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Structure of Spain Education

In Spain, education is free and mandatory for a total period of 10 years; it is imparted between 6 to16 years old children.
The structure of Spain Education is-

Pre-School

Also referred to as Pre-Primary Education. Comprising two cycles:
  • First Cycle: Up to 3 years old
  • Second Cycle: 3 to 6 years old

Pre-Higher Education

Time span of Compulsory Education:
  • Entry Age: 6
  • Exit Age: 16

Primary Education

School type offering Primary Education: Primary School
Duration: 6 years
Age group: 6 to 12 years old
It is broken down into 3 two-year cycles:
  • First Cycle:  6 to 8 years old
  • Second Cycle: 8 to 10 years old
  • Third Cycle: 10 to 12 years old
Curriculum/Course of Study: General Academic
Certificate Awarded:  School Graduate (Graduado Escolar )

Secondary Education

Secondary education comprises of lower and upper secondary education.

Compulsory Secondary Education (Lower Secondary Education)

School type offering lower secondary education: Secondary Schools (In Spanish: Institutos de Educacion Secundaria), Private Schools and Colleges Regulated (In Spanish: Colegios Privados y Colegios Concertados)
Duration: 4 years
Age group: 12 years to 16 years old
Curriculum/Course of Study: General Academic
Certificate awarded: Secondary Education Graduate (Graduado en Educacion Secundaria Obligatoria) 

Post-Compulsory Secondary Education (Upper Secondary Education)

Post-Compulsory education encompasses Bachillerato and Vocational training.

a. Bachillerato (Baccalaureate)

School type offering upper secondary education: Secondary Schools (In Spanish: Institutos de Educacion Secundaria), Private Schools and Colleges (In Spanish: Colegios Privados y Colegios Concertados)
Duration: 2 yrs
Age group: 16 to 18 years old
Course of Study: Philosophy, history, arts and humanities, physical education, natural and health sciences, social sciences, engineering and technology, Spanish language, and foreign language.

Students at this level, get to select among 4 academic fields of study:humanities and social sciences, arts, natural and health sciences, or technology.

Certificate awarded: Bachelor’s degree (Titulo de Bachillerato) or Associate degrees (Titulo de Tecnico)

b. Occupational or Vocational Training

Grado Medio (Middle Level)

Duration:  2 years
Age group: 16 to 18 years old
Entry Requisite: Graduate Secondary Education (Graduado de Educacion Secundaria, or ESO)
Certificate Awarded:  Technical (Tecnico). Students holding this qualification can either enroll in higher technical education courses or go for jobs. 

Grado Superior (Higher Level)

Duration: 1-2 years
Entry Requisite: Spanish Baccalaureate (bachillerato), or Technical Certificate (tecnico) plus work experience.
Certificate Awarded: Higher Technicial/Technician (Tecnico Superior). 

Higher Education

The Ministry of Education and Culture manages and oversees educational programs at both public and private universities
  • Age group: 18 years or above

University Higher Education

Higher Education provided by public and private universities. Universities are divided into University faculties (facultades universitarias), technical Colleges (escuelas tecnicas superiors), University Schools (escuelas universitarias), and  University Colleges (colegios universitarios)

Non-University Higher Education

There is very slight non-university higher education in Spain. Most vocational and technical courses/programs are provided at universities. There are just a few of non-university higher education institutions in Spain-
Institutos de Fisca provides advanced course of studies in physical education
  • School of Civil Marina (Escuelas de la Marina Civil) provides studies in merchant marine under the support of the Ministry of Transport and Communications.
  • The Ministry of Transport and Communications also administers courses/programs leading to the qualification of technical Business and Tourist Activities (Tecnico en Empresas y Actividades Turisticas), which are taught at specialized schools.

Spanish Education System Structure At a Glance

Spanish Education System


























Source: Studying in Spain (http://www.studying-in-spain.com)
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