Education System in Spain

6 minute read
Education System in Spain

Have you ever wondered what the education system in Spain looks like? A different country with different regulations paints a different picture of its systematic education system. In Spain, there’s compulsory and free education for all children between the years of 6 and 16.  This is supported by the national government as primary and secondary school education is considered basic. We shall look at the canvas of this education system in Spain in this blog. So continue reading to know more about education in Spain. Starting with, let’s take a look at the structure of the education system in Spain. 

Structure of the Education System in Spain

This is what the structure of Spain’s education system looks like:

Levels of Study Years of Study Grades
Pre-School 3 years Nursery 
Primary Education 6 years Grade 1 to Grade 6
Secondary Education 4 years Grade 7 to Grade 10
Upper Secondary Education
Spanish Baccalaureate, or vocational 

2 years
4 years

Grade 11 to Grade 12
Post Grade 10

University Education 
Long Bachelor’s
Master’s Doctorate
5-6 years
2 years
5 years


In the education system of Spain. the initial level of study is for children up to age 6. It is free of charge and during this time the mental and physical skills of children are developed. Further, they also read and learn how to write, and read the alphabet. This level of education is not that academic, it simply concentrates on real-life skills. 

Primary Education

Then comes primary education, one of the most important levels of education that establishes the educational system and knowledge of the student. Made up of three cycles, each last for 2 years, totalling 6 years. Mathematics, languages, social studies, and arts, are some of the basic and general subjects that students learn at this stage. 

Highest Grade Sobresaliente (SB)
Lowest Grade  Insufficient (IN)

Secondary Education 

Secondary education is also a compulsory level of education. Students who are 12 to 16 years of age study secondary education. Made up of two cycles, the first cycle is made up of 3 years while the second cycle is of one year. At age 16, the obligatory subjects and education are put to a stop. The subjects and learnings that the students acquire involve the advancement of studies that students took part in primary school. History, Biology, and Geography are also included in secondary education, along with language studies, and music, which is optional subjects.

Highest Grade Sobresaliente (SB)
Lowest Grade  Insufficient (IN)

Upper Secondary Education 

Post 16 years of age, that is the end of Grade 10, comes upper secondary education. It is usually 11th and 12th grade but can be understood by the following. 


A Spanish Baccalaureate can be earned when students who have completed their secondary education decide to go to university and subsequently complete their two-year period of studies. This is usually Grade 11 and Grade 12, which is the first year and second year of Baccalaureate. When you receive this certificate of completion, you are eligible to study at the university level and pursue higher education. 

There are various branches of study that you can undertake while receiving a Bachillerato. Sciences, humanities, and social sciences, as well as arts, are included among the specialisations. Three sets of subjects, including core subjects, make up the study program during these two years of study. 

Vocational Education/Training 

The students in Spain can take up vocational training and learn the special skill set of various natures. This lasts for 4 years. It’s divided into Grado Medio and Grado Superior, which are both made of 2 years. Grade Superior can only be taken when the student turns 18 years of age, so a student with a Bachillerato can also go for advanced vocational training if they choose to. This gives direct access to practical jobs with the learning of technical know-how. 

Grado Medio 2 years
Grado Superior 2 years 

University Education

University education is higher education in Spain. It is optional and you can choose to pursue its long forms or discontinue it after upper secondary education. You must obtain a Bachillerato certificate, as well as pass the university entrance exams to enter into university. Depending on the choice you make, the university education can be a long bachelor’s or master, or doctorate program. These specialisations involve advanced studies in engineering, business, architecture, and medical sciences. 

There are 76 universities in Spain. Out of which, 45 are state-funded. A huge number of international students are also enrolled in these universities. Around 2 lakh students choose to realise their study abroad dreams in Spain. It helps that Spain’s university education system is recognised worldwide. 

Must Read: Essay on Education System in India

Education System in Spain: Average Fees 

Fees depend based on the type of university, public or private, and the type of courses you’re enrolling in. Below is an estimate of the average fees for various levels of higher education in Spain. 

Level of Study Average Tuition Fee, per academic year 
Bachelor’s  €1,200 (INR 1 lakh)
Master’s  €1,800 (INR 1.5 lakh)
Doctorate  €3,300 (INR 2.8 lakh)

Education System in Spain: Admission Requirements 

You need to meet the basic eligibility criteria and provide valid documentation that is required to take admission to universities in Spanish. 

Eligibility Criteria 

These are the eligibility criteria:

Bachelor’s Meet academic requirements as specified by the university School leaving certificate should be recognised Entrance Exams to University 
Master’s Relevant Bachelor’s degree or equivalent Language proficiency results, based on the program 
Doctorate  Certificates, degrees, or diplomas of previous studies Language proficiency results, based on the program 

Documents Required 

Application Process

The application process takes place over some time, it begins months before the commencement of classes. You can call our Leverage Edu experts on 1800 572 000 to find out how the application process can be fast-tracked and streamlined! Here’s an easy 5-step process to complete your application process:

  1. Call our experts on 1800 572 000 to shortlist your favourite universities and courses. Start your application to multiple universities through our one dashboard platform.
  2. Compile all your documents like SOPs, essays, certificates, LORs and exam scores like IELTS, TOEFL, GRE, GMAT, etc.
  3. Meet all the application deadlines and start the application process for accommodation, students visa, and scholarships/student loans.
  4. Accept the offer letter and meet your teachers, college mates, and roommates virtually
  5. Get your visa approved and fly to your dream university.

Top Universities in Spain 

To follow the education system in Spain, you must be aware of its top universities. We have listed the same below. 

Name of University  QS World Ranking 2023
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona 178
Universitat de Barcelona 184
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid 215
Complutense University of Madrid 226
Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona) 233
University of Navarra 253
Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) 320
Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya · BarcelonaTech (UPC) 343
IE University 347
Universitat Politecnica de Valencia 400

Also Read: Study in Spain for Indian Students 2022


Does Spain have a good education system?

Yes, the overall education of Spain, including its system and curriculum, is considered very good. 

How is Spain ranked in education?

As per some ratings, Spain is ranked in the top 20 in education.

Is education in Spain free?

For children between the ages of 6 and 16, that is primary and secondary levels, education is free and mandatory. 

This was all about Education System in Spain. If you want to get into a high-ranked university in Spain, you’ll need more than just good grades; you’ll also need a flawless application. You may enlist the assistance of Leverage Edu specialists to assist you with the application process so that you can realise your goals. Call us immediately at 1800 57 2000 for a free 30-minute counselling session.

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