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The Polish Education System - Certificates, Diplomas and Degrees
The educational system in Poland is broadly very similar to that in the UK. We will supply you with details of qualifications gained by the candidate and what the UK equivalent is.
The qualifications which students can gain at age 16 are equivalent to the British GCSEs and the qualifications that can be gained at age 18 are equivalent to the A Levels in the UK. Currently compulsory education in Poland starts at age 6 and ends at the age of 16. In addition there is a statutory requirement to a year of pre school education. The education system currently is as follows:
PRIMARY
  • Szkola Podstawowa - Primary school, starting at age 6 for 6 years
  • LOWER SECONDARY
  • Gimnazjum - Lower Secondary School, from age 13 for 3 years, certificate awarded: Świadectwo ukończenia gimnazjum – equivalent to the British GCSE.
  • UPPER SECONDARY
    Entry to upper secondary schools depends on the satisfactory results in the lower secondary school. Students can then choose from a variety of schools:
  • Szkoła Zawodowa - Basic vocational school, from age 16 for 2 or 3 years. Education includes school based practical training and periods of placement with employers. Certificate awarded: Świadectwo ukończenia szkoły zawodowej – equivalent to a British NVQ2.
  • Liceum Ogólnokształcące - General secondary school, from age 16 for 3 years, certificate awarded: Świadectwo ukończenia liceum ogólnokształcącego. Commonly known as "Matura" (Certificate of Maturity) – equivalent to British A-Levels.
  • Technikum - Technical secondary school, from age 16 for 4 years, certificate awarded: Świadectwo ukończenia technikum – equivalent to British A-Levels + NVQ3.
  • Liceum Profilowane - Vocational secondary school, from age 16 for 3 years, certificate awarded: Świadectwo ukończenia liceum profilowanego – equivalent to British A-Levels + NVQ3.
  • The Polish educational system was reformed in 1999. Prior to that it consisted of 8 years in primary school, then 4 years in a general or a vocational schools or 5 years in a technical school or 3 years in a basic vocational school. Graduates of the latter could pursue their education for 3 years in a technical school. All the certificates prior to 1999 are the same as those after 1999. Prior to 1999 compulsory education ended at the age of 18.
    UNIVERSITY
    Students with satisfactory results from general secondary schools, technical secondary schools or vocational secondary schools can enter University-level education.
    University-level education has a numeric system of grades from 2 to 5, with grades every 0.5. Grade 3.0 is the lowest passing grade and grade 5.0 is usually the highest. Grades 5.5 and 6.0 are sometimes given, in some universities, as an "exceeds expectations" grade.
    The Polish titles that students can receives are as follows
    UNDERGRADUATE (3 or 3½ years undergraduate study)
  • Licencjat – (licentiate) equivalent to a British Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree
  • Licencjat Pielęgniarstwa - studies in the field of nursing.
  • Licencjat Położnictwa - studies in the field of midwifery.
  • Inżynier (3½ to 5 years study) – equivalent to a British Bachelor of Science Engineering degree.
  • Inżynier Architekt - studies in the field of architecture and town-planning.
  • POST-GRADUATE (2 or more years post-graduate study)
  • Magister – equivalent to a British Master of Arts or a Master of Science degree
  • Magister Sztuki – studies in the field of fine arts.
  • Magister Inżynier - studies in the field of engineering.
  • Magister Inżynier Architekt – studies in the field of architecture and town planning.
  • Lekarz Medycyny – studies in the field of medicine.
  • Lekarz Dentysta (or prior to 30.04.2004 Lekarz Stomatolog) – studies in the field of dentistry.
  • Lekarz Weterynarii – studies in the field of veterinary medicine.
  • ACADEMIC DEGREES
  • Doktor (2 to 4 years of post-graduate study) – equivalent to a British Doctor of Philosophy
  • Doktor Habilitowany - is awarded to a person who holds a doctor's degree, has significant scholarly or artistic achievements and has submitted a thesis that has been peer reviewed, debated and defended (rozprawa habilitacyjna). No British equivalent.
  • Profesor - title conferred by the President of the Republic of Poland. Equivalent to the British title of professor.

  • If you require an official document, a letter of comparability can be obtained from UK NARIC.
    UK NARIC is a National Agency managed on behalf of the UK Government. It is the official source of information on international qualifications. The UK NARIC letter of comparability is a nationally recognised document that states the comparability for individuals with overseas' awards to the UK's qualification frameworks. It is used by universities, colleges, employers and Government departments and agencies to enable them to assess the individual's qualifications, skills and competencies. For more information and services of UK NARIC go to their website. A fee is payable for their service.


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