Republic of Serbia system of higher education

Higher education is of particular importance for the Republic of Serbia and is part of the European educational and scientific space. The mission of higher education is to continuously perform the transfer and creation of scientific knowledge and professional competencies through organized studies and research, enabling, first and foremost, the social, cultural, economic, and other progress of our country and its citizens, in constantly changing circumstances of life and development.

The activities of higher education are conducted through academic and professional studies based on accredited study programs for obtaining higher education degrees.

There are two types of studies in the Serbian system of higher education:

  • academic studies, organised mainly at universities, and
  • applied studies, organised either at colleges of applied studies or at universities.
Academic studies

The three-cycle system of academic studies includes:

  • Bachelor studies, usually last 4 years with 240 ECTS, although 3-year/180 ECTS Bachelor programmes are also available,
  • Master studies lasting 1-2 years with 60 to 120 ECTS, and
  • Doctoral studies (PhD) with a minimum of three years of study or 180 ECTS.

In the field of medical science (the studies of medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine) studies are organized through integrated studies that last 6 years and must carry a minimum of 360 ECTS. Also, integrated pharmacy studies with 300 ECTS have been introduced.

Each subject within the study program or short study program is expressed by the corresponding number of ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits, and the scope of the program is expressed as the sum of ECTS credits. A total of 60 ECTS credits corresponds to the average total student workload within the scope of a 40-hour workweek during one academic year.

Next to the above listed study programs, short study programs have been introduced for the purpose of professional development of students and individuals with secondary education, aiming to prepare them for integration into the workforce. These programs have a clearly defined structure, purpose, learning outcomes, and upon completion, participants receive a certificate detailing the skills acquired and a description of the job for which they are being trained.

A short program is structured within a teaching process ranging from 300 to 600 hours of active instruction (equivalent to 30-60 ECTS credits). It may last from three to 18 months and ensures the acquisition of a relevant certificate upon completion.