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Depending on the European country considered a bachelor’s degree may take three up to four years to complete. In most of the countries the completion of this initial degree leads to the start of an ICT-related profession, but it may also be a stepping stone for graduates to enrol in a master’s degree for continuing their studies.


It should be noted though that in some countries two types of bachelor’s degrees are provided – one more academic-oriented and one more professional-oriented. Typically, professional bachelors are offered by higher education institutions dedicated to applied sciences. However, there are cases in which both types of degrees are provided by the smae kind of higher education institutions.


Professionally oriented bachelor’s degrees are primarily aimed at practising a profession and provide a fast lane for entering directly in the labour market. These degrees focus on a specific profession and prepare students for specific careers. Graduates with these degrees may need a switching programme for entering master programmes in ICT.


Academically oriented bachelor’s programmes focus on a broad academic education and aim at preparing access to a master programme. These academic bachelor’s programmes although they do not limit the access of graduates to the job market and the start of a professional career, they mostly lead them to continue their studies in ICT and further develop their capabilities at a master’s level.


Two basic approaches can be identified in what concerns the organisation of the ICT bachelor’s curricula. Most bachelor’s degrees provide solely an ICT-dedicated curriculum, but others are part of broader engineering degrees in which the first year is common for all students. After an initial year with courses common to all variants of the programme, students are invited to choose a specialisation following from then a specific itinerary or learning path on ICT. There are also bachelor’s degrees which are part of interdisciplinary programmes with a large focus on ICT (e.g., business informatics or medical informatics). Due to the huge number of variations, we do not discuss this last category in this report.


Apart from mathematics and basic science subjects, most training programmes include therefore a broad array of other subjects in various ICT domains. The title of the diploma varies among the different universities and countries, but the most common ones that can be found are the following: bachelor in Applied Computer Technology, Computer Engineering, Computing, Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, Electronic Engineering, Electronic Engineering and Telecommunications, Electronics and ICT Engineering Technology, Informatics, Information and Communication Technology, Information Engineering Technology, Information Systems, or Information Technology.


Some bachelor’s programmes focus on one specific topic from the start or provide a specialised track, e.g. AI, AI Systems, Data Science, Computer Systems and Networks Security, Information Communication Systems, Mobile Solutions and Smart IoT Systems, Software Development, Software Engineering, Software Systems and Telecommunication Engineering, among others.

Typical Degrees Offered in the Subject Area of ICT:

Bachelor’s Programmes

At the master level we can identify also different approaches, as follows:

  • Specialised programmes focusing on a specific subject area of expertise.

  • Broad programmes covering several ICT topics, with the possibility to specialise through elective courses or minors.


The approach used is noticeable in the degree specifications. Examples of specialised master degrees are: master in Artificial Intelligence, master in Artificial Intelligence & Advanced Visual Computing, master in Communication Systems, master in Computer and Embedded Systems Engineering, master in Computer Vision, master in Cybersecurity, master in Data Engineering and Analytics, master in Data Science, master in Data Informatics, master in Embedded Systems, master in Information and Network Engineering, master in Internet of Things, master in Internet of Things and Smart Systems, master in Machine Learning, master in Security, master in Security and Cloud Computing, master in Security and Network Engineering, master in Software Design, master in Software Engineering, master in Software Engineering of Distributed Systems, master in Multimedia Informatics and master in Telecommunication Engineering, among others.


As for the Master degrees with a broader approach, these include: master in Applied Computer and Information Technology, master in Applied Informatics, master in Communications and Electronics Engineering, master in Computer Engineering, master in Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, master in Electronics and ICT Engineering Technology, master in Electronic Engineering, master in Informatics, master in Information Engineering, master in Information Engineering Technology, master in Information Systems and master in Information Technology, among others.


Furthermore, there is a distinction between research-oriented master programmes and industry-focused ones. The emphasis in the former is on teaching advanced research skills, while the latter focuses on in-depth applied knowledge and professional skills. As mentioned before, not all bachelor’s degrees emphasise on preparing the graduate to enter a profession, even if they do not limit it. Some focus also on the transition to a master programme. In this case the master programme curriculum is closely aligned with the corresponding bachelor’s and direct admission is reserved for a limited number of bachelor’s degree graduates. This is often the case of one-year master’s degrees (60 ECTS credit points). However, most master programmes in ICT allow admission of candidates with degrees of much different type, as institutions foster the diversity of student backgrounds.

Typical Degrees Offered in the Subject Area of ICT:

Master's Programmes

Widening the outreach of the ICT programmes is in fact crucial for HEI in their strive for maintaining social relevance. This is due to the large spectrum of the ICT activity currently and the rapid expansion of its professional community. The QRF for ICT is therefore necessarily applicable also to interdisciplinary programs which combine ICT basics with knowledge of other disciplines. Given the need for the knowledge of computing in many disciplines, having an interdisciplinary program with ICT enables further progress in disciplines depending on the proper application of ICT or fields of professional practice undergoing a process of digital transformation . This is the case, for example, of disciplines such as biology, where genomics requires huge amounts of computing, or fields of practice such as education, in which digital intelligent technologies are being used for personalising students’ learning experiences, tailoring content and resources to each ones needs.


Programmes such as Medical Informatics, Business Informatics, Educational Technology, Computer Science and Design, Financial Technology (Fintech), Computer Education and Instructional Technology, are currently experiencing a large expansion as a result. For this type of degrees, this QRF may serve as a starting point. The descriptors that focus on ICT and are applicable within these degrees, can be adopted. Other descriptors will have to be adapted to the specific needs. Obviously, descriptors will have to be added for skills from other disciplines.

Typical Degrees Offered in the Subject Area of ICT:

Interdisciplinary programmes

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