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jodie_z
post 31.Jan.2007, 09:03 PM
Post #1
Joined: 23.Jan.2007

Hello:
This is a Canadian university student. I've been thinking of doing a master's degree in Sweden and managed to get some application forms from different Swedish universities. However, when asked to convert the credits earned at my home university here in Canada into ECTS, I have little clue. Can someone help me with this conversion? Any input is appreciated. Tack~
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Leonard
post 31.Jan.2007, 09:17 PM
Post #2
Joined: 2.Nov.2005

A swedish Master's not the same as a Canadian Master's. the Master's degree here is like the last 2 years of a Canadian Bachelor's. Many places in Canada don't count a swedish Master's. Just so you know. I did it for kicks but just so you know what you are getting into. I know that 5 swedish points is 7.5 ECTS points but I don't know what that is in ECTS points. Usually they will just take you if you have a bachelors. Basically they just take foreign students so they get more funding from the governmnet. From what I see they don't take very good care of you. Also the free tution is nice but it is much cheaper to stay in Canada and pay the tution then come here and get free tution. Yes, Sweden is that much more expensive. sorry for the nonanswer.
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*Sir Frances Drake*
post 31.Jan.2007, 10:23 PM
Post #3


QUOTE (jodie_z)
Hello:
This is a Canadian university student. I've been thinking of doing a master's degree in Sweden and managed to get some application forms from different Swedish universities. However, when asked to convert the credits earned at my home university here in Canada into ECTS, I have little clue. Can someone help me with this conversion? Any input is appreciated. Tack~

Why not try Durham University in England. I went there ,it's a great place to live and learn .
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jodie_z
post 1.Feb.2007, 06:27 AM
Post #4
Joined: 23.Jan.2007

Hey thanks Leonard and Sir Frances Drake for your replies. Yes I'm aware of how expensive Sweden can be when it comes to living, but I was really attracted to its cost-friendly tuition, plus being able to get a degree, of course. I lived in Stockholm when I was 12, for two years, so I'm familiar with the language and living conditions, etc. It'd be nice to go back for some time, also several universities offer some programmes that I'm really interested in (bio tech, bio med, etc.)
Should I do some more research on Durham University? How expensive is it?
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Puffin
post 1.Feb.2007, 09:02 AM
Post #5
Location: Dalarna
Joined: 5.Apr.2006

Hi jodie_z

I wrote you a really long reply last night – in fact it took so long that the local had logged me out and I lost the entire answer. Some of the answers that you have been given are confusing and even incorrect so I will attempt to explain them.

I’m not entirely sure why you have been asked for ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) as – as far as I am aware the ECTS system is only used in Europe. All courses are given a level (general & beginner/intermediate/advanced/ postgraduate) and a number of points – and to be a bachelor or masters you need a certain number at each level. I think that you should contact the International or admissions office for the Universities that you are considering and ask them what information you should give as you come from a system where ECTS is not used – if they are experienced with overseas students this should be no problem.

It is untrue that a Swedish Masters is the same as a Canadian bachelor degree. When I checked the the Higher Education agency’s database that shows which decisions have been made to translate overseas degrees to Swedish terms – most 4 year Canadian BAs are awarded a Swedish BA (kandidatexamen). Most Canadian degrees appear to start with a couple of years of general study before specialisms are chosen – whereas in Europe it is common to specialise already in the first year. The Swedish authorities count the general courses as extra courses at the lower A and B levels.

However I was unclear which type of postgraduate course Leonard was referring to as there are three types currently in Sweden:
.Magisterexamen – usually given in Swedish - this is a little shorter than a Masters (minimum 6 months of specialist studies and then 6 months of choice) but requires specialisation as you are not eligible to study at this level unless you already have a Bachelor exam (including dissertation/thesis) in exactly the same subject. For example you cannot take a Magister exam in Conflict studied if your degree is in Politics - as the course assumes prior knowledge and includeds a dissertation. These are being phased out as a result of the European Bolognaprocess and most Universities are not offering new courses.

Masters: This is a new, specialist 2 year programme that will be offered from 2007. Students will have to have completed a bachelor exam in the same (or closely related subject) and apply separately for a limited number of Masters degrees.

International Masters: These courses are given in English and often just require a bachelor exam – not necessarily in the same subject. They are often (not all) multidisciplinary (Development studies/Baltic Studies/European studies etc) and where no previous knowledge is required some of the courses are not regarded as being at the same level as the Magister/Masters degrees – the aim is for broad rather than specialist knowledge (perhaps it was one of these courses that Leonard was referring to). However some of the courses can be at a very high/Masters level standard but you have to pick and choose – where/what you study carefully. Some of the “New” Universities use these programmes as a cash cow to increase student numbers and maximise government grants. These institutions will offer places to anyone who applies – regardless of the level of previous study and regardless of the ability of applicants to communicate in English. The courses tend to be at a low level and some are a complete waste of time.

