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Greece:Second Cycle Programmes

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Overview Greece

Contents

Greece:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Greece:Historical Development

Greece:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Greece:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Greece:Political and Economic Situation

Greece:Organisation and Governance

Greece:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Greece:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Greece:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Greece:Organisation of Private Education

Greece:National Qualifications Framework

Greece:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Greece:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Greece:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Greece:Funding in Education

Greece:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Greece:Higher Education Funding

Greece:Adult Education and Training Funding

Greece:Early Childhood Education and Care

Greece:Organisation of Programmes for Children under 4 years

Greece:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children under 4 years

Greece:Assessment in Programmes for Children under 4 years

Greece:Organisation of Programmes for Children over 4 years

Greece:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children over 4 years

Greece:Assessment in Programmes for Children over 4 years

Greece:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Greece:Primary Education

Greece:Organisation of Primary Education

Greece:Teaching and Learning in Primary Education

Greece:Assessment in Primary Education

Greece:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Primary Education

Greece:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Greece:Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education

Greece:Teaching and Learning in General Lower Secondary Education

Greece:Assessment in General Lower Secondary Education

Greece:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Greece:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Greece:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Greece:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Greece:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Greece:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Greece:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Greece:Teaching and Learning in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Greece:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Greece:Higher Education

Greece:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Greece:First Cycle Programmes

Greece:Bachelor

Greece:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Greece:Second Cycle Programmes

Greece:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Greece:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Greece:Adult Education and Training

Greece:Distribution of Responsibilities

Greece:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Greece:Main Providers

Greece:Main Types of Provision

Greece:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Greece:Teachers and Education Staff

Greece:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Greece: Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Greece:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Greece:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Greece:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Greece:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Greece:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Greece:Management and Other Education Staff

Greece:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Greece:Management Staff for Higher Education

Greece:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Greece:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Greece:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Greece:Quality Assurance

Greece:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Greece:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Greece:Educational Support and Guidance

Greece:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Greece:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Greece:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Greece:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Greece:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Greece:Mobility and Internationalisation

Greece:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Mobility in Higher Education

Greece:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Greece:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Greece:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Greece:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Greece:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Greece:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Greece:National Reforms in School Education

Greece:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Greece:National Reforms in Higher Education

Greece:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Greece:European Perspective

Greece:Legislation

Greece:Institutions

Greece:Glossary

Branches of study

Second Cycle Programmes fall within the strategic planning of each institution, aim at promoting knowledge, contributing to the progression of research and fulfilling the educational, research and development needs of the country. They are characterised by scientific cohesion; they focus on specialisations adherent to the scientific fields of the undergraduate study programmes; and they fulfil those requirements which guarantee a high level of education.

As already mentioned, the Schools and Departments of the Universities and the Technological Education Institutions have been classified, according to their study subject, in five scientific branches:

  • Branch 1: Humanities, Law and Social Sciences, which include Theoretical Schools, like Philology, Law, Sociology, Foreign Languages, etc. (duration of undergraduate studies: 4 or 5 years).
  • Branch 2: Natural Sciences, which include the Schools of Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, etc. (duration of studies: 4 years).    
  • Branch 3: Life Sciences, which include the Medical Schools, Pharmaceutical Schools, Dentistry, etc. (duration of undergraduate studies: 4, 5 or 6 years).
  • Branch 4: Technological Sciences, which include the Schools of Architecture, Civil Engineering, etc. (duration of undergraduate studies: 4 or 5 years).
  • Branch 5: Economics and Administration Studies, which include the Schools of Economics, Business Administration, Accounting and Finance, etc. (duration of undergraduate studies: 4 years).

The minimum duration of a Second Cycle Programme is one (1) full year, while part of this time period is devoted to the completion of a dissertation. The maximum time period a student is allowed in order to obtain a Second Cycle certification is defined by the Second Cycle Programme Regulation of each institution. In special occasions, a suspension of maximum twelve (12) months can be granted (Law 3685/2008). 

