Academic regulations governing official masters
(This translation into English is of an informative nature. The official version is originally in Catalan.)
The European Higher Education Area entails making major changes to the university structure. The implementation of official postgraduate programmes, regulated by Royal Decree 56/2005, dated 21 January, requires various regulations to be prepared in order to complete the system and its content.
On 29 March 2006 the Board of Governors approved the initial regulations concerning the syllabuses and the bodies in charge of the master. The task to address now is to regulate those norms which lay out the action to be unfolded in terms of teaching and academic management for these study programmes in our University.
In this respect, a new statutory postgraduate model is created on the basis of a review of current regulations for first and second cycle, which is the first step to bringing it in line with regulations governing graduate studies.
1. Scope of application
This regulation applies to second cycle university study programmes leading to a master's degree.
2.1. Admission requirements
All students who meet the general admission requirements set out in current regulations and, if applicable, the specific requirements of the particular master's degree, are eligible for admission to the studies leading to UPF master's degrees.
The specific admission requirements for each master's degree are approved by the Board of Governors, at the proposal of the department in charge, following a prior report from the committee responsible for official postgraduate studies.
2.2. Number of places on master's degree courses
Admission to each master's degree is subject to the number of available places determined by the Board of Governors.
2.3. Competent bodies
The director of the department responsible for the master's degree will issue a resolution on the admission of applicants.
2.4. Submission of applications
The University will establish the number of admission periods for each academic year, which it will publish on the University's website during the first term of the academic year prior to the commencement of academic activities. Candidates who meet the general and specific admission requirements may submit applications during these periods, as well as candidates who expect to meet the requirements by the time academic activities commence.
The committee responsible for official postgraduate courses will determine the percentage of places to be assigned in each application period. It may also establish, for all or for any of the application periods, how places are to be distributed between residents or nationals of European Union member states and non-residents who are not nationals of any of these states.
If a fee is established in order to participate in the admissions process, proof of payment of this fee must be provided in order to take part in the process.
On submitting the application for admission, candidates must enclose the documentation attesting to circumstances that have to be taken into consideration.
Definitive admission is subject to evidence of compliance with the general and specific admission requirements for the master's degree once academic activities commence.
2.6. Admission of students with unaccredited higher education qualifications not obtained in the European Higher Education Area.
Students who apply for a place on a master's degree in accordance with article 16.2 of Royal Decree 1393/2007, of 29 October, and hold a qualification that does not belong to the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) and has not been accredited, must formalize an application for recognition of the equivalence of the level of education evidenced by the foreign qualification to the level required to obtain the corresponding Spanish degree qualification.
The application for recognition of the level of education must be accompanied by the following documentation at the time of applying for admission:
a) The qualification not obtained in the EHEA, or certificate attesting that is has been awarded.
b) Academic transcript of the studies followed by the applicant in order to obtain the qualification stating, among other circumstances, the duration in academic years of the study programme followed; the subjects studied; the course hours of each subject and the grades obtained.
In addition, other documents considered necessary to prove the equivalence between the education leading to the non-EHEA qualification and the level required to obtain the corresponding Spanish degree qualification may also be required, including, if appropriate, the programmes of the subjects reflecting the content and extension with which they were studied, or academic documentation attesting that the studies make the holder eligible for postgraduate studies in the country awarding the qualification.
Documents issued abroad must meet the following requirements:
a) They must be official and must be issued by the competent authorities, in accordance with the legislation of the country in question.
b) They must be legalized through diplomatic channels, or, as the case may be, through the Apostille of the Hague Convention. This is not required in the case of documents issued by European Union member states or signatories of the European Economic Area agreement.
c) The body responsible for examining the application may require a sworn translation of the accompanying documents into Spanish or Catalan.
In the event of doubts as to the authenticity, validity or contents of the documents submitted, the necessary steps may be taken to verify them, and the competent issuing authority may be contacted to confirm the points about which there are doubts.