You need to be a knowledgeable consumer and ask questions. The Most reputable universities generally are – Uppsala, Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan (technical and Science), Gothenburg, Lund, Chalmers (technical), Handels (Business), Stockholm and Umeå – I don’t know if any of these are on your list. Check out the course details – many courses have a staff and literature list on the course website. What qualifications and specialisms do the staff have? Is the literature research based? You would not expect non PhD staff or “textbook” types of literature. If you can give me an idea of the courses/universities you are applying for I could take a quick look at the quality inspection report carried out by the Higher Education Agency (HSV) and tell you how good the University was judged to be.

I hope this helps
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Leonard
post 1.Feb.2007, 04:46 PM
Post #6
Joined: 2.Nov.2005

I assumed that the question was regarding an International Master's degree because the person was coming from Canada. Since I didn't speak swedish this was my only real option.

I have one of these from Uppsala University. One of the best known universities in Sweden. I must say the quality of the education was much below the Canadian university level and the course was kind of a waste of time. I have been told from some places I checked in Canada that it is not accepted as a Master's equivalent in Canada.

I calculated that the cost of living for a school year in Sweden was higher then the cost of living plus tution in Canada.


So my points are:

I have a Canadian Bachelors and a Swedish Master's and it is consider to be only a Bachelors by many in Canada sice the Master's is not recognized. Personally I don't think the Master's degree was any good and think that it should not be accepted in Canada. Also the degree was exactly like my last two years in my Canadian Bachelors only the courses were easier.

You won't save any money by the free tution in Sweden since the cost of living in sweden is so high.

On a final note - come on over and have fun - it is great to be a student. I also landed a job here when I finished and plan to stay for some time.
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Puffin
post 1.Feb.2007, 04:58 PM
Post #7
Location: Dalarna
Joined: 5.Apr.2006

Can I ask you Leonard what subject you took your International Master in?

Some of the "international masters" were very short - often only 1 year (40p or 60 ETCS).

The new 2 year Masters should address some of these problems and the good thing is that there will normally be an English speaking route - as many Universities are forming partnerships so that European students will be able to spend time abroad with automatic recognition.

Inter-university recognition is a problem the world over - some people find that the courses they have done abroad are not recognised in Sweden or that they have read subjects that don't exist here.

One of the things that nobody talks about as officially it does not happen is that some Swedish Universities refuse to recognise thae courses of OTHER SWEDISH universities for being sub standard. I read a term of "Samhällskunskap lärarprogramet" to update be knowledge at a "new University" and a girl in in my seminar group tried to transfer to Örebro University Samhällskunskap lärarprogramet to be with her boyfriend as was refused as the courses she'd taken were not considered to be of an equal standard!
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Leonard
post 1.Feb.2007, 05:21 PM
Post #8
Joined: 2.Nov.2005

Mine was 80pts (2 years) but I saw that some were only 40pts. Mine was in Energy Systems. I don't really mind if it is not really recognized since most companies don't ask to see your degree. I will just tell them I have a Master's and it will be fine. There is a lot of work in the area and I'm finding it quit easy to find jobs especially in Sweden. A bachelors degree is all that is required for jobs in this field and the master's program was a good in for me into Sweden.

Sorry if I am making the swedish universities sound bad but it was my experience. I think the system is quit good for swedish students. I think they mostly bring foreign students and then forget about them and are happy to get more funding.
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Bender B Rodriquez
post 1.Feb.2007, 05:30 PM
Post #9
Joined: 25.Mar.2006

I agree, one has to be quite picky when it comes to so called International Master's educations, since there is no real quality assessment of those programs and many unis just put together a couple of courses and hope to get students by calling it a Master's degree. This will however change in accordance with the Bologna process, e.g. the new Civilingenör programs will prolonged by 6 months and split up into a Batchelor and a Master, so in the future it will be stricter rules...
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Leonard
post 1.Feb.2007, 05:34 PM
Post #10
Joined: 2.Nov.2005

As far as I know they are still keeping the international master's and even changing most from 80 points to 40 points. What a silly system. Even sillier when you see that the Swedish governmnet is paying(8000kr per month and school fees plus a posh trip to Stockholm for lunch in city hall) for most foreigners from poorer nations.
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Bender B Rodriquez
post 1.Feb.2007, 05:48 PM
Post #11
Joined: 25.Mar.2006

The 40 point programs is more like an Magister on top of a Kandidat degree and not like a Master on top of a Bachelor's degree, but in a few years all programs will follow the 3-5-8 system i.e. Bachelor 3 years, Master 2 years, PhD 3 years, so the International Master's degree will be standardized and 2 years long...
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Leonard
post 1.Feb.2007, 05:55 PM
Post #12
Joined: 2.Nov.2005

It will still not really be like the Canada system but it is getting closer.

The Canada system is more like 3-5 years(average 4) for a bachelors. Then a MSC for 2 years but this is consider post grad work and is mostly only research and then the PHD - 3 years. So I guess you could say 4-6-9.

The swedish system will still likely be in 5 years you get a Masters which is undergrad and basically like a 5 years Canadian Master's.

