Education Hierarchy in Spain

Spain follows a compulsory education rule from the age of 6 to 16.  Schooling in the country is funded which means that students don’t have to pay for their schooling during the compulsory education years.  But parents do have to pay for books, uniforms and other study materials for their children.

Once the compulsory schooling is complete, a student can opt to continue onto high school or opt to study at a vocational school. Once a student has finished high school,he/she can study further by taking admission at a university. Education in

Spain follows a hierarchical system where education levels are clubbed together year wise. The following is some information which will help you understand the education hierarchy in Spain better:

education hierarchy in SpainPreschool

Preschool in Spain is divided into 2 cycles-the first cycle is for children between 0-3 years whereas the second cycle is for children between 3-6 years.  The first cycle is not for free of cost but there are many programs that can aid those in need.  The second cycle however isfree for all.  There are manykindergarten or primary schools in Spain which provide such schooling however it is not compulsory to be part of it.

Primary School

Primary school education in Spain starts from the age 6 and goes on until the age of 12. This education is compulsory for all and is divided into three cycles of 2 years each. The first cycle is from age 6-7, the second cycle is from age 8-9 and the third cycle is from 10-11 years.

Middle School

Secondary education in middle schools is also considered compulsory in Spain and generally lasts from 12-16 years of age.  Spanish secondary education is divided into two cycles that last 2 years each. The education in Spain is compulsory only until middle school.

High School

High school in Spain is also known as Spanish Baccalaureate. This is non-compulsory free education which consists of one cycle in two academic years and is for students of ages 17-18.  Students have to pick subjects of their choice.

Vocational Training/Tertiary Education

The next step in education consists of either vocational training or higher education which too is divided into 3 levels which are given as follows:

  • Bachelor’s education-university degrees are mostly 4 years long and some even take 6 years.
  • Master’s education-most post graduate courses take 2 years to complete
  • Doctorate education-this is the highest level of education in Spain