The director of the department responsible for the master's degree will issue a resolution on the admission of these students, following a report from the committee responsible for official postgraduate studies. Until this resolution is issued, these students may be admitted conditionally.
The resolution on the application for recognition of education level does not mean that a University place has been granted. The granting of the place at the University depends on the admission resolution.
Resolutions on recognition of education level will be conveyed to the selection committee, where appropriate, so that it can draw up the definitive admission resolution.
2.7. Assessment of admission applications
When the demand for places on a master's degree exceeds the number of places offered, in order to establish a priority among the students who have applied for a place, the assessment criteria approved by the Board of Governors at the proposal of the department responsible for the master's degree will be applied, based on the report of the committee responsible for official postgraduate studies. These criteria shall respect at all times the principles of publicity, equality, merit and ability.
Priority may be given to students who meet the admission requirements in the month of June prior to commencement of the academic year for which they are applying.
When the procedure involves a test, candidates must pay the corresponding fee. Proof of payment of this fee is a necessary requisite in order to sit the test.
The selection procedure will be carried out by a selection committee designated by the committee responsible for the official postgraduate programme the master's degree belongs to, and appointed by the rector or vice rector to whom this task is delegated, and shall be made up of a minimum of three lecturers from the scientific field of the master's degree, one of whom will be elected chairman and another secretary.
This committee is responsible for selecting the candidates and for dealing with all matters arising in relation thereto that have not been assigned to any other body.
The committee will publish the list of students accepted on the UPF's website".
"5.6. Modifications to registration
Before the start of the academic year, the University establishes the terms for modifying applications to register.
3. Simultaneous studies
3.1. Students who have embarked on a university master's study programme and who wish to begin or rejoin another master's course or a graduate course at UPF in order to study both at the same time must apply for simultaneous studies to be granted.
Simultaneous studies may not be granted when demand for the second course is greater than availability.
Applications for simultaneous studies must be submitted before the deadline set by the vice-rector in charge of official postgraduate affairs.
The application should set out the reasons why the student is applying for admission to simultaneous studies and a personal academic certificate for the original study programme.
3.2. It is incumbent on the rector, or the vice-rector to whom the task is delegated, to issue a resolution regarding applications for simultaneous studies. Beforehand, the departmental director in charge of the master should submit a motion containing an assessment of the academic transcript for the original study programme followed by the applicant and the reasons set out in the application. Availability and demand on the target study programme should also be taken into consideration.
In order for simultaneous studies to be granted, the applicant must have been granted a place on the respective master's programme.
4. Resuming studies
4.1. Students who dropped out of their study programme at Pompeu Fabra University because they had not registered for two consecutive years and who wish to resume their course must apply for readmission.
The deadline for submitting applications will be set by the vice-rector in charge of official postgraduate affairs.
Applications for readmission must be accompanied by documents certifying the reasons why the student is applying to resume studies. It is a vital requirement not to have breached the UPF continuance rules.
4.2. It is incumbent on the director of the department in charge of the programme to issue a resolution regarding applications for resuming studies following an assessment of the academic study programme pertaining to UPF studies from which the student dropped out. The reasons set out in the application must also be assessed and it is important to bear in mind availability and demand for places on the study programme applied for.
Readmission for outdated syllabuses is not allowed.
Students should prepare their application to register for a master within the deadlines set by the university.
Acceptance of the application by the University is subject to the veracity of the data set out in the application, to student compliance with the requirements established in current legislation for admission to the master and to full payment being made in due time and proper form.
Once registration is complete the student will be issued with a card showing that he is a UPF student.
5.2. Items and prices
The sum to be paid by students will be established by applying the public prices approved by the Generalitat Government of Catalonia in accordance with the authority bestowed on it by current regulations.
The University may determine other prices for items approved by the Board of Directors in line with current regulations.
Students should pay the sum for education insurance whenever they fall within its scope of application as per current regulations.
