cycle studies are offered by the Department of Computer Science in Polish only.

Third-cycle studies (Doctoral studies) last no more than 8 semesters.Those wishing to apply for the academic degree of doctor must hold a degree of master or an equivalent degree. Those who pass doctoral examinations, submit and successfully defend a doctoral thesis are awarded 'Doktor' (PhD) degree. Department of Computer Science runs doctoral studies in Polish only.

Academic Calendar

The academic year in Poland is divided into two semesters of 15 weeks each – the winter and the summer semester. The winter semester starts in October and ends in mid-February, with a break of approximately ten days for the Christmas holidays. The exam session lasts approximately two or three weeks, beginning in January. The summer semester starts in mid-February and ends in June, with a one-week break for Easter. Summer holidays last for three months from the beginning of July until the end of September, however only for those students who passed all their exams in the summer exam session (two-three weeks in June). The ones who failed take re-sit exams in September.

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