One-year degree – what, how and why

I came to Sweden to study a one-year Master’s degree. Actually, I have just (barely) managed to survive the crazy period of finishing my thesis, presenting and moving out of the dorms. Surprisingly, I am going to come back to Sweden again after the summer. Why? Well, after I describe what a one-year degree is and what are the perks, you might figure it out by yourself.


X: Hey, A., but my country doesn’t have something like a one-year degree… What’s up with Sweden? Is it like doing all the work from a Master’s degree in one year? You have to study twice as much?

A one-year Master’s degree is a Master’s degree that last one year (duh). It is not only the time that differs it from a two-year degree – it simply does not cover as much material as the two-year version. You won’t have to study more hours per week. But you also are not getting the same diploma as the two-year Master. You can think of one-year and two-year Master’s as two different types of education. Like Bachelor’s and Master’s.

Students at Uppsala . Credits: Magnus Liam Karlsson/


X: Sooo… I can study just for a year and still get a Master’s degree? Awesome! Wait, but where is the catch?

A lot of countries other than Sweden don’t have this kind of education. On one hand it is bad, because people can be confused looking at your CV. However, it is still a Master’s degree and can be treated as such. You have the official title of a Master and you are welcome to put it on your CV. To be honest… well I don’t think anybody in your first work will be checking if your degree is a one-year or a two-year one. So if you feel like you should already be “out there” and learning practice in your workplace, a one-year degree might be just what you need. The downside of a one-year degree is that you will not be able to apply for a personal number – which might make your life just a little bit harder but it is not a dealbreaker.

Students at KTH School of Architecture, Credits: Simon Paulin/


X: I am really not sure about this one-year degree stuff. What would you recommend me?

In my experience, the first year of the Master’s program was more practical and general, whereas the plan for the second year seems to be more academic and personalised. If you feel like you could learn more by working in the industry – one-year degree might be just the thing for you. The most important thing: check if there is a possibility of changing your program type at the end of the year (see description on the website or contact the university). The biggest perk of my degree was the possibility to change my mind. I came to Sweden not being sure about whether the program will match my expectations (spoiler alert: it exceeded them).

Featured image credits: Simon Paulin/


Written by Agnieszka

17 Jun 2017