5.3. Payment in instalments
Students admitted to official master's courses will need to make payment for the sum established as an advance payment for a proportion of registration and for reservation of their place well within the deadline set. Under no circumstances may this sum be returned to students even if they ultimately do not register.
The remaining amount can be paid in one lump sum at the start of the academic year or in two equal instalments, one to be paid when finalising registration and one to be paid during the second half of December. The University has the right to cancel registration for a place owing to non-payment.
Students paying in instalments must make payment by direct debit.
5.4. Grants and exemptions
Students who benefit from any kind of grant or are in any way exempt from paying for registration as laid down in current regulations should certify this circumstance when registering.
The terms and conditions entitling students to exemption from payments must be met at the start of the course.
5.5. Compulsory nature of registration
5.5.1. Students are required to register for all credits on the master if it is structured into one academic year or, if it is structured into more than one academic year they should register for the first academic year in full, depending on whether the master is being followed on a full- or part-time basis.
When registering, students must include all credits they have not passed or which have been validated, in addition to credits for which they are registering for the first time.
5.5.2. The range of subjects and optional training activities on offer shall be binding for the University throughout the academic year.
5.5.3. The minimum number of students per subject may not be less than 10. This limit does not apply to training activities. Under exceptional circumstances the rector or the vice-rector to whom it is delegated may allow a subject to be taught with a lower number of students.
5.6. Modifications to registration
Before the start of the academic year, the University establishes the terms for modifying applications to register.
Applications submitted outside the established terms will not be accepted.
5.7. Registration waiver
The deadline for students who wish to waive registration is 30 November. The waiver must be accepted by the University, although it shall take effect as of the time it is submitted.
Acceptance of the waiver will in terms of its effect be tantamount to the student not having registered.
5.8. Cancelling registration
The University may cancel registration of a student in the event of non-payment.
Cancellation of registration shall have the effects envisaged in current regulations.
Cancellation of registration by the University or waiver of registration by the student will not entitle him to a refund for the fee.
The deadline for claiming a refund for registration fees, by means of a grant or payments for students, is 31 May of the respective academic year.
6. Staying rules
The staying rules for master's study programmes shall be as approved by the Board of Trustees at the proposal of the Board of Governors.
7. Recognition of credits
The recognition of credits consist of the acceptance by Pompeu Fabra University of credits obtained in official master's degree studies at the same or at another University pertaining to different studies for the purpose of obtaining an official master's degree.
Credits may be recognized by the University taking into account the correspondence between the skills and knowledge associated to the other subjects studied by the student and those established in the syllabus or of a transversal nature.
The committee responsible for official postgraduate studies is responsible for establishing the general criteria for recognition of credits.
The director of the department responsible for the official postgraduate programme the master's degree belongs to will designate, from among the doctorate staff, a recognition member for each master's degree, or for a group of master's degrees included in the programme.
The director of the department responsible for the master's degree will issue a resolution on the applications for recognition of credits, at the proposal of the member responsible for recognition.
The secretary of the department will notify the interested parties of the resolutions. An appeal may be submitted to the rector against these resolutions, within the term of one month.
The resolutions issued by the directors will be conveyed for information purposes to the committee responsible for official postgraduate studies.
Students may apply for recognition of their prior studies if they provide evidence that they have obtained a place or have applied for direct admission.
7.4. Recognition of validated, recognized or adapted credits
If the application for recognition of credits includes validated, recognized or adapted credits, the director of the department will issue a resolution taking into account the documentation which permitted the original recognition, and therefore all the documentation relating to the content of the subject must be submitted.
7.5.1. Applications for recognition of Spanish University studies must detail the subjects for which recognition is sought, indicating the correspondence with the target subjects and stating, as the case may be, whether the application concerns an application for direct admission. The following documentation must be attached:
- Academic transcript stating the subjects, number of credits and grade obtained.
- A photocopy of the syllabus for the studies, duly stamped by the corresponding centre.
