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Definition: First stage of tertiary education (ISCED level 5)

Education - ISCED

This level consists of tertiary programmes having an educational content more advanced than those offered at levels 3 and 4. Entry to these programmes normally requires the successful completion of ISCED level 3A or 3B or a similar qualification at ISCED level 4A. All degrees and qualifications are cross-classified by type of programmes, position in national degree or qualification structures (see below) and cumulative duration at tertiary.

Level 5 includes also: 

- This level includes all the research programmes which are not part of a doctorate, such as any type of Master's degree.
- In some countries, students beginning tertiary education enrol directly for an advanced research qualification. In this case, the part of the programme concentrating on advanced research should be classified as level 6 and the initial years as level 5.
- Adult education programmes equivalent in content with some ISCED 5 programmes could be included at this level.
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), "International Standard Classification of Education - ISCED 1997", Paris, November 1997