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Further Education at Tertiary Level

Further education at tertiary level has three streams:

  • Specialisation and in-depth studies
    in the same branch of studies as the previous degree course
  • Development and new orientation
    in one or more branches of studies which differ from the previous degree course
  • Completion and extension
    inter- or mulitdisciplinary extension of one or more branches of studies of the previous degree course

    Detailed Diagram of the Structure of the Swiss Higher Education System
    (Diagram of the Diploma Supplement)

    In Switzerland further education at tertiary level is regulated:


    Further Education at Tertiary Level

    The following descriptor refers to Master of Advanced Studies (MAS) programmes (corresponding to a minimum of 60 ECTS credits). The same learning outcomes apply to the Diploma of Advanced Studies (DAS) and the Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) but are appropriately reduced.

    Further education degrees are awarded to students who …

    Knowledge and understanding:

    … have specialised or extended multidisciplinary knowledge and understanding at higher education level, generally built upon the knowledge acquired through a completed higher education degree, as well as their own professional experience, and follow research-based cognitive methods.

    Applying knowledge and understanding:

    … are able to develop innovative solutions at a highly complex level, transfer them to their own professional fields and evaluate their results.

    … understand their professional and social action in all its contexts, are familiar with the relevant cultures within their area of expertise, and have developped a professional identity that allows them to approach their tasks with commitment and responsibility.

    Making judgements:

    … are able to analyse, judge and provide theoretically grounded justification to complex issues within new and unfamiliar contexts.

    … are able to make demanding, sustainable and ethically conscious decisions, and take over executive functions in analysing, systemising and solving complex problems.

    Communication skills:

    … are able to communicate complex issues, judgements and approaches to all stakeholders in a clear and unambiguous manner, respond to other arguments and develop, substantiate and negotiate alternative solutions.

    Learning skills:

    … are familiar with their fields of expertise and their professional fields and can independently deal with, assess and integrate relevant knowledge.

    ... are able to deal with change processes and challenges of the future.

    ... define their learning objectives autonomously, enhance their scientific and practice-oriented competences, and transfer their knowledge to different contexts.


    (The descriptor was devised along the lines of the Dublin Descriptors.)

    Admission Criteria

    Further Education at Tertiary Level

    As a rule admission is based on a final degree of a university/university of applied sciences/university of teacher education plus work experience. The higher education institutions are free to define more restrictive criteria for certain programmes or to admit other qualified candidates.


    Further Education at Tertiary Level

    For in-depth and further education qualifications with a volume of at least 60 credits the title „Master“ must be accompanied by the term "of Advanced Studies",abbr. "MAS". The higher education institution may also award titles which have been in use for a long time such as  "MBA", "Executive MBA" or "MPH".

    MAS (MBA/EMBA/MPH/LL.M.)at least 60 ECTS credits

    at least 30 ECTS credits


    at least 10 ECTS credits


    In Switzerland further education at tertiary level is regulated:


    Further Education at Tertiary Level


    Master of Advanced Studies

    • Master of Business Administration
    • Executive Master of Business Administration
    • Master of Public Health
    • Legum Magister


    • MBA
    • EMBA
    • MPH
    • LL.M.

     Diploma of Advanced Studies


    Certificate of Advanced Studies



    Further Education at Swiss Higher Education Institutions