In the case of part-time Second Cycle Programmes, the duration of the programme ought to be at least one semester longer than that of full-time programmes. 

The academic year begins on September 1 of each year and ends on August 31 of the following year. The educational programme of each academic year is divided into two semesters. The first semester begins on the second half of September, while the second semester ends on the second half of June.

During the academic year there are two holiday periods - Christmas and Easter - with a combined duration of four (4) weeks.

Admission Requirements

In far as second cycle programmes leading to a Master's Degree (Metaptychiako Diploma Spoudon) are concerned, the choice of postgraduate students is made after a public call of interest, in which the number of admitted postgraduate students as well as the categories of University or Technological Education Institutes graduates which can be admitted to the relevant programme are communicated. 

According to Law 3685/2008, all graduates of Greek Universities or of the equivalent foreign institutes can be admitted, under certain conditions specified in the Regulation of Post-graduate Studies of each Second Cycle Programme. The choice of postgraduate students is made by a committee of members of the Teaching and Research Faculty of each Department taking the following criteria into account: the overall degree grades, the grades obtained in undergraduate courses relevant to those of the Postgraduate Programme, the students’ thesis, where a thesis is required in undergraduate level, as well as possible research experience the student might possess. The relevant academic unit determines by decision the details concerning these criteria, the definition of additional criteria or the conduct of interviews, the results of which are taken into account during the decision-making process. Further than the number of admitted students, a student awarded a scholarship by the State Scholarships Foundation(IKY) as well as foreign student benefitting from a Greek state scholarship can be admitted in every postgraduate programme.

The Regulation of Postgraduate Studies includes, among others, the number of students admitted, as well the way in which they are chosen, the language criteria, the attendance suspension procedures, the possibility for part-time attendance, the conditions for the awarding of scholarships, the right to attend courses from other departments, etc.

In the Postgraduate Study Programmes of the Hellenic Open University, all graduates of Universities in relevant subjects can be admitted. The Administrative Board of the Hellenic Open University specifies the conditions for the application of students per Study Programme with a call for applications and upon recommendation by the relevant School. It should be noted that in certain cases and upon decision by the Administrative Board of the Hellenic Open University, the admission, by preference, of elder candidates, for example of a candidate with a minimum of 10 years professional experience, is possible.

In the Postgraduate Study Programmes of the Hellenic Open University, students have the right to enrol, either for full-time attendance or solely for the exams, in maximum two or three Subject Areas per year. Attendance of each Subject Area is via distance learning.

Curriculum 

According to Law 3685/2008, Postgraduate Study Programmes are established by the General Assembly of Special Composition of the relevant Department which possesses the necessary building and material infrastructure and the necessary teaching and other personnel, and are then submitted to the Assembly of Special Composition of the institution for approval.

Every Postgraduate Study Programme leads to the awarding of a Master’s Degree. Where provided by the Regulation of Post-graduate Studies, the Master’s thesis may be replaced by some other appropriate scientific manner which is deemed equivalent to writing a thesis. Post-graduate Study Programmes may be fully or partly taught in a foreign language, upon decision by the Rector following approval from the Assembly of the Department.

The Postgraduate Study Programme Plan includes at least the following information to be examined by the Assembly of Special Composition:

a) The subject and aim of the programme.

b) The type of Second Cycle Certifications awarded.

c) The categories of graduates who can be accepted.

d) The minimum duration of attendance in order for a student to obtain their certificate.

e) The classes, the teaching language, the occupation of students either as teaching assistants or as research assistants, the internships and any other kind of activity, as well as the credits according to the current European framework for the accumulation and transfer of credits.

f) The number of Second Cycle students, the needs and potentials of the relevant Department as far as personnel and material infrastructure necessary for the satisfactory operation of the programme are concerned.

g) The lifetime of the Second Cycle Programme and the analytic costs of the necessary material infrastructure and of its operation, as well as the sources of funding.

h) The evaluation report of the Hellenic Quality Assurance and Accreditation Agency (HQA).

