Spain: Título de Bachiller

Last updated
Last verified

New for 2016

The student receives the Título de Bachiller

The programme of study is referred to as Bachillerato.

  • Spain
Education context

The Spanish education system is decentralised into 17 autonomous regions. The Ministry determines core curricula as well as internal regulation and conditions for parity across regions. The regions can impose some of the subjects within the overall selection.

Regions are responsible for school inspections and quality assurance. The final diploma is valid throughout the country and awarded by the Spanish Ministry of Education.


There are three possible options that students can take:

  1. Science
  2. Social sciences and humanities
  3. Arts

The Bachillerato is a highly academic two-year programme of study which aims to prepare students for their chosen subjects at university, as well as achieve a comprehensive education, including optional subjects which may include other interests such as music or sports. Students do a minimum of 30 contact hours per week (there are slight variations between regions).

Subject areas

Regardless of which route, students do 9+ (8+ in Year 2) subjects:

  • Four compulsory core (four hours per week each):
Science Social sciences and humanities.


  Foreign language  
  Philosophy (Year 1) – history (Year 2)   
Maths Maths or Latin Art fundamentals

Notes: *Maths curriculum differs for Sciences or Social sciences and humanities.

  • Two core (four hours per week each), chosen from various options and slightly different in Years 1 & 2:
Science Social Sciences and Humanities Arts
Biology & geology (Year 1) Contemporary history (Year 1) Contemporary history (Year 1)
Technical drawing (Years 1 & 2) Greek (Years 1 & 2) Audiovisual culture (Years 1 & 2)
Physics & chemistry (Year 1) Economy (Years 1 & 2) Literature (Year 1)
Physics (Year 2) Literature (year 1) Performing arts (Year 2)
Chemistry (Year 2) History of arts (Year 2) Design (Year 2)
Biology (Year 2) History of philosophy (Year 2)  
Geology (Year 2) *Geography (Year 2)  
  • Two or three non-core subjects (two hours per week each) out of a wider selection of options. Regions can add other specific subjects where one is the regional language.
  • One physical education is compulsory and added to the list of non-core subjects for Year one.

Total: a minimum of nine+ in Year 1 and eight+ in Year 2, made up of six core and two or three non-core. More subjects could be added by regions, including local language.


Level 3 QCF qualification = Level 4 EQF qualification.

Acceptable as a group qualification satisfying general HE entrance requirements.

For further information on the qualification level you may wish to refer to UK NARIC, which is the UK body responsible for providing comparability of overseas qualifications.


The Bachillerato is marked in a 0 – 10 grading scale. The overall grading system is not yet fully agreed or developed, but it is expected that it will not vary much from current system where a pass is 5 out of 10.


Throughout the two years, schools evaluate students through a continuous evaluation system. Schools have independence on whether they use exams or other means of evaluation, but the norm is that both means are used for a final mark.

Contribution of assessment components to overall grade

60% is the average of individual subject marks at colleges, over the two years of the programme.

40% of the mark is a final state exam, currently under development.

Although it is not yet clear what the exact composition of the tests will include, the law (LOMCE) states that they must include an exam in at least seven subjects (four compulsory core, two chosen core and one non-core).  

Guided/notional learning hours notes

The qualification takes two years and is comparable to three A levels (size band 4) for UK HE admissions purposes. Each year there are 35 weeks tuition at a minimum of 30 hours per week direct teaching hours, totalling over 2,000 teaching hours.

Key issues for UK HE admissions

Some HEPs may wish to request specific marks in key subjects related to the course or degree the student is applying to, in addition to the overall Título de Bachiller result.

Timing of assessments/results for learners

Students have two calls to sit their final exams. These are expected to take place in late May and late summer. Results should be ready mid/late June and early September.

Qualification dates notes

The Título de Bachiller has been in operation since 1990 but the subjects, itineraries and weighting/testing system have varied slightly. This new system starts implementation in the academic year 2015/16, and the first cohort will be examined before summer 2017.

Reporting and certification information

Not available.

Progression information/access to HE within home country

Students who have obtained the Título de Bachiller are entitled to direct access to university. Individual universities have the power to set specific entry requirements. Whatever these may be, 60% of the total access score must be students’ marks in the Título de Bachiller.

Further information

Apart from Título de Bachiller, students can access University in Spain from various other qualifications:

  • Técnico Superior de Formación Profesional (= HND)
  • Técnico Superior de Artes Plásticas y Diseño
  • Técnico Deportivo Superior

These students are normally granted some credits and start in year two or above at university.