Advantages of Earning Your Master's Degree in Spain
If you are interested in earning a Master’s degree outside of your home country, Spain has a wide array of programs open to international students that make it a great place for graduate education. With 76 accredited universities spread across the country, you can choose a program and institution by discipline, location, reputation or other factors based on your individual preferences. Spain is home to a number of very well renowned institutions, particularly in fields such as economics, business and cultural studies.
There are numerous highly ranked universities throughout Spain, all of which maintain strong alumni networks spanning across Europe and around the globe. Becoming part of such a network would not only allow you access to great interpersonal resources during your time as a student but would also boost your chances of forging positive collaborations down the line. Having previous connections can help you land doctoral and post-doctoral positions in the future, so building such a network is an invaluable step towards an academic career.
The Spanish educational system balances theory and practice, offering students plentiful hands-on experience mixed with lectures and classroom time. Whether you are interested in earning your Master’s degree in English, Spanish or a combination of the two, you have many programs to choose from. Furthermore, Spain also offers diverse types of programs in terms of length, with both one-year and two-year programs to choose from. Below we will detail the various options available to you in each of these types.
- One-Year Programs
There are many rigorous one-year Master’s programs available in Spain. In general, one-year programs have a strong focus on courses and give less emphasis to individual research. Accordingly, one-year Master’s programs do not usually require students to write a thesis, instead focusing solely on coursework. Such programs are often very intensive and can sometimes be specifically aimed at students looking to proceed directly on towards doctoral studies.
One-year Master’s programs are especially fitting for students who earned four-year Bachelor’s degrees and recently completed an independent Bachelor’s thesis. If you earned a three-year Bachelor’s degree and did not complete your own thesis, a two-year Master’s is likely a better option for you.
Although different universities have different academic calendars, many of the top universities follow the trimester or quarter system, particularly for single year programs. That means that classes begin during fall term, usually running from September to December, continue in winter term, from January to March then conclude in spring term, from approximately April to June. This means that students take three different sets of courses over an intensive nine-month period.
- Two-Year Programs
Unlike one-year Master’s programs, two-year Master’s mix coursework with individual projects, usually in the form of an independent thesis. Such programs provide students with both the theoretical as well as empirical tools needed to engage in their own research. Two-year Master’s programs prepare students for further education while also offering a strong platform for entry into the workforce.
Two-year Master’s programs are open to all students, but are particularly useful for those who have earned a three-year, rather than four-year Bachelor’s degree.
The timeline for a two-year Master’s program mirrors that of the one year, with classes being taken during the fall, winter and spring terms, though there is usually a break taken during the summer term that occurs between the first and second year. Some programs require students to engage in an internship during this time, while others offer additional short courses or language programs to round out their students’ skillsets.
The Master’s thesis usually spans one to two terms, being completed by June of the second year of study. In certain cases, students can extend their thesis deadline to the end of the summer term, but this must be discussed on a case-by-case basis.
Regardless of whether you choose a one or two-year Master’s program, you will receive an accredited graduate degree that qualifies you to work at a high level around the globe.
In addition to the many positive attributes of Spain’s educational system, quality of life in Spain is also quite high. With extreme diversity across Spain’s 17 autonomous regions and 2 autonomous cities, you can experience many different climates, micro-cultures and ways of life within one country. Whether you are interested in studying in an exciting and beautiful city, such as Madrid, Barcelona or Seville, or in a smaller town surrounded by beautiful countryside, you can certainly find an opportunity to fit your precise tastes and interests.
Spanish is spoken in countries around the world, so taking the time to learn the language while in Spain will boost your CV and continue to open doors for you for years to come. Moreover, if you are interested in strengthening your English language skills in an international environment, there are many options available that allow you to earn a Master’s degree fully in English. Regardless of language, spending time in an international environment builds character, broadens your network, offers you ample opportunities to expand your skillset and create great memories!
Photo credit: Moyan Brenn
Photo credit: MorBCN
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