- A photocopy of the course programmes or teaching plans for the subjects studied, duly signed by the corresponding centre.
- Proof of payment of the fee for examining the application for recognition of credits as established in ruling legislation.
7.5.2. Application for the recognition of foreign University studies will be made in accordance with the UPF's regulations on the accreditation and recognition of foreign postgraduate higher education qualifications, which will be applicable in all respects not covered by these regulations.
7.5.3. Applications for recognition may be submitted within the terms established by the vice rector responsible for official postgraduate studies.
7.6. Inclusion on academic record
7.6.1. The subject will appear as recognized on the academic record once the student has registered. In the event that the student has already registered for the subject, the recognition will take effect in the same academic year.
7.6.2. The recognition of credits obtained will appear on the student's academic record provided that the requisites established in the ruling syllabus and regulations are met.
7.6.3. The credits recognized will appear on academic transcripts in accordance with the provisions of the regulations on grades in force at the time of recognition.
7.7.1. The price for recognition of credits established in the regulations on public prices approved by the Government of Catalonia shall only be applied to students who have applied for the recognition of credits before registering for the corresponding subject.
7.7.2. In all other cases the ordinary price established in the same regulations will be applied, i.e. the students will pay the ordinary price for the registered credits, and after a resolution has been issued on the application for recognition of credits, the student may claim a refund of the corresponding amounts within the term established in the University's regulations.
8.1. Methods and criteria
Evaluation of student knowledge can be conducted by means of a final exam or a continuous assessment process.
The lecturers in charge of each training activity and subject should announce the assessment criteria and methods they will be applying at the start of the respective teaching period.
8.2. Subject teaching plan
The teaching plan of the subject constitutes an instrument that sets out the organisational teaching model for the subject. The teaching plan shall be made public and can be viewed at all locations envisaged by the University for publishing academic information.
8.3. Continuous assessment system
Continuous assessment shall refer to a series of teaching strategies, processes and instruments defined in the teaching plan of the subject, which are gradually and increasingly applied as a whole throughout the teaching and learning process for the subject. The results gleaned from this process should provide students and teachers alike with major, regular indicators as to development and progress when it comes to achieving the skills that have been established as the intended learning outcomes for the subject.
Continuous assessment shall apply to all subjects envisaging this method of evaluation in the teaching plan of the subject.
Subjects that involve continuous assessment systems shall specify at least three forms of assessment, in addition to mechanisms and indicators showing that progress has been made and the learning achievements have been reached, the timing envisaged, the criteria for assessing each activity and its significance within the overall calculation for obtaining the subject grade.
The mechanisms for continuous assessment used during the teaching period can account for between 50 and 100% of the full assessment for the purposes of determining the final mark.
Students will receive regular information regarding the results achieved in activities that are part of continuous assessment. To this end, the means envisaged in the teaching plan of the subject will be used to publish this information.
In all cases, subjects that envisage a continuous assessment system shall still allow students to opt for taking a final exam, within the exam period stated in the University's academic calendar.
Subjects with continuous assessment shall follow the general grading system established by the University.
8.4. System for final exams
Both oral and written exams shall be taken at the end of the teaching period, within the dates set by the University in the academic calendar for this purpose.
One exam sitting shall be conducted for each subject or training activity during each academic year.
In the case of training activities lasting longer than one term, assessment will be carried out during the period established for this purpose within the academic calendar during the last term in which the activity is taught.
Activities may under exceptional circumstances be assessed up to but no later than 10 September when the training activity so requires.
8.4.3. Oral exams
Oral exams will be organised and assessed by a panel comprising three lecturers. To provide proof of the content of the exam and ensure it will remain in the pertinent lecturer's possession, it will be recorded using a suitable means.
Students may call for a review of their grades according to the following procedures:
a) When the departmental director in charge of the master publishes the provisional grades, he will establish a period for students to lodge any claims to the assessor.
b) Within 10 working days following publication of the final grades, students may file a petition to the departmental director in charge of the master for a second correction to be conducted.