The final approval of the Second Cycle Programme is granted by a decision of the Minister of Education, Research and Religious Affairs, which is published in the Official Government Gazette.

The Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs funds, primarily, the Second Cycle Programmes of the scientific branches chosen by the current Minister of Education, so as to promote issues of national interest or strategic importance. The study programme can be modified and classes can be re-distributed among semesters, following a petition form the General Assembly of Special Composition of each Department and an approval of the Assembly of Special Composition.

Several Departments of the same or different Higher Education Institutions, as well as certified foreign or Greek (so long as they are public, Law 4009/2011) research centres or institutes may cooperate in the same Postgraduate Study Programme. Moreover, the law provides that Greek Higher Education institutions can cooperate with equivalent foreign institutions for the planning and operation of joint Postgraduate Study Programmes. A Special Cooperation Protocol between the cooperating institutions is drafted for these joint Postgraduate Study Programmes, in which the following are defined: the obligations and the rights of those participating in the programme; personnel and student issues; study issues; funding resources; students’ and personnel’s transportation; the awarding of a common certificate or of two separate certificates, one by each institution; the language of the programme as well as any other issue deemed important for the proper operation of the programme.

The International Hellenic University has the right to plan and operate Postgraduate Study Programmes in its Schools, even if these Schools do not offer undergraduate study programmes.

Successful attendance, as well as the success of the students in the exams for four (4) Subject Areas, along with the completion of a thesis are required for the completion of a postgraduate study programme and the awarding of a Master’s Degree at the Hellenic Open University.

Teaching Methods

The teaching methods applied in Second Cycle Programmes are:

  • Theoretical teaching.
  • Lectures and laboratory sessions.
  • Supervising of laboratory, coaching and clinical exercises.
  • Supervising and guiding of the completion of essays and research on specific subjects.
  • Invitation of an academic or researcher from other Greek or foreign Higher Education Institutions.

Besides Faculty Members or Educational Personnel, researchers from recognised Greek or foreign research institutes, who hold a PhD diploma and have sufficient scientific writing or research activity, as well as prestigious scientists who possess specialised knowledge or experience in the subject of the Postgraduate Programme may teach in such a programme.

The teaching and learning process is facilitated by relevant textbooks or other material (notes, Greek and foreign literature), which are distributed to the students for free. In many cases, this process is aided by the use of audio-visual material, new technologies and electronic teaching material, which the Department possess as material and technical infrastructure.

The teaching methods and materials are chosen freely by the teaching personnel. This choice is made for every course per semester, which includes a minimum of thirteen full weeks of courses.

As far as the Postgraduate Study Programmes of the Hellenic Open University which lead to the awarding of either a Master’s Degree or a Certificate of Postgraduate Learning are concerned, studies may also be conducted via “distance learning” methodology, which includes the following per Subject Area:

  • five (5) meetings of lecturers with students,
  • four (4) to six (6) compulsory assignments sent to the lecturer,
  • distance counselling between the lecturer and the students, and
  • final and repeat examinations.

Progression of Students

As far as first cycle post-graduate studies leading to a Master’s Degree are concerned, progress and promotion of postgraduate students is based on their passing the examination in the relevant postgraduate courses, in combination with the participation of the postgraduate student in the overall research, writing and educational activities of the programme. 

The General Assembly of Special Composition of the Department appoints a supervisor among the Faculty members responsible for the postgraduate study programme of the university to each postgraduate student attending the programme. The supervisor is responsible for monitoring the progress of the studies of the postgraduate student.

The way of assessment of the postgraduate students’ progress and overall work, as well as the way of certification of the successful completion of their studies are defined by the Regulation of Postgraduate Programmes of each Department, in which every other detail related to the planning and operation of postgraduate studies is also specified. For example, the procedure for suspension of studies, the maximum duration of studies as well as the extension, suspension and resumption of postgraduate studies procedures,  the minimum teaching hours of post-graduate courses per semester and the necessary credits, the curricula, the attendance of courses offered by other Departments, the specialisations, the possibility of part-time attendance, etc.