I studied a 5 years bachelor degree in Canada and it is exactly the same as the current Swedish master's and likely the future Swedish master's.
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jodie_z
post 1.Feb.2007, 10:51 PM
Post #13
Joined: 23.Jan.2007

Thanks for all the answers you guys posted. Many of you did bring up several points that I knew at the back of my head but tried to ignore and only look at the bright side of taking a master's degree in sweden.

I will have finished my Bachelor's degree here in Canada and plan on doing an International Master's Degree in Sweden. I've looked at universities such as Umea (which I've already applied) in biotech, Uppsala in biotech as well as molecular bio, Lund in international health. I've known from my previous limited knowledge of Sweden that Uppsala (have personally been there for a trip), Lund, KI (been there also), and Stockholm share the best prestige among other universities. But Puffin you are absolutely right, what I need is a more systematic outlook on the quality of education that Swedish univs can provide, instead of applying to every school that I come across, which is basically what I am doing right now. To me the Swedish univs, except for the few mentioned already, are all equal in credentials and reputation, and will land you a job at similar chances. So maybe you guys can give me some feedback on the univs I mentioned above and the programs I've been considering? I'll do more research on that too definitely.

I don't feel so sure about the International Health Programmes that a lot of schools offer; wrote a letter to ask what it is about really, but the secretaries basically repeated what was found on the program description and nothing really insightful. I suppose it's got to do with stats and epid surveillance and so on. But any input on this is really appreciated.

I also thought about applying to KI directly but apparently I don't feel confident enough to start my Ph.D. studies right away without some research experience to back me up. But doing a Master's in Canada is out of reach for me because my marks don't really meet the requirement by Canadian universities (B or B+); mine are B- mostly. I had a horrible second year, but gradually picked up since then. Nevertheless it did it for me.

Thanks again to you guys. I see I need to think more carefully about what to do next.

Cheers
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phoebe
post 19.Mar.2007, 10:52 AM
Post #14
Joined: 27.Nov.2006

QUOTE (Puffin)
You need to be a knowledgeable consumer and ask questions. The Most reputable universities generally are – Uppsala, Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan (technical and Science), Gothenburg, Lund, Chalmers (technical), Handels (Business), Stockholm and Umeå – I don’t know if any of these are on your list. Check out the course details – many courses have a staff and literature list on the course website. What qualifications and specialisms do the staff have? Is the literature research based? You would not expect non PhD staff or “textbook” types of literature. If you can give me an idea of the courses/universities you are applying for I could take a quick look at the quality inspection report carried out by the Higher Education Agency (HSV) and tell you how good the University was judged to be.

I hope this helps




Hi Puffin,

do you know how Malmö University or Södertörn University College were judged in this report? I will apply for the Master´s in Communication for Development in Malmö and maybe the Master´s in Baltic Sea studies in Södertörn. I really would appreciate your help;) Thanks!
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biogeek
post 21.Mar.2007, 10:59 AM
Post #15
Joined: 19.Mar.2007

Hej jodie-z

Sorry, I would have had this reply sooner, but the 48 hour registration waiting period got in the way.

I am currently enrolled in Uppsala studying Molecular Cell Biology. I am part of the group that is essentially the last to get the Swedish Magister. We were given the choice of staying with the Magister or extending to the new two year Master that conforms to the new Bologna requirements. The entire transition is still taking place and is a bit of a nightmare for the administration and students caught in the transition. All the students coming in now are required to complete the two year international master.

I can say that the shorter Magister is accepted many places, at least from Uppsala, and it means moving into a PhD program faster. If you have doubts about the viability of the International Master you may want to contact your future prospects.

There are many foreign students in my program but there are many Swedes as well. There have been no complaints about mistreatment or of being forgotten. The majority of the instructors will bend over backwards to provide help with just about anything. The administrators do their best, but they are often removed from the day to day situations so they can't always provide the specific information needed.

The university didn't just take any foreign students. The courses I have taken and are familiar with through other students are very demanding. I came from Southern California with a B.S in Biology, a number of years of working as a research assistant at TRSI and UCSD along with 10 years of teaching Biology. Even with my experience, I still find the courses here very demanding.

If you are interested in Mol Bio, I would recommend Uppsala. You can find some information here http://www.ibg.uu.se/en/master/index.html but keep in mind that the school is still transitioning so some of the pages haven't been completely updated yet. Here is a list of the courses taught this year and the proposed schedule for next year http://www.ibg.uu.se/en/eng_courses/index.html.

I came to Sweden because I wanted to. I have friends here and fell in love with Uppsala on a visit a number of years ago. I also couldn't afford the schools in the US, so Uppsala was a perfect opportunity. Since arriving in August 2006 I have lived on 1000 USD a month, which equates to ~7500 kr based on the currency exchange, and I am doing just fine. I am much happier with my life here than I was back in Southern California.

I recently turned in my paperwork to begin my 20 week research project and was looking for credit conversions. Unfortunately all the conversions chart I have encountered did not include Canada and from some web searches Canada to ECTS routinely comes up saying Canada varies from institution to institution and to check your transcripts. Have you contacted your home university's registrar?
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