Here's how it works studying at a university

Distance course or study programme? Full-time or half-time? What does higher education credits actually mean? This is how it works.

Admission and entry requirements

You are required to have certain previous knowledge to be able to be admitted to a course or study programme. The knowledge required for higher education studies is called general entry requirements. You can attain the general entry requirements from for example upper secondary school, adult education, folk high school, studies abroad and also through vocational experience. For certain study programmes or courses you also need to have specific entry requirements. This could for example mean that you need to have read extra mathematics if you are planning to read an engineering

Distance or on campus

You will read most of the courses and study programmes at MDU on campus, in the University premises in Eskilstuna or in Västerås. You will meet others in your class during lectures, group assignments and laboratory work. It’s also possible to study certain courses and study programmes by distance. This means that you work more independently, and that you above all keep contact with teachers and other students via the net.

Degree after your studies

A degree is a proof of your having successfully completed your education. A general degree shows that you are knowledgeable within a certain subject, for example a Bachelor’s or a Master’s degree. A professional qualification requires more skills than within just one field of study and shows that you are knowledgeable within a certain profession, for example a B.Sc. or M.Sc. in Engineering programme and a Nursing degree. When you have completed your studies you yourself apply to obtain a degree certificate.

First- and second-cycle levels

MDU offers study programmes and courses at both the first- and second-cycle levels (Bachelor’s and Master’s respectively). If you’re a beginner you start at first-cycle level and can then go on to study at second-cycle level. Examples of study programmes at first-cycle level are the Business and Economics programme, the Teacher Education programme and the B.Sc. in Engineering programme, in other words programmes you can apply for that require general and possibly specific entry requirements. Examples of programmes at second-cycle level are the Master’s programmes (60 or 120 credits).

Higher education credits and rate of study

An academic year is divided into two semesters, an autumn semester and a spring semester. If you study full time you will read 30 HE credits per semester and 60 credits per year. The courses may go at different rates and vary in length. Your timetable may thus look different for different weeks. One week of full-time studies is equivalent to 1.5 HE credits. Some programmes are offered part-time, for example half speed or quarter speed. Then you gain less credits per week and you are also expected to study fewer hours each week.

Programme or freestanding course

At MDU there are study programmes and courses within a variety of different areas. You may choose to read either separate courses or courses that have been compiled into a whole programme and which lead to a degree. As a programme student you have guaranteed admission to your programme and you read the courses in a set order. Some of the courses in a programme are compulsory and some are elective.
If you choose separate courses instead of a complete programme, you may yourself select which courses you wish to read. You have the opportunity of getting help to plan your studies from the study advisers.

Studying with disabilities

MDU offers various types of support so that students with disabilities will be able to study on equal terms as others.

Studying with disabilities


For more information about higher education studies in general,
please contact the Student Centre at
studenttorget@mdu.se or a study adviser.