The duration of a Postgraduate Study Programme according to Law 3685/2008 may not be shorter than a full calendar year.

Employability

With a view to reinforcing the employability of graduates, the completion of a scientific internship in domestic or foreign laboratories is promoted, the old and new Postgraduate Programmes, whose students’ performance and potentials, as well as whose relevance to priority fields, pre-determine their international success and sustainability, are reinforced, and promotional activities for the attraction of possible post-graduate students by the general public or private sector are promoted. Finally, as already mentioned in the section “Degree - Employability”, a Career-Job Office operates in all Higher Education Institutions, which is essentially a means of communication between each institution and the job market, the economy and the production sector. Its aim is:

a) to support and facilitate the consolidation of intellectual property rights of the institution and the members of the relevant academic community,

b) to promote communication and cooperation of researchers and members of the academic community with productive branches for the further exploitation of research produced in Higher Education Institutions,

c) to provide students and graduates of the institution information on the appropriate approach of their future career and career counselling in order to help students define their aptitudes and competencies but also on issues concerning further studies and job searches,

d) to plan the students’ internships,

e) to plan seminaries, lectures, counselling, communication with mentors for the students and graduates of the institution on issues of innovation and social activity and, in general, to promote students’ innovative ideas, which could be put to use in professional or social activities, and

f) to organise all kinds of activities for the promotion of innovation and entrepreneurship among members of the academic community, especially innovation competitions.

Separate units of the office might operate for the fulfillment of the above-mentioned activities, such as a Liaison Unit, an Innovation and Entrepreneurship Unit, an Internship Unit and a Mediation Unit.

Student Assessment

Student assessment is carried out by the teachers of the Higher Education Institutions, while the assessment methods used, depend on the nature of the relevant cognitive subject. The assessment and promotion of students is based on their passing written or oral exams on the courses of the relevant Postgraduate Study Programme, in combination with the participation of the postgraduate student in the overall research, writing and educational activities provided by the Regulation of Postgraduate Studies.

The duration of exam periods, the requirements for the awarding of a degree, the examination and assessment rules, the way of assessment of the student’s progress and overall work, the way of certification of the successful completion of postgraduate studies, are all specified in the Regulation of Postgraduate Studies, along with any other detail related to the planning and operation of postgraduate studies.

In order to be awarded a Master’s Degree, the postgraduate student ought to pass the exams for the courses of the relevant postgraduate study programme as well as participate in the overall educational and research activities according to the provisions of the Regulation of Postgraduate Studies.

Certification

Higher Education Institutions (Universities and Technical Education Institutes), are responsible not only for the planning and organisation of Postgraduate Study Programmes, but also for the issuance and certification of postgraduate degrees (Master’s Degree). The certification of study programmes according to the provisions of the Hellenic Quality Assurance and Accreditation Agency (Law 4009/2011), based on criteria such as the structure and organisation of the programme, the quality of the programme, the link between teaching and research, the demand for the acquired qualifications in the job market, etc.

In case of a cooperation of Greek Higher Education Institutions with foreign ones for the planning and operation of joint Postgraduate Study Programmes, the Master’s degrees awarded are considered equal to those awarded by the cooperating institutions, in which the joined programmes operate.

The way of certification of the successful completion of pos-graduate studies, the type and quality characterisation of the awarded Master’s Degrees are defined by the Regulation of Postgraduate Studies of the relevant institution. The certificates issued by Higher Education Institutes are considered valid and certified.

The grades that the student has obtained in all courses necessary for the awarding of a degree are taken into consideration for the calculation of the grade on the master’s degree, which is essentially the average of all those grades. In many cases, the grade obtained for the thesis can be multiplied by a specific coefficient. The grade of the student in both numerical and word form appear on the Master’s Degree, which is signed by the Rector or the President of the institution as well as the Secretary of the relevant Department.