The Italian University System is organised in three cycles defined academic qualifications are associated with each cycle which allow students to progress with their studies, to participate in public recruitment competitions and to enter the workplace and careers in the professions (diagram of the university system).
University study courses are structured in credits. A university credit (CFU) is usually equivalent to 25 hours of study by a student, including individual study in the total. The average quantity of academic work performed by a full-time student in one year is by convention measured as 60 CFUs. The CFU system is equivalent to the ECTS system.
Degree and Master’s Degree study courses that share goals and educational activities are gathered in “classes” (degree classes). The education contents of each degree course are determined autonomously by each single university: they are obliged to include certain educational activities (and the corresponding number of credits) fixed at a national level. These requisites are established in relation to each class. The qualifications in the same class all have the same legal value.
University qualifications confer on the holder different academic titles: a degree bestows the academic title of “Dottore”, the Master’s Degree is defined as “Dottore Magistrale in…”; the Research Doctorate bestows the title of “Dottore di ricerca” or “PhD”.
Italian universities can establish joint programmes in collaboration with other universities, both Italian and foreign, for which joint degrees or double/multiple degrees are awarded upon completion.
(da The Italian Higher Education System, CIMEA web-site)