Guidance and useful information
Discovering Ca' Foscari
The International Office's Outreach and Recruitment Unit is dedicated to increasing awareness of and interest in Ca' Foscari beyond Italy's borders. To this end, it develops and manages a variety of promotional and communication tools, including:
The Unit places particular emphasis on communicating Ca' Foscari's study offer and student experience to international students interested in enrolling in one of the university's bachelor's or master's degree programmes.
If you are an international student who would like to get in touch, there are a number of ways you can do so:
- encounter the Unit's staff at online or in-person international university fairs
- attend one of the Unit's online or in-person informational events (e.g., International Open Days, Discover Ca' Foscari Week)
- write to firstname.lastname@example.org
You may also be interested in reserving a one-on-one Zoom call with a current international student in order to get a student's perspective on the experience of studying at Ca' Foscari.
To help new students settle in, the Outreach and Recruitment Unit also organises the International Welcome Week held at the beginning of each semester for new international students and manages the Buddy Programme, which allows new students to connect with current ones who have volunteered to help them settle in to life at Ca' Foscari.
International Open Days
If you are an international student curious about Ca' Foscari's English-taught bachelor's or master's degrees, take advantage of our online International Open Days to learn all about the programme that interests you as well as the services and opportunities available to our students.
Discover Ca’ Foscari Week
In order to help Italian and international students discover if Ca’ Foscari could be the right place to carry out a degree taught in English, the International Office organises a summer orientation programme called Discover Ca’ Foscari Week. This four-day event incorporates academic lectures and seminars in a variety of study areas as well as cultural activities and workshops aimed at exploring the historic centre of Venice.
Italian university system
The Italian Higher Education system is undergoing considerable transformations affecting its inner academic structure, in the framework of a larger European university reform.
The Sorbonne Declaration, signed by Italy, France, Germany and the United Kingdom in May 1998, underlined the essential role of universities in the construction and development of a "Europe of Knowledge".
One year later, in June 1999, the Bologna Declaration, signed by 29 European countries, drew up a proposal for the creation of a European Higher Education Area by 2010. It aims at improving the competitiveness of European higher education in the world.
In particular the Italian higher education reform is designed to reduce the student dropout rate and university-career time, to combine a high standard academic offer with strong professional competence and skills, to facilitate national and international student mobility.
Italian university system
The new Italian university system includes Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree Programmes (in Italian: 'Lauree triennali / Lauree' and 'Lauree Specialistiche / Lauree Magistrali'), together with first and second-level Specialist Master's Programmes (in Italian: 'Master universitari di I e II livello'), Research Doctorates (corresponding to the third cycle of the European university system) and Specializing Schools (such as the Advanced Training School for Secondary School Teachers - SSIS).
- A Bachelor’s Degree Programme involves three years of full-time study and leads to a basic degree (in Italian: 'Laurea triennale' according to Ministerial Decree no. 509/1999, or simply 'Laurea' according to Ministerial Decree no. 270/2004). This qualification provides students with 180 university credits (CFUs) and the final title of 'Dottore'.
- Graduates then have two options: they can either seek employment or continue their university career with a Master’s Degree Programme, consisting of two years of more specialized study leading to a postgraduate degree (in Italian: 'Laurea Specialistica' according Ministerial Decree no. 509/1999, or ‘Laurea Magistrale’ according to Ministerial Decree no. 270/2004). This kind of qualification provides students with additional 120 university credits (CFUs). At the end of their university career, graduates will thus have obtained 300 university credits (180 + 120) and the final title of 'Dottore Magistrale'.
- Students wishing to deepen specific subjects can enrol in first- or second-level Specialist Master's Programmes (in Italian: 'Master universitari di I e di II livello'), which usually involve one year of full-time study. They belong to the framework of the Italian university system, but they do not correspond to the English meaning of ‘Master's degrees’: as a matter of fact, they provide students with professional knowledge and expertise at a technical-operational or planning level, and they are also aimed at professionals wishing to retrain. Only graduates who have completed at least a Bachelor's Degree Programme are admitted to a first-level Specialist Master's Programme, whereas only those who have achieved a Master's Degree are admitted to a second-level Specialist Master's Programme. For more information on such continuing education opportunities, please visit the website page concerning Specialist Master's Programmes.
- Students wishing to pursue doctoral studies may attend a three-year Research Doctorate (PhD programme, in Italian: 'Dottorato di ricerca'). Doctoral applicants shall be in possession of a second-cycle/postgraduate qualification to be considered for admission.
- The reform also provides a range of Specializing Schools for specific jobs (doctors, lawyers, teachers, etc.) entailing one or two years of study. Those wishing to apply must have a Master’s Degree.
Also following the university reform outlined by the Italian Ministerial Decree no. 270/2004, Ca' Foscari University of Venice guarantees already enrolled students the possibility to complete their educational programme in accordance with the previous academic systems, which include the degree programmes related to the Italian Ministerial Decree no. 509/1999 and those prior to it (thus belonging to the old university system, in Italian 'Vecchio Ordinamento').
In particular a degree programme prior to the Ministerial Decree no. 509/1999 is a four/five/six-year course of study with annual (in Italian: 'annualità') or semester exams instead of credit-based ones.
European Credit Transfer System (ECTS)
For each learning activity, students gain a certain number of university credits (in Italian: 'Crediti Formativi Universitari', abbreviated CFU) and a qualitative evaluation (mark awarded on a 30-point scale or pass/fail exam).
The minimum passing mark is 18/30, and 30/30, with honours, is the best mark. One CFU consists of 25 coursework and workload hours and one academic year corresponds to 60 university credits.
Ca' Foscari University is compliant with the European directives on ECTS (European Credit Transfer System), recognizing the equivalence 1 CFU = 1 ECTS and adopting an ECTS mark conversion scale based on a statistical distribution mechanism of marks for any single educational area. For further information, please visit the website page regarding the ECTS system.
Ca' Foscari educational programmes
Duration of the course: two years
Final qualification: Dottore magistrale
Last update: 12/10/2021