This second correction will be carried out by a panel consisting of three lecturers, appointed by the departmental director in charge of the master. Prior to issuing a mark, the panel will hold a hearing with the lecturer in charge of the subject.
The panel will issue a resolution regarding the application for a second correction within 15 working days counting from the deadline for submitting petitions.
c) Students may lodge an appeal to the rector against final grades, whether or not they have requested a second correction, in order to raise issues concerning a breach of procedure and other matters aside from an assessment of the technical knowledge required. If a second correction has been applied for, no appeal may be lodged until a resolution regarding that correction has been adopted.
In order to enable grades to be reviewed, lecturers are required to keep exams or documents on which grades are based (including recordings) for at least one year following the end of the grading period (see Instruction 01/2004, on the University Archive, establishing the procedure for disposing of exams and documents on which grades are based).
The results achieved by students will be stated as numerical marks in accordance with the scale established in Royal Decree 1125/2003, dated 5 September, establishing the European credit system and the system for grading in official university degrees with validity throughout Spain.
As far as validated and adapted subjects are concerned, the provisions set forth in the grading regulations approved by the Board of Governors shall apply to the assessment of academic transcripts and certification of qualifications on those transcripts.
10. Training placements in companies
In order to set up agreements with other institutions for undertaking training placements as envisaged in syllabuses, the regulations governing agreements for undertaking training placements as envisaged in syllabuses, which were approved by the Board of Governors, shall apply. In the case of masters, any references in the regulation to study programmes or centres, or indeed the heads of those centres, shall be deemed as referring to the departmental directors in charge of the masters or the heads of department (see Regulation governing agreements for undertaking training placements as envisaged in UPF syllabuses (Resolution of the Management Committee dated 26 May 1993).
11. Academic transcripts
Once the minimum requirements for obtaining the master's degree have been met, any subjects or training activities that were not successfully completed by the student will not be included in the academic transcript.
All masters will incorporate a model of supervision, in accordance with the University Tutorial Action Plan, in order to provide students with assistance with respect to their professional and academic education on the context of the educational pathway specific to each master.
12.2. Duties of the supervising lecturer
Students registered for a master will be assigned a supervising lecturer whose duties will be as follows:
- Informative: to provide general and specific information on issues and means to guide students to sources of data that may be useful for their studies.
- Academic monitoring and educational intervention: to introduce mechanisms to monitor students' academic progress and performance, to provide guidance as to the learning models that are most suited to each need and likewise to assist in planning each student's syllabus pathway according to his professional and educational interests.
- Guidance on professionalism and the educational pathway: to conduct tutoring activities that guide students when structuring their professional course and on aspects relating to the ongoing training needed to successfully complete it.
12.3. Allocation of the supervising lecturer
The supervising lecturer will be appointed by the departmental director in charge of the master and each supervisor shall have no more than 20 students assigned.
Dedication on the part of the supervising lecturer is envisaged as part of his teaching activity, in accordance with the valuation made in the University's general regulations.
Planning of teaching for the master will include activities envisaged as part of tutorial duties.
12.5. Coordination and assessment
It will be incumbent on the coordinator of each master to coordinate supervising lecturers and to ensure that supervisory activities develop and improve.
The institutional mechanisms in place for assessing teaching include tutorial activities in those areas for which it is decided to conduct teaching assessment.
The department in charge of the master shall assess the operation of tutorial activities at least twice a year in order to compile indicators and mechanisms for improvement with respect to the effectiveness, the efficiency and the bearing of those activities.
12.6. Assistance with tutorial activities
University services will assist coordinators and supervising lecturers to conduct the various stages of tutorial activities, and will also provide support for the planning, development and assessment of such activities.
In the case of inter-university masters, the respective agreement shall stipulate the academic regulations that will apply.