Studying a master’s in Spain

06 Jul 2021

Are you considering studying a master’s in Spain? If you are, then read on! We’re going to tell you everything you need to know to help you decide whether to come here to study your master’s degree: what options there are, how to know if a particular course is an official master’s degree and what grants you can apply for if you do decide you’d like to study in Spain.

Types of master’s in Spain

A master’s is an excellent study option for those students who have a bachelor’s degree and wish to continue with postgraduate studies. In that sense, studying a master’s in Spain, a country with a broad cultural offering and an advanced education system, is a sure guarantee of success in the future.

In Spain, there are two types of university degrees, whether at bachelor, master or doctorate level: official degrees and university-specific degrees. The main difference between both types is that the official degrees are recognised by the State, while the value of university-specific degrees depends on the prestige of their issuing university.

Official degrees, therefore, are subject to a comprehensive assessment process that guarantees their quality. However, it should be noted that university-specific masters, although not overseen by the State, also undergo rigorous quality assurance systems.

For example, at Elisava we adhere strictly to an Internal Quality Assurance System that helps us to ensure our courses comply with all the obligations established in the Framework for the Verification, Monitoring, Modification, and Accreditation of Official Degrees. This system links quality assessment processes with the management of a degree’s complete life cycle. In addition, the system is permanently undergoing review and subject to a continuous improvement process.

Official or university-specific master’s?

Firstly, it should be stressed that both of these two options are equally valid. So, if you’re not sure whether to go for an official master’s or a university-specific one, then we recommend you fully analyse your future needs. If what you want is to continue your studies and study a PhD programme, then you need to take an official master’s. If, on the other hand, you are thinking about studying a master’s in Spain with the aim of then entering the professional world, a university-specific master’s offers the advantage of giving students a much wider range of possible subjects to study, and therefore allows them to access training that is more specific and adapted to their needs.

How can you find out if a master’s degree is valid on an official basis?

Any master’s that is officially approved must appear in the Boletín Oficial del Estado (Official State Gazette) and in the Registry of Universities, Centres and Degrees of the Ministry of Education (RUCT). So, to find out if a master’s is officially valid and authorised, look on the RUCT website and filter your search using the name of the university, centre or degree course in question.

If the master’s you are looking for does not appear in the RUCT, that means it is not official. However, choosing to study a university-specific master’s might well be an equally valid option. As mentioned, deciding on one option or the other will depend on your current and future needs.

Grants for studying a master’s degree in Spain

Whether you’re a foreign student or a Spanish resident, there are different grants and funding options that are available to you if you finally decide to study a master’s in Spain. Spain offers the following grants:

  • State grants: Those granted by the Ministry of Education for undertaking bachelor’s or master’s degree studies. You can find more information on the official website of the Ministry of Education.
  • Regional grants: Each autonomous region also offers its own grants. These can normally be applied for as a complement to the state grant. In Catalonia, they are regulated by the Agency for Management of University and Research Grants.
  • Institutional grants: Those awarded by the centre or university where the course is given. For example, at Elisava, each year we award a series of grants that recognise, reward and disseminate the talent and excellence of our future master’s students.
  • Other grants: Besides all the options mentioned above, there are organizations, foundations, associations and other entities that offer grants for studying abroad. If you think these may be of interest to you, we recommend looking for more specific information based on your country of origin.

Now you know the different options available for studying in Spain, we recommend researching a little for yourself which master’s would be most suitable. Remember that at Elisava we are here to help you. Feel free to contact at us if you have any doubts or queries. If you’re interested in studying a master’s in Spain, you can also take a look at our postgraduate and university-specific master’s courses.