The academic system in Sweden

      In the Swedish university system only one subject is studied at a time. Students wanting a degree in Mathematics and Physics, for instance, first study Mathematics for one or two years and then Physics for about the same period of time.
      Swedish universities utilise a system of credits for studies at undergraduate and graduate levels. One credit corresponds to one week's full-time study (approximately 40 study hours per week, including a varying number of lectures and classes). One academic semester comprises 20 weeks = 20 credits. Most undergraduate study programmes require a minimum of 6 semesters, viz. three academic years, corresponding to 120 credits. Basic single subject courses are often one-semester courses of 20 credits, although some are shorter. Such 20-credit courses (A-level) can usually be extended and supplemented to 40 (B-level), 60 (C-level), and even 80 (D-level) credits. As a full-time student, you can combine short single courses (e.g. 5-credits) to form a study programme corresponding to a maximum of 20 credits per semester.
      The Bachelor's degree comprises 120 credits, of which 60 credits should be taken in one major subj ect. The Master's degree comprises 160 credits with at least 80 credits in the major subject. A Doctorate requires a minimum of 4 years' study on top of a Bachelor's degree. One Swedish credit corresponds to 0.75 US-credits or 1.5 ECTS-credits.

Umea University

      The University was established in 1965 and has now some 24 000 students; a growing number of these are foreign students. There are five major faculties:

  • Arts,
  • Science and Technology,
  • Medicine and Odontology,
  • Social Sciences,
  • Teacher Education.
          Also incorporated are the College of Fine Arts, the College of Design, Umea School of Environmental Studies, the Umea Institute of Technology, and the School of Business and Economics. There are 60 departments and 235 professors, served by an academic staff of 3 700. Umea University offers a broad spectrum of research, from modern languages to medicine and natural sciences. Umea is known particularly for its concentration on research into Molecular Biology, Behavioural Science, Economics and Business Administration, Environmental Studies, Computer Science and Sports.
          Our campus area affords an excellent environment for both study and leisure. Most departments are located on campus, with student accommodation nearby. At the heart of the campus is the Universum building, housing a wide variety of amenities such as restaurants, student counselling office, media and information service, the student union centre Corona, one of the student union offices, health clinic, book shop, hairdresser, convenience shop, university souvenir shop, minibank and pub.
          Nearby, students and staff have their own sports and swimming hall with a training and exercise track.
          Thanks to our participation in various extensive programmes such as ERASMUS-SOCRATES and NORDPLUS within Europe, as well as bilateral programmes with universities in several other countries, including Canada, Australia, Russia and the USA, Umea University draws students from many different parts of the world. Foreign students are also attracted to our university by the many high-level courses that are given in English.
          The academic life style of our university is relaxed and friendly. The dress code is informal and the staff/ student relationship is non authoritarian and democratic. It is not unusual to see students and teacher enjoying a cup of coffee together during a break. Another aspect of this democratic attitude is the emphasis placed on the students being independent in their work and taking responsibility for the quality of their learning.


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