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How higher education works in Switzerland and its European surroundings: a Bachelor’s degree possibly followed by a Master’s programme. Plus: advanced education and life-long learning, who’s who in Swiss universities and contact info.

Continuing education

High quality education, whether pre-primary, primary, secondary, higher, or vocational education and training, remains as important as ever. Yet, mandatory or even higher education is not enough. Skills must be constantly renewed, to enable professionals to meet the challenges of ever-evolving technologies, increasing internationalisation and demographic changes. Nowadays, lifelong learning is essential in many professions and also for personal growth.

The Swiss universities run several programmes of continuing education in different professional fields and confer three separate diplomas: the Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS), the Diploma of Advanced Studies (DAS) and the Executive Master/Master of Advanced Studies (MAS/MBA). 

The CAS is the shortest programme available: it can last from a few months to one academic year, and offers specialized knowledge on a specific topic. The programme consists of courses, independent study and, in some cases, a short project. It awards a minimum of 10 ECTS credits, up to 29 ECTS credits.

The DAS programme offers thorough training in a specific field and gives access to further qualification in one's profession. The programme lasts from one to two years, and comprises courses, independent study, and often a brief final thesis. The programmes awards a minimum of 30 ECTS credits, up to 59 ECTS credits.

The MAS/MBA is the only academic degree awarded in continuing education.

The programme offers comprehensive training in a specific field and can either give access to higher qualification in one's profession or lead to a new profession. The programme comprises courses, independent study, and a master's thesis. The programme awards a minimum of 60 ECTS credits.

The Master of Advanced Studies does not give access to doctoral studies.

Information about the programmes and the conditions for admission is available on the Swiss University Continuing Education's Website: http://www.swissuni.ch/