Education System in Norway


 EducationSchool/LevelGrade FromGrade ToAge FromAge ToYearsNotes
PrimaryPrimary School - Grunnskole, Barnetrinnet176137 
PrimaryAllmennlærer- Allmennlærer     Allmennlærer, Faglærer or a first university degree, based on 3 years' study, qualifies to teach in lower secondary schools. Allmennlærer with one year of additional subjects (one subject must have been studied for at least one year), a higher university degree requiring five to six years of study plus an additional one year of teacher training programmes qualifies to teach in upper secondary schools.
MiddleLower Secondary School - Grunnskole,Ungdomstrinnet81013163 
SecondaryUpper Secondary - Videregående Skole1316193Certificate/diploma awarded: Craft/Journeyman Certificate
SecondaryApprenticeship1316193Certificate/diploma awarded: Trade Certificate; Journeyman's Certificate
TertiaryHøgskolekandidat, Bachelor (new system) Cand.mag. (old system)    2NEW SYSTEM: The Høgskolekandidat (College candidate) degree is obtained after two years of study. This degree may be built upon to obtain a Bachelor's degree. The degree is offered at state university colleges and a few private institutions.The Bachelor's degree is awarded by all institutions subject to the Universities and University Colleges Act. It is obtained after a minimum of three years' study. The national university colleges of the arts offer a Bachelor's degree of four years' duration.OLD SYSTEM: The first degree, Candidatus/Candidata magisterii (Cand.mag.) was normally obtained after three-and-a-half years in Mathematics and Natural Sciences and four years in Arts and Social Sciences. The specialized Høgskolekandidat degree of two to three years' duration could be built upon to obtain a Cand.mag.degree. Some institutions offered a four-year Høgskolekandidat degree. The Cand.mag. degree was awarded by all universities, state university colleges, art colleges and a good number of other higher education institutions, both public and private, and could, in that sense, be described as a "national" degree. The pre-reform degree candidatus/candidata magisteri was phased out in 2005.
TertiaryFørskolelærer qualification- pre-primary and primary/basic school teachers    3The minimum qualification to teach in pre-primary schools (førskole) is a Førskolelærer qualification which requires three years of training at university colleges of education. The minimum qualification to teach in primary schools (grunnskole, barnetrinnet) is an Allmennlærer (general subject teacher - 4 years of training) or Faglærer (single subject teacher) qualification which requires 3 years of training offered at colleges of education.
TertiaryTertiary       
TertiaryMaster (new system), Candidatus/Candidata (old system):    2NEW SYSTEM: The Master's Degree is a new degree created by the 2001 reform. Normally, it requires two years of study beyond the Bachelor's Degree. In some fields of study the Master's degree is awarded after a five-year one-tier programme. The degrees of Candidata/Candidatus medicinae/psychologiae/theologiae have been retained from the old system (see below). Studies last for six years. OLD SYSTEM: The second level (postgraduate) degree usually consists of one-and-a-half to two years' additional study and requires a main subject based upon the intermediate level examination in the same subject as the Cand.mag. degree. The degree is called Candidatus/Candidata (Cand.) followed by the name of the field of study. An important part of this degree is independent research work in the form of a thesis. Graduate degrees are offered by universities and university colleges, several state colleges and some private colleges. The pre-reform degree candidatus/candidata xxx (the various post-graduate degrees) will be phased out by 2007.
TertiaryPhD, Philosophiae doctor    3The PhD degree programs generally consist of three years of study following completion of the second level degree or other professional degree programs and are essentially research programs. The title Doctor Philosophy is more general and can be obtained in all fields without a specific course of study. Doctor's Degree programs are offered by the universities, most university colleges, some State colleges and several private institutions.

Primary Education

Education in Norway is compulsory for all children aged between 6 and 16 and paid for by the government. Barneskole primary school comprising grades 1 to 7 takes children from a first year spent playing games through to completion of a thorough academic grounding.

Middle Education

When pupils enter middle school known as ungdomsskole they move from getting school reports to receiving actual grades. These are important because they affect their right to enter secondary school. During grades 8 to 10 they may add one elective subject including a choice between European languages and Norwegian studies.

Secondary Education

Secondary school or Videregående skole provides two streams to follow. Students choose between general studies with a strong academic flavor, and vocational studies. Within both are many subsets of choices. Although this level of educational is non-mandatory, most young people choose to benefit from it.

Vocational Education

Norwegian employers, trade unions and vocational authorities have a good record of cooperation although the overall system does suffer from quality assurance failures and a surprisingly high dropout rate. There is considerable pressure from commerce and industry on the authorities to deliver a competent workforce, and strategic changes are ongoing.

Tertiary Education

Norway EducationThere are 8 universities, 9 specialized colleges, 24 university colleges and a range of private universities in Norway. Applicants must either have completed their secondary schooling or be aged over 23 and be able to prove their level of competence.


The oldest Norwegian university is the University of Oslo established in 1811 and still the nation’s largest. Its faculties include dentistry, education, humanities, law, mathematics, medicine, natural sciences, social sciences and theology.


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