Tuesday 25 November 2014

University qualifications: Italy vs UK

The following table describes the equivalence among the Italian and British university qualifications as understood by myself at this point in time:

Please note in Italian universities the unit of credit, the Credito Formativo Universitario (CFU) is equivalent to the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) unit, while in British universities two Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS) units are equivalent to one ECTS.

This explains why we need 180 CFU to gain a Laurea, and why that should be equivalent to the 360 CATS required for a Bachelor's Degree with Honours.

Some caveat:
  • In EU or EEA countries the only organizations who can officially confirm an academic equivalence is the local NARIC. 
  • The Italian NARIC or the British NARIC could have different ideas on how the respective university qualifications compare one each other, they may actually even have different ideas or understanding, the table above is based on my own understanding of the respective legal and qualification frameworks.
  • I am neither a solicitor, neither in any way related to any NARIC, so if you need an official statement, please go ask the specific NARIC, and if they don't agree with my understanding or with your expectations, tough luck.
  • You could make a case for the Master Universitario di 2° livello to be equivalent to a short Professional Doctorate, which unfortunately doesn't exist in the British qualification framework.
  • On the same note, I would probably equate a short (60 CFU) Diploma di Specializzazione di 2° livello to a Master of Philosophy with some study performed at level 8, or if the element of research was over 60 CFU, to a Research Master (MRes or MLitt), even though both these British qualifications are meant to be at level 7.