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
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:
Science and Technology,
Medicine and Odontology